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Irish pond life hits new low as TV3 plumbs the depths



Date Published: {J}

It is every parent’s worst nightmare – and just in case you were clinging to any faint hopes that your teenage sons or daughters were enjoying the sun and sand alone when they go on that ‘right of passage’ trip to the Canaries or Crete, here comes Boozed Up Irish Abroad to shatter your final illusions.

TV3’s short series of the antics of the Irish in the sunspots is as appalling a piece of television as you’re likely to see – which is saying something, given the rubbish that they show normally.

The kindest you can say about Boozed Up Irish Abroad is that the title isn’t the least bit misleading – they lined up three of the lowest of low life groups you could ever hope to find to ensure that this painted the worst possible picture.

And in an effort to make this appear like some sort of social study, they add the fig leaf of such trivia as ‘almost every day one Irish person is arrested whilst abroad’ according to the Sunday Tribune – or ‘Irish adults have one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption … and binge drinking within the European Union’ according to what they call alcohol statistics in Europe.

The stars of this series are the kind of holidaymakers you’d cross oceans to avoid – constantly drunk, pouring shots down their neck like water into a large bucket, taking off their clothes, simulating acts with passing females and generally making complete idiots of themselves in the name of Ireland.

Not that they have to search that hard for diversion – the two holiday destinations chosen by our intrepid documentary makers, Hersonissos on Crete and the Majorcan hot spot of Santa Ponza, could make a nun turn to sin.

The real action only begins when the sun goes down in bars like the Shamrock, Shenanigans, Boston O’Brady’s, Sean’s Place, Muldoons, Dublin Sports Bar, Paddy’s, the U2 Place and a million others carving up the drunken Paddy business between them.

First up are the pretend rock stars who make up the fictitious band Methadone – Terry who loves the older ladies, Mark, Keith or Brocko who’s a Liam Gallagher fanatic, and Ger.

They can’t sing but they pass themselves off as a band from Dubbalin with a fictitious album that includes such self-penned classics as Drinking is Thinking and the Ballad of a Drunken Generation.

After one night in Santa Ponza and they’ve been sick all over the apartment at the end of a night that climaxed with Terry in the bar with his trousers down and Keith in bed by 11pm because he spent the afternoon drinking eight pints at a time.

A hop and skip away on Crete and in the town of Hersonissos, a group of College students from Meath and Limerick are having the time of their life – if only they could remember a minute of it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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