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Stupid tailgating




EIGHTY kilometres from home on the final leg of a three-week 7,000km roadtrip taking in unrestricted Autobahn routes, nine Alpine passes, a few busy Italian cities and London’s M25 only to encounter the most dangerous leg of the journey – from Adare to Newcastlewest. Not a dangerous road but a dangerous driver. We all encounter stupid on the road and sometimes we do stupid and generally we can accept stupid as a one-off act but being stupid for a longer period of time is unacceptable.

On leaving the town of Adare I noticed in my rear-view mirror a young lady in a red VW Golf approach quite rapidly behind me. Bear in mind my journey to date and that home is close, I wasn’t hanging about. There was a long line of traffic entering Adare. An overtaking opportunity for her was greatly reduced.

She couldn’t set up an overtaking manoeuvre but she was still closing quickly until she reached the point that I was unable to see her car's headlights in my rear-view mirror. There are rules around this but I have a simple one, if I can’t see the number plate of the following car in my rear-view mirror, that car is in my space. Now we have a problem – she had well and truly entered my space. Standing in line for a rock concert, uncomfortable – 100kph in a car, absolutely looking to pick a fight. However I’m not that type of guy (on this occasion) so I slowed enough to let her pass when the opportunity presented itself.

A quick check in the mirror, she doesn’t seize the opportunity – in fact, she is looking to her left and appears to be texting. She is now driving her car using peripheral vision and my bumper as her reference. Now I am concerned, again I can’t see the headlights, that is how close she is. Her sixth sense has well and truly captured my attention.

My first attempt at creating distance didn’t work, so now I put another car between us. This only worked for a moment as that car pulled in. Maybe I should do the same but I just want to get home. However I tried it again on two more occasions but she followed on both and resumed tailgating.

On my last attempt to put distance, she races up to my bumper, this time drinking from a coffee cup and again looking to her left and still appears to be texting. For a brief moment when she looked out the windscreen I seized the opportunity to signal my concerns. A tip on the brake pedal – enough to engage the brake lights but not to slow my progress.

Her reaction caused her to spill the contents of her coffee cup on herself and drop her phone. Putting aside my fear of a potential accident I am impressed at her ability to multitask; tailgate, text and take on refreshments, all at 100kph.

Unfortunately this spillage has given her something else to do while tailgating and texting. However once all cleaned up, normal activities resume, back to texting and, oh yes, tailgating. I am impressed.

Newcastlewest only a few kilometres away; on safety grounds it may be time to concede and pull over. Thankfully on entering the first roundabout she took the first exit and removed herself from our route.

The sense of relief that this short, but potentially dangerous, journey was over, but it is only beginning for someone else. This person is a danger to herself and other road users and there is only one outcome and it is a serious accident. And it will happen, statistics prove it. Be safe on the roads – DON’T TAILGATE – FOR YOUR OWN SAKE…

On a final note, in an accident tailgaters are 100% liable no matter what the circumstances – period.



Carols by Candlelight

    St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas […]






St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas 2023, December17, at 7.00pm. Admission is free.

Ten Choirs from Killarney parish will join together and sing some of the world’s most beloved Christmas carols.
The carol service is directed by accomplished Musician and Choral Director, Paula Gleeson. Originally from Cork, her family have been involved in all aspects of choral and church music for 50 years.

“This is the best experience as director, working with Fr. Kieran O’Brien, and St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir, I get to work with so many talented people in Killarney. The commitment of Teachers, Principals, and the hundreds of students from the Primary and Secondary Schools is inspiring. The generosity of our sponsors, who were so willing to contribute has helped to make this night a reality. We are all so truly grateful,” she said.

Choirs include:
St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Choir, organist Anita Lakner
Holy Cross Mercy School Choir
St. Oliver’s Primary School Choir
St. Brigid’s Secondary School Choir
St. Brendan’s Secondary School Choir
Killarney Harmonisers
Killarney Community College School Choir
Lissivigeen National School Choir
Gaelscoil Faithleann School Choir
Presentation Monastery School Choir

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The same but different – A tribute to three great Irish musicians



Driving home from work last Friday, tributes for Shane McGowan were pouring out across the radio stations and while listening in, I got a strong sense of déjà vu.

It was only a few months earlier that we got the sad news that the talented Aslan front man Christy Dingham had passed away, and a short few weeks after that – Sinéad O’Connor.  The loss of three iconic Irish musicians that left music fans across the country reeling.

When I think about each artist individually, their personalities couldn’t be more different. Yet, for days after the passing of the Pogues frontman, I found myself wondering why I was so drawn to all three.

And then, over the weekend I stumbled across a completely unrelated article which led with a headline:

“In a year dominated by artificial intelligence, deepfakes, and disingenuity, “authentic” has somehow emerged as Merriam-Webster’s word for 2023.”

And there was my answer. The one characteristic that embodied all three of these great Irish musicians.

It was my mother that first introduced me to Aslan’s music. She grew up during their peak and loved all sorts of rock music. I regularly watch their Vicar Street performances back on YouTube and still get mesmerised by Christy’s intense stage presence. Using elaborate hand gestures to evoke a greater meaning behind the words, he always looked like he was away in his own world. Off stage, and particularly later in his career, I admired him for his honesty when talking about his struggles with addiction and mental health. He was talking openly about these issues long before it was the norm.

Sinéad O’Connor was another original soul who, because of her talent, was catapulted into a music industry consumed by artificiality; she was almost too pure for it all. I always admired her unwavering commitment to her beliefs. Her authenticity was evident in every aspect of her artistry. The way she unapologetically embraced her shaved head and boy-ish style, she challenged conventional opinions around beauty. Her music reflected her personal struggles and she never shied away from addressing issues of social injustice, religion, and gender equality. Her stances often drew criticism and controversy, but she always remained true to herself.

Shane MacGowan will always be remembered for his unfiltered nature, and while the lyrics of many songs were dark and gritty, there was also an element of empathy and compassion in what he wrote. Like Christy, he too struggled with addiction and mental health issues throughout his career. While his demons sometimes spilled over into the public eye, his honesty and vulnerability just endeared him even more to us Irish.

So isn’t it apt in a year we lost three great musicians, the word of 2023 happens to be the one undeniable trait that they all shared. Thank you Christy, Sinead and Shane for showing us that authenticity is not just about being different to everyone else; but also about possessing the courage to challenge the established, to question the norms, and to keep going, even when the going gets tough.


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