Tuesday, 31 March 2009


A recent piece here on the tangible effects of the economic recession in this country drew some hot and heavy comments from Dew viewers, so in the interests of all our sanitys I thought it would be no harm to look at the lighter side of the financial crises. Better do it now as after April 7 (the next Budget date) there may not be anything much left to laugh about ! So for the general merriment of all concerned, here is a round-up of some of the funniest cartoons inspired by our downwardly spiralling global economy…enjoy ! ~GOSh.~

Saturday, 28 March 2009



On March 21 st. Bernard Dunne from Dublin became the WBA Super Bantamweight Champion of the World after a gruelling contest against defending champ Ricardo Cordobo. Interviewed on Radio 1 the following day, Marian Finnucane asked Dunne ,”How are you feeling this morning ?” To which the triumphant fighter replied ,
“ I'm over the moon Marian, it still hasn’t hit me “

Friday, 27 March 2009



Every shop I go into these days is offering cut-price this and half-price that in an attempt to lure the jaded shopper in and make him part with his hard earned cash. We are being coaxed and teased in to spending by irresistible offers and never to be repeated bargains. ‘SPAR’ an independent grocery franchise are offering a variety of goodies as Eurosaver deals while the bigger outlets like ‘TESCO ‘and ‘DUNNES’ have regular 10% back days and lots of items with marked down prices throughout their stores. The problem that these ‘offers’ are addressing is that in uncertain economic times people are loathe to spend, being unsure what lies ahead.

Already as a public sector employee I have taken a noticeable pay cut in the form of a government pension levy, and this is on top of an employment levy in place since the beginning of this year. Our finance Minister is giving the Budget a second bash in April and this is the single event that has the national collective shaking in our boots ! It seems this time around everything is up for grabs as the legislators plan to attempt to gather 6 billion Euro into the government coffers.
Strange to say that during our good years we paid top buck for everything without a murmur. For a period back then it became taboo to question any price or charge and to bargain or shop around was considered slightly vulgar ! We reached an apex of wanton spending fever when the hottest accessory was to buy an overseas property, just for the hols don’t you know. Every second person it seemed were then the proud owners of apartments from Spain to Bulgaria , and in the heat of this buying frenzy more practical considerations like the ongoing cost of maintenance, and the property value depreciation were not really considered. Now alas the chickens are coming home to roost and the Tiger years were like a long weekend financed on Visa, but this is Monday morning and the Credit card statement is in the post !

As a single man I am not greatly affected so far, but I am aware there are many of my fellow citizens who are facing uncertain and unstable times ahead. Job losses are the order of the day and nobody (apart from the public sector, I suppose) can be sure about what is lurking up the road. Fortunately mortgage interest rates are at an all time low and the basic cost of living has been reducing over the last few months. The one lesson however that we have learned in recent times is that everything can change so quickly ,even literally overnight. And so the discounted prices and special offers continue, stark reminders of an economy in crises and changed days indeed from those we enjoyed only a year or two ago.

Gerard O'Shea


Jesus washing His disciples feet
by Leszek Forczek

EVERY man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars. He who knows himself well becomes mean in his own eyes and is not happy when praised by men.
If I knew all things in the world and had not charity, what would it profit me before God Who will judge me by my deeds?
Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise.
Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God.
The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you. If you think you know many things and understand them well enough, realize at the same time that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not affect wisdom, but admit your ignorance. Why prefer yourself to anyone else when many are more learned, more cultured than you?
If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.
Thomas A Kempis

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Gao Zhisheng with his son

The following report comes from China Aid and The Voice of the Martyrs who keep a watchful eye on human rights abuses directed against Christians around the world. This particular case is especially urgent as you will see from the report, and your action in signing the petition is urgently called for.

Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, has now been missing 50 days, and there is increasing concern for his life. He was last seen being hauled away from his home by more than a dozen police officers on February 4. Reports from inside China indicate he is undergoing brutal torture.The situation is critical, and with each day that passes, Gao Zhisheng's life hangs in the balance.Because of Gao's work defending house church Christians and others persecuted in China, the Chinese government wants to silence his voice. ChinaAid president, Bob Fu calls Gao's torture "the most severe persecution in China's modern history." Gao's wife and two children, who have also been abused and tormented by the police, escaped to the U.S. less than two weeks ago. His family is afraid that authorities, furious at their escape, are taking revenge on Gao.China Aid and The Voice of the Martyrs, together with Gao Zhisheng's wife and children, call on all Christians and those who value human dignity and justice to speak out on Gao Zhisheng's behalf by signing a petition to free Gao.»

Sign the petition at www.FreeGao.com

Wednesday, 25 March 2009



There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul
Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A farmer has problems with his chickens: all of the sudden
they are all getting very sick.
After trying all conventional means, he calls a physicist to see if he can figure out what is wrong.
The physicist trys.
He stands there and looks at the chickens for a long time without touching them. Then all of the sudden he starts scribbling away in a notebook.
Finally, after several gruesome calculations, he exclaims,
"I've got it! But it only works for spherical chickens in a vacuum."


Aftermath of Pilot pause for prayer

‘ So heavenly minded as to be of no earthly use’ is an indictment often directed at Christians who seem more caught up with the ‘pieties’ of their Faith rather than the practical outworking of it. This phrase popped into my head as I read of the court hearing in Italy under this dramatic headline-PILOT WHO PAUSED TO PRAY…GETS 10 YEARS. According to this report a Tunisian pilot , back in 2005 paused to pray instead of implementing the emergency procedures before crash-landing his plane, killing 16 people. Investigators identified a malfunctioning fuel-gauge as the primary cause of the crash but also found that the pilot panicked and prayed aloud instead of operating emergency measures which could have landed the aircraft at a nearby airport.
Spurgeon the eminent 19 th. Century preacher once said…
“ Far be it from me ever to say a word in disparagement of the holy, happy, heavenly exercise of prayer. But, beloved, there are times when prayer is not enough-when prayer itself is out of season.”
I think Chesley Sullenberger the pilot who incredibly landed his stricken plane in the Hudson river without loss of life had the right perspective. When asked by a reporter had he at any point prayed, he replied, “ I would imagine somebody in the back was taking care of that for me while I was flying the plane.”
Gerard O'Shea


When we hurt each other
we should write it down in sand,
so the winds of forgiveness
can make it go away for good.
When we help each other
we should chisel it in stone,
so that
we may never forget
the love of a friend.

Christian H. Godefray

Friday, 20 March 2009


Trumpeting yellow at Barringtons Pier

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

Thursday, 19 March 2009


Josef Fritzyl - the face of evil ?

The conviction in Austria today of Josef Fritzyl for locking his daughter in a cellar over 22 years, fathering seven children with her, and causing the death of an infant son, raises some questions about the nature of and our attitude to evil in our world.
The tabloid frenzy in this case dubbed Fritzyl a ‘monster, and words like ‘depraved’, ‘sadistic’, and ‘horrific’ were used to hammer home the point that he was not like one of us. We are comforted by this distancing of his truly awful acts from the decent ordinary lives that the rest of us supposedly lead! But the only hitch in this scenario is that Josef Fritzyl is 'one of us', just as Hitler and Stalin and a whole gallery of ‘monsters’ down through the ages were also 'one of us'.
Fritzyl’s lawyer really threw a spanner into the simplistic black and white, good and evil world of the tabloid press when he said that, “Fritzyl has a heart and a mind which drive him and needs which destroy him. But he wants to change, there’s good in him.” And this is the rub, is someone who does wicked things all bad or can there be something good in him ? And conversely is somebody who appears right and wholesome ,hiding a darker and more sinister nature ? Strangely many so called ‘good living’ people would be outraged at either suggestion while the Bible, the book that purports to speak for God actually says time and time again that both scenarios are true. Yes, though evil and disobedient (to Gods Law) we still have the capacity to become children of God ! And no, even though we may appear wholly upright and true, there is a nature within that leads us to wrongdoing and wickedness.

Detail from Michelangelo's Last Judgement
The Bible pulls no punches when it describes the human heart as being ‘deceitfully wicked’, and neither does it shy away from our true potential when it promises a new heart and a new start for everyone born of God’s Spirit. Our original Divine blueprint was for perfect goodness but through disobedience that plan was scuppered and we stepped out of our fellowship with the Father. Since that ‘Fall’ we are wired towards evil and only through Redemption can we be restored to Grace and friendship with our Creator.
Even Fritzyl with his litany of heinous deeds, can through Gods Grace become redeemed and renewed. If we deny him that possibility we deny it for ourselves. The Bible is explicitly clear, declaring, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (1) , and equally emphatic when it extends to all Gods own invitation : “ Come let us reason together and though you sins are red as scarlet I will make them white as snow” (2)
At the end of the day Josef Fritzyl stood before a judge and jury and to everyone’s astonishment admitted his guilt and expressed his sorrow for what he had done. We might be sceptical about his sincerity, but the more pressing issue for each one of us is that we are not deluded ourselves, into overlooking the depraved and sinister intent that can underpin even our most ostensibly noble actions.
For Fritzyl the sentence has been passed and he will spend the remainder of his days on this earth deprived of his liberty and like you and I , he will soon face the Divine Arbiter who will pronounce an eternal sentence. Like the thief crucified beside Jesus we can turn towards the Saviour, acknowledge our wrongdoings and ask Him to remember us. How sweet then to hear those words, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise (3)
Gerard O'Shea
(1)...Jeremiah 17:9 (2)...Isaiah 1:18 (3)...Luke 23:43

Monday, 16 March 2009


This carving of Patrick adorns a
church entrance at Maynooth


This is taken from a Prayer called 'The Lorca' attributed to Patrick

the original evangelizer of Ireland. Whoever actually

first made it, this is a powerful prayer for protection,

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:

God's might to uphold me,

God's wisdom to guide me,

God's eye to look before me,

God's ear to hear me,

God's word to speak for me,

God's hand to guard me,

God's way to lie before me,

God's shield to protect me,

God's host to secure me:against snares of devils,

against temptations of vices,

against inclinations of nature,

against everyone who shall wish me ill,

afar and near, alone and in a crowd.

I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):

against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul,

against incantations of false prophets,

against black laws of heathenry,

against false laws of heretics,

against craft of idolatry,

against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,

against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.

Christ to protect me today against poison,

against burning, against drowning,against wounding,

so that there may come abundance of reward.


Jesus calms the storm
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

Mark 4:35-41



Jesus, lover of my soul,

let me to thy bosom fly,

while the nearer waters roll,

while the tempest still is high.

Hide me, O my Savior, hide,

till the storm of life is past;

safe into the haven guide;

O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none,

hangs my helpless soul on thee;

leave, ah! leave me not alone,

still support and comfort me.

All my trust on thee is stayed,

all my help from thee I bring;

cover my defenseless head

with the shadow of thy wing.

Wilt Thou not regard my call?

Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?

Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—

Lo! on Thee I cast my care:

Reach me out Thy gracious hand!

While I of Thy strength receive,

Hoping against hope I stand,

Dying, and, behold, I live!

Charles Wesley

The circumstance of the writing of this hymn is interesting. The story goes that Charles Wesley was roused from his sleep one night by a terrible storm. Being unable to rest he got up, put on his dressing-gown, and, opening his casement window stood looking out upon the stormy scene. Suddenly a bird, exhausted by the wind, and hotly pursued by a hawk, flew through the open window right into Charles Wesley's breast for protection. Having saved the bird and placed it in security, he turned to his desk and wrote this immortal hymn, so realistic and descriptive of the fear and intense longing of the anxious soul to find safety and rest.

Saturday, 14 March 2009


Hope for Ireland
A welcome side-effect of the recent increase in immigration to this country has been the upsurge of black Pentecostal Churches which have sprung up over the last ten years. Many Irish towns and cities now have groups of mostly African people gathering together for fellowship and worship. The Irish Times magazine today ran a feature on this new phenomena visiting The Jesus Centre in Dublin, headquarters of the Redeemed Church of God, the largest of the African-led Pentecostal churches. The Redeemed church has 72 branches in 25 countries, while in Ireland there are an estimated 360 migrant-led churches spread throughout the country. Other denominational groups include Mountain Fire and Miracle Ministries and the Celestial Church of Christ, both part of a worldwide Pentecostal revival. The Times reporter observes ‘ Ireland is on the coat-tails of a global trend here. From the suburbs of Los Angeles to the streets of Guatemala City, Pentecostalism has been growing quicker than anyone can keep count; many think it may be the world’s fastest-growing religious movement.’ And this is all taking place in an Ireland where traditional church attendance has been in steady decline, Roman Catholic attendance dropped from a staggering figure of 87% in 1961 to below 50% in 2006.

Vibrant soulful worship
Some of the excesses of Pentecostal practise such as their emphasis on healing and the ‘prosperity gospel’ may not sit easily with the religious sensibilities of conservative Catholics, but their vibrant song-led worship and emphasis on a personal relationship with the Creator may be just the refreshing antidote to a traditional church often weighed down with moribund religious practise. It would not be the first time that ‘the foreigner’ has been used by God to shake this nation from its spiritual slumber. In a few days the national saint, Patrick will be commemorated, the slave-boy who returned to this island with the Good News of the Gospel. It’s a matter of opinion as to how rich Patrick’s legacy is to this day, as the pure and simple message preached by him seems to hark back to the early Christian witness rather than to the present mission of the traditional churches. Patrick’s message has been carried here by the Catholic church and the minority Protestant groups, however many would feel that these institutions have lost their way and became too entrenched in the political landscape to be of much ‘gospel’ use.

Our national Apostle
In the 1970’s there was a brief revival of New Testament Christianity as people from various backrounds ( this writer included) came under the sound of the Gospel and experienced the life-changing power of the New Birth as explained by Jesus in John’s gospel, chapter 3.Several new independent churches evolved at that time, as well as the Charismatic Movement which had a profound effect on many Catholics bringing them back to Christ and a fresh appreciation of the Bible. Also the ranks of older Protestant churches swelled as new Christians sought out places to fellowship and learn more of the Scriptures. Some Anglican churches , and Baptist and Brethren groups who embraced what God was doing at that time were revitalised by the influx of these newly converted believers. Perhaps today in these secularised times where people are faced with the uncertainty of the future and the supports of a more favourable economic era are unravelling, the Gospel may find a fresh and relevant expression through the witness of these new Black churches. The challenge for the new groups is to reach out to the indigenous Irish and share the Message beyond the confines of their own members. If they can do this we may well at a future time have occasion to celebrate their arrival among us with the same fervour as we pay to Patrick on the 17 th of March ! Certainly we need another Apostolic visitation to show us the way back to the True Path, where our worth is not determined by the Dow Jones or the latest Interest rate, but in the truth of our eternal destiny , created in the image of a Holy God. Our African brothers and sisters may yet bring more to this island than their skills and labour. As they live the lives purposed for them by the Lord, their witness can be a light in a dark place to which seeking hearts will be drawn.

Gerard O'Shea


A solitary sentinel near Kilbane in County Clare ~ (Antoin)~

The prim and proper Primrose,

Sits smiling in the sun,

A woodland testimonial

Since time itself begun.


Gerard O'Shea

Friday, 13 March 2009


The awful spectre of killing on the streets of Northern Ireland returned last week, when two soldiers were gunned down and in a separate incident a policeman was shot dead. These events sent a shudder throughout the Province and the wider community on the island of Ireland, as the unthinkable prospect of a return to the ‘Troubles’ became a possibility. Hopefully the huge outcry against these atrocities, especially from the members of Sinn Fein (formerly aligned with the Provisional I.R.A), may yet prove a positive outcome from such tragic events. This poem was written by a lady from N.I. and has a powerful if subtle message of hope for the future. ~GOSh.~


This new map, unrolled, smoothed,
seems innocent as the one we have discarded,
impersonal as the clocks in rows
along the upper border, showing time-zones.

The colours are pale and clear, the contours
crisp, decisive, keeping order.
The new names, lettered firmly, lie quite still
within the boundaries that the wars spill over.

It is the times.

I have been always one for paths myself.
The mole’s view. Paths and small roads and the next bend.
Arched trees tunnelling into a coin of light.
No overview, no sense of what lies where.

Pinning up maps now, pinning my attention,
I cannot hold whole countries in my mind,
nor recognise their borders.

These days I want to trace
the shape of every townland in this valley;
name families; count trees, walls, cattle, gable-ends,
smoke-soft and tender in the near blue distance.

Kerry Hardie

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Mother decided that 10-year-old Cathy should get something 'practical' for her birthday.
"Suppose we open a savings account for you?" mother suggested. Cathy was delighted.
"It's your account, darling," mother said as they arrived at the bank, "so you fill out the application."

Cathy was doing fine until she came to the space for 'Name of your former bank.' After a slight hesitation, she put down 'Piggy.'



I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear --
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


A Philosophy Student


Don't LOOK at anything in a physics lab.
Don't TASTE anything in a chemistry lab.
Don't SMELL anything in a biology lab.
Don't TOUCH anything in a medical lab.
and, most importantly,
Don't LISTEN to anything

in a philosophy department.


Monica enjoying the snow at the Peoples
Park in Limerick this morning (Irish Times)


This morning I awoke to a thoroughly changed landscape as overnight the terrain had been gently sprinkled with a fall of snow. Yes snow in March, doesn’t sound right, I thought March was all about showers and gusts though I’m not complaining as I am a bit of a ‘snow head’(as my nearest and dearest will surely attest). What is it about the powdery power of snowfall that sets the heart racing and brings out the child in us, that bewitches adult men and women into snow-ball throwing, snowmen-building loons ? Maybe it’s the surreal almost moon-walk quality of the crunchy stuff underfoot, or the fact that our sometimes drab urban surroundings have been painted white and bright and glistening. The more I go on I realise this is the Christmas blog I never got to write, so you in no-snow-at-the-mo land will have to indulge me in my post Advent glee at this delayed gift from the heavens. Every garden I passed today seemed to be sporting their very latest cheery tenant , a black hatted, carrot-nosed, full figured man of snow dressed in fetching white buttoned up by a fistful of small stones ! Maybe such a simple act of Nature may lift our recessionary gloom even for a day or two as we realise that we live in a beautiful world, and that not everything of worth carries a price tag. To see children play and frolic, kicking up jets of fresh fallen snow and run skidding through the fleecy carpet, cheeks aglow and hearts aflutter is as heartening a scene as you could wish for in these days of mounting job-losses and gathering economic gloom. So let’s bring out the sledge, wrap up well and go out there and slip and slide our way out of recession and into the breath-taking ecstasy of messing about in our out of season Winter wonderland.

Gerard O'Shea

Sunday, 1 March 2009


A Youthful U2

A new album from U2 has by now (their 12 th,) become something of a global event as the Dublin based group have withstood the vicissitudes of the pop/rock industry better than most. For three decades Bono, Larry, Adam and the Edge have played together in a band and have produced some of the most sublime and uplifting music in that often over hyped and tedious genre. What makes the output of U2 tower above their contemporaries is the positivism and spirituality of their songs along with the dramatic and often anthemic quality of the music. The individual band members attitude to the whole business is also refreshingly frank and lacking in the breathtaking arrogance often associated with so called super group Rock stars. As to their new album ‘No Line On The Horizon’ on first hearing there are two stand-out tracks, ‘Magnificent’ and ‘Moment of Surrender’ both of which contain the teasing ambiguity of some of U2’s finest. In ‘Magnificent’ Bono in a Psalmic mode cries out “ I was born to sing for you / I didn’t have a choice / But to lift you up / And sing whatever song you wanted me to / I give you back my voice / From the womb my first cry / It was a joyful noise”. He is one of the few top performers today who can in a largely secular world ,get away with writing such explicitly faith based lyrics , largely I think because no one doubts that these are emotions strongly and sincerely held. The strength of U2 and probably the cohesive force that has kept them together for so long is their shared Christian experience, from those early Charismatic Prayer meetings of their adolescence right up to Bono’s continuing campaigning for third world debt cancellation and marshaling of heads of state to combat poverty in Africa. Adam to my knowledge does not share the bands Christian beliefs but obviously their friendship over the years has forged bonds on different levels.

Bono's on his knees again !

On ‘Moment of Surrender’ Bono sings “At the moment of surrender / I folded to my knees / I did not notice the passers-by / And they did not notice me.” In fact on stage Bono spends a good deal of time on his knees, one suspects as a homage to the King and indicative of where the singer sees himself in the scheme of things. Bono’s ego seems of gigantic proportions as he struts about the stage and with almost prophetic urgency delivers the U2 repertoire to rapt concert goers, but he is most aware of the pitfalls of living the rock and roll lie. Recently in an interview with the Irish Times he recounted meeting someone at a party, “This guy, who I thought sort of liked me, came over to me and starting telling me what a ****** I was and how much he hated me, and how he had always hated me right from the very start.” The Edge arrives and says: “That’s no way for U2’s drummer to be talking to you.” The yin and yang of U2 look at each other and dissolve into laughter. Whatever about on a personal level Bruce Springsteen once observed on Bono the artist, “"His voice is shot through with self-doubt. The constant questioning in Bono's voice is where the band stakes its claim to its humanity and declares its commonality with us: 'Here we are, Lord, this mess, in your image.'" Maybe it’s this vulnerability coupled with their acknowledgement that this isn’t all there is, that make U2 such an indispensable voice in these recessionary and gloom ridden times.

The boys lash it out under the Lincoln
Memorial at Barack Obama's Inauguration

Certainly in this country at this time our staple news diet is full of dire economic predictions, job losses and pay cuts so much so that many people I know have stopped listening to the daily news, for them could I suggest replacing the audio void with large helpings of ‘No Line On The Horizon’ or in fact any of U2’s previous dozen offerings over the last 30 years. The Celtic Tiger generation may at last realise that they still haven’t found what they’re looking for, and perhaps there’s more to this ‘Kingdom come’ business than meets the eye ! John Waters in his review of the new album enthuses “With No Line On The Horizon, they have achieved something that, oddly, stands with one leg in the shallow, concentrate-version of U2 that the world has taken at face value for a decade, and one leg in a future as exciting as anything they have hitherto allowed us to glimpse. If, as we have previously noted, music is prophetic as to the drift of wider reality, then this album may be the most hopeful thing you will hear all year.” And ‘hope’ is the one commodity that they don’t deal on the Stock Exchange, so grab it while it’s flying and let the music lift you higher !

Gerard O'Shea