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

A Different View

Plastic Paddies are authentic Irishman – and they have a cert to prove it

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

So Tom Cruise is officially an Oirishman – begorrah and bejaysus but don’t that just bate Banagher; we can finally lay claim to a real Irish Hollywood leprechaun in our midst.

That’s Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, to give him his real name – one of the Mapothers who presumably played minor hurling for Mooncoin – the revelation of whose roots couldn’t have come at a better time just as he jetted into town to promote his latest movie and regain his tattered reputation last week.

Better still, he’s not just any old Irishman, because his forefathers came here with Strongbow. That’s the Anglo-Norman Strongbow, as opposed to a man who delivers cider to pubs.

This broadening definition of Irishness has served us well in the past of course; Albert Reynolds used to make Irishmen out of any Arab who had a million to invest here – but we’ve moved in since that, because now you just have to be famous, say ‘top o’ the mornin’ to ya’ and take a sip off the head of a pint of stout.

How ironic it is that soon we’ll be overrun with newly unearthed Irish descendents from all corners of the world, while actual Irishmen and women have to emigrate because there’s nothing left for them in the land where they were actually born.

Already, we can lay claim to more American Presidents than they’ve produced themselves – JFK had direct lineage, but now Barack Obama is Irish and both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan found fifth or sixth cousins in land of the little potato and deepest darkest Cavan respectively.

We didn’t even worry about it when it turned out that Bill isn’t even a Clinton.

In retrospect, it’s our own fault for droning on and on about the Diaspora, and this conceited notion that there are really only two kinds of people in the world – those who are Irish and those who wish they were Irish.

What we don’t seem to realise is that the rest of the world thinks that Irish people all look like Darby O’Gill and they keep little people at the bottom of their garden. Ask a foreigner what they know about us, and they’; tell you we drink Guinness and spawned Bono, which isn’t a lot to be smug about.

They no more see Barack Obama as Irish than they believe the moon as made of cheese; it’s just a bit of craic that works well for politicians in an election year and gives a leg-up to some other small Irish village which can then open a museum with scraps of paper that were once touched by a famous man.

And it’s not just the Yanks we’re fooling with this ruse – FIFA fell for it too when we claimed Tony Cascarino as one of ours because he’d once owned an Irish wolfhound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Grandparents are the glue that became unstuck during Covid

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

IT goes without saying that lockdown has been hard for everyone – with the possible exception of hermits – but few have felt it more than grandparents, confined to barracks and deprived of those hugs from the grandchildren.

Looking at them through windows may only have made it worse, because little kids don’t understand why nana and granddad won’t come out; they don’t realise they want to, more than anything in the whole world.

This pandemic has given us plenty of time to reflect; a chance to remember what is truly important and what we should cherish instead of taking for granted.

And arguably, grandparents should be on top of that list.

You’ll have heard it said that being a grandparent is like you’ve been given a second chance; an opportunity to spend time in retirement with the next generation that work deprived you of when it came to your own.

There’s also a notion espoused by some of those grandparents that you love them more than your own kids, because this time, when you’re finished playing with them, you can give them back.

I never knew any of my four grandparents, because they were all dead before I was born. My own sons never knew my parents because they too had long departed before the next generation arrived.

But thankfully they did grow up with two grandparents as an integral part of their lives – and not just minding them, which they did with a commitment for which we will be ever grateful.

The measure of success in this department is that your children see your parents as just a part of the family; there’s an easy familiarity every time they meet, just like picking up the pieces without a second thought.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

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

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

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.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

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

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

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.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending