Date Published: 04-May-2011
It was back in 1997 that the good people of Donegal summed up Ireland’s contradictory – some might say schizophrenic – attitude to all things English.
Because it was in the General Election of that year that they voted in Harry Blaney as a TD for the constituency of Donegal North East on what might best be described as a ‘Brits Out’ ticket – while down the road in Donegal South West they voted for Tom Gildea whose wanted to legalise TV deflectors so that these solid Republicans could watch Eastenders at night.
It’s the same double standard deployed when we wear the shirts of our Liverpool or Manchester United heroes on the streets of our local towns – but when they pull on the three lions, we’ll support Azerbaijan or whoever else England happen to be playing.
Last week we saw it all over again when Wills and Kate walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey – even the fact that we refer to the future King of England and his commoner wife by their first names shows how bizarre this interest is.
It’s not that some of our forefathers fought and died for Ireland because that sort of old nonsense just held us back in the dark ages for a few extra generations – it’s that we’d be anything other than utterly ambivalent to the goings on of any Royal family anywhere in the world.
Perhaps it’s their dysfunctional lives that endear them to us as a sort of strange curiosity; the elderly Queen and her Germanic husband whose mouth has plenty of room for both of his feet; Charles, the son who would be King if he didn’t spend so much time talking to plants and dumping one of the world’s most stylish women for, well, a more equine model – and Andrew, the man paid a lot to do nothing and still managing to leave a trail of destruction and bar bills in his wake.
And these boys didn’t marry well because Diana, to use an analogy, was one tough dog to keep on the porch, while Fergie spent like she was married to Seanie Fitzpatrick as opposed to a layabout Prince, to a point where she was offering his services to the News of the World for fifty grand, twenty fags and what appeared – on secret video at least – to be several bottles of wine.
Granted, we stopped short of street parties but the English tabloids and the glossy magazines made sure that closet Royalists were bang up to date on Kate’s wedding dress, whether she would obey or not obey William, what that scamp Harry might say in his speech and whether Camilla would eat her nosh from a dish or a trough.
There cannot be a country on earth more heavily influenced by its nearest neighbours than Ireland.
We buy their papers, speak their language, watch their TV, follow their football teams, buy their music, follow their fashion – and yet when you travel abroad and a Spaniard mistakes you for a Brit, you lose your reason.
They in turn see us as a sort of land of harmless leprechauns drowning in a sea of Guinness and Paddy whiskey, Riverdancing our way through the night. They see Terry Wogan as the quintessential Irishman while we all think he’s a West Brit.
They love the oul’ blarney almost as much as the Yanks, and we can lay it on with a trowel if that’s what it takes to get our hands on the sterling.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.