Date Published: 23-May-2011
It’s been quite a week for Ireland on many fronts – not least, in the context of a television column, for RTÉ. Because the national broadcaster didn’t just capture the mood of the nation – it also proved that it can still set the agenda when it is suitably motivated.
Because its marathon coverage of the Royal visit brou-ght the full impact of a historical week into our living rooms – and in complete contrast the latest series of Primetime Investigates proved that good investigative journalism is still worth the investment.
Reflecting the mood of the nation, of course, was RTE’s role when it came to the Royal visit, and while primary credit for the success of those four days clearly goes to the Queen and President McAleese, RTE was the eyes and ears of millions who would otherwise have seen nothing of this historic event.
From her arrival at Baldonnel to the hugely symbolic visit to the Garden of Remembrance, Cashel to Dublin Castle, and the unscheduled walkabout on Cork’s Grand Parade, this was an extraordinary week in our history – and television gave all of us the box seat.
The coverage matched the national mood – like our President, it was gracious but not grovelling. And while the over-the-top security arrangements prevented the possibility of crowds flocking onto the streets, the television audience didn’t miss a minute of the packed programme.
You’d have got long odds on this visit triggering the emotional response it achieved, but then these are changed times – and a nation not renowned for its love for any monarchy seemed to take this sprightly 85 year old grandmother to their hearts.
The Queen herself seemed to understand the mood from the off – that gracious bow to the memory of those who died for Irish freedom, the ‘cupla focal’ at the state dinner, the ease with which she interacted with those members of the public privileged to meet her.
Those who suggested that a Royal visit was inappropriate given the dark days that are still a long way from a distant memory had their fears allayed from the outset; there was no sign of an inferiority complex or any glimpse of subservience.
Instead it showed that, as a country, we had come of age – that we were now mature enough to extend the hand of friendship to our nearest neighbours and show that, even in these straitened times, we can still put our best foot forward.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.