Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back to the Grind.
Its start-up time again, so here goes with some more rubbish. The wife has been giving me the gears about all the exotic places our friends have visited for their holidays; Mauritius, Barbados, the Rockies, the North Pole, you name it, they’ve been there. ‘More power to their elbows’ I say, but I am thinking more of a mid-week break in a B & B with two evening meals thrown in, somewheres in the auld sod. “In times of recession spend the money at home”, I loftily tell her. She is not impressed.

So at time of writing I have surrounded myself with brochures about Ireland, some of them forty years or more old, collected when exploring the heartlands of Ireland in more adventurous times; everywhere from the Cliffs of Moher to the Glens of Antrim. I don’t suppose the Cliffs or the Glens have changed over much since then, nevertheless wear and tear may have altered them somewhat, so a revisit mightn’t be such a bad idea. Keeping up with the ‘changing times’ as the ad goes and a hang sight easier than going for a second look at the Grand Canyon in Colorado. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” we’re told!

That’s the home front covered, so how are things nationwide? Well quiet enough. Boss man Biffo has been busy; opening a new opera house, new golf club and doing ballad sessions. I wonder did he give them a rendition of “Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore” when opening the opera house? I thought perhaps he should have kicked off, or should that be, driven off, the new Dail session with a few bars of “Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be”. In fact, I think he should adopt it as his signature tune! He’s not long back from Brussels. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Himself, and some others were over there telling Russia and Georgia to get their act together! I always said we punched above our weight. By the time you read this all will be settled, and now he is back home sorting out the social partnership mess, getting rid of quangos, agencies, and the devil an’ all, and telling us about the ‘sustainable path’ he has mapped out for us, ‘going forward’ of course. Dream on!!

I thought by now that the Lisbon Treaty would be well done an’ dusted. Not so, it is still making headlines in our daily papers with Letters to the Editor, and various articles keeping the pot boiling. I expressed my thoughts about it in the July issue of the Bugle so I don’t plan to repeat myself, but I did read a very insightful article about it no later than Wednesday Aug 27th. It was written by Mary Frances McKenna, director of Business Alliance for Europe, one of the groups that campaigned for a Yes vote in the referendum. The gist of her article was to ask us to think future and not present. “What is your vision for Ireland in five, ten, or twenty years’ time” she asks? “Time doesn’t stand still” she reminds us. Never a truer word spoken.

Euroscepticism is a game in which Ireland can only lose is the headline of her article, and she concludes by saying, I quote; “our future and the future of the next generation depend on Irelands ability to resolve the Lisbon Treaty impasse in a manner that enables Ireland to remain at the centre of Europe. Amen to that. But Mary isn’t the only one to get in on the act and express their thoughts and feelings about the Treaty. The Catholic Church has joined the fray by no less a personage than Cardinal Seán Brady. His worry is the loss of Christian values in European governing structures should Lisbon be implemented. You’re on thin ice there, Seán me boy.

A modicum of historical knowledge tells us that down through the ages when Mother Church regardless of denomination had a say in politics her rule was not always democratic rule. Think Inquisition, think Cromwell! A learned man such as yourself will well know that. But I take your point, we seem to have gone to the other extreme now, and maybe a bit of spirituality injected back into our governing bodies wouldn’t do a bit of harm. The trouble is that down through the ages and right up to present times we have nefarious deeds carried out by politicians claiming to have God on their side, so if in doubt leave it out!

And still they appear, -- more Lisbon letters in our daily papers, all of them passing comment on Cardinal Seán’s original letter. Most of these letters are signed by people with letters either before or after their names indicating a high quality of learning and knowledge, so it’s time for me to shut up before you readers put some initials after my name such as -- shut the f---up.

Yrs Jeffers.

Move over, “Bob the Builder”
Janet and Denise en route to South Africa!
(photo of Janet and Denise at the top right of page please)

Many thanks to all who have supported Niall Mellon Fundraisers as organised by Janet Carthy and Denise Kelly. The girls are joining Mellon’s building trip to South Africa next Spring – an annual event which has seen thousands of poverty stricken families secure permanent homes.

First event was the table quiz which went well and raised approximately €2000, a super total considering it was held during the holiday season.

Winners on the night were Gordon McCloud, Jim McDonald and friends. Runners-up Jacinta O’Rourke, Aoife Sammon, Rachael Rousse and Fiona Rigney.

Tom O’Rourke – profiled elsewhere in this edition of the Bugle for his handball prowess - was in flying form as MC and kept the things running smoothly.
The organisers would like to thank Tom for his help and to all who bought tables and raffle tickets, donated prizes and money. Thanks also to Steve and Lorraine on scoreboard with special thanks to Darren O’Reilly and the staff of the Thatch who were, as always, totally supportive and helpful.

The following are the winners of the raffle:-

1st Large Drinks Hamper John Buckley
2nd Bottle of Brandy John Rigney
3rd Jameson Gift Set & Glasses Fiona Breslin
4th Voucher for Sunday Lunch at Ardenode Hotel Patrick Pearse
5th Box Set of Wine Rachael Rousse
6th Brass Candle Stick Fiona Rigney
7th Cosmetic Set Maria Griffin

Further fundraisers planned included a Cake /Bric-a-Brac sale, a Music Night with Abhainn Dubh & DJ at Poulaphouca House on September 20th with our Angie doing a Parachute Jump on the same day – details in next month’s Bugle.

The Niall Mellon Initiative really is a superb project whereby people within the construction industry – tillers, blocklayers, plasterers, engineers etc give their time and services free of charge for 10 days, raise the necessary monies to fund the trip and building materials required and head to South Africa to literally build permanent houses in a week for people who have lived in shacks, galvanized huts and in some cases, cardboard houses for years………….. Without proper sanitation facilities, disease is rampant and Aids, sadly, an acceptable facet of everyday life. All houses built on the project are plumbed, wired and connected to an electrical supply.

Unskilled labour is also required, plus group scheme support and supply workers etc We’ve had reports before from Ken Barrett and Caroline (Crowe) Parker who have joined the project several times so we look forward to hearing of Denise and Janet’s experience.

The girls also have sponsorship cards should anyone like to contribute – see cards on display in Janet’s Daybreak Shop on Chapel Street or contact Denise on 087 6893403.

Great greats, great project – all donations welcome!

Rose B O Donoghue

Photos to run with this captions very small please:

Table Quiz Winners: Gordon McLoud and Jim McDonald (team mates missing from photo)

Runners-up: Jacinta O’Rourke, Aoife Sammon, Fiona Rigney and Rachael Rousse (The bottles did not participate in the Quiz and in no way contributed to the team’s success on the night….)

Maestro MC Tom O’Rourke running the show

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