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One more silly rule is gone: Alcohol on Good Friday

One more silly rule is gone: Alcohol on Good Friday

On Thursday the Dail approved a change to the Intoxicating Liquor Act, that will remove the ban that stopped pubs, restaurants and off licenses from selling alcohol on Good Friday. It was an outdated law from 1927, from a time when Ireland was still VERY catholic, but it is a clear example where the Catholic Church still had a bigger impact on the state than it should have. This is the one and only reason why – in my opinion – this law change is a good change.

We don’t need a nanny state that tells us what to do based on church rules! No, I am NOT suggesting that now you should have alcohol on Good Friday! You should drink or not drink based on YOUR preferences, not based on a state or church rule (but if you prefer not to drink because of a church rule that is important to you, that is also 100% fine!).

Yes, too much alcohol is consumed in the Irish society, but a ban on Good Friday will not solve that problem and picking on that one day doesn’t make sense. I am totally in favour of strategies that reduce the consummation of alcohol through education, but not through a nonsensical Good Friday ban.

There is now only one other day left when the selling of alcohol is forbidden and that is Christmas Day. Some think if the selling of alcohol was allowed on that day, then suddenly pubs and restaurants wouldn’t give their staff a day off anymore. But if that is the driver. then we should have a law that regulates if pubs, restaurants and off-licenses are allowed to open or not, not a regulation “through the backdoor” via an alcohol selling ban.

I will continue to stay away from alcohol on Good Friday (not for religious reasons, but just because I don’t drink much anyway), but I am 100% in favour of a lifting of the ban. Is it this time me who is odd!?!?! :-)

Catholic Banana Republic – Part 956: The Dail Prayer

Catholic Banana Republic – Part 956: The Dail Prayer

It seems that there is no end of stories that show how entrenched Catholicism is in Irish politics (and parts of the society). Two weeks ago the scandal about the religious order that might own the new National Maternity Hospital and will probably enforce the catholic ethos for procedures that are carried out in the hospital, was in the media headlines. This week the Dail debate and vote about a daily prayer raised eye brows and baffled people.

As before, I want to point out that I am raised catholic, would still define a version of catholic inspired spirituality as my religion and go to mass without any feeling of guilt despite my total and complete objection to ANY influence of any church on the state.

Any kind of faith or belief should be a completely private matter and has absolutely no place in a political or state context. A state has to be neutral and should be at a home for followers of all or religions or none.

However, things are different in Ireland and the clocks are running a few hundred years behind, it seems. This week the Dail decided that they would stick to the daily (catholic) prayer and that they would force members of the Dail to stand up. In addition they added a 30 second silence to the prayer.

Apart from the fact that no religion-specific (catholic or otherwise) prayer has a place in a parliament in 2017, the chosen prayer is utterly clumsy and outright nonsensical. This is how it goes:

“Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance; that every word and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and by Thee be happily ended; through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”

Come on, who would talk in that language nowadays, can they not at least use modern language?

But even if it was a modern prayer, it has no place in a parliament. Give the members of the parliament another minute so that they can whisper their prayer to themselves in quiet or in a prayer room or similar. Once they have prayed for help (and boy do they need it!), then they can come in to the parliament.

Only in the Catholic Banana Republic called Ireland, 97 out of 133 members of the parliament would vote in favour of keeping a discriminating Catholic prayer.

…and by the way, stuff like this is NOT helping Christianity, instead it does exactly the opposite!

The new government IS a Fine Gael – Fianna Fail coalition!

The new government IS a Fine Gael – Fianna Fail coalition!

So they made it!! After 70 days finally a new government has been elected when on Friday Enda Kenny (Fine Gael) was re-elected as the Taoiseach.

It is called a “minority government” that is tolerated by Fianna Fail and supported by some of the Independent TDs. When the Taoiseach got elected, the Fianna Fail TDs abstained and therefore a handful of Independents was enough for Enda Kenny to get the majority.

Odd that Micheal Martin didn’t want to be in power since it was offered to him to be part of the government through a coalition. But the reason why Micheal Martin’s Fianna Fail didn’t want to get involved and form a Grand Coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail is because they were worried that the electors would punish them for it in the next elections. In recent elections the smaller coalition partner (i.e. Greens and Labour) was always blamed more for a screw up of the government than the dominating party and Micheal Martin didn’t want to risk that.

So the solution was a to tolerate a minority Fine Gael government. But does that REALLY change the situation?

Is Fianna Fail now NOT part of the government and will they by innocent if Enda Kenny does a bad job?? Actually NOT AT ALL!! This is really a coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, just with the odd configuration that Fianna Fail will not contribute in a positive way in the day to day running of the country.

Why do I call it a coalition? Well, if you sit down with the other party for days and negotiate a “deal” that will last for three years, during which Fianna Fail will support whatever Fine Gael does then you can’t claim anymore that you are innocent! It is like standing next to someone who commits a criminal act and not doing anything. You will NOT get away with your “I had nothing to do with it!” claim.

So this new government is a Grand Coalition, just not by name! And if Enda Kenny screws up and Fianna Fail won’t stop him because they promised to support him for 3 years, then Fianna Fail will also have to be appropriately punished for it! Don’t fall for Micheal Martin’s trick!

Butchering the Thee-shock! – Irish words in radio and TV

Butchering the Thee-shock! – Irish words in radio and TV

What is wrong with radio and TV broadcasters in Ireland? Where did they learn the pronunciation of Irish words? I don’t speak Irish, but even I know that Thee-shock is NOT the way Taoiseach should be pronounced. Where is that “TH” coming from? I also know that Doyle is a surname (Mrs. Doyle from Father Ted comes to mind. ;-) ), but it is NOT the correct pronunciation for “Dail” (the Irish Parliament) and finally Fine Guayle is not the correct pronunciation for “Fine Gael”.

If a newsreader or radio or TV broadcaster can’t pronounce these relatively simple three words correctly, they should be sent to elocution classes or should be deported to the Gaeltacht until they are able for the most basic pronunciation.

Some might tell me that what I hear is the Dublin 4 way of speaking Irish and that the same people are even challenged by basic English pronunciation (Ross O’Carroll Kelly comes to mind and “Chorles” for “Charles”.) but the newsreaders I am referring to are from City Centre based radio stations. So this (weak) excuse can not be applied.

You might think that it is odd/funny or even rich that a foreigner, who doesn’t speak Irish at all, complains about the pronunciation of Irish words, but is everybody else just ok with that??

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