The argument over ‘what constitutes art’ is an ongoing one that is never going to be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction and, personally, I’ve always taken the view that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I’ve never gotten over- excited about such matters. When a structure was erected in John Robert’s Square some years ago, most people were underwhelmed although, to me, the leaning, black stone appears quite attractive and reminds me of the bow of a ship rippling through the water.

There also appears to be very mixed and lukewarm reaction to the nautically themed structure that will soon be erected at Grattan Quay while the latest row concerns the proposed John Condon Memorial at Cathedral Square.

John Condon was a Ballybricken youth who became the youngest soldier in the British army during World War 1 and the proposed memorial is said to comprise 35 columns of stone. But, according to Councillor Gary Wyse, the memorial, as proposed, is unsuitable and could become a magnet for unsocial behaviour.

It has been pointed out to me that one rarely sees tourists being photographed next to any or our memorials. They are in landmark locations but none have become recognisable landmark items as has happened in other cities. It might be a bit dated but, perhaps, a more grandiose and unique water structure (Waterford’s equivalent of Rome’s Trevi Fountain) would become a magnet for tourists.

Complete Guide to Ireland’s Top Ten Hits

All those arguments about what song went to what position in the Top ten and how long it stayed there have all be solved in the shape of a new book that has just hit the shops. Written by Eddie Kelly, a writer who is well known in the music world as a chart historian and an authority on bands and performers, the 567-page tome gives a complete guide to Ireland’s Top Ten between the years 1954 and 1979.

But Eddie’s book is much more because it gives readers biographies of the recording artistes and an alphabetical A to Z of the song titles. There is also some very interesting, informative and factual information about the records, the songs and the performers. Sadly, there is also a Roll of Honour detailing the many singers and musicians that have departed this life up to the time of printing.

A self confessed ‘chart anorak’, Eddie Kelly has written for all the top music publications and has also contributed the sleeve-notes to many hit albums as well as advising record companies on compilation albums. A collector of pop music since the 1950s, he is the founder and current secretary of The Friends of Buddy Holly Society. Really, this is an essential addition to the book collection of anybody with the slightest interest in popular music of the period 1954 to 1979 and is available at all good bookshops.

Scandal at WIT

Scientists out at WIT had been working on a top secret project for years and, two weeks ago, all their work came to fruition when they managed to clone a human being. Sheep had been successfully cloned before but nobody had ever succeeded with a human being and the college authorities prepared themselves for the world onslaught of publicity and protests that would follow.

But then they realised that the clone, given the name William, wasn’t perfect after all. To their dismay, he turned out to be an angry creature constantly making obscene gestures and spewing out obscenities and curses. One morning last week, William became so agitated that one of the scientists pushed him in an effort to restrain him but William fell through an upstairs window and was killed by the force of the fall.

The gardai were called but nobody knew what to do because, technically, William wasn’t a human being, he was a laboratory creation. The matter was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for decision and the staff at WIT were most unhappy when the order came back that the scientist in question should be charged ‘with making an obscene clone fall’.