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Connacht Tribune

Blimey – but hasn’t our language gone to pot?

Dave O'Connell

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Connacht captain John Muldoon and mascot Joshua Towey pose for a photograph as the teams run on to the pitch before the start of the European Rugby Champions Cup game against Zebre at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s the surest sign yet that the equality pendulum has firmly swung in the female direction – after a major British survey discovered categorically that women now swear more often than men.

Why this would qualify as an academic exercise is possibly open to scrutiny – particularly when a visit to any town centre around midnight would confirm the question for free…and that’s not because males have cleaned up their act either.

But it’s still an anthropological sea change when the potty-mouths swearing like sailors these days are predominantly of the female persuasion.

The survey – carried out by Lancaster University and the Cambridge University Press – used a sample of 376 volunteers who submitted recordings of up to three hours of their daily conversations.

And then, after accumulating around ten million words, researchers got stuck in – to find, for a start, that women’s use of the F-word (and we’re not talking about feminism) has increased by more than 500 per cent since the 1990s…to a point where they now use it more than men.

Back in the nineties, us males apparently used the F-word 1,000 times per million words and the ladies kept it to a mere 167.

However over the past two decades women’s use has increased by more than 500 per cent – so that by 2014, women use the word 546 times per million words whereas men use it 540 times.

Women are also ten times as likely as men to say ‘s***’, according to the new survey which was sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council.

In the early 1990s they said ‘s***’ four times more than men but now that figure has doubled.

Why has this happened then? Could it be as simple as the old problem that has long been identified in too many workplaces – in order for women to feel they fit in, they have to give it as good as the rest of them?

Anger and pain are often good reasons for a blast of bad language; there are, for example, things said by wives to husbands during labour that would make your ears blush in any other circumstance.

Of course men are no angels ourselves and our language – particularly when we see red or take drink – is nothing to be proud of; there are days when it seems like you can’t get through three sentences without dropping at least one F-bomb.

And given that we can’t be angry all the time – unless of course we’re members of People Before Profit or the Anti-Austerity Alliance – there must be some other reason for this descent into the oral gutter.

Perhaps it’s a lack of imagination – we use profanities like a breather to gather a coherent thought. It can also ease a little stress or frustration – like when you hit your hand with the hammer.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.

“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.

These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.

But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.

Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.

One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.

The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell

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Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.

They lifted and footed his turf.

John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.

He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.

“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.

Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!

“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.

Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.

They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara

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Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.

After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.

“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”

But it could have all been so different.

Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.

Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.

Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.

Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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