Another Year-Another Marathon

Another Year-Another Marathon

‘How can you tell if someone has run a marathon?….Don’t worry they’ll tell you.’ , is  a joke I enjoy and can shamefully admit to. How I got into marathon running, I cannot say. It always held a certain allure for me. Perhaps it’s the photo of my father crossing the finish line in the eighties, pain etched across his brow. Perhaps that penchant to suffer in training drew me to it as it did The Galway Cycle. Either way I’m now…

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Fighting Corona in an Age of Entitlement

Fighting Corona in an Age of Entitlement

I was never a fan of X-Factor, yet to deny its huge reach would be hipster in the extreme. I even saw families come in to the pub where I worked, to watch the drama of the live vote unfold. What exactly the draw was, I could not say. Perhaps the same reason I find the olympics so enthralling. The realisation or ruination of one’s dreams. One contestant sticks out for me; not that I can remember their name or where…

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Teaching today- Why all the vitriol?

Teaching today- Why all the vitriol?

  To say the past week has been eventful in our little island would be an understatement. Amongst all the deluge of NPHET being undermined by ‘Love me’ Leo, a story caught my eye. Many were up in arms about the timing of the new checkpoints, and rightly so. Yet again it seemed those trying their best, in these the most trying of times, were being accosted the most. Those in breach of regulations are more likely to do so…

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Where Are We Now?

Where Are We Now?

”Respect the sea and the sea will respect you”, I’m told, is the mantra my grandfather lived by whilst at sea.  Being a fisherman in times of yore, safety was not much guaranteed as he plumbed the depths of the Atlantic around Iveragh with lobster pots, in search of…well, lobster. The network that protects today’s seafarers was not available, to say the least. Yet even today many have fallen foul of what can sometimes be a cruel temptress…the sea. I’ve…

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Overcoming the Driving Test…At Last.

Overcoming the Driving Test…At Last.

‘Passengers for Banteer, Millstreet, Rathmore, Killarney, Farranfore and Tralee, must change at Mallow’, is a part of the soundtrack of my youth. If the announcer was non plussed about the stops he was rattling off; nor was I at the thought of another leg. The droning PA on the train home is something I am very accustomed to. I probably have dreamt about it on occasion. My Friday itinerary was like clockwork as I made the journey south. Leave Maynooth…

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Working From a Different Perspective

Working From a Different Perspective

‘I come to the office and get my work done, and drive for 5 minutes and I’m home’, says Declan Sugrue, as he sits resplendent in his chair, surveying his office in South Kerry. An architect by trade, with his own business, Declan is immeasurably content with his work-life balance. A bustling business and burgeoning family on the go. It was a few years ago that Declan envisaged providing office space for the remote worker in one of the most…

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In Solidarity With James McClean

In Solidarity With James McClean

One of my favourite things to teach at junior cycle English is World War One poetry. Siegfried Sassoon and the tragic Wilfred Owen, in particular, provide a raw and visceral insight into the grim reality of life in the trenches. The rage and anger they felt drips off the pages by the bucketload. The haunting imagery Owen confronts us with in Dulce et Decorum Est, has the tendency to leave our jaws on the floor. Onomatopoeia has scarcely ever been so disturbing. Phrases…

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The Privilege of Being in Jackie’s Army

The Privilege of Being in Jackie’s Army

Following the harrowing news over the weekend of good auld Jack’s demise, a deluge of memories of those heathy days have come swirling back to me. As they did for us all who were privy to those times, I’m sure. It shook me more than I’d anticipated. Italia ’90 was the first real time I discovered the magic of football. What a time to be alive. That match against Romania will always be the stand out one (for the occasion…

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A Return to the Wilderness

A Return to the Wilderness

‘It’d be a great little country if you could roof it’, is a phrase we have become accustomed to on our little island. Surrounded by stunning scenery, yet surrounded by weather that is unpredictable and moody like a teenager, the phrase is easy to comprehend. Yet, for me, this only adds to the charm, at times anyhow. With freedom granted last Monday to travel outside the county we reside in, we hightailed it home to South Kerry like scalded cats….

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Searching For Sugarman- A Lesson in True Mastery

Searching For Sugarman- A Lesson in True Mastery

*NB Spoilers alert; Watch this wonderful film before reading, as it is a heck of a journey. Every now and then a story comes along that rattles me to the core. Not that I’m nosy, but my ears have always had the habit of picking up on a tale that I thought was from the ‘other’ category. Listening to Dave Fanning many moons ago, as I was want to do, of an evening, I heard of a new documentary following…

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