Archive for April, 2013

Pat’s Corner-24/04/13

Union Rejection. What Now?

Last week’s rejection of the Croke Park 11 Agreement by the majority of the Trade Union Organisations in the State shows how the Government has clearly got things so wrong in their implementation and pursuit of their failed and discredited policy of austerity since they were elected to office over two years ago.

Before the agreement was ever put to the test any group of politicians unless they were completely blinkered would have realised that the chances of getting such an unlikely deal through the democratic voting process was particularly slim indeed. Did they seriously expect that hard working and dedicated people such as nurses, other health workers, teachers and so forth would agree to a further cut in their already badly diminished salaries and vote to work longer hours after the tumble they had already taken in their pay and conditions since the present Government came to power. Do they really think that these health workers, teachers and others in the public service are complete eejits? Government Ministers are now bawling and howling in their quest for public sympathy and telling us that they are going to run out of funds by July unless they screw the public servants. But where is all the money they gave away to the non viable banks, to the bond holders and all those on outrageous incomes, are all those not liable for and expected to pay their share which if the Government pretends to be fair should be a substantial share. But will the Government do anything like this. Not likely indeed; for us the ordinary common people such a giant step by the authorities would of course be unthinkable, is it not so much easier to target the hard pressed public service workers and others who are on modest pay or even in some of the lower income groups and squeeze as much as possible out of them.  This is being done without any regard to the ever increasing rising cost of essential household necessities, the care of children in the home and the expense of sending them first to national school, then to secondary and later on to college if the parents can afford it. There are not many of us of the older generation who brought up our families in somewhat less trying times who would not fancy being parents of a young family in the present difficult austerity period.  All credit to the young parents and there are many of them who are doing their best. But it certainly is no easy task to keep food on the table, send the children to school and otherwise care for their needs. To hold down a job if one has got one or maybe two if a couple are lucky enough to have them. Then in many other cases there are huge mortgages to pay so there are some people no matter how hard they try are still finding it difficult to cope. It is in such circumstances that the young people of today now find themselves in and the worst of it all is that there are no worthwhile prospects for the future yet on the horizon. Last Saturday morning Richard Bruton, speaking on television at the Trade talks, claimed that the Government are creating several jobs each month.  If that is the case then where are all these jobs? Or did he really mean that young Irish people were finding them in Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and elsewhere.  If the Government actually believed that there were so many jobs on offer here in our own State how has it come about that there are so many able bodied skilled and intelligent people throughout the country having to resort to drawing the dole or similar handouts.  But there are even others as we all know further down the line of want and poverty who are depending on the Red Cross, the St Vincent de Paul and other hard pressed charitable and voluntary organisations to keep the wolf away from the door.  That is unfortunately the position of many in Ireland today including those who have become the new poor because they took out unmanageable loans and mortgages in better and more prosperous times when there was plenty money going around and particularly full employment available for all those who were inclined to work. No doubt there were some of those new struggling debt-ridden families and in some cases individuals who to a great extent have only themselves to blame for their predicament.  They wanted to build mansions (not just houses) that were entirely outside of their means or requirements and now sadly they are at the mercy of the banks and the building societies who lent them the money.  They now live in the shadow of having their homes repossessed unless they are prepared to negotiate a deal with the lenders which is unlikely to be in their favour.

We may have wandered a little from the result of the Union’s ballot last week and rejection of the Government’s Croke Park 11 terms.  But all this was in the cause of pointing out the hardships that so many ordinary people including those in the public service are going through and their inability to respond anymore to further Government demands.  If Brendan Howlin and his Cabinet colleagues will attempt to legislate to extract the demands from those in the public service by compulsion that would surely be a very risky road to go down. That would most likely be a recipe for a type of industrial unrest the likes of which has not been seen in this country for a long, long time.  The choice is now up to the Government. On the one hand they can choose confrontation with the Unions, on the other they can demonstrate restraint, common sense and understanding.  But there is one thing absolutely certain the Coalition cannot expect to have it both ways.

If there is anybody who might want to question my experience of Unions here it is: Member of Tralee Branch Irish Distributive Workers and clerks early ‘50’s. Member and North Kerry Branch Secretary of the Assurance Representatives organisation (New Ireland) mid ‘50’s. Member of the Confederation of Health Service Employees 1957 – 1967 (England). Branch Secretary North Somerset and Bristol Branch Confederation of Health Service Employees mid ‘60’s.

Late Enoch Powell, who was the Tory Minister for Health during some of the above years, had a number of close encounters with nursing staffs over pay and conditions at the time in Britain. Enoch was something of a character in those days. He later left the Tory Party and joined the Unionist Party in the Six Counties where he contested some elections.

The Boston Bombing

The whole civilised world was shocked and saddened by the bombing atrocity carried out in the city of Boston last week while people, many of them Irish, were out enjoying themselves taking part in and attending the annual City Marathon Race. The sudden ferocity with which the bombs exploded and the killing and maiming of so many innocent victims was all so deplorable. Particularly sad was the death of eight year old Martin Richard who is said to have Irish connections.

May God rest all who died and comfort their relatives and the injured.

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By Carrig Side-24/04/13

The death has taken place of Dan McMahon Knockbowheen, Ardagh, and the former owner of McMahon’s Concrete Products, located off the Ardagh to Foynes road. His remains arrived at Saint Molua’s Church, Ardagh, for 11.30am Mass on Saturday 20th April. His Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr Larry Madden, with family involvement in the readings, prayers of the faithful and offertory gifts. A native of Ardagh, he was in his early eighties and the last surviving member of the family. He was the youngest member of four, brothers Seán, and Jerry and sister Mary. In his young days he immigrated to Australia, and New Zealand where he worked in construction and the pre cast products. He returned to Ireland and married Mary in 1969 and they were blessed with two daughters Bernie, and Trish. Dan set up McMahon Concrete Products beside the family home in Knockbowheen, and it operated very successfully during the seventies, and eighties. It was one of the first in the locality and it is true to say that the majority of homes build at the time contained concrete products made by Dan and staff in scenic and windswept Knockbowheen. He was a very hard worker, and very strong despite being small in stature. He possessed a very sharp and innovative mind and could solve the most difficult of problems in the precast business. He was forced to retire from the business due to ill health around 1987 and the pre cast concrete business was rented out, and it is still in production at present.

Dan was a noted cyclist in his young days competing in all the sports meetings around the locality. The records show he won the 1 Mile and the 2 Mile cycle races at the Carrigkerry Sports meeting in 1951.He kept up the cycling well into retirement, and he was a familiar figure on the roads before the recent upsurge in cycling clubs. He liked social dancing and he was a regular attender at the Lisdoonvarna dancing week-ends.  He was interested in reciting and he competed in Scór competitions, for the local club.  Dan was interested in current affairs and politics as well and he will be sadly missed by all who he encountered in life.  The Funeral Mass was followed by private cremation. We extend our sympathy to his daughters Bernie, and Trish, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace.

Congratulations and best wishes in the future to Bridget Daly, Ardagh, and Shane Egan, Coolcappa, who were married recently in Killarney, County Kerry.

Congratulations to Fr Brendan Leahy who was ordained Bishop of Limerick at Saint John’s Cathedral on Sunday 14th April. He succeeds Bishop Donal Murray (who made a number of visits to the parish during his term of office) who retired in December 2009. Fr Tony Mullins who delivered the homily at the ordination has been the Limerick Diocese Administrator since then. It was a great honour for himself and his family and the parish and he did a fine job in the demanding role. Best wishes to all three in their future work.

The following are the Lottery results from Peadar’s Bar, Ardagh, on Monday 15th April. The numbers drawn were 1, 4 14, 18, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the lucky dip winners. 60 Con Enright, Ardagh. 60 Paddy Bridgeman, Ardagh. 60 Dolores Braddish, Ballysteen. 30 Stephen Griffin c/o Bus Eireann. 30 Joe and Ruby Synan Shanagolden. 30 Tommy Greaney c/o Ned Lynch. Next week’s draw will be held in The Thatch Bar, Newbridge, and the Jackpot will be 8,000.

Father Casey’s defeated Saint Kieran’s by 3-8 to 2-4 in the West Senior Football Championship semi-final at windswept Tom Culhane Park Glin on Sunday 14th April. Saint Kieran’s led by 2-3 to 1-4 at half-time, but could only add one point from a free, to their total in a disappointing second half performance. TEAM. Tommy Quinn, Brendan Mc Carthy, John Doyle, Kevin Meade, Patrick Windle, Paudie Mc Carthy, James Hough, Darragh Treacy, 0-1 Timmy Carroll, Pa O’Sullivan, Anthony Molyneaux, 0-1 Jack Ben Hartnett, Anthony Liston, Ray Cahill, 1-0 Sean Mc Sweeney 1-2. Subs John Greaney, Ian Mackessy, Brian Crowley, Paddy Downes, Sean Windle,

Saint Kieran’s defeated Ballysteen by 1-5 to 0-2 in Round 1 of the West Junior B Football League in Coolcappa on Thursday 11th April.

Askeaton /Saint Kieran’s defeated Granagh/Ballingarry by 2-14 to 0-7 in the County U-21 Hurling Championship 13 a side semi final in Croagh on Saturday 13th.

Newcastle West Golf Club commenced the 75th Anniversary celebrations of the founding of the club, (at Egan’s Hotel Newcastle West in 1938) at the Clubhouse in Ardagh, on Sunday 14th April. They have many more functions arranged for the year including the launch of their history book.

Carrig Celtic B lost 3-1 at home to Rathkeale Reserves in Division 2 of the Desmond League, on Sunday 14th April. Michael Lawlor scored their goal from the penalty spot. Carrig Celtic had their game against Abbeyfeale United in the Desmond Cup postponed and Old Mill had no game.

Congratulations to Donie Donovan and James Bridgeman who were first prize winners, in the Shanagolden card game held on Friday 12th.

A final reminder to parishioners to return their Trócaire boxes so that a final total can be reached before the money is forwarded on to the Diocese. The response to date has been poor and it would be appreciated if the contents of the boxes were converted into large notes and coins.

RTE showed a documentary about John Sheahan, retired member of the Dubliners folk group, on Monday 15th April. It was most interesting viewing for all but especially viewers from the West Limerick area that John is associated with. His father came from Glin, and his mother from Ardagh, and he still has a number of relations around the locality. He still visits and performs at social events, as well as at Listowel Writers Week. He is the last surviving member of the original five man group that took Ireland and the World by storm during their heyday. John came across as a very down to earth person who embraced fame lightly after 50 very successful years in the music industry.

The 14th annual Eigse Michael Hartnett Literary & Arts Festival will be held in Newcastle West from Thursday 25th April to Saturday 27th April. An action programme of events is lined up to satisfy all lovers of Michael Hartnett and poetry in general. A number of high profile guests will entertain and some of the events are free to the public to attend. Visit www.eigsemichaelhartnett.ie for a list of the guests and the various events.

A céilí will be held on Saturday 27th April in Con Colbert Memorial Hall Athea. Music by Danny O’Mahoney and the Shannonvale Céilí Band from 9.30pm, and teas will be served. A dancing workshop given by Timmy Woulfe will be held from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. A great night’s dancing is promised and all are welcome.

The Desmond Schoolboys/Girls League is celebrating their 21st Anniversary this year. They are holding a celebratory Dinner Dance on Saturday 27th April at the Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine to honour the founding members. Music by Keep in Touch and tickets cost € 30 and they can be got from the committee and clubs in the league.

Kilcolman Rovers soccer club are holding a fun run/walk on the Great Southern Trail Railway line on Sunday 28th April at 12.30pm. Sponsorship cards are doing the rounds for people who wish to make a donation.

Afternoon Tea dancing will be held in Carrigkerry Community Centre on Sunday 28th April from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. The music will be supplied by the Premier Blue Boys.  The organizers would welcome more local support for this fundraiser as the proceeds will go towards the upkeep of the Community Centre.

The Thomond Historical and Archaeological Society will visit Ballyhahill on Sunday 28th April. The tour will visit the historical sites, monuments, and buildings around the area. The tour commences at the church at 2.45pm, and all are welcome to attend.

A May Eve Walk at Knockfierna Hill will be held on Tuesday 30th April. It will commence from the Rambling House Knockfierna at 7.30pm, and all are welcome to attend.

A Special Remembrance Sunday for Ireland’s missing people will be held on Sunday 12th May. The guest speakers will be Patrick Hedderman, Abbott of Glenastal Abbey and Mary Phelan, (sister of Jo Jo Dollard, who is missing for 17 years.) The special guests will include Noírín Ní Riain and Fr Seán O’Diuin, and it will be followed by walk/traditional entertainment.

A Ceremony for the naming of babies/children who have died as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth or sudden infant death, takes place at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Newcastle West on Wednesday 1st May at 8.pm. The ceremony is open to all who wish to attend whatever their faith or wherever they live.

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Athea Community Council Ltd.-24/04/13

Athea Community Council

Lucky Numbers Draw 20/ 04/ ‘13

No’s Drawn: 8, 13, 21, 24. No Winner

Lucky Dips         

€50         Pa Walsh, Athea

€30         Jim Mulvihill, The Lane, Upper Athea

€20         Jimmy Wrenn, Gortnagross

Sean & Ciara, Athea

Anne & Sean Sheehan, Hillside Drive

Michelle Histon, Athea

Sellers Prizes:   Kitt Quinn & Batt’s Bar

Next Draw:  27/04/’13 Jackpot: €2,900 Venue: Batt’s

 

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