A load of rubbish – shame on the culprits



It’s Monday morning, and as I sit at my kitchen table, I’m annoyed. And so I am starting this week’s piece with a rant.

  I’ve told you many times that since getting my two new hips, I’ve have to do a good bit of walking, something I also do in an effort to keep my excessive weight down, and my ticker ticking. And so it has become somewhat of a habit for me to head off on a lovely, rural stroll through quiet, tree-lined country roads. It’s an idyllic scene – one that city dwellers would give their right hands for –and it normally makes me thank God for being lucky enough to live where we do. Recently, however, we have had a bit of illegal dumping along the route, and now we are sharing our beautiful walk with empty bean tins, egg cartons, dog food tins, cardboard boxes, and other items of household rubbish.

  I have to say it’s disgusting. I don’t claim to be a ‘Holy Joe’ (or even Frank), but whoever is doing this dumping has little regard for the countryside or the people who inhabit it, and I would ask them to stop.

  I would be fairly confident that it’s not anyone local, as nobody would want to soil their own area, leading me to conclude that it’s probably an outsider who doesn’t want the expense of a rubbish bin, and who saves a few bob by their indiscriminate dumping.

  One of the few good developments – with all the new rules and regulations that we have to put up with – is the new-found respect, and even love, of our environment, which makes it all the more sad to see a lovely quiet country road being used as a dumping ground. Shame on you, whoever you are; get yourself a bin.

Brave Sinead pays the price

One of the more controversial issues in the world of television – the gender pay gap – has become even more topical with this week’s announcement that Sinead Desmond, long-time presenter on Ireland AM on TV3, has reportedly quit her job because she was paid less than her fellow male presenters. This news has come as a shock to those, including myself, who occasionally tune in to the morning show.

  There is no doubt, in my opinion, that people who do exactly the same job, should be paid exactly the same money. Therefore, on principle, I believe she was right. However, it was – in my opinion at least – still a brave, maybe foolish decision to pack in such a good high profile job with Christmas just around the corner.

  Obviously this practice of paying women less seems to be rife in television-land, and needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later, but I have little doubt that we will see Sinead back on some show before too long. In the meantime, I wish her well and hope she doesn’t live to regret her decision.

Great gesture

My good friend Jack the Lower recently told me a heart-warming story, regarding the recent Dublin City Marathon, in which his daughter, Aoife Hegarty, participated. Charlie McMickem (a long-time friend of the Hegarty family), told Irish rugby international, JoshVan der Flier, about Aoife and her fundraising efforts on behalf of the Join Our Boys Trust, and the young rugby player got a rugby ball, signed it, and had Charlie deliver it to the Hegarty household last week.

  Both Jack and myself were taken aback by the fact that McMickem, 22-years-old, would tell his friend about Aoife, and even more so that the rugby international, also in his early 20s, would take time out to do what he did, and I can tell you that rugby ball will be a cherished possession in Roscommon for many a long year.

  Aoife is thrilled, and has asked me to once again thank everyone who helped to make her fundraising efforts so successful.

  Amazingly, there are contributions still coming in, so the best I can tell you at the moment is that Aoife has raised a very substantial sum. Jacko tells me that despite the generosity of Van der Flier, he told him that Leinster still rank well below Connacht and Munster in Jack’s affections.

Bina Harris Walk

Now that my rant is out of the way, it’s back to the usual stuff. I just got notification from Bina Harris that the launch of the 22nd Barrie Harris Walk is taking place next Saturday night in Mikeen’s in Creggs at 9.30 pm. As always, everyone is welcome to attend.

  There will be music on the night and loads of refreshments – including, I hope, some of Bina’s famous apple tart! It promises to be a night of good fun and entertainment.

  Of course it’s all about the biggest fundraising drive around our area, which, in case you don’t know, involves a beautiful St. Stephen’s Day walk, up, around and down the mountain – hopefully a mountain that no-one has used as a dumping ground! The money raised through sponsorship cards, which will be distributed on the night, will be divided amongst many worthy charities.

  This walk has become an iconic event in our local area and, as always, I ask you to turn up in Mikeen’s on Saturday, get the cards, and make sure that yet again the Barrie Harris Walk is a St. Stephen’s Day wonder and a credit to everyone involved.

Rugby and GAA heroics

Finally for this week, after a marvellous rugby game in The Green on Saturday night, in which Creggs beat a very strong Corinthians side by 9-0, I met up (in Mikeen’s) with the front-row legend that is Bill Flynn, from Farm, Williamstown.

  Bill was very confident that Michael Glavey’s would have the measure of the Galway champions Claregalway in the Connacht Club Intermediate Final on Sunday in Hyde Park. He based his assessment on the Galway county final, when Williamstown – who were short a few big players –were unlucky to lose to the Claregalway outfit, and he felt his neighbours from Ballinlough and Granlahan would do the business – and how right he was.Two people I’ve met since Sunday have said that the game was an outstanding example of all that is good in club football, and I have to say I was delighted that the Glavey’s lads won out. The All-Ireland is there for them now, and no less a judge than Seamus Duke says he believes they can win it out.

  The big danger is The Gaeltacht, from South Kerry, who are still powered by one of the amazing O’Sé brothers, but all that’s for 2018. For the moment let them enjoy the mantle of being champions of Connacht, have a good Christmas, and give it a good lash in the New Year! I wish them well.