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Romance turns to penance in the space of a few days

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Getting the ashes on Ash Wednesday is still very much part of the Lenten tradition.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Romance had no sooner made its annual appearance on Valentine’s Day than the wrath of penance descended upon us with the arrival of Ash Wednesday, when we should be all making our vows of sacrifice for the following six weeks.

Many of us of an older generation still get the ashes imprint on the first day of Lent but the motivation for embarking on monumental acts of penances, like giving up the drink, seems to be decreasing with each passing Spring.

It’s still though one of the few days of the year when us Catholics will abstain from meat and make some effort at sticking to the fasting gospel of surviving on one main meal and two collations (very light meals allowed on fast days).

Easter arrives early enough in our calendar this year, based on the old formula of Easter Sunday falling on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the Spring Equinox of March 21.

The beginning of Lent was certainly a far bigger deal back in the 1960s for any primary schoolchild in that we were all ‘encouraged’, well maybe that should be ‘expected’, to give up some source of material pleasure.

In truth, with pocket money non-existent in those days and the arrival of chocolates or sweets into the house a very rare event at the best of times, the sacrifice element then mightn’t have been as great as it seems today.

It was though still a real wrench here and there if a favourite auntie arrive with a bar of chocolate or a packet of Emerald sweets – they had to be carefully put away in a cupboard for a bit of feasting on Easter Sunday.

We were always reassured by the parents and by the Franciscan teachers that our penance would pay off in the long run, in that it would help to greatly shorten our ‘sentences’ in Purgatory for the array of sins that we were likely to accumulate over the course of our lifetimes.

There was also a big push to go to daily Mass during Lent but often early morning farming chores got in the way, and if the truth be known, the ‘jobs’ were often stretched out a bit to ensure that by the time a return was made to the house, it was too late for church.

Come to think of it, that probably neutralised all the sentence mitigation earned with the Lenten sacrifices, as Himself would surely know that a bit of trickery had gone on, in order to avoid one of the daily Masses.

For the slightly older young people, there was also a pretty serious curtailment of their romantic outlets with all of the dancehalls closed down through the Lenten period, a time when all the showbands embarked on their annual tours of the UK, where our emigrants had to endure no such social restrictions.

All hell though tended to break loose on Easter Sunday night, a traditional start-up for many of the early carnivals, with all of the dancehalls re-opening as well, even though Lent was considered to have officially ended on Easter Saturday night.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

City Council’s contempt for the public it serves

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A City Council picture showing an aerial view of work on the new pedestrian bridge. The local authority has not covered itself in glory when it comes to informing the public about road closures to facilitate the project.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Galway City Council appears to just do what it wants when it wants.

Last Friday, it officially closed a road at Newtownsmyth. It will be closed until October 28.

The closure, which was to commence last Friday, September 23, was to facilitate construction works on the new bridge at Salmon Weir for pedestrians and cycling.

It is essential work and the closure is necessary for health and safety purposes.

The City Council, as is only right and proper, advertised the closure in advance, online and in a free-sheet newspaper. So far, so good.

Except, as anyone who knows Newtownsmyth is aware, that road has been closed for weeks and even months prior to the September 23 official closure start date.

Trying to find the City Council’s closure order, and public notice, for closing the road at Newtownsmyth prior to September 23 has proved as difficult as sourcing the Third secret of Fatima.

Requests to City Hall’s communications department to confirm whether the Council had a legitimate closure order prior to September 23 have not shone any light on the subject.

And so, in the absence of an adequate response, is it reasonable to conclude that the Council did not have permission to close Newtownsmyth prior to September 23?

And if that’s the case, can the Council now just go around closing roads willy-nilly, without notice and without allowing input from residents and users of the road?

Maybe it was a mistake. If it was, why not say so? The Galway public is forgiving. Maybe they had gone through proper procedure, but why not just show us the notice if that’s the case?

For too long now, though, City Councillors have been treated with contempt by the unelected executive at City Hall and the suspicion is this closure without notice was just another manifestation of that contempt spreading to the public too.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Always someone waiting to be the new kid in town

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The person who invented the flip phone probably thought that they were made up for life – and they possibly were because they’d have made a lot of money in a short space of time, but if they spent it as though this was a bottomless pit, it might not have been enough to last a lifetime.

We’d come from a time when the cutting edge of communication technology was a mobile device that was literally as big as a brick – so a little fold-away phone that doubled in size when you opened it out, or one of those where the mouthpiece slid from the back of the main phone, made us feel like things would never be the same again.

And then you discover that’s only the start of it; long before the iPhone came along with the whole world stored in the palm of your hand or an Android device allowed you to access all you’d ever need to know at the flick of a thumb, the flip phone was the dog’s proverbials.

But then so too were Amstrad computers, the budget option that made Alan Sugar a very rich man – wealthy enough to buy Tottenham Hotspur and discover that football is a way of leaking cash as quickly as computers might generate it.

Go back through recent history and you’ll find it’s littered with breakthroughs that seemed to take the world to a place that could never be bettered – only to find themselves on the technological scrapheap before the decade was out.

Telex machines, faxes, tape recorders, electronic organisers, camcorders, video players, floppy disks – all developments that looked set to make our world forever only to discover they were just another stepping stone on the way to hi-tech heaven.

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

Champions Mountbellew-Moylough looking good to retain county crown

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St James' Adam Lee closes in on Leo of Mountbellew-Moylough's Leo Donnellan during Saturday's Senior Football Group 2 clash at Kenny Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

MOUNTBELLEW-Moylough may have only won five Galway senior football titles in their history, but the way things are shaping in this year’s championship it’s difficult to bet against Val Daly’s troops not retaining the Frank Fox Cup.

Having made the breakthrough in Galway in 1964 – they retained the title the following year – Mountbellew-Moylough have been consistently to the forefront of Galway club football. Maybe, only three more championships have followed (1974, 1986 and 2021), but since 2008 they have featured in seven county finals.

Mountbellew-Moylough had a decent team during this period but, unfortunately for them, it coincided with Corofin’s golden era. The teams met in four county finals (2009, ’15, ’17 and ‘18) and Corofin won them all. And then when Mountbellew-Moylough were faced with different final foes – Moycullen in 2020 – they still came out second best.

But all that agony was finally ended last year when led by a terrific attacking display from Eoin Finnerty, Mountbellew-Moylough at last got the better of their nemesis Corofin in a county final. There was no doubt about their superiority either, carrying the day on a 1-12 to 0-9 scoreline at Pearse Stadium last November.

The new champions didn’t want to stop there, but their provincial campaign ended abruptly and controversially at Dr Hyde Park when losing out by a single point to Padraig Pearses of Roscommon. It was a tough outcome for Mountbellew-Moylough, especially as several baffling refereeing calls went against them in the closing minutes.

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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