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A Different View

Why do we mourn passing of people we never knew?

Dave O'Connell

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Christine Bleakley (centre) with Marty and Catherine Nee, Marty’s Mussels, during filming at Rosroe Pier in Killary Harbour, for a new ITV series which will showcase the Wild Atlantic Way.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Why do we mourn the deaths of famous people we’ve never met?

Why, for example, did thousands take to the streets of Belfast to see George Best off on his final journey – or most famously of all, why did Britain come to a standstill to mourn Princess Diana?

We can all remember where we were when JFK or John Lennon was shot – and for most of us, it was nowhere near either Dallas or New York. We remember the news the night that Elvis died on the toilet.

And we might have shed a tear and remembered these people we never met.

So what is it about celebrity that leaves us thinking we know them, when the reality is that most of them would sooner drive over you than stop and chat?

Perhaps it’s the joy some of them brought to our lives – Bestie jinking past defenders like they were stationary dust bins, or JFK looking out over Galway Bay towards the land of his birth and the place where so many of ours made their home.

The death of sports heroes – either current or from bygone days – evokes a vision of them in their prime, thrilling us with their skills.

Ditto for rock stars – we have their music to remember them by; and if it made an impression on us at a formative time in our lives, then it will trigger an emotional response on their death.

But then you have wall-to-wall coverage for the passing of minor celebrities, people that you wouldn’t have gone into town to see in their relative pomp – and yet their passing, probably premature, makes headlines.

Take the recent death of Peaches Geldof – a tragic death in the way that the loss of any young mother would be, but in fairness to a woman famous for being a daughter, hardly the sort of thing to dominate the headlines.

Yes, her father Bob is a national treasure and one of the few people of our time to make a real and tangible difference in the fight against world hunger. Bur Peaches was a wild child who was famous for having something to say about everything while never really doing a lot about anything.

And yet we had pages and programmes on her death, laden with reminders of her mother’s tragic death – another woman most of us never knew – as well as endless pieces on the evil of drugs just so you could drag all of that salacious detail into the picture too.

Mickey Rooney died earlier this year after a long and fruitful life – not to mention eight wives over his 94 years – but the images we remember were of him as a child actor back in the days of black and white cinema….Boys Town in 1938, the Andy Hardy series from that same era. So we were mourning a man who died within touching distance of his century, with images of him from his late teens.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Speed it up if you want to get away with telling lies

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

We all have a failing that gets us caught out if we tell lies – for some of us it’s that we blush to a point that cars stop because they think we’re a traffic light turned red; for others it’s the inability to keep a straight face – but what catches us out easiest of all is talking too slowly.

That’s because you don’t actual have to think about it when you’re telling the truth; there’s no need for recourse to your imagination, and you don’t have to worry about inconsistencies in your explanation – because there are none.

But if you’re making it up as you’re going along, you have to pause for more than breath – because it takes a little longer to conjure up an alternative reality.

Which explains a new study which has found that individuals who speak more rapidly are more likely to be perceived as honest.

And that presumably makes Dave Fanning the most truthful man around.

A 2015 study in the Netherlands looked at lying in volunteers aged six to 77. It found that children initially have difficulty formulating believable lies, but proficiency improves with age.

It judged that you hit your lying prime between the ages of 18 and 29 – but after about the age of 45, we begin to decline again. . . or so we’d have you believe, because maybe we’ve just got really, really good at it.

Of course, the best way to get away with telling a lie is the ability to make it seem like it’s true in the first place – so shout it loud enough and long enough and often enough, and eventually it becomes a reality.

You must feign real integrity to become a successful liar; say it like you actually believe it yourself and you’re halfway to getting away with it.

The researchers of this most recent piece of work, based at the University of East London, found that a slower rate of speech can mean that a talker is under a heavier cognitive load – in simpler language, because they are lying their brain must conjure up an alternative truth, which slows down how they express themselves.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Did CJ’s extravagance inspire Boris and Carrie Antoinette?

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

 A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There was something irritatingly familiar about the whole Boris Johnson/Downing Street flat refurbishment fiasco last week – sort of like we’ve lived through this exact same story before.

And then the penny dropped – because we too had a man at the helm who used to go on television to tell the rest of us to tighten our collective belts while he himself lived the life of a lord on the fat of the land.

Which begs the question – is Boris just the British version of Charlie Haughey?

Because there are obvious links – like getting their friends to trouser up for their life of luxury; being led by their libido like a dog on a long lead; and blessed by an aura of charisma for no obvious reason – other than perhaps that old aphrodisiac of power.

Both of them have, or had, what might be termed a loose interpretation of what constitutes fidelity – and in fact, in terms of public approval, it never did either of them a whole lot of harm.

The fundamental difference of course is that Boris is trying to kit out a grace-and-favour flat that’s not even his; he could be turfed out tomorrow if the electorate have their say, or the Labour Party awakes from its long slumber.

But Haughey was feathering his own nest at Abbeville, his Gandon mansion in leafy Kinsealy, before eventually selling it off and making a massive profit on it.

Neither Boris nor Charlie would be the first political leader to ignore their own message of course, because the world is full of people who prefer the ‘do as I say’ approach to the more difficult ‘do as I do’.

And there are bigger, bloodier despots governing countries where the people are starving on the streets while their leaders, cushioned financially by secret Swiss bank accounts, wash their ample frames in gold-plated baths.

But still, both Johnson and Haughey enjoy, or enjoyed, a lifestyle that was way beyond the one their respective incomes or wealth could ever have funded.

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

Stellar new album shooting for those stars over Kinvara

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Who’d have thought that the celestial canvass over South Galway could ever be captured so hauntingly in words and music, as they have been on Declan O’Rourke’s hugely personal new album, which has just gone on release to understandable acclaim?

The Stars over Kinvara is an ode to the place he chose to make his home, returning to his ancestral roots, the place of his grandfather Miko Killeen, as he reveals in the song – and it’s also an explanation to his son of how deeply his love of this land runs.

He sings of the night he brought his wife and new-born baby home for the first time – and he had to pull the car in around Ballindereen.

“I had never seen

Such a sky of gems that gleamed

Orion was out, and the starry Plough

All the night was on display

Over The Burren, the road, and the bay

There were ten more lights that shone

For each one of our own passed on

And I dreamed that Miko too

Was shining down on you”

With Arrivals, O’Rourke has quite simply produced a beautiful, spellbinding album.

Produced with the lightest of touches by the great Paul Weller, it ensures the unique voice and wonderful lyrics take centre stage – enhanced, not overpowered, by the stripped-back accompaniment.

Weller once described O’Rourke’s debut single, as ‘possibly the greatest song written in the last 30 years’.

It might be hyperbole coming from anyone else, but the pair have become firm friends, and Weller’s respect for O’Rourke’s craft is evident in the way that he strips back everything else to let the words and the lyrics breathe.

Because O’Rourke is a unique singer – but he’s also a poet, with a love of language and imagery that lifts the soul and the goose bumps in equal measure.

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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