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Throngs of shoppers flooded Henry Street in Dublin on Saturday evening to start the holiday shopping season. Photo by: Eric Jones

Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week

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Throngs of shoppers flooded Henry Street in Dublin on Saturday evening to start the holiday shopping season. Photo by: Eric Jones

Mass on the Internet
ANOTHER indication of the extent of the emigration epidemic that is hitting Galway at the moment is demonstrated by the provision of a camera in a cathedral which will allow emigrants to view their local Mass as well as watching funeral ceremonies that they are unable to attend.
The live webcam has been installed in Tuam Cathedral and will broadcast all of the Masses – even those during the weekdays – as well as providing coverage of funerals that take place in the town.

It is the first town in the west of Ireland in which Masses can be viewed online, and will also facilitate those living in the parish who are unable to attend because of sickness.
But local priest Father Sean Cunningham said that it would be mainly a service that would be availed of by those who have had to emigrate, particularly those who have had to go to countries like Australia or Canada seeking employment.
Similar webcams have been installed in some of the bigger churches in Dublin city.
“The camera has several functions. Those who cannot attend Mass through illness can watch it online, but those from the Tuam and North Galway area who are living abroad can view it and almost feel part of the congregation,” Cunningham said.
“There are those who are now living and working so far away from home that they might not be able to get back to attend a relation’s funeral and this is a service that they might wish to avail of.”
The camera is positioned on one of the cathedral pillars and is focused on the altar, the pulpit and the tabernacle so that viewers can follow Mass, readings and Communion.

Galway News

Kenny’s Mother Dies
THE death has been announced of Mrs. Eithne Kenny, mother of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny.
Mrs. Kenny (nee McGinley), who was 93, was born in Glencolmcille, Co. Donegal.
She died in Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar on Saturday surrounded by her family.
Mrs. Kenny had been actively involved in the political life of the county for the past 60 years and was described by friends as a woman of great spirit, encouragement and generosity.
She took an active role in her son Enda's political career and was said to be delighted when he became taoiseach.
Mrs. Kenny is predeceased by her husband Henry, who died in 1975 and is survived by her four sons, John, Henry, Enda and Ciaran and daughter Marie (Hastings).
Government and political leaders have extended their condolences to the Kenny family.

RTE News

Farmer Burials
FARMERS should have the right to be buried on their own lands, according to Clare councilor James Breen.
He believes people’s land can be very sacred to them and if they want to be buried there, they should be facilitated.
At the November meeting of Clare County Council, Breen put forward a motion requesting that the local authority call on the minister for the environment to “change the law in relation to burials whereby a farmer or his family, if they so desire, may be buried on his or her own land.”
He said that for some, the place they were born and spent their life in is very special. “There is nothing more sacred in this world to a farmer than this patch of ground,” he commented.
Councilor Gerry Flynn felt the motion should be broadened to include property owners with sufficient land, while Green Party councilor Brian Meaney said such burials would need to be very tightly regulated.
Concerns about the proposal were voiced by councilor Joe Arkins.  “I realize the attachment that people have, but could we be picking a rod to beat ourselves with?” he asked.
Arkins had concerns about how it might work in practice, saying there could be issues around the sale of lands, extensions and pollution.
Tubber-based councilor Michael Kelly noted that farmers aren’t allowed to bury their animals on their land. However, he said it was something that would require a lot of consideration.
Responding to some of the points made, Breen questioned what research other members had undertaken.
“How many have put research into it? I’ve done research and the vast majority aren’t interested and the vast majority wouldn’t go for it, but some would.”
Eventually the members agreed to send the matter to the minister for consideration.

Clare Champion

Mother’s Instincts
TRUST your instincts.
That's the advice of a Dundalk mother who rushed her baby to hospital despite the fact that her GP had sent her home with antibiotics and an inhaler the previous day.
“My son, who is aged 17 months was ill and I was worried about him. He was very drowsy and irritable and had a rash from head to toe,” she recalls.
She brought him to the out of hours service where she ended up being seen by her own GP.  “He gave me antibiotics and an inhaler and sent me home,” the mother said.
She says that her son's condition deteriorated the following day.
“The rash was worse and I could hardly see his face. I rushed him to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, and as I was sitting there holding him he took a fit.
“He didn't have a high temperature and the staff said it was unusual for him to have convulsions without a fever, and they began treating him for meningitis,” she recalls.
Her son was transferred to Craigavon Hospital where he underwent tests and spent five days in hospital before being discharged home.
He continued to receive antibiotics for two days after going home, and the rest of the family were also treated with antibiotics.
“The doctors weren't able to say for 100 percent that he had meningitis but that is what they treated him for,” she says.
“It was very frightening, especially when he had fits in my arms. I nearly lost my life as I thought he was gone.”
She feels that her GP should have referred her son to hospital.
“If I hadn't gone to Daisy Hill and he had those fits, I don't know what would have happened, but as it was I was in the right place at the right time,” she says.

Drogheda Independent

Grave Error
A SKERRIES man has spoken about his “disgust” at Fingal County Council's “cold and horrible” treatment of his family in the dogged pursuit of fees for the opening of a grave.
Adrian Kavanagh has condemned the council's behavior and said his elderly mother endured sleepless nights after the local authority sent a threatening letter to the family in pursuit of a debt arising from Kavanagh’s father's funeral.
The debt was owed to the council by the undertaker who presided over the funeral and had already been paid by the family, but having failed to collect the debt from the undertaker, the council pursued the innocent bereaved family.
It was days away from the first anniversary of the death of Frank Kavanagh when the letter from the council arrived at the home of his widow, Derry Kavanagh.
To add insult to injury, the letter was addressed to a “Mr. Kavanagh.”  The letter said that fees in respect of a burial at Ardla Cemetery had not been paid, and said that if the family had already paid the fees to the undertaker, it should contact the funeral directors to “ensure that payment is made to Fingal County Council.”
Adrian Kavanagh said that the letter threatened consequences for the family if the fees were not received by the council, including barring further family burials in the plot and preventing a headstone being erected to his dead father.
“My mother was very upset by it. She didn't sleep for days and she was terrified she would not be able to be buried there or if we put up a headstone that Fingal County Council would come along and tear it down,” he said.
Kavanagh said the family had decided to speak out because they want the practice to end, and for no other bereaved family to be put through the same trauma.
He said that his mother had been put through a “harrowing” experience and condemned the council's behavior as “cold and horrible.”
He said the family had done everything right and paid their bills and that the dispute should have remained between the council and the undertaker.

Fingal Independent

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