Letter to the editor

Reader Fiona Brosnan used our Artists in the Countryside column series to help boost the confidence of her talented artist friend, Ann Marie Gammell.

Anne Marie painted Fiona a beautiful picture of her son and father in Carrownagappul in Mountbellew where she is from.

Describing the artwork Fiona told us: “You can almost feel the bog from touching the canvas. My son cried when he saw it and it made us all feel a connection to family.

“I live in Kerry so this has brought us joy to look at it as we look forward to the day when we can visit Galway again. Ann Marie has yet to be discovered and I am so thankful of her kind gift to me and my family. I have a print for my dad for when we next meet.”

Watch this space for Ann Marie Gammell.

Our picture of the week was painted by Ann Marie Gammell.

Instagram inspiration

Charlie Mackesy is, in our humble view, author and illustrator of one of the most beautiful book in the world The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse.

A book you give to those you love, a hug in a dark place. If you are not fortunate (yet) to own your own copy, and we are in the wrong country to just find one (yes, he sometimes leaves them in public places for people to find) fear not, because you can get a daily dose of Charlies uplifting words and beautiful art @charliemackesy

Almost every day, a new picture is posted. In his own words “I’ve had some moving messages from people saying that they’ve struggled with feeling not enough while stuck at home over the year – so I thought I’d draw this.”

Chef Janine’s tip

It’s asparagus season! Irish asparagus is available from mid-April until around the end of June. My favourite way to eat asparagus is in a salad, but only when it’s in season and at its most tender. I blanch the asparagus in salted, boiling water until it turns bright green (around 1-2 minutes), then shock it in ice water to stop it from cooking. Then, I use a peeler to shave ribbons off the tender stems. Once ribbony, I toss the asparagus in a light lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, garlic, honey, egg yolk, salt and pepper and Irish rapeseed oil). and finely grate a nutty Irish cheese (like Cais na Tire sheep’s cheese) over the top. Simple and delicious!

Number of the Week


The normal pressure range (in mm of mercury)in your eyes. Above this, glaucoma is a risk.

Tweet of the Week

Quote of the Week

From solo rower, Karen Weekes:

I’m visualising big waves and storms, thunder and potential capsize, whales and sharks. All the things ill encounter along the way. It’s not that I’m scared of it, obviously I’m respectful of it, but if I was scared of it at this stage, it wouldn’t get me very far.