World of Politics with Harry McGee – email@example.com
I can measure my indolent college years by one afternoon programme on Channel 4. It was Countdown and I was addicted to it. I wasn’t alone. Many of my friends used to look at it too when we did not have the strictures of job, mortgages or responsibility. For me it was morning TV.
All it was essentially was anagrams and relatively easy maths puzzles, to be solved in the 30 seconds allowed by the countdown clock. My speciality was the nine-word conundrum at the end of each segment.
I started work in the Connacht Tribune and daytime TV became a stranger to me and Countdown went into demise in my life.
A decade later, Channel 4 came up with another hit show; one that involved zero skill, relying instead on the tension around players’ greed – will she or won’t she open the next box.
It was Deal or No Deal, the Channel 4 game show hosted by Noel Edmonds.
A contestant stood in the middle in front of 22 boxes. Each was guarded by another prospective contestant. When you opened the box, it revealed a scale of values, ranging from 1p up to £250,000. So every box you opened, you lost the chance of winning the total revealed in it. Contestants hoped they could get to the end without the really low value boxes being still there.
The outcome was random, it was a pure game of chance.
I was reminded of all that – and of course it was triggered by the recurrence of the ‘No Deal’ phrase – when I looked at the interview Boris Johnson did on Monday night with the BBC political editor Laura Kuennsberg.
When it came to the Irish border, Johnson maintained he could find an alternative to the backstop. ‘How?’ challenged Kuennsberg.
It could be done, he replied, with ‘abundant, abundant technical fixes’.
In other words he was going to find a unicorn. When it was put to him by her that all of those had been explored and nothing had come of them, he said: “Well, they do actually, you have in very large measure they do, you have trusted trader schemes, all sorts of schemes that you could put into place.”
He also claimed that ‘creative ambiguity’ around the £39 billion sterling divorce payment would allow a revised deal.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team
Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.
The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.
Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.
Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.
“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.
It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.
“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”
She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.
“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.
There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.
Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78
Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.
Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968
As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.
From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.
When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.
Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.
A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.
Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later
Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man
Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.
Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.
He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250, the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.