People just want to get home — time to sort our traffic

Thu, Feb 23, 2017

It’s nice to be a table-topper. To be perched there among a group of your peers and looking down at all those ranked below you, committing the sin of pride. Top of the table. Ahead of the rest.

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Gossip played a role in the week’s revelations

Thu, Feb 16, 2017

Gossip is what no one claims to like, but everybody enjoys. It is the lifeblood of every conversation. There is nothing juicier than the prospect of being told gossip that you can then trade for some more at a later stage. Gossip is the unedited bit of conversation.

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An icon who didn’t need a second chance to make a first impression

Thu, Feb 09, 2017

When you look back at the recent history of Galway, and when I say recent, I mean the last forty or fifty years, you see that the progression of the city is built around a group of individuals in all spheres, political, cultural, musical and otherwise, who somehow contributed to this conviction of Galway as being a place apart.

They were people who made a difference because they were different, who brought a certain divilment or joie de vivre to the whole idea of Galway. They had a bit of a neck about them to make themselves stand out and be heard, and in some way contribute to the air of confidence that this city needed to make the transformation from fishing town to cosmopolitan city. And they were all flamboyant, and they probably needed to be. They had a self assurance that carried them where they went.

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The power of the human spirit

Thu, Feb 02, 2017

You'd envy Gavan Hennigan this morning, so you would.

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We need healthy small towns

Thu, Jan 26, 2017

I love small towns. I am the product of one. The first two decades of my life were shaped within the confines of one. Back then, towns were in their heyday. While there were cities beyond the hills, everything we seemed to need was available in the small town. Sure, we had a chipper to feed everyone and a town hall to hold everything in, and to provide custom for the chipper. And we had two telephone kiosks, some schools and two churches, and three banks and a town library (in my house) and a lake and a few roads out of it. What more could a body ask for? What else in life did we need, even if there was something mildly attractive about the few roads out?

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Living in interesting times

Thu, Jan 19, 2017

The fool on the hill

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When will we undo the undoing?

Thu, Jan 12, 2017

There was the smell of rain, through sodden duffle coats, pressing on hand-me-down jumpers over skimpy vests that guarded stringy scapulars against our puny chests.

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Two men in a boat

Thu, Jan 05, 2017

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea

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Some year for one year, but what’s ahead?

Thu, Dec 29, 2016

It’s been some year for one year — but what about 2017? This week I take a look into my crystal ball and see what’s lying in wait for us.

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Use Christmas to find calm after turbulent year

Thu, Dec 22, 2016

It’s been some year — a whirlwind of emotion, of joy and despair, of utter horror and desperation, of uncertainty and fear, but also a time of pride and happiness.

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Let’s make a contribution to our communities

Thu, Dec 15, 2016

In comedy, there is often truth and wisdom. In the ability to laugh at ourselves, we find nuggets about life.

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Let’s not kill our islands by making life more difficult

Thu, Dec 01, 2016

An island by its nature is a finite feature of geography. The smaller the island, the more you can see its edges from standing in the highest point. From here you can look down and feel part of this wonder of nature. This piece of rock and soil, this large stepping stone in the pond of the ocean, upon which we feel privileged to trod, upon which we feel safe and liberated. You look down towards its edges and here you find the most comfort. Monarch of all you survey.

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It’s now more important than ever to mind each other

Thu, Nov 24, 2016

To the children who sat through school this morning with empty rumbling tummies, the talk of the return of property boom means nothing. To the people who walk through town this week, staring at the windows, eyeing things they know they cannot afford, talk of a recovery means little. They stumble on, upright but overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness.

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Galway has to get on the Rugby World Cup shortlist

Thu, Nov 17, 2016

This month next year a decision will be made on who will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The bookies were saying yesterday that Ireland is the 2/5 favourite to be awarded the honour, but there is many a slip twixt world cup and the lip and there cannot be any element of complacency regarding a potential bid.

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Fear born in Paris was used to reshape world affairs

Thu, Nov 10, 2016

And so here we are, at a place in international affairs where it seems everything has been turned on its head. This week last year, as people gathered in Paris for a football match, to go to a concert, to enjoy life, we did not know the fear that would be used for much of the following 12 months.

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Lá breithe sona do TG4 —a cultural mirror leaves its teen years behind

Thu, Oct 27, 2016

Back in the days when learning Irish consisted of the fear of getting a shlap with a big shtick if you failed to know any of the less miserable aspects of Peig Sayer’s difficult existence, the prospect of a TV station that would be broadcast almost entirely in Irish was not one which warmed the cockles of the heart.

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A minute for meningitis — Download the ACT app now

Thu, Oct 20, 2016

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes to fruition. When an objective has been reached. When a difference has been made. And in particular I love it when I see the many worthy causes here in the west set out a long term plan and then go on to reach that. I walk with pride through the Croi building in Newcastle knowing that we ran or walked or shook a bucket to help it. Each time we pass the Galway Hospice we all take some pride from having donated in some small but not insignificant way to its being and its continuation. Those who sleep out for Simon and COPE each year know that their discomfort will help reduce discomfort for those who really need their services.

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Share the darkness and bring light to the vulnerable

Thu, Oct 13, 2016

Light determines much of how we view things. Not because it throws clarity into areas where there was none, but because the way we feel, the way we do, the way we think is often influenced by light.

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Passing of a political giant

Thu, Oct 06, 2016

They were the best of times, they were the worst of times.

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Picture Palace will be a monument to plámás but must be finished.

Thu, Sep 29, 2016

When the notion of an arthouse cinema for Galway was first mooted back in the day, it seemed a much more desirable project than it has since become. In a city that just loves its luvvies, it seemed only right that a place with a history of film development and promotion should have a flagship arthouse cinema, a venue that would act as an unofficial shrine for those who love non-mainstream movies.

It was, we were told, serving a need. And it was an argument that met little resistance early on. Back then, we didn’t know what we wanted. We just saw what the rest of the world had. And we wanted it. By two. And whatever you were having yourself. So for the first time ever, Paddy went skiing, Paddy did coke, and Paddy made an eejit of himself trying to compete with the Arabs in buying up Mayfair (the place, not the magazine), probably as a result of too much coke and too much falling down the piste.

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