by Pat Brosnan

Riots in England

Last week’s unprecedented riots and street violence in London and several other cities throughout the rest of England appears to have been the worst example of civil unrest that has happened in that country in our time. By all accounts it started in the London area around Tottenham and then spread to other areas – Enfield, Brixton, Hackney, Croydon, Clapham and other areas of the English capital. For a short while the rioting appeared to be more or less confined to the London area until we learned from Radio and Television news bulletins that violence and wholesale rioting had also erupted in the other major cities throughout the land – Birmingham, Manchester, Salford, Wolverhampton , Liverpool and other areas. We even heard that there was an outbreak after spreading into Wales and that there were, perhaps, less serious disturbances in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff.

Of course, the spark that triggered off the whole catastrophic events was the shooting dead of a man named Mark Duggan by the police, who claimed that he was shooting at them and that in response they were forced to kill him.  However, since then, there have been allegations that it has transpired that his gun, even depending if he had one, had not been fired. It is already well established that a small minority of the police in the London area can be very trigger happy, we can all well remember how some years ago a young Brazilian electrician going about his lawful business in London was shot dead with several bullets when a policeman panicked and mistakenly suspected him for a terrorist. It is also well-known that the police there shot IRA suspects without giving them a chance to explain if they were innocent or to surrender if they were guilty. Now the whole country of England has paid an extremely high price for this police shooting and most of the ordinary decent English people whose homes were wrecked or their long established business premises burned out, destroyed or looted will be asking “was it worth it?”. So should the authorities there.

While some who took part in the rioting did so because they were basically deeply concerned about the circumstances of the police shooting of Mark Duggan. But as in all such types of protest the thugs, the rowdies and the mischief makers all will jump on the bandwagon and cause as much mayhem and trouble as they can. And we must also remember that the people who now reside in England are a multinational and a multicultural society where tensions and troubles of various kinds can be very easily set in motion and exploited by those whose motives might not always be genuine. That is why that in England it is vitally important that the politicians, the churches and particularly those who are entrusted with the duty of upholding law and order and maintaining peace should refrain from any impulsive action that might cause the type of widespread unrest and uncertainty that occurred throughout the country last week. Hopefully England has learned an expensive lesson from these happenings. the uncivilised behaviour that flashed across our television screens last week was not typical of the beautiful land that some of us knew when we lived and worked in a couple of old-world English villages there and  many of whose people  we still hold in high regard and for whom we cherish many happy memories.

Success for Listowel Jockeys

Two Listowel brothers Gearóid and Kevin Brouder, sons of Valerie and late Gerard Brouder, who was a native of Knocknaclugga , Athea, had a very successful weekend recently at the Ballabuidhe Races in Dunmanway where they rode 5 winners between them. Gearóid wound up the meeting as champion jockey with 3 winnings and a host of placings to his credit, while Kevin had 2 wins including the feature event on the opening day The Irish Examiner Derby. The fixture will always hold many special memories for Gearóid as he rode his first winner there on The Green Mile a year ago for the Tyner family. The Brouder/Tyner partnership was again in evidence this year when Sally O’Brien became the only dual winner at the meeting.

Kevin won on Follow Sue for owner Des O’Sullivan in The Irish Examiner Derby and he completed the double in the 2nd division of the Maiden when he won on The Guzzler for owner Pat O’Sullivan. Congratulations to Gearóid and Kevin on their great achievement and we wish them many days of further success in the future. Their grandmother Mary Brouder lives in Knocknaclugga and they also have aunts, uncles and numerous cousins around areas of West Limerick.

Death of Larry Sheehy

The death occurred during the week of Larry Sheehy, formerly of St Bartholomew’s Villas, Athea. Deceased who was a native of Lower Dirreen was a member of a well-known and highly regarded local family. Larry spent some years in England when he was younger, but after returning came to live in Athea. In more recent years he fell into declining health and spent much of his time in hospital and in nursing homes. Before the removal to St Bartholomew’s Church on Wednesday evening many people called to Kelly’s Funeral Home to pay their respects. The funeral to Holy Cross Cemetery on Thursday afternoon was also well attended. Larry is survived by his brothers, sisters, extended family and other relatives ‘May his soul rest in Peace’.

Gardaí Convicted

It was rather sad to hear during the past week that a number of Gardaí, including a Ban Garda, had been convicted of alleged assault in Waterford. Now that their careers are in tatters, it is particularly hard on their families. In all fair play, and as most of us know, the vast majority of the Irish security forces including some of our own relatives and friends are decent honest and dedicated people doing a difficult and sometimes dangerous job. But as in every other context, the Gardaí has its quota of unsuitable members who abuse their position and take the law into their own hands regardless of the consequences to either themselves or others. It is now completely evident that violence of any kind is no longer acceptable to the majority of the people of this State, criminals, anti-social gangs, various institutions of the State and even certain rare individuals in the security forces who may be inclined to use undue and unnecessary violence in any given situation and thereby become guilty of breaking the law themselves just like the unfortunate situation that occurred in Waterford recently. The bottom line is that the Gardaí need the co-operation of the citizens in carrying out their duties, just as the general population need the Gardaí to protect their interests. Anything less than this mutual respect is simply not good enough.