Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pat, Ella, Brian and Mike Fitzpatrick would like to thank our wonderful neighbours, friends and the community of Ballymore Eustace for their tremendous support on the tragic death of our beloved son and brother Tom. For being with us at our home, at the removal and burial, for your flowers, mass cards, messages of sympathy and many acts of kindness thank you all. Your generosity and understanding is greatly appreciated.

Communion 24th May.. No news since last Bugle except we had 3 county winners in the Annual Handwriting awards. Each school holds its own contest and the best entries are forwarded to the county final where they compete against all the other schools in Kildare. Scoil Mhuire was delighted to win both Gold and Silver medals by Fiona Field and Helen O'Sullivan respectively in the 5th class category and bronze was won by Lee McMullan of 2nd class.

St Vincent de Paul
Extended Opening Hours
Newly extended opening hours of the St. Vincent de Paul Shop on Church Street, Ballymore Eustace, are as follows: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm:: Saturday 2pm to 4pm. Donations of good quality adult and children's clothing, shoes, bedlinen, bric-a-brac, books etc always welcome. Tel 045 864977

Bowl Away
Come join the fun at the Bandhall on Tuesdays for weekly bowling – all welcome, 8.30pm start. Craic guaranteed, all ages welcome.

Cross and Passion College, Kilcullen are hosting their annual Summer Fair on May 11th at 2pm in the College grounds. This event has become very popular with both young and old and this year a selection of new stalls have been added to the wide array of attractions already there.Come along and enjoy a spin on the wheel of fortune where your almost always guaranteed to come away with a prize.Browse through our fabulous book stall and pick up some delicious cakes. All monies raised on the day will go towards funding of a computer room.

Walkers in aid of Breast Care - We Need YOU!
Man Many thanks to all who supported various local fundraisers in aid of Breast Care Unit in Tallaght Hospital over the past two years years. Please, if you are interested in walking/running in this year s Mini Marathon in aid of the Breast Care Unit, we would really appreciate it! Contact Edel Boland or Mary O Neill

Village Green Gardening Club.

We had a lively meeting in March with a presentation from Denise Gill on “Spring Colour in the Garden.” She encouraged everyone to get busy in the garden, starting by dividing snowdrops, feeding and deadheading daffodils which will give back energy to the bulbs. She showed beautiful purple and pink Hellebores which bloom all winter and look beautiful planted near purple Hebe for effect. Also lovely bright stems of Berberis in full orange flower.
Now is the time to plant Raspberries and Black and Red Currant. Strawberries too, and if space is tight use hanging baskets which also helps protect them against slugs. Plant Rocket and mixed lettuce in pots for easy, cut and come again. Plant seeds for colourful Summer flowering such as Delphiniums and Cornflowers. Give flowerbeds a feed of leaf mould if you have it. Use your fallen leaves next autumn to make some, just bag and leave to rot. There is always plenty to do in the garden… so get going.
Club members please note, the April meeting is one week early because of Punchestown. See you on Thursday April 17th at 7.30 in the Resource Centre. Jimi Blake will be there so you should not miss it!

Memories Are Made of This.
This pleasant piece of nostalgia is from the Westmeath Examiner (15.3.2008), and was written by columnist Bernie Comaskey. It was passed on to The Bugle by a well known, clean-shaven Laoisman of unknown vintage but of unerring judgement. Its title is: “And just how old must this man be…..?” Read on....(M.W.).

I saw a man this morning that I am sure that, like me, you will find it almost incomprehensible to consider the changes this man has lived through in one lifetime. Born into a fairly large family, he grew up in a two bed-roomed house which did not have electricity and the running water was in the nearby stream. This man witnessed more changes than had taken place from the beginning of time until he was born.
He was there before a halt was placed on Hitler’s rampage and before Waterford had ever won her first Hurling All-Ireland crown. He remembers when Cavan was the only Ulster County with an All-Ireland and before Offaly had a Leinster in either hurling or football.
President JF Kennedy one day drove within a few feet of where he stood and no man had yet walked on the moon. In his younger days grass was something which was cut with a horse drawn mowing machine and not handed over in toilets and dark alleys. “Making out” was stretching the couple of pounds weekly wage packet until the next pay day and people got married first and then lived together. “A fix” came in a little tin box from Dunlop’s and was used to mend another puncture on the bulging bicycle wheel tube. Ridges of potatoes were all that got laid and the music at dances all had to be made there on the spot. It took three weeks to get tpo America and this guy watched steam engines take off long before jet engines.
There were no phones or faxes in the house but he vividly remembers ration books on account of the war. Songs came out of a wind-up gramophone and the old people wondered what was the world coming to at all. De Valera eye-balled Churchill and young Joe Dolan was not yet an apprentice printer with the Westmeath Examiner. There was hardly a family that wasn’t losing a loved one to the curse of TB and he remembers the great Dr. Noel Browne banishing the disease to the history books.
There were no biros. Laser beams or disposal nappies. Not only that, there were no clothes dryers or dishwashers and the clothes were hung out in the fresh air to dry. This man had never heard of a credit card during the first half of his life and always believed that if you could not afford it you could not have it.
The only air conditioner was controlled by the hand of God and every house had a Mammy and a Daddy. Neighbours ensured that nobody needed group therapy – only of course, there was no such thing as therapy. “Gay” meant being full of fun, so there was no need for a gay rights march at all, at all. This man will tell you that there was respect for gardai, teachers, clergy, people in authority and the elderly. Young and old were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgement and common sense. All were taught the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for their actions.
The gentleman we are talking about remembers the time when doing a turn for a neighbour, serving the community or playing sport for club or county was regarded as a privilege, without thought of reward and our National Anthem received total respect – or an offender would get a box in the ear. In his young days he thought fast food was how quickly the occasional apple tart would disappear and a “meaningful relationship” meant getting on with your cousins. There was no television, FM radio, tape-decks, CD’s or electronic games. Nobody even heard of yogurt, but our man remembers stuff like it being fed to the pigs.
There were no pizzas or McDonalds; “penny bars” cost a penny and a “bulls eye” would fill any mouth. The guy saw pints of Guinness sold for 1s-3d – I suppose about ten cent. The “grass” was mowed, “coke” was a nice soft drink he couldn’t afford often, “pot” was what mammy boiled the spuds in and “rock music” was granny humming while cradling the baby brother to sleep. “software” was a woolly cap and “hardware” was a shop. A “chip” was a splinter of wood you got in your ass from sliding down a plank and “aids” was the grant paid for building on a new bathroom.
He recalls Ronnie Delaney as a school boy and remembers Tony O’Reilly playing rugby; and eating rabbits free of myxomatosis. There was no satellite in space and global warming meant turning up the wick gradually on the paraffin lamp so as to avoid cracking the globe. To him, it only seems like yesterday that children walked to school, adults rode their bicycles to church, shops and dances and most families sadly were aware that the fare to England on the cattle boat, was two pounds.
The man I tell you about is truly happy for all the changes which have benefited mankind, but he reflects on how astonishing it is that all of these have come together in his lifetime. So, how old must this man be, I hear you wonder? Surely he must be an advanced centenarian? A curiosity parked up in some remote nursing home where life magazine features his photo from time to time? Or perhaps he could be passing his final days in a home for the bewildered, studied daily by eminent medical and psychiatric teams?
No, dear readers, you don’t have to go that far to find our man. Where did I see him, you all call out together and I shall tell you. When I was shaving this morning he looked me straight in the eye!!
Don’t forget….character grows is the soil of experience, with the fertilization of example, the moisture of desire and the sunshine of satisfaction.

on passing by- again
The King is Dead. Long live the King.!
At last a change at the top for the Soldiers of Destiny as Bertie has finally awoken to the fact that his continued fractious dealings with the lawyers in the Mahon Tribunal are taking politicians minds away from the real job of running the country. I presume he knows that Mahon is not going to go away just because Bertie has resigned and I am sure there will be a lot more information winkled out which will show Bertie in a none too favourable light. I am also quite interested in what certain Ministers and T.D.s will have to say for themselves if it turns out their unequivocal support was in fact incorrect and was offered less in loyalty than in spineless self preservation.
The loyal retainer, Brian Cowen, has ascended to the throne, but unfortunately it is hard not to think that some items in his new regalia may turn out to be poisoned chalices.
His ascension to the top of the Fianna Fail tree, and more than likely to the position of Taoiseach, is going to leave a lot of very unhappy courtiers in his official entourage. Certain Ministers, such as Mary Hanafin, may find that Minister Cowen has quite a long memory and will be in no mood to reward people who he feels have in the past hung some of Fianna Fail’s laundry out to dry in full view of the public.
What seemed like self serving asides to the media not too long ago may well come back a-haunting with a vengeance. Then again with Fianna Fail you never know what they could come up with.
Given that Mr Cowen is a shoe in for Taoiseach is it likely that he will continue as Minister for Finance in the current political climate or is the position up for grabs. With the number of Ministers who are quietly trying to restrict conversation about their singular lack of success in previous departments its hard to see who would be a safe pair of hands for the job.
Mr Lenihan is being touted as the best candidate for Tanaiste. Despite what many would see as a lack of experience at this level of government he is at least relatively “ clean “ in the past mistakes and scandals stakes. He is from a family which is steeped in Irish politics and appears to have a good relationship with both his fellow Fianna Fail colleagues and members of the opposition, which might prove very important as the country faces into at least a small downturn.
Unfortunately I can’t see much of a change for my old pals, Mr’s Roche and Cullen. They would probably be happy just to be left where they are. Then again with Mr Roche’s unenviable reputation for getting peoples backs up with his particular brand of condescension , now might be a good time to move him before he turns people against the Lisbon Treaty.
And what of the man himself? His past Ministries haven’t exactly been overwhelmingly successful. His time in Foreign Affairs was fairly lacklustre even with the opportunities presented by the Northern Ireland talks. As Minister for Health, which he famously likened to running Angola, his performance definitely wasn’t anything to write home about and in some instances exacerbated an already desperate situation.
His recent spell at Finance has shown a steady if uninnovative hand. He has failed miserably to tackle the gravy train which is the public service and as Minister has reneged on the tax cuts promised by Bertie Ahern in his pre budget undertakings.
He does seem to be genuinely popular with backbenchers and despite public pronouncements many of these have been getting uncomfortable questions from constituents regarding Berties private financial arrangements and the obviously far fetched excuses for same. What is really galling a lot of people is the barefaced way in which these explanations can be changed when it is pointed out that they do not match the facts. Perhaps the new leader can attempt to distance both himself and the party from Mr Ahern, albeit while still offering their full support etc. etc.
One area where Mr Cowen really will have to make changes is in his rottweiler approach to opponents in the Dail and in interviews. Being the attack dog had obvious benefits when he was under control of his master, Mr Ahern, but now that he himself is the master it will not go down as well. Continued sniping and growling at the likes of Mr Kenny and Mr Gilmore will not go down well with the wider public. Despite the years of scandal involving senior Fianna Fail politicians and party workers the public still expect a certain degree of decorum and statesmanship from the top brass. Whether we can expect this change is open to argument but I suspect Mr Cowen’s expensive advisors will waste no time putting him on the right path. Lets wait and see!

One of the more shocking photographs of recent weeks was the one of Bertie and other Fianna Fail ministers at the Dail as he announced his resignation. Who do we espy in the photo only the Green Party leader, Mr John Gormley, a man who spent years castigating Fianna Fail and any other party which went into coalition with them. Now he has become so close that he feels he should be the only non Fianna Fail person in the photo. Will the man stop at nothing?

All for now. Mike Edmonds.

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