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A Different View

TG4 is to Irish broadcasting what BBC Radio 4 is to the UK

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Past pupils of Gort Community School who were recognised by their Universities for their outstanding results in last year's Leaving Certificate exams (from left) Ronja Pfeiffer from Kilcolgan, who was awarded a €1,500 Excellence Scholarship from NUI Galway for her achievement of 615 points; Sean Walsh from Beagh, was awarded and Entrance Scholar Award by UCD for his achievement of 605 points, and Katie Keenan from Beagh, who was awarded a €1,500 Excellence Scholarship from NUI Galway.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Perhaps it was down in part to the dearth of real quality content elsewhere, but the Christmas season showed just why TG4 is far and away the best television station in Ireland.

There are still those who think it’s a station for Gaelgoirs alone – and therefore of no interest to anyone else – but the truth is that their indifference is really only depriving themselves of the best of originality on the box.

The new UTV Ireland may well herald the dawn of a new era in Irish terrestrial television – but to do so with an hour-long episode of Emmerdale is almost as ridiculous as launching a new channel with the news service limping into view nearly a week later.

That said, the news coverage was impressive when it did arrive – none moreso than the station’s fast-rising political correspondent, Mary Regan from Moycullen, who almost crowned her admirably assured opening broadcast by being creamed by a passing van across from Leinster House.

And as for the grand opening, Pat Kenny is a fine broadcaster but traipsing around Ireland is search of the pulse of the nation – and fortunately finding it every time he meets one of the new station’s staff – is trying to dress up a promo video as a programme….even if it was great to see Mary Regan at home in her family pub in all of its glory.

TV3, now under greater pressure than ever before, finally shouting from the rooftops that it is creating its own content – 17 years after coming on air – only highlights the fact that it didn’t bother for two decades because it relied so heavily on ITV programmes to justify its existence.

And it is only doing it now because it has had the rug pulled from under it.

There’s no reason for RTE to feel overly smug either because it relies on a formula that’s been there almost as long as Gay Byrne – a couple of chat shows, soaps (original and bought in) and a diet of movies that only prove the station has deeper pockets than its competitors.

There’s a heavy investment in news and current affairs – although how they can continue to justify cutting the main evening bulletin in half every time there’s a public holiday beggars belief – and occasionally something like Barry O’Kelly’s expose of conditions at Aras Attracta justify a slice of the tax take it benefits from.

But the only station that consistently produces original programming is based on our own doorstep.

Yes, TG4 imports a fair degree of programming too but it has fulfilled its original purpose – to produce programmes for Irish language speakers that don’t alienate the rest of us – right from the night it went on air closing in on 19 years ago.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Problems with calves and other bizarre sports injuries

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

One of the Armenian players to suffer heartbreak against Ireland recently nearly didn’t make it to Lansdowne Road at all because, according to the commentator, he ‘had a problem with a calf’.

And you immediately thought it was one of those romantic sporting stories where the plucky part-timers and massive underdogs have postmen and milkmen and farmers in their ranks.

Then you copped on and realised it was not so much a farm animal that was bothering him as the rear of his leg.

Because the last time a fella missed a match over a problem with an actual calf was probably a Junior B clash on West Clare, a county where they once famously – according to Marty Morrissey anyway – failed to milk a cow for a week after a Munster Football Final win.

We’re all experts on sporting injuries these days – from David Beckham’s broken metatarsal in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup through to Wayne Rooney’s similarly bad break four years later when he suffered a fracture of the fourth Metatarsal as well as one of the Tarsal bones of the foot.

You’d have thought those bones went out with the dinosaurs.

There was a time when a mere broken foot wouldn’t have kept a footballer out of action; think about to the German-born Manchester City goalkeeper of the distant past, Bert Trautmann, who once won the FA Cup after playing most of the game with an actual broken neck.

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

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

Phone zombies add additional degree of difficulty for walkers

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There was a time that students communicated with home about once every blue moon – and only then if they’d ran out of money. There was no real point in writing or phoning home for any other reason.

But now it appears they can’t be out of contact for more than a minute – or at least that’s how it looks if you try to negotiate a way through the hoards of them that stride four-abreast down the street, not one of them looking in the direction their feet are taking them.

They are on their phones, communicating with someone although probably not home – because they give off an intensity and urgency that suggests this messaging couldn’t possibly have waiting until they reached their destination.

Either that or they have become so dependent on Sat Nav that they fear they wouldn’t find their way to college without Google Maps – and so they walk, head down, staring at the screen, oblivious to other pedestrians or even telegraph poles.

And as you dodge around them, you wonder what’s so important that it won’t wait until they’re sitting down somewhere; have they a shares portfolio that has taken a hammering on the morning’s trading?

More likely, they’re watching TikTok or videos on YouTube, while wandering in public spaces like the last of the headless zombies.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

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