Sunday, 29 April 2012

Nissan Leaf spotted in Tescos Maynooth

I don't know if any of you are aware of the range and charging times of electric cars, as currently developed?  The answer is woeful, in both cases.

It's not for nothing that the Toyota Prius is referred to as the "Pious" by the more cynical. Bought by those who want to show all and sundry that they care about the environment, the ice caps, the polar bears and all the rest.  Yet this hybrid isn't much better emissions-wise than a good modern diesel. 

But we'll be in some pickle if the public is fool enough to take up the government's stated preference for solely electric cars, such as the Leaf (above).  The national grid wouldn't be able to cope, and the country's roadsides would be littered with stranded electric cars that did not live up to their manufacturers' range boasts.  

In short, this technology is not advanced enough at present.  It's all very well having a giant Scalextric motor propelling you along.  The problem is that battery recharging times/cycles are not up to the job yet... and might never be.    Range is compromised by low temperatures - and mollycoddling comforts such as heat decrease it still - and charging times are far too protracted.

Buy one at your peril.

Strictly for early adaptors/eejits. 

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Killiney investor eviction couple new darlings of Irish anarcho-left

Ireland is a strange place. 

Witness the recent case of a couple, Brendan and Asta Kelly, who were evicted from a detached house in Killiney after they had failed to make a payment on a €2 million mortgage since 2009 (Sunday Times 22nd April).

It turns out they previously "ran a successful arts and crafts business called Irland Haus", according to the same source.  They also had a "significant property portfolio across Ireland".  

Yesterday's Irish Times put some meat on that "significant", reporting that they had purchased "up to" 21 properties in the late nineties and early noughties and "are still the owners of the bulk of these apartments".

Now they are camping outside their Killiney pad - sorry, the bank's Killiney pad - after bailiffs finally moved on a repossession order made against them two years ago.  There's more.  They are also, according to the Irish Times, "the owners of 13 apartments" in London.

Incredibly, the Irish section of the Occupy Movement (recently of the Central Bank, Dame Street) staged a sit-in in the Dublin City Sheriff's  Office in their support.  Now I know the make-up of many such movements are, regrettably, very middle-class... but this is incredible even by their standards.   Was it not prices-can-only-ever-go-up large-scale property investors who created the bubble and bust in the first place, by adding to their greedy portfolios while pricing those who wanted to nest rather than invest, out of the market?  

Ireland is a strange place.  

A place where the most privileged are the most militant when shouting about their "rights", be they Irish Language hobbyists and careerists, teachers, doctors, consultants or property investors.  These are the voices you hear all the time in Ireland.  

Reacting to the fiasco,  Finance Minister Michael Noonan said something that made sense for once when he drew a distinction between people who wanted to stay in their homes and professional landlords -  “We have no pledge to keep people in 21 different homes and we must distinguish between people who can’t pay and people who won’t pay", he observed.

That's a first for Noonan - a lucid observation.  Though I'm sure the Occupy protesters springing to the defence of our Capitalist investors would disagree.

Perhaps this new alliance is just an expression of class solidarity, Irish style? 

As I say... it's a strange place.

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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Fine Gael TD, Michelle Mulherin, in fornication shock

The following quotes are not from Pope Benedict, as you might imagine, but from Mayo Fine Gael TD, Michelle Mulherin.

"The grace of God is so liberating and provides so many options to get the best out of life despite our fallen nature, and we all have that.

Having said that, it is an ideal to aim for. In an ideal world there would be no unwanted pregnancies and no unwanted babies, but we are far from living in an ideal world. An honest and a scriptural view is that things are getting harder for people, so what then for the weak in our society?

Abortion as murder, therefore sin, which is the religious argument, is no more sinful, from a scriptural point of view, than all other sins we don’t legislate against, like greed, hate and fornication. The latter, being fornication, I would say, is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country.”

Think about that for a minute. This is Ireland 2012, still a backward dump.   Here we have a politician standing up in our national parliament informing us that abortion is a  "sin" and  "fornication" is "probably" the most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in the country.  

And what might it be in other countries, Michelle? Kissing? Sharing bathwater? Masturbating? Looking at a boy?

I don't know if Mulherin can get RTE in Mayo.  If she can, she might have seen last night's Late Late Show which featured  three women who were forced to travel abroad for medical terminations when they found the babies they were carrying were missing vital organs, like brains, and were completely unviable outside the womb.

It seems they were expected to endure the painful charade of pregnancy and childbirth to deliver dead, deformed, babies into the world.  Early medical terminations are still not an option in Ireland you see - thanks to the ignorance of people like Mulherin.

Instead the Irish health service directed these already distraught women to Dublin Airport, so they could travel abroad for them.  Real Irish.  As if these women's situations were not traumatic enough. 

Maybe good Christians like Mulherin should desist from casting stones and condemning others -  "informed", as they are, by a doctrine we do not all subscribe to.

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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Property tax - ESRI hints at "income" element

Interesting to hear a spokesperson for the ESRI discussing the impending property tax on RTE's Morning Ireland.  

One option, he said, was to take earnings into account.  

Am I missing something here, or was the property tax not lauded as a means of broadening the tax base? Mainly composed, at present – in terms of income tax – by the PAYE sector? 

Here's some food for thought.  A report published by Bank of Ireland in 2007 found that:

1% of the population in Ireland had assets of EUR 100 billion in 2006.

The top 1% owns 20% of the wealth, the top 2% owns 30%, and the top 5% owns 40%.

There were 33,000 millionaires in Ireland in 2006.

Yet things were very different, as far as Revenue was concerned: 

It could only count  7,857 taxpayers with incomes of more than EUR 275,000 in Ireland, and a paltry 25,000 who earned more than EUR 150,000.   (Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times, 28/10/2008).

Such figures would indicate that any property tax that includes an "income" element, would be deeply flawed and unjust – a mechanism for extracting even more money from the already tax-compliant citizens of the country. 

Therefore leaving the usual dodgers laughing all the way to the accountant's office.

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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sean Dunne's New Jurys site and the Mickey Mouse jobs of '92 - back to the future?

The Irish Times has been having a bit of a nostalgia-fest lately, what with drawing parallels with the grim days of the 80s and early 90s.

And who can blame it?  It's easy copy after all.

The picture left, taken in April 1992, shows a small selection of the thousands of school leavers and graduates who queued for jobs as car-park attendants, waiting staff and all the rest, at Disney's new European branch in Paris back in the day.

Your very own Gombeen Man had already fled the old sod by six lovely years at this stage so missed it all, thankfully.

But bloody hell - it's always a stampede one way or another here in Ireland, isn't it?

Either they are up at 5am to queue for  Mickey Mouse jobs, or Mickey Mouse apartments off the plans - there's always a spectacle.  The snappers must love it.


You could spout a lot of cliches about how things were then and how things are now, and all the rest.  For me,  what adds delicious irony to the pic above is that it was taken in the grounds of the old New Jurys Hotel, Ballsbridge. 

A site bought by developer Sean Dunne for the record price of €380 million in 2005. 

Had you predicted that to one of the hopeful interviewees, they might have laughed in your face.

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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

1,500 teachers earn €85k to €115k a year - Irish Examiner

No golden apples for guessing who the main beneficiaries of Ireland's education system are.   Teachers.  

Despite falling literacy levels and a failure to keep up with Ireland's changing demographic needs, Ireland's teachers still think they are worth amongst the highest salaries in Europe.  If not the highest, full stop - I am sure someone can illuminate on that one.  

You'll hear much righteous indignation emanating from various teachers' union conferences this week, on the need to preserve "standards" in Irish education (for that read their pay, long holidays and unsackable positions).  

There will be some lip service paid to the scandalous cutbacks in special needs tuition and traveller education, but the main focus will be preserving the Croke Park Agreement and their archaic system of allowances  (€3,063 for teaching in the Gaeltacht, for example.  Árd Teastas Gaeilge - a higher diploma in Gaelic for teachers - brings in an extra €1,236.  A teacher with a master's degree gets a €5,496 "allowance"). 

It seems that Ireland's teachers remain insulated in a bubble of unreality.   And we know what eventually happens to bubbles.

 Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, Monday, April 09, 2012

About 1,500 teachers earn between €85,000 and €115,000 a year, Department of Education figures have revealed.

At their annual union conferences this week, teachers will insist the Government meet its commitment under the Croke Park deal to protect teachers’ pay, including allowances.

Delegates to the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, and Teachers’ Union of Ireland gatherings will also be seeking a reversal of cuts to schools and teacher numbers.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has repeatedly said he has little choice but to impose cuts to services and school programmes when about 80% of his €8.5bn-plus annual budget is expended on staff pay and pensions. More than 90% of the schools’ non-capital budget goes on pay and about 6% on running costs.

Figures obtained by the Irish Examiner show the averagely paid teacher earns €55,000-€60,000, with a higher proportion of second-level teachers in the higher pay brackets.

More than one-in-three primary teachers and 43% of those working at second level earn at least €61,000 a year.

Just over half of all teachers earn between €41,000 and €61,000 a year, through a combination of salary and various allowances.

Recent figures from Mr Quinn’s department showed the pay of Ireland’s 60,000-plus teachers is boosted by an average €10,000 a year in allowances.

These make up about €600m of the annual teachers’ pay bill of over €3.5bn, and are being reviewed as a public sector-wide review of allowances and additional payments.

Every teacher is paid at least one allowance in respect of their qualifications. They cost over €275m last year but changes to pay for new teachers may see that fall significantly.

However, unions insist all allowances are an integral part of their members’ pay.

Long-serving teachers who work as principals or deputy principals in large schools can earn close to €100,000, with management allowances of almost €40,000-€42,500 paid to principals of second-level schools with more than 40 teachers.

ASTI general secretary Pat King said allowances for principals and other management posts were key to the rate of pay for those jobs.

"ASTI members signed up to and are fully compliant with the Croke Park Agreement which protects their pay," he said.

"We will consider any reduction in their pay to be a breach of the agreement by the Government."

A spokeswoman for Mr Quinn said he was aware of the difference between teachers’ allowances as an understood part of their pensionable pay, and allowances paid in other elements of the public sector.

"He is making that case to the review by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform," she said.


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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Araby - James Joyce

The blog is often accused, by the odd nutter, of being a bit philistine and terribly unappreciative of things cultural.

Not the case, of course.  The blog has a great appreciation of Irish culture - but not the contrived version spun by the Irish Folklore Commission, which gave us the gibberish of  Peig, Tomás Ó Criomhthain and a few more besides. 

In its efforts to facilitate nation-building, it ignored the urban Irish - especially those of Dublin - who it felt were too Anglicised; therefore unsuitable for playing sturdy games and dancing at the capital's many crossroads whilst simultaneously spouting gibberish as Gaeilge for stenographic immortalisation. 

No, Dublin had to settle for producing literary figures such as Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Sheridan le Fanu, JM Synge, Brendan Behan, WB Yeats, Sean O'Casey, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Christy Brown and, erm, Roddy Doyle.

Oh then there was James Joyce.  The word "gibberish" was invoked earlier, and many might apply that term to his more "difficult" work, Finnegan's Wake.  Even parts of Ulysses. 

Not "Dubliners" however, first published in 1914.  It's open season on Joyce now that the copyright to his works has expired.  Even the Metro was giving out free copies of his celebrated selection of short stories the other week.   I'll point out that I got my copy in WH Smith in 1991, and have returned to it many, many times since. 

The story below is one of my favourites.  It deals with a young lad trying to escape the stifling constraints of his life and his surroundings, and failing miserably. 

A few of you might be familiar with that feeling.

Joyce was - he had to get out of the place.


North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers' School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.

The former tenant of our house, a priest, had died in the back drawing-room. Air, musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless papers. Among these I found a few paper-covered books, the pages of which were curled and damp: The Abbot, by Walter Scott, The Devout Communicant, and The Memoirs of Vidocq. I liked the last best because its leaves were yellow. The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple-tree and a few straggling bushes, under one of which I found the late tenant's rusty bicycle-pump. He had been a very charitable priest; in his will he had left all his money to institutions and the furniture of his house to his sister.

When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had well eaten our dinners. When we met in the street the houses had grown sombre. The space of sky above us was the colour of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street. The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes behind the houses, where we ran the gauntlet of the rough tribes from the cottages, to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odours arose from the ashpits, to the dark odorous stables where a coachman smoothed and combed the horse or shook music from the buckled harness. When we returned to the street, light from the kitchen windows had filled the areas. If my uncle was seen turning the corner, we hid in the shadow until we had seen him safely housed. Or if Mangan's sister came out on the doorstep to call her brother in to his tea, we watched her from our shadow peer up and down the street. We waited to see whether she would remain or go in and, if she remained, we left our shadow and walked up to Mangan's steps resignedly. She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door. Her brother always teased her before he obeyed, and I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.

Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books and followed her. I kept her brown figure always in my eye and, when we came near the point at which our ways diverged, I quickened my pace and passed her. This happened morning after morning. I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.

Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance. On Saturday evenings when my aunt went marketing I had to go to carry some of the parcels. We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs' cheeks, the nasal chanting of street-singers, who sang a come-all-you about O'Donovan Rossa, or a ballad about the troubles in our native land. These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom. I thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.

One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring: 'O love! O love!' many times.

At last she spoke to me. When she addressed the first words to me I was so confused that I did not know what to answer. She asked me was I going to Araby. I forgot whether I answered yes or no. It would be a splendid bazaar; she said she would love to go.

'And why can't you?' I asked.

While she spoke she turned a silver bracelet round and round her wrist. She could not go, she said, because there would be a retreat that week in her convent. Her brother and two other boys were fighting for their caps, and I was alone at the railings. She held one of the spikes, bowing her head towards me. The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing. It fell over one side of her dress and caught the white border of a petticoat, just visible as she stood at ease.

'It's well for you,' she said.

'If I go,' I said, 'I will bring you something.'

What innumerable follies laid waste my waking and sleeping thoughts after that evening! I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against the work of school. At night in my bedroom and by day in the classroom her image came between me and the page I strove to read. The syllables of the word Araby were called to me through the silence in which my soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment over me. I asked for leave to go to the bazaar on Saturday night. My aunt was surprised, and hoped it was not some Freemason affair. I answered few questions in class. I watched my master's face pass from amiability to sternness; he hoped I was not beginning to idle. I could not call my wandering thoughts together. I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child's play, ugly monotonous child's play.

On Saturday morning I reminded my uncle that I wished to go to the bazaar in the evening. He was fussing at the hallstand, looking for the hat-brush, and answered me curtly:

'Yes, boy, I know.'

As he was in the hall I could not go into the front parlour and lie at the window. I felt the house in bad humour and walked slowly towards the school. The air was pitilessly raw and already my heart misgave me.

When I came home to dinner my uncle had not yet been home. Still it was early. I sat staring at the clock for some time and, when its ticking began to irritate me, I left the room. I mounted the staircase and gained the upper part of the house. The high, cold, empty, gloomy rooms liberated me and I went from room to room singing. From the front window I saw my companions playing below in the street. Their cries reached me weakened and indistinct and, leaning my forehead against the cool glass, I looked over at the dark house where she lived. I may have stood there for an hour, seeing nothing but the brown-clad figure cast by my imagination, touched discreetly by the lamplight at the curved neck, at the hand upon the railings and at the border below the dress.

When I came downstairs again I found Mrs Mercer sitting at the fire. She was an old, garrulous woman, a pawnbroker's widow, who collected used stamps for some pious purpose. I had to endure the gossip of the tea-table. The meal was prolonged beyond an hour and still my uncle did not come. Mrs Mercer stood up to go: she was sorry she couldn't wait any longer, but it was after eight o'clock and she did not like to be out late, as the night air was bad for her. When she had gone I began to walk up and down the room, clenching my fists. My aunt said:

'I'm afraid you may put off your bazaar for this night of Our Lord.'

At nine o'clock I heard my uncle's latchkey in the hall door. I heard him talking to himself and heard the hallstand rocking when it had received the weight of his overcoat. I could interpret these signs. When he was midway through his dinner I asked him to give me the money to go to the bazaar. He had forgotten.

'The people are in bed and after their first sleep now,' he said.

I did not smile. My aunt said to him energetically:

'Can't you give him the money and let him go? You've kept him late enough as it is.'

My uncle said he was very sorry he had forgotten. He said he believed in the old saying: 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' He asked me where I was going and, when I told him a second time, he asked me did I know The Arab's Farewell to his Steed. When I left the kitchen he was about to recite the opening lines of the piece to my aunt.

I held a florin tightly in my hand as I strode down Buckingham Street towards the station. The sight of the streets thronged with buyers and glaring with gas recalled to me the purpose of my journey. I took my seat in a third-class carriage of a deserted train. After an intolerable delay the train moved out of the station slowly. It crept onward among ruinous houses and over the twinkling river. At Westland Row Station a crowd of people pressed to the carriage doors; but the porters moved them back, saying that it was a special train for the bazaar. I remained alone in the bare carriage. In a few minutes the train drew up beside an improvised wooden platform. I passed out on to the road and saw by the lighted dial of a clock that it was ten minutes to ten. In front of me was a large building which displayed the magical name.

I could not find any sixpenny entrance and, fearing that the bazaar would be closed, I passed in quickly through a turnstile, handing a shilling to a weary-looking man. I found myself in a big hall girded at half its height by a gallery. Nearly all the stalls were closed and the greater part of the hall was in darkness. I recognized a silence like that which pervades a church after a service. I walked into the centre of the bazaar timidly. A few people were gathered about the stalls which were still open. Before a curtain, over which the words Café Chantant were written in coloured lamps, two men were counting money on a salver. I listened to the fall of the coins.

Remembering with difficulty why I had come, I went over to one of the stalls and examined porcelain vases and flowered tea-sets. At the door of the stall a young lady was talking and laughing with two young gentlemen. I remarked their English accents and listened vaguely to their conversation.

'O, I never said such a thing!'

'O, but you did!'

'O, but I didn't!'

'Didn't she say that?'

'Yes. I heard her.'

'O, there's a... fib!'

Observing me, the young lady came over and asked me did I wish to buy anything. The tone of her voice was not encouraging; she seemed to have spoken to me out of a sense of duty. I looked humbly at the great jars that stood like eastern guards at either side of the dark entrance to the stall and murmured:

'No, thank you.'

The young lady changed the position of one of the vases and went back to the two young men. They began to talk of the same subject. Once or twice the young lady glanced at me over her shoulder.

I lingered before her stall, though I knew my stay was useless, to make my interest in her wares seem the more real. Then I turned away slowly and walked down the middle of the bazaar. I allowed the two pennies to fall against the sixpence in my pocket. I heard a voice call from one end of the gallery that the light was out. The upper part of the hall was now completely dark.

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Hogan threatens "service" cutbacks where property tax take is low

You can just imagine Minister for the Environment (and the household charge) Phil Hogan in a nice blue shirt, can't you? 

You know, dating back to a time before his party discovered relative social liberalism - I did say relative, at least in comparison to Fianna Fail - back around the time of Fitzgerald. 

He is now threatening councils, who do not pull in the charge in sufficient quantities, with dire consequences in terms of cutbacks in services.  Which means some Donegal councils will be hit very hard indeed, with reported rates of only 25% compliance.  

On the other hand the part of Dublin where I live has, according to yesterday's Irish Times, the third-highest rate of compliance after Dun  Laoghaire-Rathdown and Dublin City Council.  All areas with a high proportion of PAYE workers, used to being fleeced.

[Just to note, the councillors of Dublin City Counicl, led by FF-er of the time, and "Gaeilge agus Failte" solicitor, Tom Brabazon, decreed English language names would be banned from future buildings and roads in the capital in one council brainstorming session.  Presumably one of the "essential services" we are paying them generously for?]

What a waste of money, and how much do we pay these idiots?  You would have to wonder how much waste goes on in our local authorities.  What is our money spent on, and how many up-their-own-arse councillors we actually need.  Should we willingly volunteer to hand over another chunk of our depleted wages, after the myriad taxes we pay already, without any promise of reform in these areas? 

It's a strange one.  I can see the point of a property tax in widening the tax base if implemented properly - as a reader pointed out recently - but I just don't trust our Powers That Be to do that.

Even now, they are talking about using Revenue to deduct "at source".   And what class of taxpayer currently pays taxes deducted at source?  Why, the PAYE sector.   And to be honest, I think that sector is bled dry enough as it is.  

Sure, if the tax was administered properly, with a corresponding reduction in PAYE for instance, there might be some merit in it.  But you just know it is going to be an other tax on top of everything else, that will do little to restore any balance in the Irish tax system.

And if the authorities are already hinting at deducting "at source" what do they mean exactly?
Can we expect the self-employed and businessmen/women to keep on using creative accountants - and there's an oxymoron - to evade, or at least minimise, liability should that occur...while the PAYE sector continues to carry the country - waste and all - with its source contributions?

It's a funny place indeed where the socialists are among the most trenchant opposition to a property tax, but Ireland is a funny place.   Not "ha ha" funny, but weird funny.

It's also a funny place where the authorities are threatening to "go after" those who do not pay. 

How many bankers, developers and speculators - who bankrupted the country -  have been pursued by the State with the same vigour?

I can see a "no" coming up in the next referendum, if only to give the government a bloody nose.  And an  Ireland without ECB bailout funds will be even funnier.

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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Broombridge Station, Cabra, has a new identity. Yeah, right.

It's not an April fool's joke, despite the day's penchant for barber-pole paint and long weights.

But lately on my way into work by train, being bombarded with countless official Ireland announcements telling me that I am headed for town (I didn't know that, right?), I became aware of a change in said recorded announcements.  

Broombridge ("Droichead na Scuab") suddenly  became  "Droichead Broome".   A bit like "Marathon"  suddenly becoming "Snickers", only at least some people - other than me - noticed that one. 

It seems that the lands around Broombridge were once owned by a family by the name of Broome, hence the subsequent Gaelicisation "Brushbridge".   Maybe a historical airbrush of the kind Stalin might have hankered after would have been more appropriate?

Perhaps a better name for the locality might be Hamiltonbridge, after the eminent Irish mathematician WR Hamilton made some numbers-based discovery that was very important (and incomprehensible to a simple mind like mine) and is used to this very day by those who create computer games.   Hamilton wrote his equation, in a moment of inspiration, on the inside of the bridge that spans the Royal Canal in the locality.  Clever fellow.  Too clever in a country that would rather rever the WolfeTones, B-B-Bertie and Sinn Fein.

So what's happening here?  Is there a specific civil service/semi-state department that makes up new Gaelic words?  There must be... and what would we do without them?  We'd be lost.  To illustrate, make a trip to your local recycling centre if you want a good laugh. What's the ancient Gaelic for "computer"?

So, who suddenly changed the Gaelic name of Broombridge, or Brushbridge?   Does it mean we have been taken for fools all these years prior to the change?

I fear some have, and still are.

They are called taxpayers.  Fools all year round.

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