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An early Easter as the season of light arrives

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Easter and Spring . . . A wonderful time for greenery cum new life and especially so if the weather is good.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Alas, our recent couple of weeks of glorious Spring weather may not survive into the Easter Holiday period, but after the battering of wind and rain we received from the early days of November through to the first week of March, the sight of blue skies and sunshine was a most welcome visitor.

Sunshine and simple clear daylight with a blue sky in the background do really help to lift the moods and spirits of people, and especially those who do a lot of their work in the great outdoors.

It is not uncommon for many people to slip into a more melancholic or sombre humour with the onset of Winter and the trigger for that process is the declining hours of daylight and sunshine that we encounter from October onto the later days of February.

SAD, or seasonally affective disorder, has been an accepted medical condition for many years now, but assuming that the ailment is not more deep rooted, its natural antidote is the kind of weather we experienced over the past couple of weeks.

We are facing into a very early Easter period with the biggest celebration in the Church calendar all going to be done and dusted with a few days to spare before the arrival of April.

Some of the elders in my ‘local’ will no doubt remind me not to be ‘crowing’ too much about the good weather of March and warn of the imminent arrival of what are known as ‘The Ould Cow Days’, and every so often, whether by luck or good management, they can hit the jackpot with this one.

‘The Ould Cow Days’ is one of those lovely tales from Irish mythology that recounts how the Bó Riabhach or brindled/spotted cow, had hit out at the badness of a particularly harsh March.

As the tales goes though, she went a bit too far when she goaded March by saying that despite all the malice shown by the third month of the year, it had still failed to kill her off. March, upset by this taunting, was to embark on a mission of vicious revenge.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

New Year but same rules at ‘meetings about meetings’

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During an eight-hour Council meeting on City Development Plan on Friday, Cllr Eddie Hoare was in Bekan, co-commentating for Galway Bay FM on a senior FBD league football match between Galway and Roscommon.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

At 3.44pm, forty-four minutes into the first City Council meeting of 2022, councillors decided how they would meet for the remainder of January, including having at least three more meetings.

That it took three-quarters of an hour to get to a stage where they voted by a majority that meetings would be conducted online only, until they decide otherwise at another meeting, possibly in February, shouldn’t be all that surprising for anyone who follows these things at City Hall.

But still, even by Galway City Council standards, it was quite something.

The procedures committee met the previous Thursday but failed to agree unanimously that meetings would go online-only. Fianna Fáil, through its councillor on the committee, MJ Crowe, pushed for hybrid meetings, a blend of in-person and online. When agreement wasn’t reached, it went before a full Council to decide.

The first mistake at the Monday meeting, though, was that nobody thought to put it on the agenda.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) attempted to introduce the item. There had been no agreement at the procedures committee meeting but, because of the Omicron variant, meetings should move online, she said.

“I don’t see it on the agenda,” said Crowe. “It affects the meetings going forward – we have to deal with it,” replied Colette.

Ailish Rohan, meetings administrator, chimed in. “We’re in a pandemic . . .”

If it was that important, it should be on the agenda, countered MJ.

“It was agreed it would be on the agenda. It’s not on the agenda,” he said. Speaking to Ailish, MJ said it was “not up to you to decide what’s on the agenda”. There were rules governing meetings called standing orders, he said, and suggested people should familiarise themselves with those rules. Ouch.

Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said that the agenda for Monday’s meeting had been sent out on Wednesday, the day before the procedures committee met, so it could not have been put on the agenda.

Couldn’t the Council have sent out a supplementary agenda on Friday, after the procedures committee stalemate asked Mike, rhetorically.

Niall McNelis (Lab) wondered how it could now be put on the agenda; Donal Lyons (Ind) made a formal proposal to that effect. But this being the City Council, that proposal couldn’t just be taken, because you can’t change the agenda will-nilly.

The solution? Standing orders had to be suspended, as per the rulebook. How did nobody think of that beforehand?

Eventually they voted 17-0 to suspend standing orders. No such unanimity on the substantive issue of online meetings, though. FF and Declan McDonnell (Ind) argued for in-person to continue, the rest argued against, with a little help from Council staff. Too much help, according to Declan. “With all due respect,” he began. “The meetings administrator should not be coming in after every speaker!”

Ailish had the final say on this matter, though. She read out the roll-call vote on the proposal for online-only meetings – 12 for, five against.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Stay young by making sure you don’t let the old man in!

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Clint Eastwood is 91 years old, and he’s been acting since 1955. He’s been directing for half a century since Play Misty for Me – and he released his latest movie in the latter half of last year.

If you’ve seen Cry Macho, you can also see he’s slowed down – although he still throws a punch and rides a horse better than a man three or four decades younger.

But it’s his philosophy regarding old age that is even more inspiring than his stellar career.

A couple of years back, he was asked how he planned to celebrate his 88th birthday.

“I am going to start a new movie,” he replied.

“What keeps you going?” he was asked.

“I get up every day and don’t let the old man in.”

And therein lies the secret – Clint doesn’t know or acknowledge that he’s 88 or 91 or any age other than the one he clings to in his head.

He may well be the oldest man to both star and direct a major motion picture – but the former Mayor of Carmel has no time for retrospection because there’s more work to be done.

Not everyone can be so philosophical of course because physical and mental health can bring the most optimistic of us to our knees.

But if you think young, you might just pull it off.

I’ve an aunt and uncle who deliver the Meals on Wheels around their part of South County Dublin, volunteering a day or two a week to bring hot food to old people who cannot easily get out of their own home.

Both my aunt and uncle are comfortably into their eighties; it’s just that they don’t think like that.

Of course they minded themselves during Covid, but as far as the Meals on Wheels logistics went, this must meant leaving the meals on the porch and ringing the doorbell before moving back a safe distance so as not to compromise the recipient.

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.

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

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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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Connacht Tribune

Shefflin gets a big reality check as Galway collapse against the Dubs

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Clarinbridge U20 players Cian Moore, Eoin Ryan, Oisin Shannon, Gavin Lee and Christy Brennan show their delight after defeating Castlegar in the County A Final at Duggan Park on Sunday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

THE most troubling aspect of the turkey shoot at Parnell Park on Sunday was that Dublin could have won by 25 points or more. Goodness knows, it was bad enough as it was with the Tribesmen being trounced on a 3-29 to 0-19 scoreline.

In retrospect, the warning signs were there in Ballinasloe the previous weekend when Galway took a long time to put Offaly away. The Midlanders may be improving, but they are coming from a very low base and haven’t even participated in the Leinster championship since 2018.

Galway were a shambles against Dublin despite fielding a slightly stronger line-out on paper. Darren Morrissey, Evan Niland and Niall Burke were back, while the inclusion of the Mannion brothers, Padraic and Cathal, beefed up their bench.

Yes, we know Dublin fielded a much stronger team; are difficult to beat at Parnell Park; and have overcome Galway in their last two championship meetings, but still the gulf in standard between the teams was startling. The Dubs were in a different league.

Henry Shefflin is not used to days like this and the difficulty for him is that his arrival in Galway has sparked an expectation that big things lie ahead of the Tribesmen in 2022. But regardless of the man in charge, supporters are ignoring the reality of the team’s fortunes over the past two years. One win in their last five championship matches tells its own story.

Galway do have some players to come back and it’s too early in the year to go all negative about their prospects, but what we saw in Parnell Park was alarming. Some of the players they are trying out are not up to it and while the Galway management need to unearth new talent, they must be more selective in this regard.

Six players who featured in last summer’s championship exit to Waterford were involved at one stage or another last Sunday: Morrissey, Niland, Burke, Gearoid McInerney, and the Mannions. Two more have retired since – Joe Canning and Aidan Harte – and another two, Shane Cooney (knee) and Jason Flynn (hamstring), are set to miss the championship.

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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