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Claregalway Bypass Campaign

On Thursday October 28 volunteers in Claregalway collected signatures from motorists caught in peak-time traffic. This action was taken to gauge public support for a bypass as the solution to the traffic problem and to draw public and political attention to the daily snarl-up. 27,000 vehicle movements per day were recorded in the village in December 2003.. This figure has grown from 19,700 in 2002 (an increase of 37% over 18 months) and continues to increase. No other residential/business area in the country has a traffic problem of this magnitude. 

Signatures were collected at the N62/N17 junction from 4:00 to 6.00pm, when the exercise was called off due to torrential rain and the difficulty of signing wet papers, etc. Forms for signature were available during the week in local shops. The total number of signatures collected is now over 8,000.

But the most surprising outcome for the volunteers was the overwhelming vocal support expressed by motorists for a bypass. Only a handful of people complained about the extra delay caused by the exercise. As a result of advance publicity from local press and radio, many motorists had their pens to the ready and voiced their support for the campaign. Comments such as “about time”, “keep up the campaign”, “the sooner a bypass, the better” were common. The volunteers who got thoroughly drenched were heartened by so much support.

The Action Group for the Bypass Campaign consists of local business people and residents: Terry Brennan, Pádraic Connolly, Josette Farrell, Madeleine Flanagan, Seamus Gallagher, Paul Gill, George Glynn, Liam Higgins, Mícheál Hughes,Tom Jinks, Walter King, Gus McCarthy and John Raftery.

The Action Group is convinced that a bypass of the village is the only viable solution to end the intolerable traffic delays and to restore the village to a normal business and social centre.

The purpose of the campaign is to have a solution in place before the next general election. The Claregalway Bypass Action Group is campaigning only for a bypass for Claregalway and is not involved with any other acton group for the N17.

With the support over the past week by residents and motorists so clearly evident, the Group will now proceed to continue the campaign for the bypass as follows:

  1. The signatures will be presented to Galway County Council.
  2. An early meeting will be sought with County Council Officials and Galway County Manager.
  3. Local politicians (TDs and Councillors ) will be kept informed.
  4. A meeting of Oireachtas members from Galway West with NRA headquarters officials in Leinster House will be held on Tuesday 16th November. The Action Group welcomes this development and looks forward to a positive outcome.

Fighting Flu

Flu is an infection caused by the influenza virus. The virus mainly attacks the breathing passages- including the nose, sinuses, throat and lungs. The virus spreads easily through the air – when someone nearby breathes in the spray of tiny droplets from a sneeze or cough.

Typical symptoms of flu include a high temperature, chills, a headache, aching muscles, a cough, a blocked nose, loss of appetite and feeling tired. These symptoms are usually more severe than with the common cold.

In general, the body’s immune system usually fights off the infection within 5-6 days, although some people may feel weak for longer. People at high risk from complications of flu include those; aged 65 or over, living in a nursing home, who have heart or lung disease (e.g. asthma), who have diabetes, who have kidney failure, who have an illness or medical treatment that could weaken their immune system (e.g. cancer or those taking steroid tablets for a long time). The flu vaccination is recommended for people in any of the at risk groups. It is based on a form of the influenza virus; it prepares the immune system for an attack by flu, but doesn’t actually cause the infection.

Treating the flu at home would involve getting plenty of rest, keeping warm and drinking plenty of fluids. Paracetamol will help reduce a high temperature and to relieve flu symptoms such as headache. A virus, not bacteria, causes flu, antibiotics won’t help. Your GP may sometimes prescribe an antibiotic to prevent or treat secondary bacterial infections especially in high-risk patients.

John Duffy MPSI.

Claregalway Pharmacy is open late Monday to Friday until 8 PM.

Update from local Councillor Jim Cuddy

Improved road grants for 2005
I would like to welcome the proposed non-national maintenance roads grants for 2005 from Galway County Council.

The Lydican-Lisarulla road is to receive a grant of €26,910, the Moorpark-Carnmore Cross road is to receive €40,974, the Carnaun-Saintellan road is to receive €19,801, Ballynacregg (Fahys) is to receive €5,460, Grange-Carheenlea (Murphys) is to receive €38,376 and the Coolarne road is to receive €39,312.

I would like to thank the council workers for the very good work carried out recently at my request to Cregcarragh Village.

Safety on roads leading to Carnmore School
As a result of a request made by me to the Councl on behalf of children attending Carnmore School the Council have undertaken to cut back the hedges at the junction of School Road and Monivea Road and have also given an undertaking to erect warning signs.

Danger to children on Rock Road
I have written to the Council requesting that they supply and erect Children Playing signs on the Rock Road. The reply which I have received back is and I quote (if the community provide the “Children Playing” signs and poles, Galway County Council will erect and maintain same) end of quote.

Traffic Island at Kiniska Road
Once again at the meeting of the Area Committee of the Council on the 15th October I raised the issue of the serious danger at the junction of the Kiniska Road with the N17 and have now been informed that this junction will be examined in the context of the Quality Bus Corridor which is being proposed for the N17.

Claregalway Day of Action
As you will know by now a day of action took place in Claregalway on Thursday the 25th October to highlight the growing traffic problem that exists in the village of Claregalway and despite the very heavy rain and strong winds a large number of volunteers braved the elements to gather signatures of motorists going through the village. This is only the start of this very serious campaign and it is only by all sides pulling together that we will succeed in getting the much needed Claregalway By Pass. The proposed N17 motorway on its own will not solve the serious traffic problems in the village of Claregalway. As I have said previously the By Pass must come first and then the N17. The matter of the By Pass was raised by me once again at the full County Council Meeting on the 22nd October and I expressed my deep disappointment that neither the County Council officials or the NRA were taking the issue seriously. We must collectively now plan our next course of action and will not give up untl this whole issue is dealt with in a positive manner. Galway Bay FM must be congratulated for their wholehearted support on the day of action.

Design of Carnmore Cross
Following many queries in relation to the design of Carnmore Cross for the Traffic lights I have raised the concerns of motorists using this junction with the Senior Engineer of Galway County Council and he has assured me in writing that the design is in compliance with the accepted standards. It is hoped to have the lights working in the very near future.

As always I can be contacted any day or evening at (087) 6360242, Jim Cuddy

Interior Design – Hints & Tips

Putting up guests
Designing and decorating a guest room is not normally given the same priority as e.g. decorating a living room. But it’s still worth the time and money to create a pleasant atmosphere. Almost everyone needs to find a bed for a guest at some time, so it just as well to be prepared. How you go about this, will depend on different factors. The size of your home and the needs of you family will have an influence on this, but also how often you need to accommodate guests. If you are lucky enough to have more rooms than you need, then you can have a separate guest room. Space in many houses is a luxury and the under-use of a room is not an option. So it’s a good idea to create a guest room, which serves a double purpose e.g. a study, sewing room. With good planning, this should be easy to do, without too much trouble. But even if you are very limited for space, it is still possible to provide a bed and some privacy for the occasional guest.

Separate guest room
A separate guest room, let you cater for a variety of occasions without disrupting the whole house. Usually, this will be the smallest and least convenient room in the house, it will be the one nobody else will wants. But even a small or awkwardly shaped room can be made cosy and comfortable. A guest’s needs are small compared to the requirements of a full time bedroom – unless they move in with you full time. If you have guests regularly, you might decide to use a big room. Ideally it should be in the quite part of the house, away from e.g. the children room, but not to far from a toilet. It doesn’t have to be near the family bedrooms, it could be downstairs near the living rooms, if that is the most convenient place. You could also consider an attic conversion if you need to put a number of guests fairly often.

Because guest rooms are not in constant use, they can look neglected, which is not very pleasant for a guest after a long journey. You should also not allow the room to be a dumping ground for items from other rooms, otherwise you will not be ready for that unexpected visitor. If the room is small, but there is plenty of light, you could go for a natural look using white, cream or pastel backgrounds to increase the sense of space. Use natural fabrics in soft textured weaves on the bed and on the window, and neutral toned carpet or wood floor. If it’s a fairly dark room, use a dash of colour to lift the spirits and create some warmth and cosiness. Cheerful wallpaper can create a welcoming atmosphere – co-ordinating wallpaper, curtains and bed linen can look pretty and friendly and stop the room from appearing impersonal. But at the same time, you need to keep the room neutral, so that it suits guests of any age, male or female. You could just make a feature of one pattern e.g. dramatic bed cover (which could be changed to suit the guest), lively window treatments or a bright rug.

Furniture doesn’t have to be luxurious. The most important item is the bed and it need not be the most expensive on the market, as it is not slept in every night. Single beds are more flexible than a double, although a double takes up less room. One with drawers underneath is useful for storing the bedclothes. A wardrobe is not essential but it’s nice to have someplace to hang clothes. If space is tight, use hooks on a door, a movable rail on casters or a coat hanger etc. Don’t forget to provide hangers. A small chest of drawers with a mirror for folded clothes and putting on make-up etc. a comfortable armchair and bedside locker or table with a reading light will add to the comfort of your guest. Ensure there is some type of lighting that can be switched from the bed. Carpet is the most comfortable, adding warmth and sound insulation, but you could also use a wooden floor or cushioned vinyl, which is suitable if you have children staying.

An en-suite guest bathroom is a real luxury or you could install a small hand-basin in the room. It will give privacy to the guest and take pressure off the main bathroom. Use a radiator with temporary rack attached as a towel rail. Make sure the door of the guest room closes properly and, for privacy, provide a key or fit a small bolt on the door, particularly if you have children who wander about the house early in the morning.

Dual purpose bedroom
A spare room may be used only a few weeks of the year, so for the rest of the time, why not use it as a study or hobby room. Or turn your living room, dining room, or sun room into a temporary guest room. Plan the layout with both purposes in mind, so that it is comfortable and practical in either case. Adaptable furnishings’ will make this much easier. If you offer an impromptu invitation to a guest for an over-night stay, it is a good idea if the room can be adapted easily, without major furniture movements or storage changes. Try to ensure both purposes of the room do not interfere with each other. For a guest room that is also a work area, avoid overly fussy looks, which is more bedroom like. Go for striped, checked or textures fabric for cushions and blinds and keep covers and upholstery crisp and tailored. If the room is used more often as a work or study area than a guest room, a sofa bed is a good idea, giving comfortable seating during the day and converting quickly to a bed at night. A sofa bed in the living room is also a good idea, but remember everyone else will have to go to bed before the guest can go.

If the duel role of the room is to be disguised, good storage is needed. Hide clutter behind cupboards doors, pull-down blinds or a simple curtain. A wall of shelving can hold items, which look good on display, while a desk in a study for stationary, can be turned into a dressing table with a full-length cloth and mirror placed on top.

Even if you don’t have a separate guest room or dual purpose one there is always space somewhere in the house to place a bed, to put a guest for the night. For example the space under the stairs could be fitted with a base and foam mattress, which could do an adult or a child depending on how much room there is. If there is a high ceiling, a platform type bed can be created. Fold-away beds, inflatable airbed, sleeping bag, large cushions etc can be used in any free floor space in the house. Particularly children will regard it as an adventure and might be even willing to sleep in a tent in the garden, if the weather permits. A bed with collapsible legs, which slips beneath a second bed when not used, is also handy when a child stays over.

Finishing touches
A few small touches will go a long way to make your guest feel welcome. Decorative objects, framed prints and cushions will help to create some character in the room. A full length mirror if possible, to help with grooming. Facilities for making tea/coffee, chilled mineral water and glass, small tin of biscuits etc. placed on a little table. A television, radio and alarm clock will provide entertainment and information. Have clean towels and basket of bathroom goodies – perfumes, sachets of shampoos etc. and the guests will feel pampered. Last minute touches, like recent magazines (‘Hello’), children’s books and fresh flowers etc. will bring the room to like.

Now that everything is ready for your guests, you can sit back and enjoy their company. Maybe they will have such a good time, they will stay for good.

Mary D. Kelly
Decorating Options
(091) 798224.

Special News

Congratulations to the following couples who got married recently:
Damien Francis, Waterdale and Karen Hughes, Mount Bellew on the 21st October.
Denise Hynes, Carnmore and Ronan (Ronnie) Walsh, Carnmore on the 22nd October.
Paul Noone, Cregboy and Maureen Newell, Annaghdown on the 23rd October.

Congratulations to Breda and James Concannon, Summerfield on the birth of their baby daughter Emma Catherine – a sister for Rachel, born on the 14th September 2004.

Congratulations to Susan and Alan Hynes, Church View, Claregalway on the birth of their son Jack, born on the 2nd November 2004. Welcome to parenthood and all that goes with it!!!

Mary Connell, Kiniska
Bridie Conway (nee Casey), Claregalway
Paddy Walsh, Carnmore
Maud Grealish, Claregalway


The need for a bypass in the village of Claregalway is vital. Traffic movement is increasing by the day. To say we have no quality of life is an understatement – we are imprisoned in our homes – we have to calculate our every move. In this day and age this is ridiculous. We have lots of facilities in Claregalway but to avail of them is a nightmare. What should take 5 minutes sometimes takes 20-25 mins to get from Ato B. At this stage, the tension, frustration, etc. has set in and the general good is gone out of it. Why bother? Is this what progression and the Celtic Tiger bring?

On a different note – I attended the Town Hall recently where the Claregalway 9 Arch Musical Society staged “Oliver”. What a treat! It was truly spectacular and a delight to see all the local talent. Nine year old Evan McGuire was particularly impressive in his first major role as Oliver and has a superb voice. This lad will definitely go places. Well done to Annette and crew for putting on such a wonderful show. I’m already looking forward to next year’s performance!

Until next time,

“Want to be a Thousandaire”

Local County Councillor Jarlath Mc Donagh and all Ireland minor hurling star Barry Hanley launch the Carnmore N.S. major fundraiser “Want to be a Thousandaire”.

On Tue Oct 26th the Carnmore N.S. fund raising committee launched details of their upcoming fundraiser ” Want to be a Thousandaire” which will be held in the Claregalway Hotel on Friday Nov. 26. All proceeds from the night will go toward the school’s extension which currently has a shortfall of €150,000.

” Want to be a Thousandaire” has attracted large audiences all over Ireland over the past two years and is fast becoming the most popular source of fund-raising for schools and clubs. Contestants are drawn from ticket sales and each contestant will play for €1000. The show is fully computerised with 50/50, Ask the Audience and a brilliant Phone a Friend which has to be seen to be believed. The questions and four possible answers are displayed on two 8ft x 6ft screens, one at each side of the stage.

We are indebted to Jarlath and Barry for attending to our main sponsor Paul Gill of the Claregalway Hotel and Leisure Centre for hosting the launch and to Liam and Geraldine Glynn of Centra Carnmore for their on going support. There are still advertising slots available if you have not already sponsored the show please contact Sheila Holland Fox at 794992 or Hilda Murray at 790134 for details. Tickets are now on sale for the show and can be purchased from the fundraising committee or Sheila /Hilda.

This incredibly successful show, which is provided Pallas Marketing Services Ltd., is a hugely entertaining night and with the added possibility of winning a €1000.

Don’t miss it and remember Friday Nov. 26 the Claregalway Hotel at 8.30pm.

Sheila Holland Fox

The Niall Mellow Township Challenge

On the 15th of October last, Paul Casserly, Michael Burke, Joe Hughes and Tom Fahy, all from the Claregalway area flew to Capetown, South Africa witha contingent of 25 Galway builders to participate in the Niall Mellon Township Challenge. They constructed five houses in one week, and the 345-strong group of which they were a part, completed a total of 50 houses.

These photographs show, more than words can tell, just what your contribution to the Niall Mellon Township challenge meant to the people of Imizamo Yetho Township, the way in which the people of Claregalway responded to the appeal was incredible.

As is evident in the picture showing the existing shacks, they are tiny. Each consists of one room, containing simply a bed (where the entire family sleep) and a table or shelves for the kitchen accoutraments and that’s it. Each five or six shacks share an outside toilet and a tub(see photo). Both of these facilities have running water and the tub is used for all the washing necessities, personal, clothing, food, etc. etc. In spite of these meagre facilities, the people are spotlessly clean and keep their shacks clean and tidy also. The children are well behaved and good mannered. The photographs also show the new houses under construction and/or completed by the Niall Mellon Township Challenge. These new houses are 800 sq. ft. in area and consist of two bedrooms, kitchen/living room plus bathroom. Electricity and running water are provided for and will be supplied shortly.

The Niall Mellon project is on-going. There is a company of people working there continually but with so much to do the progress is very slow. Therefore it is hoped that this 7-day project will be an annual event and will give the big push forward on a regular basis. Anyone getting a house pays a small morgage, which goes directly back into the fund. The lower slopes of the township has roads at this stage and this is where the houses are currently being built. The higher slopes of the mountain are totally undeveloped and people there are the poorest of the poor, living in the worst conditions.

Our group arrived at the hotel at 6.00 a.m. on Saturday, 10th October, after a 13 hour flight. We breakfasted, had a couple of hours sleep and then were taken by a fleet of buses to the sight. Our arrival was an unforgettable experience, and we worked until 6.00 that evening. We started work each morning at 7.30 a.m. and worked through until 6.30 p.m. Although the work was hard and we were tired, we managed to ‘beverage and bond’ into the small hours of the morning.

Om the last day of our trip we had the opportunity to visit a school in the township. All the volunteers contributed to a collection (which amounted to a few thousand euro) and rather than give it to the school (they would have been financially penalised next year as the money would show up in the books) we went down town and bought massive supplies of school room requirements. The gratitude of the children and teachers was very moving. On the evening before we came home, we had the honour of meeting Archishop Desmond Tutu, who attended a farewell function which was held on our behalf.

This trip was undoubtedly an experience of a lifetime. One seldom has the opportunity to give so many people hope for the future, and apart from the actual building of houses, this is actually the big aspect of the whole challenge. These people all have hope now for decent living conditions in the foreseeable future. Once more thank you to all the people who gave so generously and made this possible. Paul Casserly.

Claregalway GAA Football Club 2004 News

As always see our website for all the latest news and views.

Juvenile Section
A very successful season for Claregalway Juvenile club just ended last Sunday 31st October. The Club caters for children from 7 years to 16 and fielded teams from U-8 to U-16 having success in competitions in every grade.

The Under 7’s and 8’s were coached each Sunday morning by Tom Dolan and his team of Coaches and participated in various Blitzes’around the County. Medals were presented to all at their final session by County Senior star Brian O’Donoghue.

Under 10
Michael Coyle and his team coached the U-10’s and they played in the Community Games, City League and various Blitzes’.

The Community Games U-10 Team won the County and Connaught titles and went on to win Bronze medals at the National Finals in Mosney in August. The U-10 City League A title was also won and a second U-10 played in the Division 2 of the City League.

Under 11 Team coached by John Commins reached the City League A Final for the fourth year in a row and were unlucky to be defeated by St Michael’s. The Club also fielded a second team in the Division 2.

At U-12 grade the Club retained the Division 1 City League and reached both the North Board Division 1 and 4 League Finals. In the Division 1 decider Caltra were just too strong on the day and in the Div 4 Final Cortoon reversed the earlier league result to claim the title.

The Clubs U-13 Team retained the A City League Cup by defeating Salthill in the Final in Pearse Stadium.

At U-14 level the Club fielded 2 teams for the first time with great success. In the Division 1 the team reached the County Feile Final but lost out by a single point to Corofin who went on to win the All Ireland Feile title. This team also reached the County A Championship Final again being defeated by Corofin. The Team did win the County Shield final defeating Caherlistrane in a thrilling Final in Tuam Stadium last August. The second U-14 captured the Division 4 County League and Championship titles defeating newcomers St Kerrills in both finals.

The U-16’s also were successful in winning the County Shield with a win over An Spidéal in the Final. Adrian Flaherty from this team became the first Claregalway player to win a Ted Web Cup medal when he was the Goalkeeper for the Galway City Team.

Girls Teams were also fielded at U-12,U-14 and 16. It was the first year for the club to have an U-12 team and they performed very well in both League and Championship. Most of this panel is underage again next year.The U-14 Team reached the county Final where they a played a fanced St.Gabriel’s in Monivea.Despite an heroic second half fightback time ran out for Claregalway and ended up losing by only 4 pts on a final score of 7-6 to 6-5.

Outings were held during the year for all Teams with the U-10’s,14’s and 16 going to Croke Parke for the International Rules and the U-12’s went to Castlebar for the Galway’s Connaught Championship match.

The Juvenile Club will hold their Medal Presentation evening in the Community Centre on Friday 10th December and the Juvenile AGM will take place in the Clubhouse on Tuesday 14th December.

Any new people who would like to get involved in Claregalway Juvenile GAA Club as players or helpers can contact Jimmy Gavin Youth Officer on 0872835847.

Senior Section
A full round up will be published in next months Nuacht Chláir.

Our year is not finished as the seniors still have one remaining game against Tuam Stars to play out. This game should take place during November but as it must be played on the same weekend as all the remaining round 9 games. In the championship we reached a historic quarter final against An Ceathru Rua. The final was played in Pearse Stadium in August. Although the final result didn’t go our way we played some great football and could better this next year.

We are due to play our first round of the championship on this coming Saturday 6th November.

Our Club lotto is now at €10,280. Many thanks for all your support so far, now keep buying to make sure you win or share in that huge jackpot. A great bonus for Christmas!

Many thanks to all our generous supporters and sponsors in our recent Night at the Dogs, in the Galway Greyhound track. Joe O’Connell

Cregmore Area Residents Association (CARA)

Cregmore Area Residents Association (CARA) was founded in April 2003, by locals for the general betterment of the area; and is open to all interested residents in Cregmore and its surrounding areas who wish to participate in any way. CARA’s 1st AGM was held in March 2004 with the election of officers who continue to liaise with the Board of Management of Cregmore National School; the Parents Association and the local Community Warden, Rory O’Connor.

CARA’s core mission is to seek to improve the quality of life for the residents of the fast-growing Cregmore area; incorporating important issues such as security, safety and environmental concern. CARA is delighted to represent the residents’ views to the appropriate bodies, both private and public; and seek to ensure that interested residents receive appropriate and effective consultation on issues, which affect them and the local area.

Throughout the 18 months since its induction, CARA has achieved notable success in improving the quality of life for the people of Cregmore. Noel Grealish T.D. has erected amber flashing lights on all approach roads to the busy Cregmore N.S, thanks to representations made to Galway Co. Council. CARA have also welcomed the warning signs reminding motorists to slow down, recently erected on these roads through representations made by Senator Jarlath Mc Donagh. CARA have also introduced three bottle banks at Cregmore Sports grounds, which have proved to be hugely popular to the people of the area. The Association are also pleased to announce that the Galway County Mobile Library will now be stopping at Cregmore N.S. every second Wednesday, at approximately 3:15pm.

CARA have also instigated biannual clean-ups of Cregmore village and surrounding areas, usually taking place in Spring and Autumn of each year. Working in tandem with Community Warden, Rory O’Connor; these clean-ups have considerably improved the general aesthetics of the village; and the new trees recently planted in the school grounds complement this image.

Safety around the school has been dramatically enhanced, with the provision of a new drop-off and pick-up lay-by at the school, with thanks to William Kenny Ltd. and all involved. A gravel footpath has also been constructed between Cregmore Crossroads and the local shop, thanks to meetings between CARA member Mary Brady and Paddy Prendergast, Co. Engineer. CARA also welcome the recent provision of streetlights along the Grange Road, along with the recent approval of funds from Galway Co. Council for the Community Involvement in Road works Scheme.

Cregmore N.S. has seen a dramatic increase in the number of pupils enrolling over the past several years, with overcrowding emerging as a concern for parents and teachers alike. The Association has warmly welcomed the funding obtained by Minister Frank Fahey T.D. for the proposed construction of two much-needed classrooms for the school; through dialogue initiated by CARA member Murty McGrath.

Of course, together with these recent achievements, CARA also have several short-term aims. Of primary importance is the continual improvement of safety around Cregmore NS for pupils, parents and teachers. Streetlights are needed around the school, as are traffic-calming measures to deal with the ever-increasing volume of traffic in the area. A structural survey of Cregmore Bridge is proposed; and another priority is the resurfacing of the Cregmore Community Sports Ground. These proposed developments, coupled with regular meetings with the Area Engineer on Community Involvement in Road Works Scheme, will determine the best utilisation of CARA resources and funds received.

Ongoing improvements to the quality of life for residents regarding safety and environmental issues is a continual priority to the committee and members of CARA, and the Association seeks to nurture, encourage and promote Community Awareness throughout the area. These aspirations can only be realised through increased community participation in these programs, and feedback from local residents is not only welcomed and studied; but is also vitally important to the running of the Association.

Finally, CARA are delighted to announce details of their forthcoming Christmas Party, which will be held in the Claregalway Hotel on Saturday 4th of December. CARA would like to take this opportunity to invite the people of the area along as new members are always welcome; and a great night out promises to be in store-with food, music and dancing for all. See you there!

Ronan McGrath, CARA P.R.O.


Since 1945, Korea has been divided into two countries. The north is the Communist-ruled Democratic People’s Republic of Korea . The capitalist south is known as the Republic of Korea. Not so long ago, following the devastation of a civil war and World War II, South Korea was a very poor country. Korea has since more than recovered, and today the country has a thriving business community and openly welcomes tourists. Visitors to Korea will find a mixture of ancient historical building and modern structures and facilities.

The history of an ancient Eastern culture is well preserved and readily appreciated by the visitor. The Korean landscape is, in itself, reason enough to visit this country.

South Korea is divided into nine provinces. Seoul is located within the Kyonggi-do province. Clockwise from there, the remaining provinces are: Kangwon-do, Kyongsangbuk-do, Kyongsangnam-do (Pusan is located within this province), Cheju-do (the island), Chollanam-do, Chollabuk-do, Ch’ungch’ongnam-do and Ch’ungch’ongbuk-do.

Tips on teaching in Korea

  1. You need to have a degree.
  2. Do a T.E.F.L. (teach English as a Foreign Language) course. There are lots of different ones but if you want to teach all over the world the RELSA qualified TEFL is the one to do. There are some weekend TEFL courses you can do which are fine for Korea but not for Europe.
  3. Go on the net and do some research into school and Hagwons private English Schools or academies which is where most of the jobs for westeners.
  4. Avoid ESL opportunities. They are a crowd of con-artists, anyone who we have worked with or have met over in Korea have nothing good to say about this company. It’s a money racket!
  5. Don’t work Saturdays. Some Koreans will have contracts working Mon-Sat. Avoid them. We fell into that trap and quit the school after 3 months because Saturdays were totally occupied with teaching.

The best thing is to try and get in contact with an Irish person or a friend over in Korea and they can tell you whether a school is good or not – from their own personal experience. There are a lot of horror stories over here about schools not paying their teachers or treating them like dirt and there is nothing you can do only do a midnight run which entails just packing your bags and leaving Korea

Travel to Korea and put your tourist visa to good use , go around to schools and check them out for yourself and meet the directors or the people in charge. All you need is your original degree certificate and your C.V.

The basic pay for teaching in Korea is 1.8 million – 2 million won.

The school should also pay for your ticket over to Korea and should provide a free apartment for you.

(by Coman Duke-Farrell, Cregboy and Niall McGovern, Carnmore who are both teaching in South Korea on a one year contract)