Friday, December 15, 2006

Gun Crimes - solved or sorted?

The Garda commissioner has said today Dec 15th 2006 that of the 23 gun murders this year 8 are solved and they are close to solving 3 more. However, solved does not mean people being arrested or charged, not to mind convicted and sent to jail.

Part of the problem we have in Ireland now is that the Gardai are solving crimes but they can't bring convictions. We saw that with the Gardai's knowledge about two of the men killed in Dublin this week. Both 'Martin "Marlo" Hyland' and the man killed in the IFSC were done to the Garda but where they are jail?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Our hard working forefathers

Every budget time in Ireland there is a cap tiping reference to paying back our forefathers who made this country what it is. Now, I have no general objection to taking care of our older people and especially those who have fallen on hard times or find themselves unable to take care of themselves. However, the suggestion that each and every one of them had slogged all their lives to provide for the overall wellbeing of the nation as if they were all engaged in some national struggle just doesn't hold water.

It is the sort of wishy-washy nonsence that makes most people under 40 in Ireland wonder if the past really happened at all. We're forever hearing about how much easier and relaxed life used to be in days gone by. If that were the case then they can't have worked as hard as people have done in the last 10 years.

Oddly enough you never hear about paying back our forefathers for the appalling mistakes they made, instead that is all the past, water under the bridge. If you turned 65 last year in 2005, you would lived through the 60s when educational opportunities expanded widely, then in 1977 more than half the population voted for the FF manifesto that abolished rates, car tax, and did they worry where the money was going to come from? They've made out like gangbusters in the property market in large part because of planning screw up they were directly responsible for.

I know plenty of people nearing retirement or who have retired who worked damn hard in Ireland and they will be the first to tell ya about the wasters in their areas who never worked a hard day in their lives. They are disgusted to find that their contribution is lumped in with those others who didn't pull their weight when times were tough.

For help our older people, but do it because they require the assistance and not because of some smokescreen of how it is something that each and every one of them earned.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Shamday Independent.

In today's Sunday Independent (Dec 10th 2006) on Page ten of the Life magazine, one of their writers a Pat Fitzpatrick does a Top Five piece as a guide to rugby

Their No.1, is "Limerick : The myth states that only the common man plays rugby on Shannon-side, so Limerick's middle class need to take working class lessons if they want to go to Thomond Park. In any other place, this would involve lessons in how to behave on the buses, what to say at greyhound racing and the best way to fold your tabloid under your arm. However, in Limerick, these are the signs of an aristocrat. There, you need to study top tips for driving a getaway motorbike, the beginners guide to walking free from court and the dos and don't's of showing your guns to Pat Kenny."

Now, I'm as much in favour of free speech as the next person but this sounds quite out there even to me. Firstly, and as if to prove the person writing the piece made minimal effort to ground their humour in reality, the real myth about Limerick and rugby is that everyone plays it and everyone is a fan indeed that even disaffected teenge goths are aficionados of the game unrivalled throughout the world. There is no suggestion that only the common man plays it. Seriously, what game is Pat Fitzpatrick suggesting middle class kids in Limerick play, ice hockey?

And Pat then moves on to make comments about working class people being the sort to use buses, frequent greyhound racing and read tabloids. Hmmm, we're really going to sort out traffic problems by implying that the better class of person doesn't need to take the public transport unless its on rails. While I'm not much of a fan of greyhound racing I recognise that the folks driving into most greyhound racing stadiums around ireland could buy and sell the rest of us. And isn't the home of greyhound racing in D4? Ok, it might be the Ringsend part of D4 but it's less than 10 minutes from Lansdowne rd. Lastly, isn't the Irish Independent a tabloid these days?

Then to finish up by claiming that all of Limerick's working class are criminals displays a lack of concern for personal safety that would make one certain that Pat Fitzpatrick has to be a pseudonym. Fact is that few criminals would choice to use a moterbike in this weather, far easier to steal a car and burn it out. walking free from the courts is usually assisted by the judicacry and showing your gun to Pat Kenny is such a primary school thing to do. Perhaps, that is where Pat heard about it during sos.