Never mind the b......s, Bertie’s back

Thu, Jul 28, 2011

How the times have changed...ten years ago this week, we had Bertie Ahern in this building to bless the place, to give it his seal of approval, to cut the ribbon. Twas on the Wednesday of Race Week and getting Bertie was always handy around race time. You could get him for the opening of an envelope — and according to legend, many people did.

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Whip out the clichés, the white flag has been raised

Thu, Jul 21, 2011

The white flag has been raised and every racing cliché is under starter’s orders in media across the country as the thousands of punters flock to Ballybrit to have a flutter on the geegees. Every socialite (ie, anyone who can afford a new gúna) will be heading west. As the luvvies ship out, having swooned at Cillian M for two weeks, the cheap suits will dash in and locals grin nervously in a “smile cos it’s good for ya” sort of way. Yes, next week gives the region the cash boost — the fat on which we’ll live for the long lean winter. Yes, folks, forget the pools of puke and public displays of urination, ignore the traffic jams, the forced holidays, the smell of stale ale that hangs like a cloud over our heads and say “yes, this is all good for us. Offer it up, offer it up.” This is part of what we are. This is the diesel which drives the Galway engine, so grin and bear it and smile the smile of all smiles.

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We’re not buying the ‘misunderstanding’ yarn

Thu, Jul 14, 2011

Isn’t it about time we sent the Galway city councillors on a junket — no, not to far flung places from whence rich pickings of expenses can be plundered, but out the door of City Hall and around the Square to Prospect Hill where if they attend a meeting of their cousins in the County Council, they may be able to learn a thing or two about manners, arrogance and about how not to lose the run of themselves.

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Festivals are good for our economic and spiritual health

Thu, Jul 07, 2011

Galway's festival season began in earnest this week, and the next couple of months will hopefully prove an economic driver for our local economy.

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Community Picnic to hold referendum on EU/IMF bailout

Thu, Jul 07, 2011

The first Galway Community Picnic will take place this Saturday at 2pm to coincide with the visit of the IMF, EU and ECB to Ireland. The picnic is open to all and will have an inclusive and family friendly atmosphere with activities and entertainment for adults and children.

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Search for missing person continues

Thu, Jul 07, 2011

Gardai are continuing their search for a Galway man who has been missing since the weekend.

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One year to go — July 2012 can shape Galway for the next decade

Thu, Jun 23, 2011

Just one year from now, Galway city will be an even more happening, buzzing place than it normally is, because the eyes of the world will be thrust upon us as we prepare to host the end of the Volvo Ocean Race. The harbour will be full of impressive vessels, hotel space will be as scarce as hens’ teeth as the cream of world sailing come to the very edge of Europe for the the conclusion of a race that has fallen in love with Galway. World media organisations will not need the usual excuses to come here and Galway will once again be the envy of the country.

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Something new to be good at...

Thu, May 26, 2011

In the same way that pre-Michelle Smith, the Irish Olympic swimming team used to hail a competition a success if none of them was drowned, let’s be honest, weren’t we glad when both the Queen and Obama got out of Ireland alive? Not that there was ever a serious threat to their respective healths while they were here, but there was always the fear that a member of the South Offaly-North Tipperary branch of Al Qaeda might attack him with a hurl or that that dissy-dent republicans might savage the Queen with a Turbot snatched from the shelves of the English Market. We all breathed a sigh of relief when their planes left the ground and rose into that part of sky that Cork radio presenters know as non-indictable international airspace out of our jurisdiction.

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Taxi review is overdue and welcome

Thu, May 19, 2011

Not since Robert de Niro looked at us and asked ‘are you looking at me’ has the stock of the impoverished taxidriver plummeted as low as it has this week following the Prime Time Investigates programme on the industry. While nobody is surprised that there are rotten elements to all out of our professions, it is the scale of this decomposition that is the most alarming fallout from Paul Maguire’s fantastically researched and edited programme.

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Jobs initiative is a just sticking plaster, but it’s a start

Thu, May 12, 2011

A lot of people have been left disappointed by what was announced by the Government this week regarding getting the country back to work. There is no doubt that what was finally released and announced was very different from that which was promised during the heat of the General Election, but then Government actions are always tempered by the reality of power.

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Passing of a judge with humour and humanity

Thu, May 05, 2011

At the end of every year, one of the most time consuming duties of the junior hack is the compilation of the quotes of the year — a page filler in the news-starved time that fal ls between Christmas and the New Year, when people are too drunk or too busy to take time out to read newspapers. Every year that went by, you'd swear to yourself that the next year, you'd write down the quotes on a weekly basis to save yourself time at the end, but another year would go by, and you wouldn’t have taken your own advice.

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Healy -Eames recovery shows she’s made of doughty stuff

Thu, Apr 28, 2011

With the amount of apathy that has surrounded this week’s Seanad Elections, there is no doubt that the biggest talking point last night was the (at time of going to press) almost certain re-election to the Seanad of local candidate Fidelma Healy Eames.

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Finding it ferry hard to say goodbye

Thu, Apr 21, 2011

You know how hard it is to leave Galway. You know all the people who come here to study nuclear physics and sums at the oooniversity and the OrTeeSee and who end up 20 years later in the city, bating five shades outa bodhran on Quay Street, glad that they have found themselves, earning just enough to pay for the hummus and a fresh piece of string for the dog every year, but as happy as the day is long.

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We have stood up, but how will we be counted?

Thu, Apr 14, 2011

So now everyone in the country should have been counted and accounted for, the real work starts in making heads and tail of the results to ensure our politicians and policy makers can make informed decisions.

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Right, so who’s head of the household?

Thu, Apr 07, 2011

While John Denver had the bould Annie to fill up his census, there will be no such luxury for us this weekend when we will have to gather all the childers and auld wans and young wans, cats and dogs in the house on Sunday night and do a headcount for fear we should get it wrong. In censuses past, the job of gathering all in one room and filling out the forms fell to the person known as the Head of the Household.

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...and not a child in the house washed

Thu, Mar 31, 2011

Ya know, with all the years when we had money and a few cars outside all of the houses owned, and the Jacuzzi bubbling away on the acre of decking, when every village had its own coke dealer, and the selection of brothels open all hours, when we were just like every other country in Europe nobody ever came calling. We tried to get all shapes of world leader in to show just how far removed we were from the image of the John Hinde postcard.

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Let us go forward with the clocks and be inspired by nature

Thu, Mar 24, 2011

After all the miles and miles of newsprint, the millions of tweets, the hour upon hour of broadcast time devoted to the the State of Ireland and the state it is in, none hit the mark as much as those uttered in Washington by Bill Clinton last week. It was fascinating and poignant, because as a nation we are obsessed about how others see us. This stems from producing the blue willow cups for the Yanks every time they came home in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, as if they thought more of us because they believed that we were forever drinking our tay with these, our chubby fingers dallying with this dainty delph.

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Time for city councillors to cop on or go

Wed, Mar 16, 2011

The political events and the economic fallout from the past few months have led to a situation where the general public is now less accepting of any posturing or gombeenism. They have all been through the mill financially at the start of this new year and there is no appetite for the sort of political games that might have taken place in more affluent times. The only thing that the public want of their politicians now is that they go in, do their job, be as respectful and accommodating as possible and that in return the public servants work with them to ensure the services that we all need are provided to the highest standard.

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The chance of change must not be squandered

Thu, Mar 10, 2011

Last night in Dail Eireann, the first chapter of the new history of this country was written. We hope that with the introduction of this new Government that an end of public service gombeenism is in sight. Taoiseach Kenny in his inaugural speech spoke of the need for the Government and the governed to move closer and he acknowleged that to do that, he needs to build up trust, and to build that, he will use the rare commodity of truth. It is something that has been in rare supply in recent years. He must acknowledge too that politicians are in the Last Chance Saloon when it comes to honesty and integrity, and that his Government, more than ever, will have to be seen to be above party politics if it is to achieve what needs to be done. If it fails, it will go down in smoke, and with it, the body politic.

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Let’s save this country for our chidlren

Thu, Feb 24, 2011

It’ll be great to get this election out of the way. After months and months of political turmoil, the Irish psyche is quite distressed, Our heads have taken a pounding about five year plans and moving forward and looking backwards and for the greater good and in the national interest, and now we’re at the stage where we’re just wishing that they’d all shag off back under the rock whence they crawled.

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