2016 has been a year of reflection and soul searching in Ireland. The 1916 centenary has shaken us in our little worlds and directed our gaze back beyond our daily routines, desires, obsessions etc, causing us to recall, however briefly, the sacrifices of our ancestors.
FROM Kiev to O'Connell Street, a gathering of 100,000 angry protestors is bad news for any government and definitely not good for our current incumbents who are quickly running out of time to win back the confidence of a dour and disillusioned electorate.
Time was when stonemasons were plentiful. Squads of 40 masons (or more) were called up to work on major sites such as St. Peter's College in Wexford or the Catholic parish church in New Ross. Here was a skill in wide demand up to the Great War, before advances in building technology consigned the trade to the redundant ranks shared with the ploughman and cattle drover... Or did it?
In June 2012 I wrote in this column about the situation in Syria, at which point the death toll had reached 19,000. In April this year I again wrote about Syria and the death toll had reached 70,000. This is my third piece on Syria and the death toll has exceeded 100,000.
The Chairperson of the Wexford Branch of the National Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes (NCHWT) has defended the effectiveness of a recent demonstration, despite it being illegal and mainly affecting other ordinary citizens who were just trying to go about their business.
'THE LABOURER deserves his wages' is a familiar phrase from the Gospels that was uttered by Christ and repeated by St Paul in his letters. Those five words stand as the foundation of Catholic Social Teaching, and I remember well being lectured about it in college, and hearing about Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum, and Pope John Paul II's 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus.
ENNISCORTHY shopkeepers trading in the centre of the town have experienced a fall in the number of customers darkening their doors recently. So what could be the reason for the drop in business? The worldwide recession compounded by the collapse of the Irish financial system might have something to do with it: they admit that.
Thursday: The young lad wanted to talk about religion today. The good woman was washing up in the kitchen while he was sketching at the table. Out of the blue he asked her to tell him about Jesus's father. 'Almighty God is his father,' she told him, 'and he lives in heaven.'
SIREALLY don't understand what all the fuss is about regarding the detection of horsemeat in burgers recently. I've eaten far worse than horse meat - my cooking in general is pretty gruesome, and it's never done me any harm! I went through a phase when I was in college of loving steak and kidney pies and God only knows what's in them!
THE KILLERS of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe showed no mercy when they shot the father-of-two at close range. Senior officers say the armed robbers, who gunned him down in cold blood with a shotgun, were intent on murdering him as he approached them at the Lordship Credit Union outside Dundalk.
I HAPPENED to run into Ogie Nolan the other day. I told him that there were some great photographs of him in circulation. He did not seem too impressed. His attitude was that as long as his image was not adorning a 'Wanted – dead or alive' poster, then he had no reason to be overly concerned.
IFE AS we know it in our house has ceased to exist in recent days due to extended work commitments on my behalf for a few weeks. 12 hour shifts and night-time meetings have resulted in the house turning into an even bigger tip than normal (I actually didn't think it was possible but it is) and the kids threatening to ring Childline on the basis of parental neglect.
Since 2006 average earnings have been reduced by more than 25%. An exception to the rule is an increase in legal service costs, which have risen by 12%. National Competitiveness Council reports that we are the fourth most expensive country in the world to enforce business transactions to the courts. The Competition Authority produced a blueprint, five years ago, that would enhance productivity, efficiency and cut costs of legal work. Most recommendations have gathered dust to date.
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