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Seduced by chocolate and haunted by Dr. Eva

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Dr. Eva: Farewell to the land of crisps, booze, coke, chocolate and takeaways . . . or else face the consequences!

Country Living with Francis Farragher

On balance, it’s been a pretty tough week. Anytime I buttered a sultana scone and smathered it with jam, or put a dollop of ketchup into a chunky sausage sandwich, I’ve been accosted by colleagues and acquaintances that are all coming out with the same line: “Do you realise how much sugar is in that. Did you not see Dr. Eva’s programme the other night?”

Well the truth of the matter is that I saw about the first 140 seconds of Dr. Eva Orsmond’s programme before taking a strategic decision to retreat to the bedroom and gently slip into the world of dreams with a few country strains from local radio ringing in my ears.

I don’t doubt for one second the veracity of Dr. Eva’s conclusions on the dark secrets of bright sugar but she scares me a little bit too much for my own comfort. Maybe deep down, I’m a serious wimp, but if ever I was to meet Dr. Eva, I fear it would be similar to one of those dreams where the baddie is chasing you, and the legs just won’t move.

We all remember the experiences of bringing the little ones to see Santa Claus in person for the first time. They’ve been told that he’s a nice man and that he has presents for them, but yet when they meet him in the flesh, they tend to curl up in fear before returning fretfully to their parents.

And yet in the full flush of my ageing maturity, I feel that if the phone rang some day and the voice said at the other end said: “This is Dr. Eva, how are you,” I think that the lump in my throat would prevent any words from coming out for the first 10 seconds. Then in trembling tones I’d manage to tentatively utter the words: “No more sugar, no more sugar.”

In some ways, I probably could put up a decent personal case to her. I don’t drink minerals, I do love fruit and veg, I do drink lots of water, I do take some exercise but then, oh God, there’s the other side too and it’s not good! There’s the regular pints of Budweiser . . . the deep seated cravings for Chocolate Kimberleys and Mikados . . . that sinking feeling when the shirt from 2014 doesn’t fit anymore and it hasn’t shrunk . . . and those love affairs with sausages, butter on spuds, tomato ketchup, Purple Snacks and thick slices of fresh white bread. There’s also that aversion to standing on the bathroom scales and noting those awful digital figures that you have to blink your eyes at, before realising that they are delivering a pretty horrible truth.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Shinners plan to gobble up Cheesy Cheevers’ support

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Cllr Alan Cheevers: All smiles in 2019 after he won a seat for Fianna Fáil in the City’s East Ward. But Sinn Féin are snapping at his heels as they plan to regain the seat they lost in that ward that year.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Sinn Féin is targeting gains on Galway City Council at the next Local Election – and plans to take out sitting Councillor Alan Cheevers.

The Shinners are still reeling from the last Locals when three of their elected members lost seats.

And while losses for Cathal Ó Conchúir in City West and Mark Lohan in City Central weren’t unexpected, the unseating of ‘golden girl’ Mairéad Farrell in City East sent shockwaves through the organisation.

Of course it was the best thing that happened to Mairéad. She pretty much immediately bounced back and caused a shock in Galway West by taking a Dáil seat in the 2020 General Election. That revival took even Mairéad by surprise.

But the loss of a seat in City East still rankles. And SF sources said they are determined to regain it – and possibly add a second seat – when voters go to the polls again in the Locals in two-and-a-half years.

Social Democrats newcomer Owen Hanley, who caused a stir by taking a seat in this ward at the first time of asking in 2019, is an obvious target for the Shinners.

Firstly, though, they’ve set their sights on taking out Fianna Fáil’s Alan Cheevers. He cultivated much of his support among African and East European immigrant communities in Doughiska, who had felt abandoned or ignored by the Establishment and political system.

Sinn Féin is said to have approached a number of potential candidates of African heritage who are based in Renmore and Doughiska, with a view to one of them becoming the first person of colour to be elected to City Hall.

That’s good news for diversity and democracy, but not necessarily happy days for Cheesy Cheevers, whose strong support among immigrant communities could migrate to any would-be Shinner candidate with first-hand experience of what immigrant communities want from their politicians.

Cheevers, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, told us he was unperturbed by the threat from a resurgent Sinn Féin and he remains focused on working hard, serving his constituents on the ground.

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

Worst part of Covid is the cover-up of smiles

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was John Prine who famously sung about his illegal smile – although in his case, it was a reference into happiness that might have been helped on its way with a contribution from artificial stimulants.

These days smiling isn’t illegal of course, but because, for the most part, you have to do it behind a face covering, it makes it kind of tricky – and difficult to spot.

That’s not entirely true obviously, because we are allowed to walk the streets with faces uncovered even if quite a number opt to leave their mask on.

But while we’re not going to pick of fight with the anti-maskers any more than we would be the anti-vaxxers – or people who shout and shake their fists at the wind generally (or Novak Djokovic or even his mother) – we can lament the lack of visible facial expression that’s the consequence of a cover-up.

It’s ironic of course as well to mention John Prine and Covid in the one piece, because it was Covid that robbed the music world of his unique talent. And that should be another good reason to protect ourselves from suffering the same fate.

It’s only some days that you’d miss seeing a smile, because we know that the mask can help save lives – but how sad it is that such a casual and fleeting greeting has to be hidden.

The one thing is that you can at least still tell genuine smilers from forced ones – because their eyes light up; they still twinkle over their mask.

The fake smilers only ever moved their lips; their smiles never made it past the nose – more of a grimace than a greeting.

So now all of that happens unbeknownst to the rest of the world – and we’re none the wiser because it doesn’t rise to embrace their entire face.

Mask wearing has been a drag for almost everyone – except curmudgeons and publicity-shy 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

National Archives offer revealing window into Ireland’s recent past

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Uneasy alliance...Charlie Haughey and Margaret Thatcher on the steps of 10 Downing Street.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

I’ve been covering the political so long time now that I’m the one they send down every year to look at the records being released by the National Archives. It used to be that confidential Government documents were kept for 30 years under lock and key before they were released. Thus the material that would have been opened before Christmas would have been the records from 1991 –  the last year of Charlie Haughey’s era as Taoiseach.

But about seven years ago, the British changed the rules on their releases and gradually brought the confidential period down, year-by-year, from 30 down to 20. They are now at about 22 years.

This left the Irish State in a bit of pickle. If we kept our rule we would have been badly out of sync with the British.

What did that matter? Well, the main event as far as it concerns the Archives is the Anglo-Irish stuff. That’s all the meetings abut Northern Ireland between the Taoiseach of the day and the British prime minister – and all the stuff generated between other senior politicians and officials.

So over the past few years from the Irish archives, we have been learning of the extraordinary summits between Haughey and Thatcher, with her going on massive rants about the IRA and the Government here not doing enough to prevent IRA attacks, and the Gardaí being like Keystone Cops because they were using arcane methods to gather intelligence.

Which was all very well. But that stuff – and seen from the prism of Margaret Thatcher and her officials – has been in the public realm in Britain for at least six or seven years. So, to borrow a phrase from the Northern Ireland peace process, there was not full parity of esteem when it came to viewing the documents.

The media always get in about a week early to preview the documents and write up reports on what they say – they appear on the days that the documents are released.

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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