Being shaky about Shakespeare

Waterford actor Jamie Beamish had a starring role in a recent West End contemporary production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’.

Waterford actor Jamie Beamish had a starring role in a recent West End contemporary production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’.

For years, literary scientists have been anxious to exhume the remains of William Shakespeare from their resting place at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-Upon-Avon. They believe that forensic analyses would reveal much about the Bard and his life that is not known.
However, whether it be superstition or not, nobody has yet had the courage to brave the curse Shakespeare composed and insisted be engraved on his headstone.

‘Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare
To dig the dust enclosed here
Blessed be the man that spares these stones And cursed be he that moves my bones’

When the grave was repaired some years ago, workers were very careful and managed to carry out the task without interfering with either the bones or stones.
Now a professor has come up with the idea of carefully exposing the bones without actually touching them and carrying out high-resolution, non-destructive laser surface scanning.
If permission is granted he might have to do the digging himself because none of the cemetery staff will touch the grave with a barge poll.

Our shameful treatment of children

We shouldn’t really be surprised because everybody knows the state of play but, really, it was shocking and shameful to read last week that, according to the latest UNICEF study, almost a third of all Irish children live in deprived households.
Households are deemed deprived if they cannot afford at least three items from a list of essential items, as defined by the EU.
Items on the list include housing, heating, utility bills and a protein meal every second day. Other essentials are the ability to face unexpected expenses such as a phone, a television, a washing machine or a needed car.
The new report, which examines Ireland among 40 other OECD countries, states that children are now the most neglected demographic in Irish society. We currently have the fourth worst income inequality in the EU just below Britain, Belgium and Bulgaria.
Peter Power, Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland, said: “Those with the least ability to narrow the gaps are being allowed to fall furthest behind.” Depressing or what?

Familiar face at school reunion

There was a 25-year De La Salle College reunion in The Tower Hotel last week and former pupils came from all over the world to attend.
Sitting in the bar after the meal, Jimmy and his Glasgow born wife noticed an attractive woman sitting alone and drinking heavily. “Why are you staring at that woman,’ demanded Carla.
“I’ve only now recognised her,” said a shocked Jimmy, “that’s a girl I used to go out with when I was at school. Actually, I heard that she took to the drink when I went off to university and she’s been hitting it hard ever since.”
“Wow, Really?” sniffed Carla, “I’m surprised she’s been celebrating for so long!”

Beware of low flying birds

LowFlyingBirdsWalking in the city centre last week, I witnessed several people ducking for cover as low-flying pigeons zoomed across John Roberts Square. While I haven’t seen it myself, there have been reports of gulls making a nuisance of themselves in built up areas.
It isn’t as bad here but the proliferation of gulls in Dublin in recent years has wreaked havoc in the Capital and several politicians have called for a cull to be carried out.
In its recent report, the Environment Protection Agency said gulls could be a problem when it came to the contamination of water. The Agency’s scientific officer, Peter Webster, was quoted as saying that the droppings of a gull in a single day carried ten times more concentrated bacteria than waste from a human being over the same time period.

A horse called Tarzan

Bumped into an old friend last week who told me he owned a horse called Tarzan that was running at Fairyhouse the next day. When I asked if it was worth putting on a bet, he said: “Why not, he’s bound to be somewhere in the first tree!”
Incidentally, how do you make a small fortune in the horse industry? Answer: Start with a large fortune.

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