I don’t usually blog about politics; but with the country in the economic strife that it’s in I’m guess I’m more keenly aware of what our politicians are up to. If there’s one thing that really gets my gall up is empty rhetoric from politicians and Enda Kenny is the latest to step up to the ‘hot air’ plate.
In his speech to the Fine Gale ardfheis (as reported in the Irish Times) he made a number of far reaching promises:
- 100,000 new jobs by end 2013
- finances back to health by 2012
- state financed health care for all doing away with the private / public system we have now
and all this without raising standard or higher tax rates! What’s he going to do, tax the poor instead?
Nowhere amongst all these promises does Enda Kenny make any sort of a hint as to how they’d finance this recovery. If it’s not through taxes then they’ve either got to borrow the capital or make massive cost savings in the public finances; and that spells yet more job cuts.
Come on Enda; how ya going to do it?
Or rather it’s up for sale!
This Sunday, 21st September 2008, at 10:00 Jon Hynes over at Garrettstown Surf School is having an end of season equipment sale (I’m sure he also said something about free coffee; but don’t quote me on that).
See ya there dude.
In the last week in August we were very fortunate to be offered a place on the first surf camp to be run in Ireland for Children with Autism; Surf2Heal. Our daughter, who’s eight, had only recently been diagnosed with the condition this was the first opportunity for us to meet with other parents of autistic children as well as an opportunity for Roisin to try surfing.
The camp was being run by Garrettstown Surf School near Kinsale, Co. Cork. Somehow they’d amassed an army of volunteers to help out with the weeks activities from autism professionals, speech and language exports and special needs assistants there was a body of trained and dedicated people to help support us and Rosin during the weeks activities.
I was unsure at the start of the week just how things would go. Each child was booked for an hour and a half session in the sea with two instructors. I know Roisin loves the sea; but I wasn’t sure if she’d rebel at putting a wet suit on or just how she’d manage going out into deeper water. My initial fears were soon allayed. The wet suit was no problem (I think because she was prepared for this) and each child was fitted with a buoyancy aid so she felt safe in the sea.
She had a fantastic time and by the third day was able to stand on the surf board. The smile on her face is a memory I shall carry with me for the rest of my life; it was a beautiful thing to see.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about the activities; but instead I want to thank the people involved:
- Jon and Alayne Hynes who own the Garrettstown Surf School for making this event happen. They must have given so much time over the year to put this together as well as making their premises and staff available for the event.
- Roisin’s instructors in the water, Triona and Keeley. Their enthusiasm and spirit never wavered the entire week despite taking 4 sessions every day and at all times they kept Roisin safe and having fun in the water.
- All the other volunteers who helped bring the week together and make it such a safe and enjoyable week for the children and parents alike.
- Portwest Clothing who supplied the wet suits. Each child came away at the end of the week with their own wet suit.
- MARTINS, the Maritime Training In Safety initiative who supplied a lot of the sponsorship for the event and the National Maritime College Of Ireland through whom the funds were obtained.
- Ernest J Cantillon & Co Solicitors who sponsored specially commissioned surf boards for the event.
Apologies to anyone or any organization that I’ve left out.
Looking forward the week has opened a whole world of possibilities for all of us and I’m determined to build on the experience for Roisin. So clear the beach, here we come……
Much of my business time these days seems to be taken up with discussing networks. Questions like:
Should I use CAT5 or CAT6 cable?
What’s the difference between a LAN and a WAN?
Should I go for Wifi or mobile broadband?
Amongst all this technology small businesses often loose site of one form of network that is essential to their survival, and that is the small business network.
These are opportunities for business people to get together once a month to swap ideas, pass on information, make new contacts and just get out and meet other business people. For entrepreneurs like myself, running their business from home in a rural location, business networking forms a vital part of my marketing.
Here in West Cork we have an excellent networking service provided by the SOHO SOLO organization. I know the name sounds a bit like a dating agency; but the SOHO is an acronym for Small Office Home Office and so applies to anyone running a small business or working from home. Locally the group runs very informal meetings usually in the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.
So if you’re running a small business or working from home in West Cork why not some along to one of our meetings and start expanding your network of contacts. The next meeting is provisionally booked for Wednesday September 17th and will probably be a lunch meeting. To get more details why not check out the SOHO SOLO website today.
(By the way, if you’re looking for wired or wireless networking services of the computer variety please see my business Computer Troubleshooters – West Cork)
See what the boys in blue get up to when they’re on the beat.
Many thanks to Pat over at roam4free.ie for directing my attention to Hotel Ballymun. I’m sure staying in the Clarke Tower would have been preferable to the Ballymun Plaza.
The Tower has, indeed, been demolished now.
Or maybe they just repainted it and called it the Plaza?
One of my pet hates is litter.
Litter seems to be an endemic problem in Ireland. I live in a rural environment; but if I walk up the lane outside our house I find it littered with plastic bottles, drink cans, crisp packets and all manner of rubbish.
I live near Clonakilty in West Cork. A picturesque town that has recently won awards for being Ireland’s tidiest town as well as an international ward for its floral displays. Yet its streets are littered with dog excrement!
Two events really prompted me to post this,
- I was driving home one evening from work when a crisp packet was thrown out of the window of the car in front.
- Mrs. H. and I were sitting in our car in the car park at a local beach. The car park backs onto a small grassy area at the edge of a wetland reserve. Another car pulled in and child (aged about ten) got out, threw an empty coke can onto the grass and got back into the car. They left a few minutes later, no one else got out of the car.
What does this blatant disregard say for the Irish respect for their environment? OK, I know I shouldn’t generalize; but the level of litter in general makes me think this is a general problem.
Now I’m going to extrapolate. I believe that respect for the environment is a reflection of respect for the self. If I don’t respect myself then I’m not going to respect my environment and if I’m not respecting my environment it’s because I’m not respecting my self.
So what does all this littering say about the way the Irish respect themselves?
There’s been a fair bit of comment online recently about the Fianna Fail posters of our esteemed Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
Personally I was furious about the posters! I mean they are so obviously falsified; do they think the electorate is so thick that they’d fall for such amateur photo editing?
Come on guys this is Ireland in the 21st Century. You simply can’t pull the wool over the voter’s eyes and expect to get away with it anymore. Will you ever cop on to the fact that your electorate is now a sophisticated and savvy group that know when it’s being sold short.
We’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see if the election prospectus is also a patched together bunch of falsehoods.
Finally there is a lighter side to this story over on The Snackbox Diaries.