Long summer and water charges will leave the lonely vulnerable

Thu, Sep 25, 2014

Paddy is confused. He's known something has been wrong for the last while, but he just cannot put his finger on it. He wakes up in the morning and there it is, the bright shining light in the sky since 6 am. And he groans cos now it's getting him down. He feels like going to the window in his striped pyjamas and string vest and shouting out at the land outside a la Sarah Miles in White Mischief – Oh no, not another effin' beautiful day.' Cos like Miles , he is now begging for it to end. Or cool down at least. Or make up its bloody mind.

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Tis a fine state to be in

Thu, Sep 18, 2014

Hello Mrs Murphy. Cold out, isn’t it?

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What have the Scots ever done for us?

Thu, Sep 11, 2014

Next week when the Scots go to the polls to vote whether to stay or nay, there'll be mixed feelings on this side of the country. We might have watched with pride the exploits of Mel Gibson as William Wallace, roaring on his compatriots (all of whom looked like Brendan Gleeson) in the battle against the Sassanach in Braveheart; we might have found ourselves running down that street with Ewan McGregor in the opening of Trainspotting; we might have found ourselves singing in the street at 4am to the lyrics of The Proclaimers; we probably roared on Archie Gemmill when he scored that wonder goal against the Dutch in the '78 World Cup, but here in Galway, there is only one thing that we have not yet forgiven the Scots for — and that's the stealing of Digital.

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Time we stood up for the performing animals who stood up for us

Thu, Sep 04, 2014

I loved the circus, really loved it. As a kid, it was one of the few flashes of true colour that came through in a life decidedly lived in black and white. They'd arrive in the Green a few hundred yards behind our house and from early morning, the ping ping ping of the tent pegs being hammered into the soft ground would shatter through the morning silence. By the time we'd come home from school for lunch, the tent flags would flutter above the trees and for a day or two, a little bit of magic would light up the dullness of the town. In some ways, the arrival of the circus was better than the circus itself.

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Explaining the Ice Bucket Challenge in the style of Druid

Thu, Aug 28, 2014

Location: A cottage on Aran. A turf fire crackles in the grate. A woman in a shawl (prob played by Marie Mullen) shuffles across the stage and spits into the flames. A howling sea wind is heard outside, battering the cottage.

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University of life or career - or both

Thu, Aug 21, 2014

We have moved very far from Newman’s idea of a university - the purpose of which was to present a cultural inheritance of the Western World and to provide the tools whereby graduates could continue their journeys of education.

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Let yourself be led back into the light

Thu, Aug 14, 2014

I've lost just too many friends to suicide. People I worked with, people I went to school with, people I socialised with, people I've acted with and played football with. All unique. All different. They had varying professions and occupations, various loves and losses.

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Watch out for the SmartBins

Thu, Aug 07, 2014

Fret not if you’re walking down Shop Street these days and find yourself accosted by the new superdooper solar powered state of the art spanking new type of street bins. The Smartbins are solar powered so that means they’ll be grand these days when you could fry an egg on the head of a tourist, but might be useless come the dark days of November when the birds are falling off the trees with the hunger…and the birdshot.

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So where was I when I left off?

Thu, Jul 31, 2014

Where have I been for the last four months? April 14, my birthday. I'd had manflu for a few weeks and was feeling the effects. That birthday started off at work as any normal Monday would have, but instead of ending it eating cake and cursing the passage of another year, I found myself rushed to hospital by ambulance, spending two days in Casualty at UHG. I'd never been in hospital at any stage of my life; not even at birth, so this was a totally new experience for me. My memory of those few days in Casualty is almost non existent, and with my condition deteriorating at an alarming rate I was brought to the High Dependency Unit in Intensive Care, where I was to spend a decent portion of the next month battling a virus that rendered me critically ill for a considerable amount of time.

At this time, the support for my wife Bernadette, daughter Giselle (5) and extended family and friends was very welcome, and the wishes, cards, and candles lit by many people lifted my spirit and enabled me to fight this serious illness. This I did, with tremendous care administered by the staff in casualty and especially in HDU where my condition fluctuated considerably during my time there. The care I received in HDU was simply outstanding and enabled me to battle the virus and make a complete recovery and put me in better shape than I probably was before all of this happened.

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We need to sort out our water supply

Thu, Jul 24, 2014

Two areas of Galway are suffering from a lack of water this week, with residents and businesses in Newcastle and two of the Aran Islands affected by restrictions and interruptions in supply.

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Make every effort to open Thoor Ballylee for Yeats’ 150th anniversary

Thu, Jul 17, 2014

Thoor Ballylee, Yeat's Tower near Gort

The efforts by a group of local people to have the famous Yeats' Tower (Thoor Ballylee), near Gort, south Galway, reopened is to be welcomed and supported.

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Forget Garth Brooks - visit Galway instead

Thu, Jul 10, 2014

Galway is synonymous with festival fun, and July signals an intoxicating mix of summer festivals that attract thousands of visitors to our city every year.

 In fulfilling all the criteria for cultural tourism, Galway is blessed. One of the fastest growing areas of tourism with a reputed 40 per cent of Europeans visiting for cultural reasons, Galway must be the flagship for Ireland.  This month alone sees the big three kick off the summer -  The Galway Film Fleadh, The Galway International Arts Festival, and Galway Race Week.  

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A new lease of life for Galway Airport?

Thu, Jul 03, 2014

The former Galway Airport site may soon be open for business again with negotiations ongoing by the Galway City Council, Galway County Council, and Carnmore Aviation Ltd.

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Schools out for summer

Thu, Jun 26, 2014

The corridors of most schools across Ireland will be empty of students tomorrow evening on the last day of the school academic year.

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Taking the positives from World Cup and Special Olympics

Thu, Jun 19, 2014

The world is being treated to a feast of football that for even the passing fan is intoxicating, particularly this year in the exotic location of Brazil, World Cup record holders, long-time world favourites, and home of the greatest footballer Pele.

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A dispassionate examination of the facts

Thu, Jun 12, 2014

Both the Irish and the international media have gone into overdrive since the Irish version of an English tabloid ‘broke’ the story of the grave in Tuam attached to the former children’s home run by the Bon Secours nuns, the same order, many people in the west of Ireland will recall, that operated a highly-regarded maternity hospital in the town until the 1980s.

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Don't leave home till you've seen the county

Thu, Jun 05, 2014

The June Bank Holiday weekend traditionally signals the start of a summer season that promises a calendar filled with festivals, outdoor activities, holidays, and, hopefully, warm and dry weather.

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New politicians must tackle mental health issues

Thu, May 29, 2014

On Friday Irish citizens selected candidates they believe will deliver a better Galway and a better Europe. In voting against current Government parties, the people have translated their anger to the ballot box and said "enough".

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‘Mummy, What is that man for?’

Thu, May 15, 2014

A story is told that when William Ewart Gladstone, the great 19th century Liberal Parliamentarian and prime minister was on the campaign trail, delivering one of his marathon three-hour speeches, a little girl in the crowd turned to her mother and asked, “Mummy, what is that man for?”

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Reading the Runes: Local elections

Thu, May 08, 2014

Local Elections, like those coming up on May 23, are curious creatures. While they are undoubtedly local in the way that even a cursory glance at the different candidates election literature will immediately confirm – active in community initiatives, members of community councils, chairs of things like the Tidy Towns Committee, and, at least in the country, the GAA - local elections also have traditionally been seen, and used by voters, as a way of robustly telling the mainstream parties how they are seen from the groundlings point of view, and so providing either comfort or a harsh wake-up call, a two-fingered salute which is anything but comforting.

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