by Pat Brosnan


Israel Says No


During the past week an attempt was made at a session of the United Nations Assembly to have the Palestinian State admitted as a member. However, in spite of widespread support from nations all over the world, including our own, as well as some of the super powers, the Israeli representatives turned it down and unfortunately their negative stance was supported by the Americans who already threatened to veto the proposal. In doing so both the Israeli and American delegations turned down what would have been possibly the greatest chance of a permanent period of peace in the Middle East for a long time. But it is quite evident that the Israeli’s have no interest whatsoever in either peace or justice for the Palestinians and neither have they any worthwhile respect for any other nations who would display any sympathy towards the beleaguered people of the Gaza Strip or indeed for any residents of Palestine.  This has been proven time and again by their ruthless, illegal and warlike actions, by their invasion of a ship in international waters last year carrying humanitarian supplies of food and medicines to Gaza and the murder of a number of Turkish Citizens who comprised the ship’s crew.  Much more recently an Irish Ship, The Saoirse, bound for relief in Gaza, again food and medicine was seriously damaged by what is generally believed to be an Israeli act of deliberate sabotage while the ship was anchored in a Turkish port. Again, more recently still, the Israelis killed a number of Egyptian border guards who were just performing their duties. The fact is that the Israelis appear to think that they can do anything they like even if their actions are totally illegal and sometimes a breach of international law.  If there were other countries doing similar atrocities there would be wholesale calls for sanctions against them.  Because of what the Jews suffered themselves under the Nazis, the Israelis appear to think that this gives them a right to inflict hardship and suffering on innocent people such as the unfortunate residents of the Gaza strip.  To try and understand the paranoia and siege mentality of the Israeli authorities one has, of course, to go back generations and remember that what was inflicted on their ancestors by the Germans is still very much a part of their folk memory, and while some of this might be delusionary, more of it in the course of time since the establishment of the Jewish State might have become very real, particularly since the wars with neighbouring Arab States.  But whatever it is the Israeli authorities have very definitely become the main stumbling block to peace in the Middle East and it is more tragic still that they seem to have the full backing of the Americans when in the latest move they have threatened to use the veto to deny the Palestinian people any chance of nationhood, self –determination and membership of the United Nations. Moreover any country or politicians and indeed journalists, in fact anybody who might criticise the unlawful acts of the Israeli Government or their armed forces is likely to be accused of Anti-Semitism. . We can only hope that the Israeli Government will turn away from these senseless acts of aggression and persecution of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere and seek the ways of peace, reconciliation and goodwill towards their Arab neighbours. We must hope too, that the Americans will persuade them to move in this direction, the same of most other nations throughout the world appear to want.  This is the way forward to peace in the Middle East region if the Israeli Government would agree to remove the obstacles that are in the way.


Some Great Games

The ladies football finals, Junior and Senior, at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon were both very good games. In a close finish the Junior Cavan and Westmeath game ended in a draw and in the Senior match Cork, who have dominated the Senior Championship in recent years, had 2 points to spare over Monaghan, which was also a very closely contested game. Most of the Championships at national Level will soon be completed in both the men’s and Ladies football, hurling and camogie and what a year it has been watching all those great encounters on television. The fact that many of these games are now regularly televised on the different stations means that much more interest has now been generated in all of these matches something which is likely to help in their further promotion. The Irish Rugby teams success in the World Cup series up to  now has also caused a great deal of excitement among followers of the game and hopes are high that they will get ahead much further in the competition.


A Story and Song

Pat O’Donovan’s special guest on West Limerick’s “Story and a Song” programme last Saturday afternoon was Anne Phelan, the well known and highly popular musician from Castlemahon. Anne recalled playing music as early as the age of 5 and obtaining a scholarship in music already at the age of 9. She used to travel once a week by train from Charleville, accompanied by her mother, to get music tuition in Dublin. To get the early train they had to be out of bed at 4.00am on the days they were travelling. Anne, who has been a member of the RTE Light Orchestra for years, is an accomplished performer on various musical instruments, but is perhaps best known for her playing on the Violin. Anne described her National School days in Castlemahon and attending Secondary School in Charleville. She told how she got her first music lessons from a nun in Buttevant at age 5. Anne played some great tunes on the programme classical, topical and traditional. These included a Hungarian Gypsy tune, the Marina Waltz, the Cualin, Danny Boy and many other airs.  It was indeed a very interesting hour listening to Anne telling her own story and hearing some of her delightful music. Well done to Anne and also presenter Pat O’Donovan for coming across so well on West Limerick Radio. It will also be recalled that on the day of the late Mickey Liston’s funeral, the well-known Athea Seanchai, in January 2009 Anne Phelan played some wonderfully appropriate music for the occasion during the Requiem Mass in St Bartholomew’s Church, Athea.


Late Teresa (Joan) Stack

The death occurred recently in London of Teresa (Joan) Stack late of The Hill, Upper Athea. She was brought home over the weekend and removal from Kelly’s Funeral Home was attended by a large number of people from far and near who called to pay their respects. The coffin was later taken to St Bartholomew’s Church where many also assembled for prayers. Again on Saturday the Requiem Mass and Funeral were also well attended. She is survived by her family members including her sister Nan Hurley, Athea and Lil Green, Bristol and brother Tom Paul, Templeglantine and all the extended family to whom sympathy is extended. Interment took place in Holy Cross Cemetery, Athea. ‘May her soul rest in peace’.

Late Ann Mahony

The death also occurred during the week of Ann Mahony (nee Nolan) of Manchester and late of Lower Road, Athea. She and her late husband Denis, who was a native of Templeathea, came to live in Ireland after they retired and they settled in Athea. However, when Denis died Ann went back to her family in England again. She was originally a native of Mayo. The Requiem Mass was celebrated at St Bartholomew’s Church, Athea on Sunday and there was a good attendance at both the Mass and Funeral afterwards to Holy Cross Cemetery. Ann is survived by her son John, daughter Breda and extended family to whom sympathy is extended. ‘May her soul rest in peace’.


Trad for Trocaire

Glin Comhaltas Branch held a singing night at Conroy’s Hotel, Glin on Saturday in aid of Trad for Trocaire. It was a very enjoyable session with a good gathering of singers local and visiting from other areas of West Limerick and even one from Tipperary.  John Healy of Glin Comhaltas, who presided, thanked all the singers who attended and also the audience who supported the function.  In the course of the night John paid tribute to the late Knight of Glin, Desmond Fitzgerald, who died last week and he also extended sympathy to his family. By all accounts at the Knight’s funeral on Sunday an Ecumenical Service was being conducted in the local Church. ‘May his soul rest in peace’.