Don’t be afraid to ask for help this Christmas

Thu, Nov 27, 2014

In all of our communities right now, there are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, who are wondering how they are going to make it through the winter and out the far side. They know that there are just a few weeks until Christmas; that their children are looking enviously at the Smyths catalogue and making a wishlist — yet they feel they have never been as badly prepared as they are this year.

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Let the market forces give you the taste of Christmas

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

John F Kennedy might have said that on a clear day you can see Boston, but from tomorrow evening, we're nearer Berlin than Boston. Just when you're thinking where has the year gone since you sank your teeth into your last kangaroo burger, the Galway Continental Not So German But Full of Foreign Crusty Types Anyway Incontinence Christmas Market is upon us yet again.

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We’re back in the saddle again...

Thu, Nov 13, 2014

On Monday week in Galway city, the ride will most definitely not be out of the question. For the cost of a loaf, a pint of milk, and one of those old-style paid-for newspapers you’d buy for your granny, you will be able to ride your way around this city to your heart’s content.

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You can never own too many airports

Thu, Nov 06, 2014

Ní féidir leat do dhóthain aerfoirt a bheith agat— You can never own too many airports, so says the old Irish saying uttered by Peig Sayers and she in the last throes of her life below in the Kerry peninsula. And although airports had yet to be invented, and Alcock and Brown were still in nappies, when the withered auld sage said it in between wailing and woeing about missing the boat to Amerikay, the prophesy of it all will come true next Monday in City Hall when Galway City Council will discuss such matters and hope to add another airport to their long list of assets.

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Galway FC shows what can be done with togetherness

Thu, Oct 30, 2014

Sometimes a feeling abounds that Galway does not punch the weight it should, that there is something amiss, divisive, unhealthy even, that eats at the heart of every concerted effort to make this city better. It is not a begrudgery. It is something more than that. A sort of reticence in the drive to improve things, to make Galway a city like all the others. There are many reasons for this. There are many objections to key infrastructural advancements, but this in itself is not solely a bad thing. It is an opinionated city, though often the balance of opinion lies with those who pose an alternative view, based on the perception of the world, rather than on how it is viewed or needed locally.

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Your call is important to us, yeah right..

Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Hello, You have reached the offices of Irish Water, Uisce Paddy. You call is important to us so it may be recorded for training porpoises. Please also note that at any stage your call may be terminated or transferred to the talking clock in Australia, so Uisce Paddy must approve in principle the tenure of your call.

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Don’t believe the hype - there is genuine hurt in the homes and streets

Thu, Oct 16, 2014

I had a letter the other day from a woman who told me that she and her husband and their sons are just about getting by. They did not splurge out during the Tiger years, that they have paid all their bills and that as a result, they are surviving — but there is not much money to spare. In fact there is nothing to spare when all is said and done by the end of the month.

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Out of darkness, a light beckons

Thu, Oct 09, 2014

On Tuesday evening, as I left the office and was making my way to the car, I spotted a couple. Obviously tourists because they were holding hands with that foreign great hair look about them, with colourful jackets and a bearing that made them stand apart from the Irish, but blend in with the hundreds of visitors on the street at that time.

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Message to the great unwashed

Thu, Oct 02, 2014

OK, we're a day into it, A day into realising that while you may lead a horse to water, when he gets there, the fecker's gonna cost you a few bob. On Tuesday we splashed around in the bathroom like an orgy in the last days of Pompeii, but since then, we've been up half the night trying to ensure that the drop dripping from the tap in the kitchen is captured for the tay for breakfast. So what are we to do? How can we live the lifes of post-Celtic Tiger metrosexuals used to our washing and waxing and shaving and conditioning and scents that could kill an ass from 20 paces. How are we going to cope knowing that everytime you hear a flush, your wallet has a bowel movement? The days and nights of the much coiffured sweet smelling high heeled gelled back brigade hitting the clubs may soon be a thing of the past. Good old poor hygiene of the 70s and 80s will come back into vogue. A shower will become a luxury even if you do manage to get three a month. Lattes will replace straight coffees. Spuds will be steamed not boiled, car washes will become car polishes; horses at the racecourse will have to be rubbed down with a wet Babywipe instead of the traditional hosing. And gorse fires will be let burn burn burn. So life as we know it has changed immeasurably. So what can we do to save a few bob. Here are a few tips.

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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.

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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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