Date Published: 03-Jul-2012
Whether it is to prove that she is a flexible presenter or an opportunity to showcase her substantial cleavage, it looks like we are stuck with Miriam O’Callaghan on Saturday nights for the next couple of months. Knowing our luck, it will probably continue raining for the duration.
But it could be worse. At least we don’t have to endure the worst Late Late Show presenter – yes, Tubridy is steadily proving to be much worse than Pat Kenny ever was – and it is no harm that he is far removed from our screens for an extended period. It is a pity that it couldn’t become a permanent arrangement but we live in hope.
Anyway, Miriam returned to our screens for another season of her comfy couch interviews but it was very unfortunate that her first guest was another RTE presenter. Everyone in RTE seems infatuated with each other because they just seem to interview one another at every available opportunity.
It’s almost as if they are stuck for a guest and then they go searching the offices in Montrose to see who they stumble across, put them in a suit and bring them on as their first guest to talk about nothing in particular.
This was true of Bill O’Herlihy who was her first guest and apart from telling us about millions having watched the Euro 2012 soccer, he had little more to offer. If the truth be told, a large number of viewers watched the coverage for the Après Match sketches, some of which were quite funny although there were those that were less than imaginative.
So she knocked in nearly a quarter of an hour talking to Bill who articulated the qualities of being from Cork and apart from that there was not a lot happening with this early section of the programme. Oh yeah, Bill told us about him being involved in current affairs at one point and then being dropped from it. Edge of the seat stuff.
Then she brought on Sonya O’Sullivan and Caitriona McKiernan to talk about Ireland’s chances of winning an athletics medal at this month’s Olympics. They spoke about their own careers, the fact that they had rarely crossed paths and then mentioned a couple of names that had the potential of doing well. Like in the previous interview, they had very little of interest to say. A TV reviewer’s lot is often not a happy one.
Next up was Leo Sayer, who was one of the most monotonous singers of the 1970s, who was only on the show because he was trying to promote a concert he was having in Dublin. He sang one of those forgettable songs that he is famous for and then it was on to the final guest of the night, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein.
In fairness to Miriam, she went on the attack every so often – something that Tubridy would never even contemplate because he would be just thankful to have a guest – and McGuinness fought back in typical Sinn Fein fashion by blaming everyone else but themselves. It had that predictable vein to it.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
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.