Tuesday 26 April 2016


The World's Worst Nuclear Disaster

The worst disaster of the brutal Soviet Communist regime occurred in the early hours of April 26, 1986, when a botched test at the nuclear plant in then Soviet Ukraine triggered a meltdown that spewed deadly clouds of atomic material into the atmosphere, forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.

Thirty-one plant workers and firemen died in the immediate aftermath of the accident, most from acute radiation sickness.

Over the past three decades, thousands more have succumbed to radiation-related illnesses such as cancer, although the total death toll and long-term health effects remain subject of intense debate.

The anniversary has garnered extra attention due to the imminent completion of a giant 1.5 billion Euro (1.7 billion Dollar) steel-clad arch that will enclose the stricken reactor site and prevent further leaks for the next 100 years. The project was funded with donations from more than 40 governments. Even with the new structure 1,000 square miles of forest and marshland, on the border of Ukraine and Belarus, will remain uninhabitable and closed to unsanctioned visitors.

The disaster, and the government's reaction to it, highlighted the flaws of the Soviet system with its unaccountable bureaucrats and entrenched culture of secrecy. For example, the evacuation order only came 36 hours after the accident.

Chernobyl Children's Project International was founded in Ireland in 1991 by Adi Roche in response to an appeal from Ukrainian an Belarusian doctors for aid. Roche, previously a volunteer in a nuclear disarmament group, received a fax in 1991 which read SOS Appeal. For God's sake, please help us get the children out. This inspired her to take action and that same year, she set up a small workspace in a spare bedroom in her home and began organising Rest and Recuperation for a few Chernobyl children, recruiting Irish families who would welcome and care for them, CCPI began in Ireland in 1991 and expanded into the United States in 2001. It changed its name to Chernobyl Children International in 2010. The organization has grown from strength to strength and is now the largest contributor to Belarus and the fallout from Chernobyl. It works closely with the Belarusian government, the United Nations and many thousand volunteers in Ireland, Belarus and worldwide to deliver a broad range of supports to the children and the wider community.

To date, Chernobyl Children's contributions exceed 91 million dollars in direct and indirect aid, and the Rest and Recuperation program has brought over 22,000 children to Ireland, returning an average of two years to each child's lifespan.

Saturday 23 April 2016

William Shakespeare

English Poet and Dramatist

William Shakespeare (1564 — 1616), born 452 years ago on this day was the world's supreme creative literary genius. Little is known of his life. While his birth date is conjectural, he was baptised in the parish church of Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564. His father, John Shakespeare, was a dealer in agricultural produce in that town; his mother, Mary Arden, was a farmer's daughter. William, their third, but eldest surviving child, is thought to have been educated at Stratford Grammar School, to have left in his fourteenth year, and (traditionally) to have been apprenticed to a butcher. In 1852, in his 19th year, he married Ann Hathaway, daughter of a farmer of Shottery whose cottage, still preserved, is now called Ann Hathaway's cottage. She was Shakespeare's senior by eight years. A daughter, Susanna, was born within six months of the marriage, and twins (Hamnet and Judith) in 1585. Hamnet died in his 12th year, but the daughters both survived their father. Shakespeare moved to London in 1887 and found employment in the theatre at Shoreditch, the only playhouse then existing. He was soon admitted as a member of a company of players to which he remained faithful for the rest of his career.

Turning playwright, Shakespeare revealed unique powers of characterisation and mastery of dramatic speech in both verse and prose, with 37 plays assigned to him in his lifetime. In 1597, he purchased New Place, the second largest house in Stratford, and retired there in 1611. He died at New Place and was buried in the Chancel of Stratford church.

Thousands of books have been written about Shakespeare and his works. His plays are acted and studied more than any other dramatist in history

Thursday 7 April 2016

Formation of Government

The present impasse in the forming of a government is almost totally as a result of electors voting for 'Independents' in such large numbers. The reasons why people vote for Independents varies — some because they think it will benefit their own locality if that independent is in a bargaining position to lever something from those hoping to form a government  — the 'Healy-Rae syndrone'; some more because of a personal attachment to a particular candidate; while others do it to be anti-establishment.

There cannot be a stable government when a large number of Independents are elected, all with personal agendas. Independent T.D.'s interest in government formation goes no further than what is best for them personally. They oppose everything that is unpopular, even if such a measure is best for society as a whole. They bleat the populace rant knowing that they are never going to bear the responsibility for their actions. The people who vote for them are complicit in this masquerade.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

The Surrender

The following is taken from the Evening Herald dated April 26 to May 4 1916, and reproduced in The Evening Herald of Tuesday April 12, 1966:
To Avoid Further Slaughter
We are asked officially to give the utmost publicity to the following document, signed by P.H. Pearse, who was described as being "The leader of the rebels"and bearing date 29th:- 
 "In order to prevent further slaughter of unarmed people, and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers, now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, members of the Provisional Government present at Headquarters have agreed to an unconditional surrender, and the commander of all units of the Republican Force will order their followers to lay down their arms." 
The Co. Inspector also published on April 30th an announcement that "James Connolly and other Sinn Fein leaders have unconditionally surrendered to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief in Ireland" 
Germany's "Assistance"
In a communication posted at Ballymun R.I.C. station on the evening of the 29th.April intimating, on behalf of the Irish command, the progress of military operations in the city, it was stated that "Roger Casement has declared that Germany has sent all the assistance she is going to send, which assistance is now at the bottom of the sea".

Monday 4 April 2016

Creditable Draw by Tipp Footballers

National Football League, Division 3:

Sligo 0-18; Tipperary 3-09

Tipperary footballers showed commendable heart and spirit to finish strongly and earn a 3-09 to 0-18 draw with Sligo at Markievicz Park yesterday. Sligo led by 0-18 to 2-08 with two minutes remaining but a late Alan Moloney goal, and a later point, ensured a share of the spoils. Following a tight first half, Sligo held a 0-10 to 2-03 interval lead, with Michael Quinlivan and Peter Acheson netting Tipperary goals and Acheson giving the visitors their second goal after converting a 22nd minute penalty. The sides were tied on four occasions after the restart and although Sligo kicked on with Niall Murphy and Kyle Cawley, impressive,Tipperary fought hard to carve out a draw.

Football in Tipperary is striving against the tide down the years. The county has had, and still has, great people who work hard to promote the game and try to produce teams of the best possible standard to compete in all grades of inter-county competitions. The county continues to produce players capable of holding their own with the best in the land. Many GAA clubs in the county contain individuals who attend divisional and county board meetings and their attitudes to Tipperary football are at best disinterest and cynicism and, in some cases, even hostility. I cannot understand how anyone with those attitudes could call themselves GAA or Tipperary people.

This year, the manager of the Tipperary minor hurling team has ruled that no player will be allowed to play minor football for Tipperary if the want to be included in the minor hurling panel — a new kind of ban — even if playing all grades of hurling and football with their clubs. Two leading members of the Tipperary senior football team were included in a hurling panel of 40 at the beginning of the National League thus denying the footballers the use of their services even though neither player was even listed among the subs on the hurling panel until yesterday when one of them was introduced four minutes from the final whistle of the defeat to Clare.