by Pat Brosnan

Death of Bin Laden

While it is quite understandable and indeed very reasonable to realize that families and relatives of the victims of Al Qaeda terrorist atrocities, particularly all the innocent people who died in the New York Towers attack in September 2001, should feel a sense of relief and maybe even to a certain extent elation that Osama Bin Laden has now been put out of circulation for good, there are those, however, who are of the opinion that all the hype and drama surrounding his killing had more to do with next year’s American Presidential Election than it had in striking a blow against Al Qaeda terrorist network and its principal figurehead. The Americans have now loudly proclaimed that with the demise of Bin Laden the world is a safer place. But is it really? Yes, for a while, in the immediate aftermath of Bin Laden’s killing, there is the likelihood of a temporary let-up in terrorist attacks around the world, while several countries are on full alert, but then after that when things quieten down again, who knows?  Will there be further atrocities, in revenge for Bin Laden’s killing, by Al Qaeda and their terrorist fellow travellers around the world? The vast majority of the people of our own country would certainly hope not, but the question is what we can do to prevent such happenings, apart possibly from some moral influence which our Government might try and exert.

We have seen on television during the week all the excitement and jubilation particularly in the United States on hearing of Bin Laden’s death. In my opinion celebrating the violent death of anyone irrespective of who and what they have done is obscene, immoral and certainly should have no place in a Christian or civilised society. During the War of Independence in our country even the death by shooting of a notorious Black and Tan, or enemy Army Officer was never an occasion of jubilation, triumphalism or the holding of a hooley in celebration, even though the individuals who had been killed were enemies of the nation and proven torturers of Republican prisoners.  President Obama has wisely decided not to release pictures of Bin Laden’s killing, as presumably this might spark off a backlash from the Moslem world, or perhaps condemnation by the liberal media of the methods used in the killings by the Americans.

Well-known Irish writer and journalist Mr Ryle Dwyer writing in last Thursday’s Irish Examiner expressed the opinion that the Americans believed that they can do as they like regarding interference in the affairs of other countries and he afterwards re-echoed the same sentiments on Radio Kerry in an interview with Jerry O’ Sullivan and he gave a few examples for his beliefs such as Vietnam, Iraq and so forth. Not being a particularly great admirer of Ryle Dwyer and his writing and having occasionally felt disagreement with some of his newspaper articles, one has nevertheless had to admit, on this occasion anyway, his expressions last week are much nearer to the basic core of happenings around the world, rather than those of some of our Government leaders including our Taoiseach, who according to an article in The Irish Daily Star on Tuesday of last week joined with American and some European heads of State on their chorus of rejoicing over the death of Bin Laden. In the meantime many people in this country will be asking what kind of repercussions will last week’s happenings in Pakistan have for our own State regarding our two V.I.P. visitors who are coming here this month. While we all hope and pray that both visits will be free from incidents, one thing is, however, almost certain, it will make security arrangements that bit more difficult and worse still, more expensive in these hard, lean and difficult times. In spite of all the recent happenings in various countries, ordinary decent citizens all over the world are still desperately seeking peace, freedom from fear and democracy in their lives and have little time for intrigue, conspiracies and other twilight zone tactics irrespective of whether these are carried out by terrorists, dissidents or by dishonest, corrupt or war-mongering governments because in the end it is always innocent people who suffer the consequences of crime.


Pope John Paul Beatification

By all accounts the Beatification of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome last weekend was an uplifting ceremony and those who were lucky enough to attend it will always carry great memories with them. Those of us who were on Civil Defence crowd management duties in Greenpark racecourse, Limerick during the Pope’s visit there in 1979 will always think about it as an unforgettable experience on that October day when we were as near to the Pope as we could ever possibly hope to be, as he travelled around the Racecourse in his specially designed Pope Mobile and later addressed the quarter of a million crowd from the platform. On that day other Civil Defence local members travelled to Greenpark with me, late Bud Enright, Athea, Patrick Cotter, The Glen, Cratloe and my son Seanie. It was surely a day to remember. It was also a fine and admirable gesture by Athea Community Council to name the new footbridge after the late Pope John Paul II. My neighbours Kathleen and Katie Collins travelled to Rome to attend the Beatification ceremony and described it as being really beautiful.


The Mock Wedding

Well done to all those who took part in the recent Mock Wedding in Athea which was held as a fund-raiser by The Friends of St Ita’s Hospital. Not alone did it provide a good evening’s fun and entertainment, but it also brought in much needed money for the hospital. The organisers are grateful to all those who helped in any way.


Fleadh by the Feale

By all accounts the Fleadh by the Feale Festival in neighbouring Abbeyfeale was a great success. Those of us who attended Daisy Kearney’s Sunday afternoon session of storytelling, recitations and singing enjoyed it all very much. A couple from Wexford who attend this gathering each year both performed there, as usual, and there was a young couple who were on holiday from Switzerland in the audience.


Late Johnny Martin

It was with much regret that we learned last week of the death of Johnny Martin, of Moyreen, Ballyhahill. He had reached an advanced age but was still going strong up until a short time ago and was in reasonably good health. Some time ago he took part in a Radio programme with West Limerick 102 FM and related many of the events of his younger days. Johnny was a fine traditional singer and was very cheerful company when out with friends and relatives. He was also very interested in gardening and kept a very full and productive vegetable patch alongside his home in Moyreen. On one occasion, several years ago he was a fellow patient of my own in Limerick Regional Hospital. Sympathy is extended to his son, daughters, nephews, nieces and other relatives. ‘May his soul rest in Peace.’

British and North elections

It is hoped to give a run-down and to make some comments on the results of the British and Six-County Elections in next week’s “Corner” when all the results have been completed.