24th August, 2000
Many people assume
that they always have a right to return goods to the shop where
they bought them. "We often receive calls from people who
have bought an item of clothing in a store and then when they get
it home realise they have made a mistake, picked the wrong colour
and are then very upset if the shop will not give them their
money back". So says Niamh Murray of the Citizen's
Information Call Centre.
Whilst consumers do have rights under the sale of goods Act 1980, this only protects them under certain circumstances, if for example they have bought faulty or substandard goods it does not cover the situation where the purchaser merely changes their mind!
Many stores do have a policy always to offer a refund in any situation but many more do not. "We heard from one caller who had changed their mind about a purchase even before leaving the store and who was very upset when they were unab1e to get their money back. We always advise people to check with the Sales person as to what the stores policy is to avoid any regrets later, especially at sales time, when we are all inclined to make more reckless purchases.
If you want anymore information about your consumer rights or any other aspect of citizens rights and entitlements you can contact the Citizens information Call Centre on 1890777121 or alternately fax at 021 861479 or email information @ comhairle.ie
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENTS
All workers whether full-time, part-time or contract workers are entitled to paid holidays. For further information regarding your holiday entitlement please call in to the Cobh Information Centre at The Parish Centre, Roches Row, phone us on 4814422 or email to email@example.com. Our reduced opening hours for August are 10.30 to 4.30 on Monday & Tuesday, 10.30 to 2.00 on Wednesday and 10.30 to 12.00 on Thursday.
THE SECOND CYCLIST SQUADRON
A few weeks ago we printed a number of articles
"World War Two Air Accidents in Cork and Kerry" by Ger.
O'Regan. We received such a very positive response from some of
our many readers that we are now delighted to publish some more
of Ger's material. No doubt our readers will join with us in
commending Ger on his diligent devotion to the subject and for
the enormous amount of research he has done.
The Second Cyclist Squadron
This unit of the Irish Army, affectionately known as "The Piddling Panzer's" comprised of 130 officers and men from throughout Munster. They were based in Bantry House from June 29th 1940 to Feb 4th 1945 under the general command of the late Capt. Buttimer of Dunmanway.
It was the presence of this unique unit, which brought electricity to Bantry House. While the officers were accommodated in Bantry House, the men camped on the lawns. The relationship between the staff and owners of this stately mansion and army personnel was very cordial.
The Second Cyclist Squadron of the Cavalry Corps had to patrol on their bicycles, the 60 miles of rugged South West Coast of County Cork. And indeed had the horrible task of recovering the remains of AirCrews and their Aircraft, which crashed in the foothills of West Cork during "The Emergency Period". Several of these Aircraft mostly Luftwaffe ended up on the main lawn of Bantry House before being taken to the smelter at Roscrea.
But not all was doom and gloom. Trooper Danny Minogue of Clare was "The Store Keeper" in the courtyard. At inspection time, the crates of tea were often nailed to the floor to give the impression that the crates were full. Or the sentry on duty one night, who heard the sound of footsteps on the gravel path and called in a loud voice, "Halt who goes there"? The visitor did not identify himself, so the sentry shot into the dark. The Donkey survived.
Early one particular wintry morning, a civilian going home from the 'Pub' near Sheep's Head in Bantry Bay, observed many lights in the Bay. He duly informed the Local Defence Force (LDF).
The previous day, the Squadron had received crates of brand new Hotchis sub-machine guns.
At 2Am, a general alarm was sounded the word went out that German Paratroopers were seen in Bantry Bay. It was the view of the garrison that the threatened invasion of neutral Ireland had begun. The lorries were loaded with grenades, rifles, ammo, batons and the brand new Hotchkis sub-machine guns still in their crates. The army didn't have time to remove them. They set up camp at Barleycove Beach ready to devour whatever enemy came ashore.
As dawn broke, nothing was seen. Later that afternoon the general alarm was called off and everything was loaded back on to the lorries. The following day the Hotchkis sun-machine guns were taken onto the firing range for the first time. Not one of the guns would fire a bullet; there was a fault in their mechanism. Can one imagine the consequences if the enemy had come ashore? And as for the lights in Bantry Bay! Yes, the phosphorescent lights of the shoals of herring.
It was my pleasure to be part of a team which organised the first reunion of the Second Cyclist Squadron on June 29th 1986, forty years to the day when they first arrived. Ironically it was held in Bantry House. On that day 26 servicemen and their families attended. Eighty-six of the Squadron had passed to their eternal reward but on that special day all 130 personnel had been accounted for.
Trooper Pat Allman (since deceased) unveiled a Memorial Plaque in the courtyard of Bantry House. Pat hailed from Milltown Co. Kerry and during his service in Bantry House he met and courted his wife "Kathleen Deane" from Bantry. They became close and personal friends of this author.
The Second Cyclist Squadron was disbanded at Rockgrove, Little Island in August 1946.
Chamber calls on Minister to order Local
Authority Rates Freeze to help Combat Inflation
Cork Chamber of Commerce calls on Environment and Local
Authority Minister, Noel Dempsey, to cap commercial rates at
current levels as part of the Government's fight to combat
inflation. The call was made today as a Chambers of Commerce of
Ireland detailed study on commercial rates found that businesses
in Cork city pay the second highest commercial rates in the
country, the highest being Limerick city. Figures show that a
Cork business owner pays a rates bill of £3,197.25 on a property
with a notional annual rental value of £10,000 (as determined by
the Valuation Office). The average rates payment across all local
authorities for such a property would be £2,176.690. Businesses
in the Dublin Corporation area would pay £2,554 in rates.
The study "The Forgotten Business Tax" shows that local authorities increased commercial rates by an average of 4.6% this year. Over the ten year period 1991-2000, the average increase in commercial rates was 47% while aggregate inflation for the same period was 22%. Two years ago the Minister capped the size of the annual rates increase at 5%.
This year local authorities will spend £1.87 billion, of which over £455 million or 1 in every four pounds, comes from the business sector through commercial rates.
Chamber Chief Executive, Michael Geary, called on Minister Dempsey to follow the example of his cabinet colleagues in limiting increased in costs to Cork consumers and business in the Government's bid to tackle inflation. Commercial rates represent a significant cost to business and to continue to see them pushed up, does not help keep prices down.
"If Michéal Martin can tell the VHI not to increase their charges and Tom Kitt can seek to limit the prices that publicans can charge, surely Noel Demspey can prevent local authorities from also contributing to inflation by forcing up costs for local business. This is especially the case as commercial rates have increased at a rate of more than double that of inflation over the past ten years".
The Chamber also points out that any future increases in rates should be agreed by the local authorities with the local rate paying community.
IS ELVIS ALIVE?
We continue with our look at the somewhat controversial
Chiro's Book of Numbers.
Elvis had a fascination with numerology - an interest he fed by reading Chiro's Book of Numbers. The theory that the King orchestrated his death is further supported when considering the significance of the date of his alleged death. The date in question is August 16,1977. By adding the numbers in the date, 8, 16, and 1977, you get 2001. This is the title of Elvis' favourite movie in which the hero plans his immortality in the bathroom. Elvis spent a considerable amount of time doing the same: planning his afterlife on the john. Elvis spent so much time in the bathroom that he had his toilet converted into a reclining comfy chair. Coincidentally, the bathroom is also where Elvis's body was reportedly found.
Given Elvis's religious affiliation (Christianity), he had a fascination with things that come in threes i.e. father, son, and holy ghost. The sum of the digits from his favourite film (2+0+0+1) is three. Let's consider the triad of the repetition of the number 24. 2001 (favourite film) less 1977 (year of death) is 24. The two numbers from the day of death (8/16) when added up equal 24. The sum of the digits in the year of death (1+9+7+7) also equals 24. That is 3 occurrences of the number 24 which is divisible by 3, and when divided by three the result, 8 has a perfect cubed root (2x2x2=8).
Elvis loved numerology, and when you consider the numeric significance of the date of his alleged death, it is clear that if indeed he did plan to fake his death, he could not have chosen a better date.
Elvis had many reasons to fake his death. Elvis's life was in danger. He had recently lost $10,000,000 in an aeroplane/real estate deal with a California based organisation called the "Fraternity" that had links to the Mafia. It is speculated that he corroborated with the government to expose the organised crime ring in exchange for protection - perhaps in the form of a new life and identity compliments of the witness relocation program.
In addition, Elvis was a prisoner of his own fame. He had many other reasons to leave his life behind. Because of his incredible popularity, he was the recipient of several death threats, and he was concerned about the safety of his wife and daughter. Sometimes when he wanted to leave Graceland, he would send out look-alikes to distract would be followers. Elvis was also known to ride in the trunk of someone else's car to avoid detection. Once, when he fell ill in Las Vegas, he couldn't get proper medical attention because the hospital was overwhelmed by fans. At the time of his alleged death, Elvis was nearing the end of his career. He was 42, his hair was greying, he was grossly overweight, and his voice was starting to weaken. He was going down hill, and he was too proud to go out with a whimper. He would never want his fans to see him in such an unhealthy condition.
Elvis had shown a fascination with death on several occasions. In the days leading up to his alleged death he was reported to have visited funeral homes at odd hours of the night with close friends. Was he doing research? Elvis once faked his death by setting up an elaborate shooting in which a would be killer fired blanks at Elvis who had a blood pack which he discharged. It was Elvis's intention to see how the people closest to him would react to his death. Perhaps what he learned convinced him to do it for real? Finally, one of Elvis' favourite books is the spiritual Autobiography of Yogi. One of the central themes of this book is the relinquishing of one's wealth and earthly possessions to achieve spiritual oneness. Elvis could do this, as well as address his other concerns of sanity and safety by faking his death and living in exile.
Elvis had the means to fake his own death. He is accused of destroying himself with drugs. In reality, Elvis was a pharmaceutical expert. He took a lot of drugs, but he knew what he was doing and was extremely careful. He knew what drugs he could self-administer to create a deathlike state. Further, Elvis's experience with the martial arts was such that he could slow his heart rate and breathing in order to feign death. Elvis's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had once created a new identity for himself. He came to the US as an illegal immigrant from Holland, but through various connections managed to create an elaborate identity complete with a passport, birth certificate, drivers license, and social security number. He would have known how to give Elvis a second life.
In addition to Elvis's ties to the government through his testimony against the Fraternity, Elvis was known to interact with the President of the United States. He was reported in government documents to use the name John Burrows as an alias when he wanted to travel. Some people believe that Elvis worked for the government as a drug agent. He did, after all have extensive contact with many people in the music business who, as we know, tend to dabble in illegal substances. (Remember Payola?.. ) And, of course, we must allow that Elvis's connections to the government gave him access to the Witness Relocation Program. If they can turn the Simpson's into the Thompsons, they can relocate anybody.
Final part next week
MOBILE CALL CHARGES
The lack of transparency in mobile call charges makes choosing
a tariff option a difficult task. Each of the three operators:
Eircell, Esat Digifone ( Digifone) and Imag!ne, present charges
in different ways, leading to confusion for consumers seeking the
best deal. For example, Eircell gives inclusive minutes with
Eirtime Options, and Digifone gives inclusive call value with
Select, complicating comparisons between them. Operators apply
different charges depending on: the day (weekday or weekend), the
time of day (peak or off-peak), and the destination of the call.
Call charges vary depending on whether you call a fixed line, a
mobile number or mobile number from the same network. For example,
if you have a Digifone mobile, you can pay less to call another
Digifone mobile than to call an Eircell mobile. Also charges vary
according to the destination location.
In May 2000, the Supreme Court found in favour of the Office of the Director of Telecommunications. Regulator's (ODTR) original decision to award the third mobile licence to Meteor Mobile Communications Ltd. This followed lengthy legal proceedings between the 0DTR, Meteor and Orange Communications Ltd, a rival bidder for the licence.
The Regulator, Etain Doyle, said after the decision that she believes we will see "a significant reduction in mobile charges across the board as a direct result of the market entry of a third licensee"
Mobile prices in Britain fell by 75% in real terms during the 1990's, according to Oftel, the British telecommunications regulator. Prices there fell by around 33% in 1994 after the entry of the third mobile operator, One2one, and by 19%, the previous year as existing operators prepared for competition.
Eircell and Digifone recently announced reductions in their prepaid charges. Meteor is expected to begin providing services before Christmas; we look forward to seeing what effect it has on prices
In April 2000, an Irish company, Cellular 3, launched 'Imag!ne'. Cellular 3 is a 'virtual' mobile operator - it buys airtime from Eircell's network and sells it on to consumers at a reduced rate. If you connect to imag!ne you get an Eircell (087) number.
The ODTR has initiated consultations with interested groups about access for new players in the mobile market. The ODTR has proposed a timetable for the introduction of third generation (3G) of mobile services. 3G is a low cost, high-capacity means of mobile communications which allows the delivery of pictures, graphics, video communications as well as voice and data, directly to people on the move. The timetable sets the end of February 2001 for the licensing of these services.
An increasing number of mobiles are WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) enabled, which allows access to some internet content.
Next week Choice's and Option's
THE DAVY CROCKETT STORY
New Year's Day 1821 marked a turning point in Crockett's
career. He resigned as commissioner to run for a seat in the
Tennessee legislature as the representative of Lawrence and
Hickman counties. He won the August election and, from the
beginning, took an active interest in public land policy
regarding the West. After the session concluded he moved his
family to what is now Gibson County in West Tennessee. He was re-elected
in l823, defeating Dr. William F. Butler, but was in turn
defeated in August 1825 in his first bid for a seat in Congress.
In 1826 after returning to private business, Crockett nearly died
when his boats carrying barrel staves were wrecked in the
Mississippi River. When he was brought to Memphis he was
encouraged to run again for Congress by Maj. M. B.Winchester and
won election over Gen. William Arnold and Col. Adam Alexander to
the United States House of Representatives in 1827. He was re-elected
to a second term in 1829 and split with President Andrew Jackson
and the Tennessee delegation on several issues, including land
reform and the Indian removal bill. In his 1831 campaign for a
third term, Crockett openly and vehemently attacked Jackson's
policies and was defeated in a close election by William
By this time Crockett's reputation as a sharpshooter, hunter, and yarn-spinner had brought him into national prominence. He was the model for Nimrod Wildfire, the hero of James Kirke Paulding's play 'The Lion of the West', which opened in New York City on April 25, 1831. 'The Life and Adventures of Colonel David Crockett of West Tennessee" was published in 1833 and reprinted the same year under the more accurate title of 'Sketches and Eccentricities of Colonel David Crockett of West Tennessee'. Much of the same material spilled over into the first few issues of a series of comic almanacs published under Crockett's name from 1835 to 1856 that, as a whole, constituted a body of outrageous tall tales about the adventures of the legendary Davy rather than the historical David Crockett.
Building in part upon his growing notoriety, Crockett defeated the incumbent Fitzgerald in 1833 to return to Congress. The following year he published his autobiography, written with the help of Thomas Chilton, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee, the only work that he actually authored. It was intended to correct the portrayal given by Mathew St. Clair Clarke in Sketches and Eccentricities and to deny Crockett's authorship of that account, which did not bear Clarke's name. The Narrative was also a campaign biography of sorts, for Whig politicians were touting Crockett as an anti-Jackson candidate for the presidency in 1836. On April 25, 1834, he began a three-week triumphal tour of the eastern states, and his "campaign swing" was recorded in the first of two Whig books published the next year under his name, An Account of Colonel Crockett's Tour to the North and Down East. The second, a negative Life of Martin Van Buren, was issued less than three months later.
Crockett apparently thought himself a serious candidate, but he was likely only a convenient political tool to the Whigs, an independent frontiersman with a national reputation perhaps the equal of Jackson's who opposed Jackson on key political issues. The point became academic, however, when Crockett lost his 1835 congressional campaign to Adam Huntsman, a peg-legged lawyer supported by Jackson and by Governor Carroll of Tennessee, by 252 votes.
Disenchanted with the political process and his former constituents, Crockett decided to do what he had threatened to do-to explore Texas and to move his family there if the prospects were pleasing. On November 1, 1835, with William Patton, Abner Burgin, and Lindsey K. Tinkle, he set out to the West, as he wrote on the eve of his departure, "to explore the Texes well before I return". At this point he had no intention of joining the fight for Texas independence.
The foursome reached Memphis the first evening and, in company with some friends congregated in the bar of the Union Hotel for a farewell drinking party, Crockett offered his now famous remark: "Since you have chosen to elect a man with a timber toe to succeed me, you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas." They set off the next day. Their route was down the Mississippi River to the Arkansas and then up that river to Little Rock; overland to Fulton, Arkansas, and up the Red River along the northern boundary of Texas; across the Red River, through Clarksville, to Nacogdoches and San Augustine; and on to San Antonio.
Next week the Alamo
THE DOUGLAS LINEN INDUSTRY
From the 'History of Douglas' by Con Foley
In 1783, Arbuthnot, then Inspector General for the Linen Board reported that he had visited the Douglas Factory and that the concern then traded under the title of Daniel Perdrian & Co., but as the two brothers of that name bad recently died, the surviving partner, Mr. Julius Besnard would carry on the business in association with John Besnard, Junior. From that, it would appear that Perdrians succeeded Perry and Carleton perhaps after the financial downfall of "King" Carleton. As far as the Linen Board was concerned, this was the first mention of the Besnards in Douglas.
On the other hand, it is on record that Peter Besnard, Sailmaker, Cork, has taken into partnership his son Julius and his daughter-in-law Mary Anne Besnard, (Peter Besnard died in May 1764 in his 86th year). This would be in the year following Stephenson's visit to Douglas. Julius married in the year 1762. From these records it would appear that Julius Besnnard became associated with the Perdrians sometime between 1756 and l783 and subsequently took over the business.
All historians of the Linen trade in Ireland agree that the introduction of the first spindles in Ireland driven by power was by the installation of 212 spindles in the neighbourhood of Cork, but none of them mentions by whom these spindles were erected.
There is no doubt whatever that the credit is due to the Besnard 5 for what was then a revolutionary step. Confirmation can be found in the reports of the proceedings of the Linen Board.
Mr. Charles Duffin, the Inspector General of Munster, Leinster and Connaught, reported at a meeting of the Board in November 1805, that, he had visited the Works of Messrs, Besnard who had 212 spindles engaged in spinning, flax, hemp and tow. These spindles were in full operation at the time, a date on which the first power driven spindles in Ulster were only in course of erection. Mr. Duffin also reported that the machinery for the spinning installation set up by the Besnards was manufactured in Cork and was giving very satisfactory results. In Northern Ireland the first spindles were set up by a Leeds concern.
More next week
ST. RAPHAEL'S - Joe Mac to raise £5000+
Sponsored by 'Nevada Smiths' New York, the 'Irish
Connection's' magazine New York and O'Flaherty's Parnell Place,
Cork. Joe McCarthy and his band are once more offering their
services free of charge to raise funds for St. Raphael's Centre
in Youghal. Joe and the boys are heading off to New York on
September 11th, not so much to play music but to challenge the
elite of America's licensing trade in the Nevada Smith's/Irish
Connection's Golf Classic. Last year it was one of the most
memorable golf outings ever and they raised £5,000 for St.Raphael's.
This year they hope to do even better as the event is almost sold
out. But what is the St. Raphael's Centre and why bother to help?
The history of St.Raphaels can be traced back to the early 1850's Initially it was run as an industrial school founded by the nuns of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, who also operated the District Hospital in the town of Youghal.
In 1904 it was remodelled as an auxiliary mental hospital to Our Lady's Hospital in Cork City, and to house "harmless lunatics" from over-crowded workhouses. It housed 321 patients and at that time the able-bodied male patients worked on the farmlands belonging to the hospital. The female patients worked in the laundry to provide clean linen to the wards. They also worked in the kitchens preparing and serving meals for the patients.
In 1991 the hospital was designated as a centre for mentally handicapped. Some of the residents were transferred to different hospitals in the Southern Health Board, and mentally handicapped patients were transferred to St,Raphaels. The emphasis changed from a supervisory/caring role to providing a more fulfilling lifestyle. To achieve this, in the early 1970's an occupational therapy unit was opened on the grounds to provide activation for the residents who, up to then, had stayed in the wards.
St.Raphael's including all its facilities has a staff of approximately 200 which includes the Director of Nursing, three assistant directors of nursing, 76 nursing staff, 110 non-nursing staff including care attendants, catering, maintenance staff, workshop manager and instructors and seven administration staff.
It is part of the Centre's on-going policy to re-integrate residents into the community. It costs an awful lot of money, much more than they are provided with, for St. Raphael's to carry out their complete programme. They need help and that's what Joe Mac and his friends are up to.
The entire fundraising event is organised by Paddy and Tom McCarthy of Nevada Smiths New York, along with some help from Bernard McCarthy of O'Flaherty's in Parnell Place and of course Joe Mac and the boys.
You too can help.
If you want to lend your support to what Joe is doing all you have to do is contact Bernard at O'Flaherty's (273054), or Ronnie at 086 8839392, or Joe Mac himself at any of his gigs and you can sponsor Joe Mac to the tune of £10 and in return your name gets entered free of charge in the New York draw where you can win a round trip for two to the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida, which includes 2 tickets to the Super Bowl xxxv and 4 nights in Tampa (worth £6,000), as a runner up you could win a weekend trip for 2 to New York. There are umpteen other smaller prizes. But the important thing is that all proceeds go to St. Raphael's Centre in Youghal.
OUR ROSE OF TRALEE
In the wake of releasing her premier CD single 'Reckless',
1999 Rose of Tralee, Geraldine O'Grady has now turned her
attention towards her other love- Theatre. With her reign as Rose
at an end, the Asylum Theatre Company, which Geraldine co-founded
with Donal Gallagher in 1998, have returned to rehearsals for
their forthcoming 'mini-tour' of The Bald Prima Donna. Asylum's
production is a stripped down, sent up, furiously funny
adaptation of Eugene Ionesco's classic comedy, in which Geraldine
performs three of the scripts original six characters.
The much acclaimed artistic director of Cork's Granarv Theatre, Ah Robertson, (director of "The Double Bass" and mastermind behind "The Summer of Love" Repertoire Company), directs the show.
In continuation of Geraldine's affiliation with the Heart Foundation, all proceeds from the opening night will go directly to this charity.
"The Bald Prima Donna" Tue. 12th - Sat. 16th Sept. Granary Theatre.
AS I DODGE TRAFFIC
I used to think that the most horrifying thing in the world
for me was being a passenger on a dilapidated Indian bus that was
careening down a winding mountainous road in the Himalayas and
being driven by an staunch believer in re-incarnation, sure that
he's lived a very good life. But now, living and driving in
Ireland, I've had to re-think that thought. Irish roads and Irish
drivers are far more terrifying.
The media harps on the "fact" that 19-25 year old males between the hours of 9pm and 6am are mostly responsible for the "carnage" on the roads. Maybe, maybe not. But at least let's take an honest look at some of the other contributing factors, shall we?
I kinda have a feeling that the "carnage" might have something to do with the deadly combination of the following:
1. There are more new, high performance, fast, and road hugging cars out there,.
2. Being driven by drivers who are allowed to get behind the wheel after only having to apply for a provisional licence and without having to prove any ability or sense whatsoever,
3. On shitty, crappy, windy, twisty, narrow, dangerous, potholed roads deemed safe for 60 miles/hour unless otherwise posted (hello??!!!).
4. Along which are dotted (at 1 mile intervals consistently) quaint, cosy, thirst quenching pubs.
Need I say more? ... Actually, yes.
Coupled with this deadly combination of factors is a fascinating but sad social phenomenon that has developed in the last 5 years and has gripped Irish society in a fatal death lock. The "never again" mantra from the Great Famine, that has embedded itself in the national psyche and has inspired great movements of independence, has met the "catch-up to the modern world" material madness of the Celtic Tiger, to create a "me-culture" concoction that has spread insidiously throughout Irish society. This me-culture is replacing the traditional sense of personal, social and communal responsibility with a "me-first" individual-focused mentality.
And where best to witness this me-culture but on Irish roads. You see this somewhat self-centred (by definition) me-culture everywhere and all the time on Irish roads. Just look at how people pull out without looking, change lanes without signalling, and (my favourite) park anywhere and everywhere, when and where and how convenient without a thought for the inconvenience and danger it may and does cause to all the other people around them. All those other people then find that they must cross the centre line to get by the "it's ok, because I have my hazards on" parked car. But fewer drivers in the on-coming lanes are accommodating these forced manoeuvres anymore, no longer edging over and making room as often. And what about the slow drivers on the highways - they aren't moving over and using the shoulder as much anymore either to give way for faster drivers to pass safely. What's up with that? And those faster drivers aren't flashing their hazards as much anymore in that friendly gesture of "thanks man, appreciate it" (I love that gesture - it's like a happy face smiling on the back of the car that brings a warm fuzzy feeling on a wet and windy day on a lonely stretch of road.)! Is it just me, or has everybody been standing too close to the petrol pump these days, getting high on the fumes? They're certainly driving like it. What the heck are people thinking about?
And the Gárda are, with all due respect, rather useless with road safety. In all the three years that I've been driving in Ireland (and I'm proud to say I passed the drivers test first go!), I have been shocked and baffled at the lack of police presence on the roads. I don't feel safe. And who in their wisdom thought the mail-a-ticket thing was a good idea? A moneymaker - yah! But a lifesaver? Not so sure. How effective is it to get a £50 violation in the mail a month after the incident? It distances behaviour from the consequences and thereby lacks the immediate impact so essential to behaviour change. And people are parting with their money so easily these days; it's like water off a duck's back. There is something to be said for the race of adrenaline that accompanies the flashing lights as they come up behind you when you've been nabbed for speeding and are being pulled over. The powerful human experience slows people down on the spot. That flimsy piece of paper slipped through the front door a month later didn't prevent the accident that occurred minutes after the camera snapped the picture.
It has become the proverbial jungle out there, where dog-eats-dog and the leftovers get discarded, wasted, not even composted, let alone recycled (a whole other gripe for a whole other article). And ya' know what? I wouldn't give a rat's ass how anyone decides to live their life, or spend their money, or drive their car. Except for the fact that they ALMOST KILL ME 5 TIMES EVERY DAY while I'm just minding my own business getting myself from A to B in this life. And trying to be a good neighbour by letting people in during traffic. Only to be hemmed in when they decide to stop and flash the hazards for that quick run into the shop. That ends up being a 5 minute conversation with a "haven't seen you in ages" acquaintance they bumped into down aisle 3. And what pisses me off the most is that everyone is just out for themselves, changing lanes whenever it suits them without even the consideration of indicating (oh is that what that thing by the steering wheel is for?) or even a glance in the rear-view to see that they've cut me off, sent me hurtling into the ditch, and left me for dead. Ok, so maybe that's a little over the top but.
FOR GODSAKE PEOPLE, LEARN HOW TO FECKIN' DRIVE !!
And don't tell me to go back to India. Their air traffic control is frightening.
Enthusiastic cyclist Pat Ahern from Donnybrook is about to
undertake a gruelling 500km challenge in the French/German cycle
region in aid of peace. The route he will take will include some
of the most spectacular scenery in the region including the
Alsace wine region, the Northern Vosges nature reserve and the
Black Forest. As part of the trip he will join with over 15000
cyclists in 'Velo sans frontiere' from Dahn in France to Neuburg
He is undertaking the challenge in aid of Co-Operation Ireland, a charity dedicated to promoting practical co-operation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at youth, community and business levels. The money raised will go towards the Co-Operation Ireland's youth, education and community groups.
Pat said" I am really looking forward to joining all the other cyclists out on the open road, the challenge looks like being a great undertaking. I am also delighted to support the work of Co-Operation Ireland. I believe that by taking part in this event, I am playing my part in promoting peace. I'd also like to thank all of the people who sponsored me for their contributions". Any one who would still like to sponsor me, can contact me at Tel. 4892418 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
INFORMATION FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS
Question. I have recently left school and will be starting my
first job shortly. Is there anything I should do before I start?
Answer. You may have received from the Department of Social, Community and family Affairs (DSCFA) a card with your Revenue and Social Insurance (RSI) Number. You should give this number to your employer when you start work. If you cannot find it you can ring the Registration Section, Department of Social, Community and family Affairs, Tel: (01) 7043281, with your name, address and date of birth, and they will give you your RSI number.
Supplied by the Citizen's Information Call Centre, Penrose Wharf Call Centre, Penrose Quay, Cork
Free and Confidential Service: 1890 777 121
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