Two Tipperary clergy decided to visit the Canary Islands and targeted the easternmost Spanish island of Lanzarote as their ultimate destination, during a proposed upcoming and well deserved summer vacation.
Remembering past vacations, where they had accidentally bumped into drunken members of their respective parishes from back home; this year they had decided to not wear any item of clothing that could identify them, firstly as priests and secondly as natives of Tipperary. With parish church attendance numbers down greatly, they were determined to have no embarrassing encounters which could lead to their parishioners being ashamed to attend any future church services on arrival back home. (e.g. reminiscences of the local newly married Ryan couple back in 1999, whom both men had unexpectedly encountered ‘honeymooning prematurely’ on the floor of the hotel lift, still sent chills down both men’s spines. This Ryan couple despite increasing their family size to 7 in just 5 years, had not seen sight nor sound of a sermon insides their local churches during that same 5 year period, despite having first make each others acquaintance at a Christian Solidarity gathering in Thurles, the year before their decision to marry.)
As soon as the jet plane had landed at Arrecife Airport; both devout priests headed for a clothing store to purchase some, shall we say, rather out of character trouser shorts, flowery shirts, open toed sandals and giant sunglasses.
The next morning, dressed in their ‘tourist clobber’ and carrying a couple of hotel deck chairs, they headed to the sandy beach to enjoy the local, over priced tipple and take in the glorious sunshine; to which, back home, they were unaccustomed. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a gorgeous blonde dressed in a topless bikini and wearing sun glasses, came walking in their direction. As she passed them, she smiled, nodded and greeted them both with the salutation, “Good Morning Fathers, enjoy the sun!” Both priests were stuck speechless; how in God’s name did she know they were members of the priesthood?
Next day, feeling their last mode of dress was perhaps somewhat outdated, they went back to the clothing store and purchased even more outrageous casual outfits; determined not to be identified again during their remaining 10 day stay. Now dressed in this new attire, they settled down again in their chairs, confident they could enjoy their well deserved holiday without fear of being further recognised, interrupted and even embarrassed.
A short time later the same gorgeous blonde, wearing a different coloured topless bikini and sunglasses, came walking toward them. She again nodded at each of them reciting a similar salutation; ‘Reverend Fathers good morning! Has not the Almighty blessed us with lovely sunshine? Do be careful of not getting too sun burned on your second day”, she warned, before continuing to walk past.
Unable to stand it any longer, one of the priests called out after her, “Excuse me, young lady, I must know, how in God’s name did you recognise us as priests, particularly dressed as we are currently?”
Raising her sunglasses on her forehead, the woman replied, “Fathers, it’s me, Sister Kathleen from your local convent.”
Mark Fielding CEO. ISME.
Thurles, Co. Tipperary born Mr Mark Fielding, Chief Executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) has warned that while inflation remains low, business costs are steadily rising.
“Increasing costs are one of the most pressing issues facing SMEs at present. It is difficult for small businesses to grow and hire new staff, when their cost base is continuously rising and their margins reduce,” said Mr Fielding.
ISME warn of rising business costs despite new figures showing low inflation levels. Consumer prices increased by just 0.1 per cent over the year to December, according to latest figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Transport-related costs fell by 4.3% over the year,due to a decline in the prices paid for petrol, diesel and air fares.
Motor Insurance premiums increased by 31% in the year to December, due to insurers continued to hike prices.
Clothing and Footwear costs were down 4.1%, due mainly to heavy discounting by retailers, while household-related items, e.g. furnishings fell by some 1.5%.
Alcoholic Beverages sold in Supermarkets and Off-Licences were lower in the period.
Education, Miscellaneous Goods and Services demonstrated the largest yearly price increases, with same up 3.8% and 2.6% respectively.
Fuel related prices and Communications costs rose by 2.1% and by 1.7% respectively over this same time frame.
Mark Fielding: As well as being Chief Executive of (ISME) Mr Mark Fielding is a member of the Company Law Review Group, the High Level Group on Business Regulation and the Advisory Group on Small Business. He also sits on the administrative council of UEAPME, the European employers’ organisation, latter a recognised European Social Partner representing more than 12 million enterprises, while employing 55 million people across Europe.
A reminder to those intending to use the Thurles to Nenagh road tomorrow (Monday August 31st); same will be closed from outside Borrisoleigh until possibly Friday (September 4th), at the earliest.
Motorists expecting to travel between Thurles and Nenagh will face detours, while a stretch of the R498, between Ballyroan bridge and Kearn’s Cross, outside Borrisoleigh, is being reconstructed.
Motorists are being advised to use the R501 Borrisoleigh to Templemore road and the N62 towards Roscrea and back along the M7 motorway.
This very necessary repair work involves the reconstruction of surfaces on the bends on the Nenagh side of Borrisoleigh, stretching for 3.5km to Kelly’s of Fantane, so do allow extra time for your journey and arrive safely.
Be AWARE – “National SLOW DOWN Day”, supported by the Road Safety Authority and other stakeholders, will come into effect from 7.00am on March 27th to 7.00am on March 28th next.
An Garda Síochána will now conduct an intensive national speed enforcement operation for this 24 hour period.
The objective of Operation “Slow Down” is to reduce the number of speed related collisions and reduce the number of injuries and related deaths, caused by driving at excessive and inappropriate speeds on our rural roads and motorways.
Last year saw a further increase in road deaths, resulted in 190 fatalities. Excessive and inappropriate speed is the major contributory factor to road traffic collisions, resulting in loss of life. The higher the speed, the greater the likelihood is of a collision taking place. As a general rule a 1% reduction in average speed brings about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions, and this is why reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving our road safety record.
Invitation to Public and Private Sector Fleet Operators
Public and private sector fleet operators have been invited to participate in this initiative by circulating their employees with one key message, “Slow Down” and whether driving for business or private purposes; always drive within the prescribed speed limit and at a speed appropriate to the weather and other prevailing conditions.
This operation initiative will consist of high visibility speed enforcement activities on both national primary and secondary roads. All speed enforcement technologies will be fully utilised, including all laser hand-held speed detection devices, ROBOT vans and Cleartone/Puma in-car speed detection systems.
You have been warned!