Let’s not have petty war over German market

Thu, Aug 19, 2010

I don’t get excited anymore about the flick of a switch and seeing a light coming on. In fact the thrill of being thrilled by lights has dimmed somewhat since the heady days of the rural electrification scheme when Paddy might have been excited by seeing the surprised look on the cow’s face on those otherwise dark nights of the 1930s. And because lights don’t negate the need for Viagra anymore in any of us, it is heartening to see that this year the good burghers of Galway are to look beyond lights to make Galway festive and instead are to turn Eyre Square into Little Bavaria this winter to create an atmospheric Christmas market — a sort of Volvo Ocean Race for the winter where all sorts of Germanic and mainland European festival flavours will convert our central plaza from the great nothingness that it is into something to be savoured and enjoyed by thousands of families.

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Ivor’s biggest sin — getting caught

Thu, Aug 05, 2010

Sssssh. Listen. Can you hear the patter of hundreds of tiny trotters as the piglets sprint away from the massive swill trough before the bold pig spills it over. Off they run lest they be splashed with any of the muck-spreading that has been caused by the bould pig Ivor. They’ve all known for a long time that the bould pig Ivor had been lashing up the swill with all four trotters, but sure, they let him carry on because they just didn’t want the farmer to come over and see what was going on at the trough. ‘Cos then he might look at them all, and see the muck on the trotters from the fumbling in the greasy swill.

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Thursday morning coming down...

Thu, Jul 29, 2010

...ate a clock in the morning like...smartphone alarm beep beeps into me ear...one hand picks up and smashes it again the wall...not so smart now is it...where am I...recessed lights in ceiling shine into me eyes...discover me pyjamas have a hood in them...fell asleep in the clothes again...where am I...not Mrs O’Brien’s b & bloody b this year... no, not for me...fine room in wan of them gombeen hotels owned by NAMA for half nawthing...open shirt buttons and spray deodorant under arms and head for the lift...close buttons, push buttons and fella in the lift mirror does the same...full Irish with bacon rashers and eggs... throw back the lugs and dive in...lash back the orange juice...parched I am...try to walk sober like, wan foot then the udder, repeat...I’m Racingman, I’m wide out...down the square check out paddys ladbrokes boyles muls get the odds... and ends... too early to go out yet...sit on bench and look at fountain knocked on for the week...the trickle, they’d needn’t have bothered their...whole week I’m here for...then light up brighten up... wink at young wan get scowl but scowl back at her... she don't know what's she missing...missing in Racingman... light another... hand shakes but 'twould by now anyways Wednesday and all... phone dying just two bars...head dying just 25 bars...need cash...act fast...shaky fingers dance on vomit-splattered keypad at hole in wall...good job don't need numbers 3, 8, 2 as they're splashed pretty bad... cash comes out crisp clean only gives 300 so go to other machine... clean pad, thick wad jammed in arse pocket but switch to front... can't be too sure... cute hoor watching ya catching ya but not me. I'm wide out me so I am, sham ya have to get outa the scratcher early to catch out Racingman...Romanian fecker murdering a violin in the Square...where’s Lee Harvey Oswald when ya need him...get the Racing Post...to look cool like...and the Star but no picture of Georgia Saipa...bring it back and get fresh one...dash into Debbinghams and when the wimmen aren’t looking over Racingman is lost in a cloud of Calvin Kyne and Ralph Lawrence eau de sweat...smelling grand...ready for the road...ready for the course...hop into taxi...sit in front..big head on him...air stinks of air freshener and stale conversation...he tells me country is fecked...emigrants should shag off home...can’t get planning...and he’s from Lagos...three ways to racecourse...green, blue and red routes...we take a bit of blue and red and he drops me in a cowfield near Castlegar church...walk that way he says... the brown route...and I walk...better now...go to ring the boys but smartphone still smarting from batin’ I gave it. Must be an app for that...see the stand ahead...walk straight...shoes covered in shite...sham says ‘anywan want to try the three card trick the three card trick, watch out Char-less the shades are lamping the scene’... don't fall for that not after last year not me cos I'm wide out...Racingman won’t fall for that...this year...in the gate...meet yer man from home he waves and says he knows a fella who knows Weld is the man...get card and biro...rip page from card and jam in raffle drum to win another shaggin’ night in a gombeen hotel...always been lucky mother said when I won the teddy bear at the sale of work but she didn't know I stole it then sold it then stole it again...Guard nods at me I nod back howya guard what does he know probably has a file on Racingman the big happy Templemore head on him...met the byes... the byes from home...lads shout yahoo at Ted Walsh and some other... twenty years since he rode her mother...run to the stand... spilling plastic pints down new Next shirt, it’ll live up to its name tomorrow...horse romps home...plastic pints go skywards...beef sandwiches all round... grease is the next stain for the Next shirt... Lads have quare wans' mobile numbers wants 200 notes for an hour of the bould thing... lads laugh when I ask for group discount...an hour I laugh, an hour of drinking time wasted...she says for 400 she’ll bate me with a whip til I cry...told her I can get a batin’ for nawthing outside Supermacs...and then the streets...Latin quarter me arse...from wan pub to another...Racingman’s head’s in a spin...time for food...tuna melt with extra dolphin...staggered up the pedestrianised streets, avoiding the bikes and the rickshaws like fecking Tianaman Square ‘tis...taxi and shows him card from hotel...Lagos man again......more stale conversation...emigrants should feck off home...he should feck off home to Carlow with all the other taxidrivers...drives me around town nine times and then drops me at gombeen hotel where room was chayper than taxi...birds are singing when me head hits the bed...zzzzzzzzzzzzz..ate a clock...smartphone about to beep its alarm, but decides not to...now that’s a smart phone...still only Thursday morning.

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Many families are fearing the coming winter

Thu, Jul 22, 2010

At around 9pm on Tuesday, when the heavens opened and the celestial beings tipped the buckets over Galway, it was a minor inconvenience to us all and to the thousands of tourists who are currently spending their holidays here. To some it was the soft Irish rain that’s good for the complexion, but for hundreds of householders across the county, it sent a dart of pain across their minds and brought them back to last winter when the pitter patter splish splashin’ saw their homes turned into a watery hell, forcing many of them to flee and leave behind all of the things that they had worked so hard to put together.

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If only replaying life would solve all our ills...

Thu, Jul 15, 2010

Have ya ever heard such wailing and moaning as is coming from the north east of the country at the moment about the calls for the replay of the Leinster football final, but where would ya be going be doing a quare thing like that?

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Don’t hit the disabled while bailing out the bankers

Thu, Jul 08, 2010

It seems inconceivable that just a few years after every politician in the country was lepping up onto the bandwagon that was the success of the Special Olympics, that the parents of those heroes and thousands like them are this evening in tears at the prospect of having vital services taken away from them. Surely with all of the money being wasted in the HSE every week, there is no need to hit those who cannot talk for themselves, or walk for themselves. Those who depend on the love of their family and the lover of their carers to survive. Yesterday afternoon in Galway, as the protest snaked its way from the city to the HSE offices at Shantalla, people were at breaking point; grown people were in tears at the thought that the little bit of State support they were getting to care for their relatives was to be taken away from them. Life was just about bearable as it is. Life without that funding and those services, would be nightmarish and throw Ireland back into the days of Peig Sayers and Dancing at Lughnasa.

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London calling — a century since a monarch’s visit — Mind the gap

Thu, Jun 24, 2010

Smoke-filled room, Leinster House. Wednesday evening. Around teatime— Testing wan, two three. Let the meeting of the Cabinet begin. Say the prayer, Tanaiste.

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Blue Flags reveal a community’s eco ethos

Thu, Jun 17, 2010

With schools set to close as we head into the summer season proper, thousands of people will be heading to our beaches for a day of sun, sea, and relaxation.

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We can’t depend on ‘gut instinct’ to protect us from the health service

Thu, Jun 10, 2010

The revelations in the media in the last 48 hours that at least two Galway babies and perhaps many more may have been inadvertently killed in the places where their mothers were to go for care is one of the most shocking to emerge from the litany of error that emanates weekly from the HSE.

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Let our natural beauty shine through this summer

Thu, May 20, 2010

The summer is upon us if one follows the Irish calendar, or, according to meteorologists, June is the starting point for the three summer months. No matter which is correct, Galway has come to expect a steady stream of tourists wanting to experience Galway’s unique atmosphere and cultural highs.

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Galway could be be ‘managerless’ for six months

Thu, May 20, 2010

Galway City Council could be without a manager for up to six months once the current incumbent Joe MacGrath leaves to take up his new position as North Tipperary County Manager.

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When people power meets petrol power

Thu, May 13, 2010

Have ya ever seen the Government move as fast on anything as they did on the head shops. All it took were a few phone calls to Joe Duffy and you didn’t even have to be from Clontarrrrrrrrrrrfff Joe and hey presto, they’re introducing legislation that came into force, not tomorrow, but yesterday. That’s the type of Government ya need. Introducing laws so fast that they’re in force by the time you get to hear about them. All around the country on Tuesday morning, poor Hans and Jurgen and Johann with the funny hair who ran the head shops had to draw up “Closed Til Further Notice” notices so much on the hop they had been caught by our ultra quick fast reacting Government. Mary Harney, a woman who wouldn’t be in the FloJo league when it comes to turn of speed, had the laws in by the time that Hans and Johann and Jurgen had gone to bed, and by the time the dawn broke over the headshops and they looked through the hazy scene that was their lovenest, they were no more. And if Hans and Jurgen and Johann thought they were going to just shut up shop for a few days to give them time to change the name of the legal high to Ohjaysisthisisgreatdylhide, fast Mary had out-thought them on that too. She had the clear head, ya see. She wasn’t smokin’ any of that auld foreign shite. When she’s overseas, she doesn’t go into the brown cafes. No, she goes to the hairdressers and probably the nice muffin shop next door. She wrote into the law that any drugs that have their names changed and that the guards think are a bit funny can be deemed illegal as well, so now go away and put that in your pipe and smoke it, she told them, smug as anything. She might be leaving Granny for 72 hours on a shopping trolley in Casualty our Mary, but she put it to those foreigners with their head shops

Now the only legal highs in the country are the ill-eagle highs that the Kerry farmers are poisoning under the guise of minding sheep. Little Bo-Peep me eye. But in case we give all the credit for this to the concerned mammies, Joe Duffy and Mata Harney, let’s not forget our friends, the dissidents, who helped matters along with a well-orchestrated campaign of bombing and burning the head shops. Yes, when people power meets petrol power, you can get a lot done quickly. Maybe a combination of both is what we need to get things done in this country. Maybe in a type of new politics, we can, like Nick and David ‘cross the water, have our own seismic shift, the Size Mick, shift, in which we cure the ills of the country with the voice of Joe Duffy, the cunning of the ministers and a few gallons of the hot stuff.

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Is Cam/Clegg relationship manna for political idealists?

Thu, May 13, 2010

The election campaign across the water which has hogged our TV news bulletins for the past seven days turned out to be far more intriguing than any of us could have imagined. And of course, it has started to whet appetites on this side of the pond for the day when we too get the opportunity to vent our feelings and express our opinions electorally on how we think this country has been and should be governed. Britain, like ourselves is currently experiencing an economic crisis, but it has the greater population base and natural resources from which regeneration is more possible. The Irish have always had a keen interest on the personality of the occupant of 10 Downing Street, more so in the past when there was an inclination that a Labour incumbent complete with working class backing would take a greater interest in the “Ireland question.” Now that peace has broken out in Northern Ireland that factor is less pressing and so for the first time in generations, we are able to look at the British election through fresh eyes and not through the narrow prism of our own terrible issues.

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Is taking Tuam’s archbishop the last straw?

Thu, May 06, 2010

I’ve a great auld grá for Tuam. It was there I cut my teeth in the manic world of wordmaking. A proud town, with great characters and great music and great poetry, it was forever getting a lash. If there was a lash to be had, Tuam would be first in line. It lost its sugar factory, its railway. Major industry was never comfortable there; its historic football stadium was allowed to rot while a shiny new one was built in an awkward location in the city, and politically, it was always an afterthought rather than a focal point.

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Clash of the ash could cost us cash

Thu, May 06, 2010

While the arrival of the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano a few weeks ago might have been viewed as one of the novelties of time that history throws up again now and again, its reappearance this week could cast a darker cloud on the Irish economy.

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Cregmore crash could have been horrific

Thu, Apr 29, 2010

The scene of devastation that was left in the grounds of Cregmore NS, near Claregalway yesterday, was an indication of just how close this was to being a terrible tragedy involving a massive loss of life. According to reports, children were pulled out of the way of the oncoming truck as it ploughed from the road and through the school boundary, ending up destroying several cars. It was a scenario of potentially horrific proportions that happened as schoolchildren were being collected by their parents.

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Let's Do It…..Connacht

Thu, Apr 22, 2010

John Killeen and company of Let's do it Galway set a benchmark in hosting global sporting events in the city. In less than two weeks, another sporting event - albeit a European one - will be held in the city. Connacht Rugby may be the fourth and poorest province in Ireland, but the occasion of hosting a European semi-final is one of which the city, county, and province should be proud.

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Let us not lose Galway-ness

Thu, Apr 15, 2010

In case you haven’t noticed it, the large section of the paper that has just fallen on your shoe is a 72-page magazine which we have produced to mark the fact that on this day 40 years ago, the first issue of the Galway Advertiser hit the streets. At the time, it was deemed crazy that a product could be given out free on such a mass scale and as you can imagine, predictions of its demise came thick and fast. However, it has stood the test of time, hence today we carry the baton into the fifth decade.

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Jumping headfirst into middle age

Thu, Apr 08, 2010

Phew. That’s it. That’s the last issue of the first 39 years of the Galway Advertiser completed. from next week, the newspaper turns 40. Which means it will be probably have to be grumpier and slightly more balding. It will have to moan and groan even more, and have the odd midlife crisis.

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Jumping headfirst into middle age

Thu, Apr 08, 2010

Phew. That’s it. That’s the last issue of the first 39 years of the Galway Advertiser completed. from next week, the newspaper turns 40. Which means it will be probably have to be grumpier and slightly more balding. It will have to moan and groan even more, and have the odd midlife crisis.

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