From bailout to baleouts — it’s leak and potato soup

Thu, Dec 30, 2010

Grab hold of your stopcock. Make sure your ballcock is floating. Now relax there in the dark of the attic.

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Why can’t we just have boring weather anymore

Thu, Dec 16, 2010

You would think that with all the mess we’re in at the moment, the very least we could get would be a reprieve from the elements. What with us still recovering from the trauma of that few inches of snow last week, but alas, it seems that just as you read these words on this frosty Thursday morning, the first flakes of snow are winding their way down from the heavens above you.

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Don’t be too proud to ask for help

Thu, Dec 09, 2010

In all of our communities right now, there are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, who have lost their jobs and are wondering how they are going to make it through the winter and out the far side. They know that there are but a few weeks to Christmas yet they have never been as badly prepared as they are this year. Thousands of homes will experience a Christmas the likes of which they have not experienced for some years.

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Galway feels the love that will help it beat recession

Thu, Dec 02, 2010

Genband cast a strong vote of confidence in Galway yesterday when it announced that it is to invest the guts of eight million euro in its plant which will open early next year. Tomorrow, Friday, the IRFU, although belatedly, will also cast a strong vote of confidence in Connacht rugby when they at last give it the sort of stability and recognition that it has long sought, and long deserved. Last Saturday and Sunday, tens of thousands of shoppers cast their vote of confidence in Galway when they chose this city to be the place where they want to do their Christmas shopping, by flocking to the streets and giving Galway a Christmas atmosphere it has also long sought.

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The darkest hour is just before the dawn

Thu, Nov 25, 2010

My mother had an expression uttered each time she saw a pram which went “there’s last year’s fun on wheels.” Well, last night at the publication of the Four Year Plan, we got the bill for the fun that was had by many, though not all in the first seven years of this century. And like a bill in a restaurant when you peruse the columns to make sure you haven’t been charged for something you didn’t order, there are a lot of people in this country this morning who will be mnystified why they have to foot the bill for a party to which they were not invited.

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Taking a co-ordinated approach to traffic management

Thu, Nov 18, 2010

Ireland rolled out a key element of its new road safety campaign this week, and, as expected, there was huge interest where the Gardai's new mobile traffic cameras (think emissions), operated by private contractors, were to be posted - so much so the Garda website crashed several times.

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Springtime for Ireland and Germany...

Thu, Nov 11, 2010

Hi ho, hi ho, itzoff ze vork ve go...and so rings out the tune floating across Eyre Square and in through my window this week as the German Christmas market takes shape. Vot vit all ze merry German vorkers vit zer hammers and zer lederhosen schlapping their thighs and hammering, ze happy leetle hammer men. Humming Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as zey vork into ze small hours. Unloading zer cuckooo clox vit ze leetle burd saying cuckoo cuckoo. Ze Irish are living in ze cloud cuckoo's land.

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Aer Arann approval is great news for the west

Thu, Nov 04, 2010

The decision late last evening in the High Court to approve a plan for the survival of Aer Arann is one that is to be welcomed warmly in the west and indeed in all of the remote locations that it serves along the western seaboard of this country.

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From the people who brought you the present, it’s The Future

Thu, Oct 28, 2010

“Well your honour, the defendant was just making his way into the city centre, having disembarked from the Queen of the Seas luxury cruise liner, when he was set upon by the homeless man who proceeded to beat him about the head with his iPad. He then walked past the President Higgins Memorial Theatre, crossed the Conneely pedestrian footbridge over the Corrib, past the former courthouse which is now the virtual artspace, and was enjoying his quadruple shot mocha mocha latte when the attack occurred. The homeless man, obviously addicted to connectivity, came up to him and asked him if he had any spare USBs”

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City will pay big price if it runs market out of town

Thu, Oct 21, 2010

Have you ever seen anything that has gone out of style such as the kick in the arse? When I was young, it was all the rage. If you annoyed your brother, you got a kick in the arse. If you fought with your friends, you got a kick in the arse, even in the school I went to, the teachers would send the boot in the direction of your cheeks if they felt you deserved it.

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Time to stop whinging about the Christmas market

Thu, Oct 14, 2010

The decision this week by the city council to overwhelmingly endorse the Christmas Market planned for Eyre Square next month is one that should be welcomed by all locals, despite prophecies of doom issued from some quarters that Galway is not a suitable venue in which to hold it.

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Manuela’s invaluable legacy to Galway

Thu, Oct 07, 2010

Time has a habit of dulling the images of the past. Remembering the people we love, trying to recall their faces takes a second or so longer as each year goes by, the pictures blur, the sharpness becomes fuzzy; try as we might, the tide of memory ebbs and flows and slowly goes out to the horizons of the mind.

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‘Black Thursday’ breaking point can also open our eyes to new opportunities

Fri, Oct 01, 2010

The dizzying scale of Irish debt as finally revealed by the financial and state authorities yesterday will have no doubt left most of us reeling from shock and anger. Already dubbed ‘Black Thursday’, the figure of more than €35 billion now defined as the outer limits of what we must raise in order to pay off government liabilities, is staggering. The news of a further €3 billion bail-out required for AIB, that will effectively nationalise the country’s largest bank with money taken from our own National Reserve Pension Fund, can only be described as sickening. Coming one on top of the other in the face of the international markets deeming Ireland a no-confidence zone, it feels like we are just being socked in the stomach over and over again. How many more body blows can we endure?

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Embattled west must prepare for cuts

Thu, Sep 30, 2010

It may have proved a futile gesture, but the man who drove his truck at Leinster House gates yesterday morning - believed to be a Galway-based businessman who previously struck in Galway - demonstrates the sheer frustration and anger many people in Ireland are currently feeling. His anger comes the same week it was revealed former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean Fitzpatrick’s wife retains more than €1 million in her bank account.

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Arthur’s Day could be the salvation of us all yet

Thu, Sep 23, 2010

At 17.59 this evening, millions of easily-led paddies will raise a pint of the black stuff to the sky and participate in the greatest laughing yer way to the bank exercise that the field of marketing has ever seen. It is a good thing that the roar will be heard around the world as it will conceal the equally loud kerr-chink of the tills as millions are spent on pints as the country engages in the greatest encouragement of skulling pints before teatime. Yes, the streets of every town and village in Ireland will ring to the cheers of the pint holders at teatime this evening, just one week after the common noise was the tut-tutting about the pint-skulling exploits of An Taoiseach.

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Piston broke — What’s the story, morning glory?

Thu, Sep 16, 2010

We are blessed to have a Taoiseach who is very good at impressions. Word is the current incumbent was up ‘til the early hours in The Ardilaun mimicking Micheal O Muircheartaigh. He follows in a long line of Taoisigh who are adept at doing impressions. The previous officeholder used to do an hilarious impression of a socialist, while his stand-up routines about loo-las and economists hanging themselves are the stuff of legend. While The Squire Haughey did a fantastic impression of a porn star, screwing the entire country and its gossip columnists at the same time, saying ‘take it baby.’ Ah, they’re a gas lot, the FFers when it comes to entertaining us with an auld camalya song or versions of Phil Coulter songs. But back to Biffo, the man of the moment. His star impression is that of a drunk. In fact, he’s so good at it, he doesn’t even know he’s doing it, and that they say is the sign of a class act (no, not you Bev, you’re a different class act). Brianeen can sound so drunk and be stone cold sober. The Clara Amateur Drama Society must be wondering how they let him slip through the net and into politics. Niall Toibin, Frank Kelly, Eamonn Morrissey have nothing on this man when it comes to playing a drunk. He can slur the words and do the walk like a star. The secret about playing a drunk though is not to flail arms and stagger around the place. On the contrary, drunks are mostly upstanding people, concentrating very hard on their next step, their next word. So hard in fact that they miss that step or confuse the words Croke Park with the words Good Friday and then top it off with a bit of a laugh.

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Piston broke — What’s the story, morning glory?

Thu, Sep 16, 2010

We are blessed to have a Taoiseach who is very good at impressions. Word is the current incumbent was up ‘til the early hours in The Ardilaun mimicking Micheal O Muircheartaigh. He follows in a long line of Taoisigh who are adept at doing impressions. The previous officeholder used to do an hilarious impression of a socialist, while his stand-up routines about loo-las and economists hanging themselves are the stuff of legend. While The Squire Haughey did a fantastic impression of a porn star, screwing the entire country and its gossip columnists at the same time, saying ‘take it baby.’ Ah, they’re a gas lot, the FFers when it comes to entertaining us with an auld camalya song or versions of Phil Coulter songs. But back to Biffo, the man of the moment. His star impression is that of a drunk. In fact, he’s so good at it, he doesn’t even know he’s doing it, and that they say is the sign of a class act (no, not you Bev, you’re a different class act). Brianeen can sound so drunk and be stone cold sober. The Clara Amateur Drama Society must be wondering how they let him slip through the net and into politics. Niall Toibin, Frank Kelly, Eamonn Morrissey have nothing on this man when it comes to playing a drunk. He can slur the words and do the walk like a star. The secret about playing a drunk though is not to flail arms and stagger around the place. On the contrary, drunks are mostly upstanding people, concentrating very hard on their next step, their next word. So hard in fact that they miss that step or confuse the words Croke Park with the words Good Friday and then top it off with a bit of a laugh.

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We must support the leaner and more efficient Aer Arann

Thu, Sep 09, 2010

The news that came out of the High Court yesterday afternoon that there is a reasonable chance of Aer Arann surviving is one that should be welcomed most especially here in the west. Our local airport is dependent on Aer Arann for giving us the type of connectivity to the major UK and Irish cities that a major city like Galway needs.

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Mick’s spirit will live on in Druid

Thu, Sep 02, 2010

Tonight when the floors of the Druid Theatre in Druid Lane fall silent, and when the last vestige of light is squeezed out by the arriving night; and when the last lock has been bolted, there will be heard a cough, a clearing of the throat and that chuckle, the head thrown back, and an “arragh shure.”

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Rearing children to be sacrificed on our killing fields

Thu, Aug 26, 2010

While you are reading this and seeing the mere words that lie on this page, several families in Kerry are going through an unimaginable grief. They are numbed by the events of yesterday morning; they are shivering and shaking as their bodies try to absorb the enormity of it all; the hugs and handshakes meaning little as they nod in an automated response; the realisation that after rearing children from the cot to the threshold of their own independence, that all they had hoped for their children has been taken away from them.

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