Welcome back students — let Galway shape you and you shape it

Thu, Sep 23, 2021

Just as if to show that nothing much changes, there was heavy traffic too on the first morning I came to college in Galway 36 years ago this week. The September sun was shining, and a band of us packed into the back of a mate’s car were winging our way to a new city and new life. As we swung around by the Galway Shopping Centre, the local radio station WLS was blaring out We Built This City (on rock and roll) and life seemed good.

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Time to stand up for standards

Thu, Sep 16, 2021

Last Sunday evening around teatime, a shrill blast of a whistle blew around a small patch of Dublin’s northside. In the seconds that followed, a horde of maroon-clad athletes let the realisation hit them that they had just won a second All-Ireland camogie title for Galway in the space of three years. It might have been a third but for the onset of the pandemic, but there is time ahead for that one.

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The importance of ‘can see, can be’

Thu, Sep 09, 2021

Someone once said that everybody in life should be a role model, not only for their own self-respect but for the respect from others. On one hand, I am loath to burden people in public life with the pressure of being a role model. I recall the American basketball player, Charles Barkley saying he wasn’t a role model. “Just because, I can dunk a basketball, doesn’t mean I should raise your kids,” he said.

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And now, it’s over to us

Thu, Sep 02, 2021

There has been so much light at the far end of the tunnel for the last while, that it must be bathed in gates of paradise-style rays of illumination at this stage, given all the hope and patience that we have endured since the spring. One would have thought that after the Government announcement on Tuesday evening, that there would be universal welcome for it all, but instead, the reaction has been tempered. The world has been scarred by all of this and it will take time to get used again to full venues, to full trains and buses. There is.

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Motorway crash a reminder of the fragility of life

Thu, Aug 26, 2021

As a community, we come together not just physically, but in our minds, to mark the occasions that bring extreme of emotions to us all. When our sports teams win, we line the streets, we roar at our televisions, we don the colours to send a powerful energy to those who wear those colours in the heat of sporting battle. When our athletes make us proud at Olympic Games, we honour them and the families and mentors who have brought them to this stage.

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Contrasting fortunes on this World Humanitarian Day

Thu, Aug 19, 2021

Joy was unbridled and superlatives flowed as all in Mayo glowed in Sunday's glory. Not even rare old Dubliners could begrudge Mayo this long-awaited victory.

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We need both hands on the stick to combat climate change

Thu, Aug 12, 2021

There are some battles in life that we enter with a half hearted desire to win. Conflicts that we deem as not mattering because we have not made the real connection between them and our lives. We have tended to do it with strife, with modern famine, with the abuses of human rights. That if it does not affect us really, that it is something we ought not get involved in. Until it comes to our own doorstep, we have a tendency to look away or move on. This week’s IPCC report on the impact of climate change and our role in creating it should act as a wake up call to the world…and when I say the world, I don’t mean the world out there, but the world around us.

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Time for us all to spread the soundness

Thu, Aug 05, 2021

When we look back at the history of this time in a decade or more, we will see in a graph the ebbs and flows of curves of the national mood. The initial shock, the coping time when loaves of banana bread fed the five thousand, the novelty of the new situation, the loneliness of our towns and villages with all places of community shut off; the realisation that jobs were lost and may never come back. The emptiness of those Sundays when we were thrown back to the time when nothing happened at weekends without sport or worship, when people spent time together and ate meals at home, cooked in their own kitchens.

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Appreciating greatness in our midst

Thu, Jul 29, 2021

A sense of belonging is essential in life because it places us in a grouping or place that we hope will allow us to share moments of joy and collegiality. It enables us to appreciate support when there is sadness and loss. It makes us do unusual things in the name of being part of a tribe or a gang. We stand on muddy sidelines and roar on the teams in our colours; we stay up late to watch a rowing race across the other side of the world because we do so with hope, knowing that there will either be elation or disappointment at the end of it. We consume culture that means something to us and which gives us a little gift of wisdom at the end of each performance.

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There’s nothing that floors us like a bit of heat

Thu, Jul 22, 2021

There are only a few things in life that can floor the Irish. A small fall of snow. A few flakes and we’re closing roads and skiving off work and school. The second thing is a draught. There’s seemingly nothing as fatal to the Irish person as the draught that you sat in a week or so ago and which now has ya at death’s door. And the third thing is the heat. The heat. The heattttttttttt.

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The height of summer, but not as we know it

Thu, Jul 15, 2021

Around this week every year for the past three decades or more, the soul of Galway would be alive by now; the streets would have been festooned with colourful streamers; the street characters who normally provided the entertainment would have sidled off to let others take their place, and the arrival of summer would be marked with a joie de vivre that marked Galway out as a place that was different.

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Madigan speech should kickstart debate on behaviour and treatment

Thu, Jul 08, 2021

One of the victims of the pandemic over the past while has been the absence of strong discourse on anything other than the virus itself. Like a tsunami, it has come in and engulfed everything, has suppressed debate on matters of great import and placed shadows into corners where light should be shone. And to be fair, that was to be expected.

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Are we heading for a meaningful autumn?

Thu, Jul 01, 2021

Here we are again. As the strapline said for Jaws, “just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water,” it looks like we’re all going to need a bigger boat. Next week was assumed for some time now to be the date when another ton of normality would be heaped back into the mix, but alas, this is not the case.

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The conundrum of our drink laws

Thu, Jun 24, 2021

Covid - not just about crushing the curve - continues to throw us a few curved balls.

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New dining spaces welcomed, but let’s not lose any character

Thu, Jun 17, 2021

The news confirmed last evening that Dominick Street Upper is to be closed to traffic at evening time to facilitate outdoor dining is to be welcomed.

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Outdoor dining is restoring the heart of our community

Thu, Jun 10, 2021

I have always been fascinated by the audio offerings that come with whatever car I have had. From the first cassette players to the smoothness of the CD drives, sucking in the discs; to the Pioneer speakers which I had drilled into the doors. As times has gone by, what passed as extraordinary in those cars are now de rigeur, the norm. This year when I changed my car in Galway, I discovered that my new car and its complicated audio system had an even newer feature that ordinarily would be like a lighthouse in the Bog of Allen, brilliant but useless.

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Farewell to a planter of ideals

Thu, Jun 03, 2021

There is a Greek saying that a society becomes great when people plant trees, the shade of which they will never sit under. There have been many such people in Galway, and my hope is that there will be many more. Indeed, our society needs a constant flow of people whose unselfish actions make better the place they live and work.

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Salthill Sundays — an ugly manifestation of machismo and bravado

Thu, May 27, 2021

Was there ever anything as innocent as the Sunday spin? Back in the days when cars were scarce and the options of anything meaningful to do on Sunday afternoons were even scarcer, the Sunday spin was the highlight of the week. Whole families poured into one of the dozen types of car available at that time, and they travelled up and down bumpy country roads in search of something...anything. Normally a toilet or some place for the carsick kids to spew up.

The Sunday spin died away with the opening of shops and garden centres, but the ethos of just hopping in the car to go for a spin never died away totally. In fact, this week in Galway, we got to see a whole new iteration of it, when hundreds and hundreds of teenagers decided to revive it by arriving en masse into the city, many in their souped-up motors.

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Bad cess to the hackers for piling misery upon misery

Thu, May 20, 2021

As if things could not be bad enough for the health services struggling to cope with the impact of the pandemic, the abominable hackers had to come along and carry out this act of malware criminality at the worst time possible. For those who have been suffering serious illness not related to the pandemic, their treatment plans were set in disarray, and now there are fears that the must unscrupulous of people have access to patient data and will sell it to the highest bidder, or release it on the general web.

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Nothing like a bit of retail therapy to spark off normality

Thu, May 13, 2021

In times to come when they will write up various theses on this pandemic and how we reacted to it — and they will do thesis upon thesis on it as we revise every aspect of it, there will be a map drawn up which will show how we have reacted to the different stimuli and restrictions along the road.

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Read this weeks E-paper. Past editions also available from within this weeks digital copy.


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