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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Barry Clifford: Real Life Courtroom Drama: A Genuine Christian

If you want real life courtroom drama where better to find it but at the courts itself. This week in County Meath they are testing the limits of any defense as a solicitor/lawyer, charged with stealing €2.8 million of clients funds from his own fathers firm, is now being painted as a ‘Genuine Christian’ in his attempt to get him his get out of jail card.

This ‘genuine Christian’ apparently worked all his life for the Church, a Christian one, not withstanding of course the €1.5 million he stole from them while he was working there. To help his defense along he has also completed a Masters Degree in Human Rights and has ambitions of working for a non governmental organization if he does avoid that 6ft by 4ft cell with a man that just held up a bank for less than €200 using a water pistol. The pen is definitely mightier than the sword.

His defense barrister described him as a “man of contradictions” which is a nice way of calling him a thief and a liar, and also said he is a true Christian and in the “exceptional category” of offenders.  Well, not everyday do you get to steal €2.8 million I suppose.

He also said his client, Ruari O Ceallaigh, donated his time, energy and money, (the money he stole I expect) to protect the rights of the disadvantaged, (which has to be his victims) and to advance the cause of those who had little. Definitely the core values of a true Christian, and had the back up of another 2000 of them in England who just happened to be solicitors as well; and their motif is that they “exist to influence lawyers and laws for Christ.” Can you be a Christian and a lawyer at the same time or is it just a stretch too far? Well, at least they struck Ruairi off the solicitors roll though now it seems he is up for sainthood.

The theft by good and Godly Ruari who is ‘driven by Christian values’ was only discovered by a routine investigation by the Law Society for confession was not on the cards for this penitent and only if caught like a rat in a corner. For the rest of us looking for a level playing field in the courtroom in all of this can only wonder what makes you a bad Christian?

Barry Clifford

Letter: You crack dealing piece of trash

When, in 2007, Cleveland councilor Michael Polensek heard that local 18-year-old constituent Arsenio Winston had been arrested for selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer, he went straight for the jugular and wrote him the following furious letter — a letter which soon made far more headlines than the crime itself due to Polensek's complete lack of tact. As for Winston, a subsequent guilty plea saw him serve five months. Polensek, when later asked about the letter, replied, "Hell, I write those kind of notes twice a week."

His prediction was accurate. In March of 2009, Arsenio Winston was jailed again, but this time for 11 years following a series of armed robberies.

Transcript follows.

City of Cleveland
Legislative Department

July 12, 2007

Mr. Arsenio Winston
[Address redacted]

Dear Mr. Winston:

As Councilman representing Cleveland's 11th Ward, I have been notified once again that you have been arrested for dealing drugs in my ward, this time at the Convenient Food Mart located at 18506 St Clair Avenue in the parking lot.

Mr. Winston, you have to be "dumber than mud." Don't you know that one of your so-called "friends" from the "8th-Avenue gang" ratted your "ass" out that you were dealing drugs from the parking lot? They cut a deal. So much for your wonderful pals, you idiot. I am so glad that you are now 18 years of age, because now you are an adult and can no longer hide behind the juvenile court system, Mr. Quarterback, loser. Remember when you told me to "kiss your black ass" at R.J. Taylor Playground and that you were going to be an NFL Quarterback? Well, the NFL, despite perceptions, is "not for losers!"

In closing, I told you just recently to stay out of my neighborhood, you crack dealing piece of trash. Yet, you keep coming back because you think you are a big man. Well, real men go to school or to work every day and take care of their family, and not through illegal drug activity. You are a "thug" and you know what? There are only two places you will end up at the rate you are going — that is, prison or the nearest funeral home. Quite frankly, I don't care which one you get to first as long as your dumb stupid ass is out of my neighborhood.

Have a wonderful life, Arsenio. I'm sure you have made your mother real proud. Remember when I spoke to her one of the other times that you were arrested for assaulting a police officer on East 185th Street? Only a moron would do that. Your fate is totally in your hands; which, is a scary thought.

Go to jail or the cemetery soon,


Michael D. Polensek
Councilman, Ward 11


Mr. Martin Flask, Director, Department of Public Safety
Chief Michael McGrath, Chief of Police
Commander Wayne Drummond, 6th District Police Headquarters

Mr. Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Photo Minute: Seat with a view

Photo Minute: This dinner did not get away

Barry Clifford: Just A Man Standing In Two Shoes

Padraig Mc Nally, a bachelor, living on his small farm in Cross, Co Mayo, had never harmed or threatened another man or woman in his life before he was 60 years old. He did not abuse another person verbally, and the livestock that he had were never exposed to ill treatment. All he had was his animals, a few acres of lush grass to feed them and a house full of memories that went with it. His honesty and shyness was apparent only to others and though living alone it did not make him lonely. He did not ask for much and was easy to like. That calm world that held no surprises, and where they were not invited, came crashing down around him when two men without invitation came to pay him a visit on October the 14th 2004, which was a Thursday. One of them would not see Friday.

Men like these two had come before. What they saw was a vulnerable man, a simple man, an easy touch. Word got around. What they did not see, that beneath Padraig Mc Nally’s well worn clothes was a body that was strong from honest labour ruled by a mind that was pushed to the edge. He was not going to take it anymore. These men before and these men now had not seen either the shotgun that he had inside the house.

That day, 18 year old Tom Ward was standing in front of him, while his father,  John ‘Frog’ Ward, a former street fighter and permanent thug, and permanently in between jobs, was already around the back of the house to see what he could steal.  When Padraig realized what was going on, he advised young Tom that the other fellow would not be coming back out. He then went to get his shotgun in the house and walked out the back door. He levelled it at the father and fired. He then beat him with a stick before going to reload the shotgun and finished, the belatedly wiser ‘Frog’  with another volley or two. Then the deadweight left was lifted and thrown over a wall. The son, though very obese, had found his legs quickly after the sound of the first shot, and had already broken all his own previous records for running as his eggplant body now ran for its very life. 

The courts found Padraig Mc Nally guilty of manslaughter, retried him on appeal and he eventually walked free. He is not alone anymore with thousands of letters of good will since and a documentary maker recently got to meet him in his own home. Looking for something deeper in his character to make good TV, he asked him who is the real Padraig Mc Nally? He replied: “I’m just a man standing in two shoes.”

When I met him fleetingly in my village last month and as I shook his hand warmly he asked me my name.  I replied: “Does it matter Padraig, sure I’m just a man standing in two shoes too” before the next well-wisher came along right behind me. With that simple wisdom, may we all be happy.  

Barry Clifford   

Photo Minute: Taken with an IPHONE

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thoughts for the day

“ All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him/her, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your happiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy. “

“ If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

“ Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.”

“ In interactions with others, instead of trying to be right, why don’t we try to be kind?”

 “Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you.”

“ It is impossible to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.”

The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves and life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives the better.”

By Wayne W Dyer

Powerful Video; Can't Explain It, Just Watch

Photo Minute: Pesky Kids