Our friends in West Waterford seem to have a thing for medieval practices at the moment that could catch on. Last weekend, members of the public in Dungarvan were given a chance to douse their elected representatives with wet sponges as they (the politicians) were locked in ye olde stocks. It cost a few bob per throw and it was all for charity so everybody was happy although some were wetter than others!

On a more serious note, The Dungarvan Observer newspaper carried a report from Lismore District Court where a punishment was handed down that was definitely based on medieval times.

The case concerned a thirty-year-old tree surgeon from Tallow who embarked on a night of drinking last May and, as he was leaving a nightclub in the early hours, decided to drop his trousers and expose himself to people on the street, including a number of women. Garda Bertie McCarthy told Judge Terence Finn that the offence occurred at 2.30am and the defendant’s solicitor pointed out that the man was immediately ushered away by family members who were present. He had apologised and was very ashamed of his behaviour which would not be repeated.

Judge Finn said he believed the punishment should fit the crime and, in doing so, he would give the defendant an opportunity to avoid a prosecution. Pointing out that, in medieval times, people who committed acts against the community were often held up to public scrutiny in public places, the Judge said if the defendant, under the supervision of the arresting officer, Garda McCarthy, walked through Lismore for a two hour period carrying a placard saying he was sorry for offending public modesty, that would be the end of the matter.

Judge Finn specified the route to be walked between the hours of 12 noon and 2pm and adjourned the case until January 8th to see if his unusual sentence had been carried out as directed.

Pubs with no Christmas beer?

I have been reliably informed that patrons of some country pubs may be in for a shock over the Christmas period because, if there is a big increase in trade over the holiday period, some of the bars may run dry!

In what appears to be a classic ‘Catch 22’ situation, Licensed Vintners officials have revealed that some hard-pressed publicans have found it difficult to secure the necessary credit from the their banks to cover their Christmas orders for beer and spirits. Apparently, many country pubs are in a position whereby they can only order on a week to week basis.

In the good old days, enough stock was ordered in the first week of December to see a pub through Christmas and the New Year to the middle of January. It was also an era when part payment for the stock could be made in January with the remainder of the bill being settled in February. Now, neither the suppliers nor the banks will give credit and it is possible that some pubs will run out if they get a late rush at the counter. Former Vintners President, Paul O’Grady, predicted that the early months of the New Year could well be ‘starvation’ time for the licensed trade and for rural pubs in particular.

It’s an ill wind, etc

Our failure to reach the World Cup finals in South Africa next year has solved a dilemma for at least one of the players.

Once the initial disappointment of the defeat by France eased, Wolverhampton Wanderers star, Kevin Doyle, and his fiancée, Jenny Harney, named their wedding day which will be on June 11th, ironically the opening day of the World Cup in South Africa.

Kevin is a native of Adamstown in Wexford and Jenny is also a proud ‘Yellowbelly’ from Wellingtonbridge and the pair met at the National Ploughing Championships when they were both just sixteen years old. I’m not aware where the actual wedding will take place but the reception will be held at Adare Manor and is expected to be a star-studded occasion. Kevin says he is fully focused on the rest of the season with Wolves in the Premiership but he is still so miffed at not qualifying for the World Cup that he has decided not to even watch the tournament on television.

By the way, a little bird told me that Kevin Doyle may not be the only Irish Premiership star getting married next summer but, for now, my lips are sealed.

Cheeky kid

A woman was walking down the Quay on Sunday last when, rummaging in her handbag, she somehow managed to drop her purse. A couple of minutes later, still unaware of her loss, she was tapped on the back by a little boy. “Excuse me, missus”, he said holding up the purse, “you dropped this just outside the post office.”

The shocked and grateful woman opened the purse and saw that all her credit cards, keys and money were still there. Then she noticed that instead of the €20 euro note in the front pocket there were four €5 notes. “That’s strange”, she said out loud.

“Oh that was me missus”, said the little boy, “the last time I found a purse the woman said she had no change to give me a reward.”

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

Jimmy walked into the bar at the golf club last Saturday night with a big smile on his face. “What’s up, why are you looking so pleased with yourself”, asked his pal. “I’m thrilled”, said Jimmy, “I’ve finally sorted out Karen’s Christmas present. It’s a ring with a huge, big diamond and I just know she will be over the moon with it.”

“Oh, right”, said his friend, “but I thought she wanted one of those sporty, four-wheel vehicles for Christmas.”

“Don’t be so bloody silly”, said Jimmy giving his friend a withering look, “where on earth do you think I could buy a fake jeep.”