Archives for category: Cork

A whole field of ragwort near the Two Mile Inn by Midleton / N25. Ragwort is classified as a noxious weed, capable of causing liver damage to any animal that eats it. Each plant produces 50,000 to 200,000 seeds, so this field will produce literally billions of seeds in the coming days and weeks. This is about as bad as I have ever seen.

For more information about ragwort:

http://www.ihwt.ie/site2/welfare-campaigns/welfare-information-tips/797-2/

http://www.independent.ie/business/farming/keep-your-land-free-from-fatal-ragwort-26647422.html

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/time-to-weed-out-ragwort-and-japanese-knotweed-1.956953

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1936/act/38/enacted/en/print

 

 

 

Just because something happened before it, doesn’t mean it caused it.

Just because a footballer forgot to bless himself before a game, doesn’t mean that’s why they lost the match.

Just because a screaming sound was heard in the middle of the night, doesn’t mean your granduncle is going to die.

Just because a vaccine was given doesn’t necessarily mean it caused a sickness at a later date.

Other things: a virus, an infection, the ageing and growth process, genetics, a stressful situation, other people, might have caused it too. 

Trying to figure out root cause is really, really difficult, but if you rush to a conclusion about cause, without doing the hard work, chances are you are going to be wrong.

The hard work, trying to figure out causes? We call that science.

And that is why you need to bring in scientific voices and scientific studies when you are discussing issues like vaccines, because they are the only people who have done the work to assess root cause.

Let me reiterate that. They are the only people who have done the hard work. They are the only people who must take the emotion out of it, who must control for bias, who must look at all the data, who must go about it the right way, in order to be taken seriously. They get penalised for taking short cuts, something that doesn’t happen when we give our opinions or talk about our experience.

If you exclude the scientific consensus and scientific voices from a discussion on vaccines, or if you think it’s “just another opinion”, then you are biasing the discussion. No ifs, no buts. 

If you exclude the scientific consensus, you are not looking at the whole picture. And, you might be scaring people without just cause.

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I had the morning free, so my daughter and I took a walk around the city to see what was going on. The election count was in full flow in the City Hall but we didn’t stay there too long. The city was waking up, getting ready for the day.

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We headed down to the footbridge by the Grand Parade. In the distance were the limestone towers of Finbarr’s Cathedral, looking out over the city.

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And in the other direction, Father Matthew Church, flanked by the river Lee, modern architecture competing with the buildings of earlier years.

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The English Market was already in full swing. It’s one of Cork’s main attractions – the variety of food stalls and coffee houses is wonderful.

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Close by, a small arcade selling coffee and Middle Eastern food. Cork is full of little alleys and side streets.

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Pembroke Street, joining Oliver Plunkett Street to the South Mall, and home to some great bars and restaurants.

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St. Paul’s Avenue, with a view of Shandon in the distance.

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Finally, we made our way back to the City Hall and out of the city. The muddy river Lee continuing its march towards the sea.

We have had a few bad storms already this year, but last night was the worst so far. The town of Midleton was badly flooded, sections of the N25 were rendered impassable and parts of Garryvoe beach practically wiped out, with rubble strewn across the car park. Here are a few pictures I took today.

Midleton Main Street flooded.

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The Midleton river burst its banks, flooding the area around the distillery.

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Things were not much better by Bailick Road.

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Garryvoe carpark has been covered in rubble again.

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Much of the beach seems to have disappeared.

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The carpark is inaccessible from the hotel due to heavy flood waters.

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When we were leaving, attempts were being made to reduce the flooding by constructing a new channel to the sea.

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Skehard Road, near the Mahon Shopping Centre, Cork.

Expected Completion date January 2002?

The only thing this sign is advertising now is copious algae, dirt and graffiti.

Surely it’s about time it was removed?

We were treated to a wonderful morning a few days back. Fog and frost covered the fields, the rivers and the hedges. All was quiet. Armed only with an iPhone and Instagram, I visited a few beauty spots and took some photos. Some of them had a good reaction on the Internet, so I have reproduced them here, going back to the originals and seeing if I could improve on them.

View from Belvelly Bridge

View from Belvelly Bridge

Belvelly Castle, Great Island, Co. Cork.

Belvelly Castle, Great Island, Co. Cork.

Fortified House, Ballyannan, Midleton, Co. Cork.

Fortified House, Ballyannan, Midleton, Co. Cork.

Estuary, Ballyannan, Midleton, Co. Cork.

Estuary, Ballyannan, Midleton, Co. Cork.

Midleton, Co. Cork.

Midleton, Co. Cork.

Castlemartyr Resort, Co. Cork.

Castlemartyr Resort, Co. Cork.

Castlemartyr Resort, Co. Cork.

Castlemartyr Resort, Co. Cork.

Last Sunday, we went on a boat trip in West Cork. We were hoping to come up close and personal with a large pod of fin whales, but, despite excellent weather on the day, they were nowhere to be seen.  Photos of these magnificent creatures will have to wait for another day.

The trip was remarkably uneventful. Not only did we not see fin whales, but we also failed to spot any sunfish, dolphins or minke whales either. Even the skipper couldn’t hide his frustration on the day, as the previous few days had been marvellous for spotting marine creatures. 

We did manage to see seals, but this time of the year they’re not likely to go too far as the females are heavily pregnant. And no, we didn’t see any newborn seal pups either, in case you’re asking.

The upside is that I managed to take some nice photos. The coastline around Castletownshend is gloriously photogenic, even if its marine inhabitants were in hiding.

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The Stags

The Stags

Seal Rocks

Seal Rocks

Yesterday, we headed to the Galley Head area in West Cork, halfway between Clonakilty and Skibbereen. The day was uncharacteristically perfect. The low winter sun offering this battered coastline some light relief.

The winter storms had not yet abated and the waves around the Long Strand (Castlefreke) were enormous, crashing loudly onto the beach. I caught some nice shots during our walk.

Castlefreke 6

We then headed to the Drombeg Stone Circle, close to Glandore. These Bronze Age Menhirs with their portal stones and altar is a reminder of mysterious times long gone. Close by is a wonderfully preserved “Fualacht Fia” – an ancient kitchen. Red-hot stones were added to the water, allowing the water to boil, thus cooking whatever food had been caught during the day.

Just as London has Big Ben, and Paris the Eiffel Tower, Cork has Shandon Church. This modest chapel, by no means the largest or most ornate church in Cork, is by far the most emblematic.

I found myself in Cork very early one morning last September. Having a few hours to waste before work, I headed towards St Anne’s Church in an attempt to understand its enigmatic hold over the city.

St Anne’s dates from 1722, its famous bells installed in 1750, it’s clock mechanism a hundred years later. The church is built of red sandstone and white limestone, which have come to represent the colours of Cork City and county. The clock faces, notoriously inaccurate, have given the church its nickname ‘The Four Faced Liar’*.  The large gold-plated salmon, ‘de goldie fish’, on the top is a nod to Cork’s booming salmon industry of the time. Situated a short distance north of the River Lee and a stone’s throw from Cork’s North Cathedral, the narrow streets and alleys around it are a throwback to earlier times. The Butter Museum and the Firkin Crane theatre, Cork’s home of dance, rests in its shadow.

Because of its centrality, its central position and its idiosyncratic design, Shandon is the true heart of Cork City. While the city itself has gone through a transformation in the last few years, with glass and polished marble growing up where dowdy brick and concrete buildings once stood, this symbol of Cork’s heritage remains unchallenged.

Shandon Panorama

* This is the name of a famous Irish pub in New York City, which in turn became the name of a 2010 award winning independent movie.

The view this morning.

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(Click to enlarge)

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