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Kiely's Comments........Features.....Meet the People of Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland and beyond each week....also Photos. ...and Life Stories...Plus ...Pat Kiely's Free Irish Newsletter ....and lots more!....Subscribe Now!!

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Failte, and many of them to you all.

Issue 52 of Kiely's Comments and your own very own interactive Waterford & County Weekly are here once again.

Come on, own up all you Waterford boys and girls. Have been behaving yourselves.? I hope you have,''cause you never know when Kiely might pop up with his little Canon...Camera that is, not his local Parish priest, Fr.Thomas Nugent who also happens to be a Canon, but not a camera if you know what I mean!

This week Minister for Arts, Heritage,and the Gaeltacht, Sile (Shelia) de Valera, niece of our famous Irish President was down Waterford way opening a new Arts Centre in Dungarvan in the Old Market Hall, and re-opening the Theatre Royal in Waterford City.

During her official visit to the county,she took time out to pay an unofficial visit to Lismore, where she got herself caught on Kiely's camera before popping into the Heritage Centre and then down to the famous Lismore Castle for tea and cakes.

Kiely couldn't join them (even if he'd been asked!) as he had to rush off down to Cork Airport to collect his daughter and little Jess, now nearly one year's old already, who had arrived from England for a few days holiday before the Easter rush.

Thanks to those who took part in Kiely's homepage Poll vote....

about whether hitchhiking in Ireland should be banned.80 percent of you thought it should be.

The poll booth will be open for a few more days if you still want to cast your vote.

But first...


‘An Annual has just has one fling and then it all over, but a Perennial lasts forever,’ said gardening expert and enthusiastic Lismore Tidy Towns member, Harry Brown, from Fernville, Lismore.

‘We used to plant Annuals on this flower bed, said Harry, pointing to the patch of land opposite the castle garden wall near the Lismore Hotel car park, but it was a lot of trouble having to replant everything every year.’

Harry was being helped prepare the ground ready for planting by Pat Flemming from Deerpark who has been chairperson of Lismore Tidy Towns Committee for the last three years.

Pat and Harry, are one of a group of 25 dedicated voluntary members and one full time Fas worker who take it in turns on a Rota system to spend 5 hours per week on a rota system going around the town picking up carelessly dropped litter and generally keeping the town up to scratch.

The present Lismore Tidy Towns committee has been going since the mid 1980 s but the movement in the town was originally started back in the late 1950s.

‘Last year we were awarded the title Tidiest Town in the county and this year we hope to win the Regional competition,’ said Pat, but we have won several awards down through the years including in 1997 the Endeavour award, which is commemorated by a plaque opposite the Post Office.’

‘When necessary the committee can call upon up to 15 members to help with planting and general plant maintenance, but even so, we are always looking for new members to join, to help us with the gardening and also with litter patrol, added Pat, who said anyone interested would be most welcome to Telephone him on 058 54660 or to contact any committee member.

‘Although I have been a keen gardener for about 25 years, I still need to ask Harry for advice sometimes and to tell me the Latin names of some of the more exotic plants,’ Pat added with a grin. ‘He’s the real expert.’

‘So where did Harry originally from London, learn his gardening skills?

‘My interest in gardening all began at the start of WW2 in 1939 when I was sent as an young evacuee to Essex.’ said Harry.

‘Back in those times during the war, you were compelled to dig and grow your own food, and I soon learnt quite a lot about how to get the best out of a plant, and the more I learnt the more fascinated I became.’

‘Its an interest that has stayed with me all my life, and its good to be able to use my hobby to benefit the Tidy Towns effort also,’ Harry remarked.

As the lads continued with their work, the one quality most noticeable among them, as with all dedicated gardeners was their sheer enthusiasm and love of what they were doing. --------------------------------------------------------------------

The New Plague! .......Photo

The peoples of ancient Greece, and later the native American Indians as well as many other pre-Christian cultures, knew very well how to get ‘high,’ centuries before the aeroplane had been invented.

Mind altering substances, we would nowadays refer to as drugs, were often used by their leaders on special or religious occasions perhaps to bring about a hypnotic trance or a deep spiritualistic experience, but always with respect for the dangers involved.

Even tobacco, something most of us take for granted even if we do not wish to smoke it ourselves, was regarded by the native Indian Americans as a powerful drug and only used by them on rare occasions.

It took that 16th. Century well known explorer, and one time resident of Lismore Castle and Youghal, Sir Walter Raleigh, to spread the tobacco habit to Ireland and beyond, after bringing back more than a few pipe-fulls with him from the Americas.

A famous legend reports that one day in Youghal when Walter was having a crafty smoke a servant threw a bucket of water over him, thinking him to be on fire.

Its a pity he still had so much more of the stuff stashed away which was not destroyed by the water, because he still had enough tobacco to get himself and his friends and others addicted.

Ironically even Errol Flynn who played Raleigh five centuries later on the Hollywood screens of the 1960s, was later to die from a tobacco related illness at a young age.

As we bravely leap into the first year of this new Cyber- obsessed Century, we leave behind us many of the killer diseases of the past hundred years, including TB or Tuberculosis.

A highly infectious disease which often proved fatal before 1943 when an American Biochemist called Selman A. Waksman discovered an anti biotic called Streptomycin, which helped to fight it, and the introduction of better medical advice for the public.

Many Irish families lost a child or children to this dreaded disease, which was once known as Consumption, because of the way the illness gradually consumed the health of its once healthy victims.

An illness which was often contracted by close contact with a friend or even relative who was suffering from the infection even if not showing any outward signs.

Over the last 20 years or so a new killer,a new virus a ‘new TB’ has been gradually fermenting in our society, an epidemic more deadly than its predecessor.

Its a plague which often makes parents feel helpless or guilty, a plague which is already affecting especially the children and young people of Ireland, and their families, particularly in our major cities.

The plague of drug taking and drug addiction, potentially much more dangerous than the TB of old, but with several similarities to the latter illness, and the way in which it was spread.

People, particularly young people, often experience their first encounter with drug taking through a friend, and from then on very gradually and slowly over a matter of months and sometimes years, this new habit can consume them.

We need to stop this from happening to our young people early before they get chance to form a drug taking habit or addiction as many of us parents did in past decades with cigarettes.

Drug taking is a problem which is growing in Ireland, and gradually spreading out even to the smallest towns and villages.

But what are the danger signals, what are the signs?

How can a parent tell if their child is experimenting with drugs?

Its not easy! But a group of concerned parents who are also committee members of the Fine Gael Party, are determined to try and do something about the problem before it becomes an epidemic in Waterford and its county, recently held a meeting in County waterford.... Details later in this article.

One of the difficulties is that through the 80s and 90s parents have gradually become more and more persona no gratis at their offspring’s local disco, or rave.

The old fashioned practise of parents or even grandparent sitting in a corner of a dance hall while their grown kids used up their energy on the dance floor have long gone, along also with the opportunity to ‘keep an eye’ on what the kids were up to.

Teenage freedom as well as peer pressure have increased, and times have changed. An unexpected and un-wed pregnancy no longer causes the parental hysteria it once did.

This has been replaced in this new Millennium by the fear that one’s child has a drug problem or is secretly taking drugs.

Drug taking can often be hidden from parents for several months, only to burst forth in the form of lethargy, serious mood swings, a changed personality or in more extreme cases mental illness or even accidental death.

We live in a society where the taking of medicines, tablets, and the swallowing of a pill for every ill, is considered the norm.

A society where the tranquilliser is used to subdue the guilt we once left in the confession box. Where the sleeping pill has replaced the evening Rosary for so many.

Not all the blame for drug experimentation can be laid at the feet of our children. Its not surprising that our young people today have a less than strong resistance to taking that first fag, that first drink, that first drug.

We have a duty to do something...soon.

Talking of which, a group of concerned parents, who are also committee members of Fine Gael have recently held an important drug prevention information evening at the Lismore Hotel.

The Panel of six speakers, discussed drug prevention and how parents could recognise the signs to look for of drug taking in their children.

The Garda (Police) representative present said that alcohol was still the major problem in Ireland but that illegal drug taking was a growing problem, which was now spreading outside of major cities like Waterford and into rural areas.

Cllr. Willie O’Donnell, who closed the meeting which had been chaired by Cathy McGrath, said that a lot of responsibility lay with us parents and the example that we gave to our children.


What New Street 'Botany' Lismore Looks like! PHOTO

A lot of stories over the months in W&CW have mentioned people who were born and bred in a place called New Street 'Botany.'

New Street, a road built by the 6th Duke of Devonshire in the 1850s to house some of his castle workers, soon got christened 'Botany,' by them, because it seemed so far away from where many of them used to live in cabins, near the castle wall.

Although they liked their new houses, many of them did not like the 15 minute walk it now took them to walk to work, and said it felt as though they had been transported to Botany in Australia.

Botany, Australia was a place where more than a few Waterford people were sent, never to return, as a punishment for committing often just a minor crime, perhaps a hungry man like stealing food to feed his family.

The name 'Botany,' for New Street, has stuck ever since, and most local people always describe it as, 'New Street, Botany.' ---------------------------------------------------------------


Thanks for getting in touch Declan McCann in Canada I will forward on your snail mail details to Alice Burke asap..

Thanks to all who singed the guestbook on my homepage and who sent 'real' postcards to me here in Ballyrafter Cottage, Lismore,County Waterford.

Could Tom Kiely in Sligo, Ireland, get in touch about the Cappoquin Book he ordered. I have managed to find a copy after much searching.

Well, the clock has beaten me once again.

So finally,finally, finally.....

Thanks once again to all who subscribed, signed the guestbook, sent postcards emailed ..and as they say down this way...

Thanks a million!

See 'ya all next week. God bless, Pat.

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COPYRIGHT 1999-2000 All written work and images are copyright Pat Kiely........Lismore...Ireland. email patkiely@eircom.net



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