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Dáil Éireann Holidays for 2018 – 2019

Dáil Éireann operates today, following exactly in the ancient footsteps of the days when Irish politics was merely the hobby of the English landed gentry class; all who had time on their hands, and sat in parliament only at convenient times which suited its membership.

Today, as in the more recent past, in line with most others of our workforce, Dáil Éireann should be sitting five days a week from Monday to Friday, to accommodate these full-time politicians. Instead it sits only part-time, with its elected membership excessively paid, well over the rate applicable to the vast majority of all other full-time employees.

From sources close to the government, we learn that Fine Gael have agreed with their Fianna Fáil supporters, that there should be no ‘Live Crib’ in Dáil Éireann this Christmas Season 2018.  [Well, to be honest, after their most recent referendum success what parent would trust them with a baby].

On top of all that; we understand from leaks from behind the scenes, that while asses and sheep were everywhere in abundance, not one wise man and not one virgin, could be located anywhere.

Take a look at the allocated holiday schedule 2018 /2019

By the time our elected employees return to Dáil Éireann, (yes, lest we forget, our elected politicians are employees of you the taxpayer), for every other State employee, Christmas 2018 will have been a distant memory, with the pine needles and the withered holly and ivy already disposed of, some 8 days prior to the date they, our  politicians, commence their next stint of three-day weeks.

Therefore, to place things in proper perspective, the average five-day week operative will have his/her thoughts focused on that ‘cocks’ stride’ in improved day lights, while our TDs will still remain celebrating Christmas right up to January 15th, 2019.

Then there is that St. Patrick’s Day break 2019, when politicians finish up their two-day week on March 14th for a twelve-day disruption. In keeping with the criterion set by St. Patrick and further obeying the instructions of Jesus Christ as stated in St. Matthews Gospel, (Chapter 28, verses 16-20); senior and junior ministers head abroad, becoming missionaries, to, “Go (ye) into all the world, to preach the gospel to every creature”.

Then cometh the Easter holidays four weeks later, starting April 19th to May 8th, followed by an eleven-day break, beginning 31st May until 10th June.

Latter break of course gives time to plan the Summer holidays, beginning on July 12th, until the middle of September 2019.

And you were wondering why Mary Newman Julian [Fine Gael] (#MaryForTipperary); Sandra Farrell [Fianna Fáil] and Garret Ahearn [Fine Gael], were using their worker bees to push election pamphlets through Thurles letterboxes.

To be honest folks apart from the €94,535 paid to TD’s; the €94,535 plus an additional salaried allowance of €104,601 to our Taoiseach; and the €94,535 plus an additional salaried allowance of €89,211 to our Tánaiste;  sure wouldn’t the paid holidays alone be enough to tempt anyone to go for the job.


Warning – House Phones Can Cause Severe Injuries

As I edged my way through the crowd, towards the counter of the Arch Bar in Liberty Square, Thurles, last Saturday night, the existing low romantic lighting, led my eyes to believe that I was actually seeing a visiting Indian gentleman wearing a Sikh turban leaning against the counter. Sure, as you all know, you are likely to run into everyone and anyone in ‘The Arch’ any Saturday night, especially around the Christmas time.

As I approached Pat, behind the bar, in the hope of hinting that a free Xmas Drink or two might be in order; this head, wearing the turban, turned revealing none other than Mikey Ryan; both his ears heavily and individually bandaged.

“What in the name of jasus happened you Mikey”, says I.

“I’ve just come in from the doctor”, said a rather downbeat Mikey, “I had a bit of an accident this evening, well to be more accurate I actually had two accidents”.

“Mikey”, said I, “if I might regurgitate words akin to those once reeled off by that great Irish poet and playwright Mr Oscar Wilde, “To have one accident may be regarded as a misfortune; to have two, looks to me like downright carelessness”.

“You know I blame that feckin Fine Gael crowd”, replied Mikey, “sure it was that lot that started all this equality for women’s’ lark; mark my words, soon they will be taking seats from men in Dáil Éireann. There was a time not so long ago, in this late to evolve, glorious, green republic, when a married man, having passed over the most of his weekly wage packet on a Friday night, could expect to find at least one ironed shirt hanging in the wardrobe”.

“So, stop changing the subject and tell me what happened your ears”, said I, rather impatiently.

“Well”, said Mikey, “there I was lining up the collar of my wrinkled shirt, when the phone rang, and without thinking didn’t I accidentally pick up the electric iron instead of the phone”.

“And what happened the other ear” said I.

“Didn’t the feckin bastard ring back”, replied Mikey.

“Right”, says I, trying to keep the straight face, “Oh Pat what night are you handing out the free Christmas drink”.


Thurles Hosts Ireland’s Largest Pothole

Yes, its official, the town of Thurles, in Co. Tipperary now claims ownership of Ireland’s largest pothole.

Now believed to be the Eighth Wonder of the World, this pothole, fed by a tributary from the west of the town, now seriously challenges the position held previously by the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, in Turkey.

Tourists from Dublin city are now expected to arrive in their droves over the Christmas period; thus, abandoning their usual “jump off “ at the famous ‘Forty Foot’ pier in Sandycove, normally used for their annual Christmas swim.

Earlier, (on November 27th to be precise), the Thurles.Info website informed its readers of the Tipperary Co. Council’s gift of so-called Christmas Free Parking Initiatives (Note only in all public car parks) here in Thurles for Saturday December 8th; Saturday December 15th and Saturday December 22nd, 2018.

Alas, Ireland’s largest pothole is now blocking the main entrance to one of these same Christmas Free Parking initiatives, so generously volunteered by our impoverished Tipperary Co. Council; namely the Cathedral Street car park, positioned close to the 364 day free car park owned by Aldi Supermarket, and some 700 yards walking distance from the main Thurles shopping precinct.

When did we say the Co. Council elections were taking place?

Yes, the Christmas Spirit, so steadily exuded annually by Tipperary Co. Council, fully empathises with those words once uttered by Charles Dickens, (1812 – 1870), “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”


Will New Public Health Alcohol Bill Close Two Dáil Éireann Bars ?

“We have turned the tide of public opinion; it was once a glory for men to boast of what they drank; we have turned that false glory into shame”.

Quote by Fr. Theobald Mathew (Apostle of Temperance 1790-1856) and Minority Fine Gael Government (2018)

Dáil Éireann Bar During Normal Office Hours

The two Bars in Dáil Éireann (one ‘Member’s Bar’ and one Visitors Bar’ and as Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘The Ballad of East and West’, suggests “never the twain shall meet”), are now expected to close following the new sections of the Public Health Alcohol Bill, which will come into operation next Monday.

Same Bill bans Alcohol advertising near schools or play areas, together with new separation rules for the hiding of alcohol products behind delivery pallets, out of the public view, while stocked in Irish retail outlets.

This Public Health Alcohol Bill recently passed through the Dáil, and represents 1,000 days of “Sweat of the brow” effort, hard work and uncivilised debate, undertaken by our glorious elected public representatives.

In mixed retail units, this public health legislation described as “ground-breaking measures” will now force same retail units selling alcohol, to erect barriers hiding their total lawfully held retail products.

The new measures now coming into law will include the prohibition of:-

  1. Alcohol advertising in public service vehicles, at public transport stops or stations and within 200 metres of a school, crèche, or local authority playgrounds.
  2. Alcohol advertising in cinemas except around films with an 18 classification or in a licensed premise in a cinema.
  3. Alcohol advertising in sports areas during events aimed at children.
  4. Children’s clothing which promotes alcohol.

Store owners who fail to comply with these new advertising regulations could face fines of up to €2,000.

Health Minister Simon Harris is in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary today to avail of a photo opportunity promoting Fine Gael, while officially opening the UL Hospitals Cataract Centre, situated at Nenagh Hospital. Mr Harris claims that this crackdown on advertising and display areas in shops, will ultimately help protect people’s health, and Mummy and Daddy will, in future, no longer return home on Friday nights ‘piss arsed’, to be observed close-up and personal by their adoring teenage children.

Items such as Whiskey Cake; Butter Scotch Ice Cream; Irish Coffee and Guinness Stew will, no doubt, be removed from restaurant menus, and ingredients detailed in such recipes, will be erased from the Internet.

We learn that separate new minimum unit pricing rules for alcohol together with other regulations to allow for cancer warnings on alcohol products, are expected to be brought before government in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar is asking politicians who have not settled their tab at the Dáil bar, that they should do so immediately or else have it deducted from their salary or pension. Some bar bills, know to equal at least €765.23, are outstanding since the year 2000.

Fine Gael Closing Two Dáil Bars

To Health Minister Mr Simon Harris and his Fine Gael Cabinet – Sirs, please keep in mind the words of the American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “If you would lift me up you must be on higher ground.”


Mikey Ryan Is Feeling The Onset Of A Thurles Winter

Mikey Ryan was non customarily running late, and I was already on my second pint above in the Arch Bar in Liberty Square, Thurles, when he eventually made his appearance. As he headed in my direction, he began copiously rubbing his hands together, before spreading them briefly in front of the open fire.

“Should have brought me gloves”, said Mikey, “Jasus, it’s so feckin cold outside tonight, would you believe I actually spotted a local politician with his hands in his own feckin pockets.”

“Pat you had better give Mikey a small one for medicinal purposes to start”, said I, “It looks like he could be coming down with something nasty”.
“A small brandy would be grand”, said Mikey “throw in a ginger ale as well to make it last”.

“Aren’t you feckin lucky you never married” said Mikey, shaking his head in a convinced fashion.
“Is your marital bliss going through a bit of a bumpy patch at the moment”, I queried.
“I suppose you could say that”, said Mikey, “she seems be gone of the Richter scale at the moment”.
“Give us an instance”, said I, anxious as always to grant the benefit of my vast experience of life in general and console those that are seen to be heavy laden.

“Well” said Mikey “I think she might be going through the change, if you know what I mean. For example, I was sitting at my computer last Sunday evening, drafting my will on line, and I called out to her, “Honey when I die, I’m going to leave everything to you, my love”.  She shouted back, “You feckin already do; you lazy bastard”.

“Begod that’s peculiar all right”, said I, “but tell me is she often inclined to bad mouth you”.
“No, not really”, replied Mikey, “but let me give you another instance”I walked into the kitchen one evening last week to find her stalking around, armed with a fly swatter and not a morsel of supper served up on the table.  What in God’s name are you doing?  says I.  Hunting flies says she.  Well, did you kill any? says I.  To which she responds, yip, 3 males, 2 Females. Anxious to advance my further education on the sex of flies, I asked how do you know what sex they were?  She replied, 3 were crawling on your beer cans and 2 were creeping around on the house phone.”

“Begod that was truly peculiar” said I, “by the way where does your wife hail from originally; if you don’t mind me asking“.
“She’s from the west of Ireland; once the beauty queen of Muckanaghederdauhaulia, or the piggery between two expanses of briny water, in the parish of Kilcummin in Co. Galway”, said Mikey.  “Sure, I met her down there while I was on a wee bit of a tear, if you know what I mean”, he further added. “We got married two weeks later, while I was still a bit the worse for wear”, Mikey said, with a distant knowing smile on his countenance.
“But I suppose she was always a bit on the spectrum like”, continued Mikey, “always forgetting things she said and had previously asked me to do”.

“Get her checked, maybe she has a touch of the Alzheimer’s”, said I, “I believe I read somewhere that same is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that can start slowly and worsens over a period of time, and the most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events”.

“Jasus you could be right”, said Mikey taking another slow mouthful of brandy, “Sure when our first born, young, Paddy was only 5 years old, she became convinced that he looked different to the rest of the family”.

Mikey now moved closer to me lowering his voice. “So, she decides, without my knowledge you understand, to have a DNA test performed, to find out from the results that he was actually from completely different parents than ourselves. She phones me up at work in a panic stating she had something very serious to tell me.

What’s up? said I.  Then she tells me that according to this DNA test, that Paddy was not our son. Look-it-here now said I, sure how could he be; don’t you remember that when we were leaving the hospital, you noticed that our young lad had a wet diaper and you said, “Honey, go change the baby, I’ll wait for you here.”
“Oh, and talking about hospitals, just to change the subject for a minute; I’ll say it again and I’ll say it no more”, said Mikey, “this country, under this Fine Gael government, is rapidly heading down the sewers, and I bet you any money that this time next year there will be even more patients waiting up to 5 years, just waiting to have an abortion”.

“Pat give this man whatever he’s having”, said Mikey, “and I’ll chance another small brandy for meself”.