Date Published: 02-Jun-2011
The recent extraordinary television footage of Dominique Strauss Kahn as he was taken in handcuffs before a New York court and then led off to Riker’s Island, made me go back to re-read whole sections of Tom Wolfe’s book Bonfire Of The Vanities.
For the ‘perp walk’ is one of the key scenes in the book telling of the downfall of multi-millionaire bond dealer Sherman McCoy and the coverage involving Strauss Kahn showed how Wolfe had observed the unique event.
The ‘perpetrator walk’ is a crude and utterly demeaning process and is administered with no regard to who, or what, you are. And then it occurred to me that maybe we should introduce it in this country as a last resort to satisfy people like me who want – revenge!
I can think of a number of alleged ‘perpetrators’ who might be given ‘the walk’ in this country. Like the Mikado – ‘I’ve got a little list’.
With the ‘perp walk’ in the US, the formerly most powerful in the land are projected into the full glare of television and the media; they appear on prime time television in handcuffs and looking startled, dishevelled and unshaven. Those baby-soft jowls become lined and shadowed overnight.
The special circumstances and trappings of their former life, the dosh, the hotel suites, lackeys, personal assistants, chauffeur driven limousines, are withdrawn and the former ‘personality’ becomes just another defendant in a court case on which their future hangs.
Remember, we are not talking about justice here . . . this is gut instinct on my part; and, as I will explain later, it is written against some of my normally better instincts of human kindness. But, I’m prepared to bet that there are others out there who might join me in drafting that list.
I first learned about ‘the perp walk’ in Bonfire of the Vanities. By the way, it gets its name from a notorious event in history when Savonarola, the 15th century Dominican preacher monk, encouraged the nobility of Florence to renounce their sinful ways, and to show this by burning their finery and books.
They held the bonfires alright, but then went back to the sinning again and later burned him as a heretic.
Wolfe’s book deals with the fall of McCoy, who injures a black youngster in an incident in a New York backstreet, but flees the scene because with him in his Mercedes is his mistress and Sherman does not wish to risk his multi-millionaire lifestyle, huge apartment and idyllic ‘marriage’ and existence.
His world comes crashing down, however, because of a media interest whipped up into the accident by black power activists and politicians seeking re-election, and because the rarity of his sports Mercedes car helps in tracking him down.
In a matter of days, Sherman is projected from his multi-million apartment and privileged lifestyle into the ‘other world’ where he is subjected to ‘the walk’ . . . despite hiring a flash and allegedly well-connected lawyer who claims to have links to the frontline police and will, above all, spare him the humiliation of ‘the walk’.
In the case of Sherman McCoy, the definitive moment in the book is surely when he is subjected to ‘the perp walk’. He is handcuffed in front of his apartment block in central New York and ushered about the place in pouring rain which quickly ruins the ‘line’ of his very expensive suit.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.