Saddened and dismayed by dramatic boundary headline
Probably one of the most dramatic headlines to appear in a regional newspaper for a long time featured in last week’s Kilkenny People.
Almost the entire front page was taken up by three words decked on top of each other, ‘Never, Never, Never’.
The front-page story was a rallying call to readers asking them to ensure that Kilkenny ‘keeps its people and county intact’.
The newspaper was responding to rumours in Leinster House and reactions from politicians that the Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, would recommend to the Dáil that Waterford be allowed a boundary extension into South Kilkenny of about 20,000 acres.
As somebody who has been listening to this type of rhetoric all my life, I was saddened and dismayed by the headline and by the tone of sentiments expressed.
In a year that saw the most people displaced and driven out of their homes since World War II and countless thousands of deaths through war, strife and starvation, one could be forgiven for wondering where was the scale in the argument.
What about our own homeless, families with no roofs over their heads? Our sick who can’t get treatment or hospital beds? Our young, elderly and vulnerable whose rights and entitlements are being eroded with every passing day? Now those are things I could get very worked up about.
This whole boundary controversy is a countrywide issue as there are outlying areas of several counties that would benefit from a redrawing of boundaries. Kilkenny isn’t the only one but some Kilkenny voices do seem to be the most vociferous.
At present, there are many thousands of Kilkenny and Waterford people who live outside their county boundaries and, guess what, they are no less Kilkenny and no less Waterford than if they were residing in the absolute centres of both places. More than ever, a lot of people need to look at the bigger picture.
Described as ‘gutted’ by the news, a furious Carlow/Kilkenny TD, John Paul Phelan, said he would leave Fine Gael if what he described as a ‘land grab’ by Waterford proved successful.
“Unless we as a county rise up and oppose this, we will be ripped apart by the greed of our neighbour. We need to man the barricades and keep them out,” he declared.
Revival of ‘Children of Lir’
‘Loudest Whisper’ fronted by Fermoy-based musicians, Brian O’Reilly and his brother, Paud, are regular visitors to Waterford and their many fans will be pleased to learn that the ‘Children of Lir’ folk opera, written by Brian in the early 1970s, will receive a concert performance at the National Opera House in Wexford next February.
Based on the old Irish legend of the four children who were turned into swans for 900 years by their step-mother, ‘Children of Lir’ enjoys legendary status among music fans in Ireland, Britain and a number of other European countries.
The concept album was released in 1975 and is very much a collectors’ item. It was re-mastered in Abbey Road Studios and released on vinyl in Britain by Sunbeam records in 2005 and that issue was also a sell out.
The concert production in Wexford on February 3rd (also featuring a matinee) and 4th will feature a total of 120 musicians, singers and dancers and is sure to be a sell out. More information and tickets at nationaloperahouse.ie or 053-9122144.
Scientists claim parallel worlds really do exist
Well, Happy Christmas with bells on to all those people who believe in aliens, other worlds, strange happenings, etc, etc.
A group of distinguished scientists has just officially confirmed that parallel universes do exist and are already reaching out to us.
Spokesperson, Howard Wiseman of Griffith University, Australia, is spearheading a project that proposes a landmark theory suggesting that these parallel universes operate in the same space and time as our own they are interacting with us on a quantum level.
So what does that mean exactly? Quoting quantum mechanics, a field of physics that deals with the structure and behaviour of matter as well as our physical world, some scientists claim other worlds with other people are more or less occupying the same space and time as us but their ‘matter’ is so different we can’t see them and they can’t see us.
But, hold on, they are also insisting that these worlds are already reaching out to us. But they don’t tell us how that is happening or what shape of form that ‘reach out’ takes!
Me? I know nothing but if the ‘Many Worlds’ theory proves correct, we are in for many worlds of surprises!
The Hand of Anna Bertha Rontgen
The x-rayed hand of Anna Bertha Rontgen has been included in the ‘100 Most Influential Photographs of All Time’, decided by an international panel for Time Magazine.
The photograph is, in fact, the first medical x-ray image ever taken and it was captured by Anna’s husband, Wilhelm Rontgen, in 1895.
A German mechanical engineer and physicist, Wilhelm had worked for years to achieve his breakthrough for which he received the first Nobel Prize ever granted for physics in 1901.
When Anna saw the x-ray she was shocked and declared that she had ‘seen her death’.
However, for countless millions of people the world over, her husband’s invention meant ‘life’ as it hugely improved the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illnesses that had previously been hidden from sight. Wilhelm died in Munich in 1923.