Thursday, December 31, 2015

Update 31st December

First I want to correct a reference I made last week where I said that Eugene Murphy had lost out in the last County Council election. I was told by a friend of mine that such was not true and that he had topped the pole then. I had Eugene mixed up with another high profile councillor.
While one makes mistakes from time to time it annoys me that I do so and I am only too happy to correct same. Don’t hesitate, if you see a mistake, especially of fact, in what I have written to let me know. Spell check can only do so much and while mistakes can hide in the submitted draft they jump out in the published article.
So Mea Culpa to Eugene and best wishes in the testing campaign ahead.
Eddie Wynne R.I.P. 
I attended the burial of Eddie Wynne in Boyle on a cold wet afternoon on Thursday. I had met him down the years here and there. I was surprised when it was suggested that he was around ninety years of age. He was a great supporter of Roscommon and Boyle football in his day. I met him in recent times in Drumderrig Nursing Home where he was in care in recent times and we would have a few words about football, the weather and the minutae of life. He was predeceased by most of his family connections. I remember being at a funeral in Assylinn a good few years ago now and Micheal O Callaghan and I were walking away and how ever I put it to him I seem to have asked if he had any connection to the deceased. He replied that he had no family connection but that he knew it was going to be a small funeral and that the deceased was an old time Boyle person and he felt he should be there. It is alright to be at the funerals of the mighty but to pay respects to the lesser known decent souls as they pass to their reward is a good thing to do.
Garda Clampdown on Defective Car Lights
I see from the Home Page of realboyle that the Gardai are to clamp down on defective lighting on cars. As some of you might remember this is an issue with me. I focus particularly on that front right light which if blown gives the impression that an oncoming vehicle has but a single light near the opposite ditch and so could be a motorcycle.  While the annual number of people killed on the roads is down this year 2015 there were a lot of fatalities over the Christmas period for whatever reasons.  

The Celtic Tiger Re-Appears
I am told by a Boyle friend living in Dublin that a taxi driver, in an anecdote, measured the  return of the arrogance of the early 2000s’. The example relayed was of a customer ‘throwing’ a €20 note at him for around half the fare. The taxi driver did not like the process and told the customer that the fare was what it was and throwing money at him was not the way to go. The customer enquired ‘What’s your problem?’ or words to that effect as such customers would.

The National Issues Facing into a New Year; As I see them.
Being the time of year when one reflects on such things I nominate my list of the huge issues facing the country currently with little optimism for solution or even alleviation;

A.  Homelessness…. with its attendant strands (1) Families on the streets; in hotels and so on. (2) The cost of houses for first time buyers especially in Dublin/Cork/Galway and (3) Those with mortgage arrears and negative equity.
B.  The Health Service….patients waiting to be called for appointments , patients on trolleys, cost of Health Insurance, hospitals like UCH Galway being like war zones, understaffing and over-demanding work-loads leading to staff emigrating to better working environments  
C.  Child Care costs for working parents and the lack of state provision of creches and such
D.  Taxation; direct and indirect (disguised).
E. Traffic management in the cities like Dublin and Galway which are decades behind other European equivalents. 
F.  The number of young Irish who are abroad and would like to return but cannot trust the negative side of Irish culture on numerous levels.
G.  The continued development of the East centred on Dublin and the decline of rural and small- even medium- sized towns in Ireland. The Pale still dictates.
H. Crime and concern for crime possibility. A swathe of border country which seems to be a law unto itself, due to legacy issues. A legal system which is cost- prohibitive to the majority of people. The structure and power of the vested interests in the legal system.
I.  Social inequality…..the wealth of the country still owned by a small percentage of the population. This is of course an international template. 
J.  Gombeenism as represented by the recent RTE Investigates involving some county councillors and processes exemplified in the question; ‘What’s in it for me?’
The Banking system’s contempt for its customers, especially senior customers. as the system marches towards automation.

Maybe some other time I will reflect on the positives for this little idyl.

Have a Happy New Year. It promises to be an interesting year on many levels,
locally county wide and nationally. as they all are 


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