The knock that every parent dreads hearing

Thu, Nov 19, 2009

Tuesday night was horrific. The high winds drove in sheets of rain across the west and enveloped the region in a deluge. People who were in for the night huddled closer to the fire and listened to the lashing rain wallop their roofs and flood their gardens. Those of a spirtual bent would look at the raging elements and wish good fortune to all who had to brave them. Roads were covered with a sheet of rain; rivers and streams broke their banks, and in four households, heavy footsteps made their way hesitantly across the water-covered footpaths before delivering news that would change the lives of four families forever.

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Let there be no laughing this Christmas

Thu, Nov 12, 2009

Right, testing’ wan, two, three. Am I on, Michael? Right colleagues of the Cabinet. I want to welcome ye all here today for the final briefing on how ye are going to sell to the great unwashed the idea that Christmas is an overrated festival anyway and that there’s no harm in being miserable at Christmas. Emphasise that didn’t they have a great time in June at the Volvo Ocean Race, so there’s no point getting all mealy mouthed about a few cold auld days in the depths of winter.

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Our health is our wealth

Thu, Oct 29, 2009

The roll-out of the swine flu vaccine is set to start next week with the prediction that a quarter of the population will contract this new pandemic flu.

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Paddy wants the right to drive when drunk, so he does

Thu, Oct 22, 2009

Paddy likes to drive when drunk, so he does.

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Bull’s hit speech treated us all like gombeens

Thu, Oct 15, 2009

I used to work with a journalist who when he’d receive phone calls from irate mothers bemoaning why their son’s courtcase was splshed across the paper bringing shame to the family, he’d calmly tell her “sure now Ma’am, wouldn’t it be worse if he came in and told ya he had cancer.” It was a ploy that inevitably worked as it proved the first point of agreement between the caller and himself. Always comparing your woe to something far worse is often a way of putting perspective on things. If you crashed your car, you could say, sure’ it’d be worse if someone was hurt, ‘tis only bent metal. If you stole somethng, you could say, arragh the way people are going on, you’d swear I killed someone.

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Exs and Ohs — all aboard, all aboard, the gravy train is pulling out

Thu, Oct 08, 2009

(Ring ring. Foreign ringtone) Hallo, hallo, is that Sweat-lanna. Svetlana, sorry. Hello it’s your friend here from the wesht of Ireland. Ireland. Yes, Ireland. The councillor. Yes. Big Paddy. Remember me. Remember when I was over in Belgrade in the summer for that conference on human trafficking and greenhouses gases and all that shite. Remember, ya gave me the receipt for the translation services.

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From the people who brought you wife swapping sodomites...

Thu, Sep 24, 2009

Just eight days more til we do our democratic duty and put Lisbon to bed but already, things are hotting up.

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Shop local and help keep our communities alive and interesting

Thu, Sep 03, 2009

With the summer emitting its death rattle and the leaves falling off the trees, we are entering that time of the year when things slow down before they then plunge headlong into Christmas.

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Delay in Taaffes development delaying job creation in city, claims Crowe

Thu, Sep 03, 2009

Objections to the redevelopment of Taaffe’s shop in Galway are preventing 100 jobs being created.

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GAA backing of Alan Kerins’ charity shows nice guys do win

Thu, Aug 27, 2009

One of the long held regrets of those who have participated in Gaelic games over the decades is that the beauty and benefit of the games are in the main confined to this island.

However, the benefits of the association will soon be felt on the African continent now, after the welcome news from Croke Park last evening that the Alan Kerins African Projects has been chosen as the Association’s official charity for 2009-10.

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Last laugh for the girl who walked funny

Thu, Aug 20, 2009

Up ahead lay the Brandenburg gate, with its two sections of six Doric columns. With the heat scorching, she can no longer hear her quick footsteps on the hot road on this Sunday morning in Germany. Atop the gate lies the Quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses and driven by Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory. How appropriate that she should stare down on this day of achievement from the girl from Loughrea.

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We must fill empty college seats to attract clean jobs

Thu, Aug 13, 2009

There were times when we media types didn’t get out of bed for anything less than 600 jobs, so accustomed were we to the massive job announcements that have seen this city accumulate almost 10,000 jobs in US-owned companies over the past decade or two. So the fact that so many gathered to welcome an announcement of what seems a mere 30 jobs yesterday morning, is a strong indicator of the times in which we live and the new realities that persist around us.

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O’Shea’s sale highlights the quality on show in Terryland

Thu, Aug 06, 2009

It has been a somewhat depressing period over the past few weeks for followers of the Tribesmen, broken only by the performance of the city’s rowers in international competition and the selection of Paul and Olive Hession for the World Championships, (and only temporarily postponed for The Green and Red until the inevitible mauling by Kerry).

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Ballybrit and the stream of unconsciousness

Thu, Jul 30, 2009

alarm beeps at ate o clock... grand place to stay great breakfast... i'd say the landlady was a fine piece in her day what d'ya say lads... rashers puddins sausages and lashins of tay... drink juice straight from the jug then out get the post the Racing Post not the Limerick Post and the papers... 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 Volvo flowers still there still rare... light up brighten up... wink at young wan get scowl but scowl back at her... she don't know what's she missing... light another... hand shakes but 'twould by now anyways Wednesday... phone dying just two bars head dying just twenty five 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. Taxi rank hop in stinks of air freshener and stale conversation emigrants women jobs horses crawl out past smart lights get out fork out...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... in gate get the beers in... fiver formguide and free biro sticking from arse pocket ... meet yer man from home he waves and says he knows a fella who knows Weld is the man...but don’t rule out Ballyholland cos George said so... free biro marks his nods as he mouths numbers at me... rip page from card and jam in raffle drum there... 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. Wide out that's me. Guard nods at me I nod back howya guard what does he know the happy head on him another beer in. Push through crowd...see Mul say 'Mul pony on him' and he smiles at me...wide out..takes the cash..more beers...chips...see yer man Daithi what's his name he says howye lads sound out dressed like me jeans jacket and shirt hanging out my kind of man with his kind of tan wimmen mad into him ya can tell by the smell of his expensive after shave. Lads shout yahoo at Ted Walsh and some other twenty years since he rode her mother Ted scowls we laugh.. we’re hards out hardy bucks lepping in the stand when the horse comes home flyin' ...roars, slaps, back broken, back to Mul to cash the token. Mul's not laughin’ now. Front pocket bulges arse pocket spits out free biro...more beer...tuna melt with extra dolphin...plastic pints spilt down new Next shirt, it’ll live up to its name tomorrow...into town internet printout with quare wans' mobile numbers wants 200 notes for an hour of the bould thing lads laugh when I ask for group hour I laugh, an hour of drinking time wasted... I'd rather stay here with ye and get wasted... beer's worst thing that I’ve tasted..give grief to Mayo lad we're after matin' tells us to stall the jets now take your batin' and he scampers down Quay Street the happy head on him...spewed up dolphin into Volvo flowers at one of those godforsaken hours...better out than in...more beers and then 4am staring at a kebab outside a chipper thinking it's a turd in a slipper...pillow smells of lavender, kipper and then alarm beeps ate o clock..still only Thursday morning...

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The white flag has been raised....

Thu, Jul 23, 2009

Good evening punters and welcome to Ballybrit for the inaugural running of this evening’s feature race

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Ray Rooney — the type of hero every city needs

Thu, Jul 02, 2009

Ray Rooney was a remarkable man. Tall, distinguished, elegant, articulate, he was the kind of person you’d want on your team batting for your side. The people you want standing on the wall, someone to look over you. As an ambassador, he was most impressive, and although officially the Honorary Norwegian Consul in Ireland, it was for his native Galway that he was most often on diplomatic duties. When he passed away last weekend after a short illness, there was tremendous shock at his death, not least because he was still very much part of what is happening around Galway city and county.

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Boston injection masks the reality of struggling businesses

Thu, Jun 25, 2009

It was like the good old days yesterday when the Tanaiste and her entourage came to Galway to make an announcement. It was your typical IDA announcement — The faithful were gathered, the usual suits turned up, the details would have been leaked, the photos were taken, the visiting dignitary and the flying-visit US-based head honcho would make small talk. It could have been 1995 all over, when these things were ten-a-penny.

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Anyone for the Pigshaving comm-a-tee? And something for the wimmen

Thu, Jun 11, 2009

Anyone for the Pigshaving Committeee. Any takers there? Johnny, You’re grand for that. You spend most of your life up to your oxters in sh, sh, shurpluses anyway. I’ll put ya down for that. Yeah, there’ll be a few trips. To Borris on Ossory and the like. Good mileage, not just down the road, like.

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Brutal killing takes shine off feelgood factor

Thu, Jun 04, 2009

There is nobody in this city or county who is not horrified by the senseless killing of young Kieran Cunningham just 100 yards from this office in the early hours of yesterday morning. Shocked by the needless rubbing out of the life of a man who by all accounts was a decent sort. His colleagues in Hughes Supermarket in Claregalway where he had worked on the deli counter for the past 18 months were shocked to the core at the news of his death and were sincere in their praise of him.

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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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