Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen! It is my pleasure and privilege to present to you Dublin's Dumbest Criminal!

I have to admit that this made me laugh out loud:

A MAN who stole a cash box containing €40,000 was arrested after gardaí followed a trail of ink and smoke from the box's security devices to his home, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

Read the story, and you will especially notice the words "laughter from the court."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tokyo story

I love travelling, and many years ago I made up my mind that, one day, I would visit Japan. Since I only get a certain number of Annual Leave days each year, unfortunately I cannot do as much travelling as I would like to! Though for financial reasons, that is probably a good thing!

So it was on a sunny Friday morning in September that I flew out from Dublin Airport via BMI to Heathrow then Virgin Atlantic to Narita Airport, which is actually about 60 kilometres from Tokyo city centre. To compare, imagine if Dublin Airport was actually located at Dunleer in County Louth.

Heathrow to Narita is about twelve hours; beforehand I was definitely looking forward to the in-flight entertainment, with so many hours of audio and TV/movies to pass the time, but even about half way through the flight, I started to get tired of all this.

Tired was the appropriate word, and I landed in Tokyo about 0800 local time. Then you have several train options into town. I chose the Keisei Skyliner train which would have left me about a ten minute walk from my chosen hotel, the Sutton Place Ueno Hotel.

I have no problem recommending this place to anybody, but a word of warning. Tokyo is huge, loud and noisy. Despite the Sutton Place having double-glazed windows, my room was on the street side, and I admit I could not sleep properly for either Saturday or Sunday night. Perhaps the jet-lag was also a factor, but one did not help the other. So my advice if you ever go to Tokyo is bring a pair of earplugs. They made a huge difference, and I was able to get some good sleep with them.

So here is actually the first photo I took in Tokyo: the pavement quite close to the hotel.

And here is the second:

More to follow!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Church theft

Occasionally we hear of thefts taking place in churches, especially in remote rural areas.

But this story from Russia just goes a bit too far!

One act of euthanasia of which I heartily approve!

Last Saturday, at a meeting in a hotel in Mullingar, the Progressive Democrats formally decided to disband.

I say: Goodbye, and good riddance!

The Regressive Desocrats have presented the Irish people with their vision of the future: right-wing Thatcherite economic policies mixed with left-wing liberal social policies. The vision included a draft new Constitution with all references to God removed.

And, frankly, the Irish people have finally seen through them and said: "No thanks"!

At the 2007 General Election, they went from eight seats down to two, and even the then party Leader, Michael McDowell, lost his seat, and promptly announced his retirement from politics. I admit I always had a certain respect for McDowell because he was always a conviction politician, rather than a populist politician; he was the type of man who wasn't afraid to say what he thought or what he believed was in the best interests of the country, even if it became a vote loser! And I admit I disagreed with him rather more than I agreed with him.

So the writing had been on the wall for some time. Even the party's official website, looking at it just now, hasn't been updated with news of the formal disbandment, indicating just how few people are involved with the party now.

And so the Last Rites were performed last Saturday.

Rest in Peace.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Limerick

The RTE series "Would You Believe" recently visited the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the economically and socially depressed area of Moyross in Limerick city.

I thought it was a well-made programme, as it just let the friars tell their stories, and let local people tell of the impact which the friars have already made in the area.

To watch the half-hour show, click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ireland's Minister for Hardship

Classic Irish comedy from the 1970s . . .

. . .But first some background. Here is comedian Eamonn Morrissey as the "Minister for Hardship", which was a humourous impersonation of Liam Cosgrave, our Taoiseach from 1973 to 1977. Back in those days, inflation was in double-digit figures; but also significant was the fact that most people in the country had only one television channel at home, RTE. And one of their most popular programmes was the humorous Hall's Pictorial Weekly.

This weekly programme was introduced and the sketches were linked by journalist and broadcaster Frank Hall, seen here introducing and closing this piece.

I believe this sketch was written and broadcast shortly after a rather "tight" Budget.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Personal announcement

I am happy to announce that I am getting married.

Audrey and I will be married in 2009. Deo gratias.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Something especially for Manchester United fans

Broadcaster and historian John Bowman presents an interesting programme on RTE Radio 1 on Sunday mornings; it is mainly composed of radio archives from the past.

Last Sunday included a feature about the Munich air crash of February 1958. It includes the voice of Sir Matt Busby, and a rather moving account from Harry Gregg.

To hear the programme, go to this page, then click on the link titled "Programme 4 Sunday 27th January".

For the start of the United item, you will have to move the dial to 24 mins 30 seconds.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This made me laugh!

Sir Clement Freud, chef, former MP and grandson of Sigmund, is a strong horse racing enthusiast, racehorse owner and punter. He writes a column in the Racing Post on Saturdays titled "Eighty Plus".

Last Saturday, 12th January 2007, his column included the following lines:

Last week, in the health section of a Sunday supplement, I read of the severe dangers of heavy drinking and took appropriate action: I gave up reading the newspaper.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Businessman thinks God is more important than money!

This appears on the front page of today's Irish Examiner.

A TRADER who pioneered Sunday shop opening in 1971 has had a change of heart — and has banned all his 13 shops from opening on the Sabbath.

Devout Catholic Des Kelly, 67, reckons the decision to axe Sunday opening on religious grounds could cost his home furnishings business €600,000 in lost trade this year.

Full story here.

The business is well known in Dublin, though the man himself isn't, and frankly I don't know what he looks like. I must disclose here that I have no connection with him or the business; in fact I don't believe I have ever been in one of his shops in my life, though I live quite close to one!