Ireland – November 1, 2013

For many Americans, Ireland is more of an ideal than a real place.  Ethnic pride often ignores the day to day life of the modern Irish.  If you are of Irish heritage, it wouldn’t hurt to go online each day and read about your ancestral homeland in a different light.  You will find the more you read and experience the present day culture, the more you will find a closer connection.

In today’s Irish Times, a water shortage is front page news.  The reservoirs of water are extremely low and there is a water ban in Dublin.  A million residents will be affected.

 Workers deliver water treatment chemicals to the Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant in Co Wicklow yesterday which is experiencing production difficulties. Photograph: Collins

Workers deliver water treatment chemicals to the Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant in Co Wicklow yesterday which is experiencing production difficulties. Photograph: Collins

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Ireland and Scotland have many things in common and unfortunately a similarity they share is the abuse of firemen.  Youths will trip an alarm or arrive at a fire and pummel firemen with rocks, stones and sometimes even beat them.

On Halloween night members of Dublin Fire Brigade were attacked – some of them several times – as they attended fires across the city.

Firefighters who were attacked with a beer keg, stones and bottles last night have renewed their call for mandatory sentencing for those who carry out such assaults on emergency workers.

John Kidd, national secretary of the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association speaking to the media following a recent court case involving the prosecution of Wicklow County Council. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

John Kidd, national secretary of the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association speaking to the media following a recent court case involving the prosecution of Wicklow County Council. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fire officers said the incident involved gangs of youths stoning the tender and fire officers as they arrived to deal with an outsized bonfire.

In a similar incident in the same night in Swords fire fighters discovered a knife attached to a branch, in what they claim was an attempt to “booby-trap” the bonfire.

They point to on-going incidents in which serious injuries have been received by firefighters – with some firefighters injured multiple times.

Earlier this month a man who called out a Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance on a Dublin street turned on the paramedics while they were treating him, head butting them in the face. There was garda evidence in court that the man had also swung a bottle at the paramedics.

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Wouldn’t it be nice to be in an Irish pub this Friday night?

You wouldn’t be alone nor would you be disappointed as 34 Irish pubs are listed in the Michelin good food guide.

The Fatted Calf pub in Co Westmeath.

The Fatted Calf pub in Co Westmeath.

This year’s guide recommends 577 pubs spread across Britain and Ireland, of which 70 are new entries. Its editor, Rebecca Burr, said they had all been “rigorously inspected” by a team of full-time inspectors – the same team who produce the Michelin restaurant guide.

She believed that reports of the death of the pub “have been grossly exaggerated”.

“We now recommend more pubs than ever before and the great news is that they are spread all over Great Britain and Ireland, rather than just being concentrated in a few counties. No-one has to put up with bad food in a pub anymore, however picturesque that pub may be”.

She said that a pub did not need a modern makeover to serve good food, nor did it have to transform itself into a restaurant.

“Chefs looking to open their own place without having to spend huge amounts of money are also finding pubs to be the perfect choice. And with such skills in the kitchen, these pubs in turn are becoming great training schools for the next generation of chefs.”

And don’t let anyone tell you the food is Ireland is bland.  Two Kilkenny restaurants were given coveted Michelin stars.  The Campagne Restaurant was award the prize for their menu…click here to view.

Interior picture of Campagne Restaurant in Kilkenny taken from its website campagne.ie

Interior picture of Campagne Restaurant in Kilkenny taken from its website campagne.ie

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