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

Archive News

Forget Lisbon Ð we should have voted against Brussels over sprouts



Date Published: {J}

DECLAN Ganley should have used the Brussels sprouts protocol if he really wanted to swing the Lisbon II Referendum vote in his direction – because this traditional Christmas ‘vegetable’ is enough to give the European capital a very bad name…not to mention an even worse smell.

Whoever first foisted the infernal small, smelly wannabe cabbage onto human beings isn’t recorded by history – presumably due to his or her family’s perpetual shame – but at the end of the day, the Belgian city has to take the blame.

Brussels sprouts as we now know them were grown possibly as early as the thirteenth century in what we now know as Belgium. The first written reference dates to 1587, and like a virus their ‘popularity’ spread through Northern Europe and onto these shores.

Perhaps the idea of putting them beside the turkey and ham on Christmas Day is to remind us that there is suffering in the world and there’s no reason we shouldn’t share a little of the pain.

The smell off them, alone, makes you automatically search out which of the small children – or indeed very old people – in the room has something to report in their nappy.

The experts say this smell is frequently caused by overcooking, but anything that smells of sulphur irrespective of its duration in the boiling pot has to be suspect to begin with.

I must admit that I’m not a paid up member of the vegetable fan club to begin with – personally I’d have broccoli and turnips put on the proscribed list for a start as well – but Brussels sprouts deserve particularly close attention.

Why is it that they rarely make an appearance on the dinner plate at any other time of the year? Surely they’d be worth a run in Lent on the basis that children who’d eat them then wouldn’t have to give up sweets or chocolate?

Last weekend, Esther Rantzen – a woman with too much time on her hands since the demise of That’s Life – decided to attempt a world record for eating Brussels sprouts in an effort to prove the ultimate champion of the underdog.

It’s no coincidence that Esther is currently seeking a Westminster seat and at the very least this diet of sprouts should ensure she can comfortably undertake a massive canvass, secure in the knowledge that after a feed of green golf balls, she’ll have no need for a toilet break.

The previous world record was thought to be 26 Brussels sprouts eaten in one minute, but Esther has the advantage of a particularly large mouth.

"Brussels sprouts have for too long been despised and neglected," she explained. "I have long championed the underdog and I’m very pleased to have been asked to champion the underdog vegetable.”

The record attempt took place last Saturday to raise money for the children’s ward at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, which is undoubtedly a most worthy cause – but when Esther gets the dentist’s bill for sprouts stuck in her teeth, there won’t be much left for the kids.

In the meantime, the rest of us will spend this weekend eating sprouts – or hiding them in our pockets – for no monetary reward at all.

It’s enough to make you turn green.

For more read page 11 of this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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