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Alleged assassination plot March 10, 2010

Posted by Rambling Man in World Affairs.
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So it seems that a number of people were arrested here in Waterford yesterday over an alleged assassination plot – the plot is linked to a Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad having the body of a dog.  Something that is most offensive to Muslims.

There are many facets to the argument of whether it is wrong to ridicule someone’s religious beliefs and as to whether it is OK to publish said ridicule, whilst knowing that the subject will offend.  In the case of Muslim people, their religion being of the utmost importance to them, ridicule of their religion offends deeply.  I mean why bother offending someone ?  To sell papers ?  To defend the freedom of speech ?

So I think that, within reason, we should not offend anyones religion – Muslim, Catholic, Jew, whatever – if we are of another faith or none at all.   We know people get so offended and go to different extremes to show their anger … simply, why bother offending someone ?  Is it irresponsible to be going around printing stories about terrorists and so on when these people have not yet even been charged ?  Will the damage not have been done ?  These days you have to be very careful about what is printed in the media because of the damage words can cause.

If a story was printed in mainstream media about the Holocaust not having happened, or Mary being a bit of a floozie, or Buddha being fat or whatever, do you think there would not be outcry by those offended ?  I mean, for God’s sake (ooops) we now have a law in Ireland making it a crime if someone takes umbrage to your comments on their beliefs – so the Muslims are not the only ones who get angry.

I think it just might be a little daring at the moment to make fun of the Muslim reaction to their religion being criticized.

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A legendary pub experience August 10, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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So its been a while since I last posted – I’m finding myself more and more tired as the year goes on !  Must be all the rain and economic depression.

But I thought I’d share is this … a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine was getting married and as a last hurrah (without any actual hurrah) we decided on a quiet boy’s night out at a local “ould man’s pub” type place … snooker hall in the back, plenty of drinks and good craic … it was one of those nights the rain was so bad that you got just as wet with the water coming up off the ground as you did with the stuff coming out of the sky !  Pissing down wasn’t the word !

And so we ended our tenure in pub number one and set out to find somewhere else that would allow 7 quite drunken lads in through the door – it was only half 9 – it just seemed a long time because we’d been out since about 4.  And so it was, that in dodging the worst rain showers we’d seen since the summer of the black spuds, we huddled in a doorway of one of the most famous pubs in Ireland – Tommy Maher’s.  And whats more we were let in and served !

Now you see Tommy Maher’s is legendary for more reasons that one – very  politically incorrect reasons !  For a start, no members of the fairer sex are allowed darken the door – that’s right !  No women !  Actually that’s not quite true because since the man himself passed away a few years ago, his good wife has been running the place.  She was working behind the bar this night too !  No stools to sit on either – stand up and drink !

So no women – and strange opening hours – when the clock struck ten past ten, the barman said quite politely “That’s it now lads, five minutes !” and everyone there (us and about 5 others) began to make shapes – not a place where you complain or bargain for more drink !

It would be cliche of me to state that two women did try to come in (but they did) – a young wan (showing leg wouldn’t you know !) and an older companion and were roundly turned on their heel and put out – or maybe they realised where they were and left of their own accord – we were just too delighted to have been served in such a legendary place.  Tis often you’d hear reports of 2 or 3 friends trying to come in and only 1 or 2 of them being allowed – the barman deciding when you’d had enough etc.  And to top it all off, the toilets are an out house in the back yard – surely not up to modern health & safety but brilliant all the same.

So its the type of place you might be lucky enough to find yourself in once or
twice in 20 odd years … I’m glad I experienced the warm pints from the barrels just under the counter … just once !

Oulwanism May 18, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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Oulwanism is a fantasticly entertaining and well known Irish trait permeating the over 65+ , female age bracket !  I mean no offence to anyone who might fall into that category but you’d have to forgive me for laughing considering the scene I saw today in “The Square” (and its not even feckin square – its triangular !) …

So there I was looking for blog material minding “mine own” business (as my kid would say) when I stumble across two blue rinse octogenarians trying to give directions to some studenty types who were obviously not from around this neck of the woods and knew no better than asking Betty and Mildred for advice …

Oulwanism in its purest form presents the witness with a classic conundrum of advice and answers, with a pinch of “too many cooks spoil the broth” thrun in for good measure.

Student – obviously looking for the way to WIT : “So it’s out the N25 is it ?”, motioning the wrong way …

Betty to student : “Well, eeeh yes it might be – I don’t know the numbers on the roads love !”  And then to Mildred “The N20 something or other – does your young fellas’ bus go out there ?” (Never mind the fact that she didn’t know the road – she then turned her attention to identifying the road she didn’t know, in order to find out did she really know it as something else !)

Student : “Could you walk it ?”

Betty : “Oh no, tis too far – well you could walk it like but it’d take you an hour !”  (You could, in theory walk from Cork to Belfast too, but that’d take you ages !  In fact there’s nowhere in Ireland you couldn’t walk to …)

Mildred : “Yes you could walk it, but I wouldn’t !”

Betty : “Yes you could walk it”  (But a minute ago you said … too eager to please you see … we don’t like the word NO as a nation … Could you cycle backwards to it ?  Yes, in theory, but don’t !!)

Student  “So it’s out ‘that way’ somewhere ?” pointing in the direction of one of the doors …

Mildred : “Ah love I came in the other door … I live down in Thomas Street !” (great details)

Students – beginning to walk : “So we’ll head out this way … and look for the N25 ?!”

Betty – grabbing some young fella : “Do you know where the university is ?” (Controversial because it’s still an Institute of Technology)

Young fella : “Sorry I Polish !”

So off they went and I forgot in my observation that I could’ve told them where to go but hey, I’m sure they walked it, or biked it, or crawled it or hopscotched it (all of which you could do but wouldn’t !).  Such was the oulwanism and coffuffery, coupled with not actually knowing the destination in the same terms as the lost person, made the answers all the more dificult to come by …

Oulwanism – the confusion arising (on both parts) from the overwhelming need and want to help someone, while using the other person’s terms and points of reference, therefore forgetting everything you know about the subject yourself – all the while not saying no (ever!) causing a less than helpful solution to be arrived at !

These city walls … October 5, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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I take a keen interest in all things historic but mainly in the history and buildings of my own native area – the South East. Ours is a landscape littered with castles, ruins, abbeys and city walls, stretching the imagination back to earlier times … the great wonderment for me in all these relics is their longevity and the images that they conjure in my over active mind as to their purpose and everyday usage way back when …

Waterford has some great buildings still standing, not the least of which is Reginald’s Tower, which if you are ever in the area, is well worth spending a few hours at. There are also some great examples of the city’s walls still standing … but my reason for this post is this : I cannot understand how people don’t appreciate them more. The Council and other interested groups can only do so much but what can you say when you walk past a huge, imposing and truly ancient city battlement site and see this …

dsc00238.jpg dsc00236.jpg  dsc00240.jpg

The last picture is of the end of the city wall and just shows the amount of the structure still in place … but I was horrified firstly by the amount of rubbish – and not just rubbish one could just drop – you would’ve had to plan it as a place to dump.  Blankets, old chairs, bags of rubbish, rotten old coats, boxes of lollipops (!?) and of course dozens and dozens of empty beer cans – the makers of Dutch Gold make a fortune advertising on side of the Irish road.  Secondly, I was worried by the lack of bins – none, zero, zilch, F all !  So where does Paddy the Irishman drop the stuff when there are no bins ? – at the base of the most historic city walls in the south east and let’s burn the seating bench while we’re at it.

Many’s a man could’ve been hanged from those city walls in times past and tis high time we started to crack down on disgusting litter now too !  It should no longer be socially acceptable to litter the place … imagine the impression our cities and towns make on tourists ?