Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scoil Mhuire News:

6th Class in Scoil Mhuire made their Confirmation this year and gave a generous donation to two charities, the Irish Guide Dogs Association and the Irish Cancer Society. The children e-mailed the charities and invited them to Scoil Mhuire. Their teacher made out two large Presentation cheques and the real ones too! Representatives from the two charities came to Scoil Mhuire to accept the cheques. Paddy Coyle came from the Irish Guide Dogs Association and Kevin Delaney came from the Irish Cancer Society. They both gave interesting talks on how the donations would help the people in their charities who would benefit from the money. The 6th Class are really happy with the way that other people will be helped

Green school committee are holding a jumble sale on 11th June. This will give a chance for recycling of used toys, games, books, bric-a-brac etc. They have been busy collecting, sorting and pricing the goods, and proceeds from the sale will go towards the purchase of additional science equipment for the school.

It is the policy in Scoil Mhuire to consult annually the senior pupils when updating the school policy handbook. 6th class held discussions to review policies and give their opinions. Three representatives of the class then met with members of the school's board of management at its June meeting to outline their proposals. The board has agreed to study the propoasals as the pupils' ideas last year proved most beneficial to all.

The Scoil Mhuire Choir has recorded an original song, "The Parent" which was performed at the Balldonnell Singers concert in the Church last February. The song was recorded in the school and is available to anyone who wishes to purchase it on CD from the school office at 3. All profits from the CD will go towards the charity "Gach Duine" which involves a group of primary teachers who are building a community centre in the village of Adaba, Ethiopia during the summer holidays.

A new interactive whiteboard has just been installed in the infants classroom. This will bring the very latest technology to the classroom. The incoming Junior Infants will benefit greatly from this and if funding allows we will expand this technology to other classrooms.

We are grateful to Martin Kelleher and Mark McCarville for their patient and very enjoyable coaching classes in hurling and football. The progress made by pupils during this year was very evident in the enjoyment of the sports and in the teams performances at matches with a very spirited performance by the G.A.A. club under-11 football team last Saturday in the county grounds in Newbridge. Thanks to a donation from the Ballymore Junior Drama group we will be able to provide extra coaching in basketball for the 5th and 6th classes this month. Now all we need is a good dry day for sports day on June 20th!

Many thanks to the "Bugle" staff for their help with publishing our news during the year. It has been a busy but very successful year for the school and we wish all pupils and parents a good summer.

on passing by- again
First, apologies for a misprint in last months crossword. It was fine when it left me but obviously a gremlin has been at work subsequently. It is being ignored on all entries, even though nearly everyone got the correct answer. Clever bunch of solvers we have on the Bugle.

By the time you read this the Lisbon referendum should be all over bar the shouting. Depending on the result we will be the darlings of Europe or we will be watching all the foreign companies packing up and heading for the airport.
What I thought was particularly striking was the almost total absence of the Junior Minister for European Affairs, Dick Roche, in the last two weeks of the proceedings. Except for a small number of soundbites and two appearances on Sky it was as if he had disowned the whole project and gone on his holidays. Then again, in light of the fact that I know of almost no one who can stand Mr Roche’s particular brand of debate, perhaps he was told to keep a low profile. I suppose it is possible the No campaign was stronger than he expected and he decided to keep a pace behind his Leader in case the outcome was not to his liking. The limelight is something Mr Roche partakes of only if it is showing him in the best of ways.
I had thought that there was a statute which in effect forbids any canvassing the day before an election or referendum but in the Evening Herald on Wednesday there was almost a full page given over to Brian Cowen and his reasons to vote Yes. Talk about covering all the bases. He had something to say about tax, defence, abortion, euthanasia, investment and god knows what else. Someone really should keep a proper record of what all these people are telling us because as far as I can see the Lisbon Treaty is nothing but good news, and as we all know from previous elections and referenda the bad news usually only surfaces after we have committed ourselves to something. Then again it would make you wonder when you see a representative from IBEC lose his cool on the six o’clock news with someone from the No camp and almost shout out that the Treaty is not going to make any difference to anything. What’s all the fuss for so?.

So finally we get some truth from the Tribunal. All that ould sterling was just a bit of good luck on the gee gees. Absolutely nothing untoward or even extraordinary. Makes you wonder why Bertie didn’t just tell us all about it ages ago and save himself all the intervening hassle. For so long he was completely unable to remember having any sterling at all and definitely never had to lodge any. We now find he lodged quite a bit of it. Some he got in dribs and drabs because he was thinking of buying a flat in Manchester and some he had for going to football matches. And yet still he was unable to recall any of this until the tribunal reminded his then secretary exactly what the penalties for perjury were. Hey Presto, her erstwhile dodgy memory returned with a vengeance. Following this, Bertie himself seems to have had a damascene moment as long forgotten flats and horses came rushing back. What I cannott understand is if he had over eighteen grand in sterling, and over fifty five grand in pounds, why his “friends” thought he needed over twenty two grand of a dig out?.
The longer this goes on the more bizarre it becomes.

As the price of oil continues its inexorable rise the ripples are starting to spread and affect an ever widening section of Irish society. Fuel prices, obviously, are increasing almost daily but he problem for the general population is the rapid rise in the price of basic food commodities. Milk, bread, cereals and eggs are just some of the items which have seen massive surges in price over the last few months. Some of these increases can be justified but a lot of them seem to be blatant profiteering by importers and sellers. How can a product in a German Lidl cost 2.59, the same product in a U.K. Lidl cost 3.49 and in an Irish Lidl 4.59.
How can a basket of goods of comparable quality cost 30.68 in Lidl and a massive 47.85 in Dunnes Stores.? That’s a difference of almost 900 euro in a year and that’s just for 32 products. How can Lidl and Aldi sell pure fruit juice for less than half the price of Tesco? Or Irish Cheese? Or meat?
If the larger groups are doing what they advertise and bringing us the lowest prices, if they are as competitive as they say they are how could a recent National Consumer Association survey show just over a one per cent difference between Dunnes and Tesco for a basket containing the same 32 items.
As per usual we have sections of the farming community bemoaning the low prices available for their produce and at the same time we see the massive mark-ups achieved by Tesco, Dunnes et al.
Yet surely the answer to at least some of the farmers problems are in their own hands. Other countries have widespread farmers markets where fresh local produce is sold directly to local people. The larger markets include meat sales from local farms as well as the usual vegetables, fruit, etc. Using these markets the farmers can achieve a higher price for their goods than would be available from the supermarket groups and the buying public can buy cheaper than they can in the same supermarkets. Result: more money for producers, lower cost for customers, fresh produce consumed at its peak without preservatives, money kept in the locality, and a massive reduction in the dreaded food miles and carbon footprints.

Ireland at one time had large populations of what are normally called birds of prey. Unfortunately over time the largest of these were hunted or poisoned into extinction.
Over the last few years over 95 birds have been reintroduced to Ireland, including 50 Golden Eagles, 15 White Tailed Eagles and 30 Red Kites. Of that total at least eight are now known to have been shot or poisoned and the National Parks service believes the real death toll could be twice that. Three Eagles have been found dead in the same small area in Kerry and the same farmer is suspected of involvement in all three deaths. So much for certain people being trusted to be the custodians of our environment. I will return to this next month.

All for now. Mike Edmonds.

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