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23rd May, 2015


It appears that the pro-same sex marriage people in the referendum have comfortably won. Congratulations!

We on the "NO" side believe we fought a good campaign. It was always going to be an uphill battle. However, a voice was given to the hundreds of thousands of Irish people who did vote "NO" in spite of the fact that all political parties, all the media, judiciary, entertainent industry - even the default page of Google supported the "YES" vote. Printed articles gave three times as much space to the "YES" side as to the "NO" side. This must be a concern from a democratic point of view.

The referendum vote on lowering the age for election as President from 35 to 21 was lost. So much for equality. A 35 year old is eligible but not a 34 year old!

I wonder how one should interpret the cartoon?

21st May, 2015


"I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

"Fluent" by John O'Donohue (Conamara Blues)
Photo: Nutan Jacques Piraprez.

20th May, 2015


I don't drink Guinness but last Saturday at a party I learned how to pour a perfect pint from a can. This is supposed to be very important for the devotee.

The goal is to preserve the beer's lightly carbonated smoothness by forcing its tiny bubbles into the perfect, creamy head. But what about Guinness from a can? After all, it's not often that you're pouring your own draught beer, and surely when it comes to cans you're not meant to just pop the top and drink it like a Bud Light.

Here's a pouring tutorial, demonstrated in very short video. The idea is to upend the opened can into a dry pint glass, letting the beer mostly escape, and then lift out the can for stage two of the perfect pour. Result: a properly poured Guinness: cascading bubbles and a sizeable head.


19th May, 2015

A New Michelangelo!

Tony McCoy, the 40-year-old jockey from Moneyglass, Co. Antrim, recently retired.

He has ridden far more winners over fences than any other jockey in the green and gold colours of his employer, multi-millionaire, JP McManus.

My 8-year-old grand-nephew, Cormac, celebrated McCoy's achievements in this delightful cartoon.

14th May, 2015


Some days ago I posted about a referendum taking place in Ireland on Friday next concerning the proposal to introduce SAME-SEX MARRIAGE into our Constitution.

Based on the paucity of publicity afforded to it in the media one might not be aware that a second proposal is also to be voted on that day regarding the lowering of the age at which a person may be elected as President of Ireland, from 35 years to 21 years.

The President holds office for seven years and may be elected for one more term. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office. He/she is not even the nominal chief executive, this authority being vested in the cabinet.

The main functions of the President are:
He appoints the government, appoints the judiciary, convenes and dissolves the Dáil (executive), signs bills into law, and represents the state in foreign affairs.

But does age matter?  Is experience really important?  Which is more productive in these digital times, youth or age? Is it not unjust to allow only the over 35s to become President? Where goes our much vaunted equality then? Would it not be better to cap the upper age for president at 65?

I shall be voting "YES". Why?
We must value our young citizens? The office of the President is very much symbolic and ceremonial in nature. There will be greater diversity on the ballot paper. A twenty year old has just been elected to the British Parliament. It would encourage young people to take an interest in politics. Young people have vision. Lowering the age of eligibility for the office of the President would remove an antiquated piece of our constitutional architecture, bolster our Constitution’s republican values, and send a powerful message about how young people are valued in our political culture"

11th May, 2015


What a mess we have landed ourselves in!

The people of Ireland will be asked in a referendum on the 22nd May to change the 1937 Constitution's articles on Marriage and the Family. If carried, the referendum will re-define our understanding of marriage from a unique relationship different from all others, to being another adult relationship regardless of gender. An essential characteristic of marriage is that it is open to the generation of new life.

The Constitution (the fundamental law of the Irish Republic) was clearly drafted with only one type of family in mind, namely, the family based on marriage.This traditional view has gradually been weakened by various influences including secularisation, urbanisation, changing attitudes to sexual behaviour, the use of contraceptives, social acceptance of premarital relations, cohabitation, single parenthood, a lower norm for family size, increased readiness to accept separation and divorce, and greater economic independence of women.

Our Constituton at present states that "the State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded".

We now propose to add: ‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.’

A mere matter of 17 small words but, if passed, will bring about a seismic shift in what we mean by 'marriage' and 'family'.
Has any other people inserted such a clause into its Constitution?

Myself? I shall be voting NO.

All our politicians, media, medical authorities, University staffs and students, police force, etc. are openly and strenuously calling for, nay demanding, a YES vote. Millions of dollars from US and big business have been pumped into their efforts.
Where now stands our vaunted 'equality', freedom of speech and democracy?

It all boils down, it seems, to HUMAN RIGHTS and LOVE : I love chocolate, I love soccer, I love music, I love my husband!

Amerian lawyer,John Bursch, in relation to SSM, says: “The state doesn’t have an interest in love and emotion at all,” Mr. Bursch said. “It’s about binding children to their biological moms and dads.”

10th May, 2015



Wexford has produced many famous people down through history. I was reading about one of them yesterday: William Lamport (1610-1659), the inspiration for the part history, part myth character we know as “El Zorro” from the pen of Johnston McCulley (Mark of Zorro and Mask of Zorro).

Lamport received a good schooling here in Wexford, in Dublin, and in university in England. He got the wrong side of James 1 because of his friendship with Gaelic chieftains and had to flee to France. He spent a few years with pirates and moved on to Spain where he called himself 'Don Guillén Lombardo', became an advisor to King Philip IV and lobbied for Spanish support for the Irish chieftains in their struggle against English power in Ireland.

Because of a scandal about his relationship with a woman he had to hightail it to Mexico in 1640 and got into turbulant politics there pushing for an independent Mexico. He wound up in jail for years by the Inquisition, was sentenced to death in 1659, but hanged himself before he was executed.

His fame survived his death, his deeds in support of the Mexicans, Indians and underprivileged made him a hero in their eyes. In the people’s imagination he became the hero who struck in the darkness and challenged and ridiculed the Inquisition.

Do such heroes still exist among us today?

9th May, 2015


Some of you may remember me.

This year we remember those who died in the two world wars. Yesterday I watched the solemn commemoration of VE day in London. They do these things well over there.

At the moment we in Ireland are remembering the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, flag-ship of the Cunard fleet, just off the coast of Cork in May 1915. It was sunk by a German U-boat with the loss of 1,200 lives. Their tragic deaths should not be reduced to some collateral damage of war but remembered with respect.

The Lusitania sailed regularly between Liverpool and New York from 1907 to 1915. It's sinking was said to have changed the American attitude to the war as 130 Americans were among the dead. It was another two years however before the US declared its official entry into the war in 1917.

Among the dead was Sir Hugh Lane the Irish art collector. It is rumoured he was bringing with him paintings by Monet, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Titian.

We remember in prayer all those involved in this terrible tragedy. May they, those laid to rest in a common grave at Cobh or those never brought ashore, be at peace.

12th Apr, 2015

STATE THEOCRACY: All power is now concentrated in the state.

In relation to the referendum on "gay" marriage to take place in Ireland on 22nd of May I have been looking at an article by Brendan O'Neill editor of Spiked, a British internet magazine focusing on politics, culture and society from a humanist and libertarian viewpoint.

I might very inadequately summarise it as follows:
State-imposed 'religion' sets out a vision of a society where morality is a private matter which is dealt with in civil society whereas the state is in charge of morally neutral issues of government.

The advent of big government and its encroachment on almost every conceivable aspect of people’s lives via social workers, city planners, equality or environmental officers and so on, gives the illusion that the state can remain an impartial administrator. That it is not in the business of determining what is the right way to live one’s life. This is no longer possible.

We are now approaching an era of complete state theocracy, all power is now concentrated on the state. The new religion is Equality. It has its own saints (suffragettes), it follows a salvationist narrative (the world was ignorant and unjust but equality and human rights will redeem us all), and just like Marxism, to which it owes so much, it promises paradise this side of the grave.

This new statist religion will do away with democracy as it needs to deny the will of people to make their own moral choices (this referendum, like European ones, is a farce, the law will eventually be passed whether people want it or not) and needs to eliminate all traces of tradition either by co-opting cultural institutions like marriage, which will render them meaningless, or by PC policing of language or behaviour.

This is modern liberalism and how it has become a new, State-imposed, 'religion'. At some point it will need to be acknowledged that the Enlightenment dream of the separation of religion and state has been a failure: Locke and Hobbes’ vision of a society where morality is a private matter which is dealt with in civil society, whereas the state is in charge of morally neutral issues of government, was never an attainable goal. It will eventually collapse under its own absurdity but in the meantime it will continue to grow.

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