Intelligence is a learned behaviour, stupidity is a choice!

I like to think I have a high tolerance when it comes to dealing with, and accepting that people, me included, often make mistakes. However, last week, it appeared that, across the globe, a set of incredibly nonsensical happenings occurred.

  We’ll begin with irresponsible parents Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson, whom, in an act of incredible stupidity in my opinion, allowed their four-year-old child Isiah enough unsupervised time and freedom to climb into a protected gorilla enclosure on a visit to Cincinnati Zoo!

  This led to what I believe were reckless, trigger-happy snipers shooting the endangered 17-year-old magnificent Western lowland silverback dead when really, if mam and dad had been doing their job, i.e. parenting; and Zoo staff had been properly trained to recognise the animal’s behaviour – which, in light of released footage, and eye-witness and expert statement, shows the poor animal was actually doing what dumb and dumber had failed to do, i.e. babysit the boy, and instead tranquilised him – this tragedy could have been avoided. I’m glad US cops have confirmed they’re investigating the parents; however, the Zoo’s health and safety as well as policies regarding staff training also need to be scrutinised.

  Next up, another set of morons who’re too stupid to breathe are the mother and father of 7-year-old Japanese boy Yamato Tanooka, who, whilst acting like a normal kid, i.e. misbehaving, was – in what can only be described as a preposterous act of wilful neglect – abandoned in one of Japan’s mountainous, wild bear inhabited forest regions by the very people charged with protecting him as a form of punishment, sparking a massive week-long nationwide search. Mercifully, the child was found safe and well.  

  Meanwhile, back on home soil, a thug who ‘viciously beat ex in front of their child spared difficult time in jail due to lack of English.’ What? Yes folks, despite labelling this incident as a “cowardly attack,” Judge Martin Nolan noted that abuser, Davide Sanfillipo ‘would have a difficult time in prison due to his lack of English.’ Well bless the poor violent thug; sure we mustn’t cause him any difficulties now must we! Now look, my speciality is not criminal law so I’m not challenging the legalities of His Honour’s decision, he is the much-respected expert after all. However, I’m questioning his humanity and compassion for the victim. You see, this type of ill-considered, imprudent judgement is faulty, dealing another blow to battered women across Ireland who are  experiencing daily abuse at the hands of brutish creeps like Sanfillipo who, according to The Journal, actually ‘tore out his (partner’s) hair, in front of their child,’ threatening ‘he would kill her.’ 

  Now firstly, my understanding is that prison is meant to be ‘difficult’ – it’s not a jolly holiday; secondly, this reprobate would have picked up English pretty quickly on the inside; thirdly, he must have a good enough command of the language if he was in a relationship whilst living here, secured work, and, vitally I would add…managed to read and understand the damning text message; allegedly, ‘from a man’ on his victim’s phone, telling police, she had ‘played with his patience,’ causing the pummelling.

  Oh, okay, just so we get it straight…our courts are now accepting ‘Non capisco,’ ‘Je ne comprends pas’ and ‘Ní thuigim,’ as a credible ‘get out of jail’ strategy?  

  Well an dtuigeann tú seo Sanfillipo, and any other lowlife parasite who feels it’s okay to batter a woman/partner; you’re nothing more than a weak, pitiful little sissy.

  To the judiciary who show lenience, I’d like to say that as Ireland continues to bury women and children violated, battered and murdered by those they trusted to love and protect them, handing down a suspended sentence is scandalous and portrays these women’s lives as being less deserving of our protection; in addition, your empathy towards abusers is misguided and shameful.

Teens with murder in mind

Last week, a TV3 documentary shone a horrifying light on Irish kids who commit murder, focusing on four of the most heinous, unspeakable cases. However, for those whom, like me, live on a diet of news, you’ll know that over the past sixteen years, there have been no less than the same amounts of Irish teens who have actually been convicted of unlawful killing, with a worrying one-crime-per-year, frequency.   

  One offender was Darren Goodwin, aged 15 when he killed Darragh Conroy, 14, with a metal hammer.

  According to the documentary, Goodwin had previously told classmates he would “love to kill someone that nobody cares about, someone like Darragh Conroy.” Disturbingly, Goodwin is due to be released into society next month.

  Now, as I sat watching this documentary I remembered with sickening clarity each one of these cases for a variety of reasons, one being I would have been a crime reporter covering many of them and two, as a mother myself, I was totally thrown off balance at having to write, in detail, fact by alarming fact, the gruesome characteristics for readers of what, for me, was some of the most perplexing and agonising of all the hard news stories I’ve ever had to cover.

  What I found most troubling, while watching the documentary, was the intensification, detachment and violence with which these crimes were committed; and, while murder by a teen is rare, given the current incidence of gangland crime, I have to ask the question – are we only seeing the tip of this massive iceberg and is there more to follow?

A working mother’s commitment to parenthood is NEVER sub-standard

Before you wonderful, hard-working, stay at home mums (and Niamh Horan) get yer incontinence knickers in a twist, the fact is, while I felt enormous guilt going back to work following the birth of my babies, and would love to have had the luxury of being home full-time, mounting bills meant I needed my wages and I needed (still do) the security of a job that both challenged and excited me.

  So when young, childless, rebel without a clue, journo Niamh Horan accuses mammies like me of “riding the system” on RTE’s ‘Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge,’ effectively blaming those who have kiddies back to back of making money by getting maternity leave, it’s clear Ms. Smug has never tried to live on the meagre amount. My kids were born 11 years apart Niamh, but that’s not relevant, madam. What is relevant is Irish women should have the same entitlements and advantages as men…it’s called EQUALITY! Tell you what, one day, when you reach emotional maturity and stop riling, as you call us “the perpetually enraged,” you’ll understand that a working mother’s commitment to parenthood is never sub-standard, that we are, and always will be, providing unswerving commitment to our families; but as long as you’re devoted to slating the sisterhood you’ll probably never get that sentiment.