Sunday, 19th August 2018
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Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

There’ll always be days like this!

Throughout our very short stay on this wee green planet, we will recall many moments in history, which are significantly relevant and personal to us. Yes, these will of course include cherished family memories. Your first real girlfriend or boyfriend. That first kiss. Engagements, weddings, your first child, christenings, communions and the deaths of family, friends and loved ones. Very private, intimate periods in our own historic time clock, where for an instant, time quite literally stands still. We will remember those seconds, minutes and hours as though they were yesterday. These snapshots of joy, tears and often sadness, live with us forever and to a certain extent make us who we are today.Outside of these special "Family memories", we might just recall momentous moments, in a sporting love affair. As you know, I have a passion for the men in blue and white. Who proudly wear the Thistle of Scotland and play with heart on "God’s Golden Acre". That’s Murrayfield to those who don’t follow the game played with that egg shaped ball. "I was there", to coin Max Boyce’s catchphrase, when Tony Stanger ran down the touchline, like a demented Giraffe, to score in the corner. We would defeat Will Carling’s pompous England and p#@s off Brian Moore, for the rest of his life. Winning only our third ever Grand Slam. I marked the occasion by getting a tattoo. Hoping to add the years, 1991, 1992 and so on, to the roll of honour. Alas, 28 years later and I am still holding my breath. "Maybe next year?" has become my rugby catchphrase!

There are work memories. That first job in the real world. The moment we set a path, to follow in the footsteps of Dick Whittington. I did just that. Though to be honest, I got the train from Edinburgh to London, to ask "Gies a job". We were told by, none other than Maggie Thatcher, that there were boundless opportunities in her Conservative Utopia. I was prepared to test the waters and took my chances in Londinium. I slept on my sister’s kitchen floor in Liverpool Street. Managed to find work in the Business Design Centre. With my very first pay cheque of £125, I tubed into Covent Garden and bought a salmon pink shirt, from a designer shop called Reiss.

We can remember historic, world shattering moments in time. The older generations have their man on the moon. Also, the "Where were you?", when you heard the news that JFK was shot by LHO, who in turn was shot by Jack Ruby. More modern history gives us Berlin’s iron curtain wall, being torn apart by the hands of the people, as the USSR finally broke up. The space shuttle exploding up just after takeoff. The Gulf Wars. The blowing up of the Twin Towers and so on. We have so many Iconic Historical Happenings committed to memory, that I often wonder just how many more I need in my lifetime.

Much, much closer to home,we have witnessed two very recent life defining Tsunamis Referendum. These have and will change the face of Ireland forever. In May 2015 there was the "Same-sex Marriage Referendum".

The result was an overwhelming 62% in favour of amending the laws to give equal rights to ALL.

Was this result ever in doubt? With such a large number of new, younger, generational activists, wanting to make their mark on Ireland’s Wikipedia listing.

Who would have guessed that only three years later, almost to the day, there would be another Referendum, defining the mood of a country’s people? A now very modern Ireland, would "Repeal The 8th" by an even larger landslide majority. Nearly 70% of the population voted for "YES" on Friday last. A result that demonstrated the will of the people of Ireland, to give women a choice. Sometimes, though not often enough, this is just the best wee country in the world.

Yet, so many of our Political Glitterati, who used "Repeal The 8th" as a campaigning board, were so far out of touch with their own electorate. You have to wonder and speculate, just which country did they inhabit, whilst assessing their people’s opinions? It wasn’t Ireland, that’s for sure!

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