Bridge sums up a week of pride for city and county

Thu, Jun 01, 2023

There was never anything like the visit by the Yanks to get the best delph out in the house. The blue willow cups with the delicate handles and the immaculately-decorated plates which year round never saw our thick fingers, were paraded out to hold hot tea and Irish salads of ham and corned beef and scallions and ripe tomatoes. Lettuce not forget those days.

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Progress in a task of great humanity

Thu, May 25, 2023

It is hard to believe that almost a decade has passed since Catherine Corless first appeared on our pages, on our TV screens, on our radios, telling us a story that defied the prevailing logic. It was a story that resonated around the world.

It was only when we listed the names of those 796 children on our pages that you could feel the humanity of each of them. The names, all of their time. Martins and Williams and Sarahs and Kates and Ellens. The surnames, the type you would see and hear in every village across the west of Ireland. These children were all at one stage, brought together by a twist of fate and inhumanity, destined to live and perhaps die at the one place. Never to know a life outside of the shame, never to have the opportunities that their compatriots outside those walls were to experience.

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Make new bridge a symbol of hope and remembrance

Thu, May 18, 2023

I have always had an obsession with bridges. More from an architectural point of view than from the metaphorical images they represent, although as you get on in life, you tend to juxtapose the two wherever you can. The world over, I have stood on and beneath bridges, staring at their girth and wondering how the hell they stay up and what a leap of faith is was for the engineers to venture forth on their construction.

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Dancing with Wulf — ‘broken teeth’ remark sparks off a bunfight

Thu, May 11, 2023

We get quite used to people saying nice things about us. The jewel of the west, Ireland’s party capital, the graveyard of ambition; whenever you add ‘happening out west’ to a sentence, it is invariably positive. We have created such a cool vibe around Galway that to be a dissenting voice stands out and invites push-back...and that’s ok. To be protective of the place where you are from, where you have chosen to grow up, to study, to work is only natural.

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Let Darkness Into Light help create the possibility of hope

Thu, May 04, 2023

There is not one of you reading this article this morning who has avoided the impact of suicide in Ireland. Right across the country, there are empty chairs at kitchen tables; there are bedrooms left preserved and unoccupied; there are football boots and hurls and rolled up club jerseys, reminders of camaraderies lost; there are siblings and parents left decimated, stunned into surviving life, walking around in a daze, never forgetting the pain that sits at the pits of their stomach. They exist and meet the sympathetic eyes of those who try to share their obvious agony.

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Bus plan is a vital part of an inclusive city

Thu, Apr 27, 2023

The old maxim about several buses coming along at once certainly applies to the announcement by the National Transport Authority at a city hotel earlier this week. The headline act is the possibility of a 24-hour bus service, but let’s not go queuing at 4.45am just yet as it could be two years before that bus pulls up.

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Let the wordsmiths inspire you all to create

Thu, Apr 20, 2023

For the next few days, Galway is the epicentre of all things literary on this island. Even if you had not been reminded by the massive pencils located here and there in the streets, you would know that there is a heightened sense of creativity. You would get the feeling that there is something on, that the fine china has been taken out, the grass mowed, the sunshine coming west at last.

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Time to comfort a grieving generation

Thu, Apr 13, 2023

The shape of the way we have grieved has changed over the generations. The way we handle it, the way we position it in our lives, the way that the pandemic has shaped the way we pass along our condolences; the manner in which over time, we have changed how we burden some of the pain of others; how we communally become part of the collective arm to wrap around those in most pain.

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A quarter century of hope and peace

Thu, Apr 06, 2023

My house was full of radios in my childhood. Television did not appear in our house until my mid-teens, apart from one we would borrow for Christmas while its owner was gone away. As such, what was rare was wonderful and the ability to see other worlds was a major part of the fascination of that time.

So too with the radio. I still have the Pye radio set that sat in our kitchen and went on at 7 am daily as we set about getting ready for school and work and the travails of the day ahead. Based on a set of valves, there would be a few minutes when the radio light would go on, and then a pause while the valves warmed up enough to allow the sound of the broadcaster to come through.

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The need to combat loneliness

Thu, Mar 30, 2023

There is a world of difference between loneliness and solitude, even though they are oft confused. Loneliness often expresses the pain of being alone, while solitude expresses the glory of being alone.

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Cometh the hour forward, cometh the light

Thu, Mar 23, 2023

This approaching period is my favourite time of the year. The changing of the clocks, the arrival of summertime, the stretch in the evening, they are all signs that this time is upon us. The time of possibility, of change, of shedding off the miserable skins of the long winter; drying off the incessant rains that always arrive in March and make us wonder if we have the calendars right at all.

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Thu, Mar 16, 2023

On this day three years ago, all our worlds turned upside down. All of those things that we were told were previously impossible suddenly became possible and we were thrown headfirst into a sort of life for the guts of the next two years. In that time, we gave up everything we held sacred. Freedoms were curtailed, lifestyles were changed; the way we viewed each other was altered; the suspicions grew.

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The changing shape of the city experience

Thu, Mar 09, 2023

Sometimes when we look at a old picture of the heart of Galway City and notice something that is there no longer, we strain to remember when exactly that change took place. There are many time-stamped prompts to help us. Maybe it is the sight of cars on Shop Street, some pulled up to collect heavy goods from the likes of O’Connor TV or Naughtons. Or books from O’Gormans. Or the sight of Una Taaffe, shawled up to greet the morning.

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History in the making this weekend

Thu, Mar 02, 2023

History will be made in Galway this Saturday when the first ever senior Galway United football team will play in the Women’s National League. The development brings to an end the uncertainty that beset the women’s game in Galway last Autumn when it was announced that Galway WFC would not be applying to play in this year’s league.

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Our Galway Ukrainians - displaced but not down

Thu, Feb 23, 2023

Next Monday (February 27) marks the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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A dark week for the city

Thu, Feb 16, 2023

We are a nation of communities. We take what is common about us and use it to identify ourselves as being part of a people, a place. As communities, we take joy in the things that mark us out. When our community is marked out in terms of sport and achievement, we take pride in walking behind that banner. Success for our communities, our villages, our towns is marked by the satisfaction it gives us.

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Distance does not lessen our duty to help those devastated by earthquake

Thu, Feb 09, 2023

I have always loved the cool interior of a church on a warm day. Wherever I am in the world, there is a relief to be found there in among the shadows and age-old flagstones and the marble. In materials built to last, there is a nice chill that adds to the sense of weightlessness you find in places of solitude and reflection.

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The enormous lift of February

Thu, Feb 02, 2023

I am writing this on Wednesday evening as I return from the funeral of an old friend who died in the way that has come just too much the norm in the last while. The erosion of childhood memories leaves one deflated. There has been much death since the turn of the year, twenty per cent more this year that for the corresponding period last year.

For me, it is timely that Spring has happened upon us this week. I have a zest for early Spring — something that I have probably taken with me from childhood. As a child in Ballinrobe, I always had a great sense of the potential for hope that comes with the arrival of mid February. We had three wooden lake boats for fishing on Lough Mask, and every winter, they were upturned in our garden and allowed to hibernate against the harsh winds and rain while the fishing season remained shut. And then in late January, the boats would be turned again and the process of getting them ready for a new season would begin.

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Why do we make people invisible?

Thu, Jan 26, 2023

I suppose I am not unique in thinking that the times when I have been the most lonely in my life have not been solitary, but those when you are among crowds and invisible. It is the sensation you get in large cities, when you are invisible in plain view.

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Stretch in the evening gives us hope

Thu, Jan 19, 2023

It was Emily Dickinson who wrote that ‘hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.’

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