Irish Independent March 3rd 2010


Wednesday 3rd March was a nice day. I’d had a really great chat with Susan Daly over the phone last week and awoke to a clatter of texts and messages all singing Carly Simon on the answering machine 😉 Great to have humorous friends…

I must say it is a great article. Extremely well written by Susan and it was an absolute honour to speak with her. One of life’s really nice people.

For those that didn’t get to do so, one can read the article in full here. Apart from a sexy gardener erm….. 😆 also featured are two more of lifes really nice people kieran Murphy and Pat O’Mahony.

Thanks also to John Mc Williams for the photograph used above.

‘People ask why I don’t charge for my expertise — where’s the fun in that?

Wednesday March 03 2010

“I’m not stupid with the euro in my pocket, but some of the things I most enjoy I do for free. “Recently I took a group of people around the war memorial gardens in Islandbridge. “My wife made country apple pie and we had coffee in flasks, and we have another trip coming up to Ireland’s Eye. “But what people kept bouncing back to me afterwards was: Why didn’t you charge for it?

“I don’t get that. I competed at the Irish Conker Championships last year just for fun. “It’s like I won’t put a shop on my blog (, because that’s not why I do it.

“I’d say 50pc of the phone calls I get are for free gardening advice, and I’ve been on the garden side of things on the Niall Mellon trips. “I’m going to sound like a martyr, but for me, it’s just not the point of life to always have to tie in everything you do to paying the bills.”

Buy Irish…. Why?

This is a slightly odd one to write…. no reason in particular… You see I’ve listened for the last eon at politicians make the headlines wagging their fingers at the opposition, the tribunals and all the other crapola thats made the headlines regarding the economy. And I’ve had it up to my ears…. Not saying they dont know anything but in the context of boxing this element of the post aside…. [this answer courtesy gerard cunningham]

How many politicians have ever been self employed …?

I mean that in the context of  ‘not whilst they are a politician’ or prior to becoming one….? The alternate point I make is that when I went to inspirational Trim 2025 gig [read it and come back….] I heard Mr McWilliams speak that if you want something done in this country YOU do it. And without mis-quoting his words the point was not to be waiting for governments or anyone else for that matter to act. Simply put, just get on with the programme….

How many parents [or politicians] do that nowadays…. ?

But there is another side to this and with it comes the entire cross border/ shop as local as possible arguement. To this I have never done what one would call ‘cross border shopping’. As a child, my Dad, when he gave us our pocket money would incentivise the buying of Irish to the point that if we brought our 10 pence worth of sweets back with Irish wrappers we’d get half that amount back again until the money worth was of decimal value…

My theory is quite simple…. [courtesy]

The environmental consequences of all this are predictably daft. Never mind the landfill-clogging effect of all that plastic, water imports also clock up significant air miles. Ireland gets Perrier from France, while France, which also has a perfectly good supply, imports Ballygowan from Ireland.

I am more than aware that living in a smal village like Ballyboughal that if I buy local… and more of us do…. and someone gets a little overtime they may require a babysitter if they go for that drink together… the guy in the bar may get a little overtime and buy that extra something in the shop etc… and the babysitter might go to the pub for a drink…. now if [stick with me…] those products are Irish made then surely the knock on effect is a little more national rather than local…?

What have I really done to help….?

So if I am looking to get people to spend their extra cash on getting their gardens done …..go to your restaurant …purchase a new bicyle or whatever your employment may be…. surely one can only look in the mirror and ask what have I really done….? shouldn’t I try to buy more or only Irish ?



The example may well be that I only have so much money to spend etc… But as an example and very recently I was looking for furniture. 6 kitchen chairs to be exact. I called the guys I know in Ballymun Rediscovery Centre. With Ikea just across the road… and Ballymun literally just up the road from me… I paid €30 for the 6 fully restored, recycled and reupholstered chairs. The table, as a by the way, I got from my sister as – which a by the way she bought [where it was made] in Waterford. I doubt one can get better value than that…. yet people still assume and buy imported in some variation [?]

On a side note it is well documented that I borrowed the tools for my first job when I set out on my own 10 years ago this year, with no money in my pocket and a rented front bedroom. Also I have also never received a government grant in any format. I also don’t get paid [in any format] when it snows…. I do however work damn hard when it is possible. That said this isn’t particularly about me… it just may avoid that arguement of income versus buying ‘abroad’. I’ll finish up with this quote from the Petits filous blog

According to the Love Irish Food research, the importance of buying Irish is well recognised by consumers with 86% stating they agree or strongly agree that buying Irish products will help the Irish economy recover by protecting Irish jobs. 72% of those surveyed in the ‘Loyalty to Irish Brands’ study by Bord Bia buy or tend to buy what they know or consider to be Irish brands.

What do you think….?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Nollaig Shona

If you didn’t get a Christmas card from me this year. Don’t be offended. I didn’t send any. My reason…

I took the money for this and gave it to a friend of mine called Amy. When you read what she has to say…. you’ll understand.

Amy explains it so well….

I have decided in a moment of madness to brave the Irish seas on December 25th in the name of charity…… I will be trying to raise a few bob for St Francis Hospice Raheny who provided palitive care for my beloved Gogs (Grandad) and invaluable support to my whole family! My Gogs passed away in February 08 and our last Christmas with him was very tough as he was very frail and ill. This has left Christmas in ours a little sad.. so asides from raising money I hope to bring some cheers to the house!

Funny thing is my Grandfather [pop] also passed away there….. Such a kind man that I loved and still miss very much. That said, I’m so happy to have really known him and Christmas will never be an unhappy one with such happy and fond and happy memories of him. If you read my 101 amazing facts – you’ll know why 😉

Back to it…. Heres to Amy, Carol and Jenny and Gog and all those at the St Francis Hospice who I know will be doing only their finest on Christmas Day.

Have a really happy one. And I’ll see you in the new year.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Trim 2025 – the carbon [r]evolution begins

Before you read this – read Trim 2025 to go carbon neutral

In what may have seemed, to some, like an almost niaive scenario to percieve… it now seems that young Martin Tighe literally has started what is now the most enviable vision ever to evolve worldwide and this one from a town in Ireland called Trim. Ladies and gentlemen… The carbon revolution has just begun.

In an all star headline act some spoke of the redemption required to change that same old heads of town events, boards and committees…. and whilst the presence of Noel Dempsey may have attracted some – it was the fine and independent minded speaking of David Mc Williams who stole the show.

That was until the music kicked off….

Whether you are 6, 16 or 106 years old… this really was a day for Trim, in its entirety, to stand tall and to be extremely proud. I’m not talking some group of contrary county councillors seeking to prove their worth to the local papers and a bunch of men in suits holding cardboard cheques… This is close on verging Bono country and it is every piece of energy that a green revolution should be.

One last thing before – the last thing…. where the fork where the green party….?

Martin Tighe, stand up sir and take a bow…. The world is watching.

The one thing I took from this…..? anyone, any person all of the doom and gloom merchants, the nay sayers…. you know who you are and if not, everyone knows at least one……. fork you! It can be done. I listened to young Martin. No older that 30 years old – who took on an entire town… and won’t stop there. I listened to Mc Williams…. stuff the government and stuff you if you are sitting on your arse looking for someone to blame. We know what they can’t do…. but you can. And you can. As a btw… I’m almost 10 years in business. I borrowed the tools for my first job. I’ve never been the recipient of any welfare or grants of any format…. and now Martin who doesn’t even live in Trim…..  and you know what he’s right…. I’ll give him the final word….

Many, many special thanks to all the very kind people I met in Trim.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Bring On The Conker Championships


After a different week of sorts last week [and today 😉 ]  Last Friday saw Ballybougals first poker classic take place in the old school hall.

With very special thanks to the people I share this small village with €827 was raised on the night for the Niall Mellon Township Trust. I really am so appreciative, sincerely for this support. Thank you 🙂
That said… I have now in my account €2380 [plus €50 of a cheque]. And whilst theres another few bob still to come in… I’m still well short by over €2,000.
Last year I and ‘her indoors’ paid almost the full €5,000 and the year before too. I’ve kept in very close contact with the Niall Mellon Township regarding where my account stands and whilst I yesterday was very much reassured there is a place for me there and to take my time… time is still looming and I guess I have a decision to make….. ?
Personally, its been an unusual sort of a year this year with the odd jester thrown in simply to make life more interesting 🙄 [you know yourself… 😉 ] and I have chosen to take until after this weekend down in Freshford at The Conker Championships before I make any sort of decision. I might even drop by and see my good friend Pat
For the moment wish me luck and lets see how I get on in Kilkenny 😉
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]