Greek arts minister’s lasting legacy

Thu, Jul 09, 2015

“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”–Steve Jobs, in introducing the iPad 2 in 2011.

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You can never do too much for Galway Hospice

Thu, Jul 02, 2015

You can never do too much for Galway Hospice. Never. Ever. No donation is ever too big. Ever. You could get your granny, stick a price tag on her, photograph her, put her on eBay and it still wouldn't be too big a gesture. You could wait for your team to get to an All-Ireland final and you could raffle your tickets and give the money to the Hospice and it still wouldn’t be too big. You could walk naked up The Reek using slippers made out of porcupines and a thong knitted from the roughest wool of the rarest goat and if you said you were doing it for Galway Hospice, nobody would dare say you were mad. They’d nod, and say ‘fair play to ya. Mighty cause, mighty.”

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No country for old men (First printed January 2014)

Sun, Jun 28, 2015

In theory, home is where we all should feel the safest. It should be a refuge for all of us lucky to have a place to call home. It is the place where you can truly be yourself, far away from the pretence of modern life where, as characters in the great play of life, you learn your lines and your role before you walk out each day to act out your part.

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A light of hope for our walled-in people

Thu, Jun 25, 2015

He walks the streets of the city with his friends. Down Shop Street. Having the laugh. The fun. And he feels part of it all. And they talk about music and Messi. And for a short while every school day he feels part of this city, a cast member in the show that is Galway. And they listen to buskers. And haul their schoolbags on their backs. And tease each other. But when he gets to the part where he has to go in a different direction, there is a kind of awkwardness that eschews words. They know where he's going back to and he knows where they are headed. He knows because he has seen their homes, he has gone to their streets and been at their houses. Proper homes with doors and rooms. He wishes he could bring them back to where he lives. He wishes that he could be proud of where he lives, but there is nothing to be proud of. His family don't own it, nor did they pick it themselves. And then Mother and Father are always around. But not because they want to be.

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Country feels pain at dimming of our brightest generation

Thu, Jun 18, 2015

Country feels pain at dimming of our brightest generation

I spoke to a woman last month who had lost her daughter. Way too young. Way too soon. Beautiful child. It has been several years now. She told me that she gets by; that she can laugh, and that she can cry. She cries a lot. She sighs a lot. She told me that her husband still finds it hard to look at a photograph. That he grimaces and internalises. And tries to forget but can’t. It just signifies too much. All the years of raising and loving. The smiles. The beautiful smiles. The nights of going in checking to see if she was asleep. The nights she might have been calling out for them after a bad dream. Life goes on for them. A new reality. An altered existence. But it is a life without total enjoyment. The joy has been taken out of life, she told me.

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Let us all do one thing to make 2020 a reality

Thu, Jun 11, 2015

The bid to make Galway the European Capital of Culture in 2020 is not some sort of raffle. Would it be that it were, then we could all wake up 'the morning after' in a crumpled heap, say either well done to ourselves through a foggy dew of Sauvignon Blanc, strangers and snackboxes, or just say 'shucks, that was a blast, but sure it's the luck of the draw,” and get back to living our lives. If it was simply a matter of throwing the names of the candidate cities into a hat, then you could console yourself for not having done more, for not sharing your vision with anyone, for not taking this once in a generation opportunity to actually have your say in something that will determine the destiny of this city for the next 100 years.

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The role of consent in preventing sexual assault and discrimination

Thu, Jun 04, 2015

When evaluating the liberations and empowerment of modern sexual mores, the issue of consent is one that is often ignored by the participants. Often consent is confused with empowerment on both genders.

This weeks, tens of thousands of students are sitting exams that will bring them out in the wider world. Many of them away rfom home for the first time. It is a bright new world, full of opportunities both positive and negative.

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Game of Thrones as councillors get childish over seats

Thu, May 28, 2015

There is something about the smell of new carpet that drives us all daft. Or the whiff of a freshly vacuumed office. Or the dying aroma of the last coat of paint that has been applied over some wall. There’s a reason that a new car smell adds a few grand to the price of your car.

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Vote for the love of your country and its people

Thu, May 21, 2015

Tomorrow when we will all hopefully go to the polls, we do so to take part in the drafting of a powerful statement into how we want this country to be. On both sides, there is a desire for a result that will copperfasten a way of thinking. And there is no doubt that whatever result is announced at the national count centre on Saturday evening, it will send out a powerful message about what this country sees as its direction.

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Referendum campaign brought back all my old fears says city woman

Thu, May 21, 2015

I have just finished reading the Ursula Halligan article. My tears fall onto the page as old wounds, old pain, old shame resurface. Her story is amazingly similar to mine! Astonishingly so, in fact.

I was born in the early sixties in Catholic Ireland, and grew up in the seventies. I knew I was 'different' at school but couldn't figure out what the difference was. In secondary school I had a crush on one of my female teachers but then....didn't everybody? I developed a vivid imagination when questioned about boyfriends and what I got up to over weekends. I invented Oscar-winning scenarios just to fit in. The alternative, to tell the truth, was not an option for me. The alternative would alienate me from my classmates. The alternative would make me an outcast. So I lied! I lied about having boyfriends! I lied through secondary school and I kept on lying!

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Isn’t it time we stopped killing dogs?

Thu, May 07, 2015

See the picture with this article? It shows about 50 dogs. Not rabid strays. Not unkempt mongrels. All of these dogs in this photo were rescued by MADRA from being “put to sleep” in April alone. In Galway. That’s just one month. If you look at the picture again and double it, what you will see is the approximate number of dogs that are put to sleep in our city pound each year. Funded by ourselves. A sad indictment that so many animals abandoned through no fault of their own have to be killed, no matter how humanely the process is described or how Disneyified the ‘put to sleep” scenario sounds. Bottom line is Fido doesn’t wake up.

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And us with the big happy heads on us...

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

I remember about a decade or more ago sticking my notebook under the nose of the then Health Minister Michael Noonan, when he was in Castlebar opening the hospital or something and asking him a question about something health related for the Galway area. And in the way he had about him back then, in the days before he was canonised, he cocked an eye and said to me “Right sonny, you're here from a Goll-way paper. This is not a day for Goll-way. Today is Mayo's day, not Goll-way's day.”

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Thousands are sailing — from death, into death

Thu, Apr 23, 2015

In the end it came fast…. but slow. The screams from up on board overtaken by the roar of the waters breaking through the entrances filling the space about their feet. And as that cold water rushed into that dark space, they knew that death was creeping up on them. Death they had left behind, they thought. When that boat pulled away from the shore, as they were herded on as darkness approached, they took one last look at the land behind them, a land where they knew mainly death. Where they were numbed by it, stunned by it. Driven to risk death by it. One face of death roaring at them, rushing them towards a meeting with the same fear.

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Forty-five years on and still delivering

Thu, Apr 16, 2015

The Galway Advertiser celebrates its 45th birthday today, April 16, 2015. The paper first appeared on April 16, 1970 - an eight-page edition with a print run of 7,000.

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Let the sunshine continue and enjoy the walk

Thu, Apr 09, 2015

Whether it is Galway city, Oranmore, Claregalway, or Moycullen, traffic delays have become part and parcel of our transport system over the last number of years. And it is expected to worsen this week in an effort to get better - or that's what we all hope.

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Food — now everybody’s eating it

Thu, Apr 02, 2015

Gone are the days when food was something other people ate. Now everyone is atin’ it. We never had food when we were growing up. We just had Da Breakfast, Da Dinner and Da Tay. Da Supper was just cocoa and the odd biscuit. Food was something we saw in magazines on plates the likes of which you'd only take out for the Yanks as part of the ‘let's pretend we're something we're not’ annual campaign, when we'd sip tay, sorry tea out of blue willow cups with dainty fingers. And then we'd cover the table with food the likes of which we'd never ate and the likes of which they'd never ate and we'd depart then each thinking the other had the oddest taste in food ever.

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Welcome in the summer by being active for ACT

Thu, Mar 26, 2015

Ok, so you’re losing an hour in bed this weekend, but sure if you didn’t know about it, you’d probably stay up late anyway wasting an hour doing things and eating things you shouldn’t. But how about challenging yourself to give up an hour or so and get back something much greater in return.

A year ago here I wrote about the impact that the death of one beautiful little girl was to have, not only on her family, but eventually on every family in this region and beyond. When Noel and Siobhan Carroll lost their precious Aoibhe, their pain was limitless and it still is. Now though it is tempered slightly by the wonderful legacy that her life has left.

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Corofin has shown what small villages can do

Thu, Mar 19, 2015

There was a great sort of contentment on Tuesday when for the last few minutes of a football match, we could actually sit back knowing that barring an earthquake, our team was going to win. We all hail from various areas where such luxuries are rare. Even if our team is in the habit of winning, it does so at the expense of your senses, and has your heart bouncing up and down with such palpitations, that you would need to have Croi on speed-dial on your phone.

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Little John leading parade is a toast to city’s performers

Thu, Mar 12, 2015

Often the best way to see the insides of a city is from the outside. It is only by standing alone, outside it, feeling its hard edges that you get to truly absorb it into your soul. It is often only by having to scrape your way through it that you appreciate all its nuances, its attributes, its quirks. For those who have chosen Galway as their home as their place to work, as their place to study and learn, many have experienced all of the aforementioned.

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Capital gains —  Give three minutes to have your spake on the culture bid

Thu, Mar 05, 2015

Now's your chance to make a difference. To get your point across. Just like a drunk sidling up to a boss at the Christmas party and saying 'hic d'ya know what's wrong with dis fakkin' company', this is the time for you to make your mark. We all have opinions on what's wrong and right about Galway. To be fair, most is right, but now your opinions are needed on what can make Galway even more unique in its attempt to become Capital of Culture.

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