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CITY TRIBUNE

Wind speeds up – mind slows down!

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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