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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.