Thursday, 25 December 2014

Drunken journalists ?

The first journalist provides great amusement or even irritation with their ignorance in the geography of Ireland.

From RTÉ NEWS Wednesday 24 December 2014 21.33

“An investigation by the Air Accident Investigation Unit is underway after a small plane crash landed in a field east of Portumna, County Galway.
The four-seat plane was en route to Galway from the UK when the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a field outside BorrisoKane, County Tipperary.

Portumna is small town on the banks of the River Shannon providing a watery division between the west and  the midlands of Ireland so any field to the east of  Portumna has to be in a neighbouring county and it is not clear as to why Portumna needed to be mentioned in the article.


And from The Irish Times Wed, Dec 24, 2014
Journalist Genevieve Carbery who has masters degrees in both equality studies and journalism writes :-

“In what has almost become a Christmas Eve tradition, singer Glen Hansard led **a rabble** of musicians in song to a crowd of hundreds on Dublin’s Grafton Street” busking for The Simon Community among who were Damien Rice, Mundy, Paddy Casey, Liam O’Maonlai, Declan O’Rourke, Danny O’Reilly from the Coronas and Danny O’Donoghue from the Script

RABBLE: meaning people, who are regarded as socially inferior or uncouth, the use of this word is completely out of place and untrue.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

A message from Lin

© Jane Brideson 
"Winter Solstice Rebirth"

I received this message from a special friend and I have had her permission to share
this with You.

As below,
Turn on... tune in... drop out
Heads...          Freaks..... Go with the flow
We get stoned, on crystals.....megaliths.....mother earth
Give peace a chance
Attitude gratitude......Devotion
Old hippies, were in recovery. the 60,s.... you know
We are now recovered
We have got our 2nd wind
Riding the post 2012....
Wave of light.
In aquarian age, ascension, party mode.
Then, we dropped out
Of, world we saw
Greed, poverty, negative emotions, male domination, power over....
Poverty, hatred, war, toxic medications, hatred of mother earth,  and women
We created a new one. Turned on, tuned in , created 
Organic farms, crystal healing, respect for mother earth and all our relations
Art, music fashion,, whole-foods shops, cnd, single mums, healers etc
Our musicians our prophets
Our inner voice, our guide
Cos we are aquarian age, ascension, forerunners
The crystal children, The rainbow warriors
Worked hard, to build the dream,
All our brothers , of fur feather and fin, joined in too.

Burnt out
Now we flow on the lightwave of 2012, ascending
We let the dying die,
Co-create, the new earth, the new body of light,
love, peace beauty truth, abundance,
Balanced in true love,
Soulmates of the inner flame
Ecstatic with joy, our dreams coming true
We turned the tide, earth is safe,
Still lots of light work to do
Being shown, our Avalon phoenix,
is ready to take flight; she will be riding on the gentle
solstice dawn light, 
her wings tipped radiant. orange, gold
As she takes flight.
I see her watch the light at mount kailish
Then flowing with the earth grid, catching dawn at each site, through Carnac ; Giza, glaston, as the womblike cairns, gavanis, new-grange,As ancient ancestors built for us,  so in time to remind us
They were the abodes of immortals, the beings of light, built to remind us, which way to go, aligned to let in the winter solstice light, to touch the spiralled stones,
you know, incase we got lost
to recover true humanity, in a world gone blind
She sings the song of creation,
Her gift to us this season, 
to renew our humanity
In the ascension light, 
she will fly on to Mexico
 sit on the stone of the sun,, and sing the new creation, now
 being born

for mother earth, all our relations

Lennon, song,                 
                                    Some say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one, 
One day you will join us, and the world will be as one
So with this wonderful, gentle, new ascension wave 
of winter-solstice light,
I wish you a 
Happy hippy Lin

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Culchies demonstrate in Dublin

This is only part of the demonstrators

This was Novembers Demo the feelings are
even stronger.

They came from all over Ireland: from the North, from Donegal, Down & Louth, from the South as far as Cork & Kerry, from the West, Mayo to Clare, from the East, Wexford & Wicklow and from the Midlands too. People from every county were there for themselves and to represent others unable to travel to Dublin.

They brought their placards, their voices and their determination. They stayed for a day and went away carrying their experiences to pass on to others.

We are proud of them !

Proud to have them as neighbours and to call them our friends.

On reading the newspapers it easy to see that the journalists are lost for words to describe what they witnessed when the ‘culchies’ came to town; unless of course, as I suspect, many of them are suppressed by a secret committee of censors!

Approximately one hundred and fifty thousand people took part in the peaceful,self disciplined demonstration. Out of this number six people were arrested and none of them actually charged. Were they the fifth columnists planted in the crowd? - I don’t know.

There is a new wave of governance flowing through the land. We know it for now as People Power which occurs when the electorate reach within themselves to become enriched with a sense of personal worth and value. Flowing from this comes the empowerment to become Activists who have ability and inner confidence to tell members of the government what they want and do not want.

That is what happened on the streets of Dublin on 10th December 2014 and from this example even larger numbers will be drawn on 31st January 2015 to another demonstration of People Power.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Calls on People To Deregister From Irish Water

Householders in Co. Roscommon will not have clean water until March 2017, more than a year after the next general election, the Dáil has heard.
As the Government prepares itself for an anti-water charges protest this afternoon outside Leinster House, Independent TD Denis Naughten said he had received correspondence from Irish Water in the last few days it would be 2017 before people in the county’s north eastern region would be able to “drink the water that’s coming out of their taps, which is a long way down the road yet”.
Press Statement - issued 4pm

Tuesday 9 December 2014

People Before Profit Alliance Calls on People To Deregister From Irish Water

Ahead of tomorrow’s Right2Water National Demonstration when tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on Dail Eireann to demand the abolition of the water charges, the People Before Profit Alliance is calling on those who have registered with Irish Water to engage in a deregistration campaign.

John Lyons, a Dublin City People Before Profit councillor for Beaumont/Donaghmede stated:

‘ I have received confirmation from Irish Water that those who have registered with the company but wish no longer to be a customer can simply call Irish Water on 1890 448 448 and close their accounts. I know of many people who registered over the last while and now regret having done so: some registered through fear and panic, which is understandable given how hundreds of thousands of families were treated by the Government with regard the Local Property Tax; others registered so as to hedge their bets, looking to avail of the now scrapped “free water allowance” whilst keeping a close eye on the water charges resistance with a view to adopting a non-payment position down the line. And of course,’ continued Cllr Lyons, ‘we know of the thousands of families who returned their Irish Water application packs with no information contained within save for “No Contract, No Consent” and other similar messages of disobedience that Irish Water have actually included in their 930,000 “respondents” figure. Well now, anyone who wants to reverse that registration decision can do so by simply picking up the phone and letting Irish Water know where to go.’

Tina MacVeigh, People Before Profit’s councillor for the Crumlin/Kimmage area, continues: “It is my firm belief that tomorrow’s Right2Water national demonstration will put yet another nail in the coffin that is the superquango called Irish Water. The mass movement of grassroots resistance to the water charges that has emerged over recent weeks and months in villages, towns and cities across Ireland is of such a scale that it has the power to topple this Government. If the Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition thinks it can kick the Irish Water can down the road to the spring of 2016 when the first penalties for non-payment apply and govern the country in the interim, they have another thing coming,’ Cllr MacVeigh stated. ‘The information we have obtained relating to peoples’ right to deregister from Irish Water is welcome as it is yet another opportunity for people to express their disgust of and resistance to the water charges. It will also give confidence to those who have registered but who are now determined not to pay these hugely regressive charges. So I would encourage those people to call Irish Water on 1890 448 448 and 

Detroit supports Irish Water Protest

Loyal friends across the pond

Today, a delegation  from The Detroit Water Brigade arrived in Dublin to stand in solidarity with Ireland and people around the globe who are fighting for strong public water systems and water accessibility. The Detroit Water Brigade provides bottled water, water coolers, rainwater catchment barrels, and water filters, to people in need. They will be visiting residents across Ireland who have been fighting against the installation of  water meters
Over the summer the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department shut off water for over 3,000 household each week due to residents being behind on payments. And though half of Detroit’s residents live below the poverty line, the Detroit city council recently approved a significant increase in water charges, making a total increase of 119% over the last 10 years. The water charges in Detroit are nearly double the US national average.
“To take water away from those who cannot afford it by handing it to a private, for-profit company isn’t just irresponsible — it’s genocidal.” Says Detroit Water Brigade’s Political Director. “We know that from firsthand experience here in Detroit and we can’t allow it to happen to Ireland.”
Since protests began the Irish government has completely lost the trust of the people. It is now obvious that the government are not listening to the people who they claim to represent, and the dogs on the street know that the people are fed up. What will it take to convince the government that access to water is a human right and not a revenue stream for bailing out big banks? How many times must we say that we demand water charges abolished before they will abolish them? And how many hundreds of thousands of people marching to the Dáil will it take to convince them that  water charges will not be accepted that people know full well that they already pay for their water.  The world is about to find out.
The peaceful protest against water charges on Wednesday, 10 December will begin at 1pm at Leinster House, Merrion Square. Solidarity protests will also take place outside Belfast City Hall, and in London outside of the Irish Embassy.
Céad míle fáilte to the delegates from Detroit 

The 1997 Act that absolves the Irish people from paying
water charges

Sunday, 7 December 2014

No Privatisation !

NO PRIVATISATION.... Irish Water,Irish Nation!
Recorded live in the kitchen of Campbells Tavern, Cloughanover Co. Galway by Eamon deStaic and Liam Donoghue and edited by Philip Noone.
Featuting Aindrias deStaic,Noelie McDonnell,Donal Gibbons,Fabian Joyce,Liam Ivory,Dave Clancy, Willy Merrigan and Joe Fury.
This is what happens when a bunch of friends and musicians, after playing a gig together ,start talking politics in a rural kitchen in the wee hours.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The EU Needs to Cop On!

Lyn Boylan MEP  SF

European Commission rep's 'patronising and arrogant' comments on water protesters.

A REPRESENTATIVE of the European Commission clashed with Sinn Féin's Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan on Thursday after the Policy Officer made "patronising and arrogant" comments about Irish water protesters during a conference in Brussels – apparently unaware that an Irish MEP was present.
During the Aqua Publica Europea conference, a spokesperson for a private water operator claimed that water should be treated like any other utility and should not be considered a free resource.
Responding to the comment, the European Commission Policy Officer for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, Lukasz Latala, said: 
"The Irish just don't seem to understand they need to pay for water."
The comment prompted an immediate response from Irish MEP Lynn Boylan - who has been appointed author of the European Citizens' Initiative Right to Water report – and was in the audience listening. 
Speaking from the floor, the Dublin MEP described the policy representative's comments as "patronising", telling him:
"The Irish people absolutely understand that water has to be paid for. But they don't understand why they are being asked to pay for it twice."
"We already pay for our water through general taxation and the wholly inept and shambolic entity that is Irish Water has also been funded by Irish taxpayers."
Speaking after the conference, Lynn Boylan said:
"The Irish Government alludes to conservation being a factor in the introduction of this tax. It is appalling that 40% of domestic water is being lost through leaking pipes. 
"Instead of the Government investing in the aged and decrepit infrastructure it has spent half a billion euro of the National Pension Reserve Fund in setting up a quango that is not fit for purpose and in the installation of water meters."

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Danger Ahead for EU Countries !

Matt Carthy MEP Sinn Féin

MIDLANDS NORTH WEST MEP Matt Carthy today launched a discussion document produced by Sinn Féin which outlines concerns in relation to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations currently taking place between the US and EU. 
TTIP is the most significant free trade agreement of modern times but elements of it have been shrouded in secrecy.
Speaking at the European Parliament Information Office in Dublin this morning, Matt Carthy said it is important that a comprehensive public debate takes place in relation to the impact TTIP will have on Irish interests. 
Criticising the lack of transparency surrounding the negotiations and highlighting how MEPs only became aware of the mandate for negotiations via a leaked document, he told An Phoblacht that his party has major concerns surrounding the establishment of an Investor State Dispute Settlement Procedure.
"It operates outside of the rule of law and allows investors to sue member states as a result of potential loss of revenue. It is the mechanism by which tobacco giants are currently suing Australia as a result of that country’s public health measures against smoking."
Representatives from a number of trade unions, NGOs and pressure groups attended the launch and outlined their concerns in the areas of employment, workers' rights, agriculture and the environment.
Matt Carthy called on more organisations to evaluate the potential consequences of TTIP and to raise their concerns with public representatives.
"It has become increasingly apparent that there is a clear need for public engagement and debate on the consequences of TTIP for Ireland, particularly as we have lost our veto to block this agreement as a result of the Lisbon treaty."

Friday, 28 November 2014

No Fixed Abode

My new blog post may well have been about two new hats one in felt and the other in hide, or it may have been about a new camera, perhaps even Mrs H’s new shoes however, I think that you will agree they are rather mundane sort of kitchen sink type posts. Which I know a lot of you are fond reading and I am fond of writing them from time to time; but
I found this though and it is to my mind much more important for it is has a human angle.


A woman whose 6-year-old son is in the final stages of liver disease has issued a plea to Offaly County Council to find them a permanent home to ensure he qualifies for a waiting list for life-saving surgery.
Helen Lynch (25), who has been homeless in Tullamore for much of the last year, says she needs a permanent address in order for her son to go on the transplant list at King’s College Hospital in London.
Her son, Charlie, was diagnosed with liver disease when he was only a month old and is now in urgent need of proof of permanent accomodation before the pair travel to England for an appointment at the hospital next week.
“The liver transplant must be carried out at King’s College Hospital and the doctors have informed me that I need to be in a house where I can control Charlie’s health,” she said.
Currently staying with family in Tullamore, Ms Lynch is moving between her mother and brothers’ houses but she needs accommodation where she can ensure a sterile environment after the transplant takes place
“It’s very hard. Dragging the kids from one house to the next. They don’t know where their home is for the last year. My mother has an awful lot of medical illnesses herself. She has a wheelchair and walkers and the house she’s in is very small,” she said.
“Charlie’s going to need constant care after his transplant.”.
Ms Lynch said that without proof of permanent accommodation, Charlie could miss out on an opportunity to expedite his treatment at next week’s assessment.
“We’re due to go over for his initial assessment to be placed on the liver transplant list. Now, the problem is we could go for the assessment but if they think Charlie should go on the active list there and then - which they probably will because he’s in the final stages of liver disease - he won’t be placed on that list without (having) permanent accommodation.”
Having survived with the disease since an early age, she says a transplant is now the only treatment option open to Charlie.
“We’re on a timeline here and I feel as if my child’s life is on a countdown timer,” Ms Lynch said.
“It’s a nightmare for any parent to have to go through. It’s hard enough dealing with the transplant on its own but to be told that he might not have the chance to get the transplant because of a house is worse. To think that four walls is all that it would take to save my child’s life and that I can’t get it.”
Ms Lynch says she has exhausted every avenue in her attempts to get a house and social worker Sandra McDonagh, of Offaly Traveller Movement, has been advocating on her behalf.
“I’ve met with a few politicians and they’ve been on to the council for me. But, it’s basically the council that needs to buck up and do something. I’ve tried private landlords, I’ve tried talking to landlords. It’s no good - there’s nothing available in Tullamore. The housing crisis in Tullamore is ridiculous.”
“To be honest with you, I’ve lost hope. I don’t know what else I can do. I’ve done everything I can possibly think of. I’ve begged them, I’ve gone up there crying my eyes out to them, begging them to help me.”
She was told of houses due to come on-stream next year but Ms Lynch says she doesn’t have the time to spare.
“They said they got 29 houses off Nama to be given out next year but I don’t have until next year. I haven’t got until next year to wait. I have a matter of days and if you leave out the weekend I have just two working days before I’m due to fly out”
“If I haven’t got an address to hand them if they want to put him on the list, he won’t be put on the list.”
She said it was now up to the council.
“I’m not calling on them, I am begging the council to hurry up and do not let my child to die over a house. He’s worth a lot more than that to me and surely their kids are worth a lot more than that to them.”

© Irish Times Fri, Nov 28, 2014, 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Poverty & Children

©Irish Examiner 2014

This is what the Irish government coalition of Fine Gael & Labour have produced during their years of office, through the bad management of resources and are still causing in throughout the twenty-six counties, where many children go to school hungry!
A new report shows that children in families which have experienced poverty in the recession have suffered greater behavioural problems. 
The six-year ESRI "Growing Up In Ireland" study of 20,000 children found a risk of "strongly negative" consequences for children's emotional development if families were vulnerable for "longer periods of time".
The report will be launched by the Children's Minister James Reilly this morning, and it suggests a broader range of supports are needed to help vulnerable families.
Dr Dorothy Watson said that while parents may try to protect their children from the financial reality, it still has an impact.
"We found this for the three-year-olds … as well as for the older children," she said.
"Even though children might not have a very good understanding of what's happening in the family, at some level they pick up on these differences, and it affects their socio-emotional wellbeing."
Speaking ahead of the launch, Minister Reilly said the government has committed to tackling economic hardship through its Better Outcomes - Brighter Futures policy framework.

 Irish Examiner

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Attempt to cling to power

       Mary Lou McDonald TD & Gerry Adams TD

Gerry Adams: Government's water charge u-turn 'a desperate attempt of Fine Gael and Labour to cling to power'

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 01:18 PM

Sinn Féin is calling for a mass mobilisation of people to protest against water charges in Dublin next month.

The Right2Water campaign, which is organising the demonstration, says it expects an historic turn-out for its rally at the Dáil on December 10.

Around 100,000 people took part in their last protest.

Organisers of next months demonstration say the protest to abolish water charges will go ahead despite the Government’s new package plan announced earlier this week.

The Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams is calling on people to send a strong message to the government.

“As with every other issue, Fine Gael and Labour have failed to listen to citizens on the water charges,” he said.

“The Government's latest policy is all about giving themselves a lifeline to run their full term. It's not about easing the pressure on those who cannot pay water charges.

“What we got on Wednesday was a PR offensive - a desperate attempt by Fine Gael and Labour to cling to power for the next year.

“Water charges have not been scrapped, the water metering programme will continue, metered charges are coming in, they will only go up, and there is still no constitutional right to water.

“This cynical Government manoeuvre will not work. The people are not stupid. It fails to address the demands of the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have taken to the streets on this issue.

“Sinn Féin is a central part of the Right2Water campaign and I am calling for the maximum possible turnout in protest against Water Charges on December 10 to deliver a strong message that Water Charges must be scrapped.

©IRISH EXAMINER 22-11-2014

Campaigner for the homeless, Fr Peter McVerry, said rent controls are necessary to ensure that the market retains an element of affordability.
New figures show the number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin has trebled in the last five years. 
Fr McVerry challenged the Government to outline just what it is going to do to tackle rising homelessness as we approach the coldest months of the year.
"A lot of people who are becoming homeless today and there are six new people becoming homeless every day, a lot of them are getting kicked out of their private rental accommodation because their rents are going up and they can't afford the increase," he said.
"if the Government are not going to introduce rent controls and if they're not going to increase the rent allowance to allow people to pay the increased rents, then what on Earth are they going to do?"

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Catch a WHALE

Brian Stanley TD

"Sinn Féin's environment spokesperson Brian Stanley has described today's package of measures on water charges as "an introductory offer, and a con job designed to lure people into agreeing to pay a charge that will inevitably be increased to much higher levels in years to come".
Deputy Stanley said: "The fact that the initial bills for water will now be substantially lower than those announced by the Energy Regulator at the beginning of October is a victory for opponents of the water charges. 
"The Government now needs to go one step further and abolish the water charges altogether."
He said that otherwise, households would face much higher bills when the concessions were due to end after 2018."
quote taken from Irish Examine © 2016

The Irish government of scallywags are now offering people on Social Welfare a One Hundred Euro  bribe to sign up for Irish Water - which is nothing more 
"Than a sprat to catch a WHALE !"
I have news the Irish people have woken up and they have the bit between their teeth and within those people are those others who have the taste of blood within. 
To the TD's and Ministers of Fine Gael &Labour it yours that they are after! So might it not be better to 'fall on your sword now ? ' so resign and call a general election now before  the people get really angry and remember that the commemoration of the 1916 Uprising is not too far away. . . .

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Anti-water charge !

The people are angry with the ineptitude of the government because there has been too many financial burdens placed upon the citizens of Ireland and enough is enough.

The water charges have become the straw which has broken the camels back.

Click on the line below for full story

Anti-water charge protest held in Sligo where Taoiseach attended event

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Water - protests

Joan Burton the Tánaiste

This would not have happened if she stuck to her labour principles instead of being two faced! 

If anybody needs to be arrested it is herself because she caused the trouble in the first place!

An opposition TD Paul Murphy , who participated in the demonstration, said the protest, which began shortly before Ms Burton attended the ceremony at noon, had been peaceful. 
“The protest has been peaceful. Yes she has been delayed here for a number of hours but I think this protest has sent a very clear message to her, a message which the Tánaiste has ignored to date, that that people don’t want to pay these water charges. 

“There is national anger over the changes but particularly in Tallaght and Jobstown in west Dublin...there are a lot of people who simply can’t afford to pay,” he said, adding the protesters were also sending a message to Irish Water that the people of Tallaght would not accept water charges.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Sensational !

The Sensational Melissa Etheridge who I could listen to forever, though I do feel that she is unfortunately underrated for she is a very talented singer and musician.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


The photo is of Squeak our feisty tailless small cat.

There are two distinct aromas that I truly appreciate every morning
the smell of strong fresh coffee and organic honey, A small teaspoonful of the latter in the first cup awakens me sufficiently to face the day. 

This morning, we (Mrs H & I) learnt about the power of public opinion on Facebook: three days ago persons unknown to me ripped off one of 
Mrs H’s images and defaced it with words of their own and posted it up on their page without even having the decency to give credit to her original work.

Mrs H complained about breach of copyright on the page and received abusive and ignorant comments from the people who are the pages’ owners. Her replies to them were just and exact, as one would expect for in her younger days she was once engaged in a legal office.

The consequence is that the particular FB page has been inundated with fans of her paintings writing in to complain about what they had done. This morning Mrs H received a private message from the page owner complaining about the number of protest mails that had been sent, however the power of public opinion has worked for the defaced and stolen image has now been removed.

On behalf of Mrs H. - If you were one of those who mailed a complaint to FB - Thank You for your support.

Finally wouldn’t it be great if we could put a stop to all of the wars by the same method ?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Almost end of Summer

The end of Summer is but a few days away November 5th/6th and it will be Samhain, it seems that nobody has told the Calendula or the Roses to stop flowering.

This red bush beyond the arch brightens the day. I have no idea
what it's name is.

The Calendula has jumped out of the planter
and looks to be very healthy

This delightful lady never ceases to bloom

Orange berries send me their name please ?
Just to the left of the picture is an Oak whose seed was germinated
by Colm Mac Con Iomaire a few years ago when he was recording at studio in France.
A certain  German silversmith whose name I shall not metion nearly killed it when using my strimmer, fortunately it recovered!

This blog will be exceptionally quiet for awhile. For am busily engaged writing a book for my Grandson Ollie who was four the other day and has now left his babyhood behind him.

Ollie at 4

Monday, 13 October 2014

Story for Ollie

Once upon a time in the middle of Ireland there was a great big field, an enormous field that touched the the sea on each side. 
Each of the seas were a different size, the one on the left was a little sea that touched England. The colour of this sea was bright blue and from a high flying plane a small boy was able to see boats going backwards and forwards between the two countries.

The sea on the other side was green with great big waves and nothing but wave after wave for miles and miles, though it was rumoured that after thousands of miles there was another country, but as none on this side have ever seen it - well perhaps it may not be there at all, at all!

A boy who is called Ollie was on the plane taking his Mummy & Daddy to Ireland for a holiday to see his Grandpa & Granny and  their dog Toby. It was to be a special treat for his parents as they had been ever so good to him for the past twelve months,by taking him out a weekends and running errands for him.
Ollie knew that they enjoyed going on planes for he knew that it was the quickest way of going to see Grandpa & Granny.

They flew directly to Dublin from Birmingham without having to stop on the Moon as many other planes had to when flying in from other places and planets.

Ollie had a special job to do once he got Ireland, for there was a man in the big field who owned a red tractor which was driving around and around in circles not knowing how to stop. Which is why Grandpa phoned up Ollie for his help.

It was a special help that only the two of them could do together. It involved sprinkling special dust in front of the tractor before it would stop.
Grandpa’s legs would not go fast enough to catch the tractor but he knew no one better or faster than young Ollie.

The man in the tractor was getting ever so hungry because he had been going in circles for weeks on end and had only managed to catch a few of the sandwiches that Grandpa threw at him every day. It being Ireland he wasn’t thirsty because it rained every other day and caught the rain water in a bucket and drank from it. With the remainder he was able to wash his face and clean his teeth.

Eventually Ollie’s Daddy managed to locate the car that took them to Granny & Grandpa’s very old cottage, that some people said was in the middle of nowhere; Ollie didn’t like that description very much because quite logically every where was in the middle of somewhere.
There are some very silly people about with the silliest of sayings, for as Grandpa had often said to Ollie "why even the fairies know where we live."

Granny too agreed with this sentiment for she like Grandpa was on very good terms with the Fairies. Granny was also friends with the old Wizard who lived beneath an Ash tree just along the road from them, in a large house that was bigger and older than where Granny & Grandpa lived.  
The Wizard’s house had stone stairs and low doorways. His customary greeting to the callers that he liked was ‘Mind your heads!’.
To those he didn’t like, no warning was given and when they banged their heads he would spin them around to point them in the other direction. And so they would find themselves back at home. Such was the strength of his Magic.

Granny had been to visit the Wizard to get from him the Special Dust that Ollie was to sprinkle in front of the tractors wheels to stop the engine.
There were of course careful instructions on how this was to be done, of what to carry the powder in, for it could not be anything made of metal nor could it be made of cloth. Only an earthenware bowl that had been washed in the moonlight, licked by Toby and blessed by the chief Fairy would do the job. And only Granny could carry the bowl while Ollie, using a spoon made of green holly, sprinkled the potent dust in front of the tractor wheels at noon.

Soon Ollie and Granny had done their jobs exactly to the Wizards' instructions. The tractor stopped and Grandpa helped the man down off the tractor and took him home in a wheel barrow for the poor man was totally exhausted.
He slept soundly in his bed for nine days waking only each morning as the cock crowed and then went back to sleep again. On the ninth day he awoke had his stir-about ( porridge) for breakfast and cycled on his bike to Granny & Grandpa’s cottage, where he found Ollie and gave him a big shiny red tractor all of his own.

Sunday, 5 October 2014


On October 2nd I gave an hour long poetry reading to a group of sixteen year old students from St Brendan's Community School in the library at Birr in celebration of the National Poetry Day. 

So to get them in the mood I asked them to close their eyes as I read 

"A dream is an early morning tide
softly gentle waves caress, 
the slopes of a slumbering mind. 
As rolling pebbles 
call memories ashore." 

A discussion followed about the images which the words evoked and in such a way the rest of the session was conducted.  

As a preparation for the occasion I had asked them to translate the first verse of the poem by Dónall Ó Conchúir, (Donal O'Connor 1847-1930), 'Dhá Chích Danann', in order for them to understand the background to my own poem.

'Dhá Chích Danann' -
"Maidin bhreá Fhómair dom cops mórshruth na méithbhreac
I gcoill chluthair cheolmhair is gan leoithne sna spéarthaibh,
An lon dubh is an smóilin go beolbhinn ar séideah,
Gach fás crainn go leor ann cnó buí in a slaodaibh.
Ag dearcadh whom tharam be thaitneamhach limo
Ar Dhá Chích Danann ag amharc anon
Is síbhrat na maidne leabhar leata os a gcionn,
Chomh bleachmhar buan bláfar, chomh hálainn óghchruth."

Translation 'The Breasts of Danu' -
"One beautiful morning beside the great stream of the fertile plain
In a cosy musical wood not a breeze in the sky
The blackbird and the thrush piping sweetly,
Every growing tree there hanging ripe with nuts.
Looking around me it delighted me
The two breasts of Danann
The mysterious fairy mist over them,
As beautiful as the top of the milk that nurtures the child
(As if they were created by God ?)"

Their translation was as perfect as the one that a friendly monk had done for me as he pored over each word and phrase using Dineen's dictionary. That particular dictionary, which covers the nuances of every Irish word, would make a blog post all of it's own - we shall see!

My own poem below describes my experience of hearing the monk's translation:

At a monastery kitchen table I sat
Listening to old Irish being translated
Clear distinct verse with hidden meanings
Spoken in soft tone like a blended prayer

Lulled, my mind by rhythm travelled
As this other language unravelled
So leaving a rich cream behind I flew
To a land where dreams weave anew

To sit with my back against She - Rowan
Who was clothed in milky lace so delicate
I inhaled deeply her fragrant blossom
A vapour that transmuted me to spirit

A wave that kisses the shores of Erin
The song of Amergin
A breath of hot air that ripens corn
Dew on Bealtaine's morn

A mist that caressed Anu's Paps

©MRL 05 - 03 - 2013

As we are approaching Winter I closed the session with "An Ode to Winter Gales". 

Monday, 15 September 2014


KINNITTY in Co.Offaly sits at the foot of the Slieve Bloom mountains and has had a variety of names throughout the years from Cinneity, Kernittys, Killenitty and the Irish Cinneitigh. 

Today in Irish the name is spelt Cionn Eitigh, meaning either the head or hermitage of Etech or Eitigh (St. Ita), who also gave her name to the neighbouring parish of Ettagh.  

One of the first notable things about Kinnitty is the very wide streets and it would be easy to believe that they were recently constructed until you see the age of the buildings which border them. The village consisted of five houses at the end of the eighteenth century and had grown to ninety-six dwellings by 1841.

The Green 

The Bernard family who were the estate owners built the RC Chapel circa 1841. They offered the then parish priest Fr. Delaney a house for himself and his successors and 10 acres of land if he would let them build a chapel at their own expense. Fr. Delaney refused but the Bernards went ahead anyway and the bishop compelled him to use the chapel. 
This picturesque chapel now hosts a great many weddings, with many of the wedding breakfasts being held in either Giltrapp's, The Slieve Bloom Bar or The Kinnitty Castle Hotel.

I wonder if the pump is dry too ?

A dry summer has almost dried up this river

A great pub for a good pint of Guinness !

I have always admired the four foliate heads above doorway

You might think from looking at the window that this is just a gift shop,
well you would be wrong for it sells groceries, bread, butter and ice-cream.

The Kinnitty Pyramid, the only one of its kind in Ireland, is situated in the graveyard of the Church of Ireland. It stands 30 feet in height and was built as a crypt by Lt. Col Richard Wesley Bernard for his family on his return from Egypt in the mid 1800's. 
It is an exact replica of the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. 
The pyramid was completed in 1834 and it is now permanently sealed by 3 inch thick doors 
made from steel which lead down to the interior. The tomb holds 6 coffins belonging to the Bernards of Kinnity Castle with the last burial taking place in 1907.

Other places to rest your head

We often stop at Kinnitty on our way home from Birr with our weekly shopping as it is such an attractive, tidy and friendly village. For me it represents many of the Irish towns and villages across the island and is a place we never get tired of visiting.

Sunday, 7 September 2014



1Scotland is a country, and like any other country it deserves to get the governments it votes for. As part of the UK, that happens well under half of the time. We don’t affect the outcome of UK elections, so the rest of the UK doesn’t need our help - so why keep subjecting ourselves to governments we rejected at the ballot box?
2Scotland will be wealthier as an independent country than it will inside the UK. Even before you discuss possible savings from policy changes (like more sensible defence spending), Scotland subsidises the UK by billions of pounds every year, according to Westminster’s own figures. The longer we stay in the UK, the poorer we’ll get.
You’ll never get a UK government minister or a No campaign figure to actually say straight-out that Scotland is subsidised by the rest of the UK - give it a try if you like. Instead they’ll try to confuse the matter and change the subject by talking about things like spending and debt (see the Questions section of Chapter 2) in order to make you believe it’s true without having to directly lie to you.
Think about it this way - if Scotland was actually being subsidised by the rest of the UK, don’t you think the No camp would be shouting that fact from the rooftops every minute of every day?
3Scotland’s future is bright. Oil will last for decades yet, and we sit on the brink of a renewables bounty that could make the entire historic output of the North Sea pale into insignificance. But the UK can’t be trusted to manage it - Scotland is the only country in the world ever to discover oil and get poorer, and unlike almost every other oil-rich nation, Westminster put nothing aside for a rainy day. It also hid Scotland’s wealth from its people for 30 years.
4We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Threats that Scotland will be ejected (even temporarily) from the EU are hollow, impossible to ever put into practice. The same applies to border controls. Nobody can stop us from using the pound. No country poses a military threat to Scotland, and the only reason terrorists might attack us is because we’re part of the UK. We’ll still get to watch the BBC.
5People are sensible. At the moment, the No campaign has a vested interest in making things sound like they’d be as difficult as possible for an independent Scotland. But the day after a Yes vote, the opposite instantly becomes true - it’s then in everyone’s interest to sort everything out as quickly and cleanly as possible.
If you accept that the EU would want Scotland as a member - and it would - then nobody gains from making that process slow and complicated and awkward.
If you accept that the rUK and an independent Scotland would still be major trading partners and allies - which they would - then nobody gains from a hostile, drawn-out negotiation process.
All parties will seek the best deal, of course, but businesses and people alike want life to continue with as little disruption and upheaval as humanly possible. Nobody wins from a negative approach, and no government will cut its nose off to spite its face.