Water, water, everywhere but not a drop to waste!




It’s another gloriously sunny Monday morning, and everywhere I look – on the telly and in the papers – all I can see is that we have a water crisis in the country, and Irish Water is threatening to bring people to court if they waste the precious commodity.

  Usage of hosepipes is banned in the Greater Dublin area, and they now cannot be used for watering gardens, washing cars, and filling swimming and paddling pools. Irish Water have taken on extra staff to man their helpline where members of the public can report people for breaches of the hosepipe ban – though somehow I can’t see too many people picking up the phone and telling whoever is on the line that their neighbour is using too much water.

  Now, anyone that knows me will know that I am no scientist or engineer, and that I may well be the most useless DIY man in history and if anything around the house needs to be done or fixed, I am definitely not your man. However, I still can’t understand why a couple of weeks’ sunshine can spell disaster to our population – from farmers to gardeners to restaurant owners, and in fact to nearly everyone!

  I have told you before of a little place in Spain that we go to nearly every year, and the big attraction of the area is that they have, on average, only 30-odd wet days a year. Yet, in the 15 or so years that we have been going there, we have never experienced any water shortage.

  On the other hand, here in Ireland we are nearly always complaining about the rain and our almost constant downpours, and it mystifies me as to how, in this day of amazing technology, we have not come up with a way to harness all this free water and have a reserve built up for – forgive the pun – a rainy day.

  Heavy snow, heavy rain, and now too much sun all seem to be able to bring this country to its knees, and I can only say there has to be a way to deal with all of these weather events. Maybe we should set up a think-tank, comprised of the of the best brains in the country (I know you’d want me on it, but I’m too busy), and figure out a way to deal with our different weather extremities as other countries around the world already do.

  A few years ago, my daughter spent some time in Minnesota in the US, where temperatures hit minus 30 degrees, and snowfall was more than two feet deep. Yet, remarkably, life just carried on with no apparent disruption to normal living – roads stayed open, people got to and from work, and all was good. Some time later, we got 4 or 5 inches of snow and the country ground to a halt – shops (including the one I work in) were closed, in our case for two full days, and roads became impassable.

  All I can say is surely it doesn’t have to be this way. I realise occurrences such as these are not extremely regular for Ireland, and maybe that’s why we have no plans in place to deal with them, but isn’t it time we did? Anyway, I’m off to yoke up the hosepipe, and water the flowers (only joking, as I might well be under surveillance!).

In defence of the Leinster final…

It’s funny how different people can take totally different things out of the same event, and Sunday’s Leinster Senior Hurling Final between Kilkenny and Galway is a case in point.

  On one of the daily papers that I buy (the Daily Mail), their reporter thought it was a rubbish game, with Galway being particularly bad. Meanwhile, a number of reporters in the Indo agreed with my assessment that it was the type of game which separates hurling from all other sports, (except maybe rugby), establishing it as one in which courage, heart, fearlessness and almost manic commitment are exhibited by every single player on the pitch.

  Much was made of the relatively low scoring, but it was the heroic defending by both sides, with players ‘putting their lives on the line’, that kept the scores down. Apart from the fact that I was obviously supporting Galway, I thoroughly enjoyed what was a true battle, and hopefully we will get more of the same next Sunday.

  On a lighter note, isn’t it strange to have a Leinster final take place in a Munster venue with a Connacht team taking part? It could only happen in Ireland, and whatever happens in the replay, I expect both of these teams to have a huge say in the final destination of the MacCarthy Cup.

And finally…

Eddie is an Internet sensation!

Finally for this week, out here in Creggs for a good few years now we have known Eddie Gavin as a County Council foreman (now retired), a hard-working farmer, a renowned horse man, a great character, and a good neighbour and friend, but never in our wildest dreams (or his, I’d say) did we think he would become an Internet sensation and a film star at this stage of his life.

  However, this week we have seen the release of a beautiful documentary by filmmaker Donal Maloney called, ‘Up the Mountain’, which tells us of Eddie’s struggles to deal with the death of his beloved wife, Teresa, a woman he freely admits he loved to bits, and how his love of, and for, horses helped him to rebuild his life.

  The filmmaker spent a few days with Eddie on his farm up the mountain and at the horse fair in Ballinasloe – and while I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of the finished work, it gives us a great insight into the life and times of Eddie, who, at the end of it all, is primarily a horse man whose love of family comes shining through.

  Usually documentaries like this are made on some type of famous celebrities, and generally they are lightweight tributes to their subjects. This one is different in that it’s about an ordinary everyday man, and doesn’t sugarcoat the trials and tribulations of a man who is just like you and I and who lives in the real world. I think the film is to be found on Facebook, so if you can, make sure you have a look at it. And as a lad whose father came from the Newbridge side of Mount Mary, all I can say is well done Eddie, and ‘Up the Mountain!’

Till next week, 

Bye for now!