A MESSAGE OF HOPE ON THIS WEEK OF MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

 
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As some might already know, I have just come through a 10 week stay in St Patrick’s Hospital for mental health  Dublin,

Since I was discharged six weeks ago and arrived home it has given me the opportunity to look back at the most life changing event of my 68 years

For almost a year unknown to myself I was losing my own self esteem, self worth and confidence, and entered into a deep depression which was brought on by a long period of illness and chronic pain which all started way back in 1992 and continued right up to 2017 in which time I had 7 surgeries including for cancer , a heart bypass , the inserting of 7 stents over time to my heart arteries  and the removal of  part of the right lung, all of these where a trauma to my health system and body , but what I never considered was the damage all this was doing to my mental health, that was until the the 22nd of June 2017 when  I entered into my GPs surgery  an emotional and physical wreck, lost, without energy, crying, and a distressed shaking,  broken man. 

I had unknown to myself hit the wall of severe depression and post traumatic stress disorder.(PTSD) by the 2nd of July 2017  I was walking through the threshold of St Patricks  Hospital for Mental Health being supported by my wife  Catherine and daughter Niamh

LOVE

As I walked through the doors I was unaware of what I might meet or come in contact with but I was soon put at ease as I met my medical team who explained what was to happen next, but it hardly mattered as I was just glad to be somewhere safe and where my road out of this deep darkness would begin.

After my admission process was finished I was brought to my ward         ( Kilroot ) which I found to be a coincidence as I muttered to myself  “The last place I saw that name was away back in the early 1960s as my two older brothers where engineers at the ICI plant there outside Carrickfergus County Antrim and it did not have good memories as they where driven from their jobs as they where Catholics working in a totally Protestant area. Thankfully that was not to be repeated in this Kilroot !!

As I entered the ward a nurse meet me linked my arm and showed me to my bed  in a four bed unit and said to me ” Don’t worry Philip we are here to help you get well ” that was the best news I had heard in a long time and my wife Catherine was so relived by that statement she was able to go home knowing I was in the right place.That I would receive the unconditional care and love of a dedicated group  of people who knew my Illness and what needed to be done to help get me well,

I spent the first three weeks of the ten in that ward as the medications took effect in slowing my brain from being a racing maze  to a more normal or what they would describe as manageable which would  enable me to take part in other program’s that will  contribute to my recovery

BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I FOUND IN THOSE EARLY DAYS AND THE DAYS AND WEEKS TO FOLLOW WAS THE LOVE SHOWN TO ME BY ALL THE STAFF FROM THE DOCTORS, THE NURSES, TO THE CLEANING AND THE DINING ROOM STAFF BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT WAS THE SUPPORT GIVEN TO ME BY MY FELLOW PATIENTS  OF ALL AGES  FROM THEIR EARLY TWENTIES TO SIXTIES ALL SUFFERING FROM SOME TYPE OFF MENTAL ILLNESS BUT MOSTLY FROM ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION IT WAS DURING THIS TIME THAT THIS LOVE WAS TO SPUR ME ON WITH MY RECOVERY

HOPE 

Some wise man once said    “From love grows hope ”  and yes in my experience that is true.

As I moved from my four bed unit to my own private room I could see the broad smiles of my nurses in recognition that I was now on my way to a full recovery , as I can now take part in the many recovery lecturers and workshops I was to take part  in the following seven weeks  but the glory of having my own room where I could go in, close the door to think / meditate , listen to music of the Buddha chants, ( which I found helped me to relax and sleep and still do !! ). once again my hopes for a recovery where to rise as my confidence was to improve as the negative thoughts where slowly leaving my mind.

My next step was to attend the various morning lectures which where given by the  doctors  and the  therapist who are specialist in their given field of mental health recovery  from which I was to learn so much about my illness, and how it was to effect my everyday life.but most important, how with the tools I was to be given I could / would / do, manage my illness into a full recovery.

It was after the first week of morning lectures that I was to enter into my three week course of workshops for acute depression which consisted off four two hour meetings per week, in groups of ten people , these workshops brought together all ages and genders but who had one thing in  common depression and looking/hoping  for a road out of this darkness that had engulfed our lives.

It was by attending these  therapy lectures and workshops that I first saw that twinkle off light ( and no it wasn’t the train in the tunnel !!! ) but what it was , was the twinkle of hope and not despair and the feeling of that workshop was as we all looked across the room, every on of us  where there for all kinds of different reasons but we all had one thing in common  { acute depression } and looking for help, that rope that will take us out of that deep and dark hole that we find ourselves in, giving us the Hope and  help we need  that will bring our lives back together  

It was at this stage that I was get to meet people in my own age group  ( 60+) some where male but the majority where female and all were widows /widowers who lived alone as their husbands / partners had recently died /passed on, this loss was / is compounded by the fact that in nearly all cases their children where  after  their education finishing were forced into emigration  to the four corners off the world,  to get a job and build their lives

 As they did not blame their loss on their children, but on banks and government ,  they will all solider on, as they hope  for change, hoping to see their family reunited in the land off their birth, where  they will once again see that twinkle in their eyes hear the laughter and the happy  glow that only a mother can see  and a love  that only  a mother can feel 

Laughter 

After two years without any laughter being in my life I had to  end up in a hospital for mental illness before I was to rediscover what it was like to have a real belly laugh 

It all began as I with other patients where sitting around  in the lounge  after  our night tea and biscuits as we chatted about  the events off the day.

There I was looking around at all these people , all like myself  drugged up before bed time and watching television when  a man  stood up and did the funny walk  of Basil Fawlty  as we all burst out laughing  and it was to get worse as we all passed comments  like ( Jesus we had to come here to get a laugh !!!!  or as we shake around the place telling people your all mad but I am alright !!!! ) 

This  outrageous behaviour and worse  was to continue right up  until my discharge !! but on a serious note  what it really was , it was the release of lots of tensions and bad emotions that  gathered up throughout the day, but we all went to bed drugged up with laughter and hoping for a better day tomorrow 

The most satisfaction day’s I had where days when I saw patients who I had  met leaving the hospital smiling and laughing looking into a new beginning in life with

            LOVE,  HOPE,

              LAUGHTER  

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A BIRTHDAY MEMORY

MY LATE MOTHER

As I posted earlier this is my late mothers birthday

Naturally on such a day I would be thinking about her and her life. It was a life of dedication to her country and her family.

As I was thinking off her this came to mind.

My mother was never one to seek publicity or any public acknowledgement for the things she did both as A young girl or as a mother, when the call was made to step up to play her part in Ireland’s struggle for freedom that was something she knew she had to do, and it was also something her mother and father did without thought, in fact her father died in the early 20th century (1915) after an assault by the RIC as he led a strike of the low dockers in Belfast, and was closely connected to James Connolly during that period of Irish history.

That tradition was to continue for the rest off her life until she died in 1983.

There was one incident that I have a clear memory off and it was 1957 as my two elder brothers were in Crumlin road jail Billy was interned and John was sentenced to 8 years as a political prisoner

A person came to our house one Friday night he was on a little moped thing wore kid leather gloves at the time I did not get his name, but it turned out be one of the Cahill family from the Falls Road and he had come to offer what was called the prisoner dependants fund (PDF ) money, I don’t know the amount involved but whatever it was my mother and father refused it and asked the person to leave “saying that we dont want your money and please do not come back.”

At that time we were feeding half the jail with their weekly fruit parcels, but I think there was more to it than that, as one of our close friends was Harry Cordner who was with Joe Cahill and Tom Williams in the condemned cell for the shooting of a RUC officer in the Clonard area of west Belfast, as there was some comments about that and how Tom Williams was to be hanged for this event, but in any event west Belfast so called republicans where not welcome in our house.

That brings me to the real reason for this post. As my mother was being laid to rest she had a large funeral from St Patricks church in Donegal street and over Mill Field to Davis street and up the Falls road to the cemetery.

It was on our way back down the Falls Road from the cemetery that my brother Billy ran into Gerry Adams who passed the comments that he never knew that my mother was a republican !!

Billy then told him that republicans don’t all live on the Falls road and it took men like him and my brother John from North Belfast to organise the defence the Falls road in 1969 as he and his friends sat in the long bar in Lesson street as homes where being burned out and people killed

gerry Adams

An Irish Republican Mother, Margaret McGuinness Kelly 4th January 1904 –13th April 1983

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My Mother 1960s

(above left my mother sitting and Winnie Carney standing this photo was taken after  my mothers wedding.

This is my late mother, Margaret McGuinness Kelly, born 4th January 1904 to William McGuinness and Mary McClean who both were founding members of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union in Belfast along with her mother’s (my grandmother) brother Alfie McClean who was to become the General Secretary of the Belfast branch of the union and James Connolly’s election agent  when he stood for election in 1907/1911 in  the dock ward for Belfast corporation. It was at this time that my mother met with Winnie Carney and formed a friendship that was to last a lifetime, Winnie  was an assistant to James Connolly and  was later to become his secretary and accompanied him  in  the GPO during the 1916 rising .

 As time progressed into the 1913 to 1926 period her mother joined Cumman Na mBan and my grandfather William McGuinness was murdered by the RIC as he led a strike by Belfast dockers 1915, my grandmother who rose as far as I know to Officer Commanding Belfast. This brought her into contact with Countess Markievicz, Sir John Lavery, Lady Gregory, and other’s.  It was in these years that my mother was to meet Joe McKelvey around 1918  and they were to become as they say ‘good friends’. Joe was later to become leader of the IRA in Belfast during the war of independence which he survived. After the treaty Joe took the republican side and was later murdered by the Free State forces when he was taken from his cell in Mountjoy Jail and murdered.  They also shot Rory O’Connor, Dick Barton and Liam Mellows as an act of revenge for the attack by republicans on Kevin O’Higgins who was Justice Minister of the Free State, who had a lot of republican blood on his hands. After the civil war and the murder of Joe McKelvey she continued her involvement with Sinn Fein.

In 1926 Eamon de Valera  stood as a Sinn Fein candidate and as the Sinn Fein  party which was banned in Northern Ireland he was arrested charged and sentenced to 3 months in jail. It was my grandmother and mother who were designated to look after Dev while he was in jail i.e. his washing and food requirements.  This was done before the founding of Fianna Fail which was to become the final hammer blow to any chance of getting changes to the treaty. 

It was also in this period that she lost her father  who while leading a strike by low docks workers they were attacked by the RIC  and he was killed, leaving my grandmother with 3 sons William, James and John,plus my mother who was the youngest and was very close to her.

As my mother and grandmother got older and the demise of Sinn Fein took hold and as a small family needed to be reared, my mother made contact with her grandfather McGuinness who lived in Portaferry, Co Down  who in turn introduced her to farmers in the area providing the seed money, enabling herself and her mother set up a small wholesale /retail green grocery business in Belfast Market  (which she and my father continued to operate right up to 1970)  

 Around 1930 she met my father John Kelly. At that time he was working in the Irish News, they got married in 1933.   They went on to have 9 children, whom they educated to the highest standards 2 teaching nuns, 2 engineers, a cost accountant, a solicitor, a nurse, my oldest sister and I both at separate times worked in the business, you can see from this that there was not much left at the end of the week for luxuries but we never went without anything. 

This continued right through my younger years up to 1956 when everything for me and my brothers and sisters  changed.  My oldest sister had emigrated to Canada where her husband  Art Gibson who got a job as a ships engineer working in the Arctic Circle,  My other two sisters had entered into the convent to become nuns which both of them did and became teachers. That left John, Billy, Rita , Jimmy, Oliver  and myself  at home.  But things were to change and change utterly, the hunger for justice,  equality and freedom was once again to raise its head in our house and once again it was to take precedence, once again my mother was to step up to the plate.  

It was a cold December 1956 and our home in Adela Street off the Antrim Road was raided by the B Specials and the RUC, John had been arrested in a place called Dunamanagh between Dungiven and Strabane along with 2 other members of his IRA flying column John Madden from Cork City and David Lewsley from Lurgan Co Armagh. All three were charged with arms offences and membership of the IRA and sentenced to 8 years in prison.

About  two weeks later my other brother Billy was also arrested and interned for 4 years.

This was to be the start of a 8 yr period of providing care to the republican prisoners from the country and the Free State of which there was quite few.  This involved providing them with their fruit parcel every week plus she would have made up a salad every Saturday consisting of either salmon or beef which would have been cooked on the Friday night with the scallions and other greens made ready on the Saturday morning along with a large block of cheese  I don’t know how many it catered for but  she was always assured that it was the highlight of the week for the prisoners. At this time our house was an open door to all relatives who where visiting their sons and brothers and many of those coming from Dublin, Cork, Kerry would have stayed at our home, some of them for a week at a time, all of this was done in my mothers quiet way  and very few outside our home would have known about it

This work continued right up to 1964 when John was released, as i think he and John Madden were the last to be released  

A kind of normal returned our house but that was not to last too long as 1969 bore down on us, once again she had to step up to the plate 

As John was the leader of the Citizens Defence Committees in Belfast our home once again became the nerve centre  with all of the worlds press descending on us  along with the various Fianna Fail politicians right up to Paddy Hillary who was at that time Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Based on the information provided to us at that time we all felt that as the world’s press was watching the British and the Unionist  by exposing the various types of victimisation being imposed on the nationalist community that things were going to change and that Lynch and his government were going to help by providing the guns and training for nationalists to enable us to defend our community from further attacks as the talks process was to take place between the British and the Irish governments which would lead to the end of the Orange state of Northern Ireland  and pave the way to a united Ireland 

While all this was going on my father and mother tried to keep our business on the go but even that was to be destroyed in may 1970 when out of the blue Lynch and his free state Fianna Fail government ordered the arrest of john, Charles Haughey( MINISTER OF FINANCE IN HIS GOVERNMENT) Capt  James Kelly Irish Army intelligence, Neil Blaney also  a minister in his government along with a Irish/Belgian  business man who was a close friend of  Neil Blaneys.  All were charged with trying to import guns and ammunition for the north and brought to trial but found not guilty by a jury of 12 people and all charges dismissed.

The result of this on our family was devastating, our business was destroyed and in November of that year my father was found dead in the yard of our home after he suffered a fatal heart attack which we all felt was brought on by the actions of Jack Lynch and the Free State.  Once again the person she loved was taken from her by the actions of the free state government, first Joe McKelvey and now her husband for whom she bore 9 children

As time  went on and the provisional IRA was formed by John and Billy along with others lots of members of what was to become the IRA were frequent visitors to our home  at which time she would drown them in holy water and the rosary as they left the house it became a standing joke around the place .

Then came internment and the war really got hot.  Oliver (  (a qualified solicitor) was interned and the rest of us were on the run or helping in any way we could but she kept helping out in anyway she could, it was in the blood and her hunger for justice and an end of the orange state was ever strong.

The first attempt on her life was in 1975.  I had just been arrested in her home and was charged, 3 weeks after that while i was on remand a Unionist murder gang supported by the UDR /RUC/ British Army blew up our home in an attempt to murder her.  It failed as they left the front door of the house open and the bomb blew away from her out onto the road instead of into the house but enough damage was done to the house that it had to be knocked down. Luckily my older sister had just returned from the US and had bought a house near by and she was able to quickly get back into another house.

As interment was over and things started to settle down for her and as she was at this time a woman of age she became less involved but then came the hunger strikes. It was at this time that the UVF/British struck again as  she was walking to Mass she stopped to speak to her son my brother Billy as he was manning a hunger strike cadge they pulled up in a motorbike and they where attempting to murder Billy she got in front of them they  shot her 5 times  but she survived for a further 2 years, as one of the bullets they could not remove,  shifted and entered her pancreas which ruptured, she died in the Mater hospital Belfast on the 13rd of April 1983  surrounded by all her children.

Due to her relationship with the Belfast Mater Hospital, the nuns requested that we lay her out in state in the hospital chapel overlooked by the nuns. It was a great honour for our family, and we will always be grateful to the Mercy Order of nuns. For me, a true mother of Ireland — strong, quiet, loyal. No talk, just get on with it; and she did until the day she died.

In conclusion as I reflect on my mother and her life I realise just how lucky I am to be her son and to have inherited her commitment to helping others less well off and to have an inherent love of Ireland and its people .

As I enter my own twilight years  I think of my own mortality , the one thing I know for sure is that when its my time to leave this world it will be her standing at the door as she did when I was a child calling me home 

thank you mother for your guidance and your protection in my life 

Rest in peace your loving son 

Philip  

EVICTIONS IN IRELAND

Ireland  resist the British terrorist’s employed by a dutch bank to evict Irish people from their homes in county Rosscommon 

You know we Irish have faced the use of evictions as a punishment against its people for over  180 years when British landlords put people on the country path and caused over 2 million people, men, women and children to die of starvation or emigrate to far off places never to return, an event that was to haunt the Irish nation up to this day. At that time Ireland was a subservient state to the British establishment and its elites of lord this, baron that and Sir this and that , they held all the cards and we the Irish were the peasants and the dirt on which they walked, backed up by an army of red coats and blue coats  and whatever your wearing yourself coats, that were used to plunder their crops especially corn, wheat, livestock. All of the small landholders were Irish catholic tenants of the  elites, but as the potato crops had failed those years due to blight and as the landlords wanted these produce they rose the rent to a point that  tenants could not pay them, they then evicted them, raped and murdered anyone Irish and catholic.      There are still families in Ireland as their grandfathers /mothers reminisce about those times or when long lost cousins turn up on the doorstep to enquire about their roots  and hear the stories of the American Wakes at the home or crossroads before they had to leave their homeland  and unlikely to ever return. these were days we wished were in the past, but going by the events of the past 8 years when our so-called government handed the people of Ireland a  200e billion bill  to bail out these banks  that were broke because they went on a loan-giving spree to people they knew could not repay the loans. 

We the Irish people were led to believe at the time of the bank bailout that this  was to cover any losses at the banks and we would be repaid over a period of time, so what we thought was this would avoid people losing their homes but that was not how it all worked out, we the people of Ireland are still the peasants  but the government and the banks are now the landlords,  THE ELITES!!!                                                                                                          Different times but the same story as in the 1800s  

Evictions Ireland 1800’s

It would now  seem that the state and their security services are now the coats of many colours but especially the ones in blue who are now the  facilitators of this brutality against their own people.                                                                                                                                  A brutality it is alleged was carried out by northern protestant paramilitaries, i.e. the UDA and/or the UVF, either way  it was permitted by the Gardai who now claim that it was an order of the court, but I can be sure of one thing the courts did not approve of a 5 am visit from a gang of loyalists to brutalise and assault a family of elderly people in County Roscommon, but the Garda did !! as they blocked off the roads leading to the farmhouse and then looked on as people were assaulted by this gang of loyalist  thugs.

garda look on as a occupant of the farm house are assaulted by loyalist thugs dressed in black

All of this behaviour brings back memories of how these loyalist thugs burned out and forced the eviction of over 3000 catholic homes in Belfast 1969, but as these actions led to the creation of the Provisional IRA to defend our communities and homes but once again the blue shirts of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael turned their backs on the Irish population of the six counties and supported and defended  the loyalists and their action, actions  which were fully supported by the British government of the day. Now its the turn of the republic to see first hand what your Government and Gardai are capable of. 

Bombay Street  1969 burned out by loyalist thugs 

This proves to me that Irish People and their rights are expendable to the loyalists and the Banks,

(AS  A FIANNIA FAIL LEADER ONCE SAID WE WILL NOT STAND IDLY BY )

(LYNCH 1969)

WELL THIS TIME THEY HAVE AND WILL DO AGAIN AS LOYALIST ONCE AGAIN THREATEN OUR PEOPLE BUT NOT IN THE NORTH, BUT IN YOUR SOVEREIGN STATE, THE SO CALLED REPUBLIC OF IRELAND WHICH IS NOT THE IRELAND WHERE  THOUSANDS OF OUR PEOPLE DIED AND SACRIFICED FOR 

TIME TO CALL A HALT 

 At this time a rubicon has been crossed by the West British Fianna Fail / Fine Gael  and these vulture fund companies and the banks.

All have raped and plundered our country of our national assets  (oil, gas and our money which has destroyed our country as 1/2 a million of our brightest young people take to the skies and boats in search of a better future ),  Just as the British did in the 1800s

SAME RESULT JUST DIFFERENT PEOPLE. THIS TIME ITS OUR OWN PEOPLE RAPING THEIR OWN PEOPLE TO SATISFY THE GREED OF THE POLITICAL CLASS AND THE BANKS, THE THE TWENTY FIRST  CENTURY  ELITES .

Ray  Burke TD,  Fianna Fail Minister who gave away our gas to Shell worth billions. They have since sold it at a profit, but we are still stuck with all the tax breaks and subsidies given by Burke

Brian Cowen  Fianna Fail Minister 

As the country went on a spending spree so did he as Minister of Finance.  He allowed the banks to do as they wished, he later dismissed the bank regulatory person with a big payout as he covered up what really went on in the banks and especially the Anglo Irish Bank. Not one person has seen the inside of a prison cell except a few order takers in Anglo Irish Banks 

Last but not least the real architect of the bank  crash and the bankruptcy of Ireland. As he lived the high life of Prime Minister, Dublin and Ireland burned because of his own political ambitions.   

And therein lies the destruction of the Irish nation, Ego, Drink, Greed. 

  

To Be Or Not To Be That Is The Question On The British Brexit

It takes time to get your head around why a country wants to walk away from a market of 500 million people across 27 nations to pursue an unidentifiable future, unless of course you happen to be a little Britten who still thinks that Britannia will once again rule the waves, or Boris Johnson and his crew who think they are the Donald Duck Trump of Britain and think they can make Britain great again brigade. 

So I have to ask myself where in the name of sanity did these people get their education, only to discover that they are all from families of the British elite,  mostly educated at Oxford or Cambridge and in many cases are straight out of the officer class of the British Army, Navy, or Air Force – you know the type,  stick their heads in the air and hold their noses as they walk past the poor, the people that they have condemned to a state of poverty as they move their assets overseas and to Europe. 

Now it is none of my business if the British wish to be satisfied with the crumbs from their tables, that is their choice. But this is not the choice of the people of Northern Ireland or Scotland who voted to remain within the European family nations where justice and equality and freedom for all 27 members is the corner stone of their policy. 

So why does it concern me? that question is easy answered, its a thing called the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) which has brought peace to the island of Ireland where a 40 year war was fought by the Nationalist / Republican people of Northern Ireland  to remove the cancer of the British from our land. In that war over 3,000 people died and 1000’s more suffered mental health problems, serious injuries,  marriages destroyed and families broken. But the GFA  brought all that to an end as the border between the northern statelet of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was removed which meant that we had / have an all Ireland economy and no physical border on the Island which made the possibility of an all Ireland unitary state by peaceful means and a border poll where the vote will be held every 7 years  which is controlled by the British (who to date have denied the northern people that choice), possible because of the British and Irish membership of the European Union.

So for us Irish who live on this small island this is a disaster of huge proportions, and is a threat to our peace and prosperity like nothing ever did in the past. Even though the GFA is an International Agreement and is lodged as such in the United Nations in New York, the British now seem to be intent on ripping it up. What I saw on television today they now intend to reinstate a physical border once again on the island of Ireland to satisfy the so called Democratic Unionist Party,  even though they only represent 32% of the Northern Irish  people and that 54% of all who voted in the British referendum voted to remain in the European Union. This is /was a democratic vote under the supervision of the British which they now ignore, mind you it is not the first time the British ignored the democratic wishes of the Irish people (1918 Ireland voted in a British general election for independence from Britain which they ignored).  It was 4 years after that and a war for independence in which 1000’s of people died that once again the British partitioned Ireland by giving  the six north eastern counties to an orange order Protestant  state for a Protestant people and Catholics need not apply.  That state is now called  Northern Ireland where the Irish community who live there are now British subjects, a title they reject as they are Irish in their own land, all be it a part which is under illegal British rule. All of this led to a continuous spate of unrest against this state, so this is one of my questions, are we now on the way back to the future, at the wimp of a government who treat the Irish people and nation as some kind of slaves who have to jump to their wishes? !!!

As there are  many other reasons why we Irish want to remain in the European Union and one of them is food standards across the Union, I would like to explain where I am coming from.  A couple of years ago I went into my local Tesco, it was the middle of Summer and I wanted to buy some salad/veg so I picked up an iceberg lettuce, it was from Holland, but the scallions were from Kenya. Now remember it was the middle of Summer when our own greens would be plentiful and available, so I put them back and left in the knowledge that our farmers produce would be in some other supermarket, so I went to my local Lidl and to my surprise what did I find, 90% of all veg on the shelves was Irish and presented to the highest standards and most important it was fresh. Then I found that 100% of all meats, chicken and ham/pork,  potatoes etc were all Irish north and south, and no border to delay its delivery to the supermarket with less travel and none of whatever it is that is sprayed on goods from overseas to maintain its so called freshness.

I also found the same standards in ALDI, Supervalu and Dunnes Stores.  Freshness and quality produce produced to European standards for food by Irish farming families without breaking the rules. As I continued to do my weekly shop the one thing that pleased me was the knowledge that all the goods I bought that was produced within the European Union had to meet certain standards  as per the EU rules which gave me a sense of security and quality.       

Above are a few products which I buy from Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes Stores and Supervalu. All are produced within the EU and all to the same standards and at fair prices which the working family can afford. There are other reasons that need to be considered here, these companies all buy other products and fresh foods for their shops across Europe which sustains more jobs for rural Ireland and this business is continuing to build  across Ireland.  All of this progress has been made in the last 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed and put into action, an action which has greatly benefited all the people on this island, all of which is now at risk because of a few people in the British parliament who wish to, in my mind to disrupt the full potential of this Island called Ireland  

Ireland united Gaelic and Free

A NEW PARTY THAT WILL BRING NEW PROBLEMS FOR NATIONALIST AND REPUBLICANS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

And so here we go again, another split within the republican movement  A split that is unnecessary and ill advised but created by people who have their own political ambitions, and a party it seems who have no moral compass on the rights for the unborn which must be a matter of  conscience for any person or politician, especially in a country where a large minority voted against abortion, (33.6% ) a vote that also should be respected.

But it now seems that Sinn Fein, under both Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald, no longer represent the voice of that minority and so they force the withdrawal of a republican who did and does voice their concern about this law, who spent all of the abortion debate speaking against it  and should have been allowed to continue to do so, and it is my belief that that decision taken by the leaders of Sinn Fein was one of personal preservation rather than the good of the party and the people of Ireland and their right to choose  on what side of the argument they wish to promote. 

Sinn Fein’s  argument is that it was a decision taken by the majority at the party conference, but as we all know these conferences are party owned and anything the party puts forward will also be passed.  Gerry and Mary Lou say its right so it must be right as they will not undermine the leadership whether its what they believe or not. 

The Unforeseen Consequence Of This Decision :t

There comes a time when a political party has to give people/ members the right to follow their conscience on matters of faith  and this is one of those times 

This decision by Sinn Fein to suspend and censor Peadar Toibin was wrong very wrong  and I hope not to late to revisit,  as the main losers in this conflict, will not be Sinn Fein or Peadar Toibin  but the nationalist community in the north, who will now have their vote split  four (4 ) ways  SDLP, PBP, S/F and now this new party being formed by Peader Toibin 4 parties all seeking for the nationalist vote, none of this to my mind makes sense as it once again may leave the door open for a return to Unionist rule  in the north  and do not think that proportional representation will protect the Sinn Fein vote it will not 

  
As older people in my generation used to say,Splits and Money was always the downfall of the Republican Movement. So I appeal to Peadar and Sinn Fein not to split that vote any further at this time of crucial importance for the nationalist people in the north 
For the people in the north while we respect Peadar’s stand on abortion and his right to life conviction , there are 100,000’s of people who want an end to partition and British rule above and beyond all else

  Its Unity That We In The Northern Republican /Nationalist family need and not division Or People Who Will Put Personal Ambition Ahead Of the people who supported them



The Irish Then And Now

Over the years and for as long as I can remember the people of Ireland went all over the world in an effort to improve the living standards of the most oppressed and poor people in which ever countries they went to 

In the past 100 years and more they have brought religion faith and hope to people weather that be in England, Africa ,The Philippines, Japan, South America, India and Europe, but no matter where they went they brought health care , education, self esteem self help,  water production,animal welfare and hope for a better future, This was carried out much to the distaste of the elites of these countries who for their own reasons did not want to see change.

  In the early days this work was carried out by the various Irish religious orders who educated , each brother priest or nun  in a skill which they  brought with them to these far off lands, but the most of them were farmers sons and daughters, teachers, nurses, and doctors who would have also given their lives to their god and were dedicated to working for the poor and improving their lives, even tho the numbers of the religious orders have dropped  this work goes on as they now manage the schools and hospitals as the people they trained and educated  are now taking over and running the day to day activities, and indeed many of these people are now working in our own health system and schools in Ireland so all that good work carried out by the early Irish missioners in these countries is now showing a benefit to the Irish nation. I don’t really   belive in Karma but I do belive that good will always overcome evil  and we will be rewarded as we are here in Ireland with the arrival into our mist the most beautiful and caring of people as I personally know from my own experience having met nurses from India and Africa all trained by the same Irish nuns and brothers who went to their homelands to help them and their families for a better future. 

  

There is now a real threat to this work being able to continue as it did in the early days . but I do see hope that it will emerge from this down turn as I see the number of Irish lay people now doing this work, as I think of Gina Heraty  from Westport  Ireland doing amazing work in Haiti among the poor and victims of the recent storms and earthquake or Mrs Nobel  in Vietnam where she runs an orphanage for street kids and there are many many more like her around the world all of them are Irish who are  working  quietly  in different parts of the world bringing hope for a better life as they do the work that the capitalist system will not  do     

HO CHI MINH

This was brought home to me  early this year as my son Diarmuid sent me photos from Hanoi in Vietnam as he made up battery boxes to supply electricity  for a village which two of his Irish friends who like himself are teachers, have adopted,  because the people in this village can’t afford to send their children to school they teach them at the weekends in the hope that will get some kind of a start in life, once again  we witness the kindness, caring and selflessness of the Irish abroad.

We are still missionaries at heart !!!

    

 My son Diarmuid  making ready battery boxes 

My daughter celebrates Halloween  with her pupils in Hanoi Vietnam