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As a child I listened to Tommy O’Brien (Opera) And Din-Joe (Traditional Music) On the Battery Powered Radio on the Comeraghs Over Clonmel!!!
Tommy O’Brien Bought His First Gramaphone in Clonmel and it Changed his Life!!
“Your Choice and Mine-Good Evening Listeners”
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Bowman Sunday 8.30



Irish Gaeltacht scheme for young ‘cut by £50,000’

By Robbie Meredith    BBC News NI Education Correspondent  23 December 2016

The Department for Communities (DfC) has withdrawn funding for an Irish language bursary scheme.

The Líofa Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme enabled at least 100 people a year to attend summer Irish language classes in the Donegal Gaeltacht.

The Líofa programme was set up by former culture minister, Carál Ní Chuilín.

The DfC announced the cut in an email from the Líofa office.

It was sent to the boards of the gaeltacht colleges on 23 December.

It reads: “Mar gheall ar choigilteas éifeachtúlachta ní bheidh an Roinn ag soláthar Scéim Sparánachtaí Líofa i 2017. Nollaig mhaith agus bliain úr faoi mhaise daoibh.”

This translates as: “Because of efficiency savings, the department will not be providing the Líofa bursary scheme in 2017. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.”

‘Blatant discrimination’

Representatives from the gaeltacht colleges said that the bursary funding was worth about £50,000 per year, and enabled those unable to afford to meet the cost themselves to spend time at colleges in the gaeltacht.

The president of Comhaltas Uladh, Dr Niall Comer called the move a “blatant act of discrimination.”

“Comhaltas Uladh of Conradh na Gaeilge considers this to be quite simply a deliberate and cynical attack on the Irish language, without any justification nor reason,” he said.

“Our summer colleges are cross-community and disadvantaged children from both sides of the community have availed of this scholarship scheme.

“This decision will directly impact on hundreds of Irish language learners, from disadvantaged families across the north.

“The minister’s decision must be contextualised in terms of recent political events, where we have, this week, seen almost half a billion pound of public money squandered.”

“Cutting successful schemes aimed at disadvantaged children from both communities is not the answer.”

The department for communities confirmed that the programme would not run in 2017 due to the need to find efficiency savings



IN MEMORY OF TOMMY O’BRIEN, Journalist, Opera Lover and Broadcaster

New Stanza V(a) by Paddy Healy  in The Two Travellers with Apologies to CJ BOLAND


CJ Boland



“All over the world”, the traveller said,

“In my peregrination’s I’ve been;

And there’s nothing remarkable, living or dead,

 But these eyes of mine have seen.

From the land of the ape and the marmoset,

To the tents of the Fellaheen”

Said the other, “ I’ll lay you an even bet 

You were never in Farranalleen.”


“I’ve hunted in woods near Seringapatam,

And sailed in the Polar Seas,

I fished for a week in the Gulf of Siam

And lunched on the Chersonese.

I’ve lived in the valleys of fair Cashmere,

Under Himalay’s snowy ridge.”

Then the other impatiently said ,”See here ,

Were you ever at Laffan’s Bridge?”


“I’ve lived in the land where tobacco is grown,

In the surburbs of Santiago;

And I spent two years in Sierra Leone,

And one in Del Fuego.

I walked across Panama all in a day,

Ah me! But the road was rocky.”

The other replied , “Will you kindly say, 

Were you ever at Horse -and – Jockey?”

                                 I V

“I’ve borne my part in a savage fray,

When I got this wound from a Lascar;

We were bound just then from Mandalay

For the Island of Madagascar,

Ah! The sun never tired of shining there,

And the trees canaries sang in,”

“What of that?” said the other, “sure I’ve a pair, 

And there’s lots of them in Drangan.”


“And I’ve hunted the tigers in Turkestan,

In Australia the kangaroos;

And I lived six months as medicine man

To a tribe of the Kathmandoos.

And I’ve stood on the scene of Olympic games,

Where the Grecians showed their paces,”

The other replied, “ Now tell me, James, 

Were you ever at Fethard Races?”


( In Memory of Tommy O’Brien-Paddy Healy) 

I’ve heard Callas at La Scala, Pavarotti at the Met

In Prague for Giovanni, heard Mozart’s famed Duet

I’ve heard Verdi at Verona,

Quaffed Wagner by the Rhine,

Come here said the other,

Did you ever listen to Tommy O’Brien?


“Don’t talk of your hunting in Yucatan,

Or your fishing off St. Helena;

I’d rather see young fellows hunting the ‘wren’

In the hedges of Tobberaheena.

No doubt the scenes of a Swiss Canton

Have a passable sort of charm

Give me a sunset on Slievnamon 

From the head at Hackett’s Farm.


“And I’d rather be strolling along the quay,

And watching the river flow,

Than growing tea with the cute Chinee,

Or mining in Mexico.

 And I wouldn’t much care for Sierra Leone,

If I hadn’t seen Killenaule,

And the man that was never in Mullinahone

Shouldn’t say he had travelled at all”

“Kelly”, A POEM by Kevin(Put a real Poet in the Park) Higgins

 Any resemblance to a Former Minister for the Environment is entirely coincidental .

“He has balls”, a Labour Party source

The clasp of his handshake once reassured
prospective mothers-in-law
he’d not disappoint their daughters.
And though his infrastructure’s
in desperate need of an upgrade,
he’s confident he can get his
waterworks fit for purpose,
ladies and gentlemen, here tonight,
and those at home
watching on TV, sometime
within the next twenty
five years. And if doing so

involves flogging
every last rain drop,
from Bellmullet to Garryduff,
at a savage discount, to the guy
who despite his wallet’s ongoing
morbid obesity, has hair
that looks like it’s been stuck
to the skull with Evo-stick,
then Kelly’s the kind of pragmatist
who’ll make shit like that happen,
whether anyone asked
it to or not.

His tongue rough
as the carpet in a room
where Stevie Coughlan
once talked against the Jews.
For the past six months,
every erection he’s had
has been a member
of the Heavy Gang
about to throw a Provo
onto the railings
from a Garda Station
second storey window.

According to recent polls,
in certain areas of Tipperary,
he’s only slightly less popular
than Richard the Third. At least
half a percent less hated
than this time last week.
Of unequivocal victory,
he has no alternative
but to be certain.


Kevin’s fourth collection of poems is out now and called The Ghost In The Lobby. His blog can be read here.

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