William Cosgrave VC and Aghada’s Gallipoli commemoration.

Gallipoli commemoration

Commemoration of the Turkish war dead at Gallipoli on 24th April 2015. From left to right are: Prince Harry (in uniform), President Higgins of Ireland, President Erdogan of Turkey, Prince Charles (in uniform).

Political correctness Irish style dates from 1922, and can be summed up in the following statement: ‘whatever you say, never say anything good about the British, or about the Irish who fought for the British – indeed it’s better to forget the latter altogether!’ Happily these men who joined the Royal Army and the Royal Navy between 1914 and 1918 are now being openly acknowledged – as they were today when President Michael D Higgins joined representatives of the Turkish, British, Australian, and New Zealand governments in the first part of the international centenary commemorations on the Gallipoli peninsula. Today they recalled the huge sacrifice of the Turkish troops who were defending their homeland. Tomorrow (Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand) they will commemorate the Allied dead.

William Cosgrove VC

Corporal William Cosgrove VC, 1st Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers.

William Cosgrove was one of seven children born into a poor family in Ballynookera near the small village of Aghada on the eastern shore of Cork Harbour.  William’s father, Michael Cosgrove, even journeyed to Australia in search of work (I knew there had to be an Australian connection in this tale)! Thus William and his siblings were left in the care of their mother Mary Morrissey. Mary moved to a small cottage in the townland of Peafield with her children Michael, Daniel,Ned, David, Joseph and daughter Mary Catherine and young William. All the boys, except Joseph and William, later emigrated to America.  The daughter, Mary Catherine, died of tuberculosis at the age of thirteen.

Aghada

The old tower of St Erasmus’s church in Aghada is all that is left of a building that Cosgrove knew. The present church is a modern replacement.

William Cosgrove attended National School (primary school) at Ballinrostig, but as soon as he was old enough, his mother apprenticed him to a local butcher in Whitegate called Rohan. This proved fortuitous for Mr Rohan had a contract to supply meat to the garrison at the nearby Fort Carlisle which protected the entrance to Cork Harbour.  As an apprentice, William had to deliver the meat to the fort by horse and cart. What he saw of the garrison turned William Cosgrove’s mind towards a military career, and  on 1 March 1909, he enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers.  Strictly speaking, William was under age and shouldn’t have been admitted into the Royal Army, but his strapping build and six foot height suggested that he would pass for somebody older.

Royal Munsters cap badge

Despite being an ‘Irish’ regiment, the cap badge of the Royal Munster Fusiliers displayed a Bengal Tiger. Tigers are not native to Ireland – but the emblem commemorated the fact that the regiment originated with the East India Company’s Army.

In the following four years, William Cosgrove was posted to India and Burma. This was an appropriate posting since the Royal Munster Fusiliers had developed from the East India Company’s Army, featuring a Bengal tiger on their cap badge. However, while William’s battalion was in Rangoon in August 1914, the Great War broke out in Europe, and it changed everything. The battalion was ordered back to Europe, departing from Rangoon on 21 November and arriving in England on 10 January 1915, where it was posted to Coventry. On 13 January the British Cabinet approved a naval plan to bombard the Gallipoli Peninsula with Constantinople as the ultimate objective of the operation, thereby opening a route to send supplies to Russia. This plan was enlarged on 28th January when it was decided to include the Royal Army in the operation.

King George V inspects the 29th Division in March 1915 just before they embarked for Gallipoli.

King George V inspects the 29th Division in March 1915 just before it embarked for Gallipoli.

In March 1915, the 1st Munsters were assigned to the 29th Division, a new division formed from units that had been on garrison duty throughout the Empire. Among the other units assigned to the 86th Brigade of the 29th Division was the 1st Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The 87th Brigade included the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, while the 88th Brigade had the 2nd Battalion The Leinster Regiment.  As you can see, quite a number of Irish regiments were called up for the Gallipoli campaign – not counting the Irishmen who had enlisted in the English, Welsh and Scottish regiments.

The converted collier River Clyde beached too far from the shore making a rapid advance on the beach impossible. Hundreds of men were cut down as they disembarked at V Beach.

The converted collier River Clyde beached too far from the shore making a rapid advance on the beach impossible. Hundreds of men were cut down as they disembarked at V Beach.

The 86th Brigade, including the 1st Munsters were assigned to attack V beach on 25 March. Some 2000 men of the Munsters, Royal Dublin and Hampshire regiments were aboard the converted collier HMS River Clyde when it beached at 6.25 am. Unfortunately, ‘beached’ is the wrong word to describe what actually happened – the vessel grounded too far from the shore and the men who were burdened with 60lb packs were subject to ferocious Turkish fire as they disembarked.  Of the first 200 men to enter the water to wade ashore, some 149 were killed outright and 30 were wounded.. Those troops who had come from the slaughter on the Western Front claimed that the fire on V beach was even worse than anything they had experienced from the Germans!

William Cosgrove, by now a corporal, was one of the men from the 1st Munsters to disembark on V beach that day. However, the savage defence left units cut up and the men of the 86th Brigade were too shocked and exhausted to do anything, so they dug in and lay down for the rest of the day. By nightfall, out of that morning’s compliment of 900 men and 28 officers of the Munsters, there were only 300 men and 6 officers alive! Cosgrove’s heroics would come on the next day, but for now he took cover with his colleagues behind a sandbank just ten yards from the shoreline.

Fort Seddulbahir was a prime objective for the forces landing on V Beach and W Beach at Gallipoli.

Fort Seddulbahir was a prime objective for the forces landing on V Beach and W Beach at Gallipoli.

Lt Col Doughty-Wylie came ashore on the morning of the 26th to assess the situation, and gathering what men he could into ad-hoc units, he decided to launch them into an attack on a crucial Turkish strongpoint at Seddulbahir. This seems like suicide to the modern reader, but anyone who saw the movie Saving Private Ryan’would realise that getting off the beach was the key to survival when under enemy fire. By 8.00 am the first Turkish outposts had fallen, but now a problem presented itself – barbed wire.

Barbed wire was a very effective barrier to attacks, holding up men who could then be mown down by machine guns. Even low fences of barbed wire presented serious obstacles.

Barbed wire was a very effective barrier to attacks, holding up men who could then be mown down by machine guns. Even low fences of barbed wire presented serious obstacles.

The use of barbed wire during the Great War was not simply the use of coils of wire stretching across a front. It was more systematic than that – and the Germans were particularly good at it.  It’s important to recall that the Germans had been brought in to modernise and train the Turkish army, and the commander of the Turkish forces at Gallipoli was a German officer – Liman von Sanders.  At Gallipoli the barbed wire was stretched across the front on tall stout posts and was so strong and full of barbs that it presented a truly effective barrier to the attacker.  And the beauty of barbed wire for the defender was that a machine gun could simply fire through it and slaughter the men who’d stopped to cut it.

Otto Liman von Sanders commanded the Turkish troops at Gallipoli.  He was originally assigned to train the Turks in modern warfare - and proved very good at it!

Otto Liman von Sanders, a German officer, commanded the Turkish troops at Gallipoli. He was originally assigned to train the Turks in modern warfare – and proved very good at it!

Doughty-Wylie’s attack had taken most of the village of Seddulbahir but now his advance needed support to take Hill 141. Captain Stoney of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers brought his scratch unit, including Cpl William Cosgrove, into this attack. The first task they had to do when they advanced was to cut the wire – and the men were equipped with pliers to do the job. But Cosgrove discovered that the wire was so tightly strung and so strong that the pliers made no impression. Worse, tightly strung wire was deadly for it could whip back and cause an injury.

An artist's sketch of William Cosgrove's heroic  removal of the barbed wire stanchions whilst under fire.

An artist’s sketch of William Cosgrove’s heroic removal of the barbed wire stanchions whilst under fire. Note the tropical helmets the men are wearing.

Realizing the problem Corporal Cosgrove called out to the men to wrap their arms around the stakes and pull them up. And this is what they proceeded to do, all the while under savage fire. Eventually enough barbed wire was felled to allow the attack to carry forward. Cosgrove and his men took a Turkish trench some 200 yards long by 20 yards deep and only 700 yards from the shore.

At some point during this attack Cosgrove was wounded – but he didn’t realise ihow badly hurt he was until they had taken the Turkish trench.  Cosgrove claimed that a machine gun had opened fire at him, with one of the bullets hitting a bbelt hook on the left side of his tunic and passing trhough his body. The bullet actually nicked his spine knocking splinters of bone of his backbone and passing out the other side of his torso to knock off his other belt hook!

A professional soldier, William Cosgrove did not hold his Turkish opponents in contempt, rather he had a very high regard for their fighting spirit, as he later wrote:’ ….I am sorry that such decent fighting men were brought into the row ….by the Germans.

Cosgrove was evacuated to the military hospital in Malta, where he underwent two operations to remove the splinters from his body. Meanwhile, four days after his feat, Cosgrove’s actions were reported to his commanding officer by 2nd Lt AH Brown of the Royal Munster Fusiliers.  Brown was only one of the witnesses to Cosgrove’s heroics, but his report formed the basis of the award of the Victoria Cross to the ‘Giant Munster’. William Cosgrove was convalescing in Aghada, probably in Fort Carlisle, when he learned that he was to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Victoria Cross

The citation for the award to Corporal William Cosgrove read:

For most conspicuous bravery in the leading of his section with great dash during our attack from the beach to the east of Cape Helles on the Turkish positions, on April 26th 1915.  Cpl Cosgrove, on this occasion, pulled down the posts of the enemy’s high-wire entanglement single-handed, notwithstanding a terrific fire from both front and flanks, thereby greatly contributing to the successful clearing of the Heights.

The 29th Division suffered 94,000 casualties during the Great War, Gallipoli alone accounting for 34,000 of these, and some twenty-seven of its men were awarded the Victoria Cross – hence their nickname the Incomparables.

William Cosgrove continued to serve in the Royal Army for another nineteen years, transferring to the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers after the Royal Munster Fusiliers were disbanded in 1922. On retiring from the army in 1934, Cosgrove’s health deteriorated rapidly – some fragments of bone from his spine had not been detected and removed at Malta and had been slowly killing him for years!

An arial view of the entrance to Cork Harbour.  On the left (west) is Fort Camden - now a public amenity undergoing restoration. On the right (east) is Fort Davis, formerly Fort Carlisle, to which William Cosgrove delivered the meat ration before he enlisted in 1909.

A satellite view of the fortified entrance to Cork Harbour. On the left (west) is Fort Camden – now a public amenity undergoing restoration. On the right (east) is Fort Davis, formerly Fort Carlisle, to which William Cosgrove delivered the meat ration before he enlisted in 1909. The harbour is at the top of the picture (north) and the open sea is at the bottom (south).   Aghada and Whitegate villages are out of picture on the upper right.

William Cosgrove died at Millbank Military Hospital on 14 July 1936.  His body was brought home to Cork aboard the old SS Innisfallen on 17 July and he was interred Aghada that evening. Some three hundred members of the Munster Fusiliers Old Comrades Association formed a guard of honour as his body was taken from the ship and a large crowd attended the burial. It should be remembered that the nearby Fort Carlisle was still a British military post.  In 1938 a public appeal raised funds to allow a large Celtic cross to be erected over Cosgrove’s grave.

William Cosgrove's grave is marked by this large Celtic Cross erected in 1938.

William Cosgrove’s grave is marked by this large Celtic Cross erected in 1938.

This Sunday (26th April), the little village of Aghada on the eastern shore of Cork Harbour will commemorate the centenary of William Cosgrove’s heroic action under fire at Gallipoli.  There will be a special Memorial Mass in the local church and a special exhibition about William Cosgrove in the Community Hall. Not quite Anzac Day in East Cork…more like Gallipoli Day.

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Harpur’s Lane, Cork – of soup kitchens, prostitutes and shanghaied sailors!

Cork marshlands

Early 17th century plan of Cork city showing the center of the town lying between North Channel and the South Channel of the River Lee. The plan doesn’t show the northern suburb (Shandon) and the southern suburb around St Finbarr’s Cathedral. the three marshlands were reclaimed by 1760 to provide an extension to the city.

Paul Street Cork

Paul Street, Cork, looking east. This narrow pedestrianised street gives access to the former Harpur’s Lane on the left, just beyond the trees.

One of the consequences of modernization in Ireland is the disappearance of old names from the street-map.  Sometimes even the street or lane has vanished with later developments. In Midleton, we’ve lost William Street (perhaps originally named for either King William of Orange or King William IV, the immediate predecessor of Queen Victoria? It’s now called ‘New’ Cork Road), Charles Street (now Connolly Street), Free School Lane (now McDermott Street and Casement Street) and Bridewell Lane (now Oliver Plunkett Street)! The latter seems somehow appropriate since St Oliver Plunkett spent time in prison before being executed.

Other Irish towns and cities have undergone similar processes – anything that smacked of the old regime was removed and a more patriotic name was chosen. Sadly, the motives were not always patriotic – sometimes snobbery intervened (and let’s be honest here, there’s no other way to put it – snobbery is exactly the right word!).

Stocks at St Paul's Church, Cork

An old photograph from the 1930s showing the local historian Philip G Lee posing in the stocks at St Paul’s Church, next to Harpur’s Lane, in Cork!

Cork city had a fine collection of interesting, even characterful, names!  Tom Spalding gives a few in his book Layers: The Design, History and meaning of Public Street Signage in Cork and other Irish Cities.  Names such as Beger Man’s Lane (sic), Knocker’s Hole, Crooked Billet, Three-Hatchet Lane (gulp!), Hang Dog Road, Dead Woman’s Hill, and Gunpowder Lane have all vanished – at least as names. The cult of respectability removed some of these names.  Knocker’s Hole on lower Shandon became Shandon Castle Lane, then New Chapel Lane and finally ended up as Dominick Street behind the Dominican Priory on Pope’s Quay!  At no point did this lane actually undergo any widening process during its name changes! This habit of upgrading the lane without adding any appreciable improvement in amenities or dimensions is not unique to Cork, but sometimes it really does got out of hand.

St Paul's Church Cork

St Paul’s Church, built as an Anglican church between 1723 and 1726, is now deconsecrated and in use as a sports shop! Happily the moulded plaster barrel vaulted ceiling still survives within.

A classic example is Harpur’s Lane or Harper’s Lane in the centre of Cork.  This lane, which still exists, but under a different name, is a narrow lane running south to north from Paul Street to the Coal Quay (the OFFICIAL Coal Quay, that is – not the ‘;popular’ Coal Quay which is actually Cornmarket Street!).

Site of Harpur's Lane

A map of Cork city about 1690 showing the first area of reclaimed land to be built up just to the right of the walled city and above the Bowling Green. This area was later to contain Harpur’s Lane which isn’t shown on the map because it had yet to be laid out.

Harpur’s Lane does not appear on a map of the 1690s which is the first to show Cork bursting out of its constricted medieval core and expanding into the marshlands both east and west of the city. The land that would later contain Harpur’s Lane was one of the first areas to be reclaimed in the eastwards expansion of the city. In Carty’s map of 1725 there is a lane on the site, but it isn’t named. St Paul’s Church was built next to the southern end of the land between 1723 and 1726. The name first appears on a Smith’s map of 1750 as Harper’s Lane and it keeps that name until the twentieth century. The southern end of the land was anchored by St Paul’s Church – a plain preaching hall that is now converted into a sports shop!

Smith's Map of Cork 1750

Smith’s map of 1750 shows St Paul’s Street and Harpur’s Lane. The map is oriented so that North is actually to the viewer’s left!

During the 19th century Harpur’s Lane gained notoriety as the site of a soup kitchen during the Great Irish Famine. In 1852 there were questions as to whether Mr Morrough’s disused theatre on the lane would be a suitable place for the casting of ballots during the election – remember that ballots were then cast openly by declaration rather than by being put into a box!

St Paul's Churchyard Cork

Plan of St Paul’s churchyard with tombs and graves marked in. St Paul’s Street is at the bottom (south) and Harpur’s Lane is immediately to the right of the churchyard.

But Harpur’s Lane sank into the murky underbelly of Cork with a different kind of sleaze. One of the objections to using the old theatre on Harpur’s Lane for ballotting during the election of 1852 was the reputation that the lane had acquired as a haunt of prostitutes – although this was strenuously denied at the time! Port towns were notorious for prostitution – Cork being no exception. Harpur’s Lane became the haunt of ladies of ill-repute who, I understand, may have deprived their clients of their coins by offering intimate services only for the poor client to be knocked up in a different way.  The clients were often hit over the head, their purses removed and the wretched men were then disposed of by being dropped over the quay into the north channel of the River Lee. They had been ”shanghaied’!

Cork Canals

Cork about 1760 was a city of canals – more like Amsterdam than Venice, despite nineteenth century romantic pretensions. Harpur’s Lane is immediately to the right of ‘Newman’s Quay’ and running parallel to it into Paul’s Street. ‘Newman’s Quay’ was actually Newenham’s Quay! The long curving canal is now covered over and is better known today as St Patrick’s Street – Cork’s main shopping street.

Just before Easter, I was disgusted to find that Harpur’s Lane was ‘improved’ in two ways – first it was named after St Paul, as St Paul’s Avenue. Well a church dedicated to him has backed on to the southern end of the lane since 1726, and St Paul had a thing or two to say about sex, so it makes some sort of sense as an attempt to exorcise the lane’s previous reputation. But the second ‘improvement’ took the biscuit. What possessed the city fathers to give Harpur’s Lane a new designation like St Paul’s AVENUE! The use of the word ‘avenue’ demonstrate only one thing – someone in Cork City Council has absolutely no sense of proportion.  The fact is that most of the former Harpur’s Lane hasn’t been widened by a single inch since it first appeared on Carty’s map of 1726 – designating a lane as an avenue is social climbing gone haywire! I’m disgusted – and I want my lane back, preferably with the family name on it, especially now that St Paul’s Church is deconsecrated and redundant!

Harpur's Lane

View of the east end of (the former) St Paul’s Church from (the former) Harpur’s Lane.

Going for a (long) walk on National Pilgrim Paths Day.

Pilgrim Paths Day 2015

In 1907, Canon Patrick Power, a priest of Waterford and Lismore diocese, published an interesting article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland entitled: The ‘Rian bo Padraig’ (The Ancient Highway of the Decies). The subject of his paper was part of the ancient route that led from Cashel in County Tipperary to Ardmore on the coast of County Waterford. Part of this route was called the Rian bo Padraigh or the ‘Path of St Patrick’s Cow.’ We shouldn’t be surprised to read that St Patrick had a cow, after all, in a previous life he had been a herdsman. Canon Power gives the local tale of how this trackway got its name:

St Patrick’s cow, accompanied by her calf, was grazing peacefully on the alluvial flats by the side of the Tar river in the extreme south of Tipperary, when the calf was abducted by a wily cattle-thief from Kilwaltermoy, or somewhere south of the Bride, in the County Waterford. The robber, with his booty, started in haste for his home some eighteen or twenty miles distant, and shortly afterwards, the cow, having discovered her loss, commenced a distracted pursuit. In her fury, as she went, she tore up the earth with her horns – hence the double trench – till she overtook the robber whom she promptly gave his deserts. 

A number of things come out in this story.

First the location of the abduction of the calf – on the very rich alluviall grasslands by the banks of the Tar river. The south of county Tipperary is known as excellent country for raising racehorses – but the same land is equally good for raising cattle, especially dairy cows. Second point: the cattle-thief rings true to the period – the national sport in ancient Ireland wasn’t hurling as the GAA would have us imagine.  Rather cattle-raiding was THE sport that everyone aspired to – after all Ireland is the only country that I know of with a cowboy story as its national epic – the Tain Bo Cualigne is all about a war started during a cattle raid. Even the Americans haven’t got a cowboy story as THEIR national epic, despite Hollywood’s best attempts. The third point is that the robber came from the area just south of Lismore, somewhere in the valley of the Bride River – another rich cattle-raising area.  But to get there the thief had to cross the Blackwater or Amhainn Mor na Mumhan (the Great River of Munster) and then the Knockmealdown Mountains.  It was a clever statagem for the route would throw off any pursuers.  Unless, of course, the pursuer happened to be a furious mother cow in search of her stolen calf. The double trench mentioned in the text refers to what Canon Power was able to observe on the ground as he spent years trying to trace the route of the cow’s pursuit of her calf – a double ditch or trench cutting across the landscape of western County Waterford.

Canon Patrick Power

Canon Patrick Power, who traced the route from Ardfinnan to Ardmore via Lismore.

What Canon Power did at the end of the nineteenth century was to trace the route of ancient pilgrims from Ardfinnan, on the Suir in south Tipperary, to Lismore, on the Blackwater in Waterford, and then on to Ardmore on the coast.  It took him years to do it, and he even managed to trace the alternative route from Lismore towards Kilwatermoy and beyond, almost to Molana Abbey, just north of Youghal. Power was able to supply his own hand-drawn maps to accompany his text and he mentioned all the local people who’d helped him in his quest to fine the route – most unusually for a scholar, but he felt he owed them much and wanted other scholars to consult the same people.

St Declan's Way

The whole walking route is now marked, and even signposted. Interesting how the distance is left off the signs!

Today the whole route is now identified as a Pilgrim Path, used by people travelling from Cashel to Ardmore or vice versa, and taking in the important monastic site of Lismore. Unfortunately it has taken us a long time to recognize the potential tourism, heritage,recreational and health benefits of these routes.  In several cases it is likely that much of the original route cannot be recovered so approximate routes are used to link up the known routes.

knockmealdown-map

Midleton is located off map some distance below the bottom left. Ardmore is located near the bottom right, also off map. The Knockmealdowns are in the middle, between Lismore on the Blackwater and Ardfinnan on the Suir.

Knockmealdowns

The Knockmealdowns can be covered by cloud because the mountains are at the meeting point of the inland airflows to the north and the sea borne weather to the south.

Saturday, 4th April (Holy Saturday or Easter Saturday, as you prefer) is National Pilgrim Paths Day – how appropriate that it happens during Easter!  My sister and I are joining walkers to follow part of the Rian bo Padraig. We’re going from Mount Mellary Abbey in County Waterford to Ardfinnan in County Tipperary on St Declan’s Way.  The eighteen mile hike will take us over the Knockmealdowns to give us a stunning view northwards over the Golden Vale in south County Tipperary.  It should take about four hours – or five for the weary and distracted!  Even the heavens are going to join in – the weather forecast looks splendid, with sunshine and warm spring temperatures (very important on top of a mountain range in Ireland!).

Mount Mellary Abbey

Mount Mellary Abbey is a Trappist (Cistercian) monastery founded as a refuge for French monks fleeing persecution in France after the July Revolution of 1830. The abbey stands on the southern side of the Knockmealdowns. The huge abbey church was built with stone removed from Mitchelstown Castle after it was burned out in 1922.

Here’s the link: http://www.pilgrimpath.ie/pilgrim-paths-day/

Ardfinnan

The village of Ardfinnan is presided over by its still inhabited castle. Note the width of the River Suir at teh foot of the castle.

One thing I’ve discussed locally is the idea of tracing the original route linking Molana Abbey to Cork by way of Cloyne – some of this route is actually known, but there are serious gaps. But I hope that one day we might be able to link St Finbarr’s Way (from Gougane Barra to Cork with St Declan’s Way and the Rian Bo Padraig via the pilgrim route through Imokilly. Such a route would allow a person to walk from Cashel to Gougane Barra via Lismore and Cloyne!

Irish-Pilgrim-Path-Marker

The Camino de Santiago has its identifiable waymarkers. So do the Irish Pilgrim Paths – this shows an ancient Irish monk carrying an early Irish crozier. Note that the monk is wearing a hood, not a pony-tail – it rains in Ireland! The Irish crozier was shorter than the Continental one – and a lot more practical – it was really a walking stick for elderly clerics, or for pilgrims!

If there’s no pilgrimage trail near you, just get out and find a nice track in the countryside to follow for a while – it’s good for the soul.

Pilgrim-Paths-Day-logo2015

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Astonishing unholy move by the venal Irish government – taxing our heritage!

St Declan's Well Ardmore

Clearly a thing of the past – pilgrims visiting St Declan’s Well in Ardmore, County Waterford.

This astonishing item popped up today on a website that I follow – but it’s so well buried by the government that the mainstream news media have yet to pick it up.  And the government are denying all knowledge of it.  It’s to do with ensuring the the controversial Irish Water get a TOTAL monopoly on our ENTIRE water supply – before it is sold off to the private sector!

Now I know that Irish Water is already holed below the waterline to keep voters happy, but this is really a bit much.  But then it is entirely typical of a government that strongly supports stealth taxes!

Link:  https://voxhiberionacum.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/holy-well/comment-page-1/#comment-1065

Next thing you know they’ll be selling off out ancient manuscripts – we could do without the Codex Stultorum, but should we really sell the Lebor Aibreain Amadan and the Book of Kells?  I shudder to think of where that would stop!

Lodge your protest with your nearest Government Minister/TD, Irish Embassy/Consulate, newspaper before midnight!

My God! To think that they’d treat the Lebor Aibreain Amadan like that too!