Wind speeds up – mind slows down!
Double Vision with Charlie Adley
When the sun comes out in the late afternoon a mass of flying insects gathers around the ivy atop the old stone shed. I thought in previous years it was because the ivy was flowering, but this year it’s already gone to seed, yet still they swarm: flies, bees, wasps, hover flies – all manner of aerobatic beasties.
A big fan of fresh air, I’m forced to close all the windows for these brief sunny Autumnal hours, because the bluebottles swarm around the house. In fifteen minutes there’d be five of the noisy dive-bombing disease-spreading buggers in my living room: guaranteed to drive this colyoomist doolally.
Instead of feeling trapped inside I wander out, stand beside the ivy and take a look, while soaking up the sunshine, appreciating the rich deep colours of this season.
I truly love autumn. In Jewish culture this is the start of the year; a time of beginning and restoration.
From the roof of the stone shed comes the music of a million insect orchestra. They’re all intensely excited about the ivy and – oh – there!
High above I see a triangle of twelve swallows swoop past. For the last few weeks I felt a brief pulse of excitement each time I saw swallows, thinking that maybe my local brood were still around, but no.
Turns out this house is under some kind of swallow M1 motorway. The regulars who nest in the barn over the wall left weeks ago, and these are birds heading south from somewhere further north.
My brain swims as I try to work out how far they must have already flown, if they are only this far south now.
Migration is a hard taskmaster.
Bird word travels fast. Here come the crows, up from their colony in the high trees at the crossroads. They’re lining up on the telephone wires, eager to feast on the insect smorgasbord dancing in the ivy.
It’s a good day for crows.
Every day seems to be a good day for magpies. On their mission to take over Ireland’s hedgerows and gardens, they’ve done away with a couple of my flighted friends.
To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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Bridie O’Flaherty delivers – from beyond the grave!
Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley
Even years after their deaths, some Galway politicians are still being credited with securing works.
At a recent meeting of Galway City Council, during discussion about the BusConnects project on the Dublin Road, it was outlined how a traffic lights junction would be installed at the entrance to Merlin Park Hospital as part of the overall works.
Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there was nothing new about this proposal – it had been first mooted by the late Councillor Bridie O’Flaherty in The Connacht Sentinel newspaper more than 30 years ago.
Bridie, a former Mayor who retired from politics in 1999 and died in 2008, had for a long time campaigned for the lights.
Her daughter, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty (Ind), confirmed to the meeting it was at least 35 years since her mother had proposed traffic lights at the hospital entrance.
Another former mayor, Cllr Angela Lynch-Lupton (FG), who retired from politics in 2004 and died in 2007, was credited by Cllr Donal Lyons (Ind) for championing a pedestrian bridge on the old Clifden Railway Bridge – a ‘Millennium Project’ that should have been built over 20 years ago but looks set to proceed in the coming years.
Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) said credit for the bridge was also due to former Fianna Fáil Minister, Séamus Brennan, a Salthill man who was TD for Dublin South until his death in 2008.
“He put it forward as a Millennium Project and I was Mayor at the time,” said Cllr McDonnell.
Maybe when the projects are eventually brought to fruition, they could be named after their original supporters.
The Bridie O’Flaherty traffic light junction doesn’t necessarily trip off the tongue, but the (Séamus) Brennan Bridge has a ring to it.
(Photo by Joe O’Shaughnessy: The late Bridie O’Flaherty with her daughter Terry in 1999).
This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Galway City centre streets to be dug up – yet again
From this Week’s Galway City Tribune – Just days after the annual tourist season kicked off with the St Patrick’s weekend festivities, an area of the city’s main throughfare is to be dug up yet again.
The City Council confirmed this week that “upgrade works” at the junction between High Street, Shop Street and Mainguard Street are to commence next week, drawing the ire of local business people and residents.
One local councillor and businessman said the works, which brought huge disruption while being carried out on other stretches of the route in recent years, should have been carried out while footfall was lower in January and February.
Cllr Níall McNelis told the Galway City Tribune that business people in the area were outraged at the news, and despite assurances from the Council that the works would be done “without major disruptions”, bitter experience has taught them otherwise.
“They’re outraged, to be blunt. They just can’t believe this is happening now,” he said.
“Everyone understands that these works are necessary, but this is going to take weeks out of what should be one of their busiest times.”
Works in the area were left incomplete as a result of the visit of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine in 2019.
In a statement issued by the Council, Director of Services Patrick Greene said the works should be “substantially completed by early June”.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.
What a melt: proposed bylaws put 20-minute limit on ice cream vans in Galway!
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Ice cream vans will only be allowed to sell to the public for 20 minutes before being obliged to move on to a different location if proposed new bylaws for casual trading in Galway are adopted.
The 2023 regulations to replace the 2011 bylaws will also outlaw any single use plastic products to be given out or sold by stall holders, including bottles, cutlery, containers, single use sachets, plates and straws. Compostable or reusable alternatives must be used instead of single use plastics.
The maximum time that the ice cream mobile unit can be stationary at any one location is 20 minutes.
Traders will avoid huge cost increases seen elsewhere – it will cost €267.50 annually per bay for Eyre Square (up marginally from €250). In St Nicholas’ Market it will be €69.50 per linear metre – generally equating to €139 for regular size pitches, an increase of €9.
Stall holders will again have to buy a separate licence to trade on Sundays and for the market Wednesday to Friday in July and August. But they will be able to set up shop for free at Christmas if they hold a licence for Saturday or Sunday.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read more on the draft Casual Trading Bylaws, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.