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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.