Now what for the Church?

Thu, May 28, 2009

We’ve had a week now to come to terms with The Ryan Report. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin warned us to expect the worst, but even so, the scale of the cruelty, neglect, and abuse - physical, emotional, and sexual - documented in the pages of this report will change forever the way the Church is viewed in this country. That those in a position of care to the most vulnerable members of society - those whom the Irish Constitution singled out for particular concern - could have inflicted the immediate pain and suffering, not to mention the long-term emotional consequences that those abused have carried with them into maturity, is terrible enough. That they acted as they did in the name of the Christian faith, whose founder took the child’s trust as a metaphor for humanity’s trust in God, can only be described as blasphemy.

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By accident and design, Irish sailors are on top of the world

Thu, May 28, 2009

On Monday the public will have a rare opportunity to hear some of the Volvo Ocean sailors’ life stories.

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Ta siad ag teacht — they’re on their way

Thu, May 14, 2009

Thousands are sailing

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Is it time to rethink the issue of rates?

Thu, May 07, 2009

When the Volvo Ocean Race departs Boston next week the countdown to the Galway stopover begins in earnest.

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Let’s hope Hannon case doesn’t lead to real abusers getting away

Thu, Apr 30, 2009

If crimes are ever scaled on the amount of horror and anger they provoke, then the sexual assault of children is one that is often near the top. There are few offences that cause this sort of outrage in a community, that go to the heart of every family, that cause such division. It is the fear of such an allegation that has sadly led to a reluctance by many people to become involved in activities that bring them into contact with children in intimate situations, for fear that such an allegation may be made in these increasingly litigious times.

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The Cruel Sea

Thu, Apr 23, 2009

“No man at all can be living forever and we must be satisfied.”

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Tanks for the memories — now the race countdown begins

Thu, Apr 16, 2009

It was only from the ignition of the first metal cutter at the docks on Tuesday that local people could fully engage with the fact that the Volvo Ocean Race is to land on these shores in a little over a month. Only when the first metal was cut to dismantle the massive oil storage tanks, could we fully imagine the enormity of the event that is to visit these shores at the end of next month.

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Time for a toxic town for those toxic people

Thu, Apr 09, 2009

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the opening of the first new town in Ireland since Shannon and Craigavon. Yes, its time to throw open the gates of Baile an Táicsigh (Toxic Town), the town where we promise to bring you the best of the worst, where you are guaranteed to get the worst service, where the roads will be the worst, the pint will be terrible, where the spittoons will never be emptied and where in order to make the rest of the country look great, we are going to feck everything bad. In demographic terms, it will be like the child in the back room of the olden days. The motto for this town will be ‘Hors de la vue, hors de l'esprit‘ (out of sight, out of mind) and by doing this, everywhere else in the country can feel good about itself.

Let’s be honest now. We’re all a bit down about everything these days and anything that make us feel better has to be considered. We all have parts of our communities that w e could do without. And fair play to Fianna Fail for coming up with the idea of the toxic bank and the toxic loans.

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CF sufferers are unlucky to be born Irish

Thu, Apr 02, 2009

Is there anything more this Government has left to do that can shock us? Is there much they can introduce next Tuesday that will horrify us as much as the heartless decision this week to kill the little bit of hope that lay in the hearts of cystic fibrosis sufferers and their families? For such people, life is a constant struggle against death. Every shower of rain, every dark cloud, every sneeze, every shared waiting room is a potential killer.

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When closure is just the beginning...

Thu, Mar 26, 2009

And now it’s over. When they turn the key and step in, the house seems emptier. It was quiet before they left for Ireland, but now, if it was at all possible, it seems to have lost even more of its heartbeat. The clock ticks in the background — its tick hitting a false note of optimism, its tock emphasising the silence. They look at the door, and sob inside and wish that for just one more time, it would swing open and their bouncy happy daughter would come back in through it. Closure is sometimes seen as the end of a journey, but often it is just a mythical void. The pain in their chests that comes with every waking moment of the horrific realisation has not abated, as they thought it might. Now, alone together for the first time in weeks, they realise that often closure is the beginning of the journey and not an imagined end. Now, the hard work begins. The bit where the desire for justice has left them unfulfilled, the hole in their hearts just too large.

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Pucker up the lips, and get down on those knees

Thu, Mar 19, 2009

Pucker up those lips lads and lassies and get out the lip balm. Yes, make those lips as big as our leader’s. Now, get down on one knee, and then the others. And get practising at something we haven’t done for a while. Ass-kissing is back. In a big way.

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Brace yerself for the crazy taxes

Thu, Mar 05, 2009

Brace yerselves. Tie down everything because when next month comes and April Fool’s Day flies through faster than a flasher in a turnstile, we are set to be royally shafted by the Government in a whole series of crazy new taxes designed to make sure that we keep filling the giant hole in our finances with a watering can.

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Students lose sight of Rag Week’s traditional values

Thu, Feb 26, 2009

You’d have to be deaf and blind not to have noticed the revelry in Galway this week – an antithesis of a low spirited January in which the population was getting to grips with our economic collapse.

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A punnet of Golden Circles, please, and a Government to go

Thu, Feb 19, 2009

When the great Chinese philosopher Hu Flung Dung penned the immortal line “may ye live in interesting times,” surely he was thinking about days such as this. Days when the news brings unprecedented details of the unthinkable happening to all the institutions that we all previously thought were solid. Days when the squeaky bum times of footballing parlance have well and truly been transferred to politics.

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Another minute, another job lost, another dream dashed

Thu, Feb 05, 2009

Tick, tick, tick...watch the hands move around the face of the clock, the two senior hands watching as the frantic second hand makes its way around the face, down the bottom and up the hill towards the completion of another minute. Another minute. An Irish minute in which another person has just been told she has lost her job.

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How many boats do we need for the boat race?

Thu, Jan 29, 2009

Oscar Wilde once said to lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

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Obama the boost that politics needs

Thu, Jan 22, 2009

On another occasion, you might feel sorry for all of the country’s politicians having to live up to the image of Obama. After all, how many of them are stick lean, fit, handsome and boasting a complete of teeth? How many of them can deliver a speech without the proliferation of ah and ohs and like, ya know what I mean. But they should relax. How often is it that someone who looks like him comes along.

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By shopping local, we can stop our communities crumbling

Thu, Jan 15, 2009

I met someone the other day who told me wide-eyed that she had never met anyone who didn’t have a job. In the two and a bit decades that she’d been on this earth, people losing their jobs just weren’t known to her. And that is how it has been for many people who have grown up seeing jobs as disposable as weekly contact lenses. If it was irritating you, you just flung it away and tried another. But a harsh reality is about to set in for us all which will see us all soon know a lot of people without jobs. Or be without jobs ourselves.

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Flynn arrogance contributes further to our growing scepticism of politicians

Thu, Jan 08, 2009

God knows all we Mayo folk could do with the odd dig-out, on the basis that for us the road to perdition is often littered with potholes and rabid dogs, but we have to say that even the most brass-necked of us had to hold our hands up and say the antics of Beverley Flynn left us all a bit red-faced this week.

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Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Tue, Dec 23, 2008

They say that the concept of Christmas lights emanated from the location of the season in the darkest time of the year. When the days are the shortest, when even the light from the stars is covered by the dark clouds, creating a big dark curtain over the world and allowing our weary eyes respite from the bright summer sun.

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