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A Different View

Ice bucket challenge – an even bigger water scandal

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David and Conor Fitzgerald of the Fitzgerald family with two 'Marilyn Monroes', preparing for the annual Wedding Fayre at Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick, this Sunday, from 4-7pm.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Now that the year is well behind us, it’s safe to admit that the most annoying, infuriating and downright exasperating aspect of 2014 wasn’t the economy, water charges or even, God help us, Garth Brooks doing a Mayo at Croke Park – as in, failing to perform on the big day.

No, it was the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Yes, it was for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association – an excellent cause, richly deserving of all of the support we can afford to give it – and it resulted in an unplanned bonanza for a worthy charity.

But the downside was that you couldn’t open Facebook or YouTube without some other clown dousing themselves in buckets of what was supposed to be icy water and then challenging three others to repeat the dose.

I have to say that – to the best of my knowledge – I wasn’t nominated and if I was, I wouldn’t have done it anyway.

Because ice is something you put into drinks or avoid on the roads in winter time – it’s not something you lorry down your back from a bucket.

This isn’t meanness – I’ve given money to the IMNDA on many occasions and I know they provided wonderful support to two people I know who lost their lives to MND, RTE’s Colm Murray and Westmeath TD Nicky McFadden.

But it was this never-ending spectacle of people standing in their old clothes waiting for someone to give them a semblance of what Guantanamo detainees experience with water-boarding.

One after another they stood there, as though they were Padraig Pearse in Kilmainham Jail waiting to be shot. Behind them one or more of the kids got up on the garden bench and lifted the biggest saucepan of water into the air to rain down on daddy like a tsunami.

Strangely – for something called the Ice Bucket Challenge – there seemed, for the most part, to be an inexplicable absence of ice.

Most of the water looked lukewarm at worst and while pouring water over your head in anything other than a shower carries with it a certain degree of discomfort, this often seemed to be little more than a quick wash with your old clothes on.

And yet you had these volunteers bleating on about their experience as though they had fallen through a crevice on the polar ice cap, when in reality most of them had seen more ice in their last gin and tonic.

It’s been a tough year for charities on many fronts of course, so the fact that the IMNDA made somewhere north of €400,000 out of this is the upside of it all.

After the damage that the Central Remedial Clinic and Rehab did for fundraisers generally, you’d find it hard to begrudge any of these worthy organisations a few quid – but as we’re on it, I’ve no time for chuggers either.

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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