Archive for the ‘Tales of the Tellurians’ Category

Vincent was captain of his ship on land and sea

The late Vincent O'Toole was one of Waterford city's great characters.
While away from Waterford recently, I was saddened to learn of the death of Vincent O’Toole, one of the city’s genuine characters and legends. During his long and busy life, Vincent was a master mariner, a businessman, racehorse owner and fierce proponent of all things Waterford. He could also be dogged and fiery and it was [...]

Growing Pains for the European Capital of Culture

Readers may recall that a few years ago Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford came together as the ‘Three Sisters Region’ in a bid to win the title European Capital of Culture for 2020. A European Capital of Culture (ECOC) is a region chosen by the EU to host a year-long programme of events that reflect the richness [...]

Better News for Newspapers

The newest and most comprehensive media research figures in Britain contain some interesting and encouraging news for traditional print newspapers. The data confirms the use of the ubiquitous smartphone in news readership but only for some titles and there is a sting in the tail there too, especially for advertisers. Previously, Britain relied on the National Readership [...]

Big Tom Takes the Dusty Country Road to Heaven

One of the biggest showband icons from the 1960s to the present day left us last week. Big Tom McBride passed away aged 81 years just a few months after the death of his wife, Rose. Credited with coining the phrase ‘Country and Irish’ Tom and his band, The Mainliners, jam-packed halls all over the country for decades and when they visited Britain there were almost as many thousands left outside as those inside. He had many big hits such as ‘Gentle Mother’ and ‘Four Country Roads’.  President Higgins and the Taoiseach were among the many dignitaries that paid tribute to his talent and his success, an indication of his countrywide popularity.   Curiously, Tom and The Mainliners were never huge in Waterford City and Cork City where the preferred taste was pop and rock.  Mind you, they weren’t worried because as Tom once famously said: “We haven’t seen a floorboard in years!” Despite it being a small country, I never met Big Tom but friends who knew him well worshipped the man describing him as extremely decent, self deprecating, funny and totally unaffected by his fame.  May he rest in peace.
One of the biggest showband icons from the 1960s to the present day left us last week. Big Tom McBride passed away aged 81 years just a few months after the death of his wife, Rose. Credited with coining the phrase ‘Country and Irish’ Tom and his band, The Mainliners, jam-packed halls all over the country [...]

North Korean Money for Waterford Airport

North Korea’s Supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, has agreed to invest in excess of €20m in Waterford Regional Airport in a deal put together by Waterford TD, John Halligan and his Dáil colleague, Minister for Transport, Shane Ross. Deputy Halligan has had cultural contacts with North Korea for some time and, earlier this year, was criticised for [...]

Did the Irish invent rugby?

Ireland's Grand Slam victory has rekindled the debate over the origins of Rugby Union.
It is amazing the arguments people get into in pubs about things that don’t really matter. It seems that following Ireland’s fabulous win over England at Twickenham the customers at a certain establishment took to discussing the origins of rugby and one guy was adamant that it originated in Ireland and that he read that fact [...]

Chancers & Divas in Airport Queues

Of late, I have done a lot of lengthy queuing at airports and there is no doubt in my mind that some of the chancers and divas that do their best to avoid those queues should qualify for an Academy Award. Some of them should also qualify for a number of other things as [...]

What Did Jesus Really Look Like?

Does this mosaic of Christ in the Domitilla Catacombs in Rome really represent the closest image there is of the real-life Jesus?
From numerous religious paintings and icons our subconscious has formed an image of Jesus mostly as a handsome, thin figure with long hair and dressed in loose robes. Most film portrayals show him as fair-skinned and, sometimes, with piercing, blue eyes.The likelihood is that most of those presumptions were not correct and the real-life, historic [...]

Take a Walk, Have a Drink and Shout at the TV!

Be positive: it’s never too late to embrace new things.
A recent scientific investigation into ageing came up with some interesting findings. Globally, the average life span is 72 years and, for a few lucky people, it may exceed 100 years. In the early 1900s, it was in the region of 50 years. Today’s extra decades come courtesy of vaccines, antibiotics, sanitation and improved detection [...]

Exhumed Remains Still with Undertaker Five Months Later

Disputes over graves and who should be buried in them are nothing new in this country but last week came news of an unusual case about a local family locked in dispute with Tipperary County Council over the reburial of exhumed remains in Carrick-on-Suir. There were two, detailed reports in The Clonmel Nationalist by former Waterford [...]