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A Different View

Are we ever to blame for our misfortune?

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Fiona Slevin and Carol Galvin of Supermac’s with toys from the Supermac’s Annual Toy Appeal. All toys were safely delivered to St Bernadette's Paediatric Ward in UHG.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

If someone burgles your house because you left the window or back door unlocked, do you at least have to share a portion of the blame?

The thought occurs on the back of a recent analysis of burglaries across the country showed that in almost a third of burglaries intruders gained entry via the front door.

To be precise, front doors were used in 29 per cent of cases with most burglars using the force of their own body to break in. In almost one in five cases the burglar gained access via an unopened door or window.

Equally, can you be said to have played a part in the theft of your own car if you leave the keys on the hall-stand within sight of the letter box?

And yet Gardaí reported 163 cases of “fishing” — where keys are taken through a letterbox — in the past year. Three quarters of fishing cases were reported in Dublin.

Legally of course no one is entitled to enter your home without permission, irrespective of whether or not you have triple padlocks or a wide-open swinging gate – but surely you have to take some responsibility for your own fate?

It’s the degree or culpability that’s at stake – in the moral more than the legal sense – in that there has to be some measure of the part you may have played in your own misfortune.

If, for example, you contract cirrhosis because you’ve been drinking a bottle of whiskey a day for as long as anyone can remember, should you still be entitled to a liver transplant?

Is there a difference between someone who is predisposed to diabetes because of family history and someone who is susceptible because they are chronically overweight?

In other words – and this might not seem terrible humane – are there circumstances when tragedy befalls us that we must also accept it is at least partially our own fault?

If you leave your wallet or handbag on the passenger seat of the car, you shouldn’t be all that surprised to find it gone – and the window broken – when you come back. Equally you wouldn’t leave your bike up against the railings without putting on a lock.

So if you go away on holidays and leave the bedroom window ajar to let the air circulate in your absence, shouldn’t you accept that this just too much of a temptation for the observant burglar to walk away from?

What if you’re involved in a car accident which, for the most part, wasn’t your fault, but you still played a part in because you were distracted – by the children, by the phone, by changing the radio station, by a wasp – when you should have just been driving?

After all, you wouldn’t be comfortable to find a surgeon was distracted by domestic strife while he or she was operating on you – so how could you then tolerate someone who isn’t concentrating on something as straightforward as driving their car?

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Phone zombies add additional degree of difficulty for walkers

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There was a time that students communicated with home about once every blue moon – and only then if they’d ran out of money. There was no real point in writing or phoning home for any other reason.

But now it appears they can’t be out of contact for more than a minute – or at least that’s how it looks if you try to negotiate a way through the hoards of them that stride four-abreast down the street, not one of them looking in the direction their feet are taking them.

They are on their phones, communicating with someone although probably not home – because they give off an intensity and urgency that suggests this messaging couldn’t possibly have waiting until they reached their destination.

Either that or they have become so dependent on Sat Nav that they fear they wouldn’t find their way to college without Google Maps – and so they walk, head down, staring at the screen, oblivious to other pedestrians or even telegraph poles.

And as you dodge around them, you wonder what’s so important that it won’t wait until they’re sitting down somewhere; have they a shares portfolio that has taken a hammering on the morning’s trading?

More likely, they’re watching TikTok or videos on YouTube, while wandering in public spaces like the last of the headless zombies.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Twenty one years after the day the world stood still in horror

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s hard to believe that this week marked 21 years since we were stopped in our tracks at the sight of two planes exploding at full speed into the sides of the Twin Towers – not alone taking down part of New York’s iconic skyline but rocking our world to its core.

We may have missed the first plane, but every one of us can remember exactly where we were as the second plane followed suit, careering through the smoke of the first crash to explode in front of the eyes of the world.

It was so shocking it was difficult to even take in; the first incident might have been a tragedy caused by pilot error or illness – but there was no mistaking the deliberate intent when the same act of terrorism was repeated just 17 minutes later.

And this time the terrorists had the eyes of the world on their act, because we’d tuned into the live pictures of the smoke billowing from the North Tower – to see the hijackers crash UA Flight 175 into floors 75 to 85 of the South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.

I was working in the Irish Star at the time, where we had one television halfway down the newsroom. With the time difference between Dublin and New York, it was just coming up to 2pm, when the management team met to discuss the news stories for next day’s paper.

It didn’t take a brainstorming session to work out what would fill the paper, and the global news agenda, the next day – except it was already impossible to annunciate just what had happened live on every television station on the planet.

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

Memories of floppy disks – once the future but now firmly the past

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

While watching an old crime drama on the telly recently, the sight of two detectives storing their evidence on a floppy disk brought back memories of a time when we thought our first or second-generation computers were at the cutting edge – little knowing that, within years, the floppy would be as obsolete at the typewriter.

The irony of course is that they weren’t floppy at all because they were housed in a hard plastic case, but without doubt they were gamechangers; a small square not much bigger than a playing card and yet it could store the contents of a large office cabinet on it, with room to spare.

And even if technology has since advanced so far that we’d store all of that and more on the pinhead of a needle, that’s just evolution. The floppy disk was the trigger for a revolution.

We’d never lose another story we’d written; we could store contact numbers (in a time when Data Protection wasn’t even a twinkle in some Ombudsman’s eye), transfer information from one computer to another – and just marvel at how far the world had come in our lifetime.

The computers themselves were also wonders to behold; an electronic screen with a little green cursor pulsating like a beating heart, allowing you to go backwards as well as forwards and clear up your spelling mistakes without the aid of Tippex.

Newsrooms used to be cacophonies of clacking typewriters and ringing phones – reporters slamming the carriage return like they had a vendetta against it and those traditional devices of communication ringing away, possibly because the intended recipient was away in a pub.

Within a generation, the newsroom became almost as quiet as a library as reporters gently tapped computer keys, and they no longer had to rely on desk phones because their lives were liberated by the arrival of the mobile.

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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