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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Remembering the days of the shelves of Penguins

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Date Published: 07-Apr-2011

Interesting to hear on one of the RTÉ radio book programmes lately that Penguin are bringing out editions of some of the most popular works of today . . . which brings me back to the dim distant days when I was in digs, or a flat.

In those times, just about everyone seemed to have the Penguin edition of books like Orwell’s 1984, Keep The Aspidestra Flying, Brighton Rock, To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, Lord Of The Flies, Of Mice And Men, For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Grapes of Wrath.

The pretty eclectic choices were put on makeshift bookshelves in flats and digs which were weighed-down with the collections. You wonder if there are similar collections these days in view of the growth of television, the increased use of DVDs, the exponentially increased use of the Internet, and all of the social networking that goes on through YouTube, Facebook and the like.

My betting is that there are long shelves of useless videos waiting to be dumped, endless lines of DVDs which were swopped, or got as Christmas presents, but that this technology is also going to be out of date because of the increasing ability to download. In 10 years’ time, will these be the equivalent of the now untouched books of my heyday?

The outcome seems inevitable looking at the changes in the music industry . . . and interesting to note that some of the software technology in the film download area was pioneered in Galway not so many years ago.

Maybe all these changes have replaced the concept of sitting in a chair reading a book . . . goodness it sounds so old-fashioned and so solitary now, though I am not all that impressed by the idea of a ‘social life’ built through electronic social networking. It seems a bit like the idea of a ‘text message’ compared to an actual conversation.

The numbers of advertisements on certain channels involving agencies which offer to introduce people to each other – I am speaking of the legitimate introductory agencies! – may be an indicator of a significant number of people more reliant on the electronic media to simply contact other humans.

That said, I have to admit that, increasingly, I find myself using something like Google when I want to chase-up some reference or other . . . it’s that, or poke about in the garage, or the attic, among literally hundreds of editions of books, many of them the familiar Penguins of all those years ago.

I am doubly hampered in this department because, more than 20 years ago, we moved house from one town to another and part of the packing process was the business of getting all those eight or 10 shilling editions of Penguin books together, putting them into boxes. I have to confess that I never opened many of those boxes again!

The boxes were loaded into a CIE truck, moved to our new house in Waterford, moved again when we came back to Galway . . . and then left strategically placed on the joists in piles in the attic from whence they have never been moved in more than 20 years.

There was a kind of recurring mental half-promise on my part that, some day, I really must unpack them. But the memory of the fearful weight of those boxes, and perhaps the onset of a greater degree of laziness on my part, meant that they still sit accusingly in the attic all those years later, only seen occasionally when there is frost and a danger of a burst pipe in the attic.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway County VEC Chief takes High Court case

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

The High Court is hearing arguments from the state in an action brought by two VEC bosses who are challenging the loss of an annual allowance worth 12 and a half thousand euro.

Former president of the GAA Joe McDonagh who’s the CEO of County Galway VEC and Dr Katie Sweeney, CEO of Mayo VEC, say a special Transport Liaison Officers Allowance should not have been cut, even though that part of their role no longer operates.

Lawyers for the Department of Education deny the allowance is part of their pay.

The case is in the context of planned changes within the VEC system under the Croke Park agreement.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Planning go ahead for community facility in Doughiska

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

A hotel in the city is to be changed into a community facility.

Planning permission has been granted to DRA Community Development Company Limited to redevelop the ‘Racing Lodge Hotel’ in Doughiska.

It’s planned to use the building for community, educational and pastoral use.

Planners have attached 4 conditions to the development, including the stipulation that all uses at the building be on a not-for-profit basis.

 

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway call for Transport Minister to intervene in bus strike

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Date Published: 13-May-2013

City Councillor Michael Crowe is calling on the Transport Minister Leo Vradkar to urgently intervene to end strike action by Bus Eireann in Galway.

Major travel disruption is expected in Galway and nationwide as the national strike enters its second day.

Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.

Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing their picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city.

It’s understood up to 80 Galway workers took part in the picket on rotational rosters yesterday.

Speaking on Galway Talks, City Cllr Michael Crowe said Minister Vradkar needs to take urgent action to intervene so that transport services can be restored.

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