* I watched a 'Neknomination' video the other day and someone that I love was nominated to do it. All of a sudden it sounded very real.
The second I heard it I said, "I hope he doesn't do it", then I thought, of course he will, but what if he is the unlucky one?
How would I feel if he was no longer with us? So I private messaged him (not to embarrass him) and asked him not to do it.
This rubbish has to stop. Young people feel they have to man-up, they can't be seen to ignore/shy away from the challenge of a Neknomination.
Some even feel they must outshine their nominator and go a step further by drinking that bit more or making a video that is even more impressive!
And yes, it will earn you endless likes on Facebook and you will feel great. But please stop and think!
I think it takes a bigger person to ignore a nomination.
Let's just say you're lucky, you complete the challenge unscathed, get plenty of likes and nominate more friends. But suddenly, one of your nominees dies. How would you feel?
Medics break the news to the family that this sudden death was as a result of this game. How would you feel?
You have to face the parents and explain that you nominated their child. How would you feel?
Your own parents cannot comprehend that their child is responsible for the death of another. How would you feel?
It makes national news and the local papers. How would you feel?
Everyone in your locality is talking about you. How would you feel?
This person's partner watches the video and that becomes their last memory of the one they had planned to spend the rest of their life with. How would you feel?
You attend the funeral but are asked to leave to avoid further upsetting the family. How would you feel?
Every time you see a drink you think of this tragedy and how you nominated your "friend" to complete this fatal act. How would you feel?
Send this to your family and friends and anyone who gets nominated. Sorry if we embarrass you but if it keeps you alive or prevents you from the shame of killing a nominee then surely it's worth it?
I'm sure this sounds dramatic, and I bet I don't look cool posting this. Thankfully I'm not bothered about how it makes me look!
It is pretty shocking but not impossible.
So, how would you feel?
SEEKING OUT JUSTICE
* Michael Dryhurst (An inspiration to us all, Letters, February 3) ponders "how wonderful would be the country of Ireland if only we had politicians with the commitment, courage, determination and unflinching resolve of a Louise O'Keeffe". A laudable sentiment which few would argue with.
Ireland has evolved into a better and more caring society thanks to people like Ms O'Keeffe – and others who have fought to have their stories of horrendous abuse told, heard and believed despite almost insurmountable objects placed in their paths.
There are others with harrowing stories. Derek Leinster, a former child resident of the Bethany Home in Rathgar, is one of those. Mr Leinster has fought relentlessly for many years to have former abused Bethany residents included in the Residential Institutional Redress Scheme but has been met with persistent rejection.
Speaking in the wake of the Children's Referendum in 2012, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government would respond "positively and wholeheartedly" and match the new legislation with appropriate action.
Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald referred to the decision of the people as giving a voice to children, that it was a historic day for the children of Ireland that would ensure their rights were better protected.
Despite being treated with coldness, Mr Leinster, like Ms O'Keeffe, personifies forgiveness and warmth as they continue their journey seeking justice, not revenge.
* Recent health warnings about obesity make me wonder whether the Government might consider a gravity levy. I'm carrying a few extra kilos myself, but I wouldn't mind paying if it meant such a valuable resource was properly managed.
A standing charge could apply to that portion of an individual's weight considered healthy, while the excess would incur a per kilogram charge. Naturally, the difference would have to be certified by a state-approved body, perhaps the National Gravity Testing Service (NGTS).
As a last resort, serious defaulters would find themselves losing their footing on terra firma as gravity service was withdrawn and they drifted aloft at the mercy of the prevailing winds. A grim prospect indeed given the scything turbines and crackling pylons lining our horizons.
LEIXLIP, CO KILDARE
LUCK OF TOSS STILL EXISTS
* The credited old idiom "better born lucky than rich" was never truer than today. Every gain by the less privileged is highly appreciated and used to advantage.
On entering a shop on Saturday morning, a friendly discussion on the €30,000 cash to be paid to hundreds of householders living close to the controversial high voltage power lines was in progress.
One man remarked: "I'd move out my business and live abroad if that was to happen to me."
A near retirement fellow with a jolly smile who was standing close by thought it "a great idea if they passed near him.
"With that money the missus and myself could slip away for an odd cheap holiday in the sun. God knows she deserves it after all her year of slaving for the family."
A well-heeled farmer and a smallholder chatting outside the ring at Monday's cattle mart were discussing the new changes coming about in farming.
The smallholder, a little elevated after successfully bidding on three nice store heifers, said proudly: "Did I ever think after struggling to rear four children on 12 acres, with three cows and two sows, the day would come when I would have 30 acres, 12 cows and be getting my entitlements like the 'big fellow'?"
Who would envy the luck of the 4,000 local authority staff the new Irish Water doesn't need but has to employ them until 2025 when their service contracts expire?
Enda Kenny hardly ever dreamt, as he worked in a dreary classroom in the west of Ireland, he would, one day, represent his country as Taoiseach, at the recent financial conference in Davos, dealing with the richest business people in the world.
Life is real, life is earnest – but it's a gamble well worth taking!
THURLES, CO TIPPERARY
WATER THE NEW GOLD
* In the elitist dictionary, words are manipulated for different meanings that differ to the common man. For example, the word justice, when used in accordance with the elite, that terminology changes to Just – Us!
Then we have the universal word God. In elite religion that means gold, oil and diamonds. However, a new elitist currency is evolving: water!
A currency that is beginning to flow between river banks. Soon we will all be slaves, as civil law becomes maritime law. The law of water.
At birth humans will become the property of commercial maritime bankers. Water will become the law of the land for the elite. Much more precious then gold.
ENNIS, CO CLARE