Showing posts from 2016

Send 'em all home ... !

(A fictitious, cranky Irish-American writes ... )                                          

Hey, let’s get rid of ‘em!

Every last one of ‘em. Send them back to where they came from. Some of them don’t even speak English and, if they do, it’s a kind of English I don’t understand.

How dare they, come over here and take our jobs. After we told them we’re the greatest country in the world.

If they miss mammy and daddy so much, why don’t they take a one-way flight home?

Rather than crowding out those goddamn ghettoes in Boston and the Bronx.

I know, I know. One of them fixed my car. He did a good job and he charged a good price. But, Hell, if I knew he was illegal I would have made sure he was sent home.

I know. Another one of them minds my grandkids. She charges a great price. My daughter laughs when she boasts about how little she costs. Up here from Nicaragua or El Salvador or wherever, undercutting our own people, stealing our jobs . . .

Another guy does my garden. He’s cheaper than a…

Let's hire a racist

Let’s hire a racist.

Because it’s good for ratings and we all know that’s all that really matters in this “post-truth” world.

It doesn’t matter that she referred to refugees fleeing terror as “cockroaches”, because we know she will get people talking.                                                  

She will revive our flagging show.                                
It doesn’t matter if her country is partly responsible for the terror inflicted upon them, for forcing thousands to flee their homes.

She says she doesn’t care when she sees them drowning from capsized boats or queuing up for food on a cold Greek island.

She wants to set gunboats upon them, because they have no right to land on our shores.

She mocks them when they live in squalor, when they flee bombs and bullets in search of a better life.

“Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches,” she says. They are a threat to her beloved society and built to survive a nuclear bomb.

An ideal guest for a light entertainmen…

Hero or tyrant? The truth might be in between

As the evening wore on, and my friend’s mother became more emotional, I noticed the tears well up in her eyes.

She came over and hugged me. She said she wished we could stay the night, but that was impossible.
The Communist Party official down the road would already be suspicious about the taxi which had arrived a good four hours ago.                                                    

He’d probably be wondering why two Irish guys had pulled up in a taxi so far out from the centre of town, in this nondescript street of all streets at this particular time.  

There would be too much trouble, she said. It was probably time to go.

It had been a beautiful, emotional evening. Her beloved son had become a good friend of mine back in Galway and it had been amazing to bring her a fist-full of dollars and some good news about her grandchildren so far from home.

We had hired a trusted taxi-driver to take us to the far-off suburb, because our Spanish was not strong enough for us to undertake a f…

The biggest challenge facing us all

A friend of mine sent me a link to a feature-length documentary over the
weekend and, after watching it last night, I have to confess I’m shocked that I hadn’t heard more about it or engaged in more of a debate about its contents.

Perhaps it got lost in the furore over the election of Donald Trump, the concerns over his racism, his xenophobia, his sexism, and how he pandered to hatreds and fears; because the whole world was in shock for days or weeks, the film didn’t get the attention it deserved.

But, given that this has been the hottest year on record, it was probably the most important film released anywhere across the world in 2016.

The stark message behind ‘Before The Flood’ concerns man’s propensity for self-destruction. UN Ambassador and Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio takes a harrowing look at how climate change is set to render the planet uninhabitable for our children and grandchildren.

What an awful legacy that would be from a species which has already caused the extinct…

Cockroaches? How easy it is to forget

If UK newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins had been a New York socialite in the 1840s, she might have referred to the Irish as ‘cockroaches’.

Imagine the sight of them, thousands upon thousands arriving at Ellis Island on the ‘coffin ships’, many of them without a word of English or a dime to begin their new lives in the new world.

About 100 ships full of impoverished, desperate people left my home city, Galway, over a three year period between 1847 and 1850.

Most of the passengers were ill-equipped for the long Atlantic crossing or the massive changes they could expect when they completed the voyage.                            

But they had little choice, they were escaping the Great Famine. It didn’t matter that the British Empire had driven them to starvation or that they were escaping gross injustice – they were seen almost as the dregs of humanity by some people in New York City at the time.

As they poured into Irish ghettoes such as Hell’s Kitchen and Woodlawn, they didn’t care to…

If only the red poppy honoured all lost lives

In the cold, eerie courtyard where each of the 1916 rebel leaders was killed at dawn by a British Army firing squad, our excellent tour guide Ben spoke with clear emotion in his voice this week as he told us about the execution of James Connolly.

At the end of our wonderful, hour-long tour of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin’s western suburbs, where so many Irish rebels had been held, he pointed to the lonely cross which marks the spot where Connolly had faced the British soldiers for the final time.
Our guide told us that Connolly, due to the extent of the injuries he sustained in the ill-fated rising, was unable to walk to the courtyard.

The Scottish-born son of Irish emigrants was carried from a hospital bed and tied to a chair before facing his executioners.            

A doctor said that he probably only had a day or two to live, before Connolly had his last rites administered and a final visit by his grief-stricken wife.
"I will say a prayer for all men who do their duty accordin…

Lessons learned from a local legend

Find me on Facebook

The Buzzcocks played a storming set at the Roisin Dubh on Thursday night. The place was packed, it was great to see a full house for a visit by veteran punk rockers to a Galway venue, and there was a real sense of nostalgia in the air.

But there was one face missing from the crowd. I kept glancing over to the top corner, to the left side of the stage, where I expected to see a man in a trademark hat, festooned in badges, wearing a trench coat, bopping around. He always seemed to be in that corner for a gig like this, immersing himself in the music, seemingly without a care in the world.

When you met Mark Kennedy at a punk or metal concert in the Roisin Dubh or Sally Long’s, he would never cease to inspire.

He showed people much younger than him that it’s possible to have a great time without alcohol and that you should never feel too old to lose yourself for an hour in punk, ska, or metal mayhem.

For me, Mark – who passed away last week – was an admirable figure. H…

Keep buying the leprechauns

Check out my business website:

“Sure, as long as they keep buying the leprechauns . . . “
In October 2016, a significant increase in the number of US soldiers passing through Shannon Airport was noted by activists who monitor activities at the airport on a daily basis.
The increased activity has been linked to an onslaught against the Iraqi city of Mosul and a marked growth in the number of troops on the ground in both Syria and Iraq.
As Shannon’s role in the US-led “war on terror” enters its 16th year, it’s remarkable that their presence barely merits a mention in the Irish media.
No Garda has ever searched a plane, despite concerns that dangerous chemicals such as white phosphorous and prisoners on their way to and from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba may have been renditioned through Shannon.
We have to rely on the likes of Wikileaks and Trojan investigative work by Shannonwatch peace activists, who track the movement of military and chartered planes, if we are to have a…