Date Published: 28-Apr-2011
The great joys of Easter were many in my day – but the ultimate delight, of course, was Easter morning when you finally cracked open that chocolate egg and took part in the absolute gorge which was on among kids all over the country.
I think that in those days more than 50 years ago there was more of a sense of the solemnity of the Lenten and Easter seasons . . . certainly the various observances were taken a lot more seriously, the fasts and abstinences were rigidly enforced.
As a result, perhaps we arrived at Easter morning with a greater sense of the impending occasion, our very intake of bread, meat, even the contents of what might make up a soup or a gravy, having been interpreted by a much more rigid church . . . which maybe might have been better employed had it been a little less into the externals of observance.
Perhaps it was because they were more innocent times, but there was a genuine feeling of being bereft and almost alone on a Good Friday, with the purple hangings on the sacred pictures and statues in the church, the altar utterly bare, the tabernacle gaping wide open, giving a sense of deprivation.
As youngsters, we crept into the church on the Good Friday with a feeling of awe for the interminable prayers and chanting in Latin. The churches were packed with the faithful, the air of something momentous being commemorated was inescapable. It all seems so far removed from the somewhat matter-of-fact air which seems to pervade today even on solemn occasions like the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
It was hardly surprising then that the air of celebration was so palpable on the evening of Easter Saturday when the churches were again packed to capacity for the ‘Easter Ceremonies’. For hours beforehand, my father would be busily engaged in a shaving ritual that took half an hour, getting his clean collar out, busily searching about for the various collar studs, knotting the best tie, polishing the shoes and generally fussing about to see that we were all spick-and-span for the occasion.
We lived no distance from the church, and they sounded a bell to tell the faithful that the ceremonies were 25 minutes away from starting, and then another to announce that we had just 5 minutes. Nothing would do my fussy father but to announce that the ‘25-to’ bell was in fact the ‘5-to’ and that we’d all be late.
The luminous Westclox on the mantelpiece, which controlled all our lives, might well be telling the real time, but his answer to that was ‘that clock is slow’. The only way to find peace was make a dash for the door with him behind us, scattering Holy Water from the font inside the door with all the gusto of a Holy Saturday celebrant before the choir and organ eventually broke out into a Gloria in Excelsis Deo that shook a town.
No one ever came in, or out, our front door without a drenching of Holy Water. And at night you might be warm and well tucked-up in bed, but when he was passing the bed, there was another cold splash of water from the font over the mantle in the bedroom.
Despite the shock of the cold splash, I found it comforting betimes . . . especially if I had been to the local flea pit, seen the latest Dracula film and knew that one thing that definitely kept vampires away was Holy Water.
All that feeling of being in some way spiritually connected became more mundane with the gorge of eggs on Easter Sunday morning. They were an extraordinary luxury at a time when very few families had any money to spend . . . that was in the days when, if you wanted something, you saved for it and then the family got it. All families budgeted every week to get by.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.