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Sports stars and celebrities donÕt know when to stop scoring

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: {J}

There are currently three English international footballers and a well-known British television stars who have something to hide when it comes to affairs of the nocturnal kind. But because they have all secured what are known as super-injunctions, we may never officially know who they are.

Of course a quick recce across the web will provide you with any number of clues – although the trick with the English footballers appears to be to find one who doesn’t fit the bill of a cheating husband as opposed to one who just might.

The only ones so far ruled out are John Terry, Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch and Wayne Rooney – but only on the basis that all of them have had their dirty laundry aired in full view of the public already. Wayne is currently sulking on the bench, but what’s the bet he won’t be there for long.

As to the married TV star who slept with his ex-wife after he’d already remarried – and who is now being blackmailed by his former spouse – you can take your pick from almost anyone other than Graham Norton and Dale Winton. And that’s only because there’s women involved.

So what does all of this say about the moral standards of our rich and famous? Not a lot – but it does show that money may be able to buy you love, but it can’t guarantee you post-coital silence.

Take our mystery TV star who, like an old dog making his way back to the porch, fell back into his ex-wife’s arms when he presumably found that those faraway hills weren’t as green as he’d imagined.

But all the time it seems his original partner was just laying down a trap so that she could sell her story to one of the tabloids, making some more money and ruining her cheating ex-husband’s life in the one fell swoop.

And while divorce is rarely without rancour, this classy lady takes it to new depths, sleeping with her ex-husband and then trying to blackmail him so that his new relationship is destroyed.

There’s actually one defence for the footballers and it’s called Yorkie syndrome – because like the chocolate bar, they’re just big, rich and thick.

If you pay an under-educated semi-literate over a hundred grand a week and then make them ‘work’ (as in, kicking a football and drinking smoothies) for three hours a day, you shouldn’t be too surprised if they look for other ways to occupy their time.

There was a Manchester United Christmas party a few years ago, organised by that nuclear physicist Rio Ferdinand at which a young woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by one or more of the little Red Devils.

The fact was that Rio had hired a nightclub and a posse of strippers, and then told the wives and girlfriends that it was a lads-only night to which they were not welcome – so what did their partners think they were up to? Having a table quiz?

It’s been suggested that the reason England had such a disastrous World Cup was because so many of the team were on the point of being exposed by the tabloids as cheats. If only they’d devote half as much effort to scoring on the pitch as off it, they’d have waltzed their way into the final.

Of course they can argue that it’s actually nobody’s business whether they’re playing at home or away and in other circumstances they might be right.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

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Archive News

A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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