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Legalising drugs the solution to all our problems !

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Date Published: {J}

The economy has four burning engines and is spiralling towards the ocean. The passengers – that’s us, folks – scream and pray, the grim-faced crew wrestle with the controls. Now is the time for determined action.

So they have a cabinet reshuffle – one in which no one actually loses their job. A couple were even promoted! The radical strategy for saving the country from disaster it seems is to take the team who got us into the disaster and play musical chairs with them. I won’t call it rearranging the seating plan on the Titanic that would dishonour the memory of many brave maritime event organisers. If this shower tried that they’d get tangled in the f*****g deckchairs.

Meanwhile the solution is staring us in the face. What have been the two biggest problems of the last week? Head shops and public servants. Right now, the quickest way to get an Irish passport is to join Mossad. In a move apparently calculated to make the nation gather them into its arms – and choke them – the CPSU are making the public miss holidays, family events and business appointments abroad. People have put up with a lot before, but that was on the understanding that if the worst came to the worst they could at least get out of the damn country. And it’s not just passports – this same union also plays a part in administering the new, reduced rates of social welfare. I notice they didn’t take action over that pay cut.

I’m not suggesting we get rid of them – just make them do some proper work. We’re going to need a lot of trained labour because of this head shop thing. What the hell are we thinking, talking about closing them down? We should nationalise them.

Look how much money is in the illegal drug industry. Every few months the Guards net a haul that’s worth half a billion or something. It is vast! And yet here are the head shops offering a legal, cheaper alternative. Nobody wants them shut down more than the criminal gangs of course, and you can be sure that they are behind at least some of these ‘community-based’ attacks. If we close the shops, the money being spent there will go straight back to the illegal drugs network – who of course will be selling stuff that’s even more dangerous and uncontrolled.

What we should be doing is selling these things ourselves – taking all the tax and all the profit. The State already makes a literal killing on alcohol and tobacco, why not on the drugs that younger people like? And in regulating it we can use the same sort of forthright labelling we use on cigarettes. Only more so. ‘This product may damage your hopes’; ‘Smoking this will cause you to talk tedious bollocks’; ‘Not recommended for women intending to become pregnant’, ‘Not recommended for women not intending to become pregnant’; ‘This will pretty much kill you where you stand’ and so on. Then if people mess themselves up they really have no one but themselves to blame. The country gets a huge amount of new money, and the drug gangs go out of business.

There, our problems solved at a stroke. Why am I not Taoiseach yet?

 

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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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

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Archive News

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

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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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