Former Tanaiste Joan Burton during the Jobstown protest

Irish Liberal Foresees Own Enduring Relevance

My words are smoother than the essential oils
the Taoiseach last week
had his parliamentary assistant rub
into his badly traumatised buttocks.
My psychotherapist insists
half the people who’ve taken
shotguns to their own heads,
during this recession, would’ve reconsidered,
if only they’d heard me talk for an hour
each week about the dangers of Sinn Féin,
or how I live in the hope of a woman Pope.

I’m all for the good people of middle Ireland
making their point in a dignified manner
with china cups of nothing stronger than tea in their hands.
But when thugs from the far parts start burning vans
and generally acting as if they owned the place;
and gurriers from the depths begin picking up bricks
and tossing words so terrible,
they’re not even in the dictionary,
at the Minister for Poverty’s hair-style.
(How would you like your wife,
sister, great grandmother,
kidnapped in her car
for two and a half hours?)

The world will not be changed by fools
banging on the bonnet of a BMW.
But by the likes of me talking
against social exclusion in TV studios.
And fundraising concerts organised
by former pop-stars.
And the well-meaning priest
with whom I regularly have dinner;
between the two us we’ve enough
concern for the poor to construct a second
Fergal Keane of the BBC,
as a back-up in case
the existing one breaks.

Trust in us. Pay no heed
to the sweary-mouthed crowd,
who if they’re not put back where they belong
will soon be eating pot noodle from scooped out skulls
confiscated from their betters
in defiance of international law.
By the likes of them,
the world must not be changed.

Kevin Higgins

Yesterday: Meanwhile, At Court 13



Dublin Zoo

Siobhan Grogan writes:

Dublin Zoo will mark the birth of two red ruffed lemur pups with a very special event on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of July to celebrate.

Proud parents Pierre and Fifi welcomed the brother and sister pups to Dublin Zoo’s lemur family on April 25th. The latest arrivals join the troop of seven red ruffed lemurs already at Dublin Zoo.

The island of Madagascar has only 10% of its natural vegetation remaining, making lemurs the most threatened group of mammals on Earth.

To see Dublin Zoo’s lemur troop and learn more about why it is so important to protect them and their habitat, visit Dublin Zoo this Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm for its Long Live Lemurs weekend.

As part of the event there will be special lemur keeper talks, lemur themed arts and crafts, music and more.

Dublin Zoo

Pics Patrick Bolger

The Apprehension Engine – an instrument for generating sounds for horror movies, designed by composer Mark Korven (who was tired of digital sampling and wanted something more experimental and acoustic) and constructed by guitar maker Tony Duggan Smith. Korven sez:

A normal instrument, you are playing it and expecting it to have a sound that is pleasing but with an instrument like this, the goal is to produce sounds, that in this case, are disturbing.

Here’s the full effect…


Bill Kenneally

You may recall a recent report by Saoirse McGarrigle in The Irish Mirror about how a member of Fianna Fáil claims the party held secret meetings to discuss how it could “contain” the story of Bill Kenneally and his abuse of young boys in Waterford.

Ms McGarrigle reported last week:

The whistleblower said that secret meetings began in 2013 when a criminal investigation began after a number of victims came forward.

“They met under the guise of discussing another problem, but they were actually there to discuss containing the story.”

Readers will recall how Kenneally was convicted and sentenced to 14 years last February, for abusing 10 boys in the 1980s, after victim Jason Clancy came forward. But certain Gardaí knew about the abuse as far back as 1985.

Readers will also recall how Kenneally’s uncle was the late Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kenneally, who died in 2009 and who was succeeded by his son Brendan Kenneally.

Brendan Kenneally was told about the abuse by a Waterford woman in 2002 but he didn’t tell gardai. Instead, he spoke to another uncle and local priest – and former chairman of the board of management at Holy Cross National School in Tramore, Co Waterford – Monsignor John Shine – and arranged counselling for Bill Kenneally.

Monsignor Shine died on Saturday, February 18.

Last month the then Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald appointed retired judge Barry Hickson to chair a Commission of Investigation into the matter.

Further to the report in The Irish Mirror, the survivors of abuse at the hands of Kenneally have this afternoon released the following statement via KRW Law:

“We are aware of the recent media reports that have expressly commented on the allegations of a whistleblower in relation to the abuse by Bill Kenneally, and the subsequent failure to investigate allegations.

We have conducted our own enquiries in respect of this whistleblower’s evidence and are satisfied that it raises real issues of concern, which will in due course, need to be fully investigated.

“We proposed to place all relevant evidence before the pending inquiry with a view to the issues raised becoming part of the live investigation.

“Such allegations are extremely serious and must be fully investigated so as to assuage both our clients’ concerns and those of the wide community.”

Abuse victims launch attack on Fianna Fail after secret meetings were held to ‘contain story’ of member abusing boys (Saoirse McGarrigle, The Irish Mirror)