|The Spire - Dublin's newly iconic landmark|
Betty is my first cousin; our fathers were brothers, and while my father died shortly before my third birthday, I knew her parents well, and sadly now all that generation has passed on. There were 12 boys in my father's family and he was second-youngest. In the 1911 Census he is listed as a 4 year old, which I find very moving as I never really got the chance to get to know him. He seems to have belonged to a warm loving close family, and I had lost contact with them over the years of being abroad, and also growing up away from Dublin where they all lived, as my mother and me moved back to her family home in Lismore after my dad died.
At the party there was some wonderful entertainment, as Betty and Kevin were very involved in Variety, the children's charity, and were heading up the Dublin arm of it over many years. They had many friends in showbusiness in Ireland and Brian Hoey, a renowned tenor, was the MC at the birthday party. He has a wonderful singing voice and a broad repertoire, singing a variety of songs from past times. He was joined by the soprano Niamh Murray who sang some wonderful pieces from The Merry Widow and other operettas. My mother would have remembered seeing her at the Pioneer Centenary Celebrations in Croke Park in 1999 which was a nice link for me.
|Betty with her family|
|The view from our room - with Howth Head at sunrise|
|Bull Island & the Bull Wall from Sutton-Dublin|
There's palpable public anger at the cutbacks, we're all trying our damnedest to be understanding of the invidious situation the country is in and the government are in a damned-if-they-do and damned-if-they-don't place. What we don't want is that the leadership become arrogant and complacent in their position of political power and stay stuck in the moment because they were elected to instigate the reforms that were promised in the election manifesto and the programme for government. We all know there's compromises where there's coalition, but Labour are at risk of being subsumed into the larger party if they don't put a red line under certain issues and claim credit for the good things that get done by their initiation and not have the larger party take all the credit, wittingly or otherwise. It was good to see many TDs (MPs) and Councillors in attendance, our own Ciara Conway TD was there along with many of the other younger elected members.
|Labour Members Forum in Wynn's Hotel|
We hit the road home after the conference and it's lovely driving in the lengthening evenings into the sunset - with hubby driving and me knitting we must make an eccentric sight - but it sure whiles away the miles!
I'll do another blogpost on my lazy city afternoons in the past week. They deserve a separate platform!