Tuesday 29 January 2008


This little verse is one of Uncle Franks
lighter party-pieces, which he recites
slowly and deliberately to great
dramatic and comedic effect !


They walked down the lane together,
The sky was full of stars.
Together they reached the farmyard gate,
He lifted for her the bars.
She neither smiled or thanked him,
Indeed she knew not how,
For he was just a farmyard boy,
And she was a jersey cow !


Saturday 26 January 2008


January 27 th. is Holocaust Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember
the horrific attempted genocide of the Jewish people, in which
6 million of them were killed. The two pieces I have chosen both
reflect the sheer awfulness of that event and one of them is a warning
that the anti-life spirit that inspired the Nazi terror still walks abroad
in our so called 'liberal' society.


We played, we laughed
we were loved.
We were ripped from the arms of our
parents and thrown into the fire.
We were nothing more than children.
We had a future. We were going to be
lawyers, rabbis, wives, teachers, mothers.
We had dreams, then we had no hope.
We were taken away in the dead of night
like cattle in cars, no air to breathe
smothering, crying, starving, dying.
Separated from the world to be no more.
From the ashes, hear our plea. This
atrocity to mankind can not happen
again. Remember us, for we were the
children whose dreams and lives were
stolen away.
Barbara Sonek

"Near at hand, we have been accorded, for those that have eyes to see, an object lesson in what the quest for 'quality of life' without reference to 'sanctity of life' can involve....[namely] the great Nazi holocaust, whose TV presentation has lately been harrowing viewers throughout the Western world. In this televised version, an essential consideration has been left out - namely, that the origins of the holocaust lay, not in Nazi terrorism and anti-Semitism, but in pre-Nazi Weimar Germany's acceptance of euthanasia and mercy-killing as humane and estimable.... It took no more than three decades to transform a war crime into an act of compassion, thereby enabling the victors in the war against Nazi-ism to adopt the very practices for which the Nazis had been solemnly condemned at Nuremberg."
Malcolm Muggeridge



Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. Getting together for Christmas, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother.
The first said, "I built a big house for our mother."
The second said, "I sent her a Mercedes."
The third smiled and said, "I've got you both beat. You remember how mom enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know she can't see very well. So I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took elders in the church 12 years to teach him. He's one of a kind. Mother just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot recites it."
Soon thereafter, the mother sent out her letters of thanks:
"Dear Milton," she wrote one son, "The house you built is too huge. I live in
only one room, but I have to keep the whole house clean!"
"Dear Gerald," she wrote to another, "I am too old to travel. I stay at home
most of the time, so I rarely use the Mercedes."
"Dearest Donald," she wrote to her third son, "You have the good sense to know what your Mother likes. The chicken was Dee-licious!"

Thursday 24 January 2008


Is he, isn't he ?


Yesterday afternoon on the Joe Duffy radio show a caller from Northern Ireland rang in to complain about the fact that Rosary beads were being sold in the gift shop of Saint Patrick’s Protestant cathedral. Wallace Thompson ,himself a member of the Presbyterian church felt that Rosary beads were an inappropriate item to be stocked in Dublins famous church as it was against traditional Protestant doctrine.The Dean of the Cathedral, Dr. Robert McCarthy responded by saying that the building was visited by people of different denominations and the sale of the beads was a big money-spinner for the upkeep of the Cathedral. During the course of the interview Joe asked Mr Thompson how he viewed the present pope. His response, that he viewed the pope of Rome as the Antichrist caused a flurry of indignant calls accusing him of bigotry and religious intolerance. The Irish Independents religious correspondent John Cooney described the radio controversy thus :“A new Messiah has risen to save the Protestant people of Ulster from the heretical snares of Rome and to keep the Pope, "the anti-Christ", out of the North.
An unholy row on yesterday's 'Joe Duffy show' began innocently enough, when the chief aide to Nigel Dodds, the North's Enterprise Minister, voiced his objections to the sale of Catholic rosary beads inside St Patrick's Cathedral, in Dublin.”
His colourful report elicited even more ‘outraged’ reaction from mostly Catholic correspondents to the newspaper. Which makes me wonder what all the fuss is about. Mr Thompson is only expressing the traditional Protestant view that the pope is the spirit of antichrist. I think Catholics react emotively to this statement as they feel a personal loyalty and affection for the bishop of Rome, the Protestant position however is not an attack on the personality of the pope but their view that the office and its claims run counter to the spirit of Christ and the Bible. While I would not emphatically agree that the present pope is the Antichrist, by virtue of his office he certainly denies the clear teaching of Scripture and does not in any sense reflect the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth. Also I think John Cooney's sensationalist branding of Mr Thompson as ' a new Messiah' is an offensive and trivialising remark clearly intended to mark the Presbyterian dissenter as one of the lunatic fringe ! I thought we had matured enough to take criticism on the chin and do as Mr Thompson repeatedly requested on the Joe Duffy show, enter into a meaningful dialogue with those who differ from us.
In an ironical footnote I remember that one of Pope Benedict’s own cardinals, Giacomo Biffi (78) earlier last year made some very forthright comments on the subject of the Antichrist. Quoting Vladimir Solovyov (1853- 1900), the Russian philosopher and mystic, Biffi warned that the coming Antichrist will be "a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist", and "will convoke an ecumenical council and seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions". Cardinal Biffi further deliberated that this Antichrist figure would have a following of the "masses…with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants" who would fight to prevent the watering down and ultimate destruction of the faith.. It seems the view from Rome as to the prophetic future is very different to the view articulated by Northern Protestants. There are as many perspectives on Biblical prophecy as there are commentators but the Scripture itself only mentions the word ‘antichrist’ on four occasions, in 1 John 2:18-19 ,1 John 2:22-23 ,1 John 4:2-3 ,and 2 John 1:7 . The emphasis in these verses is on a number of individuals or antichrists who deny that Jesus came in the flesh,"By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world." As these words were written several hundred years ago ,one thing we can say for sure is that the phenomena of ‘antichrist’ is not a new one. To the onlooking secular world this must all seem like an archaic game of religious name-calling, but to those in the ‘know’ it runs a lot deeper than that. Let’s leave the last word for now to Bob Dylan who hit’s the spot in his song Man of Peace…

Look out your window, baby, there's a scene you'd like to catch The band is playing "Dixie," a man got his hand outstretched. Could be the Fuhrer Could be the local priest. You know sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.
He's a great humanitarian, he's a great philanthropist, He knows just where to touch you, honey, and how you like to be kissed. He'll put both his arms around you, You can feel the tender touch of the beast. You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Gerard O'Shea


Monday 21 January 2008


The recipe for Monday Blues


Today Monday, January 21 has been deemed as the gloomiest day of the year by Cliff Arnall, a psychologist who specialises in depressive disorders.
He said that being the gloomiest day,
"the six factors, namely the weather; Christmas debt; a feeling of monotony after the Christmas cheer has faded; broken New Year's resolutions; low levels of motivation; and a desperate feeling that you need to act to improve your life, come together today to leave us at our most miserable."
The psychologist added that another factor is the fact that many are still reeling from the hangover of the long Christmas break and are still trying to get the groove of their routine.
A former academic at Cardiff University, Arnall said the best way to combat the blues is to simply stop moaning.
If you are a regular whinger or moaner about the weather or minor ailments, stop," he said. "It is boring and you are boring. Focus on the good things you do have in your life. If one of your limbs does not work, focus on the three that do."
Other tips include: stop seeing those you do not like; start saying "no" to unreasonable requests; and help others by doing voluntary work.
Mr. Arnall may be an ‘expert’ in matters of the human psyche but personally I’d rather hear the advice of the One who created us and knows us most intimately ,
‘ You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.(Psalm 139:13).
There is only one refuge from the pressures and distresses of everyday life, a secure place where we are sheltered from the storms of adversity. The Psalmist ,again speaking from his own hands on experience of the living God in the midst of turmoil boldly declares, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.” (Psalm 5:11-12). Jesus himself left the prescription for joy-filled living that contradicts the modern dictum of ‘if it feels good-do it’, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:9-11). Of course the person who places his life in Jesus’ hands is not immune from trouble, in fact often the Christian believer will experience more opposition as he seeks to live a ‘righteous’ life but he also has the resources of the Living God within to assist and enable him. The brother of Jesus, James puts a unique perspective on the problem of dealing with hard times, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:2-3) And the Apostle Paul compares our earthly life to a race which we need to run without encumbrance setting our eyes on Jesus the goal of our faith, and learning from His example of endurance and steadfastness. This is the path to real sustainable joy, a joy that is not dependent on circumstances or emotional responses, but a joy that is rooted in the Living God through His Son Jesus Christ.
“ Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
So while today may be designated Bluesy Monday by the boffins, the really good news is that the Ancient of Days from whom Time itself proceeds , as always has a better idea ! In fact He has a plan for your life and mine hatched from eternity to banish the gloom and doom of our mortal state and replace it with life and joy in the Holy Spirit. Because God became one of us and incarnated Himself as Jesus of Nazareth, He knows our pain, He feels our emptiness and by His death on the cross He has defeated the powers of darkness that seek to encroach upon our lives. Simply put ,Jesus by His death and coming back to life again has once and for all defeated death and darkness and extends to each one the promise of an eternal and joy-filled life. The choice is yours and mine, to accept His gift or ignore it. We need to choose carefully, the stakes are high. Robert Frost famously wrote about “two roads diverging in the middle of a wood”, and choosing the “one less travelled on”. Later in his life Frost reflected that his decision “had made all the difference“, our response to Jesus’ work on the cross will make the difference between life and death to us, I believe. I pray we may all have the courage to choose Life and reap the rich reward that He has promised, “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever .” (Psalm 16:11)

Gerard O'Shea


You have suffered enough here are the answers to our foodie Bible quiz...

1. B. Elisha (2 Kings 4:42-44). According to Mosaic law, an offering of the first ripe grain was for the priests. Because the priests at Bethel and Dan worshiped idols, God's followers brought the loaves to Elisha, which he shared with the people. Jesus instructed his disciples to do the same (Matt. 10:8).
2. B. once a day for 40 years (Exodus 16). The Jews believed that when the Messiah came he would again feed them with manna, the "bread from heaven." Jesus confirmed their expectations: "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35).
3. A. one month (Num. 11:4-34). When the Israelites complained about their diet of manna, God gave them over to their lusts, which turned into punishment for their ungratefulness. "But while the meat was still between their teeth … he struck them with a severe plague."
4. A. angels fed him (Matt. 4:11). Satan wanted Jesus to doubt God's pro-vision and turn the stones into bread. But Jesus trusted God. Like Jesus, we will also experience both temptation and God's provision in our lives (1 Cor. 10:13).
5. C. flour and oil (1 Kings 17:12-16). Jesus reminded the Jewish leaders of this Old Testament story when they refused to believe in him, saying that Elijah had been sent, not to the unbelieving Israelites, but to a Gentile widow (Luke 4:25-26).
6. B. 12 (John 6:1-13). The five loaves and two fish seemed insufficient for the needs of so many. Yet through the power of Christ, the meal was transformed. Jesus is able to satisfy all who come to him in faith.
7. C. flour (2 Kings 4:38-41). Just as one man's mistake would have brought death to all who ate the stew, Adam's sin brought death to the entire human race (Gen. 3:23). The flour is a picture of Christ: "He was crushed for our iniquities … and by his wounds we are healed" (Isa. 53:5).

Saturday 19 January 2008


As we are in the depths of winter and (here at any rate) the rain is tumbling down what better time to pore over the pages of Scripture and answer a few brain-crushing questions. These posers concern Biblical accounts of the miraculous provision of food either for its quantity, timing or source. I'll post up the answers in a day or two and the prize is the satisfaction of being right or, if you prefer the knowledge that virtue is its own reward! So set to it, and see how many of the following you can crack...


1. This man fed 100 men with 20 barley rolls, saying, "Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: 'They will eat and have some left over.'" Who was it?
A. Jesus B. Elisha C. Isaiah
2. After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, how often did God provide them with manna?
A. three times a day for 40 days B. once a day for 40 years C. once a week for 40 years
3. After a year in the wilderness, the Israelites were tired of eating manna and asked God for meat. He sent quail—enough to feed 600,000 men for how long?
A. one month B. one week C. a fortnight
4. For 40 days, Jesus fasted in the wilderness and was tempted by Satan. Jesus' first meal came by what means?
A. angels fed him B. he turned stones into bread C. ravens brought it
5. Elijah asked a Gentile widow to give him her last morsel of food, promising God's provision. Her obedience paid off—with a never-ending supply of what?
A. oil B. water C. flour and oil
6. Jesus fed 5,000 men, plus women and children, with only five loaves of bread and two fish. The leftovers filled how many baskets?
A. 7 B. 12 C. 3
7. Elisha and his fellow prophets sat down to enjoy some stew, accidentally made with poisonous gourds. God made the food safe to eat after Elisha added what ingredient?
A. salt B. bones C. flour


Arthur Hugh Clough

"There is no God," the wicked saith,
"And truly it's a blessing,
For what He might have done with us
It's better only guessing."

"There is no God," a youngster thinks,
"or really, if there may be,
He surely did not mean a man
Always to be a baby."

"There is no God, or if there is,"
The tradesman thinks, "'twere funny
If He should take it ill in me
To make a little money."

"Whether there be," the rich man says,
"It matters very little,
For I and mine, thank somebody,
Are not in want of victual."

Some others, also, to themselves,
Who scarce so much as doubt it,
Think there is none, when they are well,
And do not think about it.

But country folks who live beneath
The shadow of the steeple;
The parson and the parson's wife,
And mostly married people;

Youths green and happy in first love,
So thankful for illusion;
And men caught out in what the world
Calls guilt, in first confusion;

And almost everyone when age,
Disease, or sorrows strike him,
Inclines to think there is a God,
Or something very like Him.
Arthur Hugh Clough

Wednesday 16 January 2008



A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

Tuesday 15 January 2008


Night Thoughts, compiled
by Simon Winder

It’s quite a while since I plucked a volume from the window-sill of my front porch and shared it with you. The books are not so sun-kissed of late but are bathed in a showery winter light and seem to be bearing up well ! This book has the slightly chilling title of ‘Night Thoughts’, a collection of prose and poems about the world of darkness celebrating the great tradition of ‘night-writing’.The book is the perfect companion for these long winter evenings when “Good things of day begin to droop and drowse, / While night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.”(Macbeth ) ~ GOSh. ~



Ill busi'd man! why should'st thou take such care
To lengthen out thy life's short calendar?
When ev'ry spectacle thou lookst upon
Presents and acts thy execution.
Each drooping season and each flower doth cry,
"Fool! as I fade and wither, thou must die.

"The beating of thy pulse (when thou art well)
Is just the tolling of thy Passing Bell:
Night is thy Hearse, whose sable Canopy
Covers alike deceased day and thee.
And all those weeping dews which nightly fall,
Are but the tears shed for thy funeral."

Henry King



At the funeral Mass in St. Patricks Church at Fanore for John O’Donoghue, his brother Peter shared one of Johns favourite jokes. He told the congregation that John would share this story and invariably follow the punch line “with that great loud laugh.” It was about a farmer who sold his four pigs in the one day, carrying each pig to the fair separately and selling it before going back home for the next one. The farmer was asked why he didn’t bring all the pigs in together and that what he was doing was an awful waste of time. “Sure what’s time to a pig ?” was the farmers response.

Saturday 12 January 2008


O'DONOHUE (Fermoyle, Ballyvaughan Gleann, Trasna, Connemara) Jan. 4, 2008, (suddenly), in France. John, loved son of Josie and the late Paddy, beautiful brother to P.J., Pat, and Mary; treasured partner to Kristine, wonderful brother-in-law to Dympna, Eilish, and D.J., doating uncle to Trióna, Peter, Katie and Shane. Remains reposing at his brother Pat's House, Fermoyle on Friday Jan. 11, from 12 o'c. until 6 o'c. Removal to Fanore Church on Saturday for 11 o'c. Requiem Mass followed by Burial at Craggagh Graveyard. Family Flowers only. Donations if desired to The Irish Hospice Foundation. There will be a Memorial Service in Celebration of John's Life on Feb. 2, 2008 in Galway Cathedral. Services in the US and UK will be arranged. Details to be announced.
The Death Notice for John O'Donohue
As the remains of John O'Donohue are
moved to Fanore Church for todays funeral service
Donnes great sonnet is a timely reminder
that one day death too will die !
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow
And soonest our best men with thee do go
Rest of their bones and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!

.John Donne

Friday 11 January 2008


In a letter to Dorothy Sayers on 4 March 1954
Lewis penned a satirical poem entitled
Evolutionary Hymn. Lewis, had a well developed
sense of satire, and this effort is particularly biting.
Lead us, Evolution, lead us
Up the future's endless stair;
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us
.For stagnation is despair:
Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
Lead us nobody knows where.
Wrong or justice, joy or sorrow,
In the present what are they
while there's always jam-tomorrow,
While we tread the onward way?
Never knowing where we're going,
We can never go astray.
To whatever variation
Our posterity may turn
Hairy, squashy, or crustacean,
Bulbous-eyed or square of stern,
Tusked or toothless, mild or ruthless,
Towards that unknown god we yearn.
Ask not if it's god or devil,
Brethren, lest your words imply
Static norms of good and evil
(As in Plato) throned on high;
Such scholastic, inelastic,
Abstract yardsticks we deny.
Far too long have sages vainly
Glossed great Nature's simple text;
He who runs can read it plainly,
'Goodness = what comes next.
'By evolving, Life is solving
All the questions we perplexed.
Oh then! Value means survival-
Value. If our progeny
Spreads and spawns and licks each rival,
That will prove its deity
(Far from pleasant, by our present,
Standards, though it may well be).
C.S. Lewis

Thursday 10 January 2008



In a recent piece under the heading 'Bucking the Trend' I made reference to a group in Britain called 'Keep Sunday Special' and said that they had been campaigning against Sunday opening for many years with 'little success'. I am indebted to Tim for correcting this impression and I am glad to print his comment below which shows how off the mark I was. Taking his advice I went to the KSS website from which I gleaned the news item which appears just below Tims remarks. ~ GOSh.~

“Just to clarify, in 1987 the Keep Sunday Special campaign successfully defeated Margaret Thatcher to prevent the shops opening on Sundays. The Act eventually returned to parliament in 1994, and although time Keep Sunday Special didn't manage to win this vote, we did achieve a compromise position, that large shops in England & Wales would be limited to 6 hours opening on Sunday. In early 2006 the British government launched an enquiry into Sunday shopping with a view to full y deregulating Sunday shopping (24/7 opening). Keep Sunday Special joined forces with a number of other groups and successfuly managed to get the government to withdraw this proposal in July 2006. There is lots more on our website!” ~ Tim ~


Campaigning group Keep Sunday Special today appealed for a fresh look at Sunday shopping to give us all a break, especially those working on Sundays.
The appeal comes as new GfK NOP findings reveal 81 per cent of people believe that protecting Sunday as a ‘family day’ is a good idea and almost three quarters of people, 73 per cent, said it would not bother them at all if large shops shut on Sundays if local convenience stores were open, a staggering 22% increase from 2004.
Speaking today the Director of Keep Sunday Special, Dr Michael Schluter said:-‘People are crying out for a break and a release from the pressure of working each day of the week, they want family time back, they want their Sunday back and are simply not interested in any more shopping,’ Dr Schluter said.
‘We’ve had thirteen years of Sunday trading and yet still two thirds of people say Sunday should be a different day to the rest of the week, and almost a third (31%) of people say that they never shop in large shops or supermarkets at all on Sundays. Sunday has been stolen from people and they want to get it back - above all they want a break.’‘Is it any wonder that two thirds (66%) of people think Sundays have lost their special feel and all for only 7 per cent of the population who actually use large shops and supermarkets on most Sundays? ‘Almost a quarter (23%) of people are beginning to say large shops being open for six hours on a Sunday is too much.’ ‘Think too about the potential environmental benefits through saving energy and fewer journeys if large shops were shut,’ Dr Schluter said.‘It’s time to acknowledge that the passing of the Sunday Trading Act in1994 was a big mistake; public opinion is saying that Britain needs a break!’

Wednesday 9 January 2008


Steven Biel in Israel
This is selected from a blog by Steven Biel who is currently studying in Israel and seeing as much of the Biblical landscape as possible. His visit to Mount Hermon is of special interest to Dew readers and I hope to share more of Stevens insights into the Holy Land in future entries...You can check out Stevens further adventures at www.stevenbiel.blogspot.com
I was able to visit Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast, a town built by Herod the Great in mid-first century B.C. The look out from the top of Mt. Carmel (the place Elijah battled the prophets of Baal) and Nazareth (from the cliff where Jesus may have escaped from being stoned) was hazy, so I didn’t get to see everything. The view from these two spots into the Jezreel Valley—where people think Armageddon will take place—still gave me a good perspective of the land. (My professor does not believe that the final battle will take place here, but rather in Jerusalem). It’s amazing how many OT stories have happened in this valley. Check out the story of Elisha bringing a boy from Shunem back to life in 2 Kings 4 and then check out Jesus’ miracle in Luke 7:11-17. Try to find the two towns that were mentioned on a Biblical map. Compare the locations. Have fun.
I also hiked the Arbel Pass on the way to the Sea of Galilee and got to swim in the sea twice. It is beautiful, especially in the spring I am told. Lush green, different then the rocky dry climate in the south. I visited the ruins of Hazor where Joshua burned the city to the ground, and I saw the city of Dan in the far north as well as Mount Hermon from a distance. It’s the tallest mountain peak in the north. Today you can down hill ski on the mountain. I want to at least go back and hike it. In Psalm 133 the dew of Hermon is depicted as oil coming down from the top of Aaron’s head onto his beard and even unto the edges of his clothes as far as the mountains of Zion in Jerusalem. It’s a picture of “brothers dwelling together in unity.” Jesus transfiguration is also thought to have taken place on the mountain. Where, who knows?
Steven Biel

Tuesday 8 January 2008


by Samuel Hirszenberg (1866-1908)


DES KELLY who has famously been rolling out the carpet at his flooring and furniture stores in Dublin for over 30 years has decided to end the practise of Sunday opening at his thirteen premises. Mr Kelly says that he is taking this radical step because he believes its what God wants him to do, “As I came to know Gods commandments better, I realised I was wrong to be opening on Sunday” After consultation with his employees Mr Kelly says that 99% of them were pleased with the Sunday closure which bucks the trend as several retail outlets are now open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Mr Kelly a devout Catholic has notices and leaflets available in the stores displaying a drawing of a church and the slogan, “Our Door Closes on Sundays Because His Door Opens.” They explain, “We believe Sunday is the one day that should be put aside for more important things, like family and giving thanks.” And they add, “there is a place where the doors are always open, and that’s why it’s easy to get back in...to Sundays.”
In Britain for many years a group called Keep Sunday Special have been campaigning against Sunday shop opening, with little success. In this country the larger outlets like Dunnes Stores and Tesco now appear to never close. Sunday is becoming just as traffic-snagged as any other day and of course church attendance has steadily declined. Maybe Des Kelly will start a reversal of the trend and remind people that there are higher laws than those of supply and demand and more noble aims in life than making money. One of the commandments enshrined in the Covenant with Moses is that God has blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy and we were to rest on that day and remember our Creator. This Sabbath rest was never more needed in our consumer-driven society where so many stresses and strains seem attendant to our busy lives and frantic schedules. Jesus invitation seems wholly appropriate, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."(Matthew11:27-29) Its probably long overdue for us to return to Gods precepts in every area of life, and to hear the Word of the Lord afresh, as He exhorted the children of Israel of old, " There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD." (Leviticus 23:2-4) Now of course Sunday is not the seventh day, Saturday is…but that’s another days work entirely !

Gerard O'Shea

Monday 7 January 2008


An File ~ Raifteirí.

I was delighted to receive a comment as Gaeilge from Máire Holmes on the little piece marking the passing of John O’Donoghue. At one time the Irish language was our native tongue on this island and for many years was a compulsory subject in our schools, many believing that this was the death-knell of it as a living vibrant language. While the number of native speakers has steadily declined, the number of people learning the language seems to have experienced a resurgence with the proliferation of Gael Scoileana (schools that teach only through Irish) and the popularity of TG4 an Irish language TV station.So to mark Máire's first appearance on the Dew blog I’d like to present this poem by one of our finest Gaelic poets Antaine Ó Raifteirí. Raftery was born in Killedan in 1784, the son of a weaver. He was blinded by small pox while very young and is said to have worked as a stable boy for the landlord, Frank Taaffe. He was a wandering musician with a fiddle and like so many vagrant musicians of the time (c. 1784 - 1835 ) he was blind. They taught the blind to play an instrument so that they would at least be able to earn some sort of a living despite their handicap.I hope you enjoy the poem,Máire …

Gerard O'Shea

Is Mise Raifteirí an file,

Lán dúchais is grádh,

Le súile gan solas,

Le ciúnas gan crá.

Ag dul síar ar m'aistear

Le solas mo chroí

Fann agus tuirseach

Go deireadh mo shlí

Féach anois mé

Is mo chúl le bhfalla

Ag seinm ceoil

Do phócaí folamh

I'm Raftery

I'm Raftery the poet,

Full of hope and love,

With eyes without sight,

My mind without torment.

Going west on my journey

By the light of my heart.

Weary and tired

To the end of my road

Behold me now

With my back to the wall

Playing music

To empty pockets.

Antaine Ó Raifteirí

Saturday 5 January 2008


The late John O'Donohue
John O’ Donohue the poet and philosopher has died suddenly at age 53 while on holiday in the South of France.A former priest, he was best known as author of Anam Cara (A friend of the soul) a compendium of Celtic wisdom for the pilgrim soul drawing on influences as diverse as Yeats and Heidegger with more than a passing nod to Christianity. He was once described as “ a poetic priest with the soul of a pagan.” He was a compelling speaker and many times I heard him espousing his spiritual philosophy on the radio, always doing it with an enthusiasm and freshness that whether you agreed or not, made it compelling listening. He had a degree in philosophy and English literature and did his PhD on Hegel, his keen intellect informing his writings while his poets eye constantly evoked the beauty and pathos of the natural world around him.He seemed to straddle a path somewhere between the Christian mystic tradition and a New Age sensibility which made his work appeal to a wide and disparate audience.He lived in a cottage in the west of Ireland and spoke Irish as his native language, and was an active campaigner against the proposed Burren interpretative centre. Most recently I heard him speaking on the Marian Finucane show on RTE radio, where he spoke about the deep centre of Christmas and the space that it creates after all the hoo hah to discover that stillness within, often presenting itself as a sense of loss or longing.His most recent publication was a book of Blessings, a collection of his poems/prayers to mark different stages in our lives. The Blessing below is taken from an earlier book, ‘Echoes of Memory’ -GOSh.

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
John O'Donohue
~ Echoes of Memory ~

Wednesday 2 January 2008



As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate.
Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time.
I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.
Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society -- things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly.
It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time, waiting to sprout when the conditions are right.
Man's curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble.
We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.
Hang on to your hat.
Hang on to your hope.
And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.

E. B. White

E. B. White was born in 1899 in Mount Vernon, New York. He served in the army before going to Cornell University. There he wrote for the college newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun.In 1927 he became a writer for The New Yorker magazine, where he became well known. He wrote a column for Harper's magazine from 1938 to 1943.White's career had already brought him much fame, but he was about to try something new. His nieces and nephews always asked him to tell them stories, so he began writing his own tales to read to them. In 1945 he started publishing these stories as books. All three are now considered classics of children's literature and 'Charlottes Web' has recently been filmed.In 1957 White moved to North Brooklyn, Maine, with his wife, Katharine. There he continued to write. White died in 1985.

Tuesday 1 January 2008

ROLL ON...2008


Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

from 'In Memoriam'

Alfred Lord Tennyson