Sunday, July 8, 2012

Waiting For Shane

Well I missed the farewell concert of Westlife in Croke Park back in June while I was out at sea.  While I'm sad that they have ended the group, I'm excited to see Shane go solo and can't wait to buy his CD and see what music he'll bring as a solo artist.  Plus, now they'll be more on screen time in videos of Shane since he doesn't have to share the spotlight with the other guys.  All Shane, all the time.  Now that's music to my ears.

Tyson Fury Wins His Bout

Tyson Fury moved a step closer to a world-title fight with one of the Klitschko brothers after stopping Vinny Maddalone in their WBO Intercontinental heavyweight contest in Clevedon on Saturday night.

Fury, 23, easily improved his 19-fight unbeaten run with a fifth-round technical knockout after the referee stepped in with blood streaming out of a cut under the veteran American's left eye.

Fury has been earmarked by the Klitschkos as a possible opponent, although the former British and Commonwealth champion has stated he would wait until he had earned a mandatory fight before taking on the all-conquering duo.
In front of a worldwide audience he had too much class for New Yorker Maddalone, landing a couple of heavy punches in the opening round to immediately stun his opponent.

It was all one-way traffic thereafter with another right-hander from the 6ft 9in Fury opening the cut under Maddalone's left eye in the fourth round.

The American battled on but, with Fury indicating he wanted the fight halted, the referee eventually stepped in to end the contest midway through the fifth.

'I knew it was a matter of time. I actually called the referee over, he was taking some big shots,' Fury said in an interview on Channel Five.

Too hot to handle: Fury (right) in stopped Vinnie Maddalone in the fifth-round

'I'm still undefeated. I would like to say I'm ready for anyone in the world. Klitschkos: bring them on. Americans: bring them on.

'Bring on Tomasz Adamek. He's too small for me and I see an early win for me.'
Promoter Mick Hennessy played down any thoughts of a Klitschko fight in the near future, before hinting Pole Adamek was next on the agenda for Fury

Patrick Hyland Irish Boxer

Patrick is the current Irish and WBF Super featherweight champion.  26 wins in 26 fights, 12 won by KO.  He will return to ring action on August 8 when he fights in Rochester, New York, in a contest scheduled for eight rounds.

Hyland is provisionally set to fight Jeremy McLaurin (9-3, 5 KOs), but the Minnesota-based California native is not copper-fastened as the official opponent, as Hyland told the Irish Voice on Monday night.
"I have seen it on, but it is not 100% confirmed yet," said the 28-year-old. "I would like a tough, durable opponent, but this is only an eight round fight.”
Hyland had a very impressive fourth round TKO win May 12th over Freddie Archuleta at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York.  Archuleta was a wily veteran with much experience, and a look at McLaurin’s record, if he does indeed fight the Irishman, would suggest that the 30-year-old in not nearly in the same class.
The Tallaght, Co. Dublin man stays in decent shape all year round, but his official camp kicked off this week.
“I’ve been ticking over all the time, but preparations are really starting today (Monday). I’ve been sparring with Chazz McDowell, who is fighting for the New York State title later this month. I have had a few workouts with him. I am in good enough shape,” he said. 
Hyland has been working hard with trainer Tracy Patterson as the two continue to develop their working relationship in the gym. Hyland went on to say that he hopes to remain very active and have another fight later in the year before his team looks for a breakout assignment at the end of 2012 or the start of next year.
In the meantime, another win for the Dubliner will do no harm to his world ranking position as he makes his way up towards the business end of the super featherweight division. Another victory would also extend his record for the most consecutive wins among active Irish professional boxers.
Hyland will head home for a week this month for a wedding and will train with his father Paddy Senior while in Dublin. Father and son will then return to the U.S. to finish camp with Patterson in the final leg of his preparations.
Another Irish boxer in the upcoming action according to, light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (14-0, 9 KOs) is back in action at the Roseland Ballroom in New York on August 2 in a contest scheduled for 10 rounds. No opponent has been confirmed. 
Monaghan is currently recovering from a cut to the right eye that he sustained in his victory over Romaro Johnson on June 14 at the same venue.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Re-Creating History

The most famous photograph of Irish America, taken by Charlies C Ebbets in 1932 and called “Lunch Atop A Skyscraper,” shows 11 men having lunch sitting on a girder 850 feet high above New York will be recreated in Galway this weekend.  The photo shows the 11 workers having a lunch break on the 69th floor of the RCA Building (now the GE Building) in New York, during the final months of construction.

Two of the men have been identified as Galway natives.  At the far left and right of the photo are Matty O’Shaughnessy and Patrick (Sonny) Glynn, who were both from Shanaglish, in the south of the county.

A new documentary, “Lon sa Speir” or “Lunch in the Sky,” tracing the lives of the men along with Native American John Charles Cook/Akwesasne, a Mohawk (pictured sitting fourth from the left),will have its world premiere shown at the Galway Film Fleadh or festival this weekend.

Most of the men have now been identified by family members. The man sitting fourth from the right is Francis Michael Rafferty and to his right is his lifelong best friend, Stretch Donahue. On the same day, Ebbets took another photo of the same workers called “Men Asleep on a Girder,” which shows the same workers asleep on the beam.  There is no way in hello I would ever be on that beam and definitely no well in hell I would fall asleep up there.  Can you imagine? 

As part of the celebration, an attempt to recreate the iconic picture will take place.  The new film in Gaelic and English is narrated by actress Fionnula Flanagan, and directed by Eamonn Ó Cualáin, and “reveals the remarkable story behind the iconic image. For much of its 80 year history, the identity of the photographer and the workers remained a mystery, but over the last few years, their names and stories have begun to emerge.”

Sónta Company, which made the documentary, is attempting to recreate the photogrpah in Eyre Square in Galway this weekend.

To mark the world premiere of Lón sa Spéir at the fleadh and Galway’s connection with the workers on the beam, Sónta company, with the support of Coen Steel, will attempt to recreate the famous picture in Eyre Square, on Tuesday July 10 between 12.30pm and 2pm.

The film-makers are seeking 11 men or women to participate in the recreating of this photograph from construction workers, actors, students, or “anyone that feels that they can fill the part”.

Those wishing to take their place on the beam for the Galway version of the image should contact Sónta directly at 095 - 33933 or at
For tickets, contact the film screening at the Town Hall by calling 091 - 569777. Lón sa Spéir will also be shown on TG4 in September.

The Cornbread Is Done

The cornbread is done and cooling.  Gareth was delayed at the hospital and should be getting home around 11pm.  Since we'll have a late dinner now, we've changed the menu up and have decided to just eat some cornbread with some warm honey drizzled over and a bowl of chilli. 

I was watching the movie the Immortals earlier and got so bored with it I took it off and now I'm watching Thor.  I'm also finding myself bored with this movie too.  Not sure if its just because I feel a bit tired right now or if they are just boring movies.  Maybe I'll try to watch them at a later date when I don't feel so tired. 

Oops, forgot to turn the oven off, I guess I'm more tired than I thought.  I think I'm missing the cool breeze from the sea that keeps me awake when I'm on the ship. 

Dave Salmoni - Just Because

Dublin Countryside

Save Lennox Protest Today

Campaigners said people have flown to Northern Ireland from the United States, England, Dublin and "many other locations" to take part in the peaceful rally. It is understood a further protest will take place in New York City on Monday. Celebrity experts like Cesar Millan and Victoria Stilwell have also shown their support for the 'Save Lennox' campaign. However the family last week admitted defeat and said there is nothing more they can do from a legal point of view, and that the dog "may well be killed".


This disgusts me to no end.  How can humans be so cruel?  Why does he have to be killed when there are others in the world who are willing to take him and give him a good life?  

Save Lennox Facebook Page
Save Lennox petition
Save Lennox on Twitter
A Belfast families pet dog Lennox who was being trained as an assistance dog for their disabled daughter is currently on death row and is expected to be put to death next week only because he is a Pitbull.  That's right, he never hurt anyone, never attacked anyone, never did anything wrong but be born with Pitbull breeding.  Lennox the dog was seized by Belfast City Council officials in May 2010, and has spent the last two years locked up while his owner and supporters fought a legal battle to try to save his life.  His owner indicated she will not be pursuing the case at the Supreme Court in London.

Northern Ireland's First Minister has said he is “very unhappy” after a court upheld a decision to sentence a family pet to death. Lennox the dog will be put down after the Court of Appeal rejected a last-ditch plea to spare his life in June. It upheld an earlier decision that the animal is a banned American-type pitbull terrier, which is deemed dangerous. 

Peter Robinson joined the debate, after the June 12th ruling prompted a furious backlash from around the world. “As a dog lover I am very unhappy with the outcome of this case. I was involved in a similar case before in Castlereagh,” the DUP leader said. “In the Castlereagh case we succeeded in stopping it going to court. As soon as it does it is out of the hands of politicians.” But despite his unhappiness, Mr Robinson appeared to accept the decision, saying: “Politicians have no power to interfere with decisions of the courts,” he added. 

Thousands of messages of support for the dog are continuing to pour in, with some websites and protest pages urging people to boycott Belfast after the verdict. Some claimed Northern Ireland was portrayed to the world as a ‘country of ignorance’ and vowed never to visit the region. 

South African supporters said they were prepared to offer Lennox a new life. Fresh threats against members of staff at Belfast City Council have also surfaced on some pages. A spokesperson declined to comment on the remarks, but said any intimidation was “totally unacceptable”. 

Friends of Lennox, which is based in Durban, South Africa, offered to pay for rehoming after reading about his plight. Group member Monica Rogers told the Belfast Telegraph: “We are a group of people in South Africa who would be prepared to adopt Lennox and bring him to South Africa where he will be placed with an adoptive family, all expenses paid.” 

Jennifer Chatelain, from Dallas in Texas, said she was “saddened and appalled” by the decision. “You, as a country, have the ability to show the world that Belfast is not a follower and that Belfast cares about its animals. “Instead, you have portrayed to the world a country of ignorance and hate for animals and that you do not care or have compassion at all. “And trust me when I say that the whole world is watching. We may not have been able to save Lennox, but we will not forget him and what you all have done, and we will not forgive either. “I have always wanted to visit Northern Ireland and have dreamed of a trip there. After this turn of events, I can assure you that you will never see a penny from me, or anyone that I know.” 

Kay Robinson, from Louisiana in the United States, also pleaded for mercy. “I'm begging you not to kill Lennox – he has done nothing wrong,” she said. “This is so unfair and so very wrong.” 

Two lower courts had already ruled he should be destroyed, but the case went to the Court of Appeal after lawyers for Lennox’s owner, Caroline Barnes, argued the dog wasn’t dangerous. However, three senior judges dismissed Ms Barnes' appeal and sometime within the next week Lennox will be put to death.

The annual ceremony to commemorate the Irish of past wars was held at the National Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge in Dublin this afternoon. 

The unionist Lord Mayor of Belfast has joined his Dublin counterpart in paying tribute together to the shared sacrifice of Ireland's war dead. Gavin Robinson, of the Democratic Unionist Party, and Dublin first citizen Naoise O Muiri laid wreaths at the annual remembrance ceremony at the National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin. 

The Royal British Legion Ireland event commemorates the involvement of nearly half a million from the island of Ireland who served during the First World War, 50,000 of whom were killed. Mr Robinson said: "It is important that along with the Lord Mayor of Dublin I lay a wreath that acknowledges people from the Republic of Ireland and people from the north. They collectively spilt blood together and sacrificed themselves for us and it is important that we acknowledge that."

 The Queen of England took part in a similar ceremony and left flowers at Islandbridge last year.  Old comrades associations linked to the Legion still honour the regiments which fought in 1914 - including the Connaught Rangers, the Dublin Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Regiment and the Rifles. Representatives from Legion branches throughout Ireland were on parade together with visitors from Wales and England. 

The Irish Government was represented by Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald and ambassadors were headed by the recently appointed UK ambassador Dominic Chillcot. Music was provided by the Defence Forces No 1 Army Band and choristers from Tramore Ladies Choir sang hymns. Around 300 people were present - they even brought two Irish wolfhounds. There was an ecumenical service, prayers and music. 

One Korean War veteran, 80-year-old Major Michael Kearney MBE, was bristling with medals and also had some earned by his father in the Boer War. Some 31,500 of John Redmond's National Volunteers joined the First World War effort. Around 26,000 unionists from the north and south of Ireland enlisted. 

After the War of Independence and Civil War forged a new Irish Free State for the southern 26 counties, commemorating war service became unfashionable. But the remembrance ceremony tradition was reinstated in the 1980s and has occurred annually since then. 

This was the first event since the Irish Government said it will pardon 5,000 soldiers branded deserters and blacklisted for fighting for Britain against Nazi Germany. A campaign organization for the pardon is now disbanding and laid the last wreath. On it was the message: "Honoured to the last, these brave and noble men so long denied and vilified now take their place among our heroes of the past."

Shopping, Rain, Cornbread And A Movie

I ran some errands earlier today to get some cat food for the beasts I have right now.  One adult and three kittens and let me tell you they can eat some food.  I made a hot dog last night and they swarmed me when I tried to eat it.  I felt like I was being attacked by Raptors from Jurassic Park.  

Lots of rain has been pouring over Europe causing flooding and making a mess of things.  So I decided it would be a good day to do some cooking and baking.  I bought some corn meal, honey, and milk to make some cornbread to go with the Chorizo sausage we're having for dinner.  I wanted to pick up some Buttermilk to use in the recipe and forgot, so I'll have to use a different recipe to make the corn bread.  Hopefully it will turn out alright.  I read if you don't have buttermilk to add a dash of vinegar to the regular milk and it will work in the place of the buttermilk.  

I have a cast iron skillet that has been in my family for over a hundred years and I'll cook it up in that in the oven.  I love cooking with the cast iron skillet knowing that several generations of my family have eaten meals prepared by this pan.  The fact that I am now preparing meals in our families ancestral homeland makes it even more special.

I have the movie The Immortals on right now.  Love Henry Cavill, but the movie is kind of boring so far.  Seems a bit of a rip off of the movie "300" with the backgrounds and the raspy voices of the actors. 

It Could Happen To You

International Gay European Football Championships 2013

The Irish capital has been selected from a competitive process between European cities to host the International Gay European Football Championships in the summer of 2013.

The event will take place in Dublin from June 13 to 16, 2013, bringing 32 teams from over 15 European countries to compete in the tournament, which will take place at Dublin City University Sports Grounds.

Dublin Devils FC, Ireland's gay soccer team, secured the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) event after a long campaign to attract the tournament to the city.

"The event is an opportunity to showcase the best that Dublin has to offer, according to leader of the bid team, Paul O'Brien. "The influx of such a large contingent of LGBT players and their families will generate hundreds of thousands of euro for Dublin over the duration of the tournament. Now that we have officially been named as hosts for the Championship, the hard work begins to make this the most successful and memorable IGLFA tournament yet."

The Dublin Devils were formed in 2005. ""We take our football very seriously," according to Club Chairman Bill O'Rourke. "What we offer is an outlet for gay men who are interested in playing competitive football. We also have a strong social aspect to the club with kick-a bouts and social events on a weekly basis for less competitive members".

Dublin's lesbian football team, The Phoenix Tigers have been invited by the Dublin Devils to oversee the Women's Tournament which forms part of the event.

IGLFA celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. Its primary goal is to foster and augment the self respect of lesbians and men throughout the world and to engender respect and understanding from the non-gay world, through the medium of football

Olivier Giroud Has Signed With Arsenal

This hot man is the one kissing Matthew Debuchy in the photo in the previous post.

and he'll be teamed with the German star Lukas Podolski

Gay Marriage and Adoption Legalized in France

Gay couples in France will be permitted to get married and adopt children from 2013, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced in parliament yesterday.

Currently only married couples, not civil partners, can adopt in France.

The news was announced during a keynote speech outlining the government's budget and political agenda.

"In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination," Mr Ayrault told parliament.  "Our society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing. The government will respond to that."

Belfast City Council Supports Gay Marriage

Belfast City Council has become the first local authority in Northern Ireland to pass a motion in support of gay marriage.

The motion proposed by Sinn Fein's Mary Ellen Campbell stated: "This council supports the same rights and entitlements to civil marriages for all citizens of Belfast regardless of race, religion or sexuality."

It passed by 21 Sinn Fein and SDLP votes to zero, with unionists and SDLP members walking out before the vote, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

"It is regrettable that people walked away from such a serious issue. However, we are very happy the motion was passed," Sinn Fein Councillor Conor Maskey told the Belfast Telegraph.

"It sends out a strong message on pure equality for people in same-sex relationships."

Gay Pride Flag Flies Over Whitehall

The Deputy Prime Minister said flying the flag, a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride, to coincide with London's gay pride event this weekend was a ''small but important emblem''.

It comes after Mr. Clegg yesterday called for churches and other religious premises to be allowed to host gay weddings.

He said: ''There has to be a first time for everything - flying this iconic flag in the heart of Whitehall is a small but important emblem that the Government and this country are behind equal rights.
''I'm absolutely delighted that, with a little bit of persuasion and determination, we've been able to fly the rainbow flag for this weekend's festivities. I hope this is the start of a new era of pride across the historic Whitehall village.''

A Revolutionary Remembered

From a revolutionary of the 50's to an icon today, say the name Che and almost everyone on earth will know who you are talking about.  For many living in third world countries under oppressive right wing regimes he remains a hero to the poor and forgotten and hated by others.  

The iconic image of Guevara, worn by youth worldwide, was created by Dublin artist Jim Fitzpatrick.

Born in 1928, he grew up in a middle class neighborhood in Rosario, Argentina as Ernesto Guevara Lynch De la Serna. 

Nicknamed "Fuser" he would spend many hours in his fathers library reading books that included those by Marx and Engels, and Freud. His grandmother, Ana, was the daughter of Patrick Lynch, who was born in Galway, Ireland. 

Guevara's Irish links have been traced to Galway, and one Patricio Lynch, the founder of the Argentine branch of his family, was said to have been born in Galway in 1715. From there he spent some time in Spain before eventually settling in Argentina.

Galway City Council supporters of Che have passed a motion calling for a statue to be erected in his honor which is being condemned by House Foreign Affairs Committee Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and those of Cuban descent. 

“The romanticized reputation of Ernesto “Che” Guevara as a liberator and freedom fighter is nothing more than a myth of the Cuban revolution. In reality, Guevara was a mass murderer and a bigot.” Ros-Lehtinen wrote.  “Che Guevara embodied hatred. Using his own words, he exulted 'hatred as an element of the struggle' to transform a person into a 'violent, selective and cold killing machine.'" Ros-Lehtinen wrote.

Che's father, Ernesto Guevara Lynch, said in a 1969 interview: "The first thing to note is that in my son's veins flowed with the blood of the Irish rebels. Che inherited some of the features of our restless ancestors. There was something in his nature which drew him to distant wandering, dangerous adventures and new ideas". 

As a young man finding his place in this world, he kept a journal of his experiences that detailed how he was shaped as a young man.  He witnessed the harshness of military despots and the poverty and misery among the people he met when traveling through the country on his bicycle with his friend Alberto Granado, which was excellently portrayed in the Motorcycle Diaries.  

In 1952, a semester before Guevara is due to complete his medical degree specializing in dermatology, he and his older friend Alberto Granado, a biochemist, leave Buenos Aries in order to travel across South America. At first they intend to work in a leper colony in Peru, but the main purpose is initially fun and adventure and to court as many woman as possible while getting to see as much of Latin America as they can.  They would eventually travel more than 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) in just four and a half months.  Their initial method of transport is Granado's dilapidated Norton 500 motorcycle christened La Poderosa ("The Mighty One").

Through the people they encounter on their Latin American continental trek, Guevara and Granado witness firsthand the injustices that the destitute face and are exposed to people and social classes they would have never encountered otherwise. As a result, the trip also plants the initial seed of  radicalization within Guevara, who would later view armed revolution as a way to challenge the continent's economic and social inequalities.

He was a handsome, well educated, a man who could have had a comfortable life as a doctor; yet he gave up all this, putting his life on the line for the things he believed.  After he had finished his academic career, qualifying as a doctor and specializing in dermatology, his experiences in Guatemala, where the CIA was instrumental in overthrowing the government and installing a military dictatorship, were the final steps in his radicalization.

Che met Fidel Castro in Mexico City in September of 1954 and soon joined Castro's group, training as a revolutionary on a Mexican farm. He had found his calling. Che was in the group of revolutionaries that sailed for Cuba in November of 1956. A group of about 80 left from Mexico, but only 12 made it safely to Cuba. Just 12 men, and yet in less than three years these 12 would conquer the country; of such stuff are legends made. Though Che started out as the doctor for the group, he was soon a Commandant, leading men in battle.

Che was involved with the Cuban government for some years after the revolution, but he had the heart of a revolutionary, not a politician and was soon out of the government and in Africa. His attempt at exporting revolution to the Belgian Congo was a failure but through the attempt his legend grew. He soon moved on to Bolivia, a country he thought was ripe for an uprising.

In the anti-Vietnam, anti-American era of the '60s, Che became the poster boy for revolution. But his life would come to a violent end on October 8th, 1967, when he was captured and executed by Bolivian soldiers with the help of the American CIA. His body was put on display by the Bolivians and then put into a secret, unmarked grave along with some other revolutionaries.

In 1997 Che's body was found, dug up, and returned to Cuba. His remains were met by Castro and members of Che's family. 

For me, he was a hero who became misguided either by the rush of power or the need for revenge.  But there is no question his is a life that will always be debated and never forgotten.  

Big And Beefy Irish Boys

Keith Earls, Jonathan Sexton and Sean O'Brien training. 
Sean is a really nice guy and has the type of body I love.  Big and beefy.
 Gordon D'Arcy Stretching

Cooking Out

I love cooking out.  I'll cookout any day and time of the year.  I don't care if its snowing or 100 degrees.  Nothing beats the taste of food cooked on a grill.  Cooking out is a guy thing I guess.  Brings out our inner caveman.  Argh!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Romantic Moon

Nothing is more romantic than holding the one you love under a moonlit night and nothing beats a Harvest Moon or a Summer Moon.  I remember as a young teenager sneaking out of the house and meeting my friends and sitting up all night talking, laughing and watching the moon cross the sky.  When I close my eyes I can still vividly remember the sounds of the crickets, the cool-dewy mist that would settle on the grass, and the bright stars of the constellations we tried to name.  

I'm back home again from being at sea and it was wonderful spending a day on land walking around, shopping, eating, and not smelling anything fishy.  I brought three kittens home today to spend some time with our cat to see which one he likes.  My friends are going to adopt the other two.  They are all curled up around the computer sleeping as I type this at the desk.  So far my cat hasn't warmed up to any of the three.  He just sits there watching them tackle each other and trip over things as they chase each other.  He looks at me like what the hell is this?  They're a bunch of F*ing idiots.  lol  

Its about 3:30 in the morning and I couldn't sleep.  I'm used to be up at night on the ship.  I was looking forward to a night in my bed, but just can't fall asleep.  Gareth is at work so I can't even wake him up to do unspeakable things to him.  I just ate a a bagel with some pineapples and some warm milk and now I'm getting sleepy.  I don't want to wake all the sleeping kitties, so I'll share the couch with my cat and try to get some rest before the kittens wake and decide 5 am is a good time to start the day.

The Life Of A Scoop Of Ice Cream

The world famous Irish Ice Cream shop Murphy's has a funny video showing you the life of an ice cream.  The scoops are small compared to American ice cream shops, but that just means you can try several flavors on a hot summer evening.

Tulips and Other Greens

Tulips are my favorite flower.  I would give them to my mother growing up on Mothers Day and every special occassion.  I would spend hours looking for the perfect one to give to her.  I still leave them on her grave when I am in the States.

She would plant them in our backyard and every time they bloomed she would say I know how much you love me, the garden tells me so.  I love you Mom and everytime I see a Tulip garden I see your smile.

Friends Enjoying The Day

Shopping In Dublin

Fixing The Nets