Sunday, October 12, 2008

on passing by- again
Its absolutely amazing how just one month away from the Bugle can turn your mind into mush. Normally, at this stage, I would be going through stuff I had noticed during the last month and would be trying to decide which items would make a good story and discarding the rest. And where am I now?. Well and truly up the proverbial creek and neither Lidl or Aldi doing special offers on paddles!
In light this I am just going to pick stuff off the top of my head and run with it.

So, another Summer passes and we find ourselves back in September. In all honesty I suppose we are close to breaking the terms of the Trades Descriptions Act by calling the last two months Summer. An almost daily deluge for some parts of the country and never a chance to make any sort of definite plans for anything that was weather dependant. We are told by the powers on high that this is going to be our normal class of summer from now on, and that it really is no ones fault but our own. If we had heeded all the warnings about global warming and climate change, and done our bit for the environment, we would not be enjoying the current “ soft days “. If you believe that then you will believe anything.
I am a lifelong environmentalist and for years championed the Green Party. As someone said a long time ago marry in haste and repent at leisure. The Green Party I supported so many years ago had its head well screwed on and only acted when it had what I would call definitive proof of something. Now we have the same green party in government and it is as if all the pent up frustration of all those years in the wilderness and in opposition has suddenly blinded them to any kind of rational thought.
Policy after policy sees the light of day only to be shot down by the cold hard use of commonsense.
Lets strike a blow for the environment and ban all the old style bulbs. Good on ye Gormley, make them all use the environmentally friendly ones, even though they cost a lot more. Ah but lads they last a lot longer so you will eventually recoup your investment. Sorry lads but its not convincing enough. When the light in the toilet goes before pay day and the emergency choice is the eighty cent one in the local shop or the drive to Naas for the friendly but dearer one, that’s hardly a choice. Cheap light now or dear light in half an hour?. As I said, hardly a choice.
You would think that this part of the equation would have been obvious to Minister Gormley , as it is to the rest of us. Apparently not, and the Minister is now so far removed from reality that it never even seemed to occur to him that it would be illegal to ban a light bulb which is legal in other EU states. This is the green Minister who has his finger on the pulse of the green movement in Europe and is yet not au fait with European legislation.
The same Minister decrees that we are all equally responsible for global warming so therefore equally responsible for paying for it. When green Ministers take airline flights they insist on buying carbon credits, at the taxpayers expense, to offset their flights. While this may be noble in the extreme, and kind to Ministers pockets, what does it really achieve?.
We are a small country stuck between a European mainland and an ocean. While our carbon emissions may have increased dramatically in the last decade this is mainly because of a very low starting point.
Surely it is naïve in the extreme to suggest that we should all have to suffer so much to reduce our emissions when countries like the U.S., China and India, the worlds largest emitters, have refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as they see it as going against their national interests. They are of the opinion that carbon credits are a waste of money and resources and that we should instead be spending the billions suggested on investigating cleaner technologies to provide us with energy rather then penalising us for trying to better ourselves.
Maybe its time to take the environ out of the Greens and just leave the mental bit.

Isn’t it strange that after decades of the border, and all its attendant publicity. and despite what we are told is a relatively good standard of education on both sides of the same border we still have so many people who seem totally unaware of the geography of this island. Week after week media folk continue to refer to Northern Ireland as Ulster, or “the province”. While it is true that Ulster is a province the six counties are neither of these.Perhaps it is just a lack of knowledge, or is there another agenda at work.?

Aren’t political memories woefully short. Fine Gael TD Leo Varadker recently suggested examining the possibility of offering six months benefits to recent immigrants, now unemployed, if they returned to their own countries. This type of Voluntary Repatriation Scheme is being examined Europe wide and a similar scheme already operates in Spain. Lo and behold the heavens opened. Fianna Fail TD Conor Lenihan called the remarks” inflammatory” and said they could lead to negative reactions directed at immigrants. This from the same TD who not so very long ago called Turkish workers “kebabs” in the Dail. Kettles and pots definitely spring to mind.

I was one of the unfortunates who spent over ninety minutes getting from Newlands Cross to Naas last Friday. The cause of this was unusually heavy rainfall on Friday afternoon which had parts of the N7 looking like boating lakes and reduced in parts to one lane of traffic. What was particularly frustrating was the memories of the two year upgrade of this same piece of infrastructure which resulted in almost daily hold ups and traffic jams. We were told it would be all worth it in the end and indeed it did seem to be much improved. In the dry. Even normal rain can make some parts of the road treacherous, particularly the outside lane at Citywest.
What I find absolutely galling is that despite us , the taxpayers, shelling out over sixteen million euro per kilometre the designers apparently never expected it to rain. Surely a project of this scope and expense should be capable of handling rain, or am I just being silly?

All for now. Mike Edmonds.

Pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2008, Sydney.

Tuesday: After over 20 hours of travelling we finally arrived in Sydney a bit tired and disorientated. We eventually made our way to St. Patricks Parish in Bondi where we got a warm welcome from both the locals and the guys from Dublin’s CYC at registration. We only had time to drop our bags before heading to the opening ceremony at Barangaroo.

Wednesday: Following a well deserved sleep, we started the day with Catechesis. This is how we started each morning. Many priests and bishops from all around the world delivered the ceremonies and the CYC choir provided beautiful music and singing for all attendees from around the globe. We spent the afternoon in Darling harbour for the street events. Back in Bondi Beach the ‘Franciscans 4 Unity’ concert preparations were well under way. It was a huge success.

Thursday: The Catechesis was followed by a BBQ where we got to meet loads of fellow pilgrims. Thursday afternoon was the Papal arrival into the harbour. The atmosphere around the whole city was amazing. Everybody came out to see the Pope, not just the pilgrims. Many businesses closed early for the event. We as part of the 200 strong Irish group saw Pope Benedict arriving into the harbour. Pope Benedict then travelled through the streets of Sydney, via motorcade in the Pope Mobile, before arriving at Barangaroo for the Papal welcome.

Friday: We had a few free hours in the morning and spent our time climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Stations of the Cross took place around the City on Friday afternoon. This was one of the highlights of WYD. This live theatrical and devotional re-enactment of the last days of Jesus' life took place in Sydney's spectacular harbour backdrop. We attended the night prayer service in St. Patricks Parish afterwards.

Saturday: We made our way to Randwick Racecourse early in the afternoon to prepare for the evening vigil. We were among 250,000 pilgrims for the night. Pope Benedict gave an impressive homily and the ceremony was beautiful. It was a joyful and moving event which included a ceremony of candlelight.

Sunday: Today was World Youth Day. Pope Benedict presided over this celebration. It was the largest gathering of people in the history of Australia at Southern Cross Precinct. The Pope flew over the precinct in a helicopter at 9am and then drove through the precinct in the Pope-mobile.This was the final day of WYD and the final mass and closing ceremony took place at the racecourse. Due to the drought that Australia was experiencing, Pope Benedict was asked to pray for rain and after WYD ended, his prayers were answered and the rain started (Just in time for our week of sightseeing!).

We both had an amazing experience at WYD. We met some terrific friends who we look forward to seeing at the reunion next month. We would like to thank everybody who helped this become a reality, especially Fr. Breen, Tim and all of the parish committee as well as all who contributed to our fundraising. It was a truly memorable experience that will live on with us for the rest of our lives. We hope that others from the Parish will be able to attend the next WYD in Madrid in 2011. To all who supported and encouraged us, a sincere thank you.
Orlagh Deegan & Caroline Darby
Church Matters

You will have noticed some construction activity around the church in the last number of weeks.
Brendan and Michael Nolan have been working hard on a number of areas around the building.
Firstly fixing the gutters properly to granite façade, very short nails were used in the original fixing, but now they are in a safe state. The pointing on the “pyramids” at each side of the entrance door was in a much deteriorated state and this re-pointing has stopped a large part of the water ingress at the back of the confessional. The façade around the doors was filled and will be treated with a weatherproof coating. Vents have been drilled into the walls to aid air circulation. An area around the graves has been taken out and filled with “blackjack” sealant. The old sand and cement plaster ahs been hacked off the stairway walls of the gallery and this will be replaced with a lime mix plaster at a later date.
That’s all the good news, now the bad news is that the supports of the gallery stairway are in an extremely distressed state. This will result in the closure of the gallery in the near future to enable investigation and probably the replacement of the supports and the stairway.
If you can help in any way towards this costly but very necessary work we would be most grateful.

The Parish Board of Management.

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