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A time when it’s good to be just a little bit disappointed

Francis Farragher

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For the birds: Rachel blew in and blew out without too much fuss. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Country Life with Francis Farragher

Maybe it’s an indication of some serious psychological dysfunction but I’ve always found an excitement in spectacular weather displays. Of course at the end of the day there’s always great relief that no great damage or injury has been caused to anyone, but a great storm, a spectacular display of lightning, or a green countryside that once every decade turns into a polar landscape, are great shows of nature.

Many years ago, I remember making a return trip from Headford Court with an old solicitor in Tuam long gone to his eternal reward, a man by the name of Jim Hession, who told me that night-time thunderstorms were one of the great fascinations of his life.

It was different times then and the journey from Headford to Tuam ended up taking a couple of hours as were both hit by a bad dose of ‘the thirst’ but the conversation about weather did draw me back to childhood days, when during thunderstorms, we would all sit in the kitchen, and break into occasional bursts of Hail Marys in an effort to preserve our bodies, whatever about our souls.

Our father always warned us to keep our legs away from the floor and up on the timber cross lat that helped solidify the front two legs of the chair – his thinking being that this would insulate us in the event of a lightning strike.

Thankfully the chair insulation strategy was never put to the test but such memories probably do capture that mix of fear and tension – but exhilaration too – when nature decides to put on a show.

All this is by way of trying to explain that I felt just a little ‘disappointed’ when last week Rachel didn’t live up to her expectations of being a full blown Atlantic storm. She huffed and she puffed a bit all right, but in the end, this was just an intense Atlantic depression that blew in the usual mix of wind and rain plus the odd violent gust or two.

A lot of people last weekend asked me about the wisdom of schools being closed down all over the country because of what was just in the end a ‘run-of-the-mill’ Atlantic depression, but over recent years, the Met. Office has tended to err on the side of caution when a storm is on the way.

It’s a bit a like a Government warning of a hairshirt Budget, making everyone grimace with fear, only then to unveil a far tamer version, allowing the masses to breathe a huge sigh of relief. In terms of weather forecasting, there’s nothing too much untoward with predicting the worst (just a little annoyance), but there can be an awful lot wrong in forecasting the best, if it doesn’t turn out that way.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council can’t win with ‘for the birds’ complainers!

Dara Bradley

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Galway’s seagulls: their habit of swiping people’s sandwiches provoked one person to make a complaint to Galway City Council. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Galway City Council gets blamed for everything.

Nothing happens in Galway that doesn’t annoy some crank somewhere who’ll apportion blame to City Hall, whether the local authority is at fault or not.

Staff at College Road are used to it by now. But one complainant took the biscuit with a recent gripe.

A picnicker in Eyre Square, whose sandwich was snatched by an over-zealous seagull, was incensed by the avian act of aggression and called a pest control company, presumably to have it exterminated.

The telephonist for the company suggested this person call City Hall instead, because the bird’s attack occurred in a public place.

And that’s exactly what happened – Galway City Council received a complaint over the phone that a seagull had snatched someone’s sandwich.

“Apparently that’s our fault now, too,” snorted one city official.

What next, compensation for swimmers suffering jellyfish stings in Salthill? A European Court of Human Rights case against the Chief Executive because it rains too much?
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

Did CJ’s extravagance inspire Boris and Carrie Antoinette?

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

 A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There was something irritatingly familiar about the whole Boris Johnson/Downing Street flat refurbishment fiasco last week – sort of like we’ve lived through this exact same story before.

And then the penny dropped – because we too had a man at the helm who used to go on television to tell the rest of us to tighten our collective belts while he himself lived the life of a lord on the fat of the land.

Which begs the question – is Boris just the British version of Charlie Haughey?

Because there are obvious links – like getting their friends to trouser up for their life of luxury; being led by their libido like a dog on a long lead; and blessed by an aura of charisma for no obvious reason – other than perhaps that old aphrodisiac of power.

Both of them have, or had, what might be termed a loose interpretation of what constitutes fidelity – and in fact, in terms of public approval, it never did either of them a whole lot of harm.

The fundamental difference of course is that Boris is trying to kit out a grace-and-favour flat that’s not even his; he could be turfed out tomorrow if the electorate have their say, or the Labour Party awakes from its long slumber.

But Haughey was feathering his own nest at Abbeville, his Gandon mansion in leafy Kinsealy, before eventually selling it off and making a massive profit on it.

Neither Boris nor Charlie would be the first political leader to ignore their own message of course, because the world is full of people who prefer the ‘do as I say’ approach to the more difficult ‘do as I do’.

And there are bigger, bloodier despots governing countries where the people are starving on the streets while their leaders, cushioned financially by secret Swiss bank accounts, wash their ample frames in gold-plated baths.

But still, both Johnson and Haughey enjoy, or enjoyed, a lifestyle that was way beyond the one their respective incomes or wealth could ever have funded.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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Connacht Tribune

A key year ahead for O’Neill and Galway as action finally resumes

John McIntyre

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Galway hurling manager Shane O’Neill congratulates Conor Whelan after their victory over Tipperary in last year's All-Ireland championship quarter-final. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

When Shane O’Neill signed up for the Galway senior hurling manager’s post in November of 2019, he couldn’t have imagined – or could any of us – such a disruptive first season in charge. Between empty stadiums and playing championship games in the depths of winter, it was a GAA year like none other.

There was also the long break in competitive action from early March when sport became one of the many casualties of Covid-19 until inter-county fixtures were cleared to go ahead again the following October. Even for experienced managers it was an unprecedented test of their organising skills. Never mind their patience!

For rookie managers, the challenges were even greater, especially for those coming from an outside county. O’Neill was barely four months in the job when the rug was pulled from under GAA fixtures. The former Limerick hurler was only getting to know his players before enduring nearly a half year of no physical contact with his squad in a group setting.

It was a tough and unexpected baptism of fire, especially as Galway were just building up momentum in the league with home wins over Tipperary and Cork, only to be followed by months of inactivity. O’Neill had to be frustrated by that turn of events, but the Tribesmen belied a far from ideal preparation when stepping out in Croke Park in late October for their 2020 championship debut.

In the opposition corner was a Wexford team which could (maybe should) have beaten Tipperary in the previous year’s All-Ireland semi-final, and though Galway were favourites to win that Leinster semi-final, nobody could have imagined that there would be 13 points (1-27 to 0-17) between the teams at the finish.

Galway’s goal came from Brian Concannon, who really came of age as a county hurler last year, and given the overall vibrant nature of their display, the men in maroon were then expected to overcome what was perceived to be a fading Kilkenny in the provincial final. Though failing to find the net, they were in control – five points ahead – heading into the final quarter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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