Sun Hat and a fleece

It’s possibly a uniquely Irish clothing combination; a panama hat (or other sun hat) and a fleece or softshell.  I can’t think of too many other places where it’d ever be an appropriate dress code. Sweden, perhaps, or the North East coast of England in the summer. Texel maybe.

In any case, it was the perfect solution to Ireland’s recent “heatwave”. Air temperatures of 14 degrees, but not a cloud in the June sky.  Instead of being freezing cold AND sunburned, you can be warm and un-toasted.  A really good solution. Mind you, wearing a panama hat does still seem to cause some socio-economic assumptions in Ireland.

Apart from that, we had a week where the Irish climate tried (briefly) to redeem its reputation in our household. After showing wintry photos of Dun Laoghaire harbor in May, here’s a tropical photo in June.

Dublin Bay in June
[photo from Brian Murphy's FB page]

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Weather refund

I occasionally write product reviews.

If this Spring were a product I wouldn’t just want my money back, I’d want a class-action lawsuit to bankrupt the manufacturer.

Coldest March in decades. Coldest April in decades. Then we get the start of May with strong winds, showers and cold.

This photo ought to be a picture from a January storm in Dun Laoghaire harbor.

picture1

Instead it’s a Saturday in May. 49 knot winds, hailstones and cold. In case you don’t know, 49 knots of wind is a Force 10.

The official description for Force 10 says this;

Trees are broken off or uprooted, saplings bent and deformed. Poorly attached asphalt shingles and shingles in poor condition peel off roofs.”

May.  I’m reminded of that old TV program in Britain – “The Darling Buds of May”. They’d get their buds blown off this year.

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IOK:

This is amazing. Once again, when asked a simple question, an Irish Government Minister shames the idea of democracy with an evasive non-answer. It’s a disgrace.

Worse, the Minister is giving increased credibility to the party that is asking these simple questions……the party that can probably do more damage to Ireland than the rest of them put together. And that’s saying a lot.

Originally posted on NAMA Wine Lake:

A theme examined on here before – here and here for example – is the unprecedented benefit to the well-being of this State from oversight by the bailout troika. It mightn’t feel like it to us now, with austerity budget after austerity budget, a collapse in living standards, high unemployment, emigration and scary debts, but really this misses the bigger picture as regards governance – the mistakes were made in the 2000s and the present period is about dealing with the mess from that legacy. When future historians look back at the big-picture history of Ireland, they are likely to conclude that Ireland in 2010-2015 enjoyed a Golden Age of enlightened governance. I say “2015” because, although we will receive the last of the bailout funds at the end of 2013, the Troika will still continue to visit but their reviews and conclusions were become increasingly less significant to the…

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Ireland’s shameful past

The official reports on the abuse that was happening in Ireland’s industrial schools and orphanages is old news by now, but I was just re-watching the “States of Fear” program that brought it all to light.

Scary to think that I spend the ’70s and ’80s walking up and down outside St.Josephs and never even wondered what was going on inside. There was even a boy in my class who lived there.

And still, today, we can see that there’s more horror still hidden.

Read this.

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The wonderful GAA

One of the Irish institutions that deserves as much praise as it can get is the GAA.  A nationwide structure that gets everyone from kids to old folks involved. Across the country. Across the social spectrum. 

No matter whether it’s the All-Ireland final or – like today – an under 11 schools match, there’s slick organization, great facilities, and a competitive but friendly vibe unlike most other sports. 

Something for Ireland to be proud of. 

Image

A great clearance

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Abuse is abuse. Ability to escape is what’s important.

A few weeks ago Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times wrote an article about old people being neglected and abused in a for-profit nursing home.  I wrote about it at the time.

Basically he asserted that privately owned for-profit homes were evil but that we were all under the spell of profit just as we’d been under the spell of the Catholic Church in the past.

It’s a nice narrative, but it’s hard to agree, particularly when we see what was going on in the UK with Jimmy Saville and a range of state run institutions.

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Open Data – Planes in flight…and the noise thereof

Here in Ireland we often talk about open data and the way that the government doesn’t often provide it.

Now this example isn’t exactly the kind of open data that we generally talk about, but it is cool.

You can see, in real-time, all the planes flying over the Netherlands and the levels of noise on the ground. I love it!

Here’s the link.  (oh…it’s in Dutch, but Google translate does a half decent job)

I’m not 100% sure where the data comes from, I just think it’s cool.

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