sea behind bars
Saturday, April 30, 2005, 03:19 AM
Its been a while now since I made a blog entry but I feel I should record the events of these past few days as far as the sea goes.
On wednesday we had brillant swim around 11.00 oclock in the Fortyfoot but just before i left one of the 'volunteers' came over shouting at me to get the dog out. They went on with a angry tiread of what they would do to me and my dog.
When I came back to my old bike I fund both tyres slashed and this on the day when the Minister was at Sandycove for a cermony to unveil some plaque or other! When the cermony was over and the path clear I left to walk the whole eight miles home - but it was worth it well maybe not worth the E 70 its going to cost me to replace the tyres and tubes. How we suffer for our art!
On thursday, We returned at 11.00 to the scene of the crime and had another lovely swim in the Fortyfoot.Thanks to the weather being bad and the sea rough there was no one else at the Fortyfoot at the time. I was just admiring the natural looking unbleached state of the Fortyfoot and congratulating myself on getting the use of that acid or alkalai they had been using for 30 years to 'clean' the steps, stopped by the council.
Wonder of wonders our bikes were not interfered with this time and I was able to cycle home this time
Friday, being a nice fine day, brought out lots of people to swim at the Fortyfoot but,,to my disappointmen the place had once again being inundated with the acid and all the natural patina had been cut away and the water tasted of the cleaner.The air had been let out of my tyres this time ; however they had been merciful this time , not puncturing them and I was able to pump them up for my return journey.
The only reason i can think of for this unreasonable agression and enforcement of arbitary laws is that the 'volunteers' of the SBA are reaily only interested in privatising this bathing place like they would like to do with all the others so that they could control who uses the sea and charge for its use. They seem intent on making the Fortyfoot into their kind of outdoor swimming pool and hence all the chemicals proper only to a urine-laden indoor stagant pool.They are the same kind of bastards that have taken over harbours and turned them into marinas for their own profit.

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death of the innocents
Monday, April 18, 2005, 12:50 PM
The most aweful news came over the radio this morning - that of the death of a young mother and her two children of only 3 and 4 years by drowning. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard the story in Irish that it was thought that the poor woman had first drowned her infants and then herself in the slaney river in co. Wexford. Does any other act reflect the callousness of our 'tiger' economy. In a country where everyone knows everyone ekse;s business, how could people have turned a blind eye to such depression and cruelty.
Even more depressing is that that news is relegated to the lowest importance in the news behind such things as whether the Gaa will allow anyone else to use their Croke park manger even for a modest 2,000,000 Euros a match

Padraic OConaire goes on to describe how the poor woman raged on about the fine clothes the big man had bought for his first wife and which she despised. She tore a silk hat apart and jumped up and down on it on the floor. She screamed at her brothers saying they were a useless bunch and asking how the had lost the courage of their ancestors to defend her honour and not let her be made a laughing stock of the country not knowing whether she was a married woman or a spinster.
She raised her hands to the sky as if to implore them to do something to bring her peace.

The poor woman who drowned her children and herself today may have been in a similar plight as that lady referred to by Padraic OConaire

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what to talk about
Sunday, April 17, 2005, 02:47 PM
Cad a dheanamid fasta gan amaidh?
Is the beginning of a poem we learned in Irish class about the changing of the guard in old Ireland where everything was been turned upside down and destroyed by the new arrivals according to the poet. They were turning out the old people and destroying the woods so as to give them no hiding place as well as to build their new mansions -"what will we do now without timber?" he rhymes.
In our last episode of Padraic OConaire's story, Padraic, according to himself acted very fearlessly, he knows not why to find out what the brutal brothers of the second wife were going to do to the poor big man. He followed them into the big man's house hoping he would have slipped away or if not he feared they would give him aterrible beating with their shillaghs and threats.
When they didn't find him at home they sat down around the table and helped themselves to his poteen downing it a glass at a time as they passed it around. And every round they went they got fiercer and more threatening with vicious eyes. It was lucky for the big man that he had escaped them for the time being at least

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005, 01:50 PM
Death comes to us all including the poor old pope John Paul but what brought it to my mind forcefully today as I sat at Sandymount after my swim , was a very sad man, who obviously wanted someone to talk to. He talked to me and then suddenly that his wife of over 30 years had just died and he couldn't bear to be alone in the house he had shared with her for so long in Foxrock.It is so sad that civilization has not made it any easier for us to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. The terrible emptiness of the vacuum that is left but its better to have loved and lost than never loved atall.
I'm not sure if poor Padraic OConaire ever married or how his love life was. He certainly talks about a woman made bitter by a fancy man lover who left her alone pregnant. She took a trrible vengance on him by throwing a bottle of acid in his face and blinding and disfiguring him - not a nice picture of womanhood!
Back to 'Run an fhir mhoir'
in page 170 he says:
they were out to get him but they could not arrest a rich man such as he without good evidence on him. This was more so the case becuse he had been a good citizen, a justice and a friend of the politicians and authorities of the area.
Padraic felt , however, that it was his duty to save a relative of his and resolved to do what he could to get him out of the country.
Just then a curragh came into view with five men in it. "They're the brothers of the second wife" said an old man "I wouldn't like to be the one those brutes are after".
Sure enough they were them alright and as they alighted from the curragh the leader shouted "make sure you all have your shillaghs and bring the oars too. He's a big strong fellow......"

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Captain Bligh - our benefactor
Wednesday, April 6, 2005, 03:12 PM
Just thought how much we owe to that much maligned captain here in Dublin. It was he who came up with asolution to the silting up of the harbopur at the mouth of the Liffey. He surveyed the bay in 1800 when he was sent over here to keep him from alienating any more crews like Mr Christain and those of the Bounty.
He decided that the problem could be solver by a wall at the northern and one at the southern side of the estuary forming a funnel and keeping a deep channel free of sand.
Up till then Dublin bay had been a notoriously unsafe and difficult water to navigate and park in. Many lives and ships were saved by the new arrangement.
After the swim in the pretty cold Fortyfoot i took a cycle with Rocky to the centre of the bay at the old Pigeon house lighthouse and saw how formidable the constructions were.
I wondered why our present day traffic planners could not have the genius of captain Bligh and funnel traffic by way of a road and bridge over those causeways.

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