Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Nice dreams and bad jokes..

April 19, 2018

Dad and me

We were sitting at the dinner table and the conversation was flowing.

Mum had told us about some friend of hers who was suffering badly with arthritis.

When I hear that word I just can’t help it, and I cracked one of my woeful jokes ….

That fella Arthur should get a life and leave people alone

Dad just cracked up at my poor joke and was in convulsions..

I looked over at him, grabbed him and gave him the biggest hug and told him that I loved him.

Then, I woke up and realised it was just a dream, a nice dream – He was there, for just a beautiful moment.

Miss you Pops … 

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Michael Canty – No Ordinary Man

January 30, 2018

Michael Canty - US ArmyDelivering a Eulogy at the funeral of your dad, one of the most precious men in your life, is a huge privilege and an opportunity to show people who this great man is (I prefer that word to ‘was’).

I’d like to share this with you:

My cousin Tommy, who was like another son to dad, sent me a gorgeous text about him, which goes some way to explaining why he is so special.

He was just an ordinary man with no airs or graces. What you saw was what you got and everyone loved him

While we all have our own memories and stories about Michael Canty, over the last few days we have all got to know him a little better by sharing some of these with each other.

We heard about his buddy in Primary School, Joe Kenny who told us that no one messed with Michael Canty, because he was the one who took on the bullies who were mocking a poor lad with a hunchback.

We heard about the young Michael Canty who was shouldered back to his house after playing a key role in a school final.

Michael Canty - In the armyWe saw the fantastic adventure that he had in the US Army through the brilliant photos that he used send to mum with lovely messages to her. “To my beloved wife“.

They both wrote to each other each day so each day they would receive a letter.

We heard about the footballer who played in America with the Newark Portugese.

We read about the fantastic footballer and the cup winning captain who was a great teammate. He captained the first Cork team to win the Oscar Traynor Cup, in 1966.

Michael Canty - Oscar Traynor Cup winner 1966We heard about the two young girls that he saved from drowning at a beach in Cork. I am guessing my fear of water might come from witnessing that incident as a young kid.

We even heard from the young adults in the neighbourhood who remember fondly kicking ball with him on the green. They used knock on his door to see if he would come out to play!

We heard about the man who knocked on the door about two years ago, enquiring about Michael. He hadn’t seen him at the gym in a while and he was checking to see if he was ok.

Everyone did love him, even our dogs who knew he was a very special man!

One of the most fantastic things about Michael Canty was his sense of humour and his talent for putting others at ease.

Even in his darkest days at the beginning of this month the very sick Michael Canty leaned over to me in hospital and whispered “where in the name of god did the doctor get his pink trousers“.

We would tease him that he was getting loads of attention, to be told “Aren’t I worth it

While January 2018 will always be remembered as a terrible, very sad month in some respects it was a very special month when friends, neighbours and family rallied around to help in any way and to support each other. In the middle of all of this sorrow there was love, kindness and laughter, and plenty of it as we shared some of these special stories.

It’s very clear that the very special Michael, and all of his special characteristics have been passed on to those around him – he lives on, in all of us.

It’s only right that we leave the last word to him.

If we described him as being an “ordinary man” he might have an issue with it.

With a cheeky grin he would say…. “I’m not ordinary, I’m outstanding in my own field!

You certainly are Pops…..

Michael Canty - RIPMichael Canty, my beloved dad, my buddy, Rest in Peace, you will always be with us.

Greg Canty

Dad passed away peacefully at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice on January, 25th 2018, at 9:45 pm.

We were by his side.

 

 

 

 

Gum Crime

November 17, 2017

Football urinals

There it was again staring up at me as I was literally going about my business.

Chewing gum in the urinal!

This chewing gum phenomena is one that I come across regularly in all sorts of public toilets with no class divide whatsoever. Hotels, offices , shopping centres – you get them everywhere!!

I’m quite sure that the culprit isn’t one person that goes from one set of loos to the next leaving his mark, that it isn’t some person using chewing gum as a way of making a quiet protest about a global issue or a modern day Banksy who wants to leave their unique signature behind.

No, this isn’t a unique person, but it is one of many who have a unique set of characteristics.

These are part of a special “we don’t give a toss for others club” who are everywhere, quietly going about their business and life with scant regard for others.

To understand this special group of people you need to get inside their heads and try to figure out their thought process.

Standing at the urinal they suddenly think about this piece of gum that’s been in their gob for a while – they are fed up of it, they need to get rid of it now!!

While they are piddling they consider the bin that lurks just behind them – that’s another 10 seconds of chewing. Nope, let’s just spit it out right now, into that urinal so that it can join all of the other unique bodily fluids and just sit there for everyone to see.

How will my piece of gum get from the urinal to a bin?…. not my problem!!!

Instead I’ll let some poor cleaning lesser being, have the pleasure of picking up my germ, urine covered chewing gum – isn’t that their job after all ??

You are an absolute beauty!!

The problem with this gang is that their wonderful attitude goes well beyond spitting their chewing gum in the urinal – they look down their noses at everyone and feel quite entitled and there will always be someone else to clean up their crap.

Next time you see someone committing “Gum Crime” ask them politely who is going to pick that up for them?

Gum rant done …

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Thank you Glen Campbell for the precious memories

August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell

Me and my sis, Laura would sit in the back of mum and dad’s car on our Sunday drives.

We would go to see Uncle Dinny and Aunty Mary in their farmhouse outside Fermoy (that was my all time favourite destination), we would see another uncle near Bunny’s in Myrtleville on a sunny day or we would head to Kinsale, Garretstown or Inchydoney beach.

One time it was me and Laura in the car as dad was driving us to Shannon Airport as we were flying out to the United States for the summer – that was some trip to be taking in 1971!

The one thing that all of these car rides had in common was music – mum and dad always had music playing and we sang along to  Perry Como, Johnny Mathis. Johnny Cash, Jose Feliciano (I adore him) and my favourite from that time, Glen Campbell.

We even went to see Glen Campbell in concert in Dublin and to this day mum still talks about the woman in the crowd who heckled Glen in a heavy Dublin accent: “I love yer boots, Glen“.

Glen sadly passed away yesterday at the fine age of 81, after a right battle with Alzheimer’s – there is a fantastic and touching documentary about this on Sky Arts called “I’ll be me” if you get a chance to see it. It gives a great insight into his personality, his talent, the support of his loving family and also the corrosive effect of this cruel disease.

Glen Campbell - I;ll be Me

Glen will be remembered for his catalogue of beautiful songs including the huge hit Rhinestone Cowboy, which are a fine legacy that will no doubt, be timeless.

I’ll remember him for the shiny cowboy boots, the Sunday drives and the most beautiful and quite unusual love song ‘Wichita Lineman‘ .

Glen, thank you for the precious memories and Rest in Peace

 

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

The Ultimate Football Legend

June 18, 2017

Michael Canty - Oscar Traynor Cup winner 1966“Legend” is a huge word and when we talk about football legends we all have our favourites depending on what we look for in a player, the era when we grew up, the part of the world we come from and our favourite teams.

Could it be Pele, the sublime Brazilian magician with the huge smile who captured the worlds attention at the beginning of the football watching TV generation or is it  the more recent Messi or free scoring Ronaldo (ok, he’s brilliant but what a poser!)?

As a huge Liverpool FC fan I have to think about putting Kenny Daglish on my list as well as Robbie Fowler who in his prime must get a mention. How could I ignore Steven Gerrard who played a huge role in any success the team enjoyed in the more recent past and I also loved the no messing, elegant centre half Sami Hyppia.

When pushed for an absolute winner someone else, someone very special, but quite unknown rushes to the top of my list.

He’s a man who played to a very high level in Cork before emigrating to the United States in 1958, captaining teams that enjoyed national success. He played as a centre half in those teams and according to many people I have met down through the years he was highly respected.

Football, or soccer wasn’t popular in the U.S. but he did play a little over there with a team called the Newark Portugese and he continued to play in local leagues when he returned to Cork in 1964.

In 1966 he captained a representative team that was the first from Cork to win the prestigious Oscar Traynor Cup.

Like all proud fathers he played endless hours of football with his own son and then his grandchildren, passing on his passion, his encouragement and his skills to other generations. These different generations were brought to see Cork Hibs, Cork Celtic and later Cork City FC matches on a regular basis.

His love of football and fantastic, encouraging manner with young people had the neighbouring children knocking on his front door wondering was he coming out to play football with them on a regular basis!

I had the honour of walking with him recently in Ballincollig Park in Cork. Suddenly I found myself chatting to myself as he was no longer walking alongside me.

I looked back to see that he had stopped and was kicking a football back and forth to a young girl who was at the park with her mother. He was showing her how to kick the ball properly and had her repeating the action, over and over.

My number 1, football legend is Michael Canty (Mick to his teammates), my dad.

Thank you Pops, you are the very best

We will miss you desperately..

Greg Canty

Dirty Grandpa

June 6, 2017

Dirty Grandpa

Dirty Grandpa.

That’s the name of the awful film we ending up watching on a dirty bank holiday Monday, which was fit for little else.

Mum and dad popped over and I wanted to pick a comedy to keep my dad in good spirits.

I browsed ‘Comedy’ on Netflix and this film popped up starring Robert De Niro, Zac Efron and Danny Glover – that had to be good, surely?

We sat there and it reminded me of the days when we were young watching a movie at home. If there was a couple even kissing in the movie we would all shift awkwardly if mum and dad were in the room and nine times out of ten mum would change the channel before things got “heavier”.

This movie was vulgar and downright awful and after ten minutes it was me that suggested switching to something else – mum said she was fine with it!

We all suffered through (including the two dogs, Honey and Bert) this pure tacky rubbish for the next hour or so while we snacked on crisps, cheese and some Liquorice Allsorts as the rain continued to pound on the sitting room window.

De Niro got his pay cheque no doubt and I hope he didn’t turn up at the premiere and passed on any viewings – how could you Robert?

Mum and dad headed home as soon as the movie finished and we looked for another film, something better this time.

While it was a chronic film I do absolutely treasure these precious times when we can sit with mum and dad and watch a useless film together.

Greg

Amy and Adam – are we all to blame?

May 5, 2017

My McCarthy

Amy McCarthy, a beautiful 22-year-old mother of one-year-old baby Adam, was found dead in a disused building on Sheares Street in Cork last Sunday night.

Apparently, this old building, which is in the centre of town and one that I have walked past a thousand times is often used as a squat for homeless people, alcoholics and drug users.

The Gardai are still apparently investigating what happened to poor Amy and have not ruled out foul play.

This happened in our city, under our very noses and I found myself wanting to find out more about this young girl to try to get some clue as to how something so wrong could have happened and if anything could have been done to help her.

If you look at her Facebook page it shows you a young girl who seemed to have a lot of friends who were all happy to admire baby Adam anytime that Amy posted a picture of him. It looks like he was born in March of 2016 and Adam O’Keefe is the father and her boyfriend.

What was Amy doing in this place on Saturday night and what happened her?  

Adam O'Keefe

26-year-old Adam O’Keefe, her boyfriend was arrested on Monday in Cork as he seriously assaulted another man in the city – the newspaper reports seem to indicate that Adam has been living in various charity temporary accommodation and this attack was due to the fact that he was ‘upset’ and intoxicated because of what had happened to Amy.

Adam was refused bail as it was felt he was a risk because of his vulnerable state. I wondered what was his story? Why was there no one with him at this clearly traumatic time – prison is a really great solution for this troubled kid.

His Facebook page reveals a young man originally from Midleton who was quite excited about Amy’s pregnancy over 12 months previous:

Amy McCarthy and Adam O'Keefe

my girlfriend 6 mtns pregnant and I swear 2 god I cant wait 2 b a father best thing ever luv u babe far eaver“.

Why was Adam living in temporary accommodation and where was he on the Saturday night that Amy died?

Where are the families of these two young people and what will become of their baby? Was she not living at home anymore? Did anyone try to help them?

While we might find out some of these answers in time, what is certain is that these two young people have been left down by our society, somewhere along the way.

At some point in their lives, they were unlucky and things took a serious turn for the worse.

Instead of getting the help, assistance or intervention that they desperately needed to set them on the right path and keep them safe they have fallen tragically.

Are we all to blame?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Time to Prioritise Caring

December 30, 2016

Caring

As we roll into another year we inevitably start thinking about the things we have achieved and the things we want and wish for in the new year.

If I was to express my wishes for next year in one word I would choose the word “Caring“.

I’m not sure if it is just now that I feel there is a real deficit of caring in the world, if it is just what I am seeing and reading or whether it is a reflection of my age and if I am starting to think and observe things differently?

I am worried that there is not enough caring in the world and I feel that this year has plummeted with awful incidents in Nice, Berlin, Aleppo and some of the horribleness that we witnessed in the United States by the President Elect, Donald Trump in his campaign.

Lessons in how to win elections were absorbed by a new generation and “caring” isn’t quite the word that comes to mind when you reflect on what we saw being played out for months and months in the lead up to the awful result.

Closer to home our year ended in Ireland with the homeless coming together under the simple ‘Home Sweet Home‘ banner and they occupied an unused office building, Apollo House to put much needed roofs over heads and put a public spotlight on this big issue, which is getting worse and worse. The homeless need this as they can’t go on strike to get attention.

We heard the involvement of high profile Irish musicians including Glen Hansard and Hozier being sadly criticised by some in the media as being a stunt by them to raise their popularity!

What has happened with the way we think about things?

The courts moved in double quick time (they can when they want to) incredibly to process an injunction against the occupants.

The very sad “win” was that the homeless were allowed stay in the disused office building until January 11th – Merry Christmas!!

When living in a disused office block over Christmas is considered a win for those poor temporary residents we have arrived at a very poor state of affairs. Unfortunately this was a win for them – can you imagine?

My wish for the new year is that we start genuinely caring for each other, that we teach our children the importance of caring and let them witness it everyday, that we teach caring in our schools, that we make caring a priority in our workplaces, that caring becomes part of the values that companies live by and that we put caring for people in our communities, on our roads, in our cities and countries before any other criteria.

Let’s start caring.

Happy New Year and a big thank you to all the readers of my blog posts – see you next year!!

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Strategic Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Paternity leave, gender equality and the changing role of fathers

January 28, 2016

Greg Canty and Brendan Canty

I listened with interest at the discussions about the new proposals regarding paternity leave and I fondly remembered (not!) how it was when my kids were born.

It was August, 1991 and Ellen, our second child was due. It was a busy time in work at that time of the year with my role as Financial Controller as I had to get all budgeting finalised for the following year. We were part of Guinness so it was a complex process.

I knew that when Ellen was born I wanted a little free time to enjoy the moment(s) and to be there to look after my son, Brendan who was two and a half at the time. I worked day and night and weekends leading up to that time so that when she was born there would be no issue and I could take a few days off.

Ellen was overdue and a date was set for her to be induced. I informed my boss,  Charlie of the date and he wasn’t very pleased as he was planning a management meeting on that date!

What could I do?

The hospital had a gap in their scheduling and Ellen was induced a day earlier ….my beautiful daughter arrived on the 21st August!!

My childminding role kicked in for the next few days. Two days later I popped into the office to check a few things and I was stupidly expecting a round of “congratulations” from all of my workmates.

Instead I got a serious look from the Sales Manager..”You’re in trouble“. I was dumbfounded at what I heard.

What the hell could I be in trouble for and by the way it was a girl!!” I responded.

It turns out that because Ellen was born a day earlier everyone reckoned I could and should have made the “crucial” management meeting. I grabbed Brendan and we left.

A day or two later I was back in work and was summoned to Charlie’s office ..I don’t think I even gave him a chance to open his mouth.

He got it full belt “I always put this stupid place first and this time you can well and truly f**k yourself as it is one time I am putting my family first” and stormed out. I don’t think we ever spoke about the incident again.

Two years ago in Fuzion we had our first ‘baby‘!

A few months before that one of our team announced that she was pregnant. While it was fantastic news for her and her husband, it did cause an issue for the business. She was a senior member of the team and now we had to plan about replacing her with a quality replacement.

She would be out for 6 months and she also planned on taking the extra two months. I also learnt that while she would be out she was entitled to holidays and bank holidays, so effectively she would be out for 9 months. This would be disruptive to the business as well as costing us – it was the most expensive baby I ever had!

This is life and our business had to make arrangements and cope but it did strike me that this ‘issue‘ was one that we had to solve with her. Where was the guy in this equation? Was his work disrupted or would it carry a cost for them?

Maybe she was more than happy to put her career on hold for a while and take off that precious time with her new baby but maybe she might have liked to share this gift with her husband? No one had a choice.

I imagined a different world where her husband announced to his boss that “they” were pregnant and that he was opting to take half of the parental leave. This is how it works in Denmark so it isn’t such a stretch.

I’m a dad and I’m a parent and I would have loved to have those precious days when Ellen was born back again to enjoy…maybe more than a few days?

If we are serious about the guys role as a parent and we are really serious about gender equality then us fellas need to be treated as equals.

Two weeks paternity leave..nah!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Sixteen tons and what do you get?

March 14, 2015

My dad "pops"

It was a strange 50th birthday..

It couldn’t be the usual champagne popping have a blast carefree type of a day as my dad had to have a procedure at the Bons Secours hospital in Cork.

This was very strange as 50 years to the day I was actually born in the very same hospital – who could have predicted that?

We were with him first thing in the morning as the nurse came in to bring him to the theatre. As usual even though he was apprehensive about what lay ahead he couldn’t help being his usual charming and funny self!

I’ll bring you down to the theatre Michael, will we get a wheelchair?” the nurse asked

My dad looked at her as if she had two heads – no way was that happening!

He bounced out of the bed and started joking with the nurse, relaxing my mum, me and Dee.

In the corridor he stopped her and he went into his usual routine, the routine he does with everyone, and one that makes us all smile. Even my six year old niece in the U.S. can recite this because he taught it to her when she could barely talk!

If you see me comin’, you better step aside
A lotta men didn’t, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don’t a-get you
Then the left one will

This seemed so appropriate and defiant and he delivered it with clenched fists and a charming smile – nothing is going to beat this man and definitely not today!

You’re lovely, I’ll go anywhere with you he says” and he linked the nurses arm.

We stood there watching as my fantastic dad (“pops” I call him) walked away from us with the nurse laughing and joking down the long corridor to a place that neither he nor any of us wanted to be on this March day.

I was curious about where the words for my dad’s little routine came from. They come from a song made popular by a guy called Tennessee Ernie Forde in 1955. His version became a huge hit and it was later covered by many artists including Johnny Cash and even Robbie Williams!

It was first recored in 1946 by a country singer called Merle Travis. The clever, catchy song is about a coal miner who has broken his back shovelling coal all his life. He never sees actual pay because the workers used get paid in vouchers, which they could exchange for goods at the company owned store:

Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man’s made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that’s a-weak and a back that’s strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said “Well, a-bless my soul”

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin’, it was drizzlin’ rain
Fightin’ and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol’ mama lion
Cain’t no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin’, you better step aside
A lotta men didn’t, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don’t a-get you
Then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

There was no point waiting around so I went about my day, which included meetings, lunch with Dee and my two kids, Brendan and Ellen, a little clothes shopping spree in Brown Thomas and a drive to Dublin.

We got news that dad had recovered well from the procedure but he still isn’t quite out of the woods yet. Not quite what we were hoping to hear.

That evening we ended up having dinner at Leinster House with a good friend and some interesting people – the last thing on this strange day that I could have expected was people singing ‘Happy Birthday‘ to me there!

It wasn’t a perfect birthday but I spent it with people I love, I loaded some coal, I had an unexpected evening and I watched one of my all time heroes charming a nurse and defiantly saying “If you see me coming, you better step aside

Now it’s time to load some more coal ..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland