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

Archive News

Carr might be better off staying in the C4 slow lane



Date Published: {J}

The search is on for the new Jonathan Ross even before the old one has been put out to grass – or Sky to give it its correct title. And so far it seems that the one thing all of possible successors share is that they are gay comedians.

Nothing wrong with that of course, but shouldn’t the BBC consider widening the market, so to speak? Must it be that a predilection for double entendres is the one characteristic the new Ross will share with the old one?

God help us all if it’s Graham Norton, a man who makes Carry On movies look like Cecil B de Mille productions; he should have his microphone tucked up his sleeve so that way we could hear him laughing at his own risqué humour.

If the new Wossie is to be a gay comedian, then Norton can only hope that a bolt of lightning strikes Alan Carr – because the Chatty Man is showing that there is a way to live on the edge without making it seem like Rag Week forever.

Then again he may not want to be seen as auditioning for Jonathan’s swivel chair, because his Channel 4 series is already streets ahead of Ross.

It’s like Ross was before he began to believe all of his own publicity; Carr is funny, disarming and bold as brass.

Who else would get away with asking Lindsay Lohan, a woman famous for two things – her love life and turning up at parties – whether she was straight or gay in the immortal words ‘Are you Arthur or are you Martha now?’

Even Lohan, a notoriously difficult guest, couldn’t hold back the laughter – and when she refused to answer, he pressed her further and further … but in a way that only he could manage.

Or on her drink driving difficulties: “You got caught got drink driving twice and you were in jail for 84 minutes – was it like a drive thru?”

Of course she didn’t respond to either topic in the end, but neither did she storm off the couch. Because even Lindsay knows Carr is the coming star and his Channel 4 show is the hottest gig in town.

It’s not that the producers normally spend a lot of money on high profile guests – the rest of last week’s line-up included comedian Frankie Boyle and ice legends Torville and Dean – but it’s the way that Carr takes them into areas where they’d never intended to go.

And because he’s like a naughty child, he asks the most outrageous of questions without a backlash; as in to Torvill and Dean: “you’ve described your partnership as like a marriage without sex – but how close have you come?”

A few weeks back he asked Sid Owen and Patsy Palmer – Eastenders’ Ricky and Bianca – why they’d come back to the soap after leaving it for so long. And he got them to admit that it was simply about money.

Ross used to be like this in the good old days before it became so formulaic. Some suggest this happened because he’d overstepped the mark once too often, which meant the show had to be recorded and therefore lost its spontaneity. Chatty Man is recorded too but it doesn’t seem any less lively because of that.

Ross, Norton and Carr were all given their chance by Channel 4 where the relative backwaters offer more freedom of expression.

Ross has now run his course, although no doubt he’ll get an even bigger contract to join Sky where no one will ever see him again; Norton also got a big deal to go to the BBC where he is floundering.


So Alan Carr should think long and hard before stepping into the Ross hot seat – although in the end money talks and the Beeb has a lot more of it than Channel 4 can ever hope to.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading

Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads