From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
From the Mayo News - 26 May 2004
By The Jaundiced Eye
30, May 2004 - 20:35

Loophole exploited

A MAYO T.D. has revealed how he witnessed first hand the abuse of the loophole in Irish citizenship law at Knock Airport. Deputy John Carty was working for the Department of Agriculture at Knock Airport during the Foot and Mouth alert in 2001 when he observed the regular arrival there of women who were heavily pregnant. "The number of women that came in there at that time three or four years ago was unbelievable. It was getting out of hand and the next thing the gardai came in and they checked everybody that was coming in. Quite a few of them were brought to Swinford and given an evening meal and Bed and Breakfast and sent back on the next plane," Deputy Carty told the Mayo News yesterday in the wake of the launch of Fianna Fáil’s ‘YES’ campaign for the citizenship referendum on June 11.


Is this the racism loophole that is being exploited I ask myself? And they said that they were not going to play the race ticket in the local elections? Yeah right! But according to TD Carty it was an ‘unbelievable number’ – surely this unbelievable number of children born on Irish soil could not be adding even more to the enormous number of 200 black babies already accounted for by Dublin Maternity hospitals? So how many were there Mr Carty – two, three black babies flying into Knock? Whatever the number Mr Carty leaves us in no doubt that for sure we are being overrun altogether now – so vote against black babies becoming Irish citizens – we don’t want no black babies here according to Deputy Carty. Deputy Carty and his party says keep Ireland white?

Selling ice

ONE of Ballina’s best known landmarks, the Ice House, is to be sold by public auction on 1st July, 2004. The property will be going on the market with a guide price of 800,000 euro. The Ice House, officially known as Iceland House, was the former residence of Moy Fishery managers when the fishery was privately owned. The property was acquired by the State as part of the assets of the former Moy Fishery Company Ltd. in 1987. It has since been vacant and its future use has been the subject of debate over many years. Following extensive consultation and detailed consideration of various options for the future of the building, the North Western Regional Fisheries Board decided some time ago to dispose of the property which has been surplus to the Board’s requirements for many years. The sale has been approved by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources with the consent of the Minister for Finance. The Board has also received approval for investment of the proceeds in a fisheries related project. The basement of the property was originally constructed specifically for the purpose of storing ice which was used to pack Moy salmon in boxes before being distributed to various markets, including the famous Billingsgate Market in London.

We should all be grateful to Clarence Birdseye for inventing frozen food after a trip to the arctic circle. Imagine what life was like before electric refrigerators. Food went rotten very quickly unless salted or otherwise pickles or boiled up and preserved in a kilner or jam jar. None of your fresh young green peas or frozen fish fingers unless you were very wealthy. Ice houses like the Ballina one were reserved for keeping really special food – food like Moy salmon. I heard tell of a similar but more modest ice house on the shores of Lough Carrowmore dug into the side of the mountain where ice could stay frozen all year long. There was a story on today’s news about a jumbo jet making an emergency landing at Shannon because of an alarm signal that suggested a fire in the cargo hold. It turned out to be due to ‘fumes’ being given off by rotten fruit that they were flying into Heathrow. Better to be safe than sorry and presumably some customer in London did not receive a consignment of rotten fruit as a result of the over-vigilant fire alarm on the 747.

Dumping bridge

LOUISBURGH’S unique clapper bridge has apparently been chosen as a dumping ground for heavy machinery and rubble. One of the most interesting and beautiful historic sites in the west is now pockmarked by two enormous flat-bed trucks which have been abandoned to their rusting fate between the remains of what were once the missionary cottages, part of what was known as "The Colony", and the bridge itself. A pile of rubble is beside them, no doubt waiting for more to join it. The bridge was built in 1863 by one John Alexander, who was the Secretary to the Society for protection of Rights of Conscience, a group who were active during the famine years, providing food in exchange for conversions. The word "Clapper" is the plural of the Anglo-Saxon "Clam" and signifies a construction which is of Roman origin and consists of a row of two uprights crossed by a topping slab. For many people the men of God came in the guise of enemies, but for a number of families they were the means of survival and, while almost all the other traces of their sojourn have vanished, both physically and in the collective memory, the remarkable bridge is their worthwhile legacy.

There’s nothing like having a nice historic monument to act as a dump site when you are too cheap to pay for proper disposal or recycling of industrial waste and rubble. Much better than dumping on a bog or a field or over a ditch. Much cheaper than bringing it to Derrinumera or even sending it ‘up North’ or over to Scotland. There’s no doubt that the waste business attracts bad types. The TV waste management business of Tony Soprano really does mirror the truth of organised crime involvement in the waste business. Not saying that the clapper bridge dumpers belong to the mafia of course but the disregard for their environment is criminal.

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