By Peg Prendeville

The World Wide Web or www, as we know it, opened up to the world only 25 years ago on August 23rd . It is hard to believe that it was unheard of before that as we all seem to think it is vital for humanity now. Thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee Web Inventor and Founding Director of the World Wide Web Foundation for connecting the world.

Sadly none of our Limerick contestants got to the live TV shows for the Rose of Tralee this week. It has been a while now since we had a Limerick Rose on air. The executive chair of the Rose of Tralee international festival Anthony O’Gara said: “RTE can only accommodate 32 Roses on live TV which is why we needed to stage a qualifying phase during the first few days of the festival. Every Rose has enjoyed the full festival experience by travelling on the pre-festival tour of Ireland before taking part in the parades, attending the Rose Ball and the various festival functions in Tralee.” At the time of writing the 2016 Rose has not been selected but we wish her all the best.

I sat up late for three nights last week watching Exodus on RTE1. This was a documentary about the refugees – those people who find it unsafe to live in their own lands and are trying to escape to Europe to find a better life. It followed the journey of a family from Syria and some individuals from Syria, Afghanistan and Gambia. Each night when I go to bed I thank God for the luxury of a comfortable warm bed but on these nights I cried, both with thanks for my own comforts and with sadness at the plight of others. One young man from Syria had come from a fairly well off family and ended up sleeping rough on the streets somewhere in Greece. “I have never even camped out before this” he said. They were all very lonely leaving behind the families and country that they loved but could see no other way out of their dilemma. Another young man said if he knew he would end up in the jungle in Calais for two months he would not have left his wife and children to try and find a home in the UK for them. What impressed me the most about all of this was the hope that these men and families clung to and the efforts they made to provide a safe home for their future. Their joy and thanks when somebody did them a kindness and their sense of disappointment to find out that people (the smugglers) are greedy and will do anything to get as much money as they can without a care for the fleeing refugees, some of whom were beaten and tortured on their journey to freedom.  At the end of it all it shows what human beings are capable of – both in doing good and bad and what we are capable of enduring in difficult times. A sobering experience. We are lucky in our lives here in west Limerick.

These past few days has seen more rain fall than in the whole month of May with 91.2 mm falling since Friday last. Monday night was the wettest since last January. Lots of events had to be cancelled on account of the weather and it surely dampened the spirits of all who attended The Rose Festival as well as the Fleadh in Ennis, the Vintage in Knockanure and the GAA Fun Day in Glin, but, like I said above we have comfortable homes and warm beds so we must not complain too much. It is back to school time so a bit of fine weather is probably on the way.