Date Published: 23-Jun-2011
It’s the most peaceful scene you could imagine – our quiet, suburban back garden. Indeed anytime we get a few days when you might get out of that wind that seems to blow just about every day, I sit out and read a paper.
But it has turned into a battleground. You see I have a taste for fresh strawberries . . . but so have the slugs who seem to hide away in the undergrowth until my guard is down.
The war was finally declared when one of them cheekily stole the very first berry of the crop, one which I had been watching fatten and ripen for a few days and had been tempted to guzzle on at least one occasion.
Now, don’t get this wrong. I’m not some fanatic gardener who has been angered. I am ashamed to say that my gardening efforts come to precisely nil – but I do like to sit out on a sunny day, I have been known to take a drink in a sort of deck chair which was bought in a local shop some years ago, and I am, above all, partial to fresh strawberries.
Of course I know that you can get Irish strawberries in the supermarket for ridiculous figures like €6 for two punnets. You can buy them from youngsters on the roadsides, and maybe even a few spuds along with them.
The difference in this case is that these would be OUR strawberries, cultivated by another’s hand, but happily gobbled by yours truly.
The strawberries had been a little slow in coming on – my theory is because of the unseasonable cold of the wind betimes. But Wimbledon was about to start, the temptation to look at the strawberry bed was strong and there was one delicious looking berry that had grown plump and needed maybe one more day’s ripening.
Imagine my horror the following morning when I approached the strawberry bed only to find that, during the night, ‘Mister Slug’ had devoured precisely half of my prize strawberry. Instant ‘war’ was declared.
But my problem is that my sworn enemy is nocturnal and, dammit, I’m not prepared to sit up all night watching out for him. I’m not prepared to put out those slug killers, which are hardly guaranteed to improve the flavour of my strawberries, so I have had to take to the pre-emptive strike, by taking the berries and ripening them inside, if necessary.
It brings back memories of a much sophisticated ‘war’ which my late father fought every year as the time came up for the Tuam Agricultural Show and he prepared produce of all shapes and sizes for competition and the spuds, tomatoes, carrots, parsnips, vegetable marrows, were cosseted like children in the week coming up to the big day of competition.
My dad was in the employ
of the Bon Secours Sisters who ran the Children’s Home, and among a million other duties that came with being the man in charge of umpteen things from maintenance to gardening, the head gardener post became pivotal in the run up to the Tuam Agricultural Show.
For more, read this week’s Galway City 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.