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A Different View

Time to tax living in case we take it for granted!

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Attending the cheque presentation of €8,500 raised from 'Lunch by the Lake' at the Wineport Lodge, Athlone in aid of National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) were (from left) Anna O Coinne, NBCRI, Prof. Michael Kerin, NBCRI, Athlone friends of NBCRI Tracey Staunton, Norma Wilson, Marion Donoghue and Dympna Cunniffe, event sponsor Colm Quinn of Colm Quinn Motors Athlone and Galway and Helen Ryan NBCRI.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Our Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was dead right, you know, when he said that, if the Government kept giving us our water free gratis and for nothing, we’d just flood the house by leaving the tap running all day.

So it’s not so much that the Government is screwing the taxpayer by charging them on the double (because they seem to forget we already paid the Council for it through our tax payments) for what comes out of their tap….in reality they’re actually saving us from drowning in our own homes.

And if water was free flowing through the tap, he knows we’d be out there power washing the car, the front of the house, the cobble-locked driveway, the neighbours, the postman, passers-by, the dog, the lamp post….who knows where it would all end?

He was right too about electricity – imagine if it was free….sure we’d never turn out the lights even on the hottest, sunniest day of summer.

We’d have the immersion on just to heat up the water that we weren’t paying for either; we’d never turn off the telly or the three-bar electric heater even if we had to march around the house in our underwear because of the Saharan heat.

Because we haven’t an ounce of responsibility between us; the only thing we understand is pain, and nothing is more painful than paying for things we used to get for free.

So you see Michael Noonan is right when he says we’re not be trusted with things like that; if we don’t pay a premium for services, we have no value on them and we’ll just waste them until they’re gone.

Unlike the Government which wastes nothing – as in, the chance to go to the United States or Singapore for St Patrick’s Day, the chance to sit in the best seats in Croke Park on All-Ireland Final day, the chance to open a packet of crisps once the television cameras are there to witness them doing it.

But the rest of us don’t know when we have it good.

Look at the way we wilfully abuse the free air that they’ve put at our disposal, brazenly breathing it in and out like there was no tomorrow, instead of pausing for breath, skipping every fourth or fifth intake, and acknowledging the Government’s generosity in not charging us for it.

Why should we be allowed to sit out in the sun for free? Or gaze out over Galway Bay while we walk along the Prom?

So, while we’re at it, here are some more suggestions for making us pay for things we use and shouldn’t have for free.

For example, those who dry their clothes on an outside line should pay a wind tax.

Those who pride themselves on their lush lawns and colour-filled flower beds should pay a rain tax.

For more,  read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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.

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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

Twenty one years after the day the world stood still in horror

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s hard to believe that this week marked 21 years since we were stopped in our tracks at the sight of two planes exploding at full speed into the sides of the Twin Towers – not alone taking down part of New York’s iconic skyline but rocking our world to its core.

We may have missed the first plane, but every one of us can remember exactly where we were as the second plane followed suit, careering through the smoke of the first crash to explode in front of the eyes of the world.

It was so shocking it was difficult to even take in; the first incident might have been a tragedy caused by pilot error or illness – but there was no mistaking the deliberate intent when the same act of terrorism was repeated just 17 minutes later.

And this time the terrorists had the eyes of the world on their act, because we’d tuned into the live pictures of the smoke billowing from the North Tower – to see the hijackers crash UA Flight 175 into floors 75 to 85 of the South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.

I was working in the Irish Star at the time, where we had one television halfway down the newsroom. With the time difference between Dublin and New York, it was just coming up to 2pm, when the management team met to discuss the news stories for next day’s paper.

It didn’t take a brainstorming session to work out what would fill the paper, and the global news agenda, the next day – except it was already impossible to annunciate just what had happened live on every television station on the planet.

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

Memories of floppy disks – once the future but now firmly the past

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

While watching an old crime drama on the telly recently, the sight of two detectives storing their evidence on a floppy disk brought back memories of a time when we thought our first or second-generation computers were at the cutting edge – little knowing that, within years, the floppy would be as obsolete at the typewriter.

The irony of course is that they weren’t floppy at all because they were housed in a hard plastic case, but without doubt they were gamechangers; a small square not much bigger than a playing card and yet it could store the contents of a large office cabinet on it, with room to spare.

And even if technology has since advanced so far that we’d store all of that and more on the pinhead of a needle, that’s just evolution. The floppy disk was the trigger for a revolution.

We’d never lose another story we’d written; we could store contact numbers (in a time when Data Protection wasn’t even a twinkle in some Ombudsman’s eye), transfer information from one computer to another – and just marvel at how far the world had come in our lifetime.

The computers themselves were also wonders to behold; an electronic screen with a little green cursor pulsating like a beating heart, allowing you to go backwards as well as forwards and clear up your spelling mistakes without the aid of Tippex.

Newsrooms used to be cacophonies of clacking typewriters and ringing phones – reporters slamming the carriage return like they had a vendetta against it and those traditional devices of communication ringing away, possibly because the intended recipient was away in a pub.

Within a generation, the newsroom became almost as quiet as a library as reporters gently tapped computer keys, and they no longer had to rely on desk phones because their lives were liberated by the arrival of the mobile.

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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