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A Different View

Glasgow – a gem of a city on our doorstep

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Think of Glasgow, and chances are you think of Celtic; you think of a tough town – but you don’t automatically associate Scotland’s largest city with its wonderful architecture, culture, wide European-style pedestrianised streets and urban chic.

Granted, the city is putting its best foot forward just now because it is preparing for the Commonwealth Games in August – so it can be seen in its very best light.

But they didn’t come up with glorious Glasgow in the last two years, and what you get is a place that is packed with magnificent sandstone buildings, vibrant pubs and clubs, the world’s most straightforward underground – one line, impossible to get lost – and the sort of friendliness that’s a given among the Celts.

Most Irish heading to Scotland probably think ‘Edinburgh’ because of the Golden Mile and the Castle, but Glasgow is every bit as cosmopolitan and cultural – and just as accessible since Ryanair started trice weekly flights from Knock.

On top of that, one of the best innovations I’ve heard in a while overcomes the fact that you fly into Prestwick, about one hour from Glasgow itself.

All you have to do is produce your airline ticket and you get a free train pass to anywhere in Scotland. It’s a six month opening offer, but it’s a huge saving – and a terrifically clever incentive.

So Glasgow is just 45 minutes away, and when you get there, you’re arriving into a vibrant city, with loads to do – and much of it for free.

Take the Riverside Museum, European Museum of the Year last year and a spectacular building on the waterfront reflecting Glasgow’s rich transport and maritime heritage on the Rover Clyde.

There is everything from Porsches to Robin Reliants on display; the old trams and steam trains all set into an old frashion streetscape complete with subways and shops that you can walk into to glimpse life as it once was.

And it’s free.

Outside there’s an old Tall Ship which is also free to visit, restored to its former glory and permanently anchored for visitors.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is as eclectic a centre as you could hope to find; 22 separate galleries and 8,000 objects with everything from priceless Dutch collections to Salvador Dali’s Christ of saint John on the Cross to a World War II Spitfire hung from the roof over stuffed giraffes and tigers!

And it’s free.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Marriage works well for your health – but not your pocket

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

With St Valentine’s Day firmly on the horizon, thoughts for some may turn to love and even marriage – which, it transpires, is good for your health but tough on your pocket.

Because while one study published this week found that true love generally results in low blood sugar levels, particularly for adults over fifty, a more frivolous report found that, if you steered clear of romantic gestures, you’d be nearly €70,000 better off in just five years.

There’s a sort of health warning with this one too, to the extent that this spend makes allowance for regular trips to the jewellers for diamonds – as opposed to the petrol station for dried flowers – but even still keeping up with the romantic gestures comes at quite a cost.

The survey, which is a UK one and therefore comes with sterling prices, puts the average cost of a meal for two at just over £100, which it pencils in as a monthly occurrence.

A dozen red roses from Marks & Spencer’s costs £25.99 – and God help you if you appear at the front door carrying flowers from a supermarket – while they also estimate monthly grooming costs as £50 per month per person.

Balancing out cost of diamonds and ancillary romantic gestures, the survey from Unbiased.co.uk puts the cost of true love at somewhere around £800 a month – or loose change short of €900 in our money.

That adds up to just under £60,000 over five years or if true love lasts the distance, a massive £650,000 over a quarter of a century.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Betting on the thrill of the chase can come at a cost

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

I’ve never understood betting but, just as I’ve never understood astrophysics either, I’ve plenty of time for those who do. Just because I don’t or can’t do it doesn’t make it an unusual pursuit.

But betting to me was always just a few quid on a fancied horse or backing your county to win the All-Ireland or your favourite football team to win the Premiership.

You might be a proud new parent who believes that the new arrival will one day go on to play for Ireland or Galway – and unless you’re perhaps Joe Canning, you will easily find a bookie who will lay you odds of 500/1 that it will never happen.

Nearly two decades ago now, Rory McIlroy’s dad Gerry placed a £200 bet on his 15-year-old son winning a Major – and ten years later, he walked away with a £100,000 windfall when Rory won the British Open at Hoylake in 2014.

In 2006, the family of Chris Kirkland won close to £10,000 when the then-Liverpool goalkeeper played for England in a friendly against Greece. Twelve years earlier, Kirkland’s father Eddie had placed a bet, as part of a syndicate, that his son would win an England cap before turning 30.

Perhaps even more optimistically, the grandfather of Fulham winger and former Liverpool star Harry Wilson pocketed £125,000 after placing a bet that his then-infant grandson would go on to play for Wales – which he duly did well before he’d left his teens.

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

Caught by online fraudsters – and rescued by the bank

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Somewhere in a supermarket in Australia last week, a person or persons spent €57.88 of my money on food or drink and charged it to my Visa card. Hours later they then repeated the exercise at another branch of Coles, the Melbourne-based multiple – but then their mini-spree came to a shuddering halt.

In truth perhaps, they probably didn’t leave home at all; they may not even have been anywhere near Australia, instead carrying out their shopping online around midday local time – and again for around the same amount an hour or two later.

But then the fraud department of Allied Irish Banks put a halt to their gallop and during the wee small hours inquired if I had somehow made it from conducting an evening online transaction in Galway to buying things from a supermarket in Melbourne, in the process inadvertently breaking the sound barrier while I slept.

And when I replied that indeed I had not, my Visa card was shut down and the prospects of the intrepid Australians buying some serious kit from my pocket disappeared quicker than snow on the outback.

Not alone that but AIB refunded the money these people had spent without my knowledge, allowed me to take a few bob out of the bank without a card – but with ID – and then sent on a brand new card this week.

The embarrassing part was having to confirm that online purchases in the run-up to the Aussie shopping spree were legit; it’s like having a list of misdemeanours read out in court.

There was nothing accusatory in the tone of the nice woman from the bank, who merely inquired if indeed it was me who had gone twice to Mace the previous day; if I’d also bought an album online and paid a monthly subscription for a digital newspaper.

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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