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A Different View

Where do our taxes go now we’ve a levy on everything?

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Representatives of Resource, a Cleaning, Maintenance and Security Service at many of Ireland's Hospitals, presented a cheque for €3,067.75 to Denis and Martina Goggin of Strange Boat Donor Foundation at the Circle of Life Commemorative Garden in Salthill. The money was raised through various activities including two fundraising and awareness days, a car wash, and coffee morning. Pictured at the presentation at the garden were, from left: Aine Hillary, Resource Health Sector Manager; Denis and Martina Goggin, Strange Boat Donor Foundation; Rachel Naylor, Resource Health Sector Manager; Susan Orr, Health Care Operations Manager, Beaumont Hospital; (back) Fionuala and Cathal Keogh, Mocha Beans, Galway; Jimmy McMahon, Security Supervisor at University Hospital Limerick; John O'Reilly, Health Sector Security Operations Manager at University Hospital Limerick.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

What do we pay our taxes for? Yes, we all know that it’s ostensibly to fund public services – but where?

If it’s for the roads, well, we also pay road tax and now our property tax will also go to their upkeep.

Bigger projects are done on a public private partnership, and for that we will invariably end up paying a toll – so we cough up that way too.

If it’s for refuse services, it’s not – because they’ve all been privatised and anyway we paid for them before this, only it was directly to the County Council.

Now that they’re privatised, nobody has a say on how much they’ll cost because the state handed over that golden ticket to private operators, some of whom in turn have slashed the wages of workers to a pittance.

If it’s for free education, it’s not – because university fees are rising faster than the cost of a semi-detached home in Dublin, and every school in Ireland is badgering parents for what is supposed to be a ‘voluntary donation’ to keep the show on the road after capitation grants were slashed to pieces.

If it’s for water, it’s not – because we’re seeing the meters spreading across the nation like a virus. And even with ‘Big Phil’ Hogan now safely ensconced in Euope, we’ll know all about the cost of water then.

If it’s for health care, it’s not – we’re still the ones paying health insurance, and while nobody would deny proper health care to those who cannot afford it, we might all save money if they took the layers of bureaucracy out and ran the entire system as one, just like you’d think anyone would do for a facility servicing a population of just four million people.

If it’s for the upkeep of footpaths or hedgerows, it’s not – because you can say we either pay for those through our Local Property Tax or, given the state of them, you can argue that there’s little or no money spent on them anyway.

If it’s for building local authority houses, it’s not – we haven’t seen one of those in years because Councils came to depend on developers to throw a few in with their cardboard estates so that the local authorities themselves no longer had to bother.

And when the property bubble burst, it was so long since they’d had to budget for this that they’d forgotten how to do it.

If it’s for farm subsidies, it’s not – they come from Brussels. Same for disadvantaged areas and other schemes of that ilk.

If it’s for our oil exploration programme or our leveraging of natural resources, it’s not – because we handed them over with a subservient doff of the cap to foreign interests a generation ago.

It’s also looking like it’s not to subsidise public transport either, because so many routes have been cancelled or drastically reduced because of poor numbers….which was supposed to be the very reason we paid Bus Eireann a massive subsidy in the first place.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Sporting rivalry doesn’t have to mean segregated supporters

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Three sporting teams whose boundaries come up to the back door of each other’s patch were all in action at the one venue – two of them against each other – at the weekend.

If it was the Premiership, it wouldn’t – and couldn’t – have happened because there would be carnage either inside or outside the ground . . .or both.

But this was Pearse Stadium and the county senior football championship, an afternoon’s entertainment that might not have been on Sky Sports’ radar, but which was no less crucial for those with a vested interest all the same.

First up, Oughterard were up against their nearest neighbours Killannin for a semi-final place, while the other leg of this local stool saw reigning champions Moycullen successfully put their crown on the line against Tuam Stars.

It goes without saying that the crowd was in the high hundreds or low thousands; this wasn’t Old Trafford or Anfield with 60,000 or 70,000 fans congregating from all corners of the globe, never mind the country.

So it wasn’t Celtic and Rangers or City against United; it was neighbours and families and friends intermingled all in one place, albeit wearing different colours.

And even allowing for the intensity of local rivalries, the ties that bind are infinitely stronger than the boundaries that divide.

Half the Killannin team went to school in Oughterard. The Monaghans, who line out for Oughterard, are sons of Terence who was steeped in Moycullen football before moving parish.

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

Homework only goes to prove parents haven’t all the answers

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Anyone fortunate enough to be a parent will always remember the moment when their child transitioned from unqualified hero worship to thinking that ma and da, if not quite clowns, at least possessed feet of clay.

And that moment often coincided with the time you could no longer make head nor tail of their homework.

You were grand with addition and subtraction, even multiplication and basic division – but when theorems or algebra or physics or foreign languages came into the equation, suddenly your infallible status took a nosedive straight into the nearest bin.

The consolation is that we are not alone – because most parents admit they’ve forgotten even the basics from their schooldays, leaving them cruelly exposed when the teenagers come looking for help.

A recent UK survey asked 1,500 parents aged over 30 what they had forgotten from their schooldays.

Top of the list was algebra – forgotten by half of them – followed by trigonometry and Pythagoras’s Theorem. About a third of respondents could no longer remember how to do long division – or name ten or more elements from the periodic table.

A quarter didn’t know the difference between an isosceles and a scalene triangle, and almost a fifth had forgotten how to use a protractor. Most of those probably thought a compass was for pricking the back of the student sitting in front of you.

Other classroom classics now lost in the sands of time included a failure to recognise cloud formations, identifying an oxbow lake, remembering quotes from Shakespeare, or explaining the difference between volts and amps.

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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Connacht Tribune

Everybody knows a Dave – but it still don’t make a storm

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s been a tough week for Ireland’s Daves and Davids – ever since we found out just how close we were to having our own storm, only to have it snatched away from us by a public vote that inexplicably went for Dudley instead.

It doesn’t matter than Dudley hardly even sounds like a gust of wind, let alone a gale force storm; it just conjures up an image of a drunken Dudley Moore in Arthur, meandering all over the place – more of a danger to himself than the roof of your house is.

The only consolation is that, if it wasn’t Dudley, it still wouldn’t have been Dave – because in compiling the shortlist, our own Queen of the Weather Forecast, Evelyn Cusack, made a stronger case for Storm Diarmuid, ahead of Dave, David and even Dafydd.

The Brits were keen on Storm Dave, but part of the reason that there is an annual debate among the Met Offices is to ensure a disparate selection, with something for each of the participating nationalities.

That’s why we got Barra, Pól, Seán and Méabh, and the Welsh got Arwen and possibly Gladys, and the Dutch got Vergil and Willemien, with a couple of crossover names like Jack and Kim and Ruby in there for good measure.

But when it came to Storm D, our Met Éireann boss wouldn’t even entertain Dermot as a compromise over Diarmuid, according to the correspondence on this year’s storm-naming process, as revealed under Freedom of Information this week.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter in the end because the people decided anyway. They were given a choice of Duncan, Dudley and Dafydd. . .and Dudley was the winner, perhaps – the commentators think – because of Dudley Dursley, erstwhile star of Harry Potter. As opposed to Dudley Moore.

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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