Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Legalising drugs the solution to all our problems !



Date Published: {J}

The economy has four burning engines and is spiralling towards the ocean. The passengers – that’s us, folks – scream and pray, the grim-faced crew wrestle with the controls. Now is the time for determined action.

So they have a cabinet reshuffle – one in which no one actually loses their job. A couple were even promoted! The radical strategy for saving the country from disaster it seems is to take the team who got us into the disaster and play musical chairs with them. I won’t call it rearranging the seating plan on the Titanic that would dishonour the memory of many brave maritime event organisers. If this shower tried that they’d get tangled in the f*****g deckchairs.

Meanwhile the solution is staring us in the face. What have been the two biggest problems of the last week? Head shops and public servants. Right now, the quickest way to get an Irish passport is to join Mossad. In a move apparently calculated to make the nation gather them into its arms – and choke them – the CPSU are making the public miss holidays, family events and business appointments abroad. People have put up with a lot before, but that was on the understanding that if the worst came to the worst they could at least get out of the damn country. And it’s not just passports – this same union also plays a part in administering the new, reduced rates of social welfare. I notice they didn’t take action over that pay cut.

I’m not suggesting we get rid of them – just make them do some proper work. We’re going to need a lot of trained labour because of this head shop thing. What the hell are we thinking, talking about closing them down? We should nationalise them.

Look how much money is in the illegal drug industry. Every few months the Guards net a haul that’s worth half a billion or something. It is vast! And yet here are the head shops offering a legal, cheaper alternative. Nobody wants them shut down more than the criminal gangs of course, and you can be sure that they are behind at least some of these ‘community-based’ attacks. If we close the shops, the money being spent there will go straight back to the illegal drugs network – who of course will be selling stuff that’s even more dangerous and uncontrolled.

What we should be doing is selling these things ourselves – taking all the tax and all the profit. The State already makes a literal killing on alcohol and tobacco, why not on the drugs that younger people like? And in regulating it we can use the same sort of forthright labelling we use on cigarettes. Only more so. ‘This product may damage your hopes’; ‘Smoking this will cause you to talk tedious bollocks’; ‘Not recommended for women intending to become pregnant’, ‘Not recommended for women not intending to become pregnant’; ‘This will pretty much kill you where you stand’ and so on. Then if people mess themselves up they really have no one but themselves to blame. The country gets a huge amount of new money, and the drug gangs go out of business.

There, our problems solved at a stroke. Why am I not Taoiseach yet?


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

Continue Reading

Archive News

Galway have lot to ponder in poor show



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013




GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.

The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.

There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.

It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.

Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.

Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.

Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.

Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.

Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.

Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading