Sunday, December 30, 2012
Happy New Year from Ireland
And i thought Rudolph was a deer? Well this guy is a dear,
A New Year Message from Ireland
As 2012 draws to a close i am sure that we can all look back with mixed emotions at a year with its many ups and downs. Thank God we are still here and hopefully looking forward to the New Year with brave optimism. This year has been a hard one for the vast majority of people here, and virtually everywhere, and even the wealthy and comfortable have had their set backs. Christmas must have been extremely hard for the unemployed and the low paid, and disappointing for the children who were by-passed by Santa Claus. We should not forget, however, all the good work that was done by charities and by the good people who supported those charities. Here in Ireland many local groups, clubs, and charities, organise fund raising events, walks, runs, cycles etc, and do raise surprising amounts of money despite the recession. Ireland has always been at the forefront of nations when it comes to raising funds for good causes.One of our main charities, when it comes to the poor and underprivileged, is the St Vincent De Paul Society. They issued a "Thank you" to the public after Christmas disclosing the amount that was donated to them this Christmas. I was astonished when i heard it on the radio. I asked people directly if they had heard the figures. Those who had not, i asked to guess what they thought they might be. I got answers ranging from three million Euro to eight million Euro, and when i told them the actual figure they were just as surprised as me. The figure was over eighty million. What an amazing amount in a country experiencing an extremely serious recession. I can only feel that the memory of the great famine, and the generosity of a people subsequent to that famine left its mark on their descendants. They were a people who willingly shared the little they had, not only with their own, but with their neighbours, and they set an example for the rest of us, It is something that you still find in so many people in Ireland when you visit their homes. There is always something to eat, even if it happens to be something that they were going to have themselves for their supper later. If they ask you to have a drink in their homes, beware of the measure they pour into your glass. I can assure you that it will be more than a shot. I stick to the cup of tea myself, and maybe some homemade brown bread. Nowadays drink driving is something none of us should ignore. May we never lose that generosity, it is a part of what it means to be Irish.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those new friends who came my way in the past year, and indeed all of the many wonderful friends i have made over the years i have been in this business. Many of you have been to the Holy Shrine in Knock with me and i always say a prayer for everybody when i am there. You are all remembered, whether or not you are of the same denomination as i am. Prayers are never wasted. I hope that you found an Irishness in me that was to your liking.
May the New Year be good to you, May you always have the support of family and friends. May you experience peace and contentment, no matter what you lot may be. May you enjoy good health. May you give, and receive, love.
Slainte Maith (Slawncha Wah...........Good health to you)
Your pal in Ireland