Date Published: 05-May-2011
Paul Morrissey may have been well used to rain in his native Galway, but nothing had prepared him for the flooding in Eastern Australia earlier this year which destroyed his home.
He has been working on rebuilding his house in the Brisbane suburbs since January, and says the long plane journey home to Ireland to attend his parents golden wedding anniversary two weeks ago was the first opportunity he got to rest in a long time.
Paul’s house in Brisbane – a wooden structure, like most Australian houses – was completely destroyed by water but he is now back in it after it was raised onto a more solid block foundation which should keep it safe from any future flooding.
However, Paul, who was reared in Glenard, doesn’t want to appear as if he is moaning considering the loss of life in other parts of the world due to severe weather conditions.
It’s probably his extensive travelling – he reckons he was visited about forty countries – that has made him so aware of other cultures, ensuring that he isn’t in the least insular.
He is in his forties now and definitely settled in Brisbane but he hasn’t ruled out doing more travelling though it’s more difficult now that he has a full-time job and is a father of two children.
Paul came home two weeks ago to attend his parents’ golden wedding anniversary. Frank and Anne Morrissey used to run The Yacht bar in Eglinton Street in the early eighties and like his other siblings he earned his pocket money working there.
“My father firmly believed we all had to earn our keep. I never worked for anyone as hard as I worked for Dad but I thank him for that now because I do have a good work ethic.
“My father is a larger than life character and he has run pubs all his life starting in England, where they returned to after selling The Yacht before they moved back to Galway to retire, this time in Clybaun, Knocknacarra.
“My mother used to make bacon spare ribs and cabbage when nobody was cooking that in the bar trade and people used to come for miles to have them. She used to cook a lot of them and regular customers would make sure they were there the day they were on the menu.”
Though Paul is settled in Australia he loves meeting up with old mates when he comes home, although his visits are rare. The last time was five years before but he intends not to leave it as long the next time.
“Ideally, I would love to announce where I will be at such and such a time so old friends around the town could pop in and say hello but everyone is so busy that it’s not possible to see everyone on one visit home.”
Paul actually studied art in the RTC (now the GMIT) but never finished the course because that first summer as a student at just 19 he discovered life abroad. He got a summer job in the BMW car manufacturing plant in Munich, where 22,000 people worked between two shifts.
He got an opportunity to drive a truck for Afghans from Munich to the border of Iran and he jumped at it, despite only having a provisional licence! The way he tells it, the journey sounds like a high adventure. In fact, he doesn’t baulk at the idea of writing his memoirs and admits he has thought about it.
“I really have travelled a lot and seen a lot and I had thought about putting them on paper but then I read Shantaram (a novel set in India partly based on the novelist’s own experiences) and I was so impressed by it I even wrote to the author Gregory David Roberts and told him that he had written the book I wanted to write. I don’t know if he ever got it. I’m sure he got thousands of letters from all over the world because it was a bestseller.”
Indeed, Paul is a very good storyteller. He not only has a soft voice, which now has an Australian inflection, but he uses good imagery. You can almost picture yourself there with him.
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.