Sunday, July 31, 2016
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Friday, July 29, 2016
And how utterly boring.
Is this really where the Dominican Order is?
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Monday, July 25, 2016
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Friday, July 22, 2016
Police from other German states are on the way to Munich as are Austrian police.
"It's the feast of Mary Magdalene. She was the apostle to the apostles and they won't let us do anything".
It was the stress that she put on the 'they' that made her comment so powerful.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
This week's INM Irish regional newspapers' column.
Over 59,000 people will receive their Leaving Cert grades next month and those results will play a significant role in the courses they do or the jobs they take up. The decisions they make will affect the rest of their lives.
Guidance teachers play an important role in advising young people what careers are open to them. Parents too play a role in directing their children in career paths.
A gifted young woman I know has just finished a science degree at Cambridge, where she obtained a first class honours. She has decided she doesn't want to work in the area of science. She has now set her sights in working in the business field. The world is her oyster.
Farms pass from one generation to the next as do businesses. Doctors often see at least one of their children doing medicine.
But nothing is simple and there are no rules of engagement when it comes to the lives we live.
The wisdom of Shakespeare is worth noting. In 'All's Well that Ends Well' he writes: "The web of our life is a mingled yarn, good and ill together".
The lifestyles we live and the jobs we do are a 'mingled yarn'. Has it ever dawned on you how you have ended up in your job or the person with whom you share your life?
What's the key that has us where we are?
I heard someone say that we all end up where we want to be. Is that the case? I'm not sure. On the other hand a friend pointed out that he would never have been in his job but for a complete accident.
Reading about the Dublin Bus drivers who won the €23 million in the Euro Lotto there was something striking about one driver who has recovered from cancer and is now a million euro wealthier.
One got the impression that the money would be used wisely and indeed, he and his family will go on living their lives more or less as they have been up to now. It seems over the years the group has won smaller prizes and have given the money to charitable causes.
Last week I visited an elderly priest in hospital. He has spent over 50 years working in Africa. I asked him if he had regrets about his life. To my surprise he immediately said he had. "When we went to
Africa we brought a new list of sins to the people". He regretted that he had not listened to the people and taken more heed of their culture and their situation, rather then foisting on them all sorts of western rules and regulations. Otherwise, he had no hesitation in saying it has been a good life.
It probably makes no sense regretting who we are and where we are. Surely it is a matter of getting on with it and making the best of the lot we have.
We don't hear it these days but there was that old saying: " If all the ifs and ands made pots and pans there'd be no work for tinkers' hands."
We are where we are. A matter of living in the present and appreciating it.
Thinking of what we might or could have done makes no sense and all it does is burden us with excuses to stop getting on with our lives. There's so much to be done, so many to be helped. The tiniest of gestures can change the world, with or without Leaving Cert points.
All we have is the now. Regrets don't work. Carpe diem.
Monday, July 18, 2016
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Friday, July 15, 2016
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Modern signalling means that fail-safe systems are in place across Europe.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Monday, July 11, 2016
"The simple truth is that the problem with vocations to the priesthood is that young Irish men are no longer saying YES to a celibate vocation, their parents are encouraging them to say No and the vast majority of priests in parishes know that prioritising celibacy over the Eucharist is not just bad theology, it isn’t working.
Wasn’t it Albert Einstein who said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is a sign of mental health issues."
From today's Guardian
More than 1,000 barristers have signed a letter to the prime minister urging him to allow parliament to decide whether the UK should leave the European Union.
The letter describes the referendum result as only advisory because it was based on “misrepresentations of fact and promises that could not be delivered”.
The barristers argue that there must be a free vote in parliament before article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon treaty can be triggered – paving the way for the UK’s withdrawal.
The initiative has been coordinated by prominent barristers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland including more than 100 QCs, among them Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice, a former war crimes prosecutor.
The letter states: “The referendum did not set a threshold necessary to leave the EU, commonly adopted in polls of national importance, eg, 60 per cent of those voting or 40 per cent of the electorate. This is presumably because the result was only advisory.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Saturday, July 9, 2016
These are some of the places where people told me that the Healy-Rae brothers had been seen recently:
My uncle’s retirement party in Tralee.
Walking down the main street in Kenmare on Saturday night.
In Dingle at a parade at 7am.
At three funerals in one day in three different parts of the county.
My grandmother’s funeral in Killarney.
A festival in Sneem.
Buying a round of drinks for the entire pub in a bar in Milltown.
At a charity fundraiser in Castlemaine.
“They’re everywhere,” Paudie Broderick says. “If you were at one function in the county and the Healy-Raes were there, and you got into a plane and flew to another event in Kerry, the Healy-Raes would have got there before you.”
Farrell is a former member of the Legionaries of Christ, whose founder lived a notorious lifestyle.
Friday, July 8, 2016
You don't do those things these days. I hesitated, was nervous, eventually approached one of the garda.
I introduced myself. He was so nice, told me the man was okay.
It was honestly a moment of grace and the garda was most empathetic.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
This week's INM Irish regional newspapers' column
The week before last I had occasion to attend a District Court sitting in Dublin's Chancery Street. I was asked to accompany someone who had received a road traffic summons. She had never been in court before. She was nervous and simply wanted me to go along to support her.
I arrived 15 minutes early and suddenly found myself in 'another world'. Legal people coming and going, people dressed in gowns and most of them with bundles of notes and files under their arms.
There were two groups of people - those who had been summoned to court for alleged breaking of the law and those who would pronounce on their guilt or innocence.
Court proceedings were due to start at 2pm. A flurry of legal people and gardaí took their positions.
They were all formally dressed. And then sitting at the back of the court were the hoi polloi.
As the judge entered the court room and took her seat we were told to rise.
The courtroom is fitted with an amplification system and the judge and the court clerk appeared to turn on their respective microphones. But the system was not working and it was close to impossible to hear a word that was being said. Anyone I asked expressed a similar view: they could not hear what was being said. It was not my first time at a court sitting where I could not hear what was being said.
Sitting in the courthouse that day it was interesting to watch two worlds bumping along side-by-side.
The legal people were carrying out their normal day's work. It's what they were trained to do and they were simply in their work milieu. And then there were those who had been summoned to court. For many of them, no doubt, their first time ever in court, so it would have been an all-new experience.
And that naturally brings with it a sense of fear and trepidation. Also a feeling of isolation.
The court session seemed to have been dealing exclusively with road traffic offences. On the scale of things, there was no big drama, nevertheless, there were many people with summonses who looked worried and isolated.
The legal people were at ease in their workplace, doing their job. It was a different story for those who had been called there to explain their alleged wrong-doing.
Of course court experience is not meant to be a walk in the park but from what I experienced that day I was struck by some sort of divide there was between the two groups. The fact that the amplification system was not working added to the feeling of 'them and us'. It didn't help in making for a proper working environment.
It seemed people were being fined €300 to €400, at least that's what the judge may have been saying as it was well nigh impossible to hear what was being said.
Surely for justice to be accomplished it has to be seen to be done.
We have a shortage of gardaí. That day I was in court they were coming and going in great numbers.
Outside court I saw a young woman with three tiny children. Her husband had a number of road traffic offences. She looked worried and woebegone.
Did anyone care?
It's always difficult for the outsider, the non-expert to say something about a subject where they have no expertise.
But that day in court I was reminded of the words of Lord Halifax: "If the laws could speak for themselves, they would complain of the lawyers in the first place."
Monday, July 4, 2016
Folding childrens' (sic) pushchairs will be carried free, subject to accommodation being available and provided they are folded before placing in the luggage compartment or other designated area of the vehicle. Folding bicycles which are packed and wrapped in a suitable carrier bag/protective covering will be treated as passengers’ accompanied luggage and carried free of charge in the luggage storage area. Folding bicycles which are NOT packed or wrapped as described above will be charged at the full cycle rate.
Bicycles, prams and non-folding childrens' pushchairs will be carried only if sufficient accommodation is available; they must be placed in the luggage compartment or other designated area of the vehicle and are subject to a charge as determined by Bus Éireann from time to time.
So what exactly is the fare?