Date Published: 16-Jul-2012
Can people in their 70s continue to hold down jobs in the workplace? That was the question that was asked by a new two part series on BBC1 and it delivered a mixed response from those who participated in a somewhat revealing exercise.
The programme follows on from a controversial move by the British Government to raise the state pension age and it basically took people in their seventies and threw them into the workplace long after they retired. Some adapted well but there were others who simply couldn’t hack it.
The documentary, entitled The Town That Never Retired, was trying to show what it would be like for people in the seventies to be still holding down a day job but it was slightly unrealistic in that it used people that had retired from their previous professions for up to 10 years and put them back in new jobs.
It wasn’t as if any of the participants had continued working through their mid-sixties as is planned by the British Government – and no doubt Enda Kenny and his gang will be thinking of something similar – but rather they were snatched out of retirement and put into a new working environment.
A retired nurse was put back into a medical centre; a plasterer, electrician and plumber were brought to a building site; a retired secretary was put working as a waitress while two retired folk were sent to an estate agents in the hope that their mature charm would help sell houses.
There was an hilarious moment when the nurse was doing a practice run on one of the staff before being actually let loose on an actual patient. She asked the staff member if she drank much and the reply was that she drank a bottle and a half of red wine a week.
In response the retired nurse advised her that red wine was good for her and that she should limit herself to a couple of glasses each night and could possibly allow a few more at weekends. A young supervisor advised the retired nurse that such advice was not really recommended in this day and age and it was not long before her services were dispensed with.
However, some of the retired tradesmen showed that they were well up to the job although some did admit that they were not ready for 8am starts and working 10 hour days at this stage of their lives. But two of them were kept on the particular contract that they were accommodated as part of the experiment.
The 75 year old woman who was sent to work as a waitress got on extremely well and was seen working serving tables at 11pm when she admitted that she would normally be in bed two hours earlier. She enjoyed herself and would like the opportunity to continue working.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
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.