Tag Archives: Shane Ross

My Fellow Citizens

My Fellow Citizens

(To Sylvester Bourke, Pat Hoey, Pier Leonard and Chantel Kangowa, my preferred candidates in Arklow local elections. As of now. Please circulate widely.)

         I fully intend to vote for one or more of you in the forthcoming election or elections. Why? I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt. Whose doubt? Mine. You have yet to prove yourselves in this great façade we call life, or something like that.

As far as I know, but who am I to say, you are reasonable facsimiles of human beings. Robots can be very realistic and getting more so all the time. Once I vote for you, if I vote for you, that’s it. I’ve burned my boats. I’m stuck with you until the next election, if you get elected.

Speaking as a semi-lunatic, driven mad or half mad by circumstances beyond my control, but that’s life, isn’t it, yes, as I said before, I strongly intend to vote, if I get around to it, which I expect I will. But don’t count on my vote, let the counting officer do that.

My point is I will have to put up with you for 4 years if you get elected but you will ignore me completely. That may be mutual. I have better things to be doing than thinking about politics all the time.

People like me are the electorate, for better or worse, and require representation. How can you be one of us and not one of us at the same time? Can you square that circle?

This may be a joke but someone said all politicians should be taken out periodically and shot. That’s fairly funny if you’re not a politician. There is still hope. You may not be elected.

To quote Samuel Beckett, everything is futile, it would be better never to have been born. He also said try again, fail again, try again, fail better.

He was more or less a comedian, not to be taken too seriously.

I too am Irish. So what? If I was born somewhere else I would be something else. And equally ashamed or proud, or probably both at once.

All good things come to an end, including life itself, good or otherwise. So you are going to make my life better. Says who? I didn’t make much of a job of it myself. I can’t really blame you. Not yet, anyway.

The torch was passed to another generation and they lit a marijuana cigarette with it. Fine words butter no parsnips. But they’re better than nothing.

To quote Dean Swift, and why not, in his self-written obituary:

He left the little wealth he had

to build a house for fools and mad,

and showed by this satiric touch,

no nation needed it so much.


End of quote.

What is your price? Will you fulfil my requirements? Do you endeavour to give satisfaction? Or do you just want to get elected?

I will sign my vote in blood. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Not mine, I hope.

A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing – Oscar Wilde.

I know the price of a pint of Guinness, four sixty in my favourite hostelry, less in some places, more in others.

Have you read Less is More? Or Small is Beautiful? Neither have I. I recommend them to other people. Not written by Irish people, but we can’t all be Irish.

What’s wrong with Ireland that you want to make it better? A patriot is a person who says a country is the best in the world because he was born in it – G. B. Shaw (also Irish).

Karl Marx said something else but he wasn’t Irish. He once said smokers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chain smoking. Or something very like it.

So, okay, if you get elected we won’t have to put up with each other for four years. I look forward to that. An amicable divorce. We all make mistakes.

Any of you could turn out to be another Hitler, Pol Pot or Shane Ross. God help us all. At least you’re not Nigel Farrage, not so far, anyway.

Are you good at soundbites? Do you tweet often? What have you learned from Donald Trump?

Okay, that’s it, fateful Friday approaches, the day of reckoning, when the sheep are sorted from the goats, the men from the boys, the girls from the women, the good things from the bad things. I’ll see you in Heaven, Hell, Purgatory or Nirvana, whatever you’re having yourself. Destiny awaits. Many stirring words have been spoken, I am stir crazy hearing them.

Ok, I’ll vote for you, something is better than nothing. Or so they say. That’s for me to know and you to find out. Take it on the chin. Roll with the punches. Let Katy Taylor be your role model.

Arklow forever! Or the time being, anyway. Sorry for taking up so much of your time and mine.

Still, you could be in jail. Cheer up!


I asked a woman was she a politician, she said she hasn’t sold her soul. A man I repeated that to said politicians have no soul. He used the eff word.

Anglo Saxon is a gift bestowed on us by the English on their departure. We are fluent speakers.


Tich Ennis

22nd May, 2019



Patient Patient

6th January, 2017


Michael O’Brien,

Intensive Care Unit,

Vincent’s Hospital,

Dublin 4.


Some recent writing of mine, which I may list if I get around to it. Not read to you for reasons we both know, get a mobile phone!

I rang yesterday and was told you are much better. I said to tell you David Ennis rang, maybe they did.

What to say? I was at the Bridge Hotel yesterday chatting with the barman, whose name I am uncertain of as of much else.   Possibly Brendan, although I think he’s the bearded one.

We had an interesting if somewhat onesided conversation.   I asked him had he outgrown being ten years old, he said he didn’t think so.   I told him interesting things ten year olds said, such as that Columbus circumcised the Earth. Also, about Egypt, the inhabitants all lived somewhere else. This in their essays.   As recounted to my by my niece.

I said according to opinion polls the independents are losing popularity. We tried them, it didn’t work. Is Shane Ross always stupid or only mostly, I asked? He said he thinks always.

When they were going to go to North Korea to tell Kim  Jung il not to be stupid he could have cleared up their traffic problems. Remember our traffic minister who was caught driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway while drunk? He would make as much difference.

They decided not to go. If they had gone we would have spent years trying to get them out of jail. I’d leave them there, said Brendan (or whoever).   Shane Ross said he doesn’t agree with politicians doing things for their constituency and the first thing he did was get a Garda Station put there.   Then the crime rate rose.   Could you make it up?

I paid for my pint and had a sandwich. I said put the change in the poorbox, I’ll collect it next week when I’m poor.   There appeared to be no other customers in the bar, it was morning.   Then I went to Centra and paid for some cigarettes I got on tick.

My life so far, or some of it.   I spoke with John White on the phone, who told me ICU means ‘intensive care unit’.   He said you must be bad. Or have been so.   I said you are reportedly better. You’re a bad lad. Morally, spiritually and financially you are showing signs of improvement.

George is, as ever, giving all my stuff away and has a lot of letters to post, today, Saturday, I to address the envelopes because my writing is legible.   I am a good writer, my handwriting has been praised.   Possibly better than the great Russians. Who, as someone said, possessed greatness of soul. I’m not there yet.

John White said he doesn’t like serious stuff, only funny stuff. And him a physicist!   What’s so funny about splitting atoms?   Not to speak of splitting hairs.

Are you going to tunnel your way out of hospital?   I was told you will be there for a few days so I send you this to that address.   Pray for a miracle.   I have holy well water given to me by a local guy, but you refused it.   In a plastic bottle I am unable to open.   Labelled by me in case anyone thinks I’m a secret gin drinker.   On my mantelpiece, I might give it to my sister if she would take it.   I mean the religious one, not the pagan.

People sometimes call me by my brother’s name, I don’t know if that’s an insult or a compliment. They say it’s a compliment.

I have ordered 40 of the inserts for the CD cover for my CD which would mean I have enough for all 50 CD’s I got duplicated. From Blueprint, the printers here.   When you get home you’ll have that CD jewel case complete with inserts, posted to you there while you were in Dalkey.

The souvenir stroke tourist shop, Power’s, on the main street here may or may not sell my CD, I don’t know. They have my CD, not yet played, they sell no CD’s as of now.   Also, Easons in the shopping centre here, the Bridgewater, are in the same boat, but seem more likely.   Easons are nationwide distributors, as well as having their own shops. Who knows?   I’m used to having doors slammed in my face, that’s why my nose is flat.

Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed. I’ve got plenty of nothing. Hope springs eternal in the human breast. Think Marilyn Monroe. Diana Dors. Brigitte Bardot. Jayne Mansfield.

Just something to be going on with, Michael.   I told you that joke about the do-it-yourself job, which I won’t repeat here. You don’t have to look your best. Too late now.

I met Billy O’Brien of the Woodenbridge hotel who said they will sell my book Reasonable Rhymes on their reception desk, as they did before with Pub Talk, my last book. I said nothing about my CD, but why not? They could play it over their sound system, if they would and if it didn’t drive the customers out.   The Arklow Bay Hotel seem like a dead loss, like trying to get into Fort Knox. Some cement company own that hotel now and they have all that charm.   Personally speaking.

Festina lente, hasten slowly. This seems to be turning into a long letter.

Most of the people George meets seem to be dishonest crooks, are there any other kind?   Promising much, delivering nothing. George says its publicity, giving my stuff away free. I say people don’t value what they get for nothing.   He disagrees. Not even any feedback, no thank you, that’s out of fashion.   My stuff is cheap, but not free!   Not to my way of thinking, anyway.

Am I to be a rich communist? That’s not Ireland, that’s China. Did people pay for chairman Mao’s little red book? Now regarded as kitsch in that country. Or was it free?   You have to pay for the bullet they kill you with in China.   Nothing for nothing.

It could be worse. I could be you, a year older.   John White is even older and there’s nothing wrong with him a bottle of whisky wouldn’t cure.   John doesn’t drink, he’s a wise man. He thinks people only talk rubbish in pubs. He is academic.   Which does not mean useless and pointless, contrary to popular opinion.

What everyone knows is wrong. Do a person’s thinking for them and they love you, make them think and they hate you. A bureaucrat thinks rules are more important than people. We’re Irish, we don’t do rules. Sayings of an ancient Irish guru.

This letter is already on its third page and I try to keep within one page, not successfully, as you see.   Oh yes, and the man who made time made plenty of it.   That goes without saying.   Einstein said time is an illusion. Did he wear a watch?

All this could have been said on the telephone if you were up to it and had a working phone.   I hope you and your phone make a full recovery soon so that normal service may be restored.   Having been an almost daily communicant, with you, I miss our conversations.

The rambling English drunkard made the rambling English road. I ramble on.   Drunkards of the world unite!   You have nothing to lose but your consciousness. A utopia called oblivion. It is better to travel than arrive. British Rail slogan, someone said. The Irish and English have features in common. I’ll drink to that!

Here I am in the middle of the night or early morning writing to you, killing time, see Einstein. How do you kill what doesn’t exist? See Nietsche on God.   And God on Nietsche. They both say each other is dead. Pot. Kettle. Black.

Dialogue of the deaf. Unlike when you and I speak. I look forward to that happenstance. Le bon mot, le mot juste, must you always elude my grasp?   Mot is French for word, ask Macron. Next time you meet him.   Elysee Palace or Folies Bergere.

I better leave some space for the signature on this letter so will now conclude inconclusively.   That’s all there is to say then, in a manner of speaking.   Wishing you well in every sense of the word and in every way, your constant correspondent correspondingly yours, David (Tich) Ennis, with all best wishes…..

Tich Ennis

6th January, 2018