It is an intriguing and exasperating system. But it is quite impressive. It is not just the suspense but rather the respect for the representative aspect of an election. ‘First past the post’ is such a crude system. We watch and wait as the count goes on at present. What emerges does tell the story of the wishes of the electorate. I sometimes wonder why anyone would put themselves through the whole process. The stress is overwhelming. But it isn’t just the election; it is really the work of any and every politician. Their life no longer belongs to themselves. Their family is imposed on. There is a great cost in time, in energy and in home time. Many now make such demands and have such expectations of our politicians. There is the curse of entitlement. I think (like our Eucharist), we should forever be grateful for our democracy and then for our politicians, who subject themselves to our demands, and try to be their best for us all. It pains me when voters don’t bother turning out for the elections. I was the first in the door of St Finian’s school on last Friday at 7 a.m. I felt sad when the voter turn-out here was only in the late 20s. (Elections are very sacred).


Nigel Farage changed his mind. He is installed in Clacton. He had hoped to work on Trump’s campaign but felt he was needed at present on the home front. He is most articulate and Reform will do damage to the Tories. But then again, it might be much better if some of the Conservative Right Wing absconded to Reform anyway. The tail and the dog comes to mind. And that problem goes back to John Major’s explosive comment when he was tortured by some who consistently scuttled his plans. And then there was Brexit. Which definitely was a version of ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face.’ And then there was Boris Johnson. And then there was Liz Truss. And now there is Rishi. Sunak was badly advised to abandon Normandy for a TV interview. That mistake won’t be forgiven. Keir Starmer is walking carefully and needs to. Macron moved fast to call an election. Ursula von der Leyen is assessing her chance of continuing in her role. Trump can do no wrong whatever he does which is shocking as is his friend Farage. Democracy is a fragile plant and needs minding. Many can remember, those queues when Nelson Mandela appeared and the first free election occurred. We saw that democracy was sacred. We all need reminding of this. (Democracy is very sacred).


Ciara Mageean from Portaferry won Gold at 1500m  in the European Championships in Rome. She was delightful. She had the legs. But couldn’t find a gap. Her thoughts were memories of her camogie days, she knew that she could break through and did. She wanted to hear Amhrán na bhFiann played and the Irish Flag raised. She was most impressive and stirred everyone with her persistence (through the years, from bronze to silver and to gold). And then there was Rhasidat Adeleke (from Tallaght) who got silver last night (Monday) in Rome. She was very close to the line when the Polish girl managed to slip past her. Rhasidat spoke beautifully of her mother. The mixed relay team for the 400m were brilliant too and claimed the medals. And there was Munster, Leinster, Limerick and Kilkenny to lift our spirits. Robbie Keane has returned from Israel having done rather well, even if he was much criticised for working there. Is he putting pressure on John O’Shea? John was direct and simple when asked about a permanent job: “I’m a Waterford man and I’m managing Ireland.” That for him was a privilege and quite an honour. He was right of course. And then there was Rob Burrow (a Leeds Rhinos star). He has died. He had MND. Himself and his friend  Kevin Sinfield, had done so much to raise awareness and funds for research into the disease. It was inspirational. Kevin came to Dublin as he did his 7 in 7 marathons to raise all the issues around MND research. He met up with Charlie Bird. Charlie has died. I hope that Rosary beads from Daniel O’Donnell helped Charlie! Well Rob has now died. But many others are suffering. We need our prophets. We need our heroes. We need our characters who highlight the best in humanity. (Sport is very sacred).

The Principle of Proportionality (Gaza):

Four hostages have got home. Some 200 were killed in the process. Very little of the Gaza/Hamas war with Israel makes sense. It is hard to balance the history of the Jews with what they are now doing. I met my grandniece Zara on Friday. She is reading Anne Frank. She was asking about Auschwitz. She wants to go there. She is 11. I gave her a little description of the camp. The atmosphere. The eerie silence. The hair. The suit-cases. The glasses. The shoes. The feeling of awfulness. The staggering thoughts of what humans can do to  each other. I didn’t say very much but that all of us needed to visit the camp at some stage in life but not at her age. How can the Israelis carry on the war as they are? With their history. With their memories. With their experiences. With their awareness of what was done to them? (This principle is very sacred).

Nakedness and that Garden:

Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. Insight is a very special outlook. To see ourselves as others see us. To know ourselves. (Temple of Apollo at Dephi). To peer at the mirror and accept our uniqueness and our flaws. It was telling that Leo Varadkar concluded that he wasn’t the person to lead his party and government. That was an important and honest decision. This is unusual but good. ‘Who flung dung?’ (Ben Redlich). There is so much dung being flung everywhere. Too much negativity. Everything is always someone else’s fault. Whatever about Adam knowing he was naked, many don’t acknowledge their own nakedness. Once more – Confession has to be a celebration of awareness and a humble proclamation of gratitude and honesty. Therein lies the truth. (Self-awareness is very sacred).

Dropping into another Church:

I was in a Church on Monday for a funeral. It is very revelatory to attend a funeral rather than always be leading one. The usual praying people arrived early. The trimmings of the Rosary went on. I was catching some of the prayers – Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell.’ And ‘O Mary conceived without sin…..’ I was questioning in my mind some of the ideas involved in those prayers. But more importantly, I was looking around. There were lots of statues. The Sanctuary was very cluttered. I almost wanted to tidy up the place. I am certain that those who come into our own churches would have much to say about how we present ourselves. The funeral was done gently and sensitively and prayerfully. Those of us who are involved almost daily in funerals have to be always alert to the sacredness of the moment and the uniqueness of the occasion for a family. It was good to be there. I believe that it is good for priests to attend Mass sometimes and to do so very humbly. We can learn so much. (Getting away from the usual – is very sacred).

Seamus Ahearne osa

11th June 2024.

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One Comment

  1. Mattie Long says:

    We can only hope the weather warms up for you.
    Interesting that your grand niece at 11 is learning about the horrors of Auschwitz.
    With the rise again of fascism in our world we all need to re-educate ourselves on the evil of Nazism.
    On this date, 13 June, in 1999 Pope John Paul II beatified 108 martyrs murdered during World War II. 15 of them perished at #Auschwitz: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/108_Martyrs_of_World_War_II
    The fate of religious and priests and how they did their best to practice their faith in such a terrible place is well covered by

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