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A Different View

Referendum proves it is time for next generation to lead

Dave O'Connell

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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

Don’t turn up your nose at those smells making Covid comeback

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There are few things in life that epitomise the joy of anticipation better than opening a brand-new book; the smell of the crisp pages, beautifully bound to reveal its story in your hands and your imagination.

Equally, when you think of a summer’s day, it’s the smell of fresh cut grass that most often springs to mind; the mere thought of it is enough to bring a smile to your face through your mind’s eye.

The association between summer and fresh cut grass is so strong that one band, the Hot House Flowers, built an entire career around it, releasing the same song over and over again.

There are other smells of nature that heighten the senses in summer of course – newly mown hay for a start – and at other times, you know you’re in farming country when the smell of freshly-spread silage wafts in through the car window.

Our eyes may be the most critical of our senses in that, without them, life is a whole lot more difficult to lead – but smell is the sense that can lift you to a higher place.

Think of the aroma that escapes from a bakery or a cake shop; it can have you salivating when you’re not even hungry.

And we all know why so many coffee shops have extractor units that diffuse the smell of roasting coffee beans out onto the street; the Pied Piper of Hamlin wouldn’t work any better in getting you to literally follow your nose.

There’s also the other side of smells – and it’s not just silage.

If you want to quit drinking, for example – or more precisely, to give up drinking nights out – just set yourself a mission of dropping into a pub first thing in the morning, before it’s spic and span and ready to open its doors to the public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Steering clear of mirrors to deny the ageing process

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Only occasionally do you realise you’re actually getting older, because – unless you’re supremely vain – for the most part you’re looking out from yourself, not at yourself.

And then you walk past a mirror or a glass doorway and you think you’re being followed by a balder, fatter, older man – until the penny drops that you’re looking at yourself.

There’s another way to track the years as they fly by; just look at the writing on birthday cards, or more precisely the ones from your kids or young relations.

They start off with a stick man and graduate to a spidery scrawl before there’s a first stab at joined-up writing, evolving eventually to perfectly-formed adult sentences.

And yet you still think you’re not getting older.

I have nieces and nephews who send little video greetings for birthdays and Christmas – and that provides an ever starker reflection of the reality.

Again you go from shy little ones barely, mumbling a happy birthday, to teens with broken voices booming out a message to the big man!

As your age approaches your IQ, you often struggle to remember exactly how old you actually are – and the fall-back for many is to use their kids as a counter.

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.

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Connacht Tribune

Oh so lonely this Christmas without loved ones to hold

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Back when we knew no better and friends were sad because one of their chicks was flying the coop, we consoled them with the notion that Berlin or Boston or London or Lisbon was just a flight away and you’d still get to spend real quality time together, albeit in truncated spells and only every so often.

We pointed out that you could travel from Dublin to Central London or the Champs-Élysées in less time than it took to get to Clifden.

We held up our phones and our tablets to show the glory of Skype or FaceTime that allowed you to virtually visit their new home and wave electronically at the grandkids.

Nobody claimed it was the same as seeing them stumble down the stairs every morning with their big bed-heads on them or casually heading out for a surreptitious pint of a wet Wednesday in winter.

Everyone knew that the incidental, accidental chats over telly or tea were gone, and that time zones might mean you’d have to prearrange a call time.

But the consolation of sorts was that, in case of emergency, they could get on a flight and be home in a few hours.

Only now we know that’s not true – and that’s why the full impact of this coronavirus has now fully hit home.

That may seem strange, given that so many have died from COVID-19, and a multiple of that number have been sick.

But life is only worth it when you can live it – and spending time together as a family is the very essence of that.

Parents had long reconciled themselves to the fact that there wouldn’t be too many transatlantic returns this Christmas – and those whose fledglings have made their homes in New Zealand or Australia were already used to that reality.

But London and the UK have been just another short commute for so many, as our best followed the bright lights, making the big bucks in technology across the water and thinking nothing of flying home for the weekend if they wanted to.

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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