We may have a health crisis - but there's still love with no limits
It was a busy morning, about 8.30am, when an elderly man in his 80s arrived at the hospital to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9am.
The nurse took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. She saw him looking at his watch and decided, since she was not busy with another patient, she would evaluate his wound.
On exam, it was well healed, so the nurse talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redressed his wound. While taking care of his wound, she asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told her no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.
The nurse inquired as to her health. He told her that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's disease. As they talked, she asked if his wife would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognised him in five years, now.
She was surprised, and asked him: "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?"
He smiled as he patted her hand and said: "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."
The nurse had to hold back tears as he left. She had goosebumps on her arm, and thought: "That is the kind of love I want in my life."
Ennis, Co Clare
Driven round bend by traffic issues
The latest episode of the 'College Green Luas' saga could spell the death knell for many Dublin city businesses. The attitude of those in control of Dublin City Council seems to be 'if you're mobility impaired, or have a business between D'Olier Street and South Frederick Street, then on yer bike with ye'.
Those unelected dictators of Dublin's destiny seem to be on a mission to destroy commercial business in favour of a grand piazza where only pedestrians can walk - unless they're knocked down by the occasional speeding bike courier or Luas tram. (At present, commercial delivery vehicles cannot even access the lower end of Dawson Street/Nassau Street from 7am to 7pm.)
The Roads and Traffic Department of Dublin City Council has made an unholy mess of traffic in Dublin city. Road markings, signage, and traffic lights are abysmal, and sometimes contradictory. Cars can now be seen going up Dawson Street from Nassau Street to the Green due to the confusing nature of the signage that the department has erected. I have photographic evidence of some signs that were changed four times over a two-week period, road markings were put down, then burned off, and replaced by different markings.
This is all evidence of a city council that is burning through taxpayers' money with an attitude of 'plenty more where that came from', and Dublin's business associations seem impotent in the face of a city chief executive's senior management that can override democratically elected councillors' decisions.
Dublin needs to be a revitalised place where everybody can work, rest and socialise, not just those with a bicycle or living beside the Luas line. But at the rate Dublin City Council is impeding access for a lot of people, it will soon be a ghost town at night, while the public servants who implemented all this retire on huge pensions, and business owners will be bankrupt.
Turned off by time-shifting RTÉ
Last Saturday night I went out for a few drinks in O'Connor's Famous Pub, here in Salthill. I arrived home just before 1am. I switched on my TV as I wasn't tired, and thought I would watch a movie if one was starting soon.
I saw one had started on RTÉ One just before midnight. The film was called 'Parkland', and was a fact-based drama, centred on the John F Kennedy assassination. It looked promising so I thought I'll watch it on RTÉ One+1.
However, just as the film was about to start, I was greeted with the message: 'RTÉ One+1 returns at 7pm'. To my dismay this channel had closed down for the night.
What is the point of this channel if it closes down around midnight? Do the good people in RTÉ, or whoever runs this channel, broadcast on the Saorview system, think that if you haven't started watching a film before midnight you shouldn't bother?
I have a free-to-air satellite system and can receive ITV+1, Channel 4+1 and Channel Five+1, among other time-shifted British channels, along with the main channels, 24-hours a day. I pay nothing for this excellent service. Surely if RTÉ One is providing a time-shifted channel, it can provide it 24-hours a day, for a €160-a-year licence payer like me.
Vote goes beyond gender
As a second generation Irishman growing up in London, I can't pretend to claim that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution has always been the burning injustice at the forefront of my mind. Certainly, I would have been more likely to be seen with a sign reading 'Mayo for Sam' than 'Repeal the Eighth'.
That was, at least, until I travelled back to visit family towards the end of last summer. Likely I will never truly appreciate how the violation of their bodily autonomy and the disgraceful lack of rights makes my female friends, cousins and aunts back home feel, living in their own country. Thankfully, I will never have to walk in the shoes of the 10 Irish women who are still forced to travel abroad each day to access healthcare.
But I can listen. So I did listen. And I will continue to listen, and urge other men to do the same. To trust and respect women. To vote for choice and repeal the Eighth.
Take pride from our stance
I seek the voice of the media regarding Amnesty International's refusal to return Mr Soros's €137,000. But alas, I fail to hear.
We all know (from leaked emails to Hillary Clinton) that George Soros has his 'eye' on Ireland, and he has admitted that he wants us to introduce abortion, because, he says, in doing so we would open the floodgates to abortion in other Catholic countries - he called Ireland the 'jewel in the crown' of the pro-life movement. We should all be proud of this. We fought for our freedom a century ago, and we vowed to cherish all the children of the nation equally.
We must all stand shoulder to shoulder once again and repeat that vow - and if Amnesty International and Colm O'Gorman choose not to stand with us, so be it. No matter how much money Mr Soros throws at us, we shall not let one single unborn child down.