Sunday, March 25, 2007

on passing by- again
Holy God but where did last year go to? One minute it was summer time and the next thing we were stuck in the mad, last minute dash for Christmas pressies. I suppose we got so used to the mild autumn weather that it seemed like the year was in some sort of hiatus with no winter at all to worry about. One thing that definitely helped time fly was the absence of toy advertisements until December, unlike previous years when they seemed to start at the end of August. Anyway we are in a new one now and I hope it turns out to be a good one for you all.

In what could turn out to be a very short few months Kildare County Council will unveil its ideas for the village in its draft development plan. What eventually goes into the plan will affect us all for a large number of years so it is in everybody’s interest that we ensure as far as possible that the plan is what the residents of the village want and not what the council think we want. Various organisations and groups in the village are formulating submissions to make sure that the council is left in no doubt as to what the way forward for Ballymore Eustace should be , but is everyone’s right to make a personal submission if they want to. These do not have to be grandiose leather bound documents but just your own thoughts on things that you think affect life in the village, such as street lighting or the abominable state of our local roads.
Its no use deciding after the plan so if there is anything you want to submit start getting your ideas together now.

Following the recent horrific death of a five year old girl in England after an attack by a pit bull type dog, and the serious injuries sustained by her grandmother, I wondered exactly what measures we had here to combat this type of thing. Following a spate of similar attacks here in the late eighties and early nineties the Dept of the Environment in 1992 amended legislation then in force, the Control of Dogs Act 1986, to ensure that certain types of dog could not be taken out in public unless they were muzzled, were kept on a short lead, had a collar with full details of their owner and were under the supervision of someone who was able to control the animal.
This list included pit bulls, other type of bulldogs, and german shepherds. I am sure I am not he only one who has seen some of these dogs roaming around under no supervision, unmuzzled and uncollared and yet their owners don’t seem to be unnecessarily worried about their actions.
Checking further I found that a nationwide coterie of dog wardens, under the auspices of the Department of the Environment, have the prime responsibility for enforcing the legislation. As the law is being so flagrantly ignored one would imagine that the sixty five wardens would be having a field day doling out fines but yet in the last year for which figures are available the total number of prosecutions, or attempted prosecutions was less than two hundred, or less than three per warden.
Unfortunately this seems to fall under the remit of our old friend Dick Roche and according to newspaper reports he appears to think that the current situation is acceptable. I am quite sure that the wardens have other duties to contend with but this level of enforcement is not going to frighten too many people into controlling their dogs.
Do we really have to wait for a tragedy to occur before the Minister decides it is time to act?

I notice the road contractors are back this week to refill the meandering crater that was left after the pipe laying. While this effort will undoubtedly improve the part of the roads concerned what about the rest?. If we are to follow the usual custom then the council should shortly start to carry out it own road repairs, as it normally does when an election looms so surely some tie up could have been arranged between the contractor and the council to get the whole job done at the one time. We have had a week of disruption and diversions and now the council will probably come along and dig up what has been done this week to carry out its own road laying. I know the country is supposed to be awash with cash but surely this kind of waste should not be tolerated.

For the past number of months Tony Hanlon and myself have devised the Bugle Crossword. While quite a few people say they enjoy doing it very few of them actually enter it for the prize every month. Some people have recently intimated that it is not as easy to complete as it might be so from next month we are going to try and make it a bit more manageable. We would appreciate your feedback, or even a few more entries.

Part time work available, work as many or as little hours as you want. Would suit teacher or professional person. Salary circa eighty thousand euro, plus expenses up to sixty thousand euro, plus excellent tax allowances. Subsidised restaurant, bar, postage and office help. Magnificent holiday scheme. Chance of fully paid foreign holidays. Opportunities for advancement and company car with driver. Brilliant pension scheme. All applications to Dail Eireann before June.

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