I’m angry Dáil ‘Prayergate’ has overridden country’s more serious issues …


There are 20,000 households chasing a chronically low supply of 10,000 homes.  Now I hate to catastrophise, but this is going to spark massive competition, drive property prices skywards and end in another ruinous financial meltdown…unless…our Government builds more homes and provides more social housing.

  On the other hand, forget that, those brainiacs who run our country can always down tools, whip out the aul rosary beads…and pray! Ah sure there’s no problem too large that a few decades of the Rosary can’t solve, so don’t worry homeless people, you’ll be grand!

  As a country, Ireland was always destined to be governed by a specific religion, i.e. Catholicism; the objective of which, I assume, was to create and then foster an environment in which our people (mainly us women), could be kept firmly under the Church’s supremacy and restraint; curbing the faithful in one belief. However, using precious Dáil time to debate whether or not to pray, when we’re facing much more pressing issues is, in my opinion, an act of sheer folly!

  Now I’m not against the sentiment, per se; just angry that ‘Prayergate’ has overridden more serious issues. You see, as someone who was born into a staunchly religious Roman Catholic family, I still believe that saying an aul prayer (when ya feel like doing so) is comforting. However, when it comes to running a country, I believe there’s no benefit whatsoever to us as citizens to have a Government run by, or even slightly influenced by, religion…any religion!

  Having said that, and in the interest of being an all-inclusive individual who respects the rights of my fellow country men and women, whatever their race, colour or creed, and who expects others to reciprocate, part of me likes the idea of a little Dáil prayer being recited as gaeilge agus as bearla, because it’s part of our cultural tradition as Irish people. And, at a time when many groups/organisations would try hard to have us ditch certain traditions/customs, essentially seeing us stripped of our identity and of our unique Irishness in a kind of marketing ploy to rebrand and fix us – our traditions are one of the few practices that truly belong to us as Irish people – in the same way other countries cherish their own specific ideologies.

  However, as I’ve inherited my Catholicism, as opposed to adopting it, I don’t go to Mass, but I do talk to God on my own terms. I don’t drop to my knees and recite a Hail Mary sing-song style, nor stand to attention for the bong, bong, bong of the Angelus bells; but I do chat with Herself as I go about my day…yes, God could be a woman! Mind you, I find it draconian that ‘it will now be compulsory to remain standing’ for the Dáil prayer, because it smacks of our enslaved and tyrannical past; and that to me is outrageous, especially if, according to reports ‘Deputies face being named, thrown out of the chamber, and losing a day’s pay if they refuse to observe the new rule.’

  According to the Census, there are ‘132,200 fewer Catholics in Ireland over the past five years,’ so this practice, though traditional, isn’t voluntary; it’s a dictum, and that’s a slap in the face for those of a different religious persuasion, or indeed of no religious persuasion at all. However, as if to take the oppression out of the despotic ‘dictum,’ 30 seconds of silent reflection will be added to the daily Dáil prayer; how open-minded and modern of those idle authoritarians whose public-funded wages would be better earned debating how they’ll solve our homeless crisis and reassuring us regarding Brexit.

  But hey, if they feel that a statutory three Hail Marys and a quick Glory Be have a much more powerful effect if one is legally forced to stand prostate when one is reciting them, who am I to disagree? Just  a voter, that’s who!

We’re walkin’ on sunshine!

The entire county of Roscommon is convinced summer has at last arrived. Wasn’t last week amazing, folks? And, as I write, this week has started great, too! Let’s take a minute to reflect and acknowledge the great and mighty power that created our wonderful tropical weather…altogether now; on three…one, two, three…thank you Global Warming!

  Mind you, it was probably all down to good ol’ Danny Healy-Rae leaving his Child of Prague out in the field again. Oh wait…I hope I’m not breaching any blasphemy laws here! Never mind, I’m sure some silly anonymous jobsworth will set me straight!

It’s not the Government’s job to police our food intake!

Health campaigners are losing the plot over Michael Noonan’s refusal to ring-fence revenue from the sugar tax levy to tackle obesity, and, er, I’m kinda with the Finance Minister here. Look, I know obesity is a major problem in this country, however, to ring-fence public taxes would simply serve to disable the effective management of our country’s finances…even I know that and I’m c**p at maths!

  I don’t consume sugary drinks, but I do buy them for visitors and I know people who drink five cans of Coke a day; which, to me, is not a healthy dietary choice; but hey, I’m not the Food Police! However, I believe it’s up to all adults to make informed decisions regarding a healthy diet and feel there’s a limit to the Government’s control regarding what we pour down our gobs, so it’s a bit naïve for anyone to expect their grub to be constantly monitored! Now, while I find the latest HSE ‘weight study’ of primary school kids showing ‘at least one in five in fourth and sixth classes are overweight or obese,’ extremely worrying, I do know we all fall down every now and again because we all love (and deserve) a treat. However, when it comes to the rugrats, it’s down to parents/carers to control the junk food supply lines. Mind you, I’m sure, like me, many readers remember the feckin’ ‘clean plate’ rule and maybe some still impose this on their own kids. Perhaps it’s time to rewrite those rules and if our kids don’t want to finish what’s on their plate, we shouldn’t force the issue.

  Body-shaming anyone is an absolutely despicable pastime, but it happens – which is why we need to empower our kids, not just on a physical level, but on an emotional and sociological level to make healthy food choices. That empowerment begins at home, folks – it’s not the Government’s job!