John Hume – the man who laid the foundations for a new Ireland

Fri, Aug 07, 2020

One of the many admirable qualities of the late and unquestionably great John Hume was his ability to listen. As someone once said, courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. And John Hume possessed both.

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Mayo wakes up to sadness as we lose another hero

Sun, Jun 21, 2020

Here in Mayo, we quake at the death of a garda, because we have known so much tragedy on that front. All good people, all dedicated to putting themselves at risk so that the lives of the general public can be protected. All great men who would have gone on to contribute so much to the communities that loved them.

And now, we gather around another family, and another town, as they sit numbed by another senseless death.

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Summer hasn't been cancelled — just the way we knew it

Fri, Apr 24, 2020

The west is a place defined by summer. When we call to mind all that we love about the place, we see blue skies and colourful costumes. We sense the sweet smells of exotic foods cooking. We hear the strumming of guitars, the banging of drums. We see the advancing battle for space on the streets of Westport and Castlebar and Ballina and Foxford, as visitors flock in their tens of thousands to sample what is wondrous about this part of Ireland when the sun shines and the days are long.

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The sun will rise on a better day

Fri, Mar 20, 2020

The day will come again soon when the sun will rise over Achill, throwing a blanket of gold across the county, snaking down through the streets of every town and village, creating a warmth in which we all will bask; banishing the cold fearful thoughts that we all harbour once our eyes open each morning at this time. The day will come when we go back to worrying about the trivial things we worried about; when the rain will be just the rain and the traffic, just the traffic.

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We've spoken and it's all very clear now, isn't it?

Fri, Feb 14, 2020

So to quote Dick Tuck, we have spoken, we bastards, and if we are to look at who we have elected right across the country, we see that what has come out of our mouths is that we want a bit of change.

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Time for us to shape the Ireland that we all want

Fri, Jan 17, 2020

When we come to elect a new government, we are often influenced by the desire to do right by the candidate. He or she is a grand person, who will look after ya, who says hello to you on the street, who will look after your pothole (not a euphemism).

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Let's look after each other this wintertime

Fri, Oct 25, 2019

And so to wintertime. In a year when the seasons seemed in a hurry to pass one another out, we reach the stage where the clocks go back, where darkness becomes our constant companion, there when we leave home in the morning, there to greet us in the evening.

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The ongoing need for a spirit of meitheal

Fri, Sep 20, 2019

It has been a difficult week in rural Ireland. Of incidents reflecting the reality of rural living. Of rural strife in terms of mulricultural integration. A week in which tensions have been allowed to fester. Locally and globally, listening to the news has not been pleasant.

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Bedrooms remain a shrine to the lost children

Fri, Aug 16, 2019

It's the empty beds that will hurt the most.

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A long year’s journey into fight

Fri, Aug 09, 2019

Above in the stadium, you hear the growl. Of your people. Of their people. 82,000 of them, here to see you, to honour you. You check your socks, your laces. Tight, like your muscles. The final pull on them like the starting cord on a lawnmower.

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Appreciating the architects of our optimism

Fri, Jul 12, 2019

I have always been an optimist. Even in the gravest of circumstances, facing adversity in the extreme, the glass moving into view in my rear view mirror has been half full. A lot of this I attribute to my mother, not because she was a raging optimist or anything, but because she always believed in the capacity of a raffle ticket to keep ya going. Mum, who passed away last October was an avid competition addict. She kept the newsagents in Ballinrobe going with her weekly stash of magazines on myriad subjects, not because of any latest interest in the subject matter, but because the said magazine would have a crossword or a competition that necessitated a bit of research, a stamp, and an envelope; And off it would go in the post.

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