by Pat Brosnan


Household Registration Form


Reading through the Household Registration Form which apparently has to be completed as a preliminary to paying our household charge of €100, one has to ponder the question did any of us, even mature senior citizens as we are, ever before see an official form that was as silly as this one. Instead of having a simple declaration form in the local County Council  Offices in which a householder would be just required to declare that she or he owns a house or maybe two houses and whatever. The registration form is loaded with a whole plethora of stupid and irrelevant questions that have no significance whatsoever on the payment of the household charge. Will anybody explain to me why they require the name of the householders pet- a dog, a cat or maybe a canary or why in another question they are looking for the maiden name of the householder’s mother, who perhaps may be dead and gone for countless years.  This form is surely the ultimate in needless red tape and it is evident that those who completed it are surely not living in the real world, but in a planet of their own which has very little in common with the plain people of Ireland.  Then in another section of where the house in question is located, why is it necessary to state the country when even anyone would know that this registration relates only to houses in this State. Stating the locality and the county naturally is understandable, but the country, does this mean that Irish people who own houses anywhere else in the European Union or otherwise abroad will also be liable for the Household Charge?  The questions in this document and the information required goes far beyond the normal for the privilege of those of us ordinary householders having to fork out €100 to a greedy Government who could not care less about the hardship that this is causing or is likely to cause to hundreds of thousands of our people.  Not alone are we required to fill in this form but there are also threats that if it is not completed it will be returned and as well as that there are further warnings of prosecutions about submitting false information (which could be just mistakes, particularly in the cases of the elderly people). This registration form is a completely unnecessary and intimidating official document and looks as if in my opinion anyway it is meant to scare people who might be otherwise hesitant about paying this objectionable household charge.  Furthermore it seems that payment by cash of the household charge will not be accepted in the County Council Offices and that people will be put to the extra inconvenience and expense of having to pay by cheque or get a Bank Draft or Postal Order.  It is small wonder that so many people are concerned about this whole exercise and suspicious of the motives that are behind it. It is not alone the fact that they are taking our money which is causing hardship to many, but whatever intrigue is behind the demand to answer all these questions in the registration form that is such a worry to so many people.  People have every right to suspect that there is much more to this registration form than merely declaring ownership of a house.  If, for instance, the name of your household pet is Toby this would indicate that the householder owns a dog. Is it not possible then that the owner could be investigated to find out if the dog is licensed?  People are not always reluctant to pay charges or taxes if they are aware that the money is being put to good use rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesars, but when Caesar became too inquisitive and starts looking for information which is irrelevant and to which he is not entitled then that is surely a different story.  No doubt during the past number of weeks many thousands of people have hesitated about paying the household charge, there have also been many meetings and protests regarding same. How the issue will finally turn out is anybody’s guess but we will just have to await developments in the matter.


Late Michael Kiely

The death occurred recently in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital of Michael Kiely of Rooskagh after a short illness. Michael, who had been living alone in his home since the death of his brother, was a respected member of the local community and his passing has been widely regretted. In his earlier years Michael worked in the Post Office Staff in Limerick and made many friends while he lived in the city. He was also a columnist for the Limerick Weekly Echo back in the ‘50’s at the time that the late Ted Gale was Manager of that newspaper. Michael Kiely wrote a brilliant series of articles for the Echo about the GAA Clubs in Limerick and Kerry under the pen name of Old Gael. A big gathering of people from far and near attended the removal from Riedy’s Funeral Home, Newcastle West to St Molua’s Church, Ardagh to pay their respects. There was also a big attendance at the Requiem Mass on the following day and the funeral afterwards to Churchtown Cemetery, Newcastle West where he was laid to rest. Sympathy is extended to his sister Vera Langan, Artane, Dublin and his brother-in-law George Langan, well known writer, singer and song composer and also to his other relatives. ‘May his soul rest in peace’.


St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day was as usual widely celebrated all over the country as well as in various other places all over the world. In our own country the recession and the widespread austerity programme which has been implemented over the past couple of years failed to dampen the enthusiasm and spirit of the people who turned out in their thousands all over the country to celebrate the feast of the National Apostle. It is surely a great tribute to our people that they can overcome the hardships and setbacks of the present hard times and that they still have the capacity to go out and celebrate. It goes to show that in spite of all our National problems including the drug menace, anti-social activities, vandalism and widespread crime the hearts and minds of the great majority of the decent law-abiding members of our society are still in the right place that is surely something to celebrate and be proud about. My son Seanie, his wife Marie and their family invited me to a special St, Patrick’s Day dinner with them in Listowel. Before that we attended a beautiful Mass in Irish at the local St Mary’s Parish Church. The music and singing which combined the religious and national themes were just fantastic and the Church was crowded. There was also a Church Gate Collection for Glór na nGael Organisation which appeared to have been well supported.  There was a wide variety of coloured floats around the town all of which took part in the parade. One of these which we noticed commemorated the Titanic Ship which was launched in Belfast in 1912 and later struck an iceberg and sank on the 12th of April of that year. This was a very appropriate float on the Centenary if the Titanic disaster, but there were many others to be seen as well. There’s no doubt that the late Michael Dowling who used to always play the part of St. Patrick at the parade was missed this time as was also Dan Keane who was a regular there for countless years.