At the time of writing, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, pictured right, was pledging he’d get around to visiting the communities affected by the recent cold-blooded killings in Kilmore West and Darndale in North Dublin, “as soon as I can find a little time”. Wow! Perhaps you’ll fit them in when you’re done quizzing Maria Bailey over her regrettable ‘swing-gate’ debacle? Then again, maybe you’ll ‘find a little time’ in between writing gushing fan-boy letters to Kylie? Or, is it possible you’ll pencil them in around those impromptu busking sessions you love so much? As someone who grew up in Kilmore West, (coincidentally on Kilbarron Drive, the road directly behind Kilbarron Avenue, home of one murder victim and crime scene of another), I personally find Leo’s attitude insulting.
Then again, there’s a chance it’s not Leo’s fault. You see, it’s possible our posh-boy leader is, (like many I’ve spoken to over the past week), of the opinion that, due to the escalation of serious crime in this area, the community probably aren’t all that worthy of a State visit. I mean, how many of them are even likely to, ‘get up early in the morning’. Now readers, if this is the general consensus, then I believe it’s a clear indication of how our everyday language and news reporting styles, both in print and in broadcast media, (and social media), have disgracefully contributed to the way in which we perceive some areas of our country.
Don’t believe me? Remember how Roscommon was scandalously belittled for being ‘the only county to vote against same-sex marriage,’ leading to us being unfairly scrutinised by the eyes of the world during the Abortion Referendum, to see which way we’d swing! (Ooops sorry Maria, there’s that word again). I’ll tell you folks, there were many times over the past months, when, having been asked how I could…and I quote, “live down in that backward hole,” (I stress again, not my words), I found myself robustly defending this county, often engaging in many a boisterous verbal exchange; using words unbecoming of a lady. I’m not a person who’s confrontational by nature, (no, seriously I’m not), but I will not stand by while ignorant halfwits demean this fine county, categorising us, (yes, I’m one of ya now), as being unsophisticated. And that dear readers, is just my example of how certain language can have the ability to taint and dehumanise all that is good about our thriving Roscommon; and indeed other decent areas.
And so it’s the same for Kilmore West. You see, I have friends living there. Decent hard-working friends who’re not just raising families and contributing positively to society, they’re also friends who’re not ‘known to Gardaí’. However, due to certain perceptions and commentary surrounding the latest spate of frighteningly brazen murders, these friends, because of their location, are now being labelled as ‘disadvantaged,’ and ‘socially deprived’ – and that’s discriminatory. Violent crime, or, as we call it, ‘organised crime,’ and murder is not an acceptable activity in Kilmore West, no more than it is acceptable anywhere else in Ireland.
In addition, by society placing the highly provocative label ‘the Gucci Gang’ on these cancerous pieces of scum, we’ve managed to make them sexy! After all, despite having no visible means of income, these gang members flamboyantly flaunt their wealth, drive flash motors, and wear designer jewellery as they pump bullets into their victims without fear of punishment. Sure is it any wonder that some naïve individuals view this lifestyle as being profitable.
And, what’s worse, by Leo being so indifferent and so dismissive of the urgent need for his government to show solidarity and address the seriousness of the situation, such is the visceral nature of organised crime, we can be sure, vulnerable school-going kids, (already de-humanised as being ‘socially deprived’), will find themselves becoming the unwitting vessels of coercion and control. If someone doesn’t do something soon, sadly, to the detriment of us all, the in-fighting will intensify, the cartels will implode, the violence will escalate across this entire country and the carnage will continue. Leo, it’s time to grow a set, love!
We’ve still got it girls…and somebody wants it!
It appears Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden’s risqué fashion choices were seen as so contentious, they not only overshadowed the contestants, they also generated a flurry of complaints to Ofcom! And, even though I’m not a fan of a show that has, in my opinion, never once produced an entertainer who has managed to grip my attention, (apart from finalist Victoria Wood knock-off singer/songwriter Siobhan Phillips), I did tune in to see what all the begrudgers were moaning about. I mean what is it with the great British public and their enhanced curiosity when it comes to Amanda Holden and what they view as her distracting side boob, under boob and every other body part she decides to put on display?
Look ladies, just because we reach a certain age, it does not mean we should be judged and dissected under a microscope by small-minded covetous aul curtain twitchers whose only objective is to rip us apart. Nor does it mean we should suddenly stop wearing skinny jeans, sky-scraping heels and leave our hot sexy selves behind! And, even though that bloke at the petrol station called you madam this morning, (hate dat), remember, he wouldn’t stand a chance with you anyway, so brush it off, ‘cos your head turning days are not yet over.
You see, just because where once there was flawless skin there now spurts an array of pores so deep they’re expanding like crop circles across your face, the fact is, we’ve all still got it, sisters! However, here’s my little tip: In order to get that same I’m-not-wearing-any- foundation look you used to effortlessly rock in your 30s by, ahem, well, not wearing any foundation, slather on the primer then add a layer or three of tinted moisturiser…job done.
Yes ladies, there may be a few crow’s feet, and it’s true, we may be mortifyingly aware of every droopy body part and every grey hair, but don’t fret. Just take my advice, and, this week, when you go shopping for clothes, do yourself a favour and, instead of opting for function, opt for fashion, because the blush has not yet fallen off that rose; Mamma’s still got it, and believe me girls, somebody out there wants it.