Irish Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney 13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013
Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize winning Poet Laureate and one of Ireland’s most loved writers, has passed away at the age of 74 – a man whose words, wisdom and critique of Irish Society and Culture will be sincerely missed all over our Island and the world. I remember well my own 6th class teacher, Mr. Donal Slater, teaching us Requiem for the Croppies:
The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley –
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp –
We moved quick and sudden in our own country
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people, hardly marching – on the hike –
We found new tactics happening each day:
We’d cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until, on Vinegar Hill, the fatal conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
They buried us without shroud or coffin
And in August the barley grew up out of the grave.
– Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)
Public money wasted on politically charged PQs
Deputy Regina Doherty calling for Parliamentary Questions, wasting taxpayers money for political pointscoring (Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland via thejournal.ie)
Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has slammed Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty for wasting taxpayers money on Parliamentary Questions for the sole purpose of personal political gain.
Senator Daly was reacting to reports today that Deputy Doherty tabled a number of Parliamentary Questions specifically related to the workings of the Seanad, which backfired on her.
“Deputy Doherty has used her position as a TD to gather information for her own political purposes. This is a remarkable waste of public money purely for the purpose of undermining the Seanad in the Government’s power grab.
“Information provided to me has revealed that each parliamentary question costs at least €200, Deputy Doherty submitted over a dozen questions for her selfish political gain. Deputy Doherty speaks about the waste of money the Seanad is. What has she to say on the waste of money that her questions were?
“In fact, much of the information that Deputy Doherty sought is available over the internet; which is again a dereliction of her duty. Such was the irrelevance of her enquiries that some of the Ministers she asked of questions of quickly slapped her down.
“The questions Deputy Doherty asked about amendments that were proposed in the Seanad and later accepted by Ministers shows the impact a properly functioning Seanad can have on legislation. A number of Ministers admitted that they had accepted amendments to legislation proposed in the Seanad.
“Scrapping the Seanad outright is not the answer. Such a move, in the absence of wider reform of the political system, will actually undermine democracy rather than enhance it and Fianna Fáil will fight for the Seanad’s retention.”
Senator Mark Daly with US Congressman John Lewis, who was 23, and the youngest of 6 speakers on the day