A Different View with Dave O’Connell
If you want to think holidays in France are cheap, start your break in Switzerland. Suddenly paying eight quid for a pint seems like a bargain. And lunch for three people – with one drink – can easily top the ton.
That’s why my eyes lit up at the price of a ferry trip in Basle; less than two Swiss Francs seemed like a steal . . . until you discovered that it took you from one side of the Rhine to the other on a hook line and a journey that was like your honeymoon night – all expectation and over in seconds.
Only at the end of this particular experience, you were back on dry land.
I’d never been in Switzerland before this summer, although I have in-laws who kept asking me, despite the fact they know me.
So this year we went – and it was worth the wait; the mountains, the lakes, the weather, the welcome . . . and the sort of the hygiene we used to get when the nuns ran our hospitals.
If Switzerland were any cleaner you’d think there had been a national outbreak of OCD, because you’d have more chance of finding litter on the streets than a winning Lotto ticket blowing in the wind.
The prevailing smell is money, because wages are off the scale; but they’d want to be because you could wipe out the average Irish weekly wage at lunchtime – and that’s presuming you don’t have drink.
Your average home is around a million and you wouldn’t find more new cars on a garage forecourt.
All-Ireland Final day isn’t high on the social calendar in Basle, but there’s an oasis in every desert. This watering hole was called Flanagan’s, and it was a sea of maroon and green.
Ironically, the green outnumbered the maroon for one primary reason; because Neil Boyle – Moycullen man and Jes graduate – is the owner of a global plane hire company called Jet Aviation.
And he hired a load of guys who used to work in Shannon.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie