June 2017, Leo’s first, and highly significant visit to 10 Downing Street, where, gushing like a guileless ingénue, the man who is leader of our country, the man upon whose expertise we depend, rhapsodised like a gauche fanboy, revealing how he felt “a little thrill” at being in the big house with boss lady Theresa May, and how he was “reminded of that famous scene in Love Actually where Hugh Grant does his dance down the stairs”. Oh how we all laughed and chalked that boob down to whimsy.
March 2018, An Taoiseach’s first visit to the White House, where, making its way from head to mouth, bypassing brain completely, Leo served up an idiotic faux pas regarding how he played an important role in having planning permission turned down for a wind farm to be built next to Donald Chump’s pile in County Clare following a panicked ‘wats da story bud’ ‘phone call from the future Pres to check out the sitch! Revealing how, (as our then Minister for Tourism), Leo, like an obedient newbie, said he ‘phoned the council to suss it out, because, after all, the big cheese American businessman was concerned about the negative impact of such a project.
However, as Irish journos gaped in awe, not knowing when to put a sock in it, loose-lipped Leo, unrestrained, jumped into the dog pen with a massive pork chop around his neck and further effused how, “the president has very kindly given me credit for that although I do think it probably would have been refused anyway!”
Brain over! Turn him off. Insert coin. Turn him back on again!
You see folks, Leo’s lack of judgement not only caused an absolute rumpus here in the aul sod…and among many of the boys and girls of County Clare, it also makes us the laughing stock (and I’m not talking about cattle with a sense of humour here Leo), across the entire globe, causing me to wonder if our leader is still waiting on that brain donor to arrive, and worse, if everyone who heard his major gaffe now believes this country is built solely on brown envelope totting business people and those who’re (allegedly) engaged in ‘cute hoorism’ politics!
Either way, in the cold light of day, using what can only be described as emergency homespun PR wisdom, Leo was forced to prick the balloon of his own pomposity and quickly clarify that he didn’t contact Clare County Council, but in fact contacted Fáilte Ireland regarding the wind farm! Oookaaay, if ya say so.
However, in light of this dung heap, it’s my humble opinion that, if we’re to allow what appears to be a highly inexperienced individual who theorises that making immature jokes while representing us on the world stage is endearing to lead this country, then I’d suggest the riskiest thing we should allow Leo to do in the future is parallel park his fancy car without the aid of power steering!
Acquittal brings clarity and strengthens rights of the householder
In the same week Gardaí investigated a break-in at the Kilkenny home of a 98-year-old woman, the acquittal of 20-year-old Dubliner Martin Keenan in the State’s first murder case to be defended under the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011 by a ten men and two women jury is no doubt seen as a relief to the many homeowners and farmers whose lives have been blighted by the scum of the earth.
That said, let me mention this law is not black and white – however, it does allow a citizen to use ‘reasonable’ force when defending their dwelling. Now while the word ‘reasonable’ is loaded with ambiguity, let me try to explain that under Common Law, something which a jury must consider when taking into account the outcome is the question…did the homeowner have an opportunity to retreat? Basically, if the intruder was coming at you with a weapon, did you, (homeowner), have the opportunity to leg it out the open back door behind you, and did you use it, or did you retaliate? Ya with me?
However, in order to deal with this aspect, the 2011 Act now means the jury are not permitted to have any regard to the fact that you, (homeowner), could have retreated or even had the opportunity to do so and not take it. But instead place, (I suppose), themselves in your shoes and deem it that you are entitled to stand your ground and defend yourself and your home; with the only question being…did you use ‘reasonable’ force.
Now; here’s the thing readers, you can only rely on this Act if you’re defending your actual home; you cannot rely on it if you’re defending your business! You see, under Bunreacht Na hÉireann 1937, your home, (dwelling), is protected and if anyone enters it illegally, it’s viewed as an act of aggression. Now that doesn’t mean you can go chasing the intruder down the road, around the corner and attack them…that’s called revenge!
So please keep in mind that while the key word is ‘reasonable’ force, it’s never, ever, okay to take the law into our own hands; we are not James Bond with a license to kill; but if we perceive we are under threat we all have a right to defend ourselves.