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From the kitchen table

From the kitchen table

There are few things as haunting as the abduction of a child ... believe me, I know!

Another day, another city, another hysterical parent, another innocent child abducted…gone…in the blink of an eye. Child abduction or attempted child abduction, although rare, can happen to anyone; even the most conscientious parent/grandparent/minder. You’re in the shops, juggling with several bags and an energetic toddler, your attention is diverted for a single second and bam…your child has vanished.

  Like every parent/grandparent listening to the news last week, my heart lurched in my chest when word broke that a toddler, someone’s baby, had gone missing from a Primark store in the UK, allegedly abducted by two girls, themselves, at age 13 and 14 years, mere kids. Surely to God this was a mistake?   

  Thankfully the alleged little victim was found safe and well. Later, when it emerged that, according to disturbing reports carried in the Irish Independent and other media, the alleged kidnappers, both formally charged with the crime of ‘kidnap with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence’ had, before snatching the child, shoplifted such items as dummies (soothers), baby milk and a bottle, I just couldn’t hold back the tears…and the rage; because for me, this procedure appeared to be premeditated!

  You see, there are very few things as haunting or as horrifying as child abduction, or even a possible attempted one, and last week’s incident brought back horrific memories of two years’ ago when my beautiful angel of a granddaughter, then 7, and her best pal were approached by two teenage girls whilst playing on the secure landing, literally outside of her mother’s door, in their apartment building which is located in a quiet, but densely populated, north Dublin suburb.

  The teens, according to CCTV footage, and neighbours, were not resident in the apartments and therefore should not have been able to gain entry due to not having the main door security code. Yet they managed to get inside unhindered, travel in the lift to the third floor, and, when the doors opened, grab my granddaughter and her friend and drag them both inside the lift. However, mercifully, my granddaughter’s quick-thinking averted a tragedy. She kicked, punched and screamed at her attacker, managing to release herself; those screams alerted her mother who immediately contacted the rest of the family and the Gardaí.

  I have to tell you readers that when my former husband called me, starting the conversation with, “relax now Mill, everything’s okay but…” I knew something was wrong. Panic and terror were just two of the emotions I experienced as I was, in that instant, propelled into the kind of hell I could never have imagined.

            It was the kind of hell where you know the child you adore beyond all comprehension had been in mortal danger and there was absolutely nothing I, her mother or anyone else could have done to prevent it; other than of course, teaching her age and ability appropriate safety skills; which we had, and which, I believe, saved both hers and her pal’s lives that day.

  However folks, as I calmed down, sheer relief, consolation and reassurance began to soothe and quieten me; then, as the lingering effect of this cruel and unusual incident began to blight my soul, my composure was quickly overshadowed by  incandescent rage and murderous intentions and I prayed I’d get my hands on the pair of sociopaths before the Gardaí. Yep, I’m not ashamed to say retribution entered my head and took root; especially when, following a fruitless Garda search, one member of the force, whom I’m not expecting to make detective anytime soon, concluded, “ah sure it was probably just two young wans messin’,  ya know teenagers.”

  Sherlock probably had a point, then again, maybe he hadn’t and maybe these evil, degenerate brats will strike again; we’ll never know. We never caught them. What we do know is, we dodged a bullet that day, we were lucky, and so was that little British toddler.

Bono…a man with a plan!

Ah sure don’t ya just love retired nun and all round good egg St. Bono; the man who has managed to be photographed whilst being flanked by such prolific figures as the Pope, supermodels and Hollywood royalty and lauded for, what – well, being a cliché I suppose.

  Yep, you just have to hand it to someone who, along with banging out a few albums with his band, has successfully turned his hand to trying to cure the entire world of all its ills, keeping him and his pointless opinions barely relevant and yet, still in the spotlight.

  I mean you can’t open a newspaper, click on an internet site or turn on a radio without hearing his witless waffle and last week’s ludicrous suggestion whilst speaking to a US Senate subcommittee on Capitol Hill was no exception. Yes folks, our resident goon-in-waiting mortifyingly proposed that the way to combat terrorism is not through strategic planning; nay, it’s satire and laughter. A good aul belly laugh!  And he was serious! I know that ‘cos, amidst the politicians’ piddling sniggers God, sorry Bono said…”No, I’m serious.” Let me know how that works out for ya pal!

It’s Wine O’Clock – but addiction is not just for the rich and privileged!

An implant, traditionally prescribed for use by heroin addicts, which contains a drug called Naltrexone, is being used by professional women in their 30s, 40s and 50s who apparently cannot cope with the trials of everyday life without their nightly bottle of wine! Wow, now this is worrying. What’s also worrying is that, at a cost of €1,150, this drug is presumably being administered to wealthy, spoiled princesses who can afford it; or as I like to call them, the Ladies who Liquidly Lunch!

  But what about those women who, following a particularly bad day, are feeling lost, lonely, isolated, beaten down, desolate and depressed by life, and who, due to lack of support, get the urge to crack open a bottle of cheap wine? They do so in the hope that they’ll somehow manage to find a bit of solace – and a smidgen of comfort – in that delicious nectar but don’t realise that they’re possibly, dangerously, drinking themselves into an early grave? How will they afford the €1,150 for this rich, privileged woman’s treatment? How will they manage to ‘buy’ themselves a cure and rid themselves of this vicious cycle? That’s what I’d like to know.

 

Wear Orange – and help this heroic couple and their beautiful children

I want to write about a local mother and father this week. They are Paula and Padraic Naughton. They are parents of handsome little Archie (10); who, along with his cute, cherub-like twin brothers George and Isaac (5), has been diagnosed with the terminal condition that is Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

  I’ve never met this couple, but I’m familiar with the family’s plight – as most Roscommon People readers no doubt are.

  This brave mother, along with her dedicated husband, Padraic, has spent each day battling to save their sons’ lives and raise awareness of DMD through the ‘Join Our Boys’ Trust.

  As parents, we don’t expect to outlive our children. It’s not the natural order of things; one can only imagine what it is like to have to cope with the knowledge that all three of your exquisite, irreplaceable babies are suffering from a terminal condition…to have to cope with the knowledge that the odds are stacked against them, that they’re facing the injustice of possibly never getting the chance to live long enough to reach their full and fabulous potential as adults, as contributing members of society, as husbands, as dads and as uncles.

  Yet, despite this unfair adversity, this extraordinary family were interviewed in the Irish Independent this week, and, rather than being a household engulfed and overwrought with despair, they came across as upbeat and full of hope for their boys; defining themselves as a loving unit, as a couple who can actually manage to be three people at once; partner, parent and campaigner!

  This heroic couple are trying to make sense of their children’s illness by raising awareness of Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy.

  The Naughtons are a shining example to the rest of us. When the unthinkable happens, when we hit rock bottom, there is still something solid beneath that despair; something which we can use as leverage to climb back up again and fight, battle, wage war and somehow, soldier on.

  This couple’s resilience is so admirable, as is the support they have received from the Roscommon public.

  Paula has said she and Padraic are “privileged to have the boys as our children.” They are also privileged to have you as their parents! Privileged to have two superheroes in you and Padraic, a mammy and a daddy so intimately involved, so undeniably strong, that, if, God forbid, should the time come where you face the unfaceable and have to cope with the unendurable, your bond as a couple will prove unbreakable. I wish you hope, continued strength and oodles of love.

  Please Wear Orange on 1st May – it’s the three Naughton boys’ favourite colour and donate €2 to the Join Our Boys fund. For more info log onto www.joinourboys.org.

Z-listers grovelling for attention – hardly headline news!

It must have been a slow news week for those elite, cutting-edge folk sitting on The Indo’s backbench production line; then again, maybe it was just their attempt to prevent an unpopular drug mule hogging the headlines that garnered a ridiculous lead story in the publication’s ‘Style, Celebrity News’ section.  ‘This is what bikini shopping looks like when you’re Vogue Williams,’ they enthused.

  Methinks the creative team needs a shake-up if they believe this is interesting fodder. You see, social butterfly Williams, whom it appears, constantly walks around with a duck face pout, wearing scant else but her skivvies, oh, and that bloody ‘phone which is moulded to her hand, shared yet another, half-naked, mundane mirror selfie whilst wiggling into a ‘new Calvin Klein bikini in Dundrum, with her hair fresh from a bouncy blowdry and perfectly manicured nails.’ Yeah, yeah, we get it Vanity Smurf, you’ve got amazing baby pec action going on, you’ve got a ‘thigh gap’ and you can afford designer swimwear.

  What next? ‘This is what shopping for loo roll looks like when you’re Vogue Williams.’ Cringeworthy on so many levels.

Local Car Wash in aid of Kids’ Charity Barnardos

 

Those delightful deli dollies down at Applegreen Service Station in Tulsk – you know the one, it’s at the crossroads – have organised a Charity Car Wash in aid of Barnardos Children’s charity this Sunday, 17th April, from 11 am to 4 pm.

  The lovely ladies tell me the caring kiddies from the local Tulsk GAA U-12s will be rolling up their jersey sleeves and helping to wash customers’ cars alongside service station staff. 

  “We want the local community to come and join us on the day to have fun and help raise funds for Barnardos; and, no matter how big or small the donation, remember it will help to change a child’s life,” says Caroline.

  Motorists are invited to take their car along, have it washed and make a donation to the charity. In addition, there’s going to be a Spinathon and other events going on until 4 pm; so do drop by, it’s a very worthy cause…and please be generous! 

  Sure maybe I’ll see you there; my own car is so dirty it looks like a rolling skip; it’s only a matter of time before some smartass writes ‘wash me’ on the boot!

 

Why I won’t be tying a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree for Michaella!

Okay, forget what you’ve heard, because it appears crime does pay! Well it does if you’re an arrogant drug mule like Michaella McCollum Connolly, the 23-year-old Tyrone woman, whom, while holidaying in Ibiza in 2013 ‘disappeared’ before raising her cheeky head over a week later in Lima airport where she was arrested along with gal pal Melissa Reid as they, according to the Irish Mirror, were ‘trying to board a flight with 24lbs of cocaine hidden inside food packages in their luggage.’ Yeah, you remember her, the poor, put-upon lickle “I’m not a bad person” Michaella, bless, is now free and sure you can almost hear the bluebirds sing, flutter and bob about her luscious platinum blonde locks.

  I mean, doesn’t she look amazing with her flawlessly made-up face and enviably long, toned legs encased in a pair of designer ripped jeans that would make fashionistas weep as she granted us law-abiding folk an audience, with her first ever interview afforded to RTE following her release from Peruvian ‘hellhole’ Ancon 2; or as it’s affectionately known by those lie-spinning jailbirds like McCollum Connolly, ‘Hell’s Hacienda.’

  Well hang on there now a second my precious while I run out and tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree for ya! And hold still while I get in touch with those good ole’ country ‘n’ western folk and see if they’ll pen a little ditty in your honour…the ballad of the Peru Two! Eh, NOT!

  You see I don’t feel anything but utter contempt for selfish, mendacious drug mules, especially ones who aren’t prepared to pay the piper if they’re caught and who initially claim they ‘were forced into carrying the drugs.’ Okay, the pair did eventually come clean and plead guilty, but not before weaving an elaborate tale which first came to the public’s attention when Michaella’s distraught family launched a Facebook appeal for information concerning her whereabouts when they hadn’t heard from her for ten days.

  The whole incident was reported at the time by the Evening Herald which stated: ‘The girls said they had been threatened at gunpoint to carry out the task for the drug dealers,’ with Michaella, in an Oscar winning performance, adding for effect, “This man approached us as we were on a night out and offered to show us a good time in San Antonio. He was the one who handed us over to the South Americans. There was always the threat of violence,” she added. “In the house, the men openly carried guns and would frequently point them at us. We both had a pistol put to our heads with the trigger cocked. We would have done anything they said.” As a mother, I can just imagine what this terror must have done to the reckless, molly-coddled, self-serving young woman’s own poor distressed mammy, Norah.

  Now while I’m sure Michaella and Melissa Reid are not bad people, rather they are more likely two bloody conniving eejits, the fact is what they did was wrong, and, to be honest, serving just two years and three months of an original six-year-eight-month sentence is absolutely no deterrent whatsoever. Mind you, neither is emerging from said ‘hellhole’ looking like they’ve spent a month at a 5-star health spa!

  Now I’m all for rehabilitation – sure when I was living in Dublin I designed and delivered education programmes for those in the Irish prison system – and I’m glad Lima-based Bishop Sean Walsh has offered Michaella a voluntary position with his Church, where he’ll provide accommodation in his own home, with the prospect of her being ‘allowed to work and study if she wants to do that,’ but sorry folks, in my opinion, these concessions are more than this manipulative, deceitful drug mule deserves. This woman thought she could callously break the law, make a mint and pee all over the rest of us right-thinking individuals as she did it. However, I do agree with the Bishop’s comment regarding the cunning, impudent little madam, describing her as “innovative and productive” – well, she’s certainly no Forrest Gump figure, that’s for sure, Bishop Sean.

  Now Michaella’s been sprung, I’ve no doubt this reformed and fine upstanding citizen will earn a fortune working the circuit with appearances on the likes of Ellen, Celebrity Big Brother and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, et al, giving us the two fingers as she tearfully claims to have suffered some sort of makey-uppey, unspecified, unpronounceable disorder that made her lie, cheat and deceive an entire nation! I know… maybe she could go into politics!

Why do we tend to blame the ‘other’ woman?

Here’s a thought – wouldn’t it be great if we were all forgiving wives willing to turn a blind eye to the hubby’s ‘sextual’ banter (should it occur) with another woman – especially when said other woman is a hot, 29-year-old blonde bombshell – and instead believe sleazy hubby’s lies, sorry, claims, he only responded because, by way of doing him a service, the hot harlot was sending him “information she wanted to pass on.”

  Now what kind of a thicko would ya be to swallow that? The kind that is Tess Daly – well, the kind of thicko her sordid, low-life husband Vernon Kay would like us to believe she is. Now mind you, apparently poor misguided Tess seems blind to the fact her creepy hubby ‘Uncle Vern’ is a despicable prat who appears to care sweet feck all for her or their two beautiful kids and instead chooses to lay the blame firmly at the feet of said ‘sext’ message bearer Rhian Sugden. Perhaps this is denial, perhaps it’s a coping strategy or perhaps Tess doesn’t want to lose her role as one half of a massively earning power couple; who knows? Let me tell you girls that a man you cannot trust is dangerous to your very survival status because it means your family’s time, attention and resources are now being diverted elsewhere.

  Women suffer greatly when lied to, meaning that if Kay is lying about his reasons for his inappropriate sexting to another woman, Tess will already be in pain, even thinking she’s losing her mind, feeling in some way that she’s personally defective, imagining things when in fact the opposite is the truth…her gut is telling her that the tension she’s experiencing in her mind and body is justified and that she should throw this rat out and find herself someone she can trust, someone who is worthy of her and someone whose ‘phone she won’t have to police for the rest of her married life! I wish her the very best.

Breege’s timely concern on Mental Health service

Last week’s report in this newspaper where Breege Callaghan of the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association expressed ‘grave concern at the number of mental health patients who are being involuntary admitted to the psychiatric unit at Roscommon Hospital,’ is very worrying indeed – and Ms. Callaghan is right to be concerned.

  People, whether mentally ill or otherwise, have a right to refuse treatment just as they have a right to receive it; however, sadly these rights can often become the focus of debate and dispute for those who suffer acute mental illness and their concerned families. That said, I would personally opine that, in an emergency situation, all scenarios are off and if a loved one or a member of my family was showing an imminent threat to their own, mine, or another’s safety, then I’d step up and do all I could to protect them from themselves, even if that meant having a health specialist provide involuntary treatment.

  Roscommon, Ms. Callaghan claims, in terms of psychiatric supports “could be 20 years behind other counties,” and I suspect this lovely lady is quite correct when she suggests we are not in receipt of the same services as others; a set of community resources would be a far better solution to coercion. What’s needed is a critical care emergency plan that provides the necessary communication and supports between patients, medical care-givers and families. While I know that laws are in place to serve citizens, we must not forget that those who are mentally ill have rights even when they are experiencing an episode that seriously impairs their decision-making abilities. Maybe it’s time our Mental Health Act 2001 was overhauled?

 

My advice to female drivers…which may help eliminate risk of assaults

Last week a 26-year-old woman became the third victim of thugs who are preying on vulnerable drivers by impersonating members of an Garda Síochána. Now, I don’t wish to panic anyone, especially female drivers, so I will add that these attacks occurred in County Wexford and not in Roscommon.

  However, this is very serious and very worrying, because these thugs could strike anywhere, and for those of us living in rural areas where Garda stations are practically deserted, due to the government’s massive cull, I would urge all drivers to be extremely vigilant, especially when out driving alone.

  Now according to reports in last week’s Irish Independent, the advice coming from ‘a source,’ presumably someone in the Garda press office, is this: “As a matter of procedure Gardaí, whether uniformed or plain clothed, must carry garda identification with them, and members of the public can ask for this to be produced if they are concerned. However, these incidents are very rare.”

  Now first of all, I’d say three incidents occurring one after the other in the same county can hardly be described as ‘very rare,’ now can they? Also, if the assailant manages to get close enough for you, his victim, to ask to see identification, then he’s (or they, as in the above cases), are close enough to assault and rob you so that piece of advice is, well, bloody useless I’d say!

  I mean, when you’re a woman who is out and about, driving alone, minding her own business, and, given these worrying incidents, it’s now clear to me that crashing or breaking down are not the only risks we face; nay, carjacking, assault and battery, robbery, rape and falling prey to bogus police impersonators have now become the crime du jour it seems. While it’s very important not to panic and not to restrict our movements, ladies, because we can become fearful and over-react, I’d like to say that while it’s important to keep the advice of the Indo’s ‘source’ in mind, I’d also like to share some of my own personal safety tips…they may prove useful, they may not; you decide.

  Always keep your wits about you and be on the lookout for a possible confrontation. Given these recent and serious attacks, I have to confess I’m worried; so if I feel I’m driving safely, am under the speed limit and a ‘garda’ car suddenly appears and flashes and signals for me to pull over, and I suspect the occupants are not genuine, well I think I’ll keep driving at a steady pace, acknowledge that I’m aware of the request to stop by putting on my hazard lights, and head for the nearest police station or to a well-lit area, or a petrol station where there’s people, or even into someone’s drive-in where it’s clear there are occupants in the house. I’ll dial 999 to see if there’s a car patrolling the area and, if needs be, apologise if the nice Gardaí are in fact the genuine article and take my chances with a fine. I do hope they understand.

   When parking, I always find a well-lit area and reverse into it; that way it’s easy to make a quick getaway should the need arise. I never, ever, park beside a large vehicle that doesn’t have glass side panels; it’s too easy for possible attackers to hide inside undetected.

  I always have my keys ready in my hand because I don’t intend to give a possible attacker time to grab me as I disappear into my large handbag looking for them; and, once inside my car, all doors are locked immediately.

  I would never stop for a lone person, especially a man, who flags me down on the side of a rural road. I will however, drive on up the road, pull over and immediately call the Gardaí and advise them of his location.

  As someone who has absolutely no sense of direction, and who simply cannot read a map, I make sure my route is planned at all times; in fact, hubby draws me what I call ‘an idiot guide map’ – this lowers my risk of getting lost…although it still happens!

  When stopping for petrol/food/coffee, I never advertise my vulnerability by telling anyone I’m travelling alone by using words like ‘myself and the hubby’ or ‘we’ if a stranger engages me in details regarding my journey.

  Look ladies, I would imagine that 99 per cent of the time, driving alone is perfectly safe; however, as I’ve said, given recent reports highlighted in the meeja, it’s clear there are exceptions and potential risks; so my final piece of advice is to chat with your friendly local Garda, he/she will be able to provide lots of useful, practical tips that will help to illuminate you and eliminate possible assaults of the kind that occurred in Wexford.

  Safe driving.

Beware of the ‘thought police’

Last week I heard what I would call one of the most outrageous cases of political correctness I’ve ever experienced. You see readers, it appears the  ‘thought police’ have now highjacked, re-shaped and taken the fun out of one of our country’s most loved and most cherished festive traditions; Easter!

  Yep, it’s true, some anal retentive know-it-alls at chocolate giants Nestle and Cadbury have apparently declared war on the Easter Bunny by divorcing him from the offending word that is ‘Easter’ removing it from our eggs. However, according to Nestle, editing out that inflammatory word ‘Easter’ was probably just an accident, an oversight because there was “no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter from our products.”

  Oh right, so it just happened to drop right off the packaging then? Kind of, gone AWOL like? Meanwhile, back at Cadbury’s HQ, the explanation went like this…“The word Easter is still there in small print on the back of the packaging to reassure people that they are actually eating a chocolate Easter egg.” Oh cheers Einstein, and now while it’s true that brains aren’t everything, in this spokesperson’s case I suspect they’re actually nothing, because you see, the fact is, if something is shaped like an egg and made out of chocolate, and I’m eating it at Easter, then that’ll kinda be my hint, won’t it…but thanks for your insightful explanation. 

  Seriously folks, what will the politically correct ‘thought police’ edit out of our lives next…Paddy’s Day?

Comhghairdeas Marc!

 

It takes an incredible amount of guts to get up in front of a crowd and sing live; so, this week I’d like to say a massive well done to Boyle native Marc Egan on his performance on RTE’s The Voice of Ireland last weekend. What an entertainer and what a genuinely nice guy.

 

  Marc is certainly a positive representative of his family, town and county and, despite the fact he’s said his life has been a rollercoaster in the past, surviving a car crash and a job loss, I’d say that ride is not about to stop any time soon, but from now on, it will be all ups and no downs as I predict lots of interest in this young man’s enormous talent. Comhghairdeas Marc!

 

Wanted! Someone with a brain and a heart to run the country!

As we, the people of Roscommon, prepare to celebrate the centenary of our country’s Easter Rising, as we prepare to honour our heroes and our ancestors who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of social justice for all Irish citizens, the sad fact is, following all the hype of a General Election, our country still lacks a provisional government!

  Let me tell you, the irony of that situation is most certainly not lost on me.

            Last week, as our arrogant, narcissistic politicians displayed their usual grandiose sense of self-importance with their fantasies of unlimited power and battled it out to see who’d win the big prize, net the fat salary, become Taoiseach and lead our country, a vulnerable voter was fighting for his survival and his possessions in his rural home.

  It’s true, amid all of their wheeling and dealing, their promises and pledges, they were ignorant to the fact that a member of their electorate and, most importantly, an elderly pensioner, was being beaten to a pulp with his own walking stick. And, as the main party players all danced a merry jig around each other like nervous schoolgirls attending their first dance, each nominating their own thick-necked leader as Taoiseach, a gang of four – and there is no other way to describe these gutless parasites but to label them despicable scumbags – were, according to the Irish Independent, demanded money with menace from this helpless, elderly senior citizen. Well, you know the old saying, there’s no honour among thieves and in this case, it’s certainly true of these spineless pieces of slime.

  Ah yes, another week, another stomach-churning story of a violent, unprovoked attack on a cherished father, a taxpayer, a man who contributed to his community, a man trying to live a peaceful life in a rural setting, but whom instead had his security and tranquillity shattered and violated by a group of cruel, vile thugs who know that rural Ireland is now practically un-policed and open for pilfering!

  But there was a scene folks, across the country, in our Capital city, smack-bang outside of the GPO, the building that holds enormous historic and symbolic importance to the Irish people, the sacred ground where a century ago, a group of seven visionaries led our small nation into a fight for independence, the building where, on Easter Monday, 24th April, at precisely 12.30 pm, the Tricolour was raised and a proud and brave Pádraig Pearse valiantly emerged onto O’Connell Street and read the Proclamation. 

  Fast-forward to 2016, and a charitable soup kitchen, manned by compassionate volunteers, doles out food! Yes, it is this very same building, on that very same spot, that, last Saturday, just a few kilometres from the opulence of Dáil Eireann, the Irish Independent reported that a three-year-old toddler, a pig-tailed, bright, bubbly little girl, hungry and homeless, stood waiting for her dinner! How the hell can this have happened? How can our country and our people have been brought to this level of desolation?

  I’m bored silly of hearing our caretaker Taoiseach’s ebullient gushing about how the economy is rising…well wake up and smell your own bulls**t Enda, and, while you’re at it, you and the other party leaders should go and get an MRI scan to see if any one of you possesses a brain and is capable of becoming our Taoiseach!

  As you all engaged in your feeble battle of wits in the plush confines of Leinster House to see which of you peacocks will rule the roost, an innocent child, in a fight for her very survival, was forced to queue on the streets of our Capital on a freezing cold March night in order to put food in her empty little tummy, making it crystal clear to me, that poverty is also growing!

            When a 93-year-old senior citizen, significantly born into the bitter, bloody republic of 1923, is not safe in his own home, it’s blatantly obvious that the thick, black clouds of austerity are still hanging over us, casting a dark, depressing and disgraceful shadow over the freedom and social justice our ancestors fought so valiantly to protect.

            Shame on the lot of you! You make me sick!

Enough with the Nude Feud Ladies!

We all know that boys will be boys and girls will be, ahem sluts; especially if we’re perceived to call too much attention to our bodies; sure it’s just blatant old-fashioned, misogynistic sexism at its ugliest. And, with the current social media trend of posting naked selfies, a la Kim Kardashian, the sickening term of so-called ‘slut shaming’ has once again raised its ugly head.

  Now I’m all for self-expression and I’m all for women empowering each other and fair play to Kim for showing us all her post baby bits and boobs, and what have ya, and maybe she’s not attention-seeking, as some have suggested, maybe her hubby’s ever-growing debts have rendered the poor girl knicker-less, and maybe I should setup a ‘go fund me’ page to buy her a decent thong.

  Whatever Kim’s reason for showing us her bikini wax, I do agree with veteran entertainer Bette Midler when she says “if Kim wants us to see a part of her we’ve never seen, she’s gonna have to swallow the camera.” 

            You see, wasn’t it only a few years ago that Kimmie got all hot and bothered over the release of a ‘leaked’ and highly revealing sex tape that apparently led to a ‘devastating’ time in her life, bless her, prompting me to suggest…if you don’t want nude pictures of yourself floating around the public domain love, don’t post them!

  However, Sharon Osbourne’s show of solidarity and support of Kim was nothing short of cringe-worthy. The former X Factor judge and reality show participant posted her own ‘nude selfie’ with the caption, “@kimkardashian you inspired me! #liberated #thetalk.” Well Shazza, I can tell you that when I saw your picture something else was also #liberated … me dinner!

Old Ford, one careful owner

I can certainly see why Calista Flockhart thinks old Fords are the most reliable; especially when it comes to her sexy hubby, Harrison. While I’m no advocate for dating toy boys, I do understand why many women find them attractive. However, isn’t it better to have a man who has a past, someone whose history is just toxic enough to rival your own and who, like you, resembles road-kill the morning after?

  Ah yes, give me a craggy-faced man any day; at least his five o’clock shadow will be thicker than mine! But I digress. My reason for finding old Ford sexy is his recent public support of adult daughter Georgia’s struggle with Epilepsy, saying, “She’s my hero. I love her.”

  According to Brainwave/Epilepsy Ireland, it’s estimated there are 30,000 to 40,000 people with epilepsy in this country. Now while I do understand that animals and humans are different, my beloved faithful little friend, my Jack Russell Sophie, who was like a daughter to me, sadly suffered epileptic seizures from the time I rescued her as a six-week-old puppy ‘till her death at 19 years.

  Epilepsy Ireland has a local office in Sligo. For details of their Outreach Service, why not contact them on Tel: 071 91 41858.

  In the meantime, Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh.

 

 

 

 

 

Is custody battle about power or parenting?

When parents get embroiled in a child custody battle they normally do this based on the understanding they’re doing what’s in the best interests of their kids. But is this always the case?

  I thought I’d ask this question given Madonna and ex-husband Guy Ritchie’s custody battle concerning their 15-year-old son, Rocco. Madge is the woman who seems to spend her time provocatively gyrating around in skimpy clothing and whom, only last week, caused controversy when she posted a raunchy pin-up type drawing of a rather portly lady, her naked backside sitting down onto what appears to be an unconscious man’s face on social media. Not exactly the type of behaviour becoming of a mammy now, is it?

  However, this posting does not, in any way, suggest that Madonna is not a good mother; I’m sure she’s a wonderful mother and was just making a bold statement, even if Guy Ritchie is alleged to have labelled her as “controlling.” And, I ask you readers, what mother of a teenager doesn’t try to keep control? I’m also sure that Ritchie himself is a wonderful father.

  However folks, to be reasonable, the social media posting of  mistress of sleaze Madonna’s risqué picture is poorly timed,  and I’d imagine many teenage boys would run a mile, never mind hundreds of thousands of miles, (as Rocco has) to disassociate themselves from this type of outlandish and seriously adolescent-like behaviour.

  Now while I think it’s wholly unfair to relentlessly identify any woman, even if she is Madonna, by her age – and this is not what I’m doing here – I would have thought the shock factor that began with her incurring the wrath of the Catholic Church for seducing a black Jesus in her 1989 video for ‘Like a Prayer’ – add to that her compulsion to date men young enough to be considered foetuses – would have abated now she’s fighting to retain the custody and respect of her beloved teenage son.  However the fact is, Madonna, at nearly 60,  is still defiantly doing what she damn well pleases, and has done this ever since she first snapped on a pair of fishnet stockings, gyrated and simulated sex whilst wearing a conical bra live on stage all those decades ago!

  However, now with this very public custody case, Madonna needs to realise that she’s not just peeing off the Pope, rather she’s engaging in the most revolutionary, subversive and definitely the most serious act of her career; the act of showing she’s a grown-up, and, while my heart goes out to all those involved in this tug of love, the sad fact is you simply cannot force a teenager to live with you if he/she doesn’t want to. And  if you’re the type of mother (and Madge clearly is), who posts a provocative picture of her then 14-year-old son doing a back flip whilst wearing a pair of orange boxer shorts, captioning it with such mortifying comments as “Rocco’s preferred profile #nosausage,” well now, you’re bound to court criticism.

  If I was advising Madge, this is what I’d say, mother to mother: Allow your son space, but let him know you’re there for him whenever he’s ready to engage with you. The very essence of being a teenager is to be rebellious…now surely this is something that you, the woman who enraged the Vatican and whose tour is called ‘Rebel Heart’, can identify with. Try to look beyond your unbearable hurt and see that the alleged ‘controlling’ influence you may once have held over your child has now switched to his dad, or perhaps even to his peers; and, agonising though that may be, peer groups and dads can tend to have a bit more influence in moulding the behaviour and developing personality of a stubborn 15-year-old lad.

  While I do understand that sometimes mammies may have to engage in mortal combat tactics – and if it were me I’d be channelling my inner Rambo – perhaps it’s time to take a back seat love, give the lad time to miss you, oh, and note to self…re-think those incendiary images like the highly controversial one you posted on Instagram of your then 13-year-old son and his pals holding vodka and gin bottles, captioning it, “The party has just begun! Bring it! 2014.” Also, if, as reported in the Irish Mirror, you allegedly told concert-goers you’re “looking for a husband not a cxxx. I already married a cxxx,” are true, you may also need to rethink the juvenile attention-seeking behaviour. I mean, WTF, are you trying to give Guy all the ammunition?

Menstrual leave… would  ya stop PMS-ing me off!

An announcement last week that a UK company is planning to create an official ‘period policy’ that’s designed to give women going through their menstrual cycle time off is really PMS-ing me off!  

  Look, as a woman who has been through hell and back, due to the taboo subject that is ‘the monthly cycle’ which, for me, arrived at age 10 years, rendering me to suffer a series of medical procedures and operations too numerous to calculate – eventually culminating in an emergency, total abdominal hysterectomy a few years ago – I have to say this policy is bloody patronising. 

  Not only does this very specific sick leave terminology taint and target all women, (and our poor, broken, bleeding, feeble bodies), it’s humiliating and condescending, making us appear helpless and weak and labelling us as having the inability to perform (as well as men)  carrying  out normal day to day functions and tasks at certain times of the month! Now I know some women suffer horrendously during their period; as I said, I was one of them, so I’m not making light of our plight, but, during those days, I personally never once asked a boss to treat me differently or more delicately than my male colleagues; and why? – because I didn’t want, nor did I need, the added attention or discrimination!

  I popped a couple of painkillers (hoovered down a family bar of chocolate) and soldiered on, because that’s what we do; we don’t break down and treat our ‘inconvenience’ like a debilitating physical handicap, in the same way as some puny ‘Man Flu’ suffering male colleague might! Look, if an employee (male or female) is in pain, they should be allowed to go home, and not because of some gender specific policy but because the person is in pain and it’s the compassionate thing for an employer to do.

  To be fair, if employers want to treat us women more humanely, my suggestion is, stop labelling us and inventing ‘policies’ around our menstruation; instead, what about giving us equal pay and simply adding a few extra days normal ‘sick leave’ to our contracts?

  To be honest, we don’t need policies to be devised around our bodily functions, we don’t need to be treated as a hindrance or a burden at certain times of the month and the very fact that some employers are discussing us in such denigratory terms is the bigger issue in my book!

The world according to Pippa!

I can’t let this week go by without asking readers if anyone else is sick of the eccentric froth that regularly spews forth from misguided mother earth Pippa O’Connor? This week she’s in the Irish Indo reprimanding busy mothers, telling us,  ‘There’s no excuses for sloppy tracksuits –  you always have five minutes to make yourself look good.’

  Seriously love, well you know what, when you’re an ‘ordinary’ as opposed to ‘celebrity’ mother like the rest of us with a sink-full of dishes, an infant with a temperature of 102, three linen baskets full of jam-stained clothes and had your ‘phone flushed down the loo (courtesy of your two-year-old), i.e. when you’ve got real-life ‘mother’ problems, then we’ll talk fashion…okay!

 

 

What makes them sexy? It’s not Science, it’s Chemistry

If I had the exact scientific formula to create the world’s sexiest man, I’d bottle it, sell it and make myself a bloody fortune. However, I don’t think the result would be the enigmatic actor Leonardo DiCaprio, a somewhat fickle male who has reportedly bagged no less than nine Victoria Secret’s models and who recently, it’s alleged, had his sights set firmly on our own lovely Laura Whitmore.

  You see, as women, we are often complicated and incomprehensible creatures – kind of explains why these models keep flocking towards serial boyfriend Leo, and why, when polled, many lady friends of my acquaintance voted for him as their ideal sexy man. An also-ran in my ‘sexy man poll’ is he whose waistbands are so high he should be singing falsetto with the Bee Gees; Simon Cowell. Well girls, I have to say, in my opinion, Laura Whitmore’s wannabe squeeze wouldn’t even have made it to the top three!

  Carlsberg don’t do sexy men – but if they did, and I was placed in charge of their marketing, (or for those in the posh seats, mooorkishing) – I’d champion someone who is confident, tender, sensitive and so caring he holds your hand (or rescues you) whilst crossing the road. Think Donal, the guy who plucks darling, little lost piglet Piggy Sue to safety in the Vodafone ad. 

  For me, sexiness is not just based on physical attraction; sure a bloke could look like Montgomery Burns from the Simpsons yet still turn me on, because once a man can carry out an intelligent conversation with me, hang onto my every syllable, look me in the eye when he’s talking to me so that I know he’s telling me the truth; and once he possesses a commanding vibe that makes other women green with envy, wishing they were in my stilettoes, then, in my book, he’s quite simply sex in a suit. Oh he’d also have to be kind to animals too!

  Some women find wealth a turn-on – and yes, I love money, I do – but what happens if his surname is Trump? Will his bulging bank balance be enough to hold your interest? Seriously girls, despite the fact this wannabe US President’s business acumen has obviously been blessed with guidance from Mother Nature; I mean, he’s clearly a money maker; I’m afraid his face (and hairline) must surely have been cursed by Father Time. So it’s a big fat ‘Yeuch’ from me when it comes to fancying  ‘the Donald.’

  However, as I carried out my mini-poll, I did notice the absence of any Irish male talent in my friends’ top totty list, so, for the record, here’s my two cents worth.

First off, without stating the obvious, he-who-must-be-obeyed is top of my list; but following in close proximity, and in no particular order; here are my ‘also rans.’

In our 1916 Rising  Centenary year, (and it’s the 20th anniversary of the movie Michael Collins), it’s got to be Liam Neeson for looking like, and for portraying  my all-time hero on the big screen. Liam is also a lover of my ‘must-have’ and ‘most desired’ motorbike, Harley Davidson.

Roscommon man, actor Chris O’Dowd, the quintessential homeboy done good, because he is so cute, so cuddly, so talented, so tall and he has never once forgotten his Oirish roots. When he played Officer Rhodes in Bridesmaids I’d have violated all kinds of traffic legislation in order to make sure Chris took down my particulars. In my opinion, dreamy O’Dowd clearly eclipses all other Hollywood hunks currently doing the rounds in La La Land by a mile.

With the Republic of Ireland set to possibly be the most supported team in the Euros (come on Ireland), former Ireland footie hero Niall Quinn makes my list because he was so sensitive and caring when, way back in 2002, he comforted younger team players following Ireland’s knock-out in the World Cup. Back then, I watched the entire disintegration poolside from a Turkish hotel and cried my eyes out; but don’t get me started on the Saipan incident!

Gabriel Byrne, because when he played the Devil in the movie End of Days I’d have had no problem selling him my soul.

Graham Norton. Yes, I know he’s gay and I don’t stand a chance, but he makes me laugh. There is nothing sexier than a man who’s not afraid to speak his mind and at the same time take the mickey out of himself…ahem, do please pardon the expression.

Lads, we only lie for your own good!

According to a survey carried out by UK insurance company Privilege, women are more likely to tell a few porkies than men…now wait, there’s method in our badness…we lie to make others feel better; so my interpretation of this is that we lie to keep the peace, thus resulting in damage limitation. 

  It’s my belief that when it comes to telling the odd porkie, women are more analytical and pay more attention to detail meaning when the situation demands that little white lie, well, we have a tendency to weave it into an intricately-sewn whopper. (I hope I’m never strapped into a lie detector, ‘cos it’d explode).

  Sometimes we women lie to make our partners feel better because if we told the truth all of the time their poor egos would plummet to the soles of their well-worn shoes. On the other hand, if your relationship isn’t strong and you’re unhappy, then those little white lies may border on deceit. My solution lads? – If you don’t want us to lie to you, don’t ask us so many damn questions!

  Here’s the Miriam Kerins method of making life run smoothly. When walking down the street with your man and a sexy Chris O’Dowd look-a-like strides by, resulting in you getting severe whiplash as you try to get a glimpse of his tight buttocks; in the interest of furthering inter-gender understanding, just say: “No darling, of course he’s not my type, he’s ugly;” even though you know every bloke over 6’ is your type!

  And that birthday gift he got you; well bite your tongue ladies, and, through clenched teeth mutter “Oooh, a set of kitchen knives, how thoughtful. Come over here and let me test them between your shoulder blades for sharpness.”

Cheryl and Liam…a genuine attraction?

According to The Sun newspaper, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (32) and 1D’s Liam Payne (22) ‘are secret lovers.’ OMG he’s a kid! Ok, he’s a rich kid, but a kid nonetheless!

  Look, there’s no polite way to say this so I’ll just spit it out – there are so many things wrong with this alleged situation; whereby the suggestion that these two are engaging in a game of tonsil tennis and who must surely be on the rebound from previous relationships, an entire psychiatric conference could be based around it.

  On the other hand, Cheryl’s been living in the claustrophobic world of failed relationships for so long she’d  probably snog the leg of a table, leading me to worry that if these ‘secret lover’ allegations are true, Cheryl’s  possibly now reached what I’d call The Black Flag stage and needs to have a  massive reality check. I wish them both well.

 

Ronan shaaays it besht when he shaaays nothing at all!

We’re all familiar (and bored) with the barely out of short pants, toothy Ronan ‘grand, thank God’ Keating and Storm Uechtritz saga; he loooooves her, she loooooves him, yawn, bloody yawn!

Seriously, does this couple have a sickening smug fetish or what? However, it appears the public relations department have been working overtime at chez Keating lately, especially when, last weekend, the newly married man/boy appeared on The Jonathon Ross Show, and, oozing all sorts of dotey and ponsy PDAs, (that’s public displays of affection for those reading in black and white), he revealed he’d like to have a second family with wifey Smog…sorry Storm.

Now we all know the man/boy has three gorgeous kiddies with his former wife Yvonne, so, for me, it came across as a bit rude, ungracious and downright inconsiderate to hear him bleat on about how it would be “smashing” yes, he actually got all fizzed up as he used that lil’-ol’ -man-kind-to-animals-and-old-ladies term to describe the anticipation of starting a ‘new’ family which I felt was a massive smack in the face to his ‘old’ family.

Not to mention the fact he is reported to have said he ‘got the four of us’ (3 kids and then fiancée Storm) together and we said, “Storm will you marry us?” Seriously??? Quick, pass the sick bucket!

I mean, how inconsiderate is that to his former wife and mother of his kids? Now don’t get me wrong; I like RoRo, I really do. I’ve interviewed him many times when I worked for The Evening Herald and RTE and he has always been extremely respectful and accommodating to me, even offering me an exclusive interview with him one evening, despite the fact I’d mercilessly slagged off the abysmally poor sales of one of his former solo attempts using the headline ‘when you sell nothing at all.’ Ouch!

So it’s fair to say, he’s got good manners; he’s genuinely a nice man…so how come those positive attributes seem to have totally deserted him when it comes to publicly discussing his desire to start a new family?

You see folks, seeing your parents split up can be devastating; believe me I know that from my own heartbreaking experience. I was the one who ended my first marriage and it still devastates me that I had to take such drastic action; so I can only imagine what it’s like for the kids in those relationships, especially ones that are in the public eye, even if those kids are adults.

However, if one of your parents then decides to make public their plans to start a new family with a new partner, probably even becoming more hands-on than he/she did with you, (because, through no fault of their own, their job took them abroad, or forced them to spend long hours at the office, etc.,), well now, that can probably prove soul destroying.

Furthermore, when I read an article where RoRo gushes “I’m happier than I’ve ever been,” and “Storm makes me feel secure. It’s very refreshing,” I felt nauseous.

And I pride myself on having a strong stomach. I mean, I’m probably the only one in Ireland whose stomach contents didn’t evacuate all over the sofa when the delusional gits who made up Boyzone, one of our country’s first manufactured boy bands, debuted on live TV assaulting our retinas with their embarrassing dance moves back in the 90s.

But look, in light of the fact RoRo is a nice man/boy, I’ve decided to come to the conclusion that it’s not disrespect, rather he’s just currently on a high with the release of his tenth album Time of my Life (BTW it only sold 203 copies here in the first week) and his desperate and continuous attempts to forge an acting career; and while I’m sorry to be the one to say it, RoRo, there is not one shred of evidence to support the fact you can actually act, we need to cut you some slack love.

You see, this is how it will probably play out for pop’s latest loved up duo… Ro/Ro and Storm will spend their fifteen minutes of fame hiding behind a confusing mishmash of vapid and banal funk, PR hype, over rated balladry (him) and big hair (her) while former wife Yvonne stays schtum and carves out a brilliant new career by ‘taking on new projects.’

In the meantime, a bit of advice to Ro/Ro, to use the words of one of your songs…you shaaay it besht, when you shaaay nothing at all pet.

Was Caroline told to ‘Flack Off?’

Now if I were Dermot ‘Troll’ Leary I’d be smirking, smiling and busting my gut laughing, because she who was reported to be doing the horizontal mambo with her big-assed, blunderer of a co-presenter Olly Murs has allegedly been dumped from next year’s X Factor line-up.

Yes it appears, following a negative response from viewers, Caroline may have been told to ‘flack off,’ by Queen Cowell.

Ah never mind love, while Simon says ‘au revoir’ we all know what we’ll be saying to this smart cookie in six months’ time when work in this viciously cut throat industry begins to dry up…”I’ll have three singles and a fresh cod please.” Meow!

Now I Ain’t Saying he’s a Gold Digger!

Kritically Unacclaimed and Kompulsive Tweeter Kanye West has taken a mini-break from social media ranting; and while silence may be golden, for the, ahem, gold digger, I swear I can hear this dull, delusional little rapper dude’s solitary brain cell dying.

Personally I was getting bored of him bemoan how he’s experiencing a personal debt to the tune of $53 million, even embarrassingly requesting that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg give him $1 billion to bail him out! Well colour me purple, call me Barney and correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this the same waste of two billion years in evolution, who regularly adorns himself and his pampered wife in expensive fur coats?

My suggestion for shaving a few dollars off the family expenses Kanye would be to stop dressing yourself and the missus in the skins of innocent, murdered animals and slip into something more comfortable instead…like a coma!

Our beautiful teenagers…suffering from the Kardashian Syndrome

To your horror, your beautiful teenage daughter, whom you love beyond all reasoning, has suddenly, inexplicably begun to forensically and compulsively examine her body shape and complain about her appearance.

  She’s becoming obsessed, comparing herself to Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian, and while the hard work and the financial success of these two reality stars/models who constantly bombard impressionable young teens with social media images of their flat stomachs and pert derrieres can prove inspirational, the fact is, it’s unnatural and I worry that it’s creating a situation where many young girls will resort to unhealthy and harmful behaviours in order to try and control their weight.

  I mean, you only have to look at a report in this week’s Daily Mail where a young girl, Rebecca Smith, now a 23-year-old personal trainer, is described as a ‘former anorexic,’ whom back in 2012 when she was only 19, was so desperate to emulate the waif and wasted look of a supermodel, she weighed just six stone and was running ten miles a day. I can only imagine what her worried parents were going through.

  So, this week, as we are on the cusp of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which is being held from 22nd to 28th February, I have to ask, how does a parent know if their teen is simply experiencing a typical, faddy food stage in puberty or is indeed, suffering a more serious and sinister problem?

  Well, according to www.bodywhys.ie, there is currently an estimated ‘200,000 people in Ireland’ who may be affected by eating disorders, with ‘an estimated 400 new cases’ emerging each year, ‘representing 80 deaths annually.’ Now, for me, this means there are too many young lives at risk and some of them are right here in Roscommon with youngsters eating a restricted diet that is based on their desperation to stay thin and emulate some silly high profile personality that looks more like a mutant than a human being.

  These poor impressionable kids are in grave danger of doing permanent damage to their health by denying their still-developing bodies’ important fat, the type that is essential for the beneficial and vital development of their young brains and nervous systems.

  These kids, whose desire to have the perfect bodies and pouty bad girl attitudes of what I would call The Kardashian Syndrome, are now resorting to begging parents for cosmetic surgery procedures with some even employing extreme DIY behaviours such as self-imposed disfigurement…remember last year’s bee stung lip craze debacle – meaning the word ‘perfect’ has sunk so deep into their susceptible consciousness, tragically, it has almost become the adjective-du-jour.    

  This leads me to fear that we are now about to morph into a nation of emaciated female sticks, crowned with copper-blonde lowlights – with a hint of ombre-hair extensions; a sort of caramel, candy-apple lollipop on legs and, as a parent, I find this blood-curdlingly chilling.

  Now while people deal with poor body image in various ways, and while I do admit I’m also one of those ‘Perfect Body Syndrome Wannabes’ too, I mean what women doesn’t yearn to sparkle and look her best? And, even now, as I’m at an age where I should know better, I still watch what I eat, preferring to cook everything fresh and from scratch and refusing to eat junk food. I have my hair cut and dyed regularly, I marinate in fake tan and crave a higher derriere, firmer boobs and, I’ll let you into a little secret, if my Lotto numbers ever come up nobody will recognise me ‘cos I’ll get nipped, tucked, sucked and buffed to the extent that not even my dental records will be capable of identifying me.

  What I will not do however, is starve myself in order to look like some over exposed, gobby tart who permanently stalks the glossies and tries to break the internet with photoshopped images of her hideous, oiled-up bare arse and ghoulishly small waist because you know what girls, in my opinion, ‘celebrities’ who promote such images shouldn’t be on TV, nor should they be on your teens’ ‘friend’ list; rather what they should be on is a psychiatrist’s couch!

  If you’re worried about your teen’s eating behaviour, please contact www.bodywhys.ie for advice.

A little public service announcement for dog owners

Do you own a dog? Yes? Well listen up, ‘cos this concerns you. If, like us, you’re responsible dog parents, you may already have your fur babies microchipped. However, if not, bear in mind that as and from next month (March), ALL dogs must be microchipped…it’s the law.

  It actually became a legal requirement for all puppies to be microchipped from last September, but, as of 31st March, this extends to all doggies. Therefore in order to comply with this new legislation, take your pooch to your vet now, have a microchip implanted, register your details on a government approved database and make sure you have a valid certificate as evidence of your compliance. A government approved database is one that meets the requirements of SI 63/2015 and they are currently Animark, Fido and the Irish kennel Club but do log onto www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/dogmicrochipping/Databases for the most up to date information/list. 

  On a personal note, we deal with www.fido.ie and find them very helpful but as I said, you do your own research, consult your vet and do right by your pet. It’s not just the responsible and humane thing to do, it’s now your legal obligation; and about time in my opinion.

  And for those so called pet lovers who don’t chip their dogs, well, they’ll be facing fines ranging from €5,000, and/or imprisonment for up to six months and those convicted on indictment could actually end up paying a fine of up to €250,000 and/or five years in the slammer. You’ve been advised folks.

The Spy who came in from the Kitchen

As speculation mounts regarding who will be the odds-on favourite to be the next James Bond when Daniel Craig’s license to bore me is revoked – I have to say, in my opinion the only Bond who had a license to thrill was Irishman Pierce Brosnan – I would like to throw my hat into the ring as a possible female Bond.

  Yep, I wanna be Jane O’Bond…license to shrill!

It’s about time we had a harpie super-spy and I think I’d be perfect for the role. You see I have all of the attributes; for a start I am free from prejudice – I will promise to hate the enemies of our state equally; I already dress to kill and, if required, I can cook in the same way. In addition, I’m fast, furious, intuitive and resourceful.

  I could learn to shoot a Walther PPK, write off an Aston Martin and still get home in time to prepare dinner, do the hoovering, walk the dogs and help my Facebook friends sort their various (often insignificant and petty) little problems before flopping into bed to entertain the hubby.

  Come to think of it, most Roscommon women are hard-working, multi-tasking Jane O’Bonds 24/7 but without the recognition, and, of course, the Walther PPK!

 

 

Seriously, I think we need to talk about the Election!

Now I’m not betraying any confidences by saying this, because it’s printed right here at www.independent.ie,  but it appears our Taoiseach, right, seems to be of the opinion that we, the very important voters, are all a right bunch of eejits who probably couldn’t find our way out of a thick fog.

  Well what else am I supposed to think when, last week, on T minus Day 1 of Operation Election 2016 and counting, Enda, looking dapper as ever (fair play, he’s always scrupulously turned out), and, displaying an enviable confidence, in the calm monotone of a man who has never woken in the darkest part of the night and wondered how he’ll pay his ESB bill, feed his family, make his car loan repayments or scrape enough together to meet his ever-increasing rent, insulted us all by responding to a simple question regarding his party’s funding of their election promises when he piped up with the astounding reply that he refused to get into the “economic jargon which the vast majority of people don’t understand.”

  Oh noooo, oh please, please oh Mighty One, we beg of you to enlighten us cretinous minions with your incredible insights concerning your plans for our country’s fiscal policies, should you be re-elected. You see, some of your subjects have major problems trying to balance their social welfare payments not knowing which child should get new shoes this week and which should get that painful tooth filled; and sure now with that extra 50 cent an hour you so generously bestowed upon us during the Budget, allowing us ‘experienced adult’ workers to earn a whopping, wallet-bulging €9.15 an hour (before tax), well what can I say, sure it’s practically  party central most weekends in Roscommon with the average ‘experienced’ adult worker able to fritter away, oh, all of what…an extra €15 a week.

  Still, looking on the bright side, it is €15 coming in rather than going out isn’t it; and let me add, us eejits are really very grateful for the extra few crumbs you and Labour have thrown us…no, really, we are. And, in fairness, why would we expect a man who thought our country’s workers’ annual minimum wage was €35,000 to know anything about future funding?

  Enda did tell Eileen Dunne on the RTE News that “the average worker, a single worker on the minimum wage of €35,000 is going to get back €400 in the income tax returns starting in January,” when discussing water charges, didn’t he?

 Now I wonder, did our lovely Taoiseach pluck that mythical figure out of the air all by himself because, as we know, €35,000 is double the amount the ‘average worker’ is earning so, the other day when a reporter asked Enda another ‘fiscally’ related question, a vitally important one on a vitally important day, i.e. the day the election campaign was launched, you’d imagine he’d have been a bit more prepared…wouldn’t you?

  Next it was Alan Kelly’s turn to overshadow Maggie’s, sorry Queen Joanie’s, campaign when Labour was plunged into the spotlight regarding Minister Kelly’s alleged verbal attack on a radio presenter. Now while Mr Kelly is entitled to criticise, he should understand that as a member of a political party he needs to be a team player and that means deflecting rather than attracting negative publicity. And, er, sorry for being a pain, but wasn’t it only recently that Environment Minister Kelly was unable to provide figures regarding the amount of individuals who became homeless last year? 

  Next it was Mary Lou’s turn to make a big bazooka with her election leaflet literature quoting ‘Booby Sands,’ rather than ‘Bobby Sands.’ Seriously, does anyone sitting in the Oireachtas possess even foundation level Maths and English?

 Ah yes, welcome to The Starship Election Campaign 2016 folks; boldly going where no political parties, desperate to win power, have ever gone before; scornfully abusing the voters’ intelligence.

  Now I’m not trying to sway opinion at all and I’m not trying to promote one party over another, nor am I trying to denigrate one party in favour of another, this is NOT my intention. It’s up to everyone to vote for whomever they feel is best placed to lead this country –  (I’m thinking anyone with basic Maths/English) – and I can only imagine what kind of tripe and utter nonsense will be spewed forth over the next few weeks by other candidates.

   But, as I said, the response to questions regarding our so-called ‘rainy day fund’ is right there in the national meeja much in the same way as the minimum wage faux pas, the big Booby and the bizarre alleged verbal confrontation debacles are – and, on a personal level, I would expect the individual who has his/her sights set on becoming our next Chief to at least demonstrate the ability to answer vitally  important and pertinent questions when asked; and have the ability to proofread. 

  However, despite the fact the boys, and the girl can’t help it, I’m glad I’m not the one doing PR for any of them ‘cos I’d be editing that little gig out of my CV right now.

I hate to say it but I agree with Piers Morgan…this time!

Bless me Father for I have sinned; you see, I agree with Piers Morgan regarding the inappropriateness of actress Susan Sarandon’s risqué wardrobe choice for her presentation of the In Memoriam Tribute at the recent Screen Actors Guild (SAG) ceremony.

  Now it’s not her choice of the fabulous Max Mara cream suit that annoys me, ‘cos I’m lovin’ the suit, it’s what Susan wore, or rather didn’t wear underneath, i.e. a top, that I feel was slightly unbecoming.

  No, it’s the fact that this gorgeous woman, whom by the way at aged 69 looks eye-poppingly sexy, (and age has nothing to do with it BTW, because ladies, we can be sexy at any age) delivered a tribute to SAG members who had died during the past year whilst thrusting her boobs, clad only in a black bra, at the audience, which I think is perhaps a tad disrespectful. I mean, it’s kinda the funeral section of the show and maybe arriving in your lacy undies is not the way to show veneration, now is it?

  And while I feel utter shame at agreeing with a man who looks like he takes fashion advice from Crusty the Clown, I have to say Piers Morgan is right in this instance. While it’s fine to show a bit of cleavage, and I’m all for it – get those baps out and be proud – but, as the saying goes –  time and place Susan, time and place love.

A local tragedy

While I know no words of sympathy will go anywhere near towards consoling the grieving parents and family whose entire world has just been shattered forever by the death of their darling 5-year-old little boy last week, reportedly from contracting Swine Flu (H1N1 virus) and who lived in our neighbouring county of Leitrim, I would still like to say how utterly sorry I am, especially to his mam and dad, whose grief can never be measured; whose treasure chest of memories will forever be filled with the healthy, talented, cherished angel that he was.

  May this precious little man rest in peace and may your beautiful memories of your baby boy sustain you and keep you going to face another day.

 

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