Galway Advertiser 1992/1992_11_26/GA_26111992_E1_020.pdf
C O M M E N T
L E T T E R S C O N T R O V E R S A R Y O N O R I G I N S
THE BIBLE A BOOK LIKE OTHERS
Dear Editor, I respect Pastor Raymond A. Blair, and his right to ex press his views, but his at titude, in the matters of Hallowe'en, Christianity and "neo-paganism", should be addressed. While much milder in ex pression, that attitude echoes those of others who regard themselves as the Chosen People of God - be they the Masai, the Ayatollah Khoemeni, or the massmurderer Matthew Hopkins, "witch-finder general" of the 17th century. With all due respect, Pastor Blair is no more one of God's elect than are the Masai. According to the Bi ble, he is, but if the Evangelical Gospels, which he would quote as proof, are truly the word of God, then more than the Evangelicals were divinely inspired; not just Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but also Clement of Alexandria and coundess other early churchmen who selected these four from the 80-odd other gospels; and even censored one of them - no doubt with God's in itials on the corrected parchment. It strains credibility that God would entrust an eter nal and constant message to humanity to the medium of human language and its am biguities - ambiguities com pounded in translation. The old puzzler is still an apt il lustration: does the original Greek translate as "Peace on earth, good will to all men", or "Peace on earth to all men of good-will" Which did God mean? Sure ly God's will is to be found by looking within, in humili ty, and not in loftily "going by the book"? But a propos that book: who, God or devil, was the prophet invoking when he prayed, "Break his teeth in his mouth, Oh Lord: let his children be fatherless and wife beg for bread"? Correct the accuracy of my quotation if you like, Pastor, but address your reply to the thrust of its message. In conclusion, it may be significant that the Masai, who once terrorised East Africa, are now marginalis ed and a pitiful shadow of their once proud race, through their own aloof con temptuous detachment from political participation with their neighbours... Ah! but I forget, their God is not the true God! Yours sincerely, Michael Carragher Cloonacau neen, Claregalway.
O F C H R I S T I A N I T Y MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOtll T H E " N E W A G E "
Dear Editor, With reference to the re cent correspondence concer ning spirituality and Mr. Raymond Blair's letter in last week's paper which I found reasonable in defence of his views, I would like to take issue with his reference to the New Age Movement and present for readers a few aspects of New Age thinking which I feel are greatly misunderstood by some people. The New Age Movement represents the emergence of a new consciousnes which is becoming more manifest in our world. It could be described as a global spiritual awakening which is affecting many people. The urban, industrial, materialistic age that has driven humankind and the planet to the edge of destruc tion is crumbling. It is time for spirituality and time for God. Thus, we are in a stage of transition and a shift in awareness. God, in a New Age context, is viewed by many in the universal sense, i.e. the God force within all of us. The same love that opens a flower to the heavens or looks at us from the eyes of a child, is deep within our hearts. We can connect with it in our lives if we choose to. The New Age Movement as I understand it is not antiChristian. Many acknowledge the position of Jesus as an enlightened be ing who strove to direct peo ple on the spiritual path. However, the hostility that is being directed from some quarters of the Christian establishment would be seen as a reflection of their dread of relinquishing control. Many of us feel that the true message of Jesus has been distorted by conniving, con triving men, strongly motivated by their own lust for power. The New Age is Movement of togetherness, of community a network of people work' ing together, healing and helping and reaching out to each other. r^. New Age has taken root in human consciousness. It is unstoppable and inevitable and totally justified. It | radiating outwardly froir within us to shape our work and our future. Yours sincerely, 'John Bradshaw The Claddagh
O U k n o w them w e l l . A n d just recently y o u ' v e probably seen a lot o f them about the place. T h e y come in all shapes and sizes, in both sexes, with long hair and short hair, in stylish suits or sensible dresses, smoking and non-smoking, pioneers and imbibers, Catholics and Protestants and Jews (no Muslims yet, but give it time). M a n y o f them have such fixed smiles that y o u wonder h o w long their facial muscles can take the strain. A s for their voices, things are a bit easier since the tradi tion o f the after-Mass oration was discontinued, but after a couple o f weeks repeating pretty much the same things over and over again, a certain rawness and hoarseness afflicts even the toughest o f them. T h e i r feet must be like the hooves o f an ass, and as for their skins, w e l l , it must be the consistency o f rhinoceros-hide. T h e y are indifferent to weather, trudging forth to ring doorbells in rain, sleet or tropical heat. A hardy breed, that o f the politician. T h e y ' v e been having a hard time recendy. N o b o d y likes them very much. N o b o d y trusts them v e r y much either. T h e American poet E . E . C u m m i n g s is typical; he wrote that " a politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a m a n " . Shakespeare was even less flattering (though some may feel that, as usual, the Bard had hold o f at least some o f the truth); he has his K i n g Lear profer this advice: " G e t thee glass eyes; and, like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost n o t " , while our o w n Jonathan Swift observed that " w h o e v e r could make two ears o f corn or two blades o f grass to g r o w upon a spot o f ground where only one grew before, w o u l d deserve better o f mankind, and do more essential service to his country than the whole race o f politicians put together", an observation that prospective agriculture ministers might like to ponder. But the fact is, w e need them. Somebody has to do the j o b . H a r r y T r u m a n is said to have had a sign on his desk which read " T h e Buck Stops H e r e " , and for just about e v e r y politician y o u can think o f that's true. I f y o u ' r e a humble deputy with hordes o f constituents hanging round y o u r door, each one with his particular urgent request, there's nowhere to hide. I f y o u hap pen to make it to a ministerial post, whatever y o u decide in any particular case, somebody is going to have it in for y o u . A n d if y o u make it to the top j o b , w e l l , unless y o u develop that rhinoceros-hide w e mentioned above y o u w o n ' t last five minutes. And every once in a while y o u have to submit yourself to the frenzy and indignity o f offering yourself to the people, asking, in effect, if they still like y o u enough to vote for y o u . Y o u must master the statistics and digest the intricacies o f party platforms and deliver a coherent message in connected sentences, hoping against hope that what y o u say makes more sense than what the other fellow says. So, spare a thought today for the poor politicians as they wait in suspense, "hoping all, fearing all" for the verdict of the peo ple. It's a tough j o b , someone has to d o it, and, b y and large, our lot d o it pretty w e l l . M a y the best man - o r w o m a n - w i n .
HE famous map of Galway made in the midseventeenth century and engraved in the reign of Charles II who died in 1685 is a major source of information on the old city.
The printed version of which but two copies survived was dedicated by Reverend Henry Joyce one of the priests of the parish of St. Nicholas. He was probably responsible for the text which surrounds the city map and so preserved a number of Irish street names. Middle Street, for example, is recorded as "Sraid eddir da bogher!' This would be the street between two roads. At that time what is now Augustine Street was Sraid Tobar an Iarlaigh. This name recalls the De Burgo family which had, in the early days of the Norman invasion, got a grant of Connacht. The senior members became Earls of Ulster and lived in Galway castle. That building is shown on the old map, unroofed, at Earl's Lane off Quay Street. Nearby is "Boaher eddir da Stronda" which ran from Blake's Castle towards the Spanish Parade. It was described as the lane between two strand gates. Beside St. Nicholas's Collegiate Church was "Boaher Keam" the crooked lane. At the end of what is now the Long Walk was a rock which was later covered by a pier. It was "Carraig an Pfreaghan" or the Crow's Rock which is no longer to be seen. At the other end of the town, on Bohenfiore, stood a cross which was called "Laght more ui hein!' This memorial to the O'Hynes family was quite near to "Clogh an Lince" which was in memory of the Lynch family. These are but a few of the Irish language placenames recorded in the seventeenth century. They show that even in the old Norman city the language of the native Irish penetrated through the walls and was heard in the surroundings. More recently this happened also. The old people of Menlo,forexample, had a name of their own for Abbeygate Street. It was Sraid na bParannal-- the street of the pawnshops. Thomas P. O'Neill
A L L ' S WELL T H A T ENDS...
Dear Editor, The Galway School Pro ject accepts apologies from Rev. Blair in last week's let ters. It also acknowledges the fact that he appreciates the need for this kind of school, namely multidenominational, where the patron body is an elected group and involves parents' as the teachers may require. Unfortunately the Galway School Project, with 170 children enrolled, are going into their fourth year to search for premises. There are a number oi premises funded by the State, one of them belong ing to the Health Board and two of them schools that re main empty. This seems a poor reflection on th6 Department of Education in its policy of losing the con trol of these establishments to the trustees. With the approaching season of goodwill "there is room at the inn" and we are willing to pay the going rate Perhaps our newly-electec representatives could devott some of their time to thi; problem. Yours, Margaret Geraghty Galway School Project Corcullen, Galway.
ART'S T H E BUSINESS
A S T week Northern T e l e c o m ' s generous sponsorship of the big Arts Festival show, Theatre Sans F i l s ' spectacular " T h e Lords of the R i n g s " was acknowledged by the presentation of an award for Best Sponsorship o f the Y e a r f r o m C o t h u (the Business Council for the Arts) Sunday Business Post. As President Robinson, who presented the award to Mr. Gerry Kennedy, Managing Director of Northern Telecom, told die gathering in Dublin's Royal Kilmainham Hospital, sponsoring the arts is more than just a philanthropic exercise, many companies now realise it makes good business sense. Galway is a prime example of this. The generous sponsorship of many local business and companies, large and small is a recognition of how important the arts are to Galway, both i n creating A c positive image our city has and drawing enormous crowds to Galway who contribute substantially to the economy each year. Hats off to Northern T e l e c o m and to all the others w h o realise that art's the business!
Delicious Christmas Treats!
A n d y o u d o n ' t h a v e t o lift a f i n g e r ! Why not place your order now for Goyas fine cakes and confectionery for Christmas? Please call in or telephone for more details. S^Af
QUAY STREET GALWAY TELEPHONE 6 7 0 1 0