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A Different View

Using our national games as platform for positive actions

Dave O'Connell

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Jimmy MacDonagh steers the Galway Hooker, "An Mhaighdean Mhara" which is being closely pursued by the "Macdara" during the recent Féile Inis Mór regatta. Pic: Seán Ó Mainnín

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It is apparently an accepted reality that, when you say or do something that knocks a person’s self-esteem, it takes twenty positive actions to get them back to the level you toppled them from.

At least it was a reference point used by the President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill, last week when he spoke about bullying, harassment and self-esteem on a visit to Galway.

The Laois man was launched a fantastic fundraiser in aid of Pieta House – 100,000 Steps for Cormac will be a celebration, both of the late Cormac Connolly and all that is good about the GAA, as well as a major boost for the suicide awareness charity.

And it was because of the work being done by Pieta House – he also referenced the Samaritans because of a link-up with Croke Park on a mental health and wellbeing programme – that Mr O’Neill spoke of the need to protect our children.

And he didn’t mean from sexual or physical abuse – although he acknowledged the depths of that problem throughout our history – but this was more about building them up instead of knocking them down.

Anyone who has children who play sport, or who has attended a juvenile match in any sporting code, will know what he is talking about when he refers to the shouting and abuse directed at small children as they do their best on the field of play.

It wouldn’t be tolerated in any other aspect of life; if you shouted at a child on the street in the way that some parents shout at them on a football pitch, you’d quite possibly be arrested and charged.

So seriously does the GAA take this problem that the Association’s President said they were considering a proposal to play all matches at U6 and U8 level in complete silence.

So if parents or other adults cannot learn to behave themselves on the sideline, the organisation with responsibility for our national games will do it for them.

It’s a revolutionary proposal but one that, if it comes to pass, could be taken on board by every sporting body in the world.

Because this is not exclusively a GAA problem by any means – and this sort of criticism and abuse does nothing other than to dent a child’s confidence, often to a point where they give up a sport they love altogether.

There’s nothing wrong with shouting encouragement from the sideline and with offering positive observations after it’s all over – even a shoulder to cry on if it does have to end in tears.

But these children will have to take criticism for long enough in later life; they don’t need to be lambasted at such a vulnerable age before they’ve matured enough to see things in proper perspective.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Don’t turn up your nose at those smells making Covid comeback

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There are few things in life that epitomise the joy of anticipation better than opening a brand-new book; the smell of the crisp pages, beautifully bound to reveal its story in your hands and your imagination.

Equally, when you think of a summer’s day, it’s the smell of fresh cut grass that most often springs to mind; the mere thought of it is enough to bring a smile to your face through your mind’s eye.

The association between summer and fresh cut grass is so strong that one band, the Hot House Flowers, built an entire career around it, releasing the same song over and over again.

There are other smells of nature that heighten the senses in summer of course – newly mown hay for a start – and at other times, you know you’re in farming country when the smell of freshly-spread silage wafts in through the car window.

Our eyes may be the most critical of our senses in that, without them, life is a whole lot more difficult to lead – but smell is the sense that can lift you to a higher place.

Think of the aroma that escapes from a bakery or a cake shop; it can have you salivating when you’re not even hungry.

And we all know why so many coffee shops have extractor units that diffuse the smell of roasting coffee beans out onto the street; the Pied Piper of Hamlin wouldn’t work any better in getting you to literally follow your nose.

There’s also the other side of smells – and it’s not just silage.

If you want to quit drinking, for example – or more precisely, to give up drinking nights out – just set yourself a mission of dropping into a pub first thing in the morning, before it’s spic and span and ready to open its doors to the public.

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

Steering clear of mirrors to deny the ageing process

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Only occasionally do you realise you’re actually getting older, because – unless you’re supremely vain – for the most part you’re looking out from yourself, not at yourself.

And then you walk past a mirror or a glass doorway and you think you’re being followed by a balder, fatter, older man – until the penny drops that you’re looking at yourself.

There’s another way to track the years as they fly by; just look at the writing on birthday cards, or more precisely the ones from your kids or young relations.

They start off with a stick man and graduate to a spidery scrawl before there’s a first stab at joined-up writing, evolving eventually to perfectly-formed adult sentences.

And yet you still think you’re not getting older.

I have nieces and nephews who send little video greetings for birthdays and Christmas – and that provides an ever starker reflection of the reality.

Again you go from shy little ones barely, mumbling a happy birthday, to teens with broken voices booming out a message to the big man!

As your age approaches your IQ, you often struggle to remember exactly how old you actually are – and the fall-back for many is to use their kids as a counter.

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.

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Connacht Tribune

Oh so lonely this Christmas without loved ones to hold

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Back when we knew no better and friends were sad because one of their chicks was flying the coop, we consoled them with the notion that Berlin or Boston or London or Lisbon was just a flight away and you’d still get to spend real quality time together, albeit in truncated spells and only every so often.

We pointed out that you could travel from Dublin to Central London or the Champs-Élysées in less time than it took to get to Clifden.

We held up our phones and our tablets to show the glory of Skype or FaceTime that allowed you to virtually visit their new home and wave electronically at the grandkids.

Nobody claimed it was the same as seeing them stumble down the stairs every morning with their big bed-heads on them or casually heading out for a surreptitious pint of a wet Wednesday in winter.

Everyone knew that the incidental, accidental chats over telly or tea were gone, and that time zones might mean you’d have to prearrange a call time.

But the consolation of sorts was that, in case of emergency, they could get on a flight and be home in a few hours.

Only now we know that’s not true – and that’s why the full impact of this coronavirus has now fully hit home.

That may seem strange, given that so many have died from COVID-19, and a multiple of that number have been sick.

But life is only worth it when you can live it – and spending time together as a family is the very essence of that.

Parents had long reconciled themselves to the fact that there wouldn’t be too many transatlantic returns this Christmas – and those whose fledglings have made their homes in New Zealand or Australia were already used to that reality.

But London and the UK have been just another short commute for so many, as our best followed the bright lights, making the big bucks in technology across the water and thinking nothing of flying home for the weekend if they wanted to.

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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