Monday 20 November 2017

Protection of Householders

Independent Roscommon-South Leitrim TD, Michael Fitzmaurice, has issued the following statement:
In light of the spate of robberies and elderly people being fearful in their own homes, I've asked the Minister would he consent that people over 60 years of age, in liaison with their local Gardai, be given the opportunity to have pepper spray, or laser guns in their own bed rooms, which may alleviate their worries and may help to prevent them being injured or hurt.
I fully support Mr. Fitzmaurice's proposal.

Very many vulnerable citizens presently have shot-guns at the ready for their protection. Anyone who enters a person's home by force, or otherwise, for the purpose of carrying out a criminal act should be met with all the force necessary to protect life and property. The application of the niceties of criminal law procedures is ineffective when dealing with drug-fuelled, or otherwise depraved, thugs.

Sunday 8 October 2017

Important Win for St. Mary's

At Golden GAA grounds yesterday St. Mary's Hurling Club, Clonmel, had a surprisingly easy 2-19 to 0-11 win over Mid-Tipperary champions, Gortnahoe-Glengoole — and, by coming out on top in this Tipperary Intermediate County championship final, they now assume senior status. While a win such as this might not represent a 'big deal' to many people in Tipperary, it is something to celebrate for those of us who want to see hurling and Gaelic football flourishing in every club in the county.

Clonmel is a big town, but it has never had a senior hurling team capable of challenging at county level. St. Mary's has flown the hurling flag in Clonmel ever since its foundation in 1928 — although I am not ignoring the progress of Clonmel Óg which was formed over 30 years ago to promote both hurling and football.

St. Mary's sister club is Clonmel Commercials which has had no shortage of success in Gaelic football. Having won county minor hurling titles in 2015 and 2016, St. Mary's has both the material and the management to be successful in the senior ranks — and I very much hope that they will claim a County Senior Championship title in the not too distant future. Successful clubs, more especially those who perform well in both codes, are greatly hampered by the manner in which competitions are arranged and played in the county. A cluster of games are scheduled at this time of the year to bring the various competitions to a close — and the fact that such an important competition as Under-21 hurling only starts in the month of October is a disgrace. As things stand, St. Mary's will be involved in Munster club championship when many of their players are still eligible for the Under-21 grade. They will also be involved in a County senior football final with Commercials, and possibly in the Munster club competition.

No further comment is necessary.

Thursday 5 October 2017

Liam Cosgrave R.I.P.

Today, I learned with sadness of the passing of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave at the ripe old age of ninety-seven.

The Cosgrave Dynasty has deep roots in Irish public life. One famous ancestor was killed at The Battle of Vinegar Hill during the 1798 uprising by The United Irishmen. Liam's father, W.T. Cosgrave, took part in the 1916 Rising as 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion of the Irish Volunteers. W.T.'s step-brother, Goban Burke,was killed early in the rising. This caused W.T. great anguish as it was he who encouraged his step-brother to join the Volunteers. W.T. Cosgrave became President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State following the death of Arthur Griffith, and the assassination of Michael Collins. He led the country ably during it's formative years after a brutal and senseless Civil war and severe economic deprivation.

Liam Cosgrave was Minister for External Affairs in the Inter-Party government of 1954-57. He became Taoiseach in the coalition government of Fine Gael and Labour between 1973-77. Like his father before him, Liam always put the interests of the country ahead of himself and his party — a practice that is seldom, if ever, rewarded in this country. The Cosgrave legacy of sacrifice, honesty, integrity, truth and great service to this country will live on.

May they all rest in peace.

Monday 25 September 2017

Reports from September 1945

The following reports are taken from the Irish Independent between September 20th and 25th, 1945:

William Joyce — Lord Haw-Haw of German Radio — was found guilty of treason at the Old Bailey, London, and sentenced to death. Joyce showed no signs of emotion, bowed to the judge, smiled to his brother Quentin, and raised his right hand in what appeared to be a fascist salute.

Two Irish children, Michael Shannon, six, and Oliver Shannon, eight, brothers, who were recently released from a Japanese internment camp in the Philippines, were on the liner Queen Mary when she docked at Southampton from New York. Their parents were also captured by the Japanese, but no trace has yet been found of them. The boys are coming to Dublin to stay with their grandmother who lives in Blackrock.

A crowd of 67,329 thronged Croke Park to watch Cork win the All-Ireland Football Final from Cavan in a thrilling and hard-fought game. When the Last whistle sounded, Cork had 2 goals and 5 points against Cavan's 7 points. Cork supporters surged across the pitch and carried the winning team shoulder-high around the field.

Monday 18 September 2017

Heartbreak Again for Mayo

All-Ireland Senior Football Final:

Dublin 1-17; Mayo 1-16

Once again Mayo have to swallow the bitter pill of defeat in an All-Ireland Senior Football final. On this occasion they were beaten by a 76th minute pointed free from Dublin's Dean Rock. They lost by a similar margin to the same opposition in their last encounter in an All-Ireland senior final.

I have a special fondness for Mayo football having had an obsessive interest in Gaelic Games since my early youth. In that part of South Tipperary where I come from, we had a particular affinity for Gaelic football; although our interest in hurling was also intense as was the case throughout the county and beyond. In those relatively stress-free times, Mayo were one of the footballing giants. I can recall the names of practically all of their All-Ireland winning team of 1951.

This present Mayo team is very close to the Holy Grail. They recall the indomitable spirit of another great son of the county, Michael Davitt who co-founded the Land League which refused to be crushed by the cruel Land Lord system in the latter part of the nineteenth century. I am also reminded of that sad day on July 7th, 1980 when Mayo lost one of it's greatest-ever footballers, John Morley, who was brutally shot down by bank-robbing terrorists.

Let next year be your year.

Monday 14 August 2017

Deadly Atomic Explosion

With the current war-mongering rhetoric between U.S. President, Donald Trump, and the leader of the North Korean regime, Kim Jon Um, it is well to reflect on a report that appeared in the Irish Independent on August 9th, 1945. This followed the dropping of an atomic bomb by the U.S. Air Force on the Japanese city of Hiroshima at 8 am on August 6th, 1945.
"All living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death...the dead are simply uncountable". In these graphic words Tokyo reports told for the first time of the cataclysmic damage caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The major part of Hiroshima was destroyed. "The destructive force of the new weapon is indescribable, as is the terrible devastation it has caused" said the report.
The bomb was described as more powerful than 20,000 tons of TNT and with more than 2,000 times the blast force of the British ten-ton bomb, hitherto the largest bomb used in warfare. Bombs many times more powerful are available in the arsenal of the U.S. at the present time.

Another atomic bomb was dropped by U.S. on the Japanese seaport of Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Reports from July 1945

The following extracts are taken from the Irish Independent in July, 1945:

July 13, 1945:

The first Orange demo held in Derry since 1939 was unique by virtue of the fact that it was held in a Gaelic sports ground. The organisers, unable to find another ground in the Waterside area, were granted the use of a 10-acre field in Irish Street rented by St. Patrick's Gaelic football club.

July 20, 1945:

Dealing with his visit to the German Minister on the occasion of Herr Hitler's death, Mr De Valera said that he knew his action would be open to misrepresentation. What he had done was his duty. The envoy came here as a representative of his people, not of a particular government.

King George and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Princess Elizabeth, arrived on a visit to the North of Ireland yesterday. They flew from Lisburn to Lisahally, and after boarding the patrol yacht, Hiniesta, sailed up the Foyle to Derry.

The death has occured of Ald. Richard Corish T.D., Mayor of Wexford. He was a leading member of the Labour Party, and had an unbroken record as mayor of his native town since 1920.

Monday 10 July 2017

Kevin O'Higgins Assassination

Ninety years ago today the then Minister for Justice, Kevin O'Higgins, was assassinated while walking to mass near his home at Booterstown, Co. Dublin. This was in revenge for the execution of four leaders of the irregulars on December 8, 1922 after their group had shot two deputies on their way to the Dail the previous day.

O'Higgins had told the Dail that it was the only way "representative government and democratic institutions" could be maintained.

As Kevin O'Higgins lay dying he referred to Eamon de Valera: "Tell my colleagues that they must beware of him; in future life he will play down to the weakness of the people".

The culture of violence in those years has been glorified in song and story in which we were all participants until some of us saw the light. It spawned thousands of needless deaths and injuries in this country and outside. The most glaring and tragic was in recent years, when a group calling itself the "Provisional IRA", and other equally sinister elements, engaged in a killing campaign for more than 30 years.

Unfortunately there is still an attitude prevalent in this country that their political outlook should be accepted by others who differ and the latter should be pressurised to do so. Though the number who believe that force is acceptable to achieve their aims is diminishing, it is still there.

Sunday 9 July 2017

Fine Win by Tipp Footballers

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers:

Cavan 0-18; Tipperary 2-15

Tipperary Senior Footballers made the long trek to Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan yesterday evening to take on the home side in the senior football championship qualifiers. Tipperary have been hard hit by the loss of players in recent times: a number due to various injuries; one notable retirement in Ciaran McDonald; and all-star nominee, Peter Achinson, working in Dubai. Tipperary seemed to give Cavan too much respect in the first half by adapting an overly defensive mode and found themselves trailing by 12 points to 6 at half-time. In the second half they began to express themselves and dominated Cavan scoring 2-09 to their opponents 6 points. The points came early in the second half, and a goal each from rangy corner forward, Conor Sweeney, and another from lion-hearted half-back, Robbie Kiely, enabled them to forge a memorable victory. Maybe the Ghosts of  '35 can rest more easily.

Monday 12 June 2017

Cork Sucker Punch Floors Tipp

Munster Senior Football Semi-Final:

Cork 1-10; Tipperary 1-09

Tipperary went into Saturday's game, played at Pairc Ui Rinn, Cork, minus a number of players due to injury. They also started without last years outstanding captain, Peter Acheson,who has gone to work in Dubai. They also had the misfortune to have star forward, Micheal Quinlivan, stretchered off mid way through the first half. They took the game to Cork and held the lead until around the 45th minute. Cork then took the initiative and went into the lead, which they still held going into the concluding stages. In the 68th minute, Tipperary's star forward on the day, Conor Sweeney, scored a dramatic goal to give Tipperary a two point lead. Cork, however, weren't finished; they moved the ball swiftly up field to score a dramatic reply in the form of a goal by substitute, Lucas Connolly.

Now is a time for those who would love to see Tipperary football progress to the top to put their shoulders to the wheel to make it happen. It would be very foolish indeed to sit back and expect that a long run in the qualifiers, similar to last year, is guaranteed. Every game is a banana skin. The development of Tipperary football is an ongoing process. Top coaches should be used to train would-be coaches for teams at juvenile and up to adult level. The structure, and playing, of club competition should be geared to make games as competitive as possible, with a consequent improvement in standard.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Break, Break, Break

Break, break, break,
On thy cold grey stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Monday 22 May 2017

Cork Get Better of Tipp

Munster Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final:

Cork 2-27; Tipperary 1-26

In yesterday's rip-roaring hurling encounter, played at Thurles, Cork edged out old rivals and All-Ireland champions, Tipperary, by four points. The game was tit-for-tat all the way to the end as players gave their all with determination and no little skill. The Tipp backs were in trouble with the Cork forwards from the beginning. Their positioning and defensive tactics were faulty thereby allowing the Cork forwards far too much time and space to shoot at the Tipperary posts. The Tipperary mid-field must also share some responsibility in this regard.

The Cork backs had a strangle-hold on the Tipp forwards throughout most of the match. If more ball had been supplied to the wings it would have helped to open up the Cork defence and allow the dangerous Tipperary forwards to shine.

This year's championship has become even more competitive.

Thursday 18 May 2017

Departure of Enda and Michael

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan
The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, announced last evening that he was stepping down as leader of Fine Gael from midnight. It is his desire that a new party leader will be in place by June 2nd. In the meantime, he will continue to lead the country until a new Taoiseach is elected.

Enda Kenny has given tremendous service to the people of Mayo and Ireland since he was first elected to the Dáil in the Autumn of 1975. This followed a by-election in the Mayo constituency triggered by the untimely passing of his father, Henry Kenny TD. Henry Kenny was also a famed mid-fielder in Mayo's first All-Ireland winning team which beat Laois in the football final of 1936.

Enda Kenny became Taoiseach in 2011 when the country was in dire financial straits and in bondage to the International Money Markets. His government led us out of the crisis to the point where the IMF is currently predicting that Ireland will have the second fastest growth rate in the Euro Zone. This is also reflected in the unemployment rate which has dropped below 6% from a high of 15.3% when Kenny came to power. He is wished well in his retirement.

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, has also announced his retirement from politics, stating that he will not accept a cabinet post in the new Government and will not be contesting the next General Election. Noonan can stand proudly with the great Fine Gael and Cumann na nGaedheal Finance Ministers of the past. Richie Ryan, Gerard Sweetman and Patrick J. McGilligan all assumed office when the finances of the country were in bad shape, but not as dire as when Michael Noonan became Finance Minister in 2011. I wish him many more happy years on the banks of the Shannon.

Monday 24 April 2017

Tipp Hurlers Routed by Galway

National Hurling League Final:

Galway 3-21; Tipperary 0-14

In yesterday's National Hurling League Final, played at Páirc na nGael, Limerick, Galway inflicted a 16 point thrashing on Tipperary — the latter's heaviest league final defeat ever! While Tipp were favourites, shrewd observers of the game knew that victory could go either way given that Galway have been putting Tipperary to the pin of their collars for the past 30 years or so.

The fluid nature of hurling in the modern era can throw up surprising results. Getting the ball in hand is nine points of the law as long as you are able to use it advantageously when secured. When their confidence level has been boosted, Galway have the skills and striking ability to use the ball well. In yesterday's showdown, they monopolised the duels for possession and when Tipperary gardened ball, it was given away all too often through faulty passing — a fatal draw-back in the face of Galway's close marking and harassment.

The day when ground and air strikers reigned supreme has passed — which is a great pity because this was the true art of the game.

Sunday 9 April 2017

Silverware for Tipp Footballers

National Football League Division 3 Final:

Tipperary 3-19; Louth 0-19

After a long League campaign, Tipperary senior footballers have beaten Louth in the Division 3 Final played at Croke Park yesterday evening. This followed a splendid away win against Armagh last Sunday after a last-minute goal by Michael Quinlivan. These two victories were all the sweeter having lost two home games unexpectedly in the earlier stages of the league.

Louth had rested a number of their players in their game on the previous Sunday having already gained promotion and qualified for the final. With a fresher team than Tipperary, they started strongly and led by 6 points to 3 after 15 minutes. However, Tipperary managed to stay in touch and, in the last 15 minutes before half-time, they produced a 1-05 blitz which laid the foundation for this win.

Louth began the second half as they had done in the first, reducing the deficit to two point, but a vital goal by Conor Sweeney in the 43rd minute gave Tipperary the cushion to push on for victory. Louth kept battling to the end but two Tipp points in the 69th and 70th minutes, and another goal by Conor Sweeney at the end of stoppage time, put a further gloss on the score.

Tipperary football has now built a good foundation to move forward and challenge for top honours. However, more needs to be done at County Board level as regards the organising and completing of club competitions. Better grading and fewer fixtures can get players used to competing at a higher level intensity; all club games should be completed far earlier in the year; and top coaches should be in place for all under-age players.

Monday 3 April 2017

Bravo Michael Quinlivan!

National Football League Division 3:

Tipperary 3-08; Armagh 0-16

National Hurling League Quarter Final:

Tipperary 4-28; Offaly 3-13

Yesterday, Tipperary's senior footballers made the long trip to the 'Wee North' for the final group match in Division 3 of the National Football League. At the Athletic Grounds in Armagh, they took on the home county in a game that decided who got promoted to Division 2 for next year's competition. The winners would also earn a place in the divisional final next weekend against already-promoted Louth.

Michael Quinlivan
With so much at stake, Tipperary came away with a famous win after Michael Quinlivan scored a sensational goal in the 74th minute following a pass from Liam Casey. It was Michael's third goal —all scored in the second half — which proves the old saying: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man".

Tipperary had already lost two home games in the league, which they had been expected to win, especially against Louth on the previous Sunday when they led by two points at half-time having played against the breeze in the first half. This left them with the the daunting task of travelling North to take on a team with an outstanding football pedigree in their own back yard.

While Michael Quinlivan was the hat-trick hero on the day, the whole team played with similar heroics.The forwards had been scoring points freely in previous games, but on this occasion points were hard to come by, so the goals were vital. The backs upped their performance on this occasion, with the positional changes having the desired effect. So, it is hearty congratulations to players, management and last — but certainly not least — the loyal supporters wherein lies the true heart of Tipperary.

On the same day, Tipperary achieved the expected win over Offaly in the National Hurling League Quarter Final at Tullamore. They now go on to play Wexford who were surprise winners over Kilkenny in the other quarter-final leg. Best of luck to both teams in their next engagements.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Vera Lynn at 100

Vera Lynn celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday. Whenever I think of this special lady my mind goes back to my childhood when I first heard her rich melodious voice on Radio Eireann and various gramophone records. The songs I heard at the time included Hello Patsy Fagan, Patsy McCann and Sitting on the Bridge below the Town.

The voice of Vera Lynn has always remained special to me. Another special person I often think about is my cousin, Nellie Shorthall of Fethard, Co. Tipperary who passed away in November 2015 shortly after reaching her 101 birthday. Nellie was a great lady who loved music and was a big fan of Vera Lynn; I am sure she is looking down on Vera to-day.

Vera Lynn's greatest hits were: Auf Wiederseh'n SweetheartThe White Cliffs of Dover, My Son My Son and We'll Meet Again. The other great female singers that followed were Rosemary Clooney, Teresa Brewer, Jo Stafford and, a little later, Connie Francis.

Monday 20 March 2017

Great Win for Ireland

RBS Six Nations Championship:

Ireland 13; England 9

In Saturday's final game of the Six Nations series, played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the Irish rugby team achieved a famous win over England. This may end up being the sporting highlight of the year — unless Tipperary win a football All-Ireland, or the hurlers achieve a consecutive national title, something they haven't achieved since 1964/65.

England came into Saturday's game with an impressive record of 18 consecutive wins against both northern and southern hemisphere teams, thus equalling the all-conquering All-Blacks' record. Ireland had an indifferent Six Nations, losing to both Scotland and Wales, while England had trashed Scotland by 61 points to 21 on the previous Saturday.

I knew Ireland would put on a vastly improved performance for this one — they always do when their backs are to-the-wall — but I didn't think it would be enough against an English team that has upped their game so much under New Zeland coach, Eddie Jones. With fierce determination, no little skill, a bit of necessary luck, Ireland achieved the impossible. Johnny Sexton put in a commanding performance at Number 10 while continuing to bear the brunt of late tackles.

The one thing that stands out about the Irish Rugby team is its united country dimension, drawing support from Ballycastle to Bere Island. Indeed, the Irish captain, Rory Best, hails from the Unionist heartland of North Armagh.

The game with the 'crooked ball' is indeed a funny one.

Thursday 23 February 2017

Eddie Dalton Honoured

Eddie Dalton of Golden, County Tipperary, is to be received into the Hall of Fame by the Tipperary Association in Dublin at the end of this month. It is a greatly deserved honour whose genesis lay in a tragic set of circumstances which occurred 76 years ago.

Here I will quote the opening lines from the book Murder at Marlhill written by Marcus Bourke in 1993:
At eight o'clock on the morning of 23 April, 1941, Harry Gleeson was hanged in Mountjoy Jail in Dublin for the murder of his neighbour, Mary McCarthy. Her body had been found in a remote spot on Gleeson's uncle's farm near New Inn, Co.Tipperary early on Thursday 21 November,1940...A six day preliminary hearing in Clonmel District Court on January 1941 was followed by a ten day jury trial in Green St. Court House, Dublin in February. A four-day hearing in the Court of Criminal Appeal a month later and a reprieve campaign both failed.
Harry Gleeson was born in Galbertstown, Holycross, County Tipperary, in 1902. Sixteen years before the tragic events, he moved to his uncle John Caesar's farm at Graigue, New Inn. Three years later, they moved to a 75 acre farm at Marlhill, New Inn. As the Caesars were childless, it was assumed that Harry would inherit the farm. A fellow worker on the farm was Harry's friend and cousin, Tommy Reid, who was in his early twenties at that time.

Marcus Bourke, the author of the book, was a barrister with Tipperary connections. He became convinced of Harry Gleeson's innocence after more than five years of painstaking research and interviews, prompted initially by a casual encounter with two people from the Cahir area. Sean McBride, who was a Junior Counsel at the time of the trial, was on the defence team and had a life-long belief in Harry Gleeson's innocence. Marcus Bourke spoke to McBride on many occasions, mostly on the telephone, but also at his home. In the book, Bourke quotes from an interview with McBride in 1974:
Gleeson not alone didn't commit the crime but couldn't have committed it as he was elsewhere at the time...two years earlier he had said "I was quite certain the man was innocent. I had no doubt about it...I did everything I could to prevent him being executed". 
Talking to Marcus Bourke in 1992, Tommy Reid recalled the fateful evening before Mary McCarthy's body was found. He and Harry Gleeson were cleaning themselves before entering Caesar's house for supper at about seven o'clock, When Reid heard two shots, he turned to Gleeson and said "By God, Harry, whoever fired those shots must have cats eyes". He said he didn't think Harry heard him as he was a bit deaf.

Mary McCarthy was a single mother with seven children which led to McBride writing in his papers: "Mary McCarthy was a victim of a perverted sense of morality bred by a civilisation which nominally based on Christianity lacks most of (its) essentials.

Although he was not yet born at the time of Harry Gleeson's execution, Eddie Dalton was inspired by his father, John, late of Cloughleigh, Golden, and others from the area around, who were convinced of Gleeson's innocence. Dalton worked arduously and painstakingly over many years to secure a Presidential Pardon for Gleeson. On January 2016, on the advice of the Attorney General, the Minister for Justice directed the President, under Article 13.6 of the Constitution, to grant a pardon to Harry Gleeson. This was justification for Eddie Dalton, and other good people involved in the campaign.

Monday 20 February 2017

George Washington

Today is George Washington's birthday. He was born on 20 February, 1733 and died on 14 December, 1799. Washington was the first president of the USA having been American commander-in-chief during the War of Independence. Raised in Bridges Creek, Virginia, he was the son of a colonial planter whose family had emigrated from Northamptonshire in the 17th century. He gained a high reputation for leading a campaign against the French and defending against attacks by Indians. In 1775, he was given chief command at the outbreak of the War of Independence and, having been prevailed upon to accept the presidency, took the oath on 30 April, 1789. He was re-elected for a second term in 1793, but had to endure much violent criticism before retiring to Mount Vernon in 1797.

Saturday 4 February 2017

Tipperary International Peace Award

Down the years, the organisers of the Tipperary International Peace Award have been rightly commended for the calibre of the people they invited to Tipperary town to receive the accolade. The thought that Martin McGuinness is on the short list to receive the award for 2017 sends shock-waves through decent-minded people in this county and beyond. For McGuinness to receive the award would be a most retrograde step for this organisation and would undo all of their good work in the past. It would be a slap in the face to the relatives of the dead, and to all others who suffered from terrorist activities for 35 years.

Now is a time to cement a strong relationship between Unionists and Nationalists — something which should have started 95 years ago — instead of fomenting hostility by giving awards to someone so closely involved with the chief terrorist group during their campaign.

Monday 30 January 2017

The Wintry Night

Around the fire, one wintry night,
The farmer's rosy children sat,
The faggot lent its cheerful light,
And jokes went round, and harmless chat.

When hark! a gentle hand they hear
Low tapping at the bolted door;
And, thus to gain their willing ear,
A feeble voice was heard implore.

'Cold blows the blast across the moor,
The sleet drives hissing in the wind;
Yon toilsome mountain lies before,
A dreary, treeless waste behind.

'My eyes are weak and dim with age,
No road, no path, can I decry;
And these poor rags ill stand the rage
Of such a keen, inclement sky.

'So faint am I, these tottering feet
No more my palsied frame can bear,
My freezing heart forgets to beat,
And drifting snows my tomb prepare.

'Open your hospitable door,
And shield me from the biting blast;
Cold, cold it blows across the moor,
The weary moor that I have passed!.

With hasty steps the farmer ran,
And close before the fire they place
The poor have- frozen beggar man,
With shaking limbs and pallid face.

The little children flocking came,
And warmed his stiffened hands in theirs
And busily the kindly dame
A comfortable meal prepares.

Their welcome cheered his drooping soul;
And slowly down his wrinkled cheek,
The round tear was seen to roll,
That told the thanks he could not speak.

The children, too, began to sigh,
And all their merry chat was o'er;
And yet they felt — they knew not why —
More glad than they had been before.

— Anonymous

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.