Ciarán Barrett, Markievicz Park, Athea & Saggart in Dublin has found a Munster Jersey big enough to fit his house !!!!

West Limerick 102

The recent collection at the Church gate in support of West Limerick 102 radio realised the great sum of €586.20 for which they are most appreciative. Athea serves them very well and in return they would like to offer free advertising for any forthcoming events for Athea. Just ring Bernadette on West Limerick 102.

Church Gate Collection

There will be a Church gate collection in aid of the Rehab Foundation this coming weekend, Saturday, 6th and Sunday, 7th May. Your support, as always, would be greatly appreciated.

Ladies Monthly Night Out

The Ladies monthly night out will now take place on Friday, Mary 26th at Brown Joe’s. This will be our final night before the summer break. Jules will be performing a Neil Diamond tribute on the night and we will have the usual fun and games. We will be back again in September.

Dangerous Times

Domhnall de Barra 

The first hundred days of the reign of Donald Trump have come and gone. In general it has not been as bad as some predicted. He found out quite quickly that he just cannot click his fingers and things get done. This was evident by the overturning of his immigration ban on Muslim countries by the courts. The wall between the US and Mexico isn’t built yet but he insists is in the pipeline. He continues to act in a very unpresidential like way on Twitter. The language he uses highlights his lack of political knowledge and his total ignorance of diplomacy. His war with the media goes on and shows his immaturity in dealing with unfavourable comment. A free press is one of the most important pillars of democracy. Of course certain papers and TV channels will be biased in a particular way  but it is up to the general public to decide who they want to believe

The power of the President is limited but, in some areas, it is frightening.  One of his actions was to launch one of the biggest  bombs in the world on a warren of caves hiding rebels in Afghanistan . The fact that it only killed a relatively few is not the point. That he did this at a moment’s notice, without too much consultation, shows what he is capable of. As I write there are warships gathering in the Korean peninsula. It is a mighty show of strength by the USA who say they are there to protect South Korea. Dangerous talks of war are coming from the North Korean leaders who, let’s face it, are a bit mad and that is the problem. They are not open to rational discussion  and have developed nuclear weapons that may be capable of reaching America.

I know a bit about North Korea having been there at a musical festival some years ago. The Spring Festival in Pyongyang  attracted groups from all the Communist countries in the world. Now, I know that we are not a Communist country but The Worker’s Party, at the time, persuaded the Government of the day to send a group to represent Irish culture. I was president of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann then so I was asked to lead the group and represent the country. I was also performing with the group. When we arrived there I got a shock as I was given special treatment. They somehow got the idea that I was the president of Ireland and I was given a chauffer-driven Merc and a suite in the best hotel. During the time there I had many meetings with the Korean government officials who had a hatred of the USA that had to be seen to be believed. This goes back to the Korean War in the 1950s when the country had been split in two as a result of the cold war between Russia and the US. When the North invaded the South the Americans came to the aid of the South and became bitter enemies of the North ever since. I was surprised, when talking to them , to learn that, even then before they had any nuclear weapons, they all believed they had the capability of beating America and were quite willing to lay down their lives to do so. They had been invaded by Japan in 1910 and were ruled by them until the end of the 2nd World War. They have blind allegiance to the ruling family and follow orders to the tee. While we were there they did their best to indoctrinate us and we were bombarded by propaganda. For a long time after coming home I still received books and pamphlets from them. Make no mistake about it, they are ready and capable of going to war. They also believe their leader is a God and cannot be harmed so they are not open to the usual persuasions. This is why Donald Trump’s impetuosity is so dangerous at the moment. He wants to flex his muscles and it is he and he alone has the right to press the red button. If a war starts it will not be like any we have seen before. We don’t know how Russia and Korea’s long-time ally and protector, China, will react. There are enough bombs primed to wipe out most of the population of the world in a very short time. That is why common sense must prevail and  a united approach sought between the West, China and Russia to try and persuade the Koreans that their best course of action is through diplomacy. It is no time for hot heads and warmongers. There is too much at stake.

We can only watch and pray and hope that a solution is found that will avoid certain catastrophe. Let us also hope that Donald Trump has learned something from his first 100 days. He has some good ideas that would benefit his people but they are overshadowed by  the stupidity of his remarks and his political naivety.