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Wouldn’t you just give your eye teeth for an iPad?



Date Published: 02-Jun-2010

DO you ever long for a time when an apple was merely something you ate, and an iPad was probably a soft patch you used if you had an infection in your eye?

These days Apples cost a whole lot more, but on the other hand you wouldn’t need one every day to keep the doctor away – and an iPad is a device that’s half a computer with everything you need except a phone.

Northern Ireland went nuts last week when the iPad went on sale, as though Apple were only going to manufacture a limited number of these little beauties and if you didn’t get your hands on one by Friday night you were doomed to spend eternity looking enviously at your iPadded nearest neighbour.

We have to wait until July before the iPad is unleashed onto the market – in fact, even if you desperately crave one, you’d be well advised to wait until the second version comes out because they always have fewer kinks and more bells and whistles.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs modestly described it as a “magical and revolutionary device”, the 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet is designed to be used for browsing the web, playing digital media such as photographs and video, playing games and reading electronic books sold through the iBookstore.

In Japan, Apple fans queued to be among the first to get the device the day of its launch, with some lining up from Wednesday – but then this is a race who get up in the middle of the night to queue for a place in a multi-storey golf driving range to hit balls under floodlights.

Apple has already sold more than one million iPads since it was unveiled on April 3 and it has been acclaimed as everything from the future of technology to the saviour of the newspaper industry. Unlike a newspaper, however, you cannot fold it up and put it into your jacket pocket, and it would be foolhardy in the extreme to use it for swatting flies or lining the bottom of the budgie cage to catch their bird’s droppings.

Hell will be well frozen over too before you’ll wrap a couple of iPads around your fish and chips or scatter them across the floor when you’re decorating the sitting room walls so you don’t get paint on the good carpet.

The reality is that nobody needs an iPad but a million people want one; it’s too big to carry around in your pocket – although, like the early mobiles, if you had one you’d want everyone to see you using it – and unless you live alone or in the doghouse, you won’t be watching movies on it either.

The next logical step for Apple is the iChip, a digital implant inserted into your brain just behind your eyes so that when you close them and use your nose to adjust the volume and your ears to locate the station, you can watch television as you sleep. Remember where you heard about it first.

For more from Dave O’Connell see page 13 of this week’s Connacht Tribune

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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