Thursday, 30 September 2010



The economic prospects for our beleaguered little island continue to alarm, today the government announced that we, the citizens will have to raise 50 billion Euro to bail out the banks ! Henceforth today shall be known as Black Thursday and we still have the dreaded Budget in December to look forward to ! Yikes ! Here at Dew HQ we can only look on and wonder and while we can't add to the National debate in any meaningful way, we can at least try to provide a little light relief for our overburdened countrymen and women. To this end I have trawled the Net and found these little tokens of light relief from the crushing realities of an economy in crises, While they will not raise a cent to ease matters, I hope they may raise a smile and lighten the mood somewhat. I apologise in advance to anyone who is in dire circumstances because of the downturn for whom this is no laughing matter.~GOSh.~
Resolving to surprise her husband, an investment banker’s wife pops by his office. She finds him in a compromising position, with his secretary sitting on his lap. Without hesitation, he starts dictating, “…and in conclusion, gentlemen, credit crunch or no credit crunch, I cannot continue to operate this office with just one chair!”

I talked to my bank manager the other day and he said he was going to concentrate on the big issues from now on. He sold me one outside Boots yesterday.

The credit crunch is getting bad, isn’t it? I mean, I let my brother borrow a tenner a couple of weeks back, it turns out I’m now Ireland’s fourth biggest lender
A man went to his bank manager and said: ‘I’d like to start a small business. How do I go about it?’
‘Simple,’ said the bank manager. ‘Buy a big one and wait.’

Tuesday, 28 September 2010



The employer asked the applicant, "I see you were last employed by a psychiatrist,"
"Why did you leave?"
"Well," she replied, "I just couldn't win.
If I was late to work, I was hostile.
If I was early, I had an anxiety complex.
If I was on time, I was compulsive."

Monday, 27 September 2010



‘Alas for those who are at ease in Zion…’
Amos 6:1

In his thirties Jesus knew a thing or two
About the human heart,
When He told the story of the Sower,
And the tender seed of faith
Being choked by life’s weedy cares.
He knew how the concerns of this world
Creep up and stop us in our tracks
And we let the Kingdom slip us by.

Should have listened better
To the Master,
Could have known a thing or two
About this wicked heart.

Gerard O'Shea

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Charles H. Spurgeon


Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) is still known today as the ‘Prince of Preachers’ as his skills of oratory and exposition in that department were legendary. It has been estimated that in his lifetime Spurgeon preached to 10,000,000 people, often having 10 speaking engagements a week in several different locations, where congregations of 10,000 were not uncommon. Some while ago I picked up a copy of a book of Spurgeon's Prayers and became transfixed as I read these gems of worship and intercession from the great Preacher. There is more solid Biblical exposition in these recorded utterances than you might find in many modern sermons, and the man’s passion for the living God and his thorough familiarity with the Scriptures leap off every page of this collection. I find the best way to read these pieces is aloud and at least two or three times, to allow the power of the prayer to seep into the innermost chambers of the spirit, and then to spend some time in quiet reflection on the words as one is led in to the very presence of God. From a perusal of Spurgeon’s prayer collection it is easy to understand why he was such an anointed preacher, his pulpit performances being firmly undergirded by a deep and passionate secret life of waiting at the Throne. ~GOSh.~

LORD, we would come to Thee, but do Thou come to us. Draw us and we will run after Thee. Blessed Spirit, help our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought. Come, Holy Spirit, and give right thoughts and right utterance that we may all be able to pray in the common prayer, the whole company feeling that for each one there is a portion. We are grateful as we remember that if the minister in the sanctuary should not be able to pray for any one of us there is One who bears the names of all His redeemed upon His breast, and upon His shoulder, who will take care with the love of His heart and the power of His hand to maintain the cause of all His own…
Dear Savior, we put ourselves under Thy sacred patronage. Advocate with the Father, plead for us this day, yea, make intercession for the transgressors. We desire to praise the name of the Lord with our whole heart, so many of us as have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Truly Thou hast delivered us from the gulf of dark despair, wherein we wretched sinners lay. Thou hast brought us up also out of the horrible pit and out of the miry clay, Thou hast set our feet upon a rock, and the new song which Thou hast put into our mouths we would not stifle, but we would bless the Lord whose mercy endureth for ever.
We thank Thee, Lord, for the love without beginning which chose us or ever the earth was, for the love without measure which entered into covenant for our redemption, for the love without failure which in due time appeared in the person of Christ and wrought out our redemption, for that love which has never changed, though we have wandered; that love which abideth faithful even when we are unfaithful.

O God, we praise Thee for keeping us till this day, and for the full assurance that Thou wilt never let us go. Some can say, “He restoreth my soul,” they had wandered, wandered sadly, but Thou hast brought them back again. Bless the Lord, our inmost soul blesses the Lord. Blessed be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Triune; blessed be the Lord for every office sustained by each divine person, and for the divine blessing which has come streaming down to us through each one of those, condescending titles worn by the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Lord, keep us right, true in doctrine, true in experience, true in life, true in word, true in deed. Let us have an intense agony of spirit concerning the many who are going down to the everlasting fire of which our Master spoke. Lord, save them! LORD, SAVE THEM! Stay, we pray Thee, the torrents of sin that run down the streets of London; purge the dead sea of sin, in which so many of the heathen are lying asleep. Oh! that the day were come when the name of Jesus shall be a household word, when everybody knew of His love, and of His death, and of His blood, and of its cleansing power. Lord, save men, gather out the company of the redeemed people; let those whom the Father gave to Christ be brought out from among the ruins of the fall to be His joy and crown. “Let the people praise Thee, O God, yea, let all the people praise Thee.” Let the ends of the earth fear Him who died to save them. Let the whole earth be filled with the glory of God.
This is our great prayer, and we crown it with this: Come, Lord Jesus, come Lord and tarry not. Come in the fullness of Thy power and the splendor of Thy glory! Come quickly, even so come quickly; Lord Jesus.

Friday, 24 September 2010



Once upon a time there was a famous sea captain. This captain was very successful at what he did; for years he guided merchant ships all over the world. Never did stormy seas or pirates get the best of him. He was admired by his crew and fellow captains.
However, there was one thing different about this captain. Every morning he went through a strange ritual. He would lock himself in his captain's quarters and open a small safe. In the safe was an envelope with a piece of paper inside. He would stare at the paper for a minute, then lock it back up. Afterwards, he would go about his daily duties. For years this went on, and his crew became very curious.
Was it a treasure map? Was it a letter from a long lost love? Everyone speculated about the contents of the strange envelope.
One day the captain died at sea. After laying the captain's body to rest, the first mate led the entire crew into the captains quarters.
He opened the safe, got the envelope, opened it and...
The first mate turned pale and showed the paper to the others. Four words were on the paper; two lines with two words each:
Port Left
Starboard Right

Tuesday, 21 September 2010



Most people nowadays subscribe to the grand philosophy of ‘live and let live’, and western democracies allow for freedom of religious thought and expression. For decades now so called ‘liberal’ minded folks have ranted and raved (correctly in my view) against the stultifying influence of the ‘church’ in our country, accusing it of being a negative influence in the free exchange of ideas and the open debate of issues often conflicting with ‘church’ teaching. Now that this influence is well and truly on the wane some of these liberal voices are showing the same disdain for freedom of ideas that do not conform to their own. On subjects such as the origins of life on this planet there is one accepted ‘scientific’ orthodoxy and to demur is to invoke the wrath of the new ‘church’ on one’s head.

The Professor

The latest outpouring of ‘liberal’ finger wagging comes from the militant atheist Oxford scholar , Professor Richard Dawkins who has published widely his contempt for all expressions of religious belief. John J May has written a book attacking the sacred text of evolution called ‘The Origins of Specious Nonsense’ in which he proposes the creation model as the explanation of how life came to this planet. According to newspaper reports Mr May invited Science Minister Conor Lenihan to launch his book, but withdrew the invitation after it embroiled the Minister in some controversy. Leading the posse against Lenihan is Professor Dawkins who made his feelings known through this statement, “ If Mr Lenihan is indeed a Creationist or an anti-evolutionist then he has no business being the Minister for Science.”

The Minister

So the thought police whom we thought had almost disappeared raise their heads again, this time in the form of an Oxford academic. The issue here is no longer the rights and wrongs of creationism or evolution, but the freedom of an individual ,even a government Minister to believe either. Evolution may be the widely held explanation of life’s origins amongst scientists but it is not universal. A sizable minority of science experts would subscribe to Intelligent Design or Creation as alternative models to explain how it all began. If the Professor and his friends have their way an elite of academics will decide what the rest of us should or should not believe. Lord deliver us from the extremes of right wing reactionaries and the emphatic certitude of the left wing liberals. Both groups would have us conform to their slanted worldview and if we’re not careful the precious jewel of individual freedom gets swallowed up along the way !

Gerard O'Shea


'Friendship' ~ Picasso


Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Kahlil Gibran ~ The Prophet

Friday, 17 September 2010



Pope warns children over celebrity culture

Fame and fortune do not bring happiness, the Pope told thousands of schoolchildren in a warning about Britain’s celebrity culture. ~ English Telegraph ~

The Pope touched down on Scottish soil
To the applause of waiting crowds,
And in the bird-house Popemobile
Winding his Celtic pilgrimage down through Princess Street
To cheers and flag waving adulation.

Back home and on the throne

Later in Glasgow in an open field
He celebrated mass
For a congregation of 60,000.
The following day in a London classroom
He warned the vulnerable young
Against the cult of celebrity
And the lures of wealth and fame,
Which, according to the visiting Pontiff
Will not bring true happiness.
This is rich advice indeed
From a man who lives in grand seclusion
And is waited hand and foot.

Distinctive hand made red shoes

Perhaps if he had stayed close to the Master
As his sole exemplar,
Rather than mimicking
The vulgar pomp of Pagan Empire,
Then he might by a simple holy life
Have much to teach the youth of London
About peace, love and happiness.

Gerard O'Shea

Thursday, 9 September 2010



One day three men were walking along and came upon a raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do it.
The first man prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river." Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river in about two hours. Seeing this, the second man prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength and ability to cross this river." Poof! God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river. The third man had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength, ability, and intelligence to cross this river." And Poof! God turned him into a woman. She looked at the map, then walked across the bridge.

Monday, 6 September 2010



When I say that 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am good living.

I'm whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
...I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God's help to clean my mess.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who is saved by Grace somehow.



Surprised to read in the Times yesterday that the little matter of my recent discomfort has been taken up at European level. I must admit I haven't always been the most ardent supporter of the whole EU enterprise but this unprecedented display of concern by those faceless Eurocrats has deep;y touched me and given me pause for some thought. Perhaps there might even be a 'payment[ pending to assist me in my hour of affliction, sort of like the farmers used to get for allowing fields to remain unplanted. Maybe the non-use of an ailing limb might qualify for a stipend of some kind ? You think ? I suppose it's unlikely in these straitened times but at least it's comforting to know that over there on the mainland there is notice taken of this EU citizen wounded on the western island. ~ GOSh.~

Sunday, 5 September 2010



As swimmers dare

to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.

Denise Levertov

Friday, 3 September 2010



Not being sound of limb brings with it some unexpected advantages ,as I have discovered nursing a shoulder injury over the past four weeks. When the old injury (originally incurred in a mad fit when I insisted on using the rotovator on my garden…ouch, I still remember the tearing ache) returned to this ailing old frame of mine, it came with a piercing vengeance invading my left shoulder and arm with excruciating pain. And the action that turns this pain storm into a full blown tornado is the simple act of changing gears whist driving , so for the present I have been forcibly pedestrianised and depending on the good offices of my aunt,Bridie to chauffer me for doctor’s appointments, shopping etc,.
One morning recently after dispensing with a few mundane chores, Bridie drove out to Parteen and Kilquane cemetery where my uncle Frank is buried as well as my father.Patrick. Approaching the cemetery we were relieved to find the roadside gate open, a sure sign that the field leading in to the graveyard was free of cows. Driving in the track we arrived at the burial ground in a blaze of sunshine. The location is a perfect pastoral setting for mortal repose, placed as it is beside the river Shannon. Kilquane has an ancient pedigree stretching back to the 6th century and has associations with a Monk called Cuan and the well known local ‘saint’ Munchin. The original church building is no longer in existence but the ruins of the re- built church are still standing and it is estimated that the building would have seated about 60 people. Back in 1834 when the new Church of St. Peter’s was completed in Parteen, mass was no longer celebrated at Kilquane and was not again said at the old site until 1983. In that year the Parteen Historical Society under the capable guidance of Donal Ui Riain commenced the onerous task of restoring the neglected cemetery and mass was clebrated there on Pattern Day, August 15 th. for the first time in almost 50 years. Over time Donal and his committee ( one of whom was my uncle for a few years) restored the historic site to it’s present noble state. We stood at Frank’s grave reading the couplet engraved on his recently placed headstone ,taken from the pen of Michael Hogan, the Bard of Thomond in his epic poem, ‘Drunken Thady and the Bishop’s Lady’, a firm favourite of Frank’s. The Bard writing about the encroachment of death penned these plaintiff words, “An echo roused upon the hill, / Dies on the wind, and all is still.” Here in the bright sunshine with the sparkling Shannon river beyond, standing in this sacred place, these words themselves seemed to echo among the very stones of the antique burial ground. I reflected on how indifferent Frank would be to the stone and its inscription, never a man for pomp or ceremony even to this extremely modest degree.
I know Frank was intensely interested in the ancient story of Kilquane and the notables, the bad and the good who have been, over the centuries interred within its walls. The Mc Adam grave is probably the most controversial and notorious one here, containing as it does the mortal remains of Phillip McAdam the so called ‘Traitor’. It is widely believed (though disputed by his descendants) that he used his local knowledge of the river near Kilquane to give Ginkel’s army safe passage across and thus allow for the siege of Limerick in 1691. For years after his burial his grave was regularly vandalised by outraged locals determined that the alleged ‘traitor’ would not be allowed to rest in peace. I doubt if Frank, in death or life would have any truck with him !

Padraig O Briain, the Blind Piper who also rests here would be a far more agreeable companion. He was born at Labasheeda in County Clare to a well off farming family receiving an excellent education and becoming an avid scholar of the classics. Sadly however by the time he was 26, O Briain had lost his sight and was compelled to take to the road as a travelling musician to make a living. He settled in Limerick city where he would sit playing his uilleann pipes on the corner of Harstonge Street and the Crescent. One day the Piper was spotted by the famous Galway artist, Patrick Haverty who painted the scene, creating the painting, ‘The Blind Piper’. In the painting the aging musician is pictured with his beautiful young daughter stting patiently beside her gifted father. After the clean up in 1983 there were over 100 marked graves here with an untold number lost to time and sealed forever beneath the lush green grass of Kilquane. We left the old cemetery with all it’s historical associations, still swaddled in the warm mid-day sunshine, sure at least that Frank’s final resting place was of his choosing and stirred that the remembrances of his life would become part of the rich tableaux that is Kilquane.

I am indebted to 'The History and Folklore of Parteen and Meelick' by Donail Riain and Seamus O Cinneide for the historical information about Kilquane.

Gerard O'Shea

Thursday, 2 September 2010



And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other

So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.

Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

Seamus Heaney