Criminals by Majella Coakley 27th January 2014

The definition of criminals as found in ‘’ explains criminal as malefactor,  wrong doer, someone who breaks the law and ‘the VILLIAN’ It’s an exciting old-fashioned word, giving visions of comic book evil tyrants who never wins out against the hero-the innocent, righteous man of principle and generally hapless do-gooder. Take Batman and Robin versus the Joker-an Arch Villain. The Joker is portrayed as cunning, malevolent genius, who looks are maimed,  has the devastating evil  ha-ha-haaa laugh in contrast to the sensibility  of batman Bruce Wayne and his loyal innocent Good Gosh, ‘Holy Catfish ‘good golly Robin.

Newspapers, especially the tabloids, given an impression sometimes of criminals, being villainous; that they are mad and bad versus the innocent citizens upon which they perpetuate their rabid crimes. The tabloids give names like ‘The Penguin’ ‘The General’. It sets them apart, makes them sound like something different. Even when they’re fighting amongst their own tribe, the innocent citizens muse to themselves and pound on the airwaves that once the criminals are keeping their fighting and shooting and killing in-house –so to speak-, the best thing is to leave them at it to maim, kill and hurt each other in the hunt for power. Reprisals of the criminal fraternity are seen as just deserts, with many of the more vociferous callers on radio saying ‘CRIMINALS! What more do they deserve?’

Watching TV shows such as Love/Hate, which is apparently a reasonably accurate representation of criminal life in Ireland, shows the ‘crims’ having ordinary lives also, sorting out the kids, girlfriends and lovers, trouble with the in-laws and showing the trite reasons for criminality; it makes considering them a little more complex than tabloid depiction, in shades of grey, rather than black and white, villains versus white faced goodies, rather than angels versus devils.

In the reporting of crimes perpetuated by villains, it’s sometimes with a glamour which is undeserved, and the writing about the victims is in terms of poverty of control and powerlessness, it’s in dramatic, catastrophic language, fitting in with the comic book metaphors of forces for evil and good.
Well angels? Is it time for a change in the comic book reporting and look to the shade?




Darkness into Light

Darkness into Light
This poem was written after the Darkness into Light walk in aid of Pieta House, which took place in Roscrea on 11th May 2013

Dedicated to Siobhan Galvin, Joan Freeman (Founder of Pieta House) and all associated with Pieta House.

I focus on the strong intense light
From souls that have sailed on ahead;
They speak to me of their painful plight,
And wish they were not dead

They block my way and send me back,
And say my time has not yet come;
Oh I mourn for those lost in black,
And wish all their despair undone.

I speak of them and they live again,
I speak as one that knows the plight;
As the faint peeps of birds sound through the rain,
I walk with you from dark to bright;
I walk with you into the light.

Declan O’Reilly




Smear Campaign


By John Wid

You could almost pinpoint, with definitive accuracy, the exact moment that triggered the series of events that led to the end of Thomas ‘Tos’ Falvey’s 32 year tenure at Father Billy Brosnan Primary School, Scubber, on the 15th February 1985. ‘The end of a great era’ some said sadly, others wept, more offered private prayers in hope of rescuing any lingering sanity left from the grasp of progress. Another portion celebrated wildly and agreed that the old adage ‘you get what you give’ was never more applicable. It is, of course, important to understand the nature of the man and consider this in the context of the circumstances leading up to that final moment.

History often speaks of great men whose drive and endeavour serves to push humanity forward – men to whom institutional dogma and accepted wisdom are mere triviality, to whom derision and scorn are a source of focus and energy, whose unrelenting passion seems to overcome the largest of obstacles. Such men serve to define epochs. None of this is applicable to Thomas ‘Tos’ Falvey. A man who embodied perfectly the qualities of a generation of civil servants whose slavish devotion to bureaucracy and sycophantic drooling over superiors in the pursuit of advancement neglected any true dedication to their chosen profession. Unfortunately for Falvey, the rural backwaters of Scubber left him rooted in frustrated mediocrity, overlooked all too frequently for advancement, a victim of the very system he sought to embrace.

When externally changing social and economic factors forced teaching from the dark ages of pre-1960’s brute force despotism to the more benign pedagogical application seen today, Thomas ‘Tos’ Falvey was caught firmly in the old school. He greatly lamented the restrictions imposed by a progressing society which forced him to put his wooden ruler and leather strap back into the desk drawer. No longer the halcyon days of whipping off the belt and laying into whomever took his dislike, Falvey was forced to suppress his best intentions more and more.

Of course, this new relaxed approach did not encourage Falvey to apply any real restraint in dealing with successive generations of the ill reared Scubber populace passing through the Formica halls of Father Brosnan’s. Forthright manifestations of anger turned from overt physical abuse to a repressive campaign of mental anguish he waged against the unsuspecting youngsters on a daily basis. Through this thankless work, coupled with an emotionally distant, childless and sexless marriage to a socially ambitious wife, Falvey developed a thinly veiled misanthropic nature. He brooded dangerously, focusing his energy on deconstructing the world around him.

Continue reading “Smear Campaign” »

The Freedom of Failure

The Freedom of Failure

Having been accustomed to success- or rather, not failing, it was with supreme bemusement that I viewed the result of my assignment. The figure, scrawled in pencil with definite sadism, punctured me to the core: 20%. Twenty. Percent. Stunned, I clutched the feedback sheet in a tight fist and backed out of the secretary’s office. I unfurled the paper from my clenched fingers and examined it more closely. Below the ignominious grade was a line cutting through the marking scheme. The line, much like the line’s creator was imbued with venom.

Below this, a note. It read: “Impossible to attribute marks. This was a rambling reflection not based on any real evidence or reference materials. You can write. Next time read so you’re your writing has convincing content.”

I leaned against the wall opposite the office, suddenly awash with mirth. This was my first time failing anything. And I failed spectacularly. I felt more liberated than I had in a long time.

Angie Mullins ©


Reggae comes to Thurles

Reggae comes to Thurles

Bank holiday Monday Night at Kennedy’s pub was the place to be, where for the entrance price of five euro only, gained you entry to see two live acts. Kennedy’s offer their customers an adequate sized venue with good comfortable surroundings; providing their live acts with a good stage, in-house excellent sound, and lighting.

There was a good crowd gathering in anticipation of the main act “Natty Wailer and the Reggae Vibes” aka as Nathinal Ian Wynter, who toured with Bob Marley and the Wailers as a keyboard player for over nine years. There was a friendly atmosphere among the people, ranging from Grannies to grandchildren; some dressed as Rastafarians while others wore all kinds of colourful garb.

I was one of the lucky ones having arrived at 9pm, in order to purchase a table near the stage. At 9.30pm the support act: Kenna & Cox a duo from Australia started into their set, Chris Kenna acoustic guitar, and lead vocalist and Melissa Cox, violin and backing vocals. They performed several tracks from their recent album “One night in Paris” stand out tracks for me included “big old house”  and “I told the Judge the truth” Chris has a strong base voice that suits his songs; while Melissa provides hauntingly beautiful accompaniment with the violin. Unfortunately their set ended all too quickly and by 10pm they were finished, however I was able to buy their CD not so bad?

10.10pm the man pronounces himself the one and only Natty Wailer, if his attire is anything to go by then we’re in for a treat, Natty has a four piece ensemble with him; percussionist, lead guitarist, base player, and a backing singer, Natty plays rhythm and keyboard. He greets his audience “hello brothers and sisters, we gonna have a good time, time for jammin” The almost full to capacity crowd roar their approval “yeah we’re in for a good time alright” the band break out with “Punky Reggae Party” a reggae song by Bob Marley recorded and released in 1977. By the end of the second number nearly everyone in the room is up on their feet dancing.  His set is peppered with the best of Bob Marley along with tracks from his own albums, some of the numbers are extended jams, and like an experienced fisherman “just when the fish thinks he’s off the hook” he reels him in. Other numbers such as “Three little birds, Waiting in Vain, and Exodus” kept the mood moving smoothly.  It was such songs as “Get up Stand up and No woman no cry” that stood out for me and when Natty invited one of the women from the floor to come up and sing the lead vocal, this gesture was greeted with rapturous applause, however my night was made with Natty and the Reggae Vibes rendition of the “Redemption song”. The gig finally finished around 12.30, well worth a fiver of anyone’s money.

Natty is a charming and energetic man with great stage present, he is surrounded with an excellent band with a really tight sound, Natty is the consummate musician who encourages everyone to join in and have a good time and if Natty makes a return visit! I for one will be there.

Jake Butler Oct 2012

Mr Murphy

Mr Benjamin Murphy
25 Golden Vale Road Ballymore,
Co. Tipperary
11 May 2012


Reference: Your enquiry about the Astra deluxe model

Dear Mr Murphy

Dear sir it has come to our attention, that the cheque that you have sent us, and might I remind you “the car of your dreams” is one of a rather peculiar kind; namely the type and the kind that is made of rubber. You may or not know that the sales person that thought he had sold you the car is in a distraught condition;  two reasons have brought about his present state:  the first is that he has lost what he thought was to be his commission, and the second is that he has been sacked. When last we heard of him he was looking for revenge for the (fucker who cost him his job) namely you.

As you will no doubt have realised by now you “Neanderthal Retard” this once beautiful country of ours is now (bollock’s beyond all measure of recognition) and it is due to the likes of incompetent arse-holes like yourself. Should you ever think of darkening our doors again, you shall be met by a hanging committee. Do feel free to drop in any time and we shall be glad to facilitate your exit from this world into the next.

You will find enclosed a leaflet; with the price of some second-hand bikes, and it is in our considered opinion that even this mode of transport is too good for you.


Yours Faithfully


Hubert Windfalls



Michael Mullins © 2012

The Source Writers Group




“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.” -Chinese proverb.

There is an ancient Chinese belief which states that when a child is born an invisible red threads connect that child’s soul to all those people – present and in the future – who will play a part in that child’s life. As each birthday passes, those threads shorten and tighten, bringing closer those people who are fated to be together…

Maybe it’s the pull of the thread that draws me closer to you. It could have been the way you majestically strode into the waiting lounge that caught my eye. No one else looked your way. You were all mine for me to feast my eyes on. I tried not to make it obvious but it was like a magnetic attraction as I started to figure out your story. Oh we’re being called now, a mad rush to get a seat, a free for all.  So there you fade out of view obviously you’re the type that wants to be first. In everything?

Having to conform, I join the queue eagerly anticipating the flight that will take me closer to home. The gentle  breeze swathes my being as I ascend the wavering metal steps to enter the belly of the craft. Apprehension diminished by a smiling stewardess as I fleetingly flash my boarding pass. To my surprise there’s a free seat in the middle on the first row on entering and lo and behold HE’S there smiling as I ask if it’s available.

Almost immediately we connect and the rest of the journey is a blur of coincidences and bonding connections as we trace where we’ve been and where we’re going. The red thread has been shortened because of our link for life.             Patricia Loughnane©March 2012 

ÁRAS AN UACHTARÁIN reflection on visit.


Seeping historic vapours suffuse

Corridors of transient power,

Shadows emerge rendering

Observers  speechless.


Past Presidents majestically watch over

Friends, foes and guests

Present parlance, treaties and consensus.

Secrets smattered into layers

Of hidden promises and betrayals.


Fading mint fabric wall linings

Insulate and forever capture

Scenes of consent and discontent

Infused in every thread.


Opulent woven Phoenix  pile

Relinquishes underfoot

Welcoming your serene presence to survey

Surroundings below and above.


The President of Ireland’s house awaits.

What it means to be Irish.

Irish Beings

Defining what it means to be Irish is a tale in itself as to be Irish has different interpretations according to who you are.

To be considered an Irish citizen you don’t actually have to be born here if your father or mother was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth. If your grandfather or grandmother was born in Ireland you may become an Irish citizen by registering in the Foreign Births Register at an Irish Embassy or Consular office or at the Department of Foreign affairs. You could also become Irish if your parents are non-Irish nationals and have been resident in the island of Ireland for three years prior to your birth according to the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2004 which commenced on January 1st, 2005.

So now that we’ve established that anyone of sound character can be Irish, let’s consider a few traits of being Irish.


You are not Irish if you do not mention the weather at least once in the day and weather always refers to rain. It’s a ‘soft’ day means a gentle, light misty rain (the type of romantic film weather as in Pride and Prejudice ) that is welcome. When it’s ‘lashing’ means the heavens have opened up and you must be mad to be out in it.

Guinness and Taytos

The black stuff or ‘genius’ beer is mainly drunk for medicinal purposes as it practically builds up your immune system to any possible attack and if you consume enough of it usually you won’t remember the ‘attack’ be it violent, verbal or just plain embarrassing. Taytos are crisps to non- Irish speakers…be warned if you ask for a packet of plain crisps you will invariably be given cheese and onion flavoured ones.

The Angelus

At 12pm and 6pm the church bell chimes for a minute whereupon you are supposed to stop what you are doing and contemplate the spiritual side of life. RTE, the national State broadcaster began this in 1950 and you can be sure you know exactly what time of day it is wherever you are on the island.

St. Patrick’s Day

The 17th March is indelibly printed in an Irish person’s DNA as it is a national holiday and everything turns green! Celebrations galore and the time when all the Irish jokes are retold reflecting the sense of humour that the people can laugh at their parodied selves and not take offence leading to race relations fall out as with some ethnic minorities.


Much of ‘English’ literature is in fact Irish. Heard of Yeats? Wilde? Beckett?  On a serious note all you have to do is read Translations by Brian Friel to see how the English language was imposed on the Irish. Nonetheless Irish as of 2010 was recognised as a European language of member states.

Being Irish to me means having been brought up in an Irish household overseas with all its nuance, knowing ‘home’ was Ireland to my parents and that they would return to their roots before the ‘closing of the day’ and home being where the heart is, is my home.

26th September 2011


Mother Earth

Mother Earth

The Celtic tigers dead and gone no more will we hear him roar

He left us disillusioned when he faded from our shore

The wealth that flowed so freely seemed to change our sense of worth

And we forgot our great dependence on the gifts of mother earth

When things began to fall apart we wondered could we cope

The prospects of the future for many held small hope

Property halved its value and investments failed, I know

But think of what it might be like if potatoes failed to grow

If the lush green grass of our dear land were suddenly to fail

Imagine what would follow and what problems would entail

No milk from cows no steak nor beef, a casserole to make

No more lamb chops or cutlets, no flour to bake a cake

If our fruit and veggies withered, we,ed not have our five a day

And be forced to view our values in a very different way

For the wealth of the country by my humble estimation

Is the food its richness can produce to sustain the population

Now while our shares and dividends aren’t worth the same amount

Did we truly forfeit all that much of the things that really count

Two motors on the tarmac drive outside our front door looked cool

But did we need that SUV just to take the kids to school

Then let us pause and stand awhile, take time to look around

At the trees and plants and creatures, which in our land abound

Contentment food and good fresh air to nourish mind and heart

Are the benefits that will accrue when we work with mother earth

                                         Christy Wade. ©