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Knockout win for the dollar over brain cells

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Gory stuff: Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz trade blows in Las Vegas during their recent fight.

Country Living with Francuis Farragher

Even close to my own hearth, I seem to be a minority on this one. The Conor McGregor ‘thing’ doesn’t really do it for me and I really couldn’t give a tupenny damn whether he holds on to a world title or loses it through being choked or knocked unconscious.

There’s a barbarity about MMA, mixed martial arts, that I believe takes us back to a more primal time when humans had to battle at the cave door to prevent their berries from being pillaged, but well into the 21st century, to describe this is as a sport is to my innocent mind, a huge paradox.

I don’t begrudge Conor McGregor one cent that he makes from slugging it out in the cage with all warriors of similar disposition. He’s a huge name now, known right across the world, and he does have a bit of the Muhammad Ali bravado and personality about him that the public and the television channels love.

There are those who will probably accuse me of being squeamish on this one, and that’s fair enough too, but as one who had his fair share of battles going through secondary school, the coming together of bare knuckle and jaw was no stranger to me.

Maybe at times, professional boxing does come close to crossing the line between sport and violence but at least it’s a very controlled environment with gloved hands, no kicks, elbows or chokes and normally a referee who will call to a halt to a contest where one of the combatants is not in a position to defend himself.

Amateur boxing also provides a very disciplined structure and gives an outlet for thousands of youngsters across the country to get fit and to look after their bodies through the intake of healthy food and exercise. The three round limitation is also a solid enough safeguard.

Back the years as a child, I remember hearing on a crackly radio of how Jim McCourt won a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics and caught glimpses of him in black and white television. McCourt was a lightweight and a real stylist who relied on a classy jab and slick counter punch to add on the points.

24 years ago, Michael Carruth, won an Olympic Gold in Barcelona and four years ago in London, Katie Taylor repeated that achievement. A tough sport, yes, but one where the skill element and the art of making your opponent miss, forms a key part of the strategy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Stay young by making sure you don’t let the old man in!

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Clint Eastwood is 91 years old, and he’s been acting since 1955. He’s been directing for half a century since Play Misty for Me – and he released his latest movie in the latter half of last year.

If you’ve seen Cry Macho, you can also see he’s slowed down – although he still throws a punch and rides a horse better than a man three or four decades younger.

But it’s his philosophy regarding old age that is even more inspiring than his stellar career.

A couple of years back, he was asked how he planned to celebrate his 88th birthday.

“I am going to start a new movie,” he replied.

“What keeps you going?” he was asked.

“I get up every day and don’t let the old man in.”

And therein lies the secret – Clint doesn’t know or acknowledge that he’s 88 or 91 or any age other than the one he clings to in his head.

He may well be the oldest man to both star and direct a major motion picture – but the former Mayor of Carmel has no time for retrospection because there’s more work to be done.

Not everyone can be so philosophical of course because physical and mental health can bring the most optimistic of us to our knees.

But if you think young, you might just pull it off.

I’ve an aunt and uncle who deliver the Meals on Wheels around their part of South County Dublin, volunteering a day or two a week to bring hot food to old people who cannot easily get out of their own home.

Both my aunt and uncle are comfortably into their eighties; it’s just that they don’t think like that.

Of course they minded themselves during Covid, but as far as the Meals on Wheels logistics went, this must meant leaving the meals on the porch and ringing the doorbell before moving back a safe distance so as not to compromise the recipient.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Shefflin gets a big reality check as Galway collapse against the Dubs

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Clarinbridge U20 players Cian Moore, Eoin Ryan, Oisin Shannon, Gavin Lee and Christy Brennan show their delight after defeating Castlegar in the County A Final at Duggan Park on Sunday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

THE most troubling aspect of the turkey shoot at Parnell Park on Sunday was that Dublin could have won by 25 points or more. Goodness knows, it was bad enough as it was with the Tribesmen being trounced on a 3-29 to 0-19 scoreline.

In retrospect, the warning signs were there in Ballinasloe the previous weekend when Galway took a long time to put Offaly away. The Midlanders may be improving, but they are coming from a very low base and haven’t even participated in the Leinster championship since 2018.

Galway were a shambles against Dublin despite fielding a slightly stronger line-out on paper. Darren Morrissey, Evan Niland and Niall Burke were back, while the inclusion of the Mannion brothers, Padraic and Cathal, beefed up their bench.

Yes, we know Dublin fielded a much stronger team; are difficult to beat at Parnell Park; and have overcome Galway in their last two championship meetings, but still the gulf in standard between the teams was startling. The Dubs were in a different league.

Henry Shefflin is not used to days like this and the difficulty for him is that his arrival in Galway has sparked an expectation that big things lie ahead of the Tribesmen in 2022. But regardless of the man in charge, supporters are ignoring the reality of the team’s fortunes over the past two years. One win in their last five championship matches tells its own story.

Galway do have some players to come back and it’s too early in the year to go all negative about their prospects, but what we saw in Parnell Park was alarming. Some of the players they are trying out are not up to it and while the Galway management need to unearth new talent, they must be more selective in this regard.

Six players who featured in last summer’s championship exit to Waterford were involved at one stage or another last Sunday: Morrissey, Niland, Burke, Gearoid McInerney, and the Mannions. Two more have retired since – Joe Canning and Aidan Harte – and another two, Shane Cooney (knee) and Jason Flynn (hamstring), are set to miss the championship.

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

It’s those little things that always get you in the end

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Champagne time...the Department of Foreign Affairs tweet.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

Albert Reynolds’ greatest legacy to the language of politics was his philosophical reflection on the sudden end to his time as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil.

“It’s the little things that trip you up,” he ruefully admitted – and he made a fair point.

He was the Taoiseach who delivered the Downing Street Declaration and the IRA’s first ceasefire in August 1994. Yet he fell on his sword because of a row that was so obscure that few people now remember it, and fewer people remember what it was.

It was the Duggan case, which was about a sexual abuser whose extradition might, or might not, have been handled with appropriate speed.

When they looked into the case afterwards – properly – there wasn’t all that much to it.

But the problem for Reynolds was a political one. The controversy erupted on the back of another case, that of the notorious paedophile priest, Brendan Smyth who had fled from Belfast to an abbey in Co Cavan in 1991, after the RUC tried to arrest him on charges of attempting to abuse four children in one family.

For three years, he had refuge in the Abbey while Irish authorities procrastinated on his extradition.

When the scandal over the delayed extradition erupted, Albert Reynolds and his then attorney general Harry Whelehan were caught in the crosshairs.

He managed to survive the political storm that ensued – just about.

So when news of another case – the Duggan case – was broken, Albert was a gonner. That despite the fact the Duggan case did not prove to be the sum of its parts at the end.

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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