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Double Vision

A rare diamond: Mark Logan is deeply missed

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There was such a power to the man, it’s difficult to believe he’s gone. Mark Logan and I were not best friends. We would both describe each other as friends, but we rarely met beyond the confines of the back bar at Massimos, a Chelsea enclave known as ‘Shed na Gaillimhe’.

Our paths brushed as they do in Galway, but I was not one of his closest. Yet Mark’s cruelly premature death has affected me so gravely that it tells a lot of the man. If my sadness is such as a peripheral friend, how might those closer to him, those countless others in his labyrinthine life be feeling?

I try not to go there.

The very reason I know the exact day we met was the reason we first became friends. It was October 3, 1999. Truth be told, I didn’t remember the precise date, but I’ll never forget the day. A quick Google for ‘Chelsea beat Manchester United 5-0 1999’ was all it took.

I was sitting at what was then the front bar of the Blue Note, staring at a tiny TV hung high up on a column. It was a beautifully sunny day and nobody else was interested in the game, except for a strange figure lurking in the shadows. When Mark emerged from his hidy-hole to come to the bar, I at first thought he was Elvis Costello, but no. Not with that chin.

What a fantastic chin.

Seriously, chin-wise, Marky Logan was Numero Uno.

So the sun was splitting the rocks and the bar was empty, save for us two.

Chelsea were unstoppable that day. Gus Poyet scored after 27 seconds and we never looked back, knocking goals past a Man United side unbeaten in 29 games faster than we could drink the pints that celebrated them.

I stumbled home plastered, singing Blue is the Colour, celebrating not only a (then) rare and great victory, but also the meeting of a splendid new friend.

Whenever someone in my life dies, wistful currents run through my soul and belly, wondering at all the things I didn’t share with that person.

Happily, I did get the chance to tell Mark what I thought of him. Unable to make his 50th birthday bash at Roisin’s last month, I sent him a message on Facebook: “Mate – sorry to miss your big night, not only ‘cos it’ll be a blinder, but also ‘cos you’re a good man, and it’s a pleasure to know you, even if it’s only a bit. I did that Assist course, and it was by far the best of gordknows how many I did as a youth worker. Happy Birthday, rock the house and I’ll hopefully catch you soon. X”

Not one bit of me expected a reply. I was just making my apologies and taking the opportunity to tell him how much I admired his work in suicide prevention and mental health, both topics close to my heart.

However, early the next morning, he sent me a message: “You were missed, Adley!”

I’m no more doing myself a disservice than calling Mark Logan a liar if I suggest that I very much doubt I was, but as an illustration of the way Mark dealt with people, it’s perfect. Mark was considerate, kind and charming, an advocate of saying hello to the stranger and maybe saving a life.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Space and silence – it’s all us oul’ lads ever wanted in pubs

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The crowds that flocked into the centre of Dublin last weekend provided the clearest indication yet that, thank God, a cure had been found for Covid.

The masses dancing and hugging on the streets was vindication that all of the self-isolation had been well worth it, when you could now congregate as close as you like to each other, to your little heart’s content.

Or so you’d think.

One weekend of slightly relaxed licencing laws was all it took, and in the blink of an eye thousands of revellers were up and at it like this was Paris in 1945 after it was freed from the Germans.

The newly-imposed regulations for relaxation would suggest that all of these bouncy people at least had the benefit of a nine-euro meal inside them – how else could they get served?

So, we’d better brace ourselves for when they go out on an empty stomach.

Much has already been made of the fact that pub life will never be the same again – and that might well be the case.

Social distancing is bad news for the publicans, limiting their ability to wedge the entire student population of NUIG and GMIT into the equivalent of a phone box.

But it’s great news for curmudgeons – particularly for those whose capacity for imbibing alcohol is shot.

Advancing middle age has seen the tolerance of the early twenties reduced from the equivalent of a sizeable plastic bucket to an amount that once wouldn’t have even pass the standard definition of being out.

Three pints? That’s what you’d order when they rang the bell at closing time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Angels took pain out of hospital Christmas

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

More than any other time of the year, when we sit around our dinner tables on Christmas Day, we are aware of who is there and who is not. At the age of 17, having performed impressive acrobatics with my Yamaha 250, a saloon car, a ditch and a barbed wire fence, I spent six weeks in hospital over Christmas and New Year.

My femur was snapped in two, which is no mean feat with thighs like mine, and my tibia had a crack or two as well.

Bed-bound, with my leg in traction, I developed a bronchial chest infection after an emergency operation.

Every two seconds for six weeks I coughed in hacking spasms, thus shaking my smashed leg, which was hung in a sling, supported by a metal pole they had driven through me, just below the knee.

Suffice to say I came to terms with pain.

In our part of the ward, there were four beds and three bikers with broken bones.

There was Kev, who had fallen off his sleek and mean Suzuki GT750 (a two stroke 3-into-1, since you ask), and opposite us two was brick shithouse Yorkshireman Gary, ex-SAS, and mighty embarrassed, having survived several covert tours of duty in Northern Ireland, to have to admit to falling off a Honda 125.

Compared to the other patients in the hospital the three of us were well off.

We were not sick. We’d had our operations, and apart from antibiotics for wounds, and pain killers for broken bones, we needed very little medical attention.

We were young, male, bored, and allowed to drink beer. Naturally, we tried to attract the attention of the student nurses as much as possible, and equally, they were happy to have a bit of a laugh with lads who were not ill, physically, at least!

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Don’t be a slave to the algorithm

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

Saying “I love newspapers!” feels these days like buying a ticket for the next David Bowie gig, but I do: I love them. When I read a newspaper, I’m not a slave to the algorithm. Were I ten years younger, I’d read all my news online, on apps that I’ve set to my personal preferences.

Even when I visit media sites I’ve never been to before, there are cookies and bots and gordknowswot working away to offer me more of what the algorithms think I want.

Every link off each page is tailored to please me, but that’s no good.

I don’t want to be fed things that only fit into my areas of interest and opinion.

Sitting at my living room table, mug of tea and two slices of toast (peanut butter, since you ask), and a paper – any paper – open in front of me, I can see the full wonder and horror of the world, as interpreted by The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Irish Times or Daily Mirror.

As I browse into the heart of the paper, far from major news items, I let my eyesight fall all over the place, because each page is full of varied items, and, here on page 14, I’ll find the big story that’s being buried: the story they have to report, but are under instruction to dampen down.

Also here are stories that no algorithm-driven link would ever lead me to. Quirky little tales, able to dissolve an adult brain in seconds.

When driven sufficiently doolally by what I’m reading, I tear that particular piece of madness out of the newspaper, placing it on top of the wobbly towering stack of other torn madnesses by my desk.

There are dark torn madnesses and fearsome ones, but today I’m in the mood to prowl the ones that force me to furrow my brow, gasp for breath, pout my lips and grunt “What the -?” at the universe.

Notes are seeds, from which every writer will grow different fruit. When that writer is working for the Daily Mail, the fruit need bear only minuscule relation to the seed.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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