Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Onset of age ensures thereÕs no escaping the bald facts



Date Published: {J}

With trees, you tell their age by the rings on the bark – with men, it’s the proportion of time at the barber’s, divided between cutting the hair on your head, and trimming the hairs expanding like a wild bush up your nose, in your ears and on your eyebrows.

Unless you’re a proponent of the Bobby Charlton comb over, you can reconcile yourself to the reality that eventually the haircut will take one-third of the time and the ears, nose and eyebrows will be the highlight of your visit.

One of the things they should ban in barber’s is the rear view mirror; it doesn’t matter how the cut has turned out at the back because you get such a fright when you see the ever expanding bald patch that you think you’re looking at a picture of some old guy’s head.

And by the time you realise it’s your own head, the mirror is either back on its hook – in which case you’ve no idea how your head looks to those walking behind you – or you’re so traumatised by the moon surface that has replaced the thatch.

All of this evolving process towards baldness has more downsides than vanity; and the biggest one concerns suncream. You’ve a choice between wearing a baseball cap or smothering the back of your head in cream which makes it look like a seagull has deposited its entire lunch on top of you.

Of course there’s the odd deluded bald man whose brain has vanished even faster than his hair – I saw such a guy during the recent hot spell in Salthill, wearing a visor to keep the sun out of his eyes, utterly oblivious to the burning he was getting on top.

Thankfully in recent times, not alone has any stigma about baldness vanished, but it’s actually quite macho to have no hair – think of Keith Wood, the Mitchell brothers in Eastenders, Bruce Willis…Homer Simpson.

All of this was brought into focus by the recent appearance of the Human League at the Galway Arts Festival and for those who remember Phil Oakey and his outfit from the eighties, their current image was quite a shock.

Back in the day, Phil had the strangest haircut on the planet; short on one side, long and hanging over his face on the other as if the hairdresser had fled the shop because of a sudden fire in the middle of the operation.

These days Phil has no such issues with barbers because he’s as bald as the proverbial coot – and it suits him. Plus he can see his audience out of both eyes these days which has to be a bonus.

The biggest mistake that men make is to cover up their losses – the comb over looks ridiculous on any day but when the wind it out, it looks like its owner is being attacked by a hairy octopus.

Lashing it down to the bonce with Brycream is another no no – you should only grease up that much if you’re planning to swim the Irish Sea – and you’ll destroy every shirt and suit you own with the gel free flowing down your shoulders.

You could wear a cap, like Jackie Healy Rea and all of his sons – which shows the ultimate loyalty to a father given that most of them have all their hair still – but that means you look silly indoors when you cannot take it off, either because you don’t want to or you can’t because it’s super-glued to your head.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



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

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading

Archive News

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads