Saturday, 24 June 2017

A Promising Future


Something in the air perhaps, certainly there has been a flow of positivity in the airwaves today, a refreshing surge of inspiration has been delivered to us by three men. Three men of independent thought and belief, each encouraging us to stand up and help to make necessary changes to our world for the right reasons.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the Dublin Pride Parade today, said 
“ I pledge as Taoiseach to use my office, for as long as I hold it, to advance the cause of LGBT rights, to press for marriage equality across Ireland, to speak up for LGBT rights around the world where they are under attack, and to push for the implementation of the sexual health strategy here at home at a time when it is more important than ever.”

He continued, "So, I don’t really ask anyone to celebrate the fact that we have a Taoiseach who is a gay man. But rather we should celebrate the fact that we live in a free country, in a democracy where we have a Taoiseach who happens to be gay.”

- We are able to support or criticise him, based on our own beliefs and principles which, to me, is true freedom.

President of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams in Belfast, at a Sinn Féin conference, predicted a successful vote to end partition could come within a "few short years".

"We need a new approach, one which unlocks unionist opposition to a new Ireland by reminding them of their historic place here and of the positive contribution they have made to society on this island. 
Instead of concentrating on the negative aspects of our four centuries of shared history I suggest that we embrace the areas of agreement and of co-operation; of good neighbourliness and the common good. A truly united Ireland will emerge from the reconciliation of the people of this island based on equality."

In England Jeremy Corbyn on The Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Music Festival gave his audience wise words.

After all of the recent gloom and despair that has rocked the people of theses islands it is good to end the week with hope.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

No Apologies

Grenfill Tower

Conservative corporate criminals 
Patently corrupt all human law
avoided fire recommendations
Cared nothing for Safety
other than a rich salary
or a knighthood, perhaps ?

It was avoidable you know 
those tides of hot dense smoke
flamed a flow of terrible anguish
ceasing as cindered corpses
or as unrecognisable dust.
All of those deaths unnecessary. 

Survivors at your feet mrs may
only wanted words of remorse
care, respect and tenderness.
Your burden. Tory truth prevented
Killed immediate contact silenced
your poisonous tongue. dead.

We know now what was hidden…
Decision to avoid action. 
Take a risk, Save a few pound.
2009 to 2017 was it worthwhile mrs may ?
Not your life gone up in smoke
and none of them your relations.

Callous Conservatives caused
Grenfill Tower deaths.

©MRL 2017

Extract from Irish Examiner 19th June 2017

Ministers in the UK were repeatedly warned that fire regulations were not keeping people safe, the BBC says leaked letters reveal.

The broadcaster said letters show ministers were warned that people living in high rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were "at risk".

The dozen letters, sent by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group in the aftermath of a 2009 fatal fire in Lakanal House, south London, warned the British Government "could not afford to wait for another tragedy", according to Panorama.

The parliamentary group wrote in March 2014: "Surely ... when you already have credible evidence to justify updating ... the guidance ... which will lead to saving of lives, you don't need to wait another three years in addition to the two already spent since the research findings were updated, in order to take action?

"As there are estimated to be another 4,000 older tower blocks in the UK, without automatic sprinkler protection, can we really afford to wait for another tragedy to occur before we amend this weakness?"
After further correspondence, then government minister Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams, replied: "I have neither seen nor heard anything that would suggest that consideration of these specific potential changes is urgent and I am not willing to disrupt the work of this department by asking that these matters are brought forward."

The group replied: "We're at a loss to understand, how you had concluded that credible and independent evidence which had life safety implications, was NOT considered to be urgent.

"As a consequence the group wishes to point out to you that should a major fire tragedy, with loss of life, occur between now and 2017, in for example, a residential care facility or a purpose built block of flats, where the matters which had been raised here, were found to be contributory to the outcome, then the group would be bound to bring this to others' attention."

Former cabinet minister Eric Pickles received a letter about fire regulations from the parliamentary group in February 2014, according to the BBC.

In December 2015, the all-party group wrote to the former Conservative minister James Wharton, and warned about the risk of fires spreading on the outside of buildings with cladding.

"Today's buildings have a much higher content of readily-available combustible material. Examples are timber and polystyrene mixes in structure, cladding and insulation.

"This fire hazard results in many fires because adequate recommendations to developers simply do not exist. There is little or no requirement to mitigate external fire spread."

"This fire hazard results in many fires because adequate recommendations to developers simply do not exist. There is little or no requirement to mitigate external fire spread."

Former Conservative minister Gavin Barwell, who was recently appointed British Prime Minister Theresa May's chief of staff, received further calls for action in September last year.

In November 2016 Mr Barwell replied to say his department had been looking at the regulations, and would make a statement "in due course".

In April 2017 Mr Barwell wrote to say he did "acknowledge that producing a statement on building regulations has taken longer than I had envisaged", 

Friday, 16 June 2017


Our supper this evening contained, in amongst the crispy green salad leaves, that not so rare a specimen known as  Arion distinctus Eire or the Irish green slug and yet when treated with the culinary skills that
the dearly loved Mrs H possesses, are also known as Dolmades. 
There were as you can see five of them on my plate, wrapped in giant Irish shamrock leaves, which were grown in our own garden. They were then cooked and pickled gently in white Guinness for seventy two hours, drained and finally stored in a cool place for four weeks ‘till matured.

The Arion distinctus Eire were utterly delicious, very filling as you can no doubt imagine and put the rest of the meal’s ingredients as nice as they were, in the shade.
Mrs H’s skills as a dedicated nocturnal Slug hunter are renowned for miles around. Neighbours have been known to drive to our boundaries with their night glasses and notebooks following her at a safe distance as she makes her selection from a large herd of well fed slithering Irish slugs.

A Slug Supper

And so I wish you bon appétit!

For further information and recipes -

Monday, 12 June 2017


Going through some of unpublished photo’s that I took at the Woodfield Market last month. I came across one of them which gave me confirmation of what I have always thought and could never prove.‘The Little People’[Fairies] always wear the costumes of the present time and because they do so, they are rarely seen today.

Can you spot him ?

Look to where the arrow is pointing

I have been spending a lot of time in recent days studying media reports, from various sources, on what is happening with our nearest neighbours, those on the island that lies between Ireland and Europe.

10 reasons to be cheerful - Not

© The Times 2017

It seems to me that there is an antithesis in the association of Mrs May and the DUP because the accepted social rights of individuals within England, Wales and Scotland differ greatly from those of the DUP.

The D.U.P.
Led by Arlene Foster.

About the DUP
With a third of its members drawn from the late Rev Ian Paisley’s staunchly Protestant Free Presbyterian church, it is unsurprising that recent research found more than half of the Democratic Unionist party “would mind a lot” if a close relative married someone from a different christian sect.

THE LEADER OF DUP is Arlene Foster and their membership includes:

Ian Paisley Jr. who in 2005 described gay marriage as “immoral, offensive and obnoxious.”

Gregory Campbell, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Nigel Dodds, Paul Girvan and
Emma Little-Pengelly. 
Little-Pengelly, the 38-year old MP for South Belfast, was endorsed last month by an organisation linked to the Ulster Defence Association, a loyalist paramilitary group. 

David Simpson, MP for Upper Bann since 2005, is strongly opposed to abortion. He has described pro-choice supporters as “anti-democratic, anti-libertarian and anti-human rights”.

Gavin Robinson, Jim Shannon, Gregory Campbell and 
Sammy Wilson, MP for East Antrim, a former lord mayor of Belfast who has said he thinks climate change is a con.

Personally I would be very loathe to even have a cup of tea with any of them and I do wonder if Mrs May has any understanding of what these people are like.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

" For the freedom of this island our people died"

Recent additions to the Mountmellick Monument.

Lights and Names of Comrades

and more names of those who gave....

and hand crafted benches.

 made by a local craftsman.

We are fortunate to have statements from some of Mountmellick people who took an active part in the liberation of Ireland. One of those was the Adjutant of 4th Battalion, Laois Brigade James Ramsbottom, of O’Moore Street, Mountmellick, Co. Laois. 

“On 23 April 1916, when the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood finalised arrangements for the Easter Rising, it integrated Cumann na mBan, along with the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army, into the 'Army of the Irish Republic'. Patrick Pearse was appointed overall Commandant-General and James Connolly Commandant- General of the Dublin Division.”

Wherever there was an IRA Battalion or an Active Service Unit [Flying Column] there was also a unit of the  Cumann na mBan [the women’s organisation] that did great work in providing support in the fight towards an independent Ireland.

“Looking through the records of this amazing period, one cannot help but be struck by the modernity of these women. For all their studied antiquarianism and the plundering of Ireland’s distant past for inspiration, they were very much of their own time. Many were highly educated, three out of the six women in the Second Dáil were graduates. They earned their own living, demanded equal pay and were independent minded, bold and confrontational. The women were prepared to defy convention and break rules. It was to warlike heroines such as Granuaile and Maeve rather than more conventionally ‘feminine’ women like Emer that they looked for role models.

According to IRA Commandant Michael Brennan, the flying columns would have collapsed without Cumann na mBan. “In despatch carrying, scouting and intelligence work, all of which are highly dangerous, they did far more than the soldiers . . . the more dangerous the work the more willing they were to do it.”

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


A SONG about Tory leader Theresa May has reached the Top 10 in the download chart but the official chart shows on radio stations Capital FM and Heart have refused to play Liar, Liar GE2017, supporters have complained.

Click here: to download for £1 or less to help give Theresa May an election day present she really doesn’t want.

All money spent on downloads of the track up to 8 June will be split between food banks and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

Performed and produced by the band Captain Ska and promoted by campaign organisation the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, the song features various speeches and news interviews from Prime Minister Theresa May followed by a chorus of: “She’s a liar, liar . . . You can’t trust her . . . no, no, no, no.”

The song attacks the Conservative Party’s record in office over the NHS crisis, education and levels of poverty. “When there’s nurses going hungry and schools in decline I don’t recognise this broken country of mine,” goes one of the lyrics.

The song has been available for download from last Friday (26 May) and has been rising up in the iTunes charts, reaching Number 10 at the weekend.

The Chart Show this week did announce that the track had reached Number 10 but instead of playing it went straight onto playing Number 9. Now it has gone to Number 7 and could even be a chart topper by polling day.

Jake from Captain Ska said:
“This can only be seen as an attempt by the media owners to undermine public opinion. Thousands of people have downloaded this track and we demand that it is aired as any other song would be.

“We've written Liar, Liar GE2017 for this general election because we want to do all we can to expose the horrific effects Tory policy has had on ordinary people.

“Theresa May lies her way through interview after interview without addressing the real issues. We’re sick of her and her party of millionaires privatising and cutting our public services while the rest of the country faces deteriorating living standards and poverty. The money is there to improve the lives of the majority but it’s in the hands of the wrong people.”

The above article is by JOHN HEDGES

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Following our visit to Woodfield’s Cottage Market we took ourselves off on an adventure.
Driving along the roads of Tipperary, which border the banks of Lough Derg, we visited a couple of the harbours which provided safe havens for the pleasure craft that sail its’ waters.

A crowded signpost with misleading signs
because the road sign did actually

Brockagh Harbour
the name translates to na brocaí and may mean a dirty (muddy ?) place. 
It certainly has nothing to do with badgers for it is very low lying 
and floods in the winter.

Map of an interesting walk for those whose legs are up to it !

Dromineer Harbour

The name Dromineer in Irish is "Drom Inbhir"
meaning the back or the ford of the river. 

Well, this one could certainly carry a lot of baggage!

Here is an old lady named Miranda that is made of iron - I bet she could tell some tales!

On the skyline are the hills of County Clare in the Province of Munster.
County Tipperary in the Province of Leinster is a long county that shares it boundaries with two provinces in seven other counties: Waterford,Cork and Clare in Munster, Limerick, Kilkenny, Offaly and Laois in Leinster and Galway in Connaught. Five of these are land borders apart from Clare and Galway, which are watery borders. These two counties are divided by Lough Derg, Loch Deirgeirt, meaning "loch of the red eye”’

Ireland’s longest river, The Shannon, which takes its’ name from the goddess Sionnan, flows through the Lough to emerge on her way to the sea on the far side of Limerick City.

Those of you looking for a place to live in Ireland with a grand view 
of Lough Derg might consider this?

Dromineer Bay

Monday, 15 May 2017

An Almost Village

On a green field with a stand of trees where hens once pecked, a tented market blossomed, a street of stalls, an almost village; with a Baker, a Willow Weaver, a Candle Maker, a Poetic Rhymer, a Potter, a Framer, a Soap Maker and a Pizza Purveyor all mixed in between arts and crafts persons, knitters, garment makers and a Wildfood Mistress.

Then came the comers and goers, customers, chatterers, the Happy Sunday People and nosey-parker photographers clicking away quietly.
Yes, it was a resounding success - Woodfield’s of Birr first Cottage Market which will be held on the second Sunday of every summer month at eleven o’clock.


Thursday, 11 May 2017


My blog FIRESIDE TALES contains the stories I wrote several years ago for my grandson.
They tell of an old druid and a young lad discovering the magic of nature and the nature of magic.

I doubt that I shall continue writing this series but if you enjoy reading them then perhaps the adventures will continue in your own imagination......

You can find FIRESIDE TALES on the link HERE

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Hill of Truth !

Our intention this time was to visit several places that Mrs. H has had her beady eye on for the past few weeks so at the weekend we set off on a round trip of two hundred and thirty-three miles. The weather was perfect, the coffee in the flask was strong and the road was ours.

Apart from visiting the places that were on our schedule, my navigation brought us to a small home that I had long heard about but had never seen. Finding it was a surprise and a treat for sore eyes.

Eamon De Valera’s home-place at Bruree in Co. Limerick. 


The Galtee Mountains
photo taken from Lattin in Co. Tipperary

The highest peak in the Galtee range is Galtymore which rises to 917 m (3,009 ft). Although not the highest mountain in Ireland it is very impressive and can be seen as a great backdrop on the skyline. Some of the best views can be found when approaching Cashel, Co.Tipperary from the north and onwards towards Tipperary Town. 
The Galtees are classified as having a High Fall risk for ramblers, with steep and dangerous areas as well as being very wet underfoot so great care must be taken when walking there.  

My favourite view of The Galtees

By mentioning The Galtee Mountains and Eamon De Valera it has brought to mind a song about a comrade-in-arms of his which I share with you here:

The song of the Galtee Mountain Boy

We continued along our route, travelling further south until we finally saw the outline of Cnoc Fírinne, Co. Limerick. Known as the Hill of Truth or of truthful prediction, because it serves as a weather glass to the people of the surrounding plains who can predict whether the day will be wet or dry by the appearance of the summit in the morning. It is here by tradition that the Irish God, Donn, has another home. 

The Hill of Truth

Cnoc Fírinne

I find it humorous that the male gods are more than likely to be found in the high places and associated with weather, death and truth, whilst their female counterparts are generally found lower in the landscape, in caves, valleys and rivers. 

On the drive home we both felt a bit weary and yet satiated from all that we had seen, the happy memories of which will remain with us. Thank you for visiting this blog and I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it.