by Pat Brosnan


Cracks already Showing


While it would be only fair that the new Coalition Government be given a chance to keep the promises they made prior to the General Election and prove their worth, unfortunately cracks are already beginning to become evident. Fine Gael has already lost one of its prominent TD’s, Denis Naughton, who had the decency, honesty and courage to vote against the Government’s u-turn regarding Roscommon Hospital whose services the Party had pledged to maintain on the road up to the election. To renege on such an important commitment, something which, by all accounts, the Taoiseach himself was involved in is a depressing omen for the future. Any excuses about health requirements or circumstances changing in the short intervening time since before the election is nothing more or less than fiction.

The coalition parties, if they had been doing their research, should have known exactly what was the true and exact position that Roscommon Hospital was in before making such outrageous promises which they should have known they could not keep. It is unthinkable that any political party would knowingly give these types of commitments in the knowledge that such promises were not going to be delivered on. So in spite of any of the doubts, suspicions and apprehensions that the ordinary decent people of County Roscommon might have had with regard to the downright shabby treatment of their local hospital, it is still, perhaps, right to give most of the politicians in the coalition parties the benefit of the doubt in the hope that no deception was really intended in making such promises in the heat of a General Election. But then again, of course, Roscommon is only the tip of the iceberg and a portent of unpleasant things going to be inflicted on people all over the country. For the time being, anyway, naturally the coalition partners will keep on blaming the previous Fianna Fáil Government for all the cutbacks and all the hardships that the country is going through. This blame game will perhaps continue for maybe a year or so after the election but after that this back tracking will be wearing thin and the Government will have to take responsibility for its own actions and blaming the previous administration as an excuse will no longer be acceptable by the population.

While we hope, for all our sakes, and that of our families, neighbours, friends and relatives that the new Coalition Government will work hard to get the country going again and speed its recovery, nobody will expect instant miracles or that our land can be turned into a Tir na nÓg overnight. What people do expect, however, from politicians is honesty, integrity and the keeping of firm promises that have been made openly – such as those of Roscommon County Hospital and have not been kept. Fine Gael and Labour between them have now a huge majority, they have the power and strength to legislate and for the time being at least they appear to have the support of the big majority of the people. How long that support is going to last depends on their achievements and performance during the next few years and if they have the will to make a go of things and above all to keep the promises that they have made. Perhaps the fiasco that happened in Roscommon might still be redeemed and hopefully the likes of it will not be repeated in other parts of the country. The people voted for Fine Gael and Labour in the election on the promise of change, but it was change for the better they wanted not for the worst. We shall have to wait and see how things will develop within the coming months.


Late Tommy Finn

The death of Tommy Finn of Colbert Street, Athea was widely regretted throughout the locality. Tommy had been ill for some time prior to his passing but displayed great patience and courage throughout this trying time. Several years ago Tommy settled in Athea parish, first he lived in Knocknagorna but later moved into the village where he lived ever since and was very well liked. He was a native of Crossbarry, Co. Cork and was a well known professional jockey in his younger days when he won many races including the Galway Plate. Many people called to pay their respects at Kelly’s Funeral Home, Athea on Friday evening and also at the Requiem Mass at St Bartholomew’s Church on Sunday before removal to his native Cork. Sympathy is extended to his wife, son and daughter. ‘May his soul rest in peace’.


Late Mary Dalton

The death occurred recently at Lystoll Lodge Nursing Home, Listowel, of Mary Dalton who was a native of Knocknagorna and was the last remaining member of a well-known local family. Mary left Athea Parish when she was young and spent most of her adult life working and living in Dublin. She was a regular visitor home to her relations in Knocknagorna and other parts of the parish. During the past number of years she had been in failing health and had resided in the Nursing Home. A big number of people came to Kelly’s Funeral Home to pay their respects on Saturday evening July 9th before the removal to St Bartholomew’s Church, Athea. There was also a good attendance at the Requiem Mass and funeral to Holy Cross cemetery on Sunday afternoon. Sympathy is extended to her sister in law, nephews, nieces, grand-nephews, grand-nieces and other relatives. ‘May her gentle soul rest in peace’.


News of the World

The last edition of the English “News of the World” newspaper was published and went on sale on Sunday July 17th following the close-down of the paper after allegations of Hacking, police involvement and illegal practices which are at present the subject of investigation. This newspaper was first published in October 1845, which, incidentally, was the start of the famine years in Ireland. For several years after the foundation of the State, during the days of strict censorship, because of alleged immoral contents it was banned here. It was only in the 60’s that a much toned down and modified form of this newspaper was allowed to go on sale here. It is doubtful if many in Athea will shed many crocodile tears for the departure of “News of the World” from the scene when one considers how in a headline in that paper a few years ago Athea was referred to as ‘The Village of the Doomed’ perhaps most people here would be inclined to forgive these couple of journalists for this little gem of an article, after all these were only the small fry doing their tiny little bit compared to some of their major colleagues in England, who are now under investigation for illegal activities that have been alleged. It will be interesting to follow how the situation develops.


Dress Rule Cancelled

It now appears that the nonsensical dress regulation , which a few weeks ago was about to be imposed on Dáil Deputies and Seanad members, has been called off, and rightly so. If this was proceeded with, the compulsory wearing of conservative dress would have been a retrograde step-back into the dark ages, when the British occupied our Country, just like the wigs and gowns that are still worn by judges and barristers in the same archaic fashion as was in use centuries ago. Such modes of dress have no place whatsoever in a modern Republic. The late Tony Gregory, God rest him, made a big issue several years ago of the right to wear what clothes he wanted to while attending Dáil sessions. As somebody who rang a radio programme recently on the subject mentioned – the deputies can wear a bikini if they like so long as they do their job. In the meantime will Michael Healy-Rae be allowed to wear his cap?