A Different View with Dave O’Connell
There’s a colleague of mine who – back in his disco days – once had to make the ultimate sacrifice…he could only get into one of Galway’s top nightspots by wearing another man’s pants.
The fact that his denims were considerably more expensive than the slacks – Farah, if memory serves me right – was of no consequence to the door staff.
But they did at least loan him the trousers which were a size or two bigger than required. That meant he had to wear them over his own jeans to stop them from falling down.
The ultimate indignity of all this was that the replacement trousers were actually the property of the nightclub owner himself – the very man who was strictly implementing the ‘no jeans’ rule and then dispensing old pants to ensure no dancers were lost at the door.
In another life and at a different office Christmas party, all of the staff were invited to a rather posh establishment where free food and drink was the order of the evening; this was back when the Celtic Tiger was still a cub.
All staff included everyone from editor down to runners, an honourable age-old post in newspapers for young fellas to learn some trade by spending the first couple of years running errands or delivering post while you bided your time.
As bad luck would have it, this runner wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, nor was he the sharpest dresser – so there was always likely to be a problem with his torn Adidas trainers if the bouncers spotted them.
Which they did – and the hands went out, followed by the explanation: “Sorry son, no runners.”
The bewildered reply to which: “How did you know what I do?”
You had to dress appropriately to get into nightclubs back in the day – and even if jeans were allowed, the one item of clothing you never wore was white socks.
For some reason, they signified a ruffian element, even though they were harder to keep clean than a hundred pairs of black ones.
And if you really wanted to test the system – or patience of the door staff – then combining white socks with black slip-on shoes, complete with tassels, all rounded off with a nice pair of stone-washed denims, would prove the ultimate test.
Golf Clubs used to be sticklers for this sort of nonsense too – they may still be but I’d sooner hang out at the dentists – and I recall having to borrow a jacket from an elderly club member on one occasion I was invited to lunch in one such establishment.
Many’s the man who was forced to find a tie from lost property that suited his shirt about as much as a holiday in the Vatican would have suited Ian Paisley.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Eyrecourt tune makes it to Hollywood in Jig time
A tune composed to celebrate the twinning of Eyrecourt in south-east Galway with Gouesnach in France is to feature in a new film.
Written by Niall Crehan, ‘The Eyrecourt Jig’ made quite a splash when it was released in 2013 and is still popular in music sessions up and down the country.
Niall had been commissioned to write the tune for the 20th anniversary of the twinning of the two villages, Eyrecourt and Gouesnach.
So, when he had a small part as a fiddler in a TV film called Royal Rendevouz, he started playing the jig.
The producers were so impressed, they added it to the movie soundtrack and it will appear in the credits.
Niall is a member of a celebrated traditional Irish musical dynasty hailing originally from County Clare.
He is the youngest son of whistle and concertina player Vincent Crehan and nephew of renowned fiddler Junior Crehan.
Niall and his brother Kieran ran the Dublin shop Crehan Musical instruments until his early retirement.
Now living in Kildare, Niall is a cousin of publican Mick Crehan, who runs the renowned folk pub in the west end of Galway, The Crane.
Niall and the large army of musicians in the extended family are regular guests.
His brother Dermot got music playing parts on films such as the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and he managed to get Niall onto the likes of Downton Abbey.
This latest TV project is the latest foray into the world of film, explains his son Brian.
The story centres on an American chef who is invited to an Irish manor to cook a feast in order to convince the matriarch not to sell the home.
It premieres on Sunday, February 26 at 9pm on the E! Network starring Isabella Gomez, Ruairi O’Connor and Ronan Raftery.
‘No show’ TDs criticised at County Galway policing committee meeting
A county councillor has launched a stinging criticism of Oireachtas members for their repeated failure to attend County Galway Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meetings.
At a meeting of the JPC on Monday, Cllr Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher (photographed) said he believed it was time the three TDs on the committee decided if they wanted to remain, or give their place up to someone who would make use of it.
“I am asking the Council to write out to our Oireachtas members and ask them do they want to be on this JPC or not, and if not, let someone else be on it,” blasted the Fine Gael councillor.
This followed repeated non-appearances from TDs representing the Oireachtas on the committee – the three representatives are Deputy Noel Grealish (Ind), Deputy Anne Rabbitte (FF) and Deputy Catherine Connolly (Ind).
Cllr Maher said the JPC, which sits around five times per year, was deliberately held on a Mondays to facilitate Oireachtas members who were in the Dáil later in the week. He said there were issues being raised regularly that required raising at a national level and it was incumbent on national representatives to bring those matters back to Dublin.
One such issue was the use of CCTV in the pursuit of illegal dumpers and travelling crime gangs, said Cllr Maher who is Cathaoirleach of the County Council.
“I would like our members of the Oireachtas to be taking the message back on CCTV,” he added, as representatives locally were getting no further as a result of data protection laws.
None of the three Oireachtas members were present for this week’s meeting. Chair of the JPC, Cllr Jim Cuddy, confirmed he had received an apology from Deputy Catherine Connolly.
New Chief Executive for Galway County Council
The new Chief Executive of Galway County Council is set to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Liam Conneally, who is Director of Services for Economic Development at Clare County Council, is understood to be the preferred candidate following an interview process and has been offered the post.
His appointment will have to be ratified by councillors at an upcoming meeting of Galway County Council.
He will replace Jim Cullen, who was Acting CE for a number of years.
The last permanent CE of the local authority was also a Clare native, Martina Moloney who retired in 2014.
Since then, Kevin Kelly initially and then Jim Cullen have been acting in the roles.
According to his LinkedIn page, Liam Conneally was a senior planner at Limerick City and County Councils for almost three years before taking up the Director of Services role in Clare in 2016.
He was educated at University of Limerick and Queen’s University Belfast.
A native of Ennistymon, he is steeped in the GAA.
“He’s done a very good job in Clare; he’s very dynamic and forward-looking, he will be a good choice for Galway County Council,” said a source familiar with Mr Conneally, and the interview process.
Government completed a review in 2021 about whether it was going to appoint someone permanently into the CE role, which was filled on a temporary/acting basis for almost nine years.
It’s understood that officials in Dublin had delayed filling the role as they wanted to push for an amalgamation of both Councils.
The amalgamation, however, was rejected by local politicians, and has since been put on the back burner.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, is due to retire this year. It’s understood his deputy CE, Patricia Philbin will take the role in an acting capacity until an interview process is completed.