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

Opinion

The art of moaning even about glorious summer sunshine

Published

on

tenerife

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Being of a generation where the nearest one came as a child to a real summer holiday was the sponsored 15 minute morning programme on Radio Eireann, there is still the cousin of a guilty feeling about taking off for a week or so in the sun.

It doesn’t happen every year, but when it does, the words of the old Cliff Richard hit take a ramble through the remaining working strands of the brain: ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday, No more working for a week or two, Fun and laughter on our summer holiday, No more worries for me or you, For a week or two.’

The prospect of a few days in the sun is always pleasing to the mind’s eye, especially if we’ve been through a winter and spring barrage of wind and rain, although for my sins after about three days under that great globe in the sky, a certain amount of desperation always seems to set in.

As much and all as we nag and complain about Irish weather, the roughly 50 inches of rain that falls on our landmass during the course of any given year, does give us the most lush and fruitful of landscapes.

More than a couple of decades back, a few years after the traditional Isle of Man honeymoon, a trip to the sunny climes of Cyprus seemed to offer all the prospects of a serene time of blissful happiness.

However after day two of lounging around a swimming pool, with nothing to do, the penny dropped that the great dream of doing nothing under a warm sun, was not really all it was cracked up to be.

A tour of the local landscape did little to cure my woes – arid and baked countryside with barely a green perch to be spotted anywhere, apart from the odd irrigated patch.

How a meteorological service can survive in a place like Tenerife is slightly baffling. True the odd bit of cloud interrupts the glare of the sun on days here and there – a very welcome relief – while on a handful of days through the year, some rainfall does actually fall.

Such a scenario would be an unequivocal disaster for the thousands of customers who populate our taverns during the various weeks of the year. In Ireland, a dispute – well maybe just a friendly argument – can often develop between any three individuals at the bar counter over what the weather will be like over the next three days.

Even a trawl through the main national and international forecasters can throw up conflicting predictions for countries like Ireland and the UK, that are largely at the mercy of unpredictable Atlantic weather systems.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council was in slow lane with incorrect speed signage

Published

on

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

At long last, sense has prevailed at City Hall. It was a slow process, but finally – after over a decade – incorrect speed limit signs displayed on some city roads will be corrected.

That it took a campaign by concerned citizens, and in particular bike enthusiast Kevin Jennings, for Galway City Council to rectify its own mistakes, is disgraceful but hardly surprising.

That Jennings had to highlight the issue in this newspaper and other media and had to badger local and national politicians before management at City Hall agreed to take action on a serious matter of road safety, is also a disgrace but not surprising either.

Jennings regularly cycles with his children on one of the roads in Knocknacarra where an incorrect speed limit sign had been displayed for up to 12 years. He discovered that several roads within the city boundary which have designated speed limits of 50km/h, had speed signs on them suggesting they were in 80km/h zones.

Among the roads with incorrect 80km/h signs were: Upper Cappagh Road, Upper Ballymoneen Road, Rahoon Road, Letteragh Road, Rosshill Road, Dublin Road and Oranmore Coast Road.

The signs were dangerous and gave false assurances to motorists that they could legally drive at 80km/h in 50km/h zones.

As well as endangering all road users, who would have been responsible in the event of a collision on one of those roads, if the motorist was driving above 50 but below 80? Would it have been the driver or the local authority? The legal profession would have had a field day.

What we think happened is this. Rather than change the signs to reflect the actual speed limit, the City Council attempted to change the speed limit to reflect the signage that was in place. Councillors rejected the 80km/h in proposed new bylaws in a vote last November and then the executive blamed elected members for the incorrect signs. It would be funny were it not so serious.

Jennings was a dogged campaigner – a trait of Galway Cycling Campaign members – and kept the pressure up for the signs to be corrected.

A victory of sorts arrived this month when Chief Executive Brendan McGrath confirmed “an audit of the existing signage has now been completed and a number of anomalies have been identified”.

The Council, he said, “commenced the process, in September, of modifying the speed limit signage at a number of locations in the city to bring the signage in line with the current Special Speed Limit Bylaws, 2009”.

That they did so kicking and screaming is the great mystery surrounding this sorry affair.

This is a shortened preview version of Bradley Bytes. To read more, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Northern stand-off underlines President’s independent spirit

Published

on

Roman triumph...President Michael D Higgins meeting Pope Francis last week.

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

There was a time when becoming President was like being sent to the Missions; one day you were here and then you were gone for seven years without a trace.

Patrick Hillary’s 14 years in the office between 1976 and 1990 produced only two particularly memorable events; a disputed phone call from Brian Lenihan asking him not to dissolve the Dáil, and a press conference to deny a rumoured affair of which nobody in the media had been remotely aware.

Otherwise, like many other Presidents, Hillary’s term was relatively anonymous, another prisoner of the very circumscribed Constitutional role of a non-executive president.

The President had few powers but the few powers were important: summoning and dissolving the Dáil, appointing the Taoiseach and members of the Government, as well as referring Bills to the Supreme Court to test their constitutionality.

It was the latter power that brought the presidency of Cearbhaill Ó Dálaigh to a dramatic end in 1976, when a Fine Gael minister Paddy Donnegan slighted him by describing him as a “thundering disgrace” after his decision to refer special powers legislation to the Court.

That all changed after 1990 with the election of Mary Robinson. She enlarged the role of the office as did her successor Mary McAleese. So has Michael D Higgins and while the office is in name ‘above politics’, he more than anybody else has stretched that concept.

Last week, I travelled to Rome to cover the President’s visit to the Italian capital, his first visit abroad since the Covid-19 Pandemic in March 2020.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Changing times for the Church – but still a distance left to travel

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s the best part of twenty years since I delivered my one and only sermon to the masses at the Masses – in the salubrious surrounds of Mullingar Cathedral.

It wasn’t an actual sermon of course, but more a talk where the sermon should have been, on a Sunday during Lent in the year 2004.

I’d been in Rwanda with a team from Trocaire, where we’d seen tangible evidence of a world devoid of humanity, ten years after the genocide that had wiped out up to a million Tutsis in one hundred days.

Each year for their Lenten campaign, Trocaire choose a specific region in the world to highlight their work and the plight of the people there – so it might be Honduras after Hurricane Mitch, Nigeria and its endemic food poverty…or, in this case, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda.

The sheer barbarism of what happened in this Country of a Thousand Hills will remain embedded on my brain for the rest of my days – and that was a decade after it happened. And that’s the story I was telling from the altar in Mullingar Cathedral.

I’d originally be slated down for Saturday evening Mass and then maybe one on Sunday – but I sort of got into a rhythm on Saturday night and volunteered to do all of the Masses the following day.

The final one was the Bishop’s own Mass, and Michael Smith was a man wholeheartedly committed to the work of Trocaire – so even he stood aside to let me at it.

And to crown it all, my wife and two little boys of five and four (as they were) sat in the congregation for this big finale.

But anyone with small children will know that keeping them quiet and attentive for the duration of a Mass is a job of work, and soon they began to grow restless.

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending