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Defence Forces personnel based in Galway will take part in a ceremonial changing of the guard on Saturday at the National Memorial to Members of the Defence Forces who died in the service of the State.
After blitzing their way through Connacht without much fuss the first test of Mayo's credentials from a side outside Connacht will come tomorrow when they square up against Donegal in Croke Park. Mayo joint managers, Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes, announced their starting 15 for the showdown on Tuesday this week, much earlier than they have done for their two other championship games, and the starting line-up showed no changes from the one that started against Sligo in the provincial decider.
Sun rises in the capital of culture…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… …and jeans…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…I’m part of Galway. I’m its culture too. Don’t look down on me ‘cos I don’t know Chekhov or ballet… I’m Racingman…there’ll be racing in 2020 too, don’t forget…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 few weeks…the trickle, they’d needn’t have bothered their...whole week I’m here for…sit on steps, legs sprawled…then light up, brighten up... wink at young wan heading to work down town, get scowl but scowl back at her... I’m in love, besotted, but she don’t know what’s she missing...missing in Racingman... me. the man. I’m a cultural ambassador…for Galway…I can be a culture icon…I 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…some fecker murdering a violin in the Square...where’s Lee Harvey Oswald when ya need him...get the Racing Post...to look cool like…in the know…and the Star...dash into Debbinghams cosmetics section and when the wimmen aren’t looking over, Racingman is lost in a spraycloud of Calvin Kyne, Packie Rabanne and Ralph Lawrence eau de sweat…lash on the lot of them…the cognac combo….then a splash on ur hand to look like ya know your stuff…smelling grand...ready for the road...ready for the course...hop into taxi...sit in front…legs sprawled…talk the talk…big head on him...air stinks of air freshener and stale conversation...he tells me country is fecked...emigrants should shag off home…to Mayo…taking our wimmen, can’t get jobs…and he’s from Lagos...three ways to racecourse...green, blue and red routes…an hour later we take a bit of blue and red and he drops me in a cowshit-spattered field near Castlegar church...walk that way he says... the brown route...and I walk...better now…some wan gave me an I Back Galway sticker… I’m the man for that…2020 vision and all that...go to ring the boys but smartphone still smarting from batin’ I gave it. Must be an app for that...see the stand ahead…the Killannin wan…walk straight...shoes covered in dung...sham says ‘any wan 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…and he blesses himself when he mentions how he’ll miss Dessie Hughes lord have mercy on dessie…get card and biro...rip page from card and jam in raffle drum to win another shaggin’ night in another 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 and eyes red-out from reading Pulse all night…met the boys... the boys from home...lads shout yahoo at Ted Walsh and some others... 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… they want 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 and give me a happy ending…told her I can get a batin’ for nawthing outside the chipper…and if I want a happy ending, I can watch Frozen…and the lads laugh…I know my culture…and then the streets...Latin Quarter with not a word of latin on me…nil desperandum and all that…from wan pub to another…with the boys…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...hops into taxi and shows him card from hotel...Lagos man again......more stale conversation...he’s up from Carlow with all the other taxidrivers...drives me around town nine times and then drops me back 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…but I love it. I love Race Week, part of my culture…part of what we are…there’ll be racing in 2021 as well...never forget...
JACK TAYLOR was always a man with few close friends. These days he has none. Stewart is dead and Ban Garda Ridge has had enough of him, but the whiff of sulphur around this former guard turned vigilante for hire, is always enough to lure people to him.
The Government formed in the wake of the 2011 General Election was the first in 30 years to be without a TD from Galway West amongst its ministerial or junior ministerial ranks. Indeed, since the demotion of Ciarán Cannon in the 2014 reshuffle, neither Galway constituency – which between them had elected six government deputies in 2011 – has been represented at the top table of Irish politics.
The Mayo club championship finally gets under way at the weekend and I have no doubt the two most nervous spectators will be Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly especially as the games are on a week later than planned as it will give their county players a week less to get over any niggles or strains picked up to be fit in time to face Galway.
Pleased with his friendly reception in Dublin in 1903, His Majesty King Edward VII determined to visit the wilds of Connemara and Kerry. Such a visit presented a number of problems for Dublin Castle, not least was security at a time when nationalism was rearing its head, and seldom lost an opportunity to express itself by demostrations and protests. I learn something of these concerns from a delightful book Memories: Wise and Otherwise. by The Rt Hon Sir Henry Robinson, Bart, KCB. (Published by Cassell and Co, London, 1923). Robinson was head of the Local Government Board in Ireland, and a man, who in the tradition of Somerville and Ross, saw humour in the Irish character, and indeed in the efforts of Britain to maintain control in Ireland.
On Wednesday next, May 6, Galway Golf Club will host a Tea Day for Western Alzheimer’s. This is a new venture for the golf club and it is hoped it will raise much needed funds for the charity.
Moycullen basketball have claimed one of the biggest trophies in the underage game, winning this year’s Bill Kelly - the unofficial national u-17 boys championship
“For every job created five people emigrate – a shocking statistic from the CSO’s National Household Survey”. This tweet by Sinn Féin’s Mairéad Farrell takes the shine off the recent Government fanfare about job creation.