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Water woes, refunds and rights!


It’s almost a full week until this paper is out, as I am writing this on Friday, but everywhere I look I read about the water refunds that Irish Water are presently writing cheques for, and being honest, I am a little bit annoyed at the whole thing. You see, I won’t be getting any cheque in the post, because for years now I have paid for my water as a member of a local group water scheme and so, while everyone else gets their water for free, we have to continue to pay for it and, in truth, I am getting a bit fed up with the situation.

  Now I make it quite clear that I have no problem at all with the people who do a great job running our scheme and, in fairness, the quality of our water has improved no end over the years. But I still don’t think it’s right or fair that we must pay for ours while the rest of the country gets off scot-free.

  The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a report which highlighted the fact that, nationally, our water is in a terrible state, with sewage and all kinds of horrible stuff making its way into our waterways. They said that Irish Water has not got the resources to do anything about it, so, unlikely as it seems, I think we should all have to pay something for our water and by doing so will ensure we have a top quality supply.

  However, as long as the government thinks otherwise, surely everyone should be treated the same and, if water is to remain a free commodity, then it should be free for us all. Group water schemes should be taken over, funded and run by the relevant County Councils. I will never understand how city dwellers, who have everything laid on at their doorsteps, should be getting their water for nothing while those who live in a rural area must fork out every year for what, after all, is a basic human necessity.  

Let the man sing!

I’m back on track now, as it’s Monday afternoon. Last night I had the chance to put the feet up, relax in front of a lovely warm turf fire, read the paper, and watch the first of the new series of the Nathan Carter Show. There is no doubt that the young Liverpudlian has it all – very confident in front of the cameras but not in an overbearing way, a lovely singer, highly talented musician and not afraid to have a bit of fun at his own expense. All in all, the show was very enjoyable and highly entertaining.

  He had, amongst his guests, the legend that is Johnny McEvoy, and my very small gripe is that Nathan sang most of McEvoy’s biggest hit, Mursheen Durkin, (fifty years since it was top of the Irish charts) before McEvoy appeared. So there was only one verse and chorus left for the Offaly man to sing when he was finally brought on stage. Now I know it’s nit-picking a bit, but surely he could have let him sing the whole song, as it’s the song we all associate with him, the one which gave him a career and a life-changing number one hit.

The Three Amigos head for Pyongyang!

Talking of politicians and the work they do, I cannot believe that three of our highly-paid TDs, John Halligan, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath, hope to visit Kim Jong-Un in North Korea after Christmas to talk to him about nuclear disarmament. If the rest of the world, including all the power the United States can muster, can’t get through to the North Korean leader, dubbed the ‘Little Rocket Man’ by Donald Trump, it’s highly unlikely that a trio of our TDs can get through to him.

  Anyway, after the expose on RTÉ recently about the skullduggery going on right here in the accommodation sector, the continuing revelations about the carry-on in An Garda Siochana, the banks still robbing innocent people, the rail strikes paralysing the country, the thousands of homeless on our city streets and the threat of ISIS even here in Ireland, they might have enough to do without trying to put manners on our friend Kim.

Jackie’s book is a page-turner

Talking of life-changing experiences, while I was on my recent visit to Portiuncula Hospital, my brother  Billy gave me a copy of Kilkenny hurler Jackie Tyrell’s autobiography and I just couldn’t leave it out of my hand.

  The nine times All-Ireland winner lays it all on the line and there is nothing left unsaid about his obsession with playing for Kilkenny. I am not going to spoil the story for you but if ever you wanted to understand how driven a man can be in pursuit of his sporting goals, this is the book for you. I, for one, can certainly appreciate how that Kilkenny team won so many All-Irelands.

  Christmas is coming, so this book would be a great present for someone and, even if no-one else will buy it for you, make the break and get it for yourself – it was the most riveting read that I have had in a long time.

Well-deserved recognition…

On to local matters, and the big news is that the Rural Development Committee, who are really the Tidy Towns Committee, were honoured recently when, collectively, they were named as the Personality of the Year.

  The award is due recognition for the wonderful work which so many people have put in through the years to make Creggs the attractive village it is today, and while I won’t mention individuals, everyone here knows who they are and they deserve our thanks and congratulations for a job very well done.

CD launch in Glinsk

Finally, for this week, the outgoing Personality of the Year, Tom Connolly, tells me that on Friday, November 24th, Tommy Burke and his daughter, Rachel, are launching a new CD in Dowd’s of Glinsk, with all the proceeds going towards the building of a church in Tanzania.

  Dene Lane and Gracelands will be providing the music on the night and there will be other special guests. While I must admit I have never heard Tommy or Rachel sing, I’m told he sounds like the late, great John McCormack and if he does, that is good enough for me. Put it in your diary, head for Dowd’s that Friday night and buy a CD or two and, please God, I will see you all there and I might even have a pint of Eileen’s bubble-free porter.  



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