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A Different View

Referendum proves it is time for next generation to lead

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The Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Donal Lyons launching Galway Hospice Sunflower Day, which takes place on Friday, June 5. He is joined by (from left) Neil McKinnon, Fiona McKinnon of Galway Hospice Ronan McKinnon, Michael Craig of Galway Hospice and Derri McKinnon. The Hospice is looking for volunteers to help sell Sunflowers on the day across the city and county. If you are interested in helping please contact the Hospice fundraising department on 091-770868 or e-mail fundraising@galwayhospice.ie

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Despite popular – and populist – conception, it wasn’t just the youth vote that delivered the Yes verdict in the Marriage Equality Referendum…but it definitely unleashed a new generation of engaged citizen.

And it is crucial now that this new voter – the young voter, the ones who only made it onto the supplementary register this time – does not walk away because one job is done.

Of course this wasn’t about politics – it was a social issue, a human rights campaign, a moral call – but it still took a decision of the electorate to make it happen.

And that was also down to the intervention of many people who were brave enough to go public with their heartbreakingly human stories, exposing their inner most selves for the greater good – so that no one else would have to endure the pain of their secret lives.

People were sufficiently animated to fly from the other side of the globe to cast their vote; tens of thousands of them registered in the run-up to last week’s vote – because they wanted to make a change.

They have seen now what a groundswell can do – and they must bring that same enthusiasm and determination into mainstream politics.

Even those too young to vote this time were engaged and animated by the chance of real change; they didn’t even see a real reason for debate – they just wanted to right what they saw as a terrible wrong.

So they did what you have to do – they got out there and campaigned and debated and spoke and gathered as a force to make that change happen.

And it did – not just because of them but perhaps led by them, with more than a million others following in their wake.

The fear is that they may have seen this as a one-off and that mainstream politics holds no attraction because it’s full of people like their parents, living in a world where the wheel turns slowly if it turns at all.

But it turns all the quicker if people with new energy and enthusiasm are involved in the process.

This isn’t the same old cliché about the next generation being our future – although clearly they are.

It is about the desire across all generations for a different type of politics, one that is driven by issues, and a desire for real change – not the perennial choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee with Totally Bonkers as the only alternative.

There are many fine politicians within the bowels of Leinster House, many men and women who are in it only for the greater good, driven by the desire to make a change, to create a better Ireland.

But there are even more who are in it to better nobody other than themselves – and given that we return them time after time to Leinster House, it must be assumed we’re somehow satisfied with that.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Fall in home ownership leaves renters with uncertain future

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Life used to be simple, if predictable; you went to school, got a job – or first did a degree to get a job – bought a house, had a family, paid off the mortgage over 20 years, and accumulated a small nest egg to allow for a fairly comfortable retirement.

Now you’re likely to be paying off your mortgage into those golden years – and that’s if you’re one of the lucky ones. Because you might also be one those who never quite managed to buy, still paying exorbitant rent on a fraction of your former income.

And yet when you read about the rental crisis, it’s just about the here and now – when the real nuclear explosion won’t blow until Generation Rent become pensioners.

But they manage it in other countries, you say – and they do. Because they have rents that are fixed for a lifetime (in some cases even beyond that, so that a family can stay in their home for another generation) and they can’t be evicted just because there’s more to be made as an Airbnb.

Simple economics show that, if your rent is a couple of grand a month and your pension is a fifth or a quarter of your former salary, you won’t be able to keep up the monthly payments.

And then what happens?

Will pensioner tenants be turfed out, forced to live on the streets – or to huddle down in the spare room of their children’s rented accommodation?

If people buy homes now – if they can afford to – it’s already likely to be ten or more years later than their parents did.

And given the more transitory nature of employment these days, they may also move home more than once – unlike the vast majority of their parents, who bought their home after they got married and stayed there for the rest of their lives.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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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

Things we used to do – and habits we never had before

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

One of the realities of getting older is that there are things we used to be able to do that we can’t do now – and things we do now that we never used to do before.

We used to know phone numbers by heart; we used to be able to do basic addition, subtraction, division and multiplication in our heads; we used to tell the time by looking at the big hand and the little hand on a clock.

And if we had a watch it told us the time or if it was very posh, it also told us the date – although very often only if you remembered to push it forward when the month didn’t have 31 days in it.

Now your watch will tell you how many steps you’ve taken in the last 24 hours, what your heart rate is and if there are any emails in your in-box.

We had records or CDs or cassette tapes to store our favourite music; sometimes we still do, but the notion that we could have every song ever recorded on a telephone that wasn’t even plugged into the wall would have been too much to even contemplate.

We went to call boxes to ring home, if we could find one with a phone that wasn’t pulled off its axis – and we kept a supply of two-pence pieces because you needed a pair of them to make the call.

We used to be able to play on a quieter road, even if we had to stop the game and move aside for the occasional car; we used to write letters and wait a week for a reply.

Lego came in a big packet with just a random collection of different sized plastic bricks – and from that you made a house or a car.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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

Flying to the moon – because billionaires go the extra mile

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There was a story told of a rich Irish businessman who found a way to demonstrate the size of his wealth – and it may be apocryphal, and therefore defamatory, so we won’t mention the billionaire by name.

Suffice to say that said billionaire was generous to a fault when it came to entertaining his friends, always treating them to the finest of food and the best wine – only he restricted his guess to the second-best bottles of wine.

Because he, and he alone, had the dearest one. And he would encourage the wine waiter to make no secret of that fact.

So even if the rest of the table were enjoying a €5,000 bottle of something from before World War II, our friend would top that with one of the ones fashioned out of water by Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana.

It was just to demonstrate that, even in the world of the mega-rich, there was still a line between the haves and those who have even more of it.

Two other wealthy Irishmen, Tony O’Reilly and Denis O’Brien – neither of whom was involved in the wine story – once met to try and sort out their differences over Independent Newspapers.

But according to Matt Cooper’s brilliant biography of O’Reilly, it didn’t get off to the best of starts – because Denis accused Tony of deliberately offering him a chair that was lower down than his host’s . . . therefore putting him at a disadvantage from the get-go.

In the end, chairs of equal height were found so that these titans of industry could look each other in the eye.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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