50 days from the polls — time to do your bit

Thu, Apr 18, 2024

You can smell the election now... not in the way you smell it after four days of counting in a cramped community centre somewhere, but in the air, there’s a real sense of people wanting to be part of our new Councils.

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The marketisation of our creativity

Thu, Apr 11, 2024

There is nothing as innocent as the process of passion that drags you on the path to whatever you choose to do in life. The excitement of eking out a wage, of convincing yourself that people will want to consume what you produce is common across all occupations.

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A year tinged with heart-numbing sadness

Thu, Mar 28, 2024

When the bells peal on a new year, we enter it with a bucket of fresh hope that the changing of what are just numbers will alter what lies ahead. It is a naive but innocent assumption that does no harm.

Yet, we hope that there will be a new beginning, that this year will be better than last; that the mistakes we made in the past will be rectified by the new knowledge of the future.

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Play your part in the shaping of a new Galway

Thu, Mar 14, 2024

The present and the future have an annoying habit of conspiring to show just how silly we might have been in the past. Armed with foresight and hindsight, something that might have seemed like a good idea at some stage in the past is ridiculed by the present and put right by the future.

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The heads above the parapet

Thu, Feb 29, 2024

In a hundred days from now, most of us will go to the polls to elect new city and county councillors and new MEPs. The race for the European seat used to be a lot more interesting when the constituency was merely the West...now it goes from Rossaveal to somewhere near the Mull of Kintyre. There is never any shortage of candidates for the European gig...as political posts go, they are the most desired. If I ever come back in the next life as a politician, you’ll find me in Brussels or Strasbourg, eating starters instead of main courses to keep the pounds down.

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Sleepwalking into the repeat of history

Thu, Feb 22, 2024

I had coffee with some old friends the other day; people who had devoted their lives to doing the right thing; never ones to let a cause go unfought. People who took an interest in the world; people whose emotional ebb and flow was determined by the general state of mankind.

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The reinvigorating power of February

Thu, Feb 01, 2024

My mother used to say that you kept something long enough, it would come back into fashion. But of course, I never heeded her, and so all my trendy Gola sports bags and original three-stripe Adidas tee-shirts were discarded, not knowing they would come back into vogue. So too with flared trousers. It must have been the devil himself who designed those in the 1970s and thought it was a good idea, but back they have come again for certain age-groups.

I thought of all that this week with the news that starting today, you can get money back for your old bottles again. In the early 1970s, in the town where I grew up, and where if a dog went through with his tail on, he was a tourist, opportunities for pocket money were rare.

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Galway facility can sate the palates of the world

Thu, Jan 25, 2024

For anyone who has studied the history of Galway over the past century, you will see therein a repeated window of opportunity which has either been grabbed with both hands (as in the case of our early cultural and artistic endeavours) or frittered away (as was the case with our continuing failure to benefit from the proximity of the waters along which we live).

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Every community needs a Martin Horgan

Thu, Jan 18, 2024

As was the norm, the last time I spoke with Martin Horgan, one of us was either coming or going to a football pitch. Trudging off with a bag of balls, shoving singlets into a box, making some arrangement for the pushing of some project or others, the complexion of sporting satisfaction evident in our visage. Perhaps because it was always in places like that that we encountered each other, my memories are so precious and so sad. Pitches were a playground in our youth, and in our more mature years, they still represent a leap from the reality of life. Perhaps that is why I love them so much. That reality hit home this week when Martin passed away, his death sending shockwaves throughout the sporting community in Galway and his wide circle of family and friends.

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A man who kept the story of Galway alive

Thu, Jan 11, 2024

The great stories have always found their way down to those who appreciate them the most. The cave writings, the hewed and smoothened tablets, the leathery books that fill the most treasured libraries; the tiny lead-made print of the 18th and 19th century newspapers.

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Leave your mark on the city’s built environment

Thu, Jan 04, 2024

Everything happens for a reason. Everything leaves a footprint in its wake.

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Playing it by year — who knows what 2024 holds?

Thu, Dec 28, 2023

They say that an optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. So it will be for many of us this Sunday night when we bid a glad farewell to another year and welcome in the latest instalment — another chapter in the book of life.

We can never trust a new year — every new year is the direct descendant, isn’t it, of a long line of proven criminals? Ones that have let us down, having promised so much.

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Look after the little things this Christmas

Thu, Dec 14, 2023

Look after the little things in life. Because one day the time will come when you realise they are the big things.

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Our train station is getting a facelift — now the trains must follow suit

Thu, Dec 07, 2023

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. For the vast majority of visitors to Galway those who come to shop to visit, to study, or to stay, the first impression for many years has been the dour greasy uninviting Ceannt Station. Ostensibly an impressive building in its day, for decades now, it has been outdated and unable to cater for the tens of thousands of people who use it weekly.

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The need to keep our spaces safe

Thu, Nov 30, 2023

It must be the goal of every city or town that it makes its spaces safe. As each place developed over the centuries, it aimed to leave behind the areas within each which were determined to be wild or unsafe; places where you would be discouraged to be by nature of their design or wildness.

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What might have been...

Thu, Nov 23, 2023

It is not often that the one story dominates all the world’s headlines. We got a sense of it a few years back when we were all under the curse of Covid. For the first time, perhaps ever, the entire globe was at the mercy of the one ailment; the entire global news cycle carrying the same, but localised versions of the same story. We all had variations of the one restrictions; we lived our lives in the manner that the regulators dicated.

This day 60 years ago, the world’s media was also carrying the one story with the news of the previous day’s shooting in Dallas reverberating around the globe. It was that first moment in time when people recalled an engagement with media, whether it be radio, newspaper or TV. Decades on, people can recall where they were when they heard that news.

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When the calm waters turned against us

Thu, Nov 16, 2023

Communities are made up of many factors. The teams that represent us. The societies we form for the betterment of us all. The hostelries where we gather in sorrow and joy...and the businesses that light up our streets; that sponsor our football teams, that give employment to our teenagers, that provide us with the goods and services we need.

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Putting the brave face on the darkness of November

Thu, Nov 09, 2023

There’s a welcome inherent in us for the bright lights of winter. A place in our souls for the gaily coloured lamination that heralds the impending season. It is just a few weeks since that the dark curtain of winter darkness has fallen upon us.

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Why are we so helpless in the face of evil?

Thu, Oct 19, 2023

There is a pain deep in the pits of our stomachs this week. With the winter rains and dark clouds marking the time of year when nature resets itself for the renewal of the growing cycle, the light that gives us hope and energy is in scarce supply. It is a time when sadness is accentuated, when you grapple to find the good in things.

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...and the killing still goes on

Thu, Oct 12, 2023

If one was asked to construct an essay on the reasons behind the rising murder rate in this country, you would probably feel like laying the blame at the feet of the gangland criminals who facilitate the peddling of death through the toxic poisoning of our communities. The high profile nature of their internecine battles is what fuels the coverage of crime.

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