Monday, March 17, 2008

A Proud Day for the Edgeworths.

Congratulations to Anna Edgeworth, grand‑daughter of Kathleen Edgeworth and the late Matt Edgeworth (R.I.P.) of Ballymore Eustace and eldest daughter of Matt (jnr.) & Bernie Edgeworth, who received her Commission as an Officer with the Irish Defence Forces on 16 January this year. On the same day, Anna - who already holds a B.Eng. (Honours) Degree in mechatronics from DCU, was also awarded a Diploma in Command and Leadership, Management and Defence Studies.

Both the selection process and subsequent training, which Anna undertook with diligence and enthusiasm, are very demanding both physically and mentally. It is a great credit to her that she completed the course and achieved her commission with flying colours.

on passing by- again

Over the last number of years we have been exposed more and more to the cult of celebrity. You know the type: people who appear to be famous just for being famous. Vacuous airheads, small part actresses and self publicists. Add to this a plethora of “up and coming models” and you start to appreciate the kind of life led by recently deceased Katy French. This young girl apparently had it all and had even more in front of her and yet by her own admission frequently took illegal drugs. It is sad for any family to lose a loved one, especially in tragic circumstances such as these and yet it is hard not to subscribe to the view that this girls social position is having a huge influence on events after her death. Over two months after her demise a team of Gardai in the Louth-Meath division are still investigation the circumstances surrounding it. Whats more they are being assisted by detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Why is this?. Surely her death deserves no more investigation than that of an addict in Sheriff Street or Moyross. If it does deserve this level of investigation then why doesn’t theirs?. Two young men died shortly before French from similar substances and yet their memories have been effaced from the public arena, while hers continues to appear in the media.. What was that bit of the constitution about cherishing all our children equally?.

So the saga of the e voting machines rumbles itself into another year. All those responsible have now put as much daylight as possible between themselves and the troublesome boxes. And yet the cost continues to rise and rise. Storage costs for last year alone were over eight hundred and fifty thousand euro, including moving 4,700 machines into army stores. Total costs for the last four years was almost three million euro. And yet it still looks like the machines will never be used. So why not just scrap them?. Probably because it would mean all involved so far would have their incompetence rolled out yet again. The real problem is that even if we scrapped them now it would still cost us millions. Returning officers in individual constituencies were given the responsibility for renting space to store them and most have entered into multi year contracts. Obviously these contracts will have to be bought out so we will continue to pay through the nose. Some of the contracts run for up to ten years but what I find incredible is the contract entered into in the Cavan-Monaghon region. Here the returning officer saw fit to enter a twenty five year deal, even though the machines originally only had a twenty year life span. The Department of the Environment continues to sit on the fence regarding the machines with a statement from the present incumbent, Mr Gormley, continuing the gobbledygook from previous ministers.
“My department engaged consultants with valuation expertise in May 2007, following a competitive tendering process, to examine individual lease arrangements and to make recommendations as to termination of the leases, where appropriate. The consultants recommendations are currently under consideration in the department”.
Where they will no doubt gather dust like all the previous recommendations.

I thought it was bad enough having to go round all the time and watch what you said about immigrants for fear you would be labelled non pc or even racist, but when we start bending over backwards to facilitate new arrivals it really is time to call a halt.
Nowadays we have a situation where certain groups don’t mind coming here to live, to taking social welfare or other benefits to get themselves on their feet, but then want as little to do with mainstream Irish society as possible. If we don’t want ghettoes in the future this must be stopped. If people want to come here to live and work I don’t have a huge problem, as long as they behave properly and are subject to the same sanctions as the rest of us. These were the conditions which met Irish people who emigrated over the years and by and large they put up with them and got on with it. If you go to someone else’s country that’s the way it is, at least in a democracy.
I think this is quite a reasonable and rational outlook but yet we have people like Senator Donie Cassidy standing up in the Seanad and suggesting in all seriousness that maybe Irish drivers should all change to driving on the other side of the road, to facilitate immigrants. For Gods sake where will it all end.

I hope you have all made more than ample provision for care in your old age because if a new HSE scheme ever sees the light of day you’re going to need it.
A group of senior officials from various government departments ( yes, the ones with early retirement ages and index linked pensions ) was set up in 2003 to advise how best to finance long term care for older people.
They were tasked with finding ways to meet the costs of essential health and community services currently provided by the HSE free of charge. In my ignorance I thought the cost of these services were in fact being paid for from my and your tax dollars but there you go, simple mistake to make.
Anyway, after three years the group presented its report, where like many another over the years it started to gather dust. Unfortunately it now seems that someone asked for it under the Freedom of Information Act late last year so the government decided to publish it last month.
So what do the lads suggest?. Well basically, after what must have been very intense deliberations for three years they think it would be a good idea for the patients to actually pay up. You know, like, pay for all the space you’ve been taking up and all that ould medicine and stuff they had to give you. Yes, I know you’ve spent your life paying tax and prsi, and you thought you would get something back for all you put in, but it gets even worse. If by some unfortunate circumstance or mishap you pop your clogs before its all paid for don’t for a moment think that that will be the end of the story. No, these lads are much to clever to leave it at that. If there is anything left on the bill they want your remaining family to pay up. Priceless.
Still the lads at least had a robust sense of humour. Why else would they call the report the “ Fair Deal”

All for now. Mike Edmonds.

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