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wind speed: 5 m/s SW
sunrise: 7:32 am
sunset: 5:58 pm
 

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Police Raid On Farmland In Upperchurch Area

“Good God your haemorrhoids would turn to polaroid’s, if you had to stand outside in that bitter cold, for any great length of time tonight.  So, tell me, any news, gossip or scandal that I should be made aware of”, said I to Mikey Ryan, as he tried to attract the attention of Pat Hayes, above in the Arch Bar, Liberty Square, last night.

Attempting to hold two conversations at the same time, Mikey replied “Not much; give us two of your best pints Pakie like a good man, before we die of the thirst”“No not much now, however I did hear on the grapevine that the Peelers were above in Upperchurch, Wednesday last, not sure what exactly they were about”, said Mikey now turning towards me.

“Probably Poitín makers, sure they are world famous for manufacturing that ‘pure, clear, elixir of life’ in that hilly area”, said I, “I wonder were they buying or raiding, did you hear”.

“Don’t know, all I heard was that two members of An Garda Síochána, stopped off at a farm to interview some old local farmer, who was greasing the nipples on the front loader of his tractor. They told the farmer that they believed that illegal activity was being carried out on his farm and they needed to inspect his property,” said Mikey, before swallowing half of his pint glass in a single gulp.

“On the other hand, he could have been operating one of those illegal ‘Grow Houses’, used to propagate cannabis herb”, said I.

“Don’t know that”, said  Mikey, “what I do know is the farmer said okay officers, but please don’t go in that field over there clearly pointing out the exact location”.

“Then the Sergeant, I understand, just verbally exploded”, said Mikey, “aggressively stating he had a search warrant, which gave him the complete authority to go wherever he wished on this property, with no questions asked. “Do you understand”, he bellowed, waving his identity card and search warrant under the farmers nose. According to locals, the farmer just nodded politely, apologised, before shaking his bald head and continuing to work with his grease gun” Mikey continued.

“Typical Gardaí” said I, “so what happened next”.

“Well”, said Mikey, “the Gardaí moved off, but a short time later, the old farmer heard loud screams. On raising his eyes, he spotted the two cops running for their life, being chased by his massive Hereford bull, which boasts having the longest horns in Munster. From the farmers vantage point, with every step, that bull was rapidly gaining ground on the Gardaí, and it seemed likely that they could get badly gored, before the men could reach the safety of a nearby high wooden fence”.

“The old farmer threw down his grease gun”, said Mikey, “and ran to the fence while yelling at the top of his lungs, your search warrant, your search warrant, show him your feckin search warrant!!

“You better give us the same again Pat, when you’re ready”, said I.

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Mikey Ryan Attends Imaginary Fund Raising Event

“Begob when the time for the local elections comes around in May this year, we will nearly have to take a half day off work,” said Mikey Ryan, “it’s going to be so busy ticking little boxes”.

Arch Bar, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary

We were upstairs in the meeting room in the Arch Bar, Liberty Square. Mikey had spun some yarn about it being necessary that he attend some charity fund raiser meeting and I had been dragged in to confirm the need for his attendance at this imaginary event; thus, the reason for us staying out of the main bar area. If ‘herself ‘ did arrive, we had arranged with Pat to confirm that the meeting had ended earlier than expected.

“Jasus, I doubt if anyone will bother their arse to go voting in the next local elections in Thurles”, said I, “sure only this morning on TippFM, your own namesake, Cllr. Mr Jim Ryan said that Liberty Square was to be upgraded beginning in the, quote,” third quarter of this year”, (September 2019). Within minutes Cllr. Mr Michéal Lowry was contradicting him, stating it wasn’t starting in fact until next year, (2020). Now according to Mr John Butler (Thurles Chamber of Commerce), quote “the long awaited refurbishment of Liberty Square will begin in May to July of this year”, (second quarter 2019).

“Ah sure, those guys are only looking to get their importance highlighted”, said Mikey, “sure I’m talking about the referendum on divorce that is going on at the same time, alongside local and European elections.”

“So, which of our TD’s have run into marriage problems and are looking to change our existing divorce laws”, said I.

“None yet, so far as I am aware”, said Mikey, “but Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and that Minister for Culture Ms Josepha Madigan one, are both going to be announcing details shortly.

“Begob, now that you highlight it” said I, “I was over in the Premier Hall there before Christmas attending a lecture given by a dietitian. He was saying that the material we put into our stomachs is enough to have already killed most of us sitting here”. “Red meat”, said he, “is a curse, feckin awful”. You will even note that the Taoiseach for Dublin city, Mr Leo Varadkar is even reducing his meat intake. “Them’s soft drinks are corroding our stomach linings; Chinese food is loaded with that Monosodium Glutamate; High fat diets are disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm being secretly caused by those germs in our Irish water”.

However, there is one food that is the most dangerous of all” said he, “we all have already eaten it, or surely will, sometime in the near future, consume it.

“Now”, said he, “a question for you out there in the audience; can anyone tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and prolonged suffering, once you consume it?

“Then it struck me Mikey”, ‘Feckin Wedding Cake.’

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Thurles Man Mikey Ryan Absent From Arch Bar During January.

Things have been relatively quiet here in Thurles since Christmas. Sure with unlit Christmas lights, Snowmen and Santy Clauses, remaining strung up across Liberty Square, it’s Christmas now every day here in Thurles.

Even Mikey Ryan hasn’t appeared in the Arch Bar, Liberty Square, in the town, since the kids went back to school.

From what I can gather, it seems ‘her indoors’, has put her high heel down, since their youngest lad, Brad, ran into serious trouble with the Head Mistress in the local primary school, last week. It goes without saying same conduct resulted in that inevitable summoning of known parents.

I briefly ran into our Mikey last Saturday, up in Lacey’s Butchers in Friar Street, (Lacey’s according to Mikey, do a really unbelievable black pudding).

He was to be found traipsing around after ‘herself ‘,  and from what he was able to tell me (in lowish tones), it seems that the Head Mistress had asked her primary students in 6th class (of which Brad Ryan is a known regular attender since the last Court case), to use the word ‘fascinate’, in a sentence.

Bright, eleven year old, Kourtney was the first to put her hand up stating “My family went to visit our granddads farm; we found the pet lambs and the young foal really ‘fascinating’.”

The Head Mistress said, “That was excellent Kourtney, but I was hoping that you would have incorporated the verb ‘fascinate’, rather than the adjective ‘fascinating’, in your sentence composition.”

Equally bright, twelve year old, Beyónce was next to wave her hand. “My family took me to Euro Disney over Christmas and I was fascinated by Mickey Mouse and Goofy”, she rhymed off.

“Really good again Beyónce”, said the Head Mistress, “but again I was hoping you would have used the verb ‘fascinate’ instead of the adjective ‘fascinated’ in that sentence.”

Down the back of the class, young Brad Ryan, with hand raised, was madly clicking his fingers. A hesitant Head Mistress, having once before been ‘scalded’ by Brad’s previous interpretations of certain sentence forming; was reluctant to allow him to speak. Having, however, quickly decided that there was no possible way that he could mess with the verb ‘fascinate’, she gave him the nod to speak.

“My Aunty Mary has a sweater with 10 large, red, plastic buttons”, said Brad “but her breasts are so monstrous, she can only ‘fasten eight’.”

Oh Pat, give me one last one, for the road, before you close; when you’re ready like”, said I.

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Irish TD’s Set To Become Christian Missionaries

“And they’re off “.  No, I’m not preparing a commentary for the next National Hunt race meeting at Thurles Racecourse. I’m referring to the number of politicians due to leave Ireland for countries abroad on St. Patrick’s Day next, March 17th 2019, apparently with the blessing of unconcerned, laid back, Irish tax payers.

As our readers will already be aware Ireland’s politicians are deeply religious and feel duty-bound to travel to foreign places, each year, on a religious pilgrimage, promoting their Christian beliefs, in the name of St. Patrick. Of course the real reason they go abroad is to promote Ireland’s dodgy economy and to get that ‘heroin high’ which comes from watching foreigners bow and scrape, in the mistaken belief that those now found intruding in their country are to be regarded as world class leaders.

Which or ever, alas this so called missionary work will be undertaken without the permission and backing of what a Galway author, (the Late Walter Macken), once referred to as ‘The Silent People’; more often referred to now, since 2008, as ‘The Feckin Rightly Screwed Irish taxpayer’.

So, Who’s Going and to Where

Washington DC – Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar (with one other government Minister).
France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Hague – Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney.
South Africa, Namibia and Botswana – Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms Katherine Zappone.
Argentina & Chile – Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Eoghan Murphy.
Spain and Portugal – Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Michael Creed.
United Kingdom – Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Mr Paschal Donohoe.
New York – Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Charlie Flanagan.
San Francisco, Los Angeles – Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris.
Italy and Malta – Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Ms Regina Doherty.
Finland and China – Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh.
Cyprus, Lebanon and Jordan – Minister for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe.
Japan and South Korea – Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Josepha Madigan.
Australia, New Zealand and Singapore – Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys.
Canada, Toronto and Ottawa – Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Richard Bruton.
United Arab Emirates – Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.
Denmark and Sweden – Minister of State for European Affairs, Ms Helen McEntee.
Boston and Pennsylvania – Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Mr Seán Kyne.
Austin, Denver and Kansas – Minister for Higher Education Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
Savannah and Atlanta – Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration Mr David Stanton.
Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia – Minister of State for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Mr Patrick O’Donovan.
Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle – Minister of State for the Diaspora and Development, Mr Ciaran Cannon
India – Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mr Jim Daly.
Australia and Timor Leste – Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Damian English.
Mexico and Cuba – Minister of State for Disability Issues, Mr Finian McGrath.
Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay – Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Mr Pat Breen.
Chicago – Minister for Rural and Community Development, Mr Michael Ring.
Germany and the Netherlands – Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Mr Michael D’Arcy.
France and Luxembourg – Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr John Halligan.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, Mr John Paul Phelan.
Slovakia, Austria and Hungary – Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Ms Catherine Byrne.
Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia – Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Mr Andrew Doyle.
Poland and Czech Republic – Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Mr Kevin Boxer Moran.
Scotland – Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Mr Brendan Griffin.
Russia – Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Mr Denis O’Donovan.
Washington – Attorney General, Mr Seamus Woulfe SC, and last but by no means least;
Brazil – Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, Mr Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

Well at least now we can all sit back and wave them off on their varying difficult missions, in the knowledge that Brexit, due to begin two weeks later, on April Fool’s Day (April 1st), has been properly sorted. So also, the Nurses and Midwives strike with latter having finally agreed to work for nothing. They can sleep soundly, knowing that some 10,000 homeless people back in ‘Paddy’s Land’ now have a roof over their head. Overcrowding at Limerick University Hospital, latter servicing North Tipperary, and other medical establishments, all overcrowding problems have been reconciled to the distant past. The €450,000 to find out why the construction cost of the national children’s hospital spiralled in one year to over €1.4 billion has turned out to be merely a simple multiplication problem and Tipperary town will no longer be disrupting traffic on the N24.

Oops, sorry I must have dozed off there for a wee minute.

Just a Couple of Minor Observations

Until the British finally jumps ship, there remains, falteringly, 28 EU member states – Ireland is only visiting 25 of these countries. It appears Bulgaria, Romania and Greece are not on their targeted list.

Greece: The parliamentary republic of Greece joined the EU in 1981 and Ireland in the past has been less than sympathetic to their then financial plight.  Bailout inspectors are now due back in Greece as of this month and Eurozone Ministers will decide in March whether to grant relief measures to Greece including the pay-out of some of the profits made by the European Central Bank on Greek bonds. This will be worth watching.

Bulgaria and Romania: Bulgaria and Romania were the only two countries that joined the EU in the 2007 enlargement.  Given that Poland, Hungry and some of the other former Yugoslav states (Croatia, Slovenia etc ) are all being visited – leaving Bulgaria and Romania out seems a bit random, especially since lots of Romanians have immigrated to Ireland in the last 20 years. In April 2016 there were 29,186 Romanian nationals resident in Ireland. The Romanian population increased by 69% between 2011 and 2016. With a population growth of 11,882 persons between 2011 and 2016, and the fourth largest non-Irish nationality in this country (according to the CSO); this was the greatest increase in population size seen among all ten non-Irish nationalities profiled. Therefore, to not visit there surely seems odd.

Turkey: While not a member of the EU, Turkey is not being visited. Turkey, with its recent attempted army coup; the murdering of a journalist; silenced media; human rights offences, etc has been trying desperately to get into the EU since 1987. One would have assumed that the peace making attributes of Mr Finian McGrath could surely have been used here, instead of sending him to Mexico and Cuba.

Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein: You have all heard of the European Economic Area that is separate to the EU. It’s an international agreement which allows for the extension of the EU’s single market to non-EU member parties. One would have assumed that a visit there would have benefited, what with Brexit looming.

Israel: Israel must also feel offended having been left out. Here would have been a place to send Senator Frances Black and Mary Lou McDonald, both seeking to halt the sale of oranges and tomatoes being purchased from Israel’s seized Palestinian territories; latter land formerly used to propel Palestinian rockets to terrorize the Israel people. (One now feels we should have rid ourselves of our so-called Upper House, known as Seanad Éireann, when we had the opportunity.)

Switzerland: Switzerland is neither an EU nor an European Economic Area member, but is part of the single market by way of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA). So Switzerland must also feel grossly offended.

Philippines: No one is travelling to the Philippines, which seems a gross oversight. Here we have a Catholic country, supplying an overwhelming number of nurses and medical professionals, to work in our hospitals.

Egypt, Nigeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon: Why are no TD’s travelling there? Generally speaking African countries are poorly represented. I appreciate the issues that come with the continent, but nothing for Egypt or Nigeria! But TD’s are going to the Arab Emirates. It’s about Geo-Politics and you my brothers and sisters are paying their first class travel and hotel expenses.

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“Fly Tipping” – An Acceptable Form Of Recycling In Tipperary

Back here in Co. Tipperary, environmentalists have begun their own form of recycling, by “Fly Tipping”, (latter illegally dumping their waste) on a mere 300 metre stretch of the R502 close to Templetuohy village, and on a lesser south facing roadway, known locally as Orchard Cres. (See short Video hereunder).

While photographing the pictures hereunder, I was quickly approached by persons attending a nearby Coursing Meeting.  In case you don’t know, ‘Coursing’ is a dubious game played by grown men, who spend their time pursuing already ensnared, vicious animals, like hares; using greyhounds, the latter who chase these now incarcerated and malicious animals, using great speed, running by sight, and not by scent. While my camera was spotted operating almost one mile away and I was soon quickly interrogated, followed (Silver VW) and questioned as to what was my photographic purpose; not one of “my confronters”, peculiarly, were able to inform me, as to who was destroying their local, rural environment with regular ‘Fly Tipping’.

Tipperary Co. Council have erected plastic sign’s in the area, same nailed directly unto 10-year-old Silver Birch tree saplings; obviously indicating to the viewer that here is a Co. Council who understand, advocate and truly “give a damn” for the protection and preservation of our Tipperary environment.  These sign’s promise that ‘COVERT CCTV’ may be in operation for the purposes of detecting environmental offences; same being about as useful as a red-hot poker, when stuck up a skunk’s behind, in an effort to manufacture creamery butter.

Last January, the European Commission adopted its first ever Europe-wide policy on plastics. Under their plan, it is intended that all plastic packaging used within the EU market place, will become recyclable by 2030. The European Parliament voted for a European Union-wide ban on single-use plastics last October.

Here in Ireland the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Mr Richard Bruton, has this week, had his picture taken, clutching at a bunch of plastic drinking straws, before stating that all Government departments can no longer purchase single-use plastic cups, straws or cutlery (Knives, Forks, Spoons, and Chopsticks etc); with all public bodies and schools having until March 31st, to implement this EU policy.

Announcing these new EU procedures, Minister Bruton stated that his Irish minority Government almost, two months later, now wants to “lead the way” in showing that it is taking sustainability policies seriously, (Wow, impressive spin and thank God for new EU policy directives. What would our Fine Gael government do all day long were it not for new EU rules and regulations being introduced on their behalf?).

Even the major Supermarket outlets, some 12 months previously here in Ireland, stopped using plastic in their “cotton buds”, but possibly government TD’s and ministers don’t use cotton buds. (This actuality, might account for the fact that they don’t take note or even listen to what their electorate are saying).

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