Saturday, 14 January 2017

Martin Luther King

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on this day, January 15th, 1929. A Baptist Minister and activist, he became the most famous Civil Rights leader in history. Originally named Michael King, his father changed his name in honour of German Protestant leader, Martin Luther. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of great intellect who sailed through college and university exams, completing his PhD dissertation and degree in 1955. He believed in non-violent protest making the famous quote: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that; hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that". Other famous quotes from his speeches were: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy"; also "Faith is taking the first step when you don't see the whole staircase". King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, USA on April 4th, 1968.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Dr. T. K. Whitaker

Dr. T. K. Whitaker (1916 - 2017)
I was sad to learn of the death of Dr. T. K. Whitaker, just a month after celebrating his 100th birthday. Dr. Whitaker made a huge contribution to the economic, social and cultural well-being of this country.

Fianna Fáil's defeat in the 1954 General Election ushered in a second Inter-Party Government when Gerard Sweetman of Fine Gael became Minister of Finance. Sweetman — sadly killed in a car crash near Monasterevin in 1970 — produced a masterstroke on May 30th 1956 by appointing the 39 year-old Ken Whitaker as Secretary General of the Department of Finance, having read his pioneering paper on Economic Expansion.

Fianna Fáil opposed the ideals of economic expansion having pursued Éamon de Valera's reactionary economic policies throughout their domination of government since 1932. This resulted in mass emigration and unemployment which had risen to 421,000 by the time Fianna Fáil lost power in 1954. In Dáil Eireann, Fianna Fáil had voted against the major economic initiatives of Fine Gael-led colations, including the establishment of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Córas Tractála (Export Board) and the Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACC) while also opposing tax incentives for foreign manufacturers and the Land Reclamation Programme. However, when Fianna Fail returned to power in 1957, their Minister for Finance, Dr. Jim Ryan, worked with Ken Whitaker in producing the First Programme for Economic Expansion which was finally published in 1958. Crucially, this was also supported by Sean Lemass who became Taoiseach in 1959 following de Valera's retirement.

The First Programme for Economic Expansion paved the way for an upsurge in economic activity during the 1960's which cemented Fianna Fáil's hold on power until the early 1970's when faulty Government policies increased the National Debt to dangerous levels while also producing an adverse Balance of Payments and growing unemployment. This was the situation facing the coalition government of Fine Gael and Labour when they came to power in April 1973.

Ken Whitaker was a man of honour and integrity  — character traits which are gradually being eroded from Irish society. As the country emerges from a global economic crisis, a "low-standard" agenda of victimhood and entitlement is being successfully pushed by "anti-establishment" types facilitated by a sufficient number of the electorate who are being blinded by a false flag of modernity.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Feast of the Epiphany

Today, 6th January, is the Feast of the Epiphany which commemorates the visit of the Wise Men to worship the baby, Jesus. Tradition tells us that their names were Caspar, Melchior and Balthassar. These men were astrologers who were looking for the star that would lead them to the promised Messiah. This was prophesied in the Book of Micah. According to the Gospels, they brought expensive and meaningful gifts: gold to signify the importance of Jesus; Frankincense to indicate that He should be worshipped; Myrrh, which is used to anoint the bodies of the dead, indicating that the wise men foretold that He would suffer and die.

In Ireland, this day is also known as Little Christmas or Nollaig na mBan (Women's Christmas) when Catholics are obliged to attend Mass.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Hogmanay

Hogmanay, or cake day, is the name used in Scotland and North England for New Year's Eve and the gifts then made. Presents are exchanged by friends; children are given oatcakes to the cry of "hogmanay"; masquers sing and act sketches. This year's Hogmanay also offers sporting entertainment by those great soccer protagonists from Glasgow Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Park, home of Rangers.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

An 1897 editorial by Francis P. Church in the New York Sun became one of the most popular ever written. It was written in response to a letter the paper received from an eight-year old girl seeking assurance that Santa Claus existed. The girl's name was Virginia O'Hanlon and I will show her letter hereunder:-
Dear Editor, 
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says,"If you see it in The Sun, it's so". Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus? 
Virginia O'Hanlon.

I will quote some of Mr.Church's response:
...Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life it's highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginia's! There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished... 
....No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives for ever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood
Veteran editor, Mr.Church, had covered the Civil War for the New York Times and was then an anonymous editorial writer for the New York Sun having worked on that newspaper for the previous 20 years. His famous editorial was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.

Virginia O'Hanlon, with her masters degree in education, was a teacher for 47 years when she retired. Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas died on May 13th 1971, at the age of 81, in a nursing home in New York.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Night in Winter


Shut in from all the world without,
We sat in clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed;
The house-dog on his paws outspread
laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat's dark silhouette on the wall,
A couchant tiger's seemed to fall;

What matter how the night behaved!
What matter how the north-wind raved!
Blow high, blow low, not all it's snow
Could quench our hearth-fire's ruddy glow.

— John Greenleaf Whittier

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Tipperary Cup Centenary

In a recent edition of the Clonmel Nationalist, dated 24th November 2016, the following caption appeared under a photograph of the 1916 Committee of the Clonmel and Kilsheelan Coursing Club:
The first Tipperary Cup in coursing was held at Ballyglasheen, Kilsheelan on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 19th, 20th and 21st of January 1916 when Boys Hurrah beat Tablespoon in a thrilling final. 
The judge for the three day festival was Maurice F. Davin, nephew of the former President of the GAA, and Mullinahone man, Bob Redmond, handled the leathers. The Acting Stewards for the meeting came from Belfast, Tralee, Portumna, Dublin and Limerick together with T.A. Morris from Clonmel. The three days attracted a large crowd, including the Lord Lieutenant who had the pleasure of watching his runner qualify for the semi-finals of the feature event. Clonmel and Kilsheelan Coursing Club, in association with Clonmel & District Open Coursing Club, held this year's event on Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th November.