There is such an interest in films, books and magazines about magic, ghosts and vampires that it was only a matter of time before somebody got in on the act in this country. Of course, we already have no shortage of healers, mediums and mystics but now a group of like-minded young people in the Killarney area have set up a Ghostbusters group and are ready and able to answer calls for help!

The Ghostbusters leader is Anthony Kerrigan, who is a security guard and fitness training instructor by day but, by night, he and his friends arm themselves with an array of electrical equipment and seek out paranormal activity. The official name for their Ghostbusters-type group is ‘Ghost Eire’ and, already, they have been called to investigate mysterious occurrences in old buildings such as Muckross Abbey and Inisfallen Island where, if my memory is correct, Saint Fionán is said to have founded a leper colony.

Anthony and his friends take their job seriously and say their sophisticated equipment can filter out terrestrial-sourced signals such as radio waves from mobile phones. They adopt a healthy, pragmatic attitude to all their findings but they are pretty sure they have recorded and filmed a number of paranormal phenomenae which cannot be otherwise explained. One of the most startling claims made by the group is that they have unexplained audio and visual recordings relating to a castle in County Limerick that is said to be haunted by a 12-year-old girl. As Miley Byrne, the former pin-up boy of ‘Glenroe’, would surely have said, “Well, Holy God!”

Return of the Travelling Shop

There’s an old saying that ‘what goes around comes around’ and there is a perfect example of this occurring in several parts of rural Ireland at present.

Believe it or not, the Travelling Shop has returned. The travelling shop was once a familiar sight in every county in Ireland. But as communities became more mobile and shops and post offices began flourishing in practically every small village and town, the travelling shopkeepers were wiped out because there was no need for them.

But, all has changed and new travelling shops are popping up all over the place.

It seems the closure of so many post-offices, shops and pubs in rural areas has left a great many people isolated and, for many, there is often a ten to fifteen mile journey to the nearest retail outlet, if they have the means of making the trip.

We are making more babies
of late!

I don’t wish to be flippant about people being out of work because it is a terrible curse that has landed at the door of practically every family in this country recently. But it does appear that, with more time on their hands, couples are making more babies than heretofore. Unofficial figures suggest that the last time there was such a peak in pregnancies was during the feel-good months of the Italia 90 World Cup Finals. And the Central Statistics Office has confirmed that, following a dip for some years, birth rates are now back to levels not seen since the 1970s when the country was also in a state of economic crisis.

Doing his Mayoral duty!

It’s been a while since we had a good ‘found-on’ story but Listowel District Court obliged last week.

Very often it is the excuse that is offered by the publican that is interesting and I think it would be hard to find a better one than that offered up in this case.

Before the court was no less a personage than the Mayor of Listowel, Councillor Tom Walsh, who was accused of permitting people to consume drink on his premises after hours.

The court was told that gardai discovered ten to fifteen people drinking in Mayor Walsh’s Tanker’s Bar at 4.17am.

Because of the Listowel Race Meeting an exemption had been in place up to 2am with thirty minutes allowed for drinking up time.

Defence solicitor Pat Enright told Judge Mary O’Halloran that a number of visitors had arrived in the town very late and had no place to stay.

Mayor Walsh felt he couldn’t let them out onto the street with no beds or shelter to go to and, when the gardai arrived, he was in the process of telephoning around the town trying to secure accommodation for them.

Mr. Walsh had co-operated fully with the gardai and his observance of the liquor laws ever since had been rigorous, stressed Mr. Enright.

Unfortunately, the solicitor’s impassioned plea was not successful and Judge O’Halloran imposed a fine of €350 for permitting alcohol to be permitted on the premises after hours.


Things are not always
as they seem

A middle-aged man walked into a bar in Waterford last weekend and it was obvious to everybody that he was an American tourist. He bought a drink and then scanned the lounge taking particular interest in the women. There were quite a few extremely attractive and unattached women present but after about ten minutes the tourist made his way over to the least good looking woman who was sitting alone at a table.

“Hi honey”, he said, “can I buy you a drink?” “Of course you can, Boy, I’ll have a double Vodka and Coke”, she replied in a loud voice as rough as sandpaper. When she opened her mouth, she displayed a set of black, crooked teeth and her breath was so foul that the people at the next table shuddered.

The tourist beamed happily and returned to the bar to fetch his new friend’s drink. “Listen, pal, no offence, but you could do an awful lot better than hitching up with that particular bird”, whispered the barman as he gave the American his change.

The tourist grinned. “Thanks but don’t worry, son, I’ve been on the road for a month now and I’m not feeling randy, I’m just homesick.”

Defeatist advice!

Then there was the man who went to see his bank manager and said he would like to start a small business. “How do I go about it”, he asked. “Easy”, replied the bank manager mournfully, “just buy a big business and wait.”