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JUNE 12th. 2000
Hi and welcome once again to your free Interactive Waterford and County newsletter and Pat Kiely's weekly comments. Well, all you wonderful Waterford people, whether by birth, ancestory or adoption, let's hope you've been behaving yourselves over the last week or so!
A little later we have a story about a couple who just love house sitting, and having spent the last three months in County Waterford are just itching to find another property anywhere in the world, preferably warm, between now and October.
But we begin this week with some disturbing news to all animal lovers! What follows may be a little upsetting for you.....Because its about the unnecessary slaughter of animals on County Waterford and Irish Roads...
A New Pastime?
Mention fox hunting to some people and its like waving a red flag in front of an injured bull. Cruelty! they shout, sadism, bloodletting, a sport? Never! Offer a committed vegetarian a juicy red steak or a hamburger and you better have a sicky bag ready to catch the contents, as they come flying towards you. Fox hunters tell us their doing a service to the countryside, carrying out a sort of selection of the species, a humane form of eugenics, almost an act of kindness!
Vegetarians justify their point of view by saying how cruel it is to kill animals, how inhumane it is to force feed and force rear them before they are slaughtered and even worse to eat them. Most other people's attitude towards animals in Irish society comes out somewhere between these two extremes over the issue of animal rights.
Why then is there so much unnecessary killing of animals by motor vehicles on Irish roads? Is it perhaps because many people undergo a personality change when they get behind the wheel of the latest, the 21st century animal exterminator, the modern motor car or automobile as you folks across the water call them!
Armed with this shiny new weapon, the most meek and mild of individuals often seem to lose all sense of danger and humanity for fellow man or beast. If you think that is a wild statement to make, just take a spin along any country or main highway on any morning but particularly at weekends.
If you do, you will find so many dead and slaughtered animals decorating the roadside that you might wonder if animal sacrifice had come back into fashion with a vengeance on our counties roads.
And its not only animals, that are becoming victims on our roads..Recent reports in the national press suggest that Ireland's pedestrians are the third most vulnerable in Europe to be knocked down or killed by a motor vehicle,which is a tragic state of affairs considering that we still only have a population of around 3 million.
While most of the road deaths occurred around the city streets of the capital Dublin, a large proportion of these deaths also occurred in rural areas on quiet roads. Last weekend between Lismore and Clogheen a popular short cut for many drivers on their way to Clonmel, Kiely counted 14 dead animals....Every kind of animal from squirrels to hedgehogs, loads of rabbits, a dead badger and even a little pet dog which had been killed near one of the scenic stopping place up at the Vee.
Some creatures had been run over so many times their identity was no longer discernible.
Obviously there are times sadly, when hitting an animal is unavoidable! Where trying to stop or swerve might cause an even more serious accident, but these occasions shouldnt be a regular occurrence. Surely the question to ponder is this!
If a driver regularly cannot avoid or stop for an animal that runs out in front of them , what chance do pedestrians and particularly children have?
Now for something a bit lighter,---------
Its a request from Mary and Michael Pratt, who would just love to come and house sit your home and eveny our pets, between now and October, preferably if you live somewhere warm, rather than cold.
The practise of getting a Babysitter to look after the kids has been around a long time and is a well established method of allowing a couple to have peace of mind while away from their house, but now another form of sitting is becoming very popular not just in Ireland but all around the world.... House-sitting or the care-taking of an empty property.
Not only the house, but the pets as well can now be looked after safely in exchange for providing the person doing the house sitting with free accommodation in your empty residence. Dervla Murphy, Lismores intrepid globe trotter who is the owner of a dog, three cats and a recent litter of pups has been lucky enough to find a reliable couple, Mary and Mike Pratt to do just that for the last couple of months.
At one time in Ireland if you needed to leave your house unoccupied for a few weeks or even months you could be fairly sure that when you returned the place would be as you left it. Untouched, undamaged,and undefiled, but these days, a house left empty for a while runs the risk of burglary, vandalism or even worse.
Mary and Mike Pratt who, like travel writer Dervla Murphy have also travelled around the world extensively, used to run a theme Hotel in Sheffield, and decorated each room of the hotel in the style of a different country that they had visited.
Two years ago they sold their Hotel and bought property in London which they decided to rent out so that they could do some more travelling. On a trip to Albania we met a couple from South Mall, in Lismore, County Waterford, who told us about house sitting and how their friend travel writer Dervla Murphy, needed someone reliable to look after her residence and her pets for a few weeks while she was away.said Mary, who was born in Adare, and once worked as a co-ordinator for the blind in Cork .
Well, we had never tried this before, but we both love animals and decided to give Dervla a telephone call and sort things out.
Its been a great experience living in Lismore for the last three months and since we started minding the house there has been an addition to Dervlas family in the form of a litter of pups born to her pet dog Spit, a little while ago.added Mary.
As often happens during Kielys interview, eventually the subject of how the couple met crept into the conversation. I met Mike when I was studying at University in England, remarked Mary with a smile, but it wasnt what you call love at first sight.
I had a friend called Jenny at Uni who was a strict Baptist and she asked me to come with her to make up a foursome as she wanted to meet this chap in Stafford (Mikes brother) and as I had an aunt who also worked there as a hospital Matron, I thought I would go along on the back of my friends scooter just for the spin.
At the time Mike was going out with this flash girl called Lauren, but eventually we clicked and to cut a long story short, both I and my friend Jenny eventually married the two brothers.
As Mike returned to Dervlas garden after getting some milk for the cats, he said he thought it quite a coincidence that they were minding Dervla Murphys house, because he and Mary have always loved travelling and cycling very much themselves, even taking their son Declan to China when he was quite young.
Our son took part in a Red Cross fund-raising cycle to Jerusalem last year, and now our son seems to have caught the travelling bug as well. At the moment he is out in China somewhere.
The Chinese must find it fascinating because he has red hair, Mike added with a grin. Mary and Michael will be available to house-sit another property from June until October this year and Kiely asked them what advantages they thought house sitting had to offer the owner?
I think for those with a valuable or isolated property, recruiting reliable house sitters like ourselves to look after your home or pets in your absence is a very economic proposition for all concerned. It has allowed us to spend an extended time in Ireland which we both love, at minimum cost and it has allowed the owner of this property a lot more peace of mind to know that their house and animals have been safely looked after.
For animal lovers , who want to take an extended break away from there pets there is an added difficulty, the cost of professional kennelling or boarding, whichcan often be prohibitive. Getting someone to house sit your property is a very economic way to have a break and be sure your animals are happy Mary added
If you would have a property you would like Mary and Mike Pratt to house-sit, you can ring them on their mobile (England) 0044 (0)788 0748947 or email Kiely and he will pass the message on for you.
If you are very quick Kiely can contact them for you because they are leaving Ireland this Thursday 15th.June if there is no response to their request...
HOME FROM HOSPITAL.
Best wishes for a quick recovery to well known Lismore GAA man Mossy Hyland,whose story was featured here some time back. Mossy from Chapel street has just returned from hospital where he recently underwent an operation, and we wish him a speedy recovery..
E-MAILS. 'Hi Pat,' Writes Chris Lennon from Britain, 'Just thought I would let you know that as a result of your news letter two long lost friends are meeting in Ballyduff. William M. Lane is Meeting my brother Gerry in the next couple of weeks...Regards Chris' ---------------------------------------------
ROSELYN DUFOUR and several others wrote in response to Kiely's story about the destruction of the Fairfield in Lismore,
'Hi Pat, I am distressed to read that things are being torn up and torn down to make way for "progress" over there. We Americans have so little history compared to you all on that side of the Atlantic. Consequently, we tear down whatever gets in our way to build something bigger but not necessarily better. Thanks again for the Waterford Weekly - always a pleasure to read. Roselyn DuFour -Albuquerque, New Mexico.
another email came from ...FRED BELL in the USA who says....
I am not pleased with developments that can take place in the name of progress to historic towns,like Lismore t important to get the balance right,and to preserve the Heritage.' Fred liked Kiely's feature about bank machines and how the sun always shines upon them, and he reckons that's not a phenomena exclusive only to Ireland either.
Fred's visited here last year and says in his email that he is just 'longing' for oneof those nice cool pints of Guinness he enjoyed in dancer Fred Astaire's old haunt, Madden's Bar, Lismore......
MARGARET (NOLAN) WEBB is just back from an 'awesome trip' around Ireland. Her first visit in 12 years. 'The weather wasn't the greatest -- cold as the dickens -- but the rain managed to pour mostly when we were on the bus and stopped long enough for us to enjoy the scenery and take pictures. The only all-day rain we had was at the Irish Stud Farm and Japanese Gardens .'
HER trip was organised by a company called Insights and she experienced Ireland in the company of people from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Scotland, Canada -- only six of us from US -- all unknown to me -- so a culture lesson right within the bus.
Margaret continued,' I didn't meet any Nolans but managed to get some telephone numbers which may help in my pursuit of what may be very distant cousins. Someday maybe that will all come about.' I do enjoy your newsletters -- keep it up. .................................................................
Another regular reader PE WILLIAMS writes,
'Hi Mr. Pat'.................. Terrible, terrible, what is happening to the Land!! No longer green & clean but a concrete-jungle..has been here since the dinosaur, & man has destroyed-that- within 500 yrs. Perhaps all, IR men/women all over the world should join together maintain preserve our heritage--(north & south --) Some fine points there Pat
'Hallo Pat, from Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand...'
Writes SHEVAUN ELLIOTT (nee Thomas). 'My Dad, Paddy Thomas was born in Dublin and my Mum, Nellie Meskill came from Cappoquin. She was one of 14 children and 7 of her brothers and sisters still live in Cappoquin. Larry Meskill,Margaret Troy, Kathleen Shea, Anne Morrison,Mary Mahar, Christina Bryne, Billy Meskill. My Mum and Dad emigrated to New Zealand in 1961 and only managed to return once in 1985.
I was so lucky to be able to make a trip over to meet and spend time with all my Irish Relations thistime last year. ('A big thing for me,' Shavaun says, as I'd never been on a plane before and left 3 children and a husband to fend for themselves.'). It was the most special time of my life to see all the special people and places that Mum and Dad talked of so fondly - all their history. As everyone will tell you, Ireland is a wonderful place, one of a kind.
I brought back my Mum and Dad's ashes and they arenow buried with their parents -and their brothers and sisters now have a place to go and feel close to them and remember them. My Mum's family are buried in St Declan's Graveyard, Toureen. I was excited to discover the Waterford Weekly and will look forward to receiving it.
The internet is a great way to stay in touch with news from Ireland and people and relations I met on my travels there. Best of Irish Luck from here in New Zealand...(Thanks for that long and interesting email Shevaun) -----------------------------------------------
MARY BETH MCGRATH.. wrote from Mass. USA, where they are having a heat wave, and also sent a lovely pic of her grandson Brendan and his with his great-great Aunt, Mary C. Hayes aged 97.
'We'll try to send a bit of this summer weather across theAtlantic to you.' says Mary. God bless, (Thanks Mary)
Hi to TRISH ALSO KNOWN AS PATRICIA Camarillio who wrote, 'Dear Pat, It's a foggy morning in Amherst, Ohio. Amherst is in Lorain County. We are approximately 2 miles south of Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. I think you may have gotten the idea that Trish and Patricia are two different people. I am Patricia Cullinan Camarillo and my "nickname" is Trish. In our home, as a child, we had 3 Pats. Patrick Vincent Cullinan, Jr. who was my Dad, Patricia (myself) and myyounger brother Patrick V. Cullinan, III.
My Dad called me Trish. My mother said it was a task deciding who was wanted on the telephone when someone called for "Pat" at our home. My Grandfather wasPatrick V. Cullinan, Sr. born in Lismore in 1889. Of course, you remember Patrick III on his 6 month visit to Lismore last summer. Have a wonderful summer.
Hopefully my husband Rollie and I will get there next summer. Sincerely, Trish.
(Kiely is the third Pat in a row and the Irish can go to great lengths to distinguish the difference between all the Pats and Bridgets here, by the use of nicknames, such as Pattie,Paddy etc and Bridge, Brigie, Brigid, so your not the only one with the problem PatTRIcia...) (Not every one has the CIA in their own name either!)
Still waiting for that photo of you and your ....dad,..DECLAN MCCANN ...
Did you get a chance to send it by snail mail? (Thanks Declan, Its just arrived!)
A Quick Hello to octanagerian, BERTIE FINLAYSON a great woman from Canada who Kiely met last year.... Thanks for signing my Guestbook, Bertie!.
Thanks to all of you who have been in touch over the last week, I love the feedback, so keep it coming, So finally,finally, finally.....
Thanks once again to all who subscribed, signed the guestbook, sent postcards or emailed..and as they say down this way... Thanks a million!
See 'ya all next week. God bless, Pat.
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