Are Gardaí walking that dangerous thin blue line?

As members of An Garda Siochána prepare to break the law – a law that every single one of them has sworn to uphold, I might add, and put in place a plan that will see them withdraw their services over a series of proposed dates beginning next month on November 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th – I have to say that despite the fact I feel these measures are extreme, I for one would like to offer them my full support.

  Now, while I know that under Section 59 of the Garda Síochána Act (2005), Gardaí are not permitted to withdraw their services – and while I don’t condone breaking the law in any way, shape or form, and feel that a strike may irrevocably damage the force’s reputation – I would still support them.   

  You see, day in, day out, our boys and girls in blue work in an extremely challenging environment, and, to be honest, offering a new recruit €23,171 a year to go out ill-equipped and face what, in many cases, is the absolute scum of this earth, is, as far as I’m concerned, a first-rate slap in the face. Now, I’d like to acknowledge that while Gardaí also get to meet decent upstanding citizens, these don’t pose any threat to the public.

  Now, like a lot of readers, I remember the great ‘Blue Flu’ back in 1998, something that generated quite a bit of concern for Irish citizens…well law-abiding ones; I’d imagine the criminal fraternity jumped for joy. We’ve all been forced to bear the brunt of harsh cuts to our paltry pay packets and living conditions in the years following the great recession. (Fat-cat politicians exempted, some are still coining it in; especially Enda ‘I’m-so-worth-it’ Kenny whose alleged salary of €185,000 – €3,500 per week folks – makes him the third highest paid leader in the EU). It’s my opinion that  asking any human being to defend this state and its citizens for €330 a week is a joke! I mean what comedian pulled that figure out of a hat? 

  In addition, given that our Government has agreed to increase the Dublin Bus drivers’ salaries by 11.25 per cent over three years, I can imagine how much this decision has inflamed the Gardaí;  especially frontline ones, whom, by the way, we mustn’t forget, are not looking for a pay increase, they’re seeking a pay restoration. 

  Now to be honest folks, I’m hoping this Garda strike won’t go ahead, and for the record, if it does, I feel it will seriously undermine the force’s ability to enforce the law in the future, but…worst case scenario, say it does progress, then I’d like to know what our Government and indeed, what cunning contingency plans Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan has put in place to police this country of ours?   

  Should we all put our heads between our legs and kiss our a***s goodbye or does her Department have any suggestions as to how we should prepare ourselves for the spate of brutal burglaries and personal attacks that are likely to occur? 

  I think it’s time Paschal Donohoe, as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, got a clue and realised that this proposed strike is not a case of a glitch in public transport that’s being bandied about; rather it’s a serious case of public safety that’s at risk and while he’s worried about a ‘domino effect’ occurring, I would remind him that that particular ship has long since sailed with the LUAS and the Dublin Bus drivers getting front row seats when they secured their pay increases.  

  Look, I’m not begrudging anyone a pay hike, sure we could all do with one, but I would point out to Minister Donohoe that, unlike the Gardaí, the well-paid LUAS and Dublin Bus drivers are not providing lifesaving emergency services to this entire country! Just sayin’.

Why I’ve no sympathy for Kim!

As all of Roscommon kneels to give thanks amid reports that ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ ‘actress’ Kimmy K is safe following her Parisian ordeal where jewellery worth $16m (€14,239,309.76) to be precise, was allegedly stolen from her at gunpoint, the cynic in me wants to ask when we can expect to see the ‘Holding up the Kardashians’ spin-off show? I mean, given this family’s penchant for courting the meeja, I have to wonder if the entire incident isn’t just another of sideshow carnival Kim’s publicity stunts; meaning I cannot find it in my heart to illicit any sympathy for her whatsoever.

  Look folks, the ‘stolen’ jewellery is believed to be worth more than it would cost our Government to build an entire housing estate capable of catering for this county’s homeless population, so I need to know if Kim’s dollar sign tainted spectacles blinded her to the fact that nobody, not even a vulgar fashion victim like her, needs to cart around this amount of accessories.

  In the meantime, I will say, fair play to puppet-master Kanye West for rushing off stage to check on his meal ticket, sorry wife; I mean, the poor thing was probably worried about the possibility of another illicit sleazy sex tape scandal, this time starring him, getting into the wrong (or the right) hands.

Best wishes to Sharon D… an inspirational beauty!

 I love inspirational women…especially those who also love and respect themselves, and who are comfortable in their own skins. So this week I’d like to mention and support one of those inspirational ladies; a real beauty and a regular Roscommon People reader, who is someone I’m proud to call a friend; Mrs. Sharon Dooley (Sharon D to her mates). 

  A ‘plus size’ model, (I prefer the term curvaceous), Sharon isn’t trying to push us all to follow some ridiculous form of a so-called idealised image or lifestyle promoted by some unhealthy lettuce lovin’, calorie countin’ catwalk princess; and through hard work and dedication, she’s become this year’s Mrs. Galway, representing our neighbouring county in the Mrs. Ireland finals taking place in Dublin on October 15th.

  This is a major achievement for this working mother of seven, who tells me she’s had “an amazing year, going from couch to Tri in three months,” meaning she finished  her first Triathlon as “an active size 18,” raising awareness and funds for the Irish Heart Foundation. At 41, hair and make-up artist Sharon sees her role as “promoting women,” and wants to highlight the fact that women should feel more accepted, telling me, “curves can be healthy as well as beautiful,” and I agree with her. This is not about body shaming; it’s about being happy with your body shape…whatever it is. 

  You see, as many young girls tend to look at glossy magazines or reality TV to find people on whom they can model themselves, it seems in this case, in order to find inspiration and banish thoughts of self-doubt, the recipe for success and self-confidence is to be found quite literally by looking over the fence at the Galway girl living right next door. 

  I wish Sharon every success as she continues to aim high and achieve, and I urge all woman to never allow the so-called restrictive norms steer them off their desired course in life.