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A Different View

Don’t make your child’s name into a millstone

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Hairdressing student Harriett Bruce (right) and model Leah Dooley, both from Ballinasloe, at the GTI Open Day this week. Leah's hair and make up was created by Harriett.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s easy to go mad when you have a baby – not because the sleepless nights of the croop, but just right at the very beginning when you’ve experienced the greatest feeling known to man.

It’s even better if you’re a father, of course, because the only pain you’ll have to cope with is a hangover after buying pints for all of your mates.

You can see them a mile away in the vicinity of any maternity hospital – the grinning fool with the big bouquet of flowers and an amateur’s approach to buying nappies for new-borns.

They firmly believe no one has ever felt like this before and in one way they’re right, but in another it’s a feeling shared by millions the world over every week.

But even allowing for the light-headedness or craziness than new parenthood may bring, there is no excuse for calling your little bundle of joy by a name that will scar them for life.

The actress Rosamund Pike – former Bond girls and current star of Gone Girl – was photographed in some paper recently with her two month old son, Atom; she also has a two year old son called Solo.

Atom and Solo? If she had fifteen kids and had run out of names, you might excuse her, but these are her only two children.

As someone saddled with a surname bound to cause problems in the playground, surely she should have known better – or maybe she could have gone the whole hog and called them Salmon and Trout Pike.

And, yes, at least they can take their father’s surname which is Uniake – but that doesn’t make it right to called them after a particle and a loner.

Then again, celebrities do this sort of thing all of the time; perhaps they are so bored with their lives that they think inflicting name pain on their loved ones is some form of unusual entertainment.

Think of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Apple Martin; or Posh and Becks’ quartet Brooklyn, Cruz, Harper and Romeo Beckham.

David Bowie (real name David Jones) and his then-wife Angie called their lad Zowie Bowie; it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he changed to a more normal Duncan Jones when he was old enough to see more sense than his parents, and now he’s an acclaimed film maker in his own right.

Woody Allen and Mia Farrow called their son Satchel Seamus Allen – although if truth be told, giving dodgy names to your adopted children may not be Woody’s worst indulgence.

Angelina and Brad have Knox, Maddox, Pax Thien and Shiloh among their big brood – but at least they do have the excuse of adopting half of Africa, so the names were bound to move into new territory at some stage.

Thankfully us mere mortals seem to show a degree more pragmatism and humanity when it comes to naming our own offspring.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Sporting rivalry doesn’t have to mean segregated supporters

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Three sporting teams whose boundaries come up to the back door of each other’s patch were all in action at the one venue – two of them against each other – at the weekend.

If it was the Premiership, it wouldn’t – and couldn’t – have happened because there would be carnage either inside or outside the ground . . .or both.

But this was Pearse Stadium and the county senior football championship, an afternoon’s entertainment that might not have been on Sky Sports’ radar, but which was no less crucial for those with a vested interest all the same.

First up, Oughterard were up against their nearest neighbours Killannin for a semi-final place, while the other leg of this local stool saw reigning champions Moycullen successfully put their crown on the line against Tuam Stars.

It goes without saying that the crowd was in the high hundreds or low thousands; this wasn’t Old Trafford or Anfield with 60,000 or 70,000 fans congregating from all corners of the globe, never mind the country.

So it wasn’t Celtic and Rangers or City against United; it was neighbours and families and friends intermingled all in one place, albeit wearing different colours.

And even allowing for the intensity of local rivalries, the ties that bind are infinitely stronger than the boundaries that divide.

Half the Killannin team went to school in Oughterard. The Monaghans, who line out for Oughterard, are sons of Terence who was steeped in Moycullen football before moving parish.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Homework only goes to prove parents haven’t all the answers

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Anyone fortunate enough to be a parent will always remember the moment when their child transitioned from unqualified hero worship to thinking that ma and da, if not quite clowns, at least possessed feet of clay.

And that moment often coincided with the time you could no longer make head nor tail of their homework.

You were grand with addition and subtraction, even multiplication and basic division – but when theorems or algebra or physics or foreign languages came into the equation, suddenly your infallible status took a nosedive straight into the nearest bin.

The consolation is that we are not alone – because most parents admit they’ve forgotten even the basics from their schooldays, leaving them cruelly exposed when the teenagers come looking for help.

A recent UK survey asked 1,500 parents aged over 30 what they had forgotten from their schooldays.

Top of the list was algebra – forgotten by half of them – followed by trigonometry and Pythagoras’s Theorem. About a third of respondents could no longer remember how to do long division – or name ten or more elements from the periodic table.

A quarter didn’t know the difference between an isosceles and a scalene triangle, and almost a fifth had forgotten how to use a protractor. Most of those probably thought a compass was for pricking the back of the student sitting in front of you.

Other classroom classics now lost in the sands of time included a failure to recognise cloud formations, identifying an oxbow lake, remembering quotes from Shakespeare, or explaining the difference between volts and amps.

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

Everybody knows a Dave – but it still don’t make a storm

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s been a tough week for Ireland’s Daves and Davids – ever since we found out just how close we were to having our own storm, only to have it snatched away from us by a public vote that inexplicably went for Dudley instead.

It doesn’t matter than Dudley hardly even sounds like a gust of wind, let alone a gale force storm; it just conjures up an image of a drunken Dudley Moore in Arthur, meandering all over the place – more of a danger to himself than the roof of your house is.

The only consolation is that, if it wasn’t Dudley, it still wouldn’t have been Dave – because in compiling the shortlist, our own Queen of the Weather Forecast, Evelyn Cusack, made a stronger case for Storm Diarmuid, ahead of Dave, David and even Dafydd.

The Brits were keen on Storm Dave, but part of the reason that there is an annual debate among the Met Offices is to ensure a disparate selection, with something for each of the participating nationalities.

That’s why we got Barra, Pól, Seán and Méabh, and the Welsh got Arwen and possibly Gladys, and the Dutch got Vergil and Willemien, with a couple of crossover names like Jack and Kim and Ruby in there for good measure.

But when it came to Storm D, our Met Éireann boss wouldn’t even entertain Dermot as a compromise over Diarmuid, according to the correspondence on this year’s storm-naming process, as revealed under Freedom of Information this week.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter in the end because the people decided anyway. They were given a choice of Duncan, Dudley and Dafydd. . .and Dudley was the winner, perhaps – the commentators think – because of Dudley Dursley, erstwhile star of Harry Potter. As opposed to Dudley Moore.

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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