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Whatever your disappearing hair issues Ð say no to rugs



Date Published: 18-Jul-2012

A man who clearly had a substantial amount of time on his hands recently took a case to the Advertising Standards Authority because he claimed an ad for a hair transplant clinic implied that bald men suffered a lack of confidence.

Given our penchant as a nation for red tape, his complaint was duly investigated and upheld to the point that the ad – and the implication that a full thatch leaves you equally full of confidence – has been withdrawn.

But clearly a full head of hair is a lifeline for some people – or at least for Wayne Rooney and Terry Wogan – while others usher the tide out as quickly as possible by shaving their domes even before the last strands have given up the ghost.

It can be seen by some as the first sign of your own mortality and all of the quips about grass not growing on a busy street don’t really disguise the anguish it can cause.

Poor Jackie Healy Rae, for example, took to wearing a flat cap when his hair began departing his head, as did all of his sons as though this was part of their genealogy as opposed to the Kerry version of a fashion statement.

It’s ridiculous, of course, to imply that just because a full head of hair gives you confidence, therefore bald men are lacking in it; some of most famous men on the planet are bald and hardly qualify as shrinking violets.

Thierry Henry for example doesn’t seem to suffer from anxiety attacks; nor would you see the likes of Keith Wood, Bruce Willis, Michael Stipe, Sean Connery or Michael Jordan curl up into a corner because of a lack of self-belief.

And yet, on the other hand, there have been surprisingly few bald world leaders, which only suggest they’re not tearing their hair out as much as we thought.

Eisenhower was bald and there was a few of them in the Middle East – Moshe Dayan, Menachim Begin, David Ben Gurion – but most of them were fully covered on the follicle count.

Our own current leaders Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore have what our mothers could only describe as fine heads of hair – a trend that is equally prevalent around the Cabinet table.

True, Michael Noonan and Ruairi Quinn don’t have to waste their wages on buying a comb, but Alan Shatter has a head of hair that actually adds a couple of badly needed inches to his height, and his hirsute colleague James Reilly looks like he’s growing his hair for eventual harvesting on a commercial basis.

Across the water, David Cameron’s bonce is his pride and joy, kept in place with a force so powerful that a hurricane wouldn’t shift it. Same could be said of Angela Merkel, except she’s not a man.

So perhaps our friend had some merit to his argument after all – if you want to get ahead, get a head of hair.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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