Sometimes we hear about events such as robberies and break-ins against totally defenceless targets that chill us to the bone, but the recent robberies that have taken place at a play centre operated by the Share a Dream Foundation in Limerick seems to me to be a new low.
The Share a Dream Foundation aims to fulfill dreams for terminally ill children, and relies almost entirely on donations, and – apart from a few paid staff – also relies mostly on volunteers. They also provide Dreamland, a fantasy land which provides play facilities for both disabled and able-bodied children, and I just can’t understand how anyone would be so desperate for money that they would put the dreams of terminally ill children at risk.
The raiders tunnelled in through a back wall in the early hours of the morning, smashed up the premises with a crowbar and an axe, stole thousands of euro that had been collected over the Bank Holiday weekend, took the new reinforced safe that had been installed after a previous raid in September, and literally broke everything that they came across.
The founder of the charity, Shay Kinsella, was visibly upset after the robbery as he described how it costs almost €300,000 annually to run the two branches of the Foundation, and admitted it is struggling to survive. However, he said they just had to get on with it, and they had a Halloween camp last weekend which featured a visit by the Garda Commissioner on Thursday last. In his words: “To hell with the robbers, we are going to get on with it”.
As I said, the mind boggles as to what kind of person(s) would do this, and all I can say is that no level of lowness surprises me any more.
Politicians must rally to save Cuisle
The local community has been devastated by the news that the Irish Wheelchair Association is to close its flagship holiday resort, Cuisle, in Donamon at the end of the month, with the loss of more than 40 jobs. It’s a loss that will have enormous consequences not only for all the people who used the excellent facilities, but also for the local economy.
If ever there was a time for our politicians to make a concerted effort to try to save both the facilities and the jobs, this is it. I hope they explore every possibility to come up with a solution. If this number of jobs were lost in any major urban area there would be a massive outcry. So let the people get together, put enormous pressure on our elected representatives, and come up with a positive outcome to, at the moment, a very worrying scenario.
No parade for Ireland to rain on!
To sporting matters, and I certainly didn’t anticipate the South Africans winning the Rugby World Cup in such an emphatic manner last Saturday, and while I don’t really think that I wanted England to win, I was more than a bit sorry for them to lose the final by such a large margin.
In a strange way it would have been amazing if the English had won, because it would be some craic for Ireland to welcome them as world champions to the Aviva in the Six Nations in the spring, and to try and spoil their party.
As long as I live, I will never forget our visit to Twickenham in 2004, when the victorious World Cup champions were having their first game since the final, and it was billed as the homecoming party to top all parties. I can recall being patronised by the home supporters before the game and the poor Irish were objects of pity, such was the trouncing we were going to get.
After that famous 19-13 Irish victory, with Girvan Dempsey scoring the winning try in what the commentator described as the “shock of the century”, all hell broke loose, and to be an Irish supporter in Twickenham that day was one of the great memories of all time.
Even the train journey out of Twickenham with the ashen-faced, shell-shocked English supporters will live forever in my memory and, while I am not unhappy with the Springboks’ victory, I would not have minded another chance at taking the English down a peg or two! Sadly it was not to be, but it turned out to be a fantastic tournament, despite the weather, and we can only look forward to 2023 and another helping in France.
Locals honoured for blood donations
Three local men were honoured at a big do in the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, recently when they all received Gold Pins in recognition of each having given more than 50 pints of blood.
Micky Lundy, formerly of Glinsk but now of Galway, Larry Donoghue of Moate, and Pat Connolly, formerly of Creggs but now of Four Roads, were all presented with the Gold Pins, and I have to say it is some achievement to have donated so much blood over the years, so heartiest congratulations to them all.
I only had my blood accepted a couple of times before rejection set in due to the many things that were wrong with me. However, I always thought that if true that Guinness is good for you, then my blood would have been priceless and full of iron! It wasn’t to be for me, but well done to those three local donors who have continued to donate for such a long time.
‘Don’t look ‘Bat’ in anger…’
In lighter matters, I see in recent newspapers that poor old Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame bought himself a lovely £9.2 million country mansion in Hampshire, only to find that as well as being home to himself and his wife and family, it is also home to a family of protected bats.
As a result, the extensive renovations that he had in mind for the property have to be very carefully managed. For example, all lights on the first floor have to be switched off until they are completely replaced because they are “emitting light and high frequency noise into the roof” where the bats are presumably currently residing. No work of any kind can be carried out between November and March, which may prove to be a bit of a nuisance, but I have no doubt Noel will soon build his ‘Wonderwall(s)’ and sort it all out.
However, you would think if you were going to spend all that money on a house you would at least get it checked out first, but I suppose for Noel Gallagher that kind of money is only a drop in the ocean.
‘The man who built Birmingham’ hits 80!
The ‘Man who built Birmingham’, Glinsk legend, Tom Lally, celebrated his 80th birthday in Dowd’s recently with a big bash including music by Jason Travers. Funds raised on the night are going to Cancer Care West. There was also a singing competition on the night, and Bert Curley was the popular winner.
Anyway, congratulations Tom, well done and here’s to many more to come!
Speaking of Cancer Care West, and indeed the Lourdes Invalid Fund, we are to present the bank drafts from our recent dance to the representatives of both charities at a soon to be arranged suitable date, so we’ll keep you posted!