In last week’s piece I talked about the programme that was recently shown on telly about the old traditional pubs still left in Ireland, and I suppose the overwhelming feeling was that we were lucky to still have them, and that it would be in everyone’s interest to keep them open.
Most of those featured were family-owned, and in many cases had been handed down from generation to generation, and while there is no doubt that times have been tough for all businesses, they were still open and carrying on the very important pub tradition in their respective areas.
And so the inescapable conclusion is that after suffering so badly for the last number of years in all areas of retail, and as we now are told recovery is on the way, you would think that everyone in authority would do their best to help and support long-suffering businesses.
Then I heard a lady on the radio from Waterford City who runs a business which has been 50 years in existence, Dunphy’s Shop & Hardware, and she told a tale of bureaucracy and political correctness that you would find hard to believe.
Dunphy’s have a big open yard frontage where people can drive in, pick up a bale of briquettes, or a bag of coal, or just park while they were inside in the shop getting their bits and pieces, and that particular area was invaluable to their business.
Now the Town Council have slapped a compulsory purchase order on the yard because they are setting up a new cycle lane for the many people who have now taken up the sport of cycling.
Now I’m not like George Hook, who makes no secret of his contempt for cyclists, and all they stand for, but I feel sure that the council could bring their cycle lane elsewhere.
The lady from Dunphy’s was in no doubt that the loss of their parking area will have such an adverse effect on their trade that sooner rather than later their 50-year-old business will be forced to close with the loss of several jobs.
She said they are now competing with all the multi-nationals like Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu, and even though all those (and more) have opened in the last 15 or twenty years, Dunphy’s have had to adapt and are still ‘going strong.’
How sad and ironic, if, after all that and the recession as well, it was the action of their own City Council that was instrumental in bringing them down.
Let’s hope sanity and reason will prevail and there will be somewhere else found for all the budding Sean Kellys and Stephen Roches to enjoy their ever-increasing (in popularity) sport, but it can’t be at the cost of losing a local institution.
Sticking with the sunny south-east, but moving sideways to Co. Wexford and website Donedeal has an unusual item for sale where a Lovely Oak Coffin, with one careful owner from new, is on offer for the paltry sum of €99.
There are one or two scrapes (so the owner mustn’t have been that careful) – the casket is very comfortable, although when the seller tried it out he said his legs were sticking out, which would appear to be a bit of a problem, but as he said it’s Dead Cheap, and it’s looking for a good home.
I’d say it’s a bargain, but somehow, I can’t see a huge rush to buy it! I know we’ll all need one some day, but knowing your coffin is waiting out in the shed for you wouldn’t be that good for your mental health.
Many years ago a coffin magically appeared on the roadside near Creggs – investigations confirmed that it had been ‘borrowed’ from Chrissie Kilby’s and left on the road for a ‘good one’!
Could it be that it has once again come to life and is now back on the market in Wexford? Anyway I’ll keep an eye on the sale and see how it goes!
Changing to a less morbid subject and one of the national pastimes is to give out about home-produced television programmes, especially comedy and light entertainment ones, and, in truth, a lot of the times they do leave a lot to be desired.
Last night, Friday, I tuned into Imelda May’s new TV show on RTE and I have to say I thought it was just fantastic – I think she herself is an amazing artiste but the line-up she had on last night, musically, was absolutely top class…the Hothouse Flowers, The Lost Brothers and some band with apes in the name, were all excellent, but my new musical heroes, Kodaline, stole the show.
I’m so sad I missed them in Galway last weekend, and have said I’ll catch them the next time, but sadly I’ve been told that old grey-haired men who remember The Stones, The Beatles, Manfred Man, The Shadows, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (not many remember them), and all the greats of the sixties, should stay at home and listen to their vinyl LPs.
Be that as it may (no pun intended) but Imelda put on such a good show that I’m looking forward eagerly to the rest of the series – the good start will make it difficult to keep up such a high standard, but here’s hoping for a few weeks top quality entertainment on Friday nights.
Yesterday, Sunday, I had to miss the Open Day in Donamon due as they say to unavoidable circumstances, but as I drove towards Galway City at around mid-day I couldn’t but reflect on the various festival committees in our area and how they must be looking in horror at the ongoing downpour.
Now I have no idea whether the bad day affected any of the attendances at the Heritage Festivals in Ballintubber and Rooskey, the Pattern Festival in Brideswell, the Environmental one in Lanesboro, the Vintage Day in Mountbellew, or the Open Day in Donamon, and I hope that it didn’t, but it’s sad to think that on the last weekend in July we can’t rely on having any summer weather.
I had met Fr. Pat Hogan on Friday evening and he told me all was set for the Big Day, but he was hoping the weather God might look down favourably on Sunday – sadly he didn’t, but there’s always next year.
Finally for this week, I have told you in the last few years of Gortnadieve native Delia Hegarty, as she celebrated her 100th, 101st and 102nd birthdays – sadly she wasn’t to make 103.
At the weekend she passed to her eternal regard. She was a truly remarkable woman, and my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.
‘Till next week,
Bye for now