In his surgery, while stitching a deep cut to the hand of a 65-year-old Tipperary farmer; the latter’s injury caused by a confused cow being de-horned in his cattle crush, the local Thurles doctor struck up a casual conversation with his nervous patient.
Their conversation eventually got around to the current problems within Irish Water, politics in general and under performing Tipperary politicians. The old farmer suggested that, “Well, as I see it, most politicians in Tipperary are ‘Post Turtles’.”
As you can imagine with very few, if any, Turtles to be found naturally occurring in Tipperary and not being familiar with this descriptive title, the local doctor asked his patient to further elaborate on his ‘Post Turtle’ correlation with politicians.
The old farmer explained, “Doctor when you’re driving down Seskin Lane in Thurles for example, if you should come across a narrow fence post with a turtle balancing precariously on top, that’s a ‘Post Turtle’.”
The old farmer, observing the now even more puzzled look on his doctor’s face, continued in his explanation; “You see Doctor, you realise that the turtle didn’t climb up there of his own efforts, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to hell to do while he is up there, he’s elevated totally beyond his normal ability to properly function and one can’t help but wonder what kind of dumb arse placed him up there in the first place.”
“Irish Water” said the elderly farmer, “Sure it’s rather like what a Dublin Whorehouse Madam once told me many years ago; “Sir”, said she politely,“If you got it, you sell it; once sold sure you’ve still got it. It’s a very lucrative and progressive business, if you can keep it of the balance sheet – water that is – if you know what I mean!”
There are around 14,000 people claiming Unemployment Benefits currently in Tipperary. End of October CSO figures show that only 114 persons in the county left the Live Register during the month, (Mostly due to death, emigration and Jobsbridge scams).
But good news could be on the way with the Industrial Development Authority (IDA Ireland) confirming that significant employment opportunities are due to be announced in the near future, for Thurles, here in Co Tipperary.
Indeed when contacted, a spokesperson for IDA Ireland did confirm that they had visited Tipperary as recent as April 1st 1887 last, before cycling on to Birr, in Co Offaly on stolen bikes, to watch the All Ireland Hurling match that year between Tipperary and Galway. (In case you have forgotten the score was Tipp 1-1, Galway 0 – 0.)
Anyway, from documents seen briefly here by Thurles.Info, it would appear that consultants employed by the present Board of Irish Water have come up with a plan to set up a series of Cottage Industries, which will solve, it is hoped, most of our unemployment problems here in Thurles.
A new Company called Tipp – Up Air is to be set up under the patronage of Irish Water and Fáilte Ireland; their purpose to sell bottled pure Tipperary Air to over 10 million people born in Ireland, who quickly ‘cottoned on’ and have long since emigrated. (Better known nowadays to you and me as the “Irish Diaspora.”)
According to company documents seen and read, unemployed persons must first register with the Revenue Commissioners as a Self Employed Person, which immediately removes them from the Live Unemployment Register and on completion of this task, then begin bottling Tipperary Air, having first completed a one day training course.
The training course will demonstrate how to prepare this final top quality product through washing recycled 500ml plastic bottles they find on the streets of our towns and along rural roadsides in the county. Bottles located can be washed and thoroughly dried using a basic domestic hair-dryer. Bottles can then be taken outdoors, gently squeezed and then quickly released, thus ensuring maximum intake of air, before being tightly capped. Note: In the case of wet weather conditions, cleaned, dried bottles should be held upside down before filling with air to avoid any rain, hail or snow intake. (Failure to observe the latter could result in a loss of income to Irish Water.)
When this latter operation has been completed, sticky labels manufactured and printed in China, and obtained from the new board of Tipp – Up Air (costing .50 cents each) can be attached to each bottle, leaving the product fully complete and ready for market. Each of these provided labels carries a Quality Assurance mark from Bord Bia, showing county of origin and a slick marketing logo which reads: “If downcast are you and wan with care, just unscrew the cap and breathe Irish Air.”
Once completed, this product will then be wholesaled to all participating Souvenir shops, Aldi, Lidl and other outlets, for sale to visitors from Mainland Europe, North America and Britain, offering a cheap souvenir for loved ones back home, while announcing also their recent “Trip to Tipp.”
Local Tipperary TD’s and Councillors have expressed some reservations in relation to this new product, claiming that by removing bottled air abroad, from anywhere in Ireland, could accelerate climate change when these bottle caps are unscrewed. For example any sudden release of air in North America could change the direction of that powerful warm ocean current that continues the Gulf Stream north-east, known as the North Atlantic Drift or North Atlantic Current. Such reservations have been strongly denied by Irish Water and the Department of the Environment.
Some other local Tipperary TD’s and Councillors have also expressed reservations regarding the fact that since Fáilte Ireland have failed miserably to promote tourism either financially or through any real form of marketing, especially in Tipperary, tourists may just not arrive. However consultants involved in promoting Tipp-Up Air have stated that franchise’s are expected to be offered to counties Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Galway and Dublin, where all tourism marketing funds are mostly expended at present. A spokes person for Tipp-Up Air stated “With 4,000 road signs having been installed in the west of Ireland, along the Wild Atlantic Way, at a cost of €689 per signpost or over €2.756m in total, bottled air stands could now be erected (for a small fee of course) close to these same signs, where tourists are bound to take heed and slow down due to the potholes, as they traverse this most scenic of Irish coastal countryside.”
While no Bord Members or anticipated other Administrative Staff have yet been appointed to Tipp-Up Air & C0; persons who has given financial election donations to either Fine Gael or Labour Ministers over the past 5 years are expected to be given first refusal for all such job opportunities. Unions also confirm that all staff satisfactorily identified for such posts, will receive bonuses of between 4% and 19%, regardless of their ability to carry out their duties responsibly.
Full announcements regarding these new job opportunities are expected to be announced some Friday soon, enabling Tipperary TD’s to extend their weekend break to Tuesday before the Dail reconvenes again for another hectic week of brain storming.
I woke up just as the flickering red flames began to gently lick at my scalding toes. Perspiration was flooding from every sweat pore in my body, brought on by the intense heat.
On awakening, it took me several minutes to fully realise that I had only been the subject of an involuntarily sensation associated with sleep; a nightmare to use the common term. But this frightening event wasn’t my usual strong emotional response emanating from the mind and typically experienced after a late night’s over indulgence on goats cheese. No sir, this dream contained situations of great danger, discomfort, psychological and physical terror, to which today my weekly visit to local practising and counselling psychologist, failed us both to identify.
Let me further elaborate on the situation in which I found myself in the very early hours of this morning.
Myself, Phil Hogan TD (Him of Property Tax and Irish Water Fame), Bashar Assad, (President of Syria) and Vladimir Putin (President of Russia) had all died the same day and gone straight to that place of eternal torment in the afterlife, known plainly to everyone, (with the exception of used car sales persons), as “Hell.”
On arrival and while beginning to experience the intense and increasing temperature, not to mention having to listen to the screams of the multitude who had arrived earlier; all four of us were attracted to a single bright red phone; same the only piece of office equipment to be seen. It lay sitting on the reception desk occupied by that supernatural entity that is the personification of evil, namely the Devil himself, “Lucifer.”
Having been fully processed by Lucifer and now lined up bound in heavy chains arraigned according to our time of arrival, all four of us began to speculate on the need for this red phone. The Devil, overhearing our whispered conversation quickly informed us that same was for telephoning the planet Earth.
Putin immediately asked permission to call Russia and his conversation concerning matters on the Crimea just lasted for five minutes. His call completed and phone receiver replaced; the Devil then informed him that the cost of his Roaming Call Forward was one million Russian Roubles. Without hesitation, as one does when in charge of taxpayers money, the stern-faced Putin immediately pulled out his cheque book and wrote Lucifer a cheque without question.
Next Bashar Assad calls Syria and his conversation on matters pertaining to ISIS lasted some 30 minutes. Call again complete, the Devil informed him that the cost is 6 million Syrian pounds and again Assad, perhaps more reluctantly in his case, pulled out his cheque book and wrote Lucifer a cheque.
Just as I was about to phone the wife, Phil Hogan brushes me roughly aside and rings Ireland. His dictatorial style discussion was mainly about some intended legal action against Independent Dublin MEP Nessa Childers and something else about not “being unable to make an omelette without cracking eggs”, which I am afraid I didn’t fully grasp. His boring, bullish droll continued for over 4 hours; however on finishing his call the Devil informs him that the total cost is a mere €5.00 Euro.
An understandably outraged President Putin, on hearing the low-cost, goes pure ballistic; demanding from his new host an explanation on why Phil Hogan got to call Ireland so cheaply.
The devil smiles and replies: “Since Fine Gael and Labour took office, the whole of Ireland has gone to Hell, so his call is categorised as being only a Local Call.”
My worry of course and that of my psychologist is more selfishly complex; despite this all being just a nightmare, what was I doing in Hell with these guys, to observe this scenario in the first place?
Is it a premonition or a forewarning of some kind maybe of things yet to come – I continue to wonder?
Scientists were first awakened to the theory of ‘Global Warming’ for the first time here in Ireland, following the destruction of Ballynonty Bridge, near Thurles, in August of 2008.
Well that is, with ‘Tongue in Cheek’ I might add, according to local Ballynonty poet and historian Gerry Cullen; latter who regularly records such significant district occurrences in rhyme.
In fact if you are looking for someone to write a poem about any topic, be it related to matters humorous or material required of a more serious nature, then look no further than this Ballynonty resident lyricist; Tipperary’s answer to the late great Lancashire born poet Robert Service, (1874 – 1958).
(Pictured left Gerry’s serious poetic reflection on Tipperary road traffic accidents, first published and cut in stone at the wonderful Ballynonty Garden of Remembrance back in 2012.)
Anyway back to the topic of Global Warming; hereunder recorded for future generations, the demise of the bridge in Ballynonty, with a veiled environmental warning to each and every resident of this our planet.
(From the pencil of Gerry Cullen.)
The weather is gone wallop and the seasons out of whack,
We’re heading for disaster and down a one way track,
We’ll have to face the music or wise up and be smart,
Or the bridge in Ballynonty will only be the start.
Twas like a big tsunami or the floods in New Orleans,
Or back when Noah built the ark to save the human beings,
But nothing ever read or seen has caused the jaw to drop,
Like the bridge in Ballynonty near Alice Perry’s shop.
The clouds grew dark; the deluge came; the rain was strong and fast,
The stream became a torrent and the bridge just couldn’t last.
The flood flowed down Slieveardagh’s slopes and the dark night turned to day,
And then at dawn, in turmoil, the battered road gave way.
For weeks we’ve taken detours and the moods have struck us all,
And we suffer from depression tryin’ to get to Killenaule,
The “Powers that Be” are out in force; no opening day as yet,
(A week, a month, a year or two, I wouldn’t hold my breath.)
And years into the future the people will recall,
How the curse of “Global Warming” damn nearly took us all.
Don’t prod and poke at nature; we have to stop and think,
For living life the way we do, has brought us to the brink.
Sure you never know Gerry might share some more of his poetry with us into the future. There is, I hasten to add, talks of a limited edition book of poetry shortly to be published, which is eagerly awaited by the many lovers of his localised thought-provoking verse.
“It breeds dissatisfaction by perpetuating itself everywhere, cluttering up the minds of individuals, particularly here in Thurles,” said Micky, breaking the silence, as he continued sucking on the remains of his pig’s crubeen, elbows resting on the kitchen table. (Latter ‘Crubeen,’ for those of you less well educated of course is a boiled pig’s foot. Today they are called sausages, if no horse meat has been added.)
“What are you talking about Mickey,” said I, anxiously awaiting the promised afters of a plate of stewed rhubarb and custard, whose mouth-watering aroma was now being carried; wafting on the breeze created by the partially open window in the small scullery.
“Negativity,” said Mickey, “Negativity, sure Thurles is full of it and it’s all coming down from Dublin. Take that Garth Brooks singer fellow,” he continued, “Sure if Dublin don’t want him, couldn’t Aiken and the GAA have sent him down here to forgotten Thurles and slap him into Semple Stadium for the week. Sure doesn’t he sing country music anyway.”
“Look it here,” said I, “This is all politics, people playing financial chess to get their own greedy little ways. Sure only a few weeks ago wasn’t the Minister of Finance down kissing Donald Trump’s arse in the west, in the hope of duping these Americans into progressing the sale of a bankrupt golf club. “Remember Mickey,” said I,” The money paid for those 400,000 tickets to listen to this Brooks fellow will end up in America, taken out of our bankrupt Irish economy in his private jet plane, tax and VAT free.
“I suppose you’re right there,” said Mickey, “I suppose the female clothing shops here in Thurles wouldn’t have sold so much as a plastic G-String, had those damned concerts gone ahead. Yeah you’re probably right; negativity, women and politics are what has this Ireland ruined, sure women shouldn’t be allowed into politics anyway,” continued Micky.
“What’s your problem with women politicians,” said I.
“Well,” said Mickey, “Take a look at that Joan Burton one, since she became leader of the Labour Party. Sure only a woman would take four days moving an auld second-hand press from room to room in Dáil Éireann.”
“How do you mean,” said I.
“The cabinet re-shuffle,” said Mickey, “A man would have left that damned cabinet where they found it, but not a women, oh no; “push it over against the back wall,” – “no move it over to the window,” – “no try it in the bed room.” “Thank God the wife and myself only have two rooms, a scullery and an outside commode,” continued Mickey
I bit my tongue and remained silent.
“No its all negativity now-a-days here in Thurles,” continued Mickey, “Sure the wife was at her hairdresser’s there recently getting her perm fixed, before her trip to Rome and she just happened to mentioned this same junket to the hairdresser.
Continue reading Thurles Negativity, Garth Brooks & Women