Irish Phrase Of The Day

"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?



October 2014
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Veterinary Surgeons Are As Expensive As HSE Consultants

Donald Duck deceased

The wife brought our families pet duck into our local veterinary surgeons office. As she laid our Donald’s limp, motionless body on the table, the vet quickly pulled out his stethoscope and pressing it deep into our feathered friends chest, he listening intently.

After a moment or two, he began to shake his head slowly and then blurted out, “I’m sorry missus, but your pet duck, has passed on to that bird heaven in the sky.”

My deeply distressed wife let out a wail, (Well she’s always wailing anyway) “Are you sure?” said she.
“Yes, I am sure missus, your duck is most definitely dead,” replied our vet, in the most respectful bedside manner I might add.

“How can you be so sure?” the wife protested. (She good at the protesting is my wife) “I mean you haven’t done a full examination on him or anything. He might just be in a deep coma or some other form of  profound state of unconsciousness.”

Our vet bit his lip and rolled his eyes to heaven, then spinning around he left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a young black Labrador Retriever pup. As the wife looked on in sheer amazement, the dog jumped up on the table, tail wagging and sniffed the duck from tail to beak.  Suddenly his tail froze and looking up at the vet with the saddest of eyes, the dog shook his head.

The vet patted the black Labrador and escorted him out of the room, returning a few minutes later with a Siamese cat. The cat hopped out of his arms onto the table and began delicately sniffing our pet duck all over. The cat then stretched, sat back on her behind, licked her paw and began meowing softly, then jumped to the floor and ran from the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is now 100% most definitely, one dead duck missus.”

As the wife began to sob, the vet turned to his computer, hit a few taps to his key board and his printer began to spit out an invoice, which when printed completely, he then passed  to my wife.

My wife glanced at the bill and suddenly stopped her sniffling. “What do you mean she screamed, you have charged me £250 just to confirm my poor dear Donald duck is dead!”

The vet shrugged his shoulders, “I’m very sorry missus but if you had just taken my word in the beginning, your bill would have been only €20. But now with the extra Lab Report, followed by a Cat Scan, I have no option but to increase your charges by an extra €230.”

Still, as I said to the missus later, the costs could have been even worse really. Just let’s thank our lucky stars there wasn’t any anesthetist present.

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Teagasc To Host Seminar For Farm Families

Teagasc the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland.

Teagasc, under the guidance of Area Manager Donal Mullane, are hosting an important seminar for all farm families in Thurles on Tuesday 2nd of November at 8.00pm in the Anner Hotel.

Farmers and farm families are continually weighing up their options and planning for the future.  Opportunities and threats are continually being assessed as farmers navigate the decision making process for themselves and their families.

In farming there is a great interdependence between the farm and the family life. All farm families have a common aim and that is to maintain a decent household income, have a good quality of life and plan for the future of the farm. The past decade has witnessed huge change in family farm structures and the recent Harvest 2020 report, highlights the significant role that agriculture will play in the economy over the next decade.

The Teagasc Options Programme is designed to help Farm Families address the difficulties which they are experiencing, of reduced incomes and unemployment. Good management is the skill of making things happen rather that letting things happen so planning for a future in farming is the core aim of the Options Programme. A newly designed farm household income ready – reckoner will give a pin picture of the farm family income which will act as a foundation to examine your present income and family situation, to assess the potential of the farm and the family and discuss the many options with potential to generate more income and create a viable and attractive future for a successor on the farm.

To ensure all farmers are familiar with the benefits of the programme Teagasc are hosting a seminar at the Anner Hotel, Thurles on Tuesday night 2nd November to inform farm families of the benefits to planning for the future through the Options Programme.   Teagasc Advisors and Specialists will be present at the seminar providing advice on finance, succession, forestry, food rural tourism and organic production. Other Agencies such as LEADER, County Enterprise Boards, Fas, VEC and Citizens Information Board will be available to discuss options and opportunities for farm families.

Programme For This Seminar

8.00 – 8. 15pm.   Introduction – Sustaining Farm Income – Donal Mullane Area Manager Teagasc
8.20 – 8.40pm     Agricultural Incomes Today – Dr. Cathal O’Donoghue, Teagasc
8.40 – 8.55pm     Options for Farm Families –    David Meredith, Teagasc
8.55 – 9.10pm     Local Issues for Farm Families – Bill Condon Teagasc Advisor
9.10 – 9.30pm     Budgeting – The Easy Way – Maria Heneghan, Teagasc
9.30 – 9.50pm     Options in Action –  A Local Options Story – John Kenny Fairymount Farm
9.50 – 10.00pm   Leader  Funding –  Michael Murray CEO Leader
10.00 – Finish     Questions and Discussion

All farm families are welcome.

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Fine Gael’s Selection Convention In Thurles

Fine Gael's Enda Kenny, Noel Coonan and Paidraig Culbert at Tipperary Institute.

The ribbon on Deputy Noel Coonan’ s new office on Main Street, Roscrea will be officially cut by Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny this coming Friday 29th at 6.30pm, ahead of the party’s Selection Convention in Thurles.

Enda Kenny who visits Roscrea at the invitation of Deputy Coonan, will call to employers in the region to discuss their business prospects into the future and how Fine Gael in power will help stimulate economic growth through policies such as New ERA and Hope for a Lost Generation.

Only last week in the Dáil, Fine Gael’s Private Members Motion called on the Government to introduce a loan guarantee scheme for small and medium sized businesses to help them back on their feet and on the road to recovery.

Deputy Kenny has put the Fine Gael party on an election footing; the result of which is this convention taking place in the Anner Hotel, Thurles this Friday at 8.30pm.

Deputy Coonan is the sole Fine Gael candidate, nominated by party members in the Tipperary North constituency to represent the people and contest the forthcoming General Election.

Speaking ahead of the convention, Noel Coonan, local Fine Gael TD said:

“This is a crucial time for the country and for North Tipperary. I am inviting people to come to Thurles this Friday where Deputy Kenny will outline how Fine Gael’s plan will repeat history by pulling the country out of a deep recession created by this Government of Fianna Fáil, Greens and Independents who played a major part in creating this crisis. Fine Gael has come to the rescue of this country in the past and we will do so again; now and into the future.”

Deputy Coonan’s Roscrea office recently moved location from 1 Rosemount to the more centrally-located former Music Store on Main Street. The new premises is ideally situated and the local TD will be in attendance in the clinic and is also available by appointment on (0505) 31655 or (086) 2427733.

Noel Coonan, Fine Gael TD, also wishes to apologise for any inconvenience caused during the transfer of offices.

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Forget Viagra Bake A Real Irish Báirin Breac


Traditional Irish food is usually very simple yet very, very healthy.

I fool you not, the contents of an Irish Báirin Breac (English Translation – Speckled Cake.) or Irish Hallowe’en brack, are not only highly nutritious and delicious, they are also an aphrodisiac, a mild anti-clotting agent, an aid for arthritic pain, and are a panacea for many other cures, as I will explain later in this blog.

But first let me give you the secret recipe for this nutritious and delicious Irish speckled cake, which requires two hours of preparation, including cooking time.

Recipe Ingredients:
1 pound plain flour -50 g of  butter – 1/2 pound sultanas – 1/2 pound currants – 1 teaspoon dry yeast (dehydrated granules) – 1/2 pint warm milk or black strong tea – 2 eggs – 50g sugar – 1/4 pound mixed peel – 1 teaspoon cinnamon – pinch of salt – and finally a pinch of ground nutmeg.

(1) Warm the milk or tea and mix with half of the sugar and all of the yeast, let the mixture cure for a while in a warm place, to activate the dry yeast.

Yeast: Yeast is a living microscopic organism and is one of the only non-meat sources of B12 and ideal for vegetarians who are often deficient in this vitamin.  Yeast also provides protein and beta-glucans.

(2) Next mix the flour, salt and spices in a bowl, add butter and the rest of the sugar, stirring until you obtain a good mixture.


Nutmeg can be a good cure for diarrhea caused by indigestion and about 10g of this grated powder consumed with apple juice or banana, can provide almost immediate relief. It however is not recommended for people with psychiatric disorders because of its psychoactive properties.
Consuming nutmeg with milk in the morning can be a good remedy for morning sickness. If added to baked foods it can ward off flatulence and vomiting caused by indigestion. Nutmeg increase the blood supply in the body and is sited as a good relief for those who suffer from problems of poor circulation.
For People who suffer from joint and muscle pains nutmeg possesses good anti-inflammatory properties and can be used topically. If its oil is massaged on the affected area for few minutes, it provides instant relief. It can also provide additional rejuvenating properties.
Loss in sexual potency is a very common problem and Nutmeg possesses wonderful aphrodisiac properties.

Cinnamon studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and also have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections. Studies published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland point to cinnamon reducing the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
Further studies at Copenhagen University, show that patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief from arthritis pain after just one week and could walk without pain within four weeks.
When cinnamon is added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth, fights e. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices, thus making it a natural food preservative. Just smelling cinnamon is claimed to boosts cognitive function and memory.

(3) Now add the milk or tea plus yeast mixture with the eggs, beating all enthusiastically into a cream-like consistency.

(4) Add all the other ingredients and mix together well.

(5) Pour the mixture into a greased baking tin lined with greased paper, cover with a towel and let the dough rise to about double its original height in a warm place.

At this stage a traditional ring can be added but do be careful it must be metal, clean and wrapped tightly in greaseproof paper. Remember if you have any concerns about using a ring, then don’t, as dental and doctors bills in the case of chipped teeth or choking, can be costly, both financially and otherwise. Instead use a whole hazel or almond nut promising to give a ring to whoever gets the nut. (According to custom whoever gets the ring in the grack will be first to marry.)

(6) Bake for about one hour at 200 degrees Celsius or 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Result a simple nutritious and delicious Irish recipe for this Irish Halloween Festival time.

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Finally Tipperary Schools Can Get Water Grants

Those of you, our valued 194,522 readers, who doubt our claim that present Government Ministers actually rush to read our blogs every morning, (as soon as they clock in.) please now take note. I am referring of course to our recent blog entitled “Integrated Plan Generating 300,000 Jobs A Fairytale“.

More than 1,800 schools will wake up this morning to the unbelievable news that they are to receive grants worth almost €10 million in total. (Less than the National Lottery prize this week) to help reduce their water usage, and save on bills of €3m annually, paid to local councils.

Water Storage Tank

Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan (Great on the maths, our Donegal friend) will announce today that department officials will contact 1,823 schools with €9.75m of our taxes, offering up to €5,348 per school, to cover the costs of installing percussion spray taps, thermostatic mixing valves and water displacement devices.  Of course she forgot to include, in her plans, provision for roof rain water storage which would assist in conservation and a reduction in flooding. Obviously John Gormley wasn’t consulted about the action plan, prior to the announcement. Big into water conservation our John – or was it water charges – I forget.

Our Tánaiste Mary Coughlan stated: “I would ask schools to ensure that they get best value for money on prices for jobs in the more competitive construction market. These works will reduce the water charges being paid by schools and I am delighted to be able to provide boards of management and trustees with a means to do so.”   No Mary, pet, we the taxpayers are delighted to be able to provide school boards of management and trustees with a means to do so.

Now Mary while you are on the subject of water, could you please sort out something else, the standing charges for water, applied by various local authorities.

Example: The standing charges in different local authority areas vary widely for some, as yet, unknown reason. Standing charges vary widely, from €212 in Thurles born Mary Hanafin’s own constituency of Dun-Laoghaire/Rathdown, to a humble €100 a year in our own Thurles Town. Schools in Co Mayo are paying 0.91 cent per cubic metre for their water supply compared to Roscommon Co Council who charge  €2.39 per cubic metre.

Forget the digital projectors, white boards and teacher’s laptops Mary. Check first if the teacher can send an e-mail and secondly check if broadband is actually available.  Once this information is established, now use the remaining €19 m of that recent €20m school technology fund to get the water sorted and reduce, for the short term at least, our rising flood water and rising unemployment numbers.

Why do I have to spell everything out for you, now get on with it, or I will be taking that trip to Áras an Uachtaráin and you know what that means.

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