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A Different View

Going all to pieces over exchanging sign of peace

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Members of the Hession School of Irish Dancing performing at the Pearse Stadium last Sunday, during a fund raiser for the World Irish Championships, before the Galway v Clare first round game in the 2015 Allianz National Hurling League.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Don’t say you’ve never experienced it either – that Sunday at Mass when you’re minding your own business and someone you don’t know comes in with the sniffles beside you.

And then they use the back of their hand to clear the twin streams heading towards their upper lip….the same right hand they intend using when it comes around to offering the sign of the peace.

With that one involuntary hand movement, they have unwittingly thrown you right off your Christian stride.

Because whatever revelations might drop from the mouth of the priest over the next half hour, all you can think of is what has already dropped from the nose of your new neighbour.

You know deep down that he’s just a good Catholic with nothing more contagious than a common cold – but he didn’t use a tissue and the clock is now inexorably ticking towards the time you have to shake his snotty hand.

Could you politely decline the sign of peace on the grounds that you’ve a busy week ahead and have no wish to spend it in the throes of an unnecessarily acquired cold?

But then you look like a pariah because you’re supposed to be coming up to a state of grace, and yet here you are refusing to shake hands with a fellow worshipper in front of the entire Church?

There isn’t time or opportunity to explain your reason anyway; it’s just a simple shake and a quick mutter of ‘peace be with you’, not a chat over a glass of wine at a dinner party.

So you know you’ve no option and yet the more you try to put it to the back of your mind, the more it remains front and centre.

You find yourself watching out of the corner of your eye to check if he’s gone and wiped his nose with his hand again; if he’s picked his ear or coughed into his fist – and the priest might have revealed the Fourth Secret of Fatima during his sermon but that’s not what’s bothering you ten seats from the altar.

You try to internalise so that you get over your Howard Hughes moment; people have been sneezing into each other’s space for centuries without a heavy death toll.

Our forefathers didn’t have electric showers – indeed many of them only had a shared tin bath once in a blue moon – and they didn’t die from hygiene issues.

This poor man has nothing more deadly than a runny nose and a dearth of tissues; he no more wants to use his hand for this purpose than you want to shake it.

And then the consecration is over and the priest is speeding towards the sign of peace; you’re like a common criminal heading towards the hangman.

So you offer him the handshake with a big smile, overcompensating for your 30 minutes of bad thoughts or any negative signals you might have given off by grinning like you have loose wiring or screws.

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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