Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

A foolproof guide to achieving bodily perfection Ð the HSE way



Date Published: {J}

For those of you holding in your girth just now so that you can get close enough to the table to eat your egg and chips, the accompanying photograph is brought to you as an incentive to show you what your family could look like if only they would only obey a small few simple rules.

It comes free gratis, with the compliments of the HSE – which is not a phrase you hear too often these days – and, having taken a good look at it (don’t get the egg yoke all over it) it’s now just a few easy steps to a blonde wife, a beefy husband and two gorgeous children who would wipe the floor at the Olympics of bonny baby competitions.

It accompanied a substantial body of advice from the Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service of HSE West, which is advising parents to encourage their children to make healthy lifestyle choices every day.

And that’s a most worthy aspiration, because recent research from the WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative found that 26% of girls and 18% of boys aged seven are overweight or obese. And I will never be mistaken for a beanpole myself either.

But there’s losing a bit of weight and there’s perfection – and personally I’ve never seen such a beautiful family, although the downside of that must be the pressure to get into the bathroom before leaving the house in the morning.

All of the All Bran and wholemeal bread inthe world couldn’t have me reshaped like this perfect Dad; in actual fact, Caroline Morahan’s Cosmetic Surgery Programme on TV3 couldn’t do. To be honest, a Continuity IRA man with a half a ton of Semtex couldn’t manage it if he detonated it in front of my face.

So perhaps I’m green with envy when I really should be eating my greens.

But I might be more inclined to see this target as attainable if one of the children had a scrape on the forehead or a bruise on the arm, or Daddy’s teeth weren’t more perfect than Shergar’s, or Mammy’s effortlessly blonde hair had even the tiniest hint of a grey root.

Incidentally – and on a related topic – If I had tuppence for every time a proud mother confides that she thinks her little darling has been on this earth before, I’d be as wealthy as these mammies are deluded.

Just because a three month old baby picks up mammy’s mobile and puts it to his ear – as opposed to straight into his mouth – doesn’t actually imply they were once Methuselah in a previous life.

It just means that there’s an in-built acknowledgement that it’s hard to chew phones when you have no teeth.

And when, for example, a mammy tells you that their new born baby was smiling back at her before the umbilical cord was cut – “I know, I know; he’s not supposed to be able to but I just knew he knew me” – he wasn’t and he didn’t; he wasn’t looking at you because he can’t see anything much and he hadn’t a clue who you were either.

Equally he’s not smiling at you from the start, and when he gurgles something that sounds like Mama or Dada at three months, he actually just has wind and it came out in a funny way. And no matter how little sleep you’ve had over the last few months, you should always know the difference between a burp and a catchphrase.


It’s not just mothers of course who think their little darlings are the future of the species before they can even hold their own bottle – fathers have been known to whip out a few baby photos as well, even though nobody asked them to.

But by and large, it is the proud mammies who fly the flag for child prodigies and who believe they have a bond with their baby never before achieved since we humans lost the hair on the palms of our hands.

The painful truth is that little Johnny may indeed look like you, but chances are – if they handed you some other mother’s son from the maternity ward – you’d probably think he looked like you as well. Unless you were both different colours.

Anyway, back to the health and nutrition guidelines and the funny thing is that our family, which as far as we know has not been here before in a previous guise, follows at least half of the suggestions already, without it making the slightest impact.

We eat breakfast and dinner to the point that we can honestly say we do make mealtime a priority – so much so that we prioritise practising our eating between mealtimes as well.

Okay, so the kids don’t necessarily see vegetables as mouthwatering snacks and if they found one in their lunchbox they’d probably ring Rentokil. But we’ve been known to walk to places as well. We have to; sometimes the remote control is on the other couch.

Obesity is a serious issue and we should be taking greater care of ourselves and the kids, but suggesting we could look like this with anything less than massive liposuction and full facial transplant is undoing the good of it.

The only way to look like this is to scan this photograph, have it enlarged to the size of your bathroom mirror and pose in front of it – standing very still – as a family once a week or so.

Then settle back on the couch with a beer and a Yorkie bar – but do walk to the fridge rather than sending the children when you need another cold one.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading

Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads