The Times That Are In It. with Jeffers.
Well, Paddy’s Day has come and gone and we were left to our own devices and undefended for several days while our Government took off to various foreign parts leaving Willie O’Dea in charge. No problem there sez you, for we once saw a picture of Willie with gun in hand and a threatening look on his face that would deter any terrorist who might have had plans to invade. Personally, I had every confidence in Willie, but the thing that stuck in my craw was the shear effrontery of those, who, when asked if their journey was really necessary, replied that they were selling Ireland. Why couldn’t they be honest and say that they were on a junket. Selling Ireland and it’s products is done by men who catch the ‘red eye’ flight out of Dublin or Cork and if lucky get back on the same day. If they have to stay a day or two abroad they don’t stay in hotels that cost over a €1000 per night. We also have the Tourist Board doing a good job of selling Ireland so come clean lads and stop conning the public. We are not amused Bye the bye there was a threat of strike by Aer Lingus just before Paddy’s Day; it didn’t take place, but some wag wrote a letter to the press suggesting that they wait till after Paddy’s Day; that would ensure that our wandering politicians wouldn’t get back! He had a point.
I wonder, I really do wonder, what our ‘roving ambassadors’ talk about or how do they put in the time when being entertained by their hosts in foreign climes. When visiting dignitaries come to our shores we don’t spare the treatment. Wined and dined of the best and a place to rest their heads in that Pile in the Park that cost us millions. No expense spared. They certainly don’t visit busy A@ E departments on a Saturday night watching over stressed doctors and nurses trying to separate drunks from those who are seriously needing attention. Did George take Bertie on a flying visit to Guatanamo Bay to have a chat with the Lads behind the wire? The very least they’d expect would be for Bertie to put in a word for them when back at the Whitehouse! Incidentally I wonder what happens to the bowl of shamrock delivered with great fanfare. Does it go to the thrash can next day, or is it shipped off to Crawford, Texas, there to be planted and nurtured? Here I must let you in on a secret, over the years I’ve been on a junket or two myself, and can categorically state that when the wine and brandy flows over dinner, the after dinner talk, with no secretary at hand to take notes, is nothing more than a load of bullshit.
Did you hear the new word coined by no less a person than Hillary, of Hill an’ Bill fame. In her mad rush to get to the Whitehouse she lost the run of herself when making one of her many speeches and told of how she had to jump from a helicopter under fire and make a dash for safety somewheres in Bosnia. Turned out there was no fire at all and all she was doing was shaking hands with a bunch of kids sent to welcome her. She forgot that TV cameras were on hand to catch the moment and catch her out as well. When questioned about this recently she coined the new word. Yep, said she made a ‘misspoke’. To you and me I think she meant she had told a ‘lie’! Fair dues to her she made a clean breast of it when questioned about it. The Mahon Tribunal lawyers would be on the dole if they had clients like Hillary!
As I write the ASTI (Teachers Union) is having its annual conference. Lots of complaints about classes being too big, schools in need of repair etc. All was trotted out with their Minster for Education Mary Hanafin listening attentively. But when she got up to address the meeting did she refer to any of these complaints. Well she did in a backhanded sort of way, by referring to the amount of monies spent by her government on education, but failing to mention that most of it was spent in the greater Dublin area leaving the western seaboard out on a limb. In arrogant fashion and brazen as brass she blathered on and on about how her government was ‘about to’ roll out changes in the next couple of years, ‘strong government commitment’ was the words she used, conveniently forgetting that what she was saying was more or less a repeat of what was said prior to the election; a rehash of election promises, in short ‘live horse and you’ll get grass.’ It’s a time honoured way used by politicians to get someone, or persons, off their backs when they have nothing else to offer. 600 hundred million euro has been spent and still we have parents running fund raising events to help their schools. It’s an educated guess, but maybe its time we had a bit of common sense and a little less hot air, in the upper echelons of the Department of Education.
Well the penny has dropped, not only at home here but abroad as well. It’s the economy stupid; it’s slowing down. You won’t hear politicians or persons in high places talk about ‘bubble bursting’ but the odd one is talking about ‘re-adjustments to be made’. Here at home these re-adjustments will be painful for some; factory closures and worker lay offs we have already witnessed. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll find others who will be equally affected. For example; the elderly who are having their homecare packages withdrawn. Subsidies for crèches and playgroups for children withdrawn. Parents of children with intellectual disabilities will have to pay for long-term residential care, and last, but by no means least, cuts in the HSE. All the above mentioned groups are easy options for any government who wish to curtail spending. But what about some cuts in the higher sections of the civil service: the quangos and consultancy groups that are hired at great expense to do the thinking for our ministers. Not a chance. And what about a reduction in the numbers in the civil service itself that seems to get more and more bloated as the years go by. A feeble effort was made some time ago to cut it down to size; what happened? Your guess is as good as mine.
Finally, now that our ‘roving ambassadors’ are home, (I hope they are), could they set down for us, the Plain People of Ireland, on a plain sheet of paper, a list of their achievements in their ‘Selling Ireland’ campaign! A list of their expenses wouldn’t go astray either. Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.
Ballymore Eustace G.F.C.
Ballymore 2 – 13. Robertstown 1 – 6.
Ballymore began their campaign in Division 2 of the league with victory over Robertstown. The scoreline might indicate that this was a comfortable victory, but scores can sometimes mislead. This was a good display by Ballymore and a major improvement will be needed if Ballymore are to challenge for honours of any sort this year.
Ballymore 1 – 5. Raheens 1 – 10.
Ballymore learned in this match that if you do not take your scoring chances you will not win games in this league. For three quarters of the game Ballymore were on top but missed chances gave Raheens every chance to win, which in the end they did.
Michael Lawler, Marie Shaw, John & Catherine Field, Tommy Deegan
Leo Kenny, Mary Horan, Liam Hinch, Brid Hinch, Michael Murphy, David, Peter, Mark & Michael Higgins, Amy Horan, Pascal Thompson, Aaron Deegan, Noel Thompson, Paul Clarke, Roy Clarke, Peter Lawler
Ber Barrett, Amy Horan
Bill Walsh, John & Catherine, Michael Lawler
Amy Horan, Fiona & Lucy Field, Alex & Zoe Walshe
We had our first golf outing of the year Paddy’s weekend in the picturesque LJ’s Farm, Coughlanstown! Thanks to Johnny & Mary Murphy for hosting the event and enabling us to continue what is now a great tradition for golfers in BallymoreTo some it would seem bizarre to convert a farm into a golf course over a couple of days not to mention collecting green fees from over 120 participants to boot! . It is a tremendous achievement for the organisers each year - indeed, not something to be taken for granted!
For some of us, it was the perfect opportunity to clear the cobwebs from our golf clubs, and for others an unmissable challenge! The kids had a great time, with some showing serious potential!!! So keen were they this year, Vice Captain Michael Horan is considering a separate competition for them next year.
A lot of work went into the preparation of the sixteen hole golf course – so to all you lads involved, well done! As always, the ladies provided very welcome refreshments - there is something special about a hotcup ‘n ham roll at LJ’s, not to mention the banter around the Caravan.
Congratulations to this years Captain, John Field, on this great start to the golfing year; and of course, behind every successful man, a great woman – Caps, thanks for all your hard work so far!! The competition, the atmosphere and the craic made it a great day out and well worth while!
Ita McCarron and family
Longest Drive Men Niall Carroll
Longest Drive Women Ann Daly
Nearest the Pin Malcom Hill
Runners Up (nett 51.9) Jay Curley
Winners (nett 47.9) Johnny Murphy
Longest Drive Men Michael Lawlor
Longest Drive Women Catherine Field
Nearest the Pin Michael Lawlor
Runners Up (nett 53.6) Catherine Field
Winners (nett 53.0) Sean Kelly
Alan, Dick & Paul Shaw
Congratulations and best wishes to Brendan Daly on his year ahead as Captain of Tulfarris!