Date Published: 15-Jun-2011
Jamie Carragher is the City of Liverpool’s Philanthropist of the Year – which caught the Reds centre-half somewhat by surprise as he said he hadn’t collected stamps since he was a kid.
The Philanderer of the Year crown on the other hand rests uneasily on the head of Ryan Giggs, who was quick to expound the virtues of family, particularly of brothers and sisters – as in Big Brother contestants and sisters in law, without whom he’d still be just a dull footballer.
Wayne Rooney doesn’t want any award this year because he’s paid for a new crown for himself, transplanting the hair from his ears onto his bald spot with the double benefit of allowing him to head the ball in comfort and hear his team-mates telling him when it’s coming his direction.
The man called Shrek could still teach Giggsy a thing or two, given his own past misdemeanours with elderly grannies and young tarts – although he’s probably hoping that, by covering some of his mush with his newly transplanted bum fluff, he won’t have to pay for extra-curricular activities in future.
Carragher’s reputation remains snow-white despite the regular barbs that he wouldn’t be your first choice for a table quiz team. But at least his 23 Foundation charity is putting something back into one of the most deprived cities in the UK.
He donated his testimonial money – as did our own heroes, Niall Quinn and Gary Kelly, in the past – to charity, in this case the Foundation that bears his Liverpool number so that they could fund existing projects for deprived young people in the city.
While his fellow Scouser and team-mate, Steven Gerrard, finds it hard to shake off internet suggestions that he’s had his moments off the field of play, Carra remains inextricably a part of the fabric of his own community.
And apart from one or two dodgy incidents in his early days that could be excused on the basis of youth, he has been a shining example of what a footballer can be, epitomised by the fact that he received the freedom of his home borough of Sefton last year for his local charity work and "the exceptional example he sets to the youth of today."
The pity is that there aren’t a few more like him; Ryan Giggs seemed to be one until the tabloids got their teeth into him and he took out a superinjunction that was supposedly designed to spare him publicity, but in reality might as well have suggested he paint a big target on his back.
In fairness, if Giggsy hadn’t done anything wrong, there’d be no reason to seek a gagging order and if he hadn’t taken the notion of a close family to new heights, he’d have been in the clear after his Big Brother liaison.
He could argue that what he does off the pitch is nobody’s business except his own and his family’s, and he could have a point if he didn’t make millions off his Mr Clean reputation through endorsements and sponsorship.
They whole lot of them would have a better argument if they claimed that no self-respecting fan sees these stars as role models anyway – even the best of them is living in a world a million miles removed from reality.
They earn in a week what the rest of us make in a year; they have more cars than your average motor dealers’ forecourt and they spend their holidays on private islands where they shun the caviar for a diet of sausage and chips.
There was a story told by an employee of Bolton Wanderers – a sort of general fixer and smoother out of player problems – about one of their highly-paid foreign stars who was complaining to the club of an unexplainable damp patch on his king-sized bed.
For more, read this week’s Connacht 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.