by Pat Brosnan

Contempt for the Community

There is no doubt that thieves who broke into the outbuilding in Paddy Mullane’s yard on the Glin Road and stole the copper showed absolute disregard and contempt for the many people in the local community and for people outside the parish who had so generously contributed to the recent scrap metal collection in aid of The Colbert Memorial Hall Fund. Not alone was this crime disgusting and deplorable, but it must also have had an upsetting effect on the Mullanes, whose yard was entered into by these thugs and the lock in the door of the shed damaged. While the investigation into this mean and callous theft continues it is to be hoped that the culprits will be apprehended and brought before the courts. In the meantime, the local people in their solidarity must make it quite plain that such disrespect to our community, as well as to the memory of Athea’s esteemed patriot Con Colbert who died for Ireland in 1916, is not going to be tolerated. If there are any suspicious vehicles to be seen around the locality with the occupants parked in front of houses and taking stock, the numbers should be reported to the authorities so that any such incidents can be investigated and dealt with. Naturally this should not apply to those who may be calling to houses on normal and lawful business, but of course most people would be surely aware of the difference. However on the other hand, it should be noted, there are some well-dressed and “respectable” looking con men and women doing their rounds under various guises, so the message is to people that they ought to be careful in dealing with callers who refuse to reveal their identity before being admitted.


Septic Tanks

By all accounts there has recently been another stupid ultimatum emanating from our European Union taskmasters, that septic tanks in our rural areas will have to be inspected and presumably upgraded to whatever standard is required by our European landlords who keep telling, sorry ordering, our elected Government and ourselves what we must do and if our Government won’t jump to each of their ultimatums, heavy fines will be imposed on this already bankrupt country, most of whose present major financial, economic, youth emigration, unemployment, national debt and other difficulties have directly arisen mostly because of our original and present membership of what Ryan Air boss Michael O’ Leary referred to a few years ago as “ this evil empire”. Those of us who live in rural areas and depend on septic tanks are going to feel very angry if those agents of the State, or more to the point those puppets of the European bureaucrats will be calling around telling us what we must do to get our septic tanks up to acceptable standards. While deploring violence of all kinds it would not surprise me at all if some frustrated rural people would feel like spraying those EU lackeys with the contents of their septic tanks if they happen to come around tormenting and harassing rural dwellers. Personally, when we were installing our own septic tank many years ago we did the work ourselves, septic tank, soak pit and so forth and we paid to have various other aspects of the operation done by a more skilled tradesman, such as concrete inspection manholes, laying of concrete and plastic pipe and installation of manhole and septic tank covers. Through the generosity and goodwill of kind neighbours we had been given a site for the septic tank and naturally got all the required planning permission from Limerick County Council, which also included a permit to cut the road to a depth of 3 feet to take the concrete and plastic pipes leading to the septic tank underneath it. It would be hard to forget the hard graft that my son Seanie (who was a teenager then) and myself did  in the cutting of the road in 2 separate sections to allow traffic to pass. We spent 2 tiring days with pick and shovel doing the job. We had the entire job done completely at our own expense without looking for or obtaining grants or financial assistance of any kind from the County Council or indeed anywhere else, apart perhaps, from a loan a few times from our local Credit Union. It is good to know that farming organisations and other rural bodies have come out and declared their opposition to this inspection nonsense. We have all worked too hard to provide sanitation for our holdings. While some old style toilets may now be out of date with their septic tanks, we had an outside one ourselves, but the more modern sanitation in rural areas is as good as any in England, Wales or indeed anywhere else in Europe, so there is no need for any more silly regulations or inspections. Naturally, septic tanks and things connected with these might be regarded as a somewhat unsavoury subject, but unfortunately it could be something we might all have to face up to when these newly appointed so-called guardians of our environment will come around poking their noses into our septic tanks. This unwarranted interference from Europeans cannot be tolerated in the Irish rural countryside any longer.


Judge’s Salaries

At the Thursday Exchange radio Programme on West Limerick 204 , one of the subjects that came up for discussion was the forthcoming referendum on judges salaries which is due to be held on the same day as the Presidential election. Our panellists were unanimous in their support of the amendment to the constitution which would bring judges salaries into line with those of other civil servants and not allow them to continue the privileged position which they previously held in the State when their salaries were protected by the constitution and could not be touched even by the democratically elected representatives of the people. This went on for far too long when these judges were a law unto themselves in various ways. It probably came to a head last year when the judges were asked to make a voluntary contribution out of their salaries to help the country’s finances during the recession. Some of them did give a contribution but others apparently failed to do so. If the forth coming amendment to the constitution is passed, and by all accounts there is little doubt that it will, then judge’s salaries which are certainly over generous at the present time can be up for negotiation, the same as for all other civil servants. It is certainly time that this curious anomaly is being brought to an end. One wonders if this also applied to State Solicitors, the Attorney General and other such persons who are on such enormous incomes. There are other sections too in the public service whose salaries at the top grades are simply outrageous in a country of this size.


Limerick’s Hard Luck Again

It certainly seems that Limerick teams both in hurling and football are destined to have victory snatched from their hands in the closing few minutes of a game. This has happened so often in many encounters that it appears to be more of a type of jinx than more coincidence. This was once again in evidence in the Munster Championship recent match against Waterford when a late, late goal scored by veteran opportunist John Mullane put paid to Limerick’s chances of defeating the reigning Munster Champions. But in all fair play, this was surely a rejuvenated Limerick side, particularly in the 2nd half and in spite of so narrowly losing have generated a new-found confidence in themselves and in their supporters. We look forward to better times ahead for this team.