Like most Irish people my age and older I was shocked to hear about the death of Gay Byrne today. He was ever present in Irish daily life as he presented a daily radio show and a talk show on Friday evenings.
If you’re not yet 40 or not familiar with Gaybo because you haven’t lived here, @PantiBliss explained how big an influence he had on Ireland in this tweet.
The #RIPGaybo hashtag on Twitter and in part Irish Twitter is a place of mourning today.
If you watched Stephen Fry on God then you’ve watched Gay in action. Over 8m people have watched this video!
Stephen himself tweeted today about Gay, with this message sent to one of our national radio stations:
RTÉ published this post about Gay featuring lots of the “finest moments” from the Late Late Show. I couldn’t watch many of them for some reason but maybe you can. They don’t load in Firefox for me, even when I try to load them directly. I do remember Boyzone’s first public appearance on the Late Late. Can’t believe that was in 1993!
Every December The Late Late Show has a toy show episode. Here’s one with Zig & Zag & Dustin from 1992. I have to admit I never saw this clip but it made me laugh!
Tim and Naomi of the Irish Passport Podcast visited Northern Ireland in July to experience the marching season in all it’s “glory” for their latest episode.
It’s a great episode, showing the stark contrast between the neighbourly and friendly people they met during the day on the 11th, and the hate fuelled crowd who descended on the area that night for the bonfire.
I visited Northern Ireland in the summer and really enjoyed myself there. The people we met were friendly and welcoming but it was well past the marching season. Hopefully I’ll write a post about that sometime.
More than 800 people marched through Cork on Saturday to protest the CervicalCheck scandal where 209 smear tests were misread and 18 women have died already.
Terminally ill Emma Mhic Mhathúna appeared at a protest today in Kerry.
In a poignant protest in Tralee town centre on Monday evening, the very day that she was told that her cancer has spread even further to her vertebra, Emma, in a moving and emotional speech, said that she would continue to fight for reform of the health service. “I am sick of being treated like nothing. Our health is the last thing that these people care about. The Dáil needs to realise that if they are going to take responsibility for our lives they better do it well or they need to be fired,” she told the crowd. “I promise my death won’t go unnoticed. I will make sure that they pay for what they have done to every single family in Ireland, whether you are on a waiting list too long or whether you are not being treated fair. Tell them you’re my friend and I’ll come and sort them out.” “I can’t save my life but at least I can save yours and your children’s lives.”
The death of Ann Lovett, a 15 year old Irish school girl in 1984 should be remembered today, International Women's Day.
She died following the birth of her son in front of a grotto on a cold January afternoon.
It was here, on the bitterly-cold, wet afternoon of Tuesday, 31 January, 1984, that Ann Lovett, a warm, clever and artistically-gifted 15-year-old girl, left Cnoc Mhuire (The Hill of Mary) Secondary School. She walked the length of Granard, past her Main Street home, to the grotto of the Blessed Virgin to give birth to her son. He died at birth. Around 4pm, schoolchildren found her schoolbag and heard her crying by the grotto. Ann was haemorrhaging heavily and suffering from exposure. They raised the alarm and a local farmer came to their aid. He ran to the nearby house of the parish priest, who said “It’s a doctor you need”. “I need you too, Father,” he replied. “The baby is dead and the little girl might be dying too.” Ann was carried to the priest’s house. A doctor was called and he drove Ann to her home. There, an ambulance arrived, far too late. Ann died in Mullingar Hospital a short time later.
15. Just 15 years old. Ireland has changed for the better but women are still second class citizens.
More fun in the snow today of course. Storm Emma wasn't quite as strong as we were all led to believe (voluntary curfew from 4pm yesterday to noon today for example), but it still dumped more snow on us that I've ever seen in Ireland.
All that snow made it easy to build another snowman or two, and provided plenty of ammo for a snowball fight later in the day. Snowballs to the side of the head can hurt …
One of our cats, Hoppy, disappeared for several hours today making us very worried because of the cold temperatures and drifting snow. We went out searching for her several times, talked to neighbours and called for her throughout the day. She suddenly reappeared tonight looking for petting and attention and purring loudly. Her coat was barely wet and wasn't cold so she had found somewhere warm and dry to hide away in. Should have known she'd land on her feet!
Looks like rain tomorrow. The two snowmen in the back garden won't like that!
The second day of snow and Storm Emma will make landfall around 9pm tonight apparently. Schools were closed, hardly anyone driving but kids were out playing in the snow. I'm glad we're watching Peanuts the Movie tonight!
The local Mill Pond was frozen over, temperatures didn't rise above 0C all day but it was nice to see blue skies.
There's one thing you have to do when it snows and that's building a snowman. My son got a bucket and added castles all around it to protect him from the maddening hoards of invaders that befall every snowman!
Fingers crossed Storm Emma isn't as bad as we all feared!
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