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Trinkets of hope in that elusive search for faith

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Times of change: A Muslim boy with a mini-tricolour celebrates the Festival of Eid at Croke Park at the end of July.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’ve never really seen the point of being envious of other people. For a start, it really gets you nowhere, other than to send you into a spiral of begrudgery, and I’m always just a little perplexed that I’ll win the Euro million on my 75th birthday when every limb in my frame will ache and I won’t have a moment’s peace left as I ponder on how to divvy out the spoils to those coming after me.

Wealth, either earned, unexpected or inherited will never make you even one hour younger and neither will it mean very much to you if that day of the ‘bad diagnosis’ arrives when you know your time left on Mother Earth is down to a matter of weeks or months.

Many moons ago, my father used to rather wryly observe that while wealth mightn’t necessarily make you happy it could nevertheless help you to ‘enjoy your misery’, but that’s really the limit of any allegiance or interest that I have in material things.

Here and there though, there are people I’m acquainted with, that I am just the merest tad envious of in terms of their deep-seated sense of faith and ultimate goodness all nurtured by a belief that there’s a ‘Great Master’ up there somewhere, who will give us an eternal spirt that will never quench.

A few weeks back, millions of Muslims all around the world celebrated their great Summer celebration of faith, Eid al-Adha, in a stirring outpouring of faith. As an aside, wasn’t it kind of refreshing to see them have their Irish celebration at Croke Park, a place often associated with all things both conservative and catholic. In fairness to the ‘GAA’ they have moved with the times are particularly strong in welcoming young people from diverse cultures into their clubs all across the length and breadth of the country.

Earlier this year, thousands of people attended the Solemn Novena in Galway Cathedral, and while there will be those who scoff at their supposed innocence and simplicity of faith, from my own experience, many of them do seem to be people who enjoy a level of contentment and peace within their hearts that many of us long for.

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.

 

Country Living

Tricks, trials and traps of nurturing our memories

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Memory is a strange old business and sometimes quite an uncomfortable investigative process with the passing of years. We all tend to get a bit worried when a name of someone reasonably familiar to us, just simply won’t come into our heads.

One of the little consolations I nurture, more in hope than in empirical logic, is that even when I was a ‘garsún’ attending national school, I had the habit of leaving things behind me for no good reason.

Even a decade or so after that, forgetting to get the Sweet Afton cigarettes for my mother after a few pints in the local – which in those days doubled up as a grocery outlet and public house – drew a fair measure of maternal wrath upon my young shoulders.

Then there’s the recurring daily problem of trying to figure out what some of the least used keys are for, on a ridiculously overcrowded keyring, while all the time vowing to eliminate at least 25% of the out-of-date ‘door openers’ from the collection.

A few years back, I remember some guy on the radio who knew about all things related to memory and good mental agility, saying that there wasn’t really a serious problem in trying to regularly sort out key IDs. However, he did point out – rather chillingly – that if you looked at your bunch of keys and wondered what they were for, then you were in trouble.

As we get older and want to forget issues about our own finitude (a fancy word for ‘the end’) the annoying search for mobile phones, car keys, wallets, glasses, scarves, caps and even jackets sends little worries through our dwindling brain reserves that things aren’t really getting any better.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Country Living

Decision made never to come ‘under the influence’ again

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Expectations, are I suppose, determined to a large extent by the times we live in. Growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, the job priorities could range from aspiring to being a lorry driver or the more grandiose life of a teacher that is if the door to third level education could be prised open.

Then, of course, there were always those practical guys who were good at putting pieces of timber together; or at laying blocks in perfect alignment; or at being able to join copper pipes with just a couple of spanners and a few shiny nuts.

They turned out to be the tradesmen (oops, in the world of political correctness should that be tradespeople) who for the rest of their days were never to be short of work or a few bob in their pockets. A combination of good hands and a good head was really a pretty unbeatable combination to ensure that the dole queue would never be part of their lot in life.

Some of us along the way got sucked into a ‘bit of writing’ and in our own tinpot way managed to make a living for us, but of late I’ve managed to note a couple of occupation titles that would have been unimaginable a few decades back.

First off, all there were the ‘socialites’ a great term of the Sunday Independent newspaper at the height of the Celtic Tiger when glamourous men and women – rich on style but poor on substance – could always make their way into the gossip pages of that weekly organ.

I often wondered what did these people do for real jobs as they jollied their way around such night spots as Copper Face Jacks, Renards and the Voodoo Lounge at all hours of the day and night before taking the best part of a week to recover until the next round of socialising.

Now, move it all forward a couple of decades and into the peak of the social media age when the ‘big number’ across the world is the position of ‘influencer’.

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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Country Living

Striving in vain for that perfect world of Utopia

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That vain search for Utopia. Cartoon: New Yorker.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

In the second half of the alphabetical guide to all things past and present, the realities of the New Year are beginning to dawn on us. The war in Ukraine; escalating energy cost; and fears of a global recession seem to dominate the headline but maybe there are just a few silver linings here and there.

M is for a word called meditation and the benefits it can deliver from just a few minutes. I got ‘hooked’ after reading a book called Mind Full from comedian and radio presenter, Dermot Whelan. Initially, I thought all pie in the sky, but just a few minutes cordoned off every day for a bit of ‘me time’ can be reward.

N is for our New Year and our hopes and wishes that peace might descend on the people of Ukraine. If ever there was a stupid, pointless and savage war, this has to be it. Either Mr Putin might see the light – just a hope – or those close to him could jostle him off the seat of power. The world would be a far safer place without him.

O is for an important two words – the Oxford Vaccine – that gave us all some hope during the height of the Covid plague over two years and which we all know now as the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Like its sibling vaccines, it saved many thousands of life all over the world.

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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