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.