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

A Different View

All-Ireland epic shows why hurling will never be beaten

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s no point trying to add to the realms of superlatives that have already been written about Saturday’s extraordinary All-Ireland Final replay – except perhaps that even the glowing critiques still couldn’t capture the spellbinding drama that unfolded on hurling’s greatest day.

Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it – a teenager no one outside of his own county had ever heard of it thrown onto centre-stage and then rattles in a hat-trick of goals like he’d been waiting all his young life for this moment.

Shane O’Donnell could have been straight out of One Direction – and there are those boy band types who will wonder how he kept the hairstyle intact for 70 minutes under a sweaty helmet – but, if he hurls until he’s fifty, his was an achievement that will never be surpassed.

And yet, a young man with a broad smile like a window that showed he could scarcely believe what had just unfolded still had the presence of mind to articulate what this meant to him and to everyone else on a day that will live long in the memory.

Because this was a day to lift to collective spirits in a way that nothing else can. It was a triumph for Clare’s young lions first and foremost, but it was also a day when the rest of us could smile because we’d seen something very special.

It’s a pointless exercise to indulge in the debate as to what might be the greatest sport, but if entries were required for adjudication, then Saturday night’s events would be hard to best.

The passion, the commitment, the courage, the drama, the spellbinding pace of a game that can defy the eye’s ability to keep up – and yet two teams who gave it everything did just that for 70 minutes on top of the 70 minutes they’d already produced at the start of the month.

Even the Cork fans emerging from Croke Park – not the most unassuming race by their proud nature – readily acknowledged that they had been beaten by a better team….and therein lies the real beauty of the GAA.

No police on mounted horseback to separate rival fans, no crowd segregation, no rioting, no trouble – just two counties who do battle on and off the pitch for 70 minutes and who then shake hands and acknowledge the victor as decent sportspeople should.

Those who experience hurling for the first time cannot make head nor tail of it – not least because it’s so fast it’s hard to see what’s happening. 

But while they marvel at the pace and the passion of it all, they are truly astonished by the banter between rival fans who will roar their team with everything they’ve got, but then accept their lot with joy or resignation.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Saw Doctors – 30 years turning the ordinary into extraordinary

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

You know you’re getting older when you doze off during the evening news and you wake up during Reeling in the Years – and you can no longer see the joins between one and the other.

It was the same sort of feeling last week when the Saw Doctors marked the 30th anniversary of the day I Useta Lover topped the Irish charts. Could it really be that long ago? Were our glory days now consigned to history?

Times flies, whether you’re having fun or not – and yet, when you see it as 1990, it doesn’t seem so long ago at all.

The Saw Doctors were the soundtrack to our younger days; pure Galway voices singing songs about Red Cortinas and Presentation Boarders, Clare Island and the N17; finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Their detractors dismissed their music as agri-pop, but they just missed the point. Bruce Springsteen built a career singing about Asbury Park – so why not a Galway band singing about Galway?

Of course they’re not to everyone’s taste and that’s fine, but to dismiss them as irrelevant is a different thing; they never played a gig that didn’t send the crowd home happy.

Even now, ten seconds into I Useta Lover and you’re smiling because they caught the symbolism of simple things in a way that few have before or since.

They weren’t just a Galway band – not least because about half of them weren’t from Galway – and they weren’t just an Irish band. I’ve seen them play in parts of the UK where the Irish haven’t a foothold and yet the crowd got them.

Because they knew how to entertain and have the craic – but they were also deadly serious about their art.

Read the full column in this week’s Connacht 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.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Ironing out those creases for one last and final time

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

I was ironing our eldest son’s tee-shirts for the last time on Sunday night, and watching the telly as a young Sinead O’Connor, resplendent with those big eyes and a buzz cut, was singing Nothing Compares 2 U on The Late Late Show, back in 1990.

This was the last time, because, at the age of 22, he’s finally moving out – not emigrating or even leaving Galway, but living away from home for the first time nonetheless.

There was no great symmetry to the fact that the soundtrack to the ironing was LLS highlights from back in Gaybo’s day, because Cian wasn’t even born for another nine years after Sinéad was number one.

But I do remember the first time I ironed anything belonging to him. It was half-a-dozen tiny vests and baby-grows that were too small to turn an iron in. All of them dried on one radiator.

He wasn’t even home from Holles Street then, but he was going through these tiny outfits like Imelda Marcos used to go through shoes.

Then, as now, there wasn’t really any point in ironing his clothes – only, for some inexplicable reason, I kind of liked doing it.

Coming from a generation who pressed their jeans – on the seams, in my defence; not with a frontal cease – I think this ironing obsession caused more embarrassment than appreciation over the years.

Over the years, we graduated from the tiny vests and baby-grows to the trousers will frontal fasteners and – as training advanced – to those big-boy dungarees that only opened by unfastening the straps.

You can signpost some of the big occasions through ironing; the shirt for the First Communion, Confirmation, Debs; the suit-trousers for similar days.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

New rules may only add to the strain when you take the train

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s an old notion about adversity being the mother of opportunity – providing a chance to force through regulations that, in any other circumstances, might quickly bite the dust.

And that might go some way to explaining the diktat from the Welsh Government to its country’s bus and train users last week.

On foot of that, from now on, there is to be no more running for the bus or train; no more singing on them either if you make it on; no more eating, drinking, talking on the mobile or reading newspapers – unless you do it in complete monastic silence.

Some of it makes sense of course in the current climate, but more of it just tackles age-old irritations.

It’s true that nobody likes a loudmouth three rows up who is giving a running commentary down the phone – either about their journey (“we’re passing through some ghost town in Hicksville now”) or on their adventures last weekend.

We’ve all sat there, forced to endure the backstory to an event that didn’t last half as long as the analysis, when we’re just trying to mind our own business or read a book or the paper.

When you were still allowed to read the paper.

Equally, we’ve all been stuck beside someone with a particular penchant for Pringles or for extra-strong cheese and onion, where the smell is only surpassed by the cracking of the crisps themselves – invariably through a wide-open gob.

We’ve all tried to move to another carriage when a hen party jumps on board and attempts to regale one and all with off-key version of Sweet Caroline and the tribulations of Living Next Door to Alice.

So, thumbs up to our Celtic cousins for using Covid to tackle some of the great problems of our time.

But the reality is that most people on a bus or train immediately slap on the headphones or earbuds, and listen to music or watch a movie – bothering nobody until they reach their destination.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending