Streets ahead — get off that couch

Thu, Jun 16, 2016

There are some things that are uniquely Galway, that are of us. There was the queuing for the advertiser accommodation list back in the day; there is the Ballybrit on the Friday or Race Week, there is the carol service in St Nic’s at Christmastime. And then there is the Streets of Galway road-race.

I ran my first Streets last year. Simply because before that I didn’t think I’d be able. But I was well able. And so this year I’m going again. Along with three thousand others. And why don’t you come along and join us. To be honest, when are you going to get a chance again to run through the heart of the city, to see it from the middle of the road, to not have to be worrying about traffic, for just one evening.

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Time for us to bring it home

Thu, Jun 09, 2016

Tomorrow five weeks, on July 15, at around ten past one, when you’re about to take the first bite of your lunchtime sandwich, with the radio on, you might rue the fact you didn’t do more, that you didn’t try harder.

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The many faces of bravery

Thu, Jun 02, 2016

We applaud bravery in all its forms. Physical bravery because it is an animal instinct, a desire to confront a challenge that is placed in front of us. We saw this in Edinburgh when faced with a daunting challenge, our team showed bravery to seize the opportunity, to show the world that their team spirit honed on hard days in the west of Ireland can produce a game of the power, strength and finesse which allowed them to claim the crown. That’s physical bravery.

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A man you don’t meet every day

Thu, May 26, 2016

We all like someone good batting for us. Someone who can go out, without resort to a note or a rehearsed rote-learned speech. Who sounds lyrical but not flowery. Who speaks sense. Who preaches what is right. We all love it when our leaders are people who orate easily, who can melt hearts with their smiles and their personality, who can defuse the most tense of situations with an ability to bring sides together. Because when our leaders look and sound well, we think that we look and sound well. If these are the people who represent us, by extension, then we are all the better for having them lead us.

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Why we all win if Connacht Rugby wins the long game

Thu, May 19, 2016

Momentum is a great thing. It has this kind of momentumishy factor that sort of drags you along and makes you achieve more than you would it you didn’t have that amount of momentumishness. It makes you stand up tall and take a deep breath and with your lungs full of air, it makes you more than you are and helps you stay there.

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People just want to get home

Thu, May 12, 2016

You sit there. Trapped. Frustrated. Angry at the car in front of you. Though there is little reason to be. They’re probably angry at the car behind them for looking angry at them. You bang your steering wheel. You swear. To yourself. And then loudly. You check your watch. Another minute has ticked by. Then another five. And you’ve moved 20 yards and to make it worse when the green lights ahead of you turn green, nobody moves, because nobody can move because people creep into yellow boxes and take chances because that’s what you do when you’re caught in traffic.

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The unbridled joy of thumbing the open roads

Thu, May 05, 2016

I saw someone thumbing the other day. And I thought serial killer. Freak. What are they up to now, trying to stop cars with a flick of their thumbs. Should I call the guards. Get them arrested, these weirdoes standing by the side of the road, expecting people to stop and let them in. Do they not know that these people have seen Crimecall? And have Twitter. And read scary reports about freaks out at night. Even though this is the morning time. And serial killers tend not to thumb.

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Forty years of staying on the line

Thu, Apr 28, 2016

Forty years is a major milestone. For humans and for organisations. To span four decades mean you span almost two generations of change. To span four decades in Ireland means you span almost a hundred years of attitudinal change.

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Time to stay home and be counted

Thu, Apr 21, 2016

If you’re planning a bit of extra marital atin’ over the fence, spreading the wild oats and praying for a crop failure, then next Sunday night is not the night to do it. Not this year anyway. Cos this is the night that the hotels of the country will be scoured to make sure that everyone in the room (registered or not) is lined up again a wall and counted for the purposes of the Census. For one night, fight your desire to avail of low-rate Sunday rates for liaisons of love. That’s the night that the staff will kick in the door, tap ya on the shoulder while you’re in flagrante delicto, ask who are you, what’s your name, have you any kids, how do you get to work, and how the hell did you manage to get into that position without ruining your back?

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Libraries — the delivery room of ideas for the enquiring mind

Thu, Apr 14, 2016

There’s something strange about being alone in a library in the dead in night, when everyone has gone home; the ‘librarial’ silence is even more silent, the expectant hum of a noiseless space long extinguished, the flapping of a turned page no longer a possibility. That sort of silence. Dead silence.

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’Twas just resting in my account. Honest

Thu, Apr 07, 2016

You never think these things will catch up with you. Do you? I mean, there I was in bed on Tuesday morning, just an ordinary Joe Soap, and I discover that I’ve all this money and belongings stashed away in the British Virgin Islands. (British and virgin, two words you don’t often see together). So I says to herself “Herself, what did ya do with the money I gave ya to hold, to mind for me. Did ya give it to anyone?” And Herself, she says, “Himself, I did. I gave it to a fella in the bank who said he’d mind it for us.”

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Connacht Rugby adds to growing sporting culture

Thu, Mar 31, 2016

A rather large unfurled Leinster flag, held high by two poles, blocked the views of fervent Connacht Rugby fans at the Galway Sportsground on Saturday.

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A week when so many never came home

Thu, Mar 24, 2016

Lives and families take a long while to construct. They are the product of memory, of experience, of thousands of repetitive episodes of the mundane. Of night time tuck-ins, or morning wake-up calls. Of late night pick-ups, Of meals prepared. And shared. And moments of greatness and of nothingness. Of hugs and tantrums. Families in whatever shape they take are honed over a lifetime of experiences, not all memorable, but all bricks in the wall that construct the web of togetherness.

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Next generation of Irish start from a stronger base

Wed, Mar 16, 2016

The past is indeed a foreign country. The past in Ireland certainly has been.

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One day I will....

Thu, Mar 10, 2016

Champagne was sipped and chocolates savoured in the office of the Galway Advertiser on Tuesday. Courtesy of owner Ronnie O’Gorman, it was a simple but thoughtful recognition of the female employers to celebrate International Women’s Day.

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How come all this change doesn’t feel like change at all?

Thu, Mar 03, 2016

In every other election in the recent past, there has been a defined amount of certainty. There was always only one or two possible Taoisigh. Always one or two possible combinations. The local faces seemed to be the same local faces. Those same local faces were loyal to the same national faces. The local constituencies merely a foreplay to the grand coupling in the smoke-filled rooms.

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Vote — Don’t waste the chance to make a difference

Thu, Feb 25, 2016

So do you know yet? Have you made up your mind if so-and-so deserves your vote? Have you decided if you can trust your candidate to really care or has he/she the look of a chancer about them? Do you feel respected when you hear them talk or do you feel a just a little bit patronised. Do you feel that whether you vote or not will not impact on the result. Or your life? Or the life of those around you? Apart from those who are actively involved and engaged with the parties and candidates, there are many who feel that voting does not matter and so they don’t bother. So there is a dilemma. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?

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Use next week to make your best choice

Thu, Feb 18, 2016

They’re getting cranky. And irritable. And aren’t taking the abuse that was thrown at them in the early days of the campaign. Now they can see the prize. And even those who can’t see the prize are having some belief injected into them by their most ardent supporters. And despite the warnings, none of them ever believed that dogs in real life actually bite until the Ringer took one in the ankle. So now they’re wary of every Fido and Bruno. And their legs hurt. And their eyes hurt. But they know they’ve to carry on for one more week. For them it’s akin to begging. Coming to doors, trying to say something that will impress the unimpressable. ‘Cos they know that when they’re looking in the doors of those who are struggling to get by, they know they’re asking the voter to help them get a contract worth more than half a million euro and all they can offer them in return is a chance to earn a few hundred euro a year more. So straightaway it’s an inequitable relationship. Turn it on its head and you’d have their undivided attention.

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It’s good to dream about summer nights in Carnmore with Bruce

Thu, Feb 11, 2016

About a quarter of a century ago, I remember talking to a doctor in north Galway whose dream it was to make his native Glenamaddy the live music centre of the country. At the time, the only suitable large concert venue capable of handling the mega acts was the then Point in Dublin (now the 3 Arena). This was also a time when the country had effectively staged Europe’s biggest live music concert in a converted stables in rural Co Cork. Dr Paddy Geraghty owned a massive riding stables on the outskirts of the town and he often stood there and imagined it full to the brim, a sort of musical Newgrange attracting thousands of fans from far and wide.

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It takes a village to abuse a child

Thu, Feb 04, 2016

When the darkness strikes and when you know that no matter how loud you scream, you will not be heard, the feeling overtakes you. When you want to wail out for help, but you know that you have no voice, the desire to cry out leaves you. And so you sit and accept the wrongs done to you because in your mind, if nobody cares, then what hope is there. Hope has been stripped from you. And you have been left.

Helplessness is a state in which everyone should find themselves at some stage, if only to appreciate just how much we should combat it. Take away dignity, pride, self respect, and a voice and we are left with nothing. Our State is there to ensure that helplessness is minimised and combated.

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