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A Different View

Passing of broadcasting legend who brought joy to all who knew him

Dave O'Connell

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It’s hard to believe that Colm Murray is dead – because if ever a man epitomised what he himself would call the joie de vivre, it was the broadcaster from Moate who could light up a room with just a smile of those twinkling eyes.

It has been said since Tuesday that it was fitting Colm died during his beloved Galway Races – and it was – but the reality was that Colm loved any race meeting.

And if he was synonymous in the public eye for his colourful reports from Cheltenham, it was around Kilbeggan, a stone’s throw from his native Moate and on the course where he once announced the prize winners, where he felt most at home.

His Galway connections weren’t just about the races, because he was a very proud graduate of UCG and was honoured when the College presented him with Alumni Award for his services to sport in 2011.

By then he was already in a wheelchair and that was hard for him to take. But he spoke – with growing difficulty – with everyone who came to congratulate him on his award. And because his generosity and good humour easily outweighed his obvious pain, that meant he spoke with almost everyone in the massive Bailey Allen Hall.

Less than a year earlier – indeed exactly four years earlier, to the day of his death – that Colm last held court at the Galway Races, seated in the whole of his health in the lobby of Park House Hotel like a magnet to all who wanted to just bask in his humour and tall tales.

Who was to know that within a year he would have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease – a cruel illness for anyone to bear but impossible for a man who radiated energy and inquisitiveness, a man who woke up in the morning ready to embrace the day and enjoy what highs it gave him.

We were privileged to sit with him that night because it’s a memory of a man in the prime of his life, greeting old friends like the Shark Hanlon or even the former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern with the same engagement as he did with the dozens of ordinary punters who sidled up to him for a tip.

The former Galway football and three-in-a-row star Brian Geraghty was also in the company that night, and it was as close as the rest of us will be to a Wimbledon final to see two of the country’s finest storytellers batting tales back and over the coffee table into the wee small hours.

For more of Dave O’Connell’s tribute to Colm Murray see this week’s Tribune

Connacht Tribune

Home is still full of memories even when it’s an empty nest

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

We’ve all heard the phrase – and perhaps dread the concept; the empty nest, after the fledglings take flight and you’re left rattling around in a quiet house with just memories of those days of pandemonium and noise.

The social policy-makers would tell you that this is the time to downsize; save yourself the steps of the stairs and the cleaning, and cut down on the heating bills to enjoy your autumn days in accommodation more appropriate to your reduced needs.

And from a purely economic perspective, there’s merit in that. You have a house that’s now too big for you, and others can’t find a home of any size, let alone one sufficient for a full family – but that’s only one side of the argument.

The other is that your house is your home, and not because of its size – it’s because of its location, and your familiarity with its every nook and cranny. It’s also where those fly-away chicks still see as home, even if they’re now no more than occasional visitors.

As you grow older, familiarity is more important than ever; without the beautiful distraction of children, you grow even more dependent on neighbours and your community and the facilities you know on your old doorstep.

You know how long it takes to get to the shops or to the pub; you know you to give a spare key to in case you’re out when a delivery is due – or later on, if there’s a fear you might have a fall.

Your lifetime’s treasures – except for the children – are in your home; the sort of stuff others might see as clutter, but to you they are memories of holidays or graduations or births or marriages…those glory days that marked the chapters of your family life.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Authors’ pot luck – or insight into predicting a terrible future

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s eerie how some people can appear to have an ability to see into the future; forecasting an event or a phenomenon, years – sometimes even centuries – before it comes to pass.

Much was made this year of a number of books and movies that anticipated what we now know as the Coronavirus pandemic; predictions that even led to renewed interest in publications like Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year that goes back to 1722.

Edgar Allan Poe described a fictional epidemic at the centre of his short story, the Masque of the Red Death.

“No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains and sudden dizziness and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.”

More recently, Albert Camus’ the Plague explored the human toll of epidemics back in 1947 – and of course, the end of the world has been the subject of more movies than almost anything else.

But that’s not really suggesting they have some incredible insight into the future; Dystopian plots or backdrops are almost standard fare, and the spread of some toxin or virus is the easiest vehicle for writer’s to plot.

That doesn’t mean the reader or viewer isn’t stopped in their tracks when they come across a piece or a film that appears to have predicted the future.

One such slim volume that fulfils that brief is really just a long essay, entitled Here is New York.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

A press release written in the indelible ink of father’s pride

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Somewhere in the world there might be a small forest felled every month to provide the paper for press releases that announce a new company or product line or some sales promotion.

They normally come from a public relations company that paints this as positively earth-shattering – and indeed any good news is as welcome as the first snowdrop of spring – but even reporters living in Pollyanna can grow tired of the superlatives delivered in gushing prose day after day.

And then, once in a while, something entirely different comes to pass – such as a letter that arrived into our office last week.

Two ambitious and courageous women have started a new business making candles since the start of the pandemic, and they are doing their best to gain some traction on traditional and social media. So far, so normal.

But the letter came from the father of one of the two women; neatly handwritten, perfectly constructed – and with the pride of a parent flowing off the page.

The business isn’t even in the Tribune’s circulation area, but that wasn’t an impediment to Paddy Keane from Ennis, who has made it one of his objectives for Covid to write two letters every second day to try and garner a bit of publicity for his daughter, Chantell, and her friend Danielle Kenneally.

He also reveals that he’s doing this despite being in the high risk category for Covid 19 – because he suffers from multiple health issues.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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