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‘Joie de vivre’ as we celebrate Midsummer

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Celebrating the season of light with fires that will light up the night skies this week to mark the peak of Midsummer.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Here and there when the guilt of ‘nearly missing’ Mass at the weekend feels like an errant stone falling on my big toe, I make the trip to Athenry on a Sunday evening where a bit of catch-up is completed on all things spiritual.

A few weeks back, Fr. Benny McHale – who always likes to spin a few yarns to hold our attention – told the tale of the woman he gave the lift to on a cracking summer’s morning . . . one of those days that would even make a grouch smile.

When he greeted her with the words: “Isn’t it one lovely day” she immediately shattered his positivity with that inspirational line of negativity, so common with Irish weather pessimists: “Oh stop Father, we’ll pay for this yet.”

Well Midsummer’s Day has barely passed us by and I must have endured 43 moans about: “It’ll be all downhill from here on. We won’t feel now until the Races and then the kids will be back to school.”

There are colleagues of mine who moan about the despair of growing old even though they’re the picture of good health – the ‘big trick’ in all of this as I have discovered [maybe rather slowly] is just to take one day at a time, try to enjoy it to the fullest, get a bit of exercise, a good night’s sleep and then start all over again the following morning.

The longest day of the year might have passed – this year here in Galway it was last Monday, June 20, when the sun rose at 5.08am and set at 10.08 coming tantalisingly close, without making it, to giving us a potential 17 hours of sunlight.

In terms of that enormous window of summer light, most of us will notice very little difference from the first days of June right through to the end of July, so there really is no point in wishing our lives away and worrying about the shorter days at a time when Midsummer is at its peak and the season of light still has a long way to run.

There’s a lovely French phrase – Joie de vivre – that translates into the joy of living and summer time is surely the season when the biggest effort of all should be made to embrace that philosophy.

In pagan times, mid-summer was celebrated with some gusto by all and sundry with bonfires, wild parties, singing, dancing and carousing, and even when the Christians took over the feast, they also eventually went the way of enjoying this time of year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Classy Clodagh will need to know her ABCs when she takes mayoral chains

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Councillors will resume deliberations on the City Draft Development Plan in June. And if the recently-agreed County Development Plan is anything to go by, Mayor in Waiting (MIW) Clodagh Higgins will need to have her ABCs in order to deal with the baptism of fire awaiting her.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Galway City Councillors will resume deliberations on the Draft City Development Plan in June, which means two things: long meetings and an even longer list of abbreviations.

The former is a given when rezoning of land is at play; the latter is also likely if the City Plan mirrors the recently-agreed County Development Plan which contained an alphabet soup of shortened phrases.

From ABTA (Area Based Transport Assessment) to MASP (Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan), NWSMP (National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan) to GCTPS (Galway County Transport and Planning Study), and GCMA (Galway County Metropolitan Area) to UFP (Urban Framework Plan) to name but a few, County Councillors were bombarded with shorthand as they compiled a new Development Plan.

And that’s before you mention the myriad of organisations OPR (Office of Planning Regulator), OPW (Office of Public Works), NTA (National Transport Authority), TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) who were making submissions about MAs (Material Alterations), WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plants), LAPs (Local Area Plans), and LTP (Local Transport Plans) etcetera.

County Councillors needed qualifications in abbreviations and gobbledegook just to keep up with it all; many are now suffering a sort of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and the DTs (Delirium Tremens) or AWD (Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium) since they finalised the plan, but that’s all due to withdrawal from abbreviations rather than alcohol.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Munster teams burning up more watts than eastern counterparts

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Galway’s Jack Lonergan getting the better of Mayo’s Diarmuid Duffy during Friday's Connacht Minor Football Championship clash at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

THE hurling match of the year took place in Ennis on Sunday. With Cusack Park packed to capacity, Limerick and Clare tore into each other with a sustained intensity which we hadn’t yet seen in the championship. It was dog-eat-dog and there was no compromise from either side. It made for gripping viewing.

With Tony Kelly and Diarmuid Byrnes the respective Clare and Limerick heroes, the stalemate outcome means this derby round-robin tie will now be repeated in the Munster final. We think the Leinster championship is reasonably competitive, but it can’t hold a candle to what’s happening down south.

It’s not Leinster’s fault that there is such a discrepancy in standard between their six participants. Laois and Westmeath were no hopers to begin with, while Wexford’s form has fallen off a cliff. Despite their mauling by Kilkenny at Parnell Park on Saturday, Dublin are still likely to feature in the All-Ireland series.

In Munster, you don’t have that kind of latitude. All five combatants would have genuine aspirations of emerging from the province, but Waterford’s destiny is no longer in their own hands after their surprise weekend loss to Cork; while Tipperary need a miracle against the Rebels in Thurles on Sunday.

The net result is that the teams which eventually emerge from Munster will have expended a lot more energy compared to their counterparts in Leinster. In theory, that should suit the likes of Kilkenny and Galway down the road but, on the other hand, they won’t be as battle-hardened as potential rivals from the southern province.

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

Three snapshots to show the shifting sands of time

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Border poll...Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

Three snapshots of Ireland in the here and now -and none of them have to do with Covid-19. But each of them, in its own way, shows the shifting sands of politics and, indeed, of society.

1. The North

On Tuesday the UK foreign secretary Liz Truss announced she would be introducing new legislation which will radically re-engineer the Northern Protocol.

The Protocol is a bit of a tough nut to crack when it comes to explaining. It is essentially the rules that have been laid down to allow the North stay in the EU’s common market.

Goods originating from the North and being exported to the EU (and obviously the South is in the EU) do not have to have any checks. But goods coming over from Britain to Northern Ireland have had to be checked to comply with EU standards.

Of course, that added layers of bureaucracy especially for foods and medicines. And an effective border down the Irish Sea.

About 85 percent of the goods coming into the North from the UK stay in the North. But if they allowed all goods to come in without checking that would make the North a handy backdoor to bring sub-par goods and materials into the EU.

Politicians down here have said the North has the best of both worlds: access to the EU markets while being part of the UK. But it just has not worked out like that, whether that’s a psychological block or a real one, I’m not sure.

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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