Posts Tagged ‘Gay Byrne’

Stephen Fry calls it like it is: No God!

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

See Stephen Fry call it like it is, that there is no God, and certainly none worth believing in. Life is truer and more authentic when we grow up and stop our superstitious thinking. And there is no difference between superstitious beliefs/thinking and religious beliefs/thinking. Think for yourself! You will never think your way into believing in a benevolent deity or deities, or whatever the fashionable or culturally acceptable gods are of our time and cultures. Live your short life to the full. Life without stupid beliefs is so much better. Don’t let them fool you. Obey yourself. Be reasonable and compassionate to yourself and others. Let us all grow up.
See the link here:

Norah Casey The Meaning of Life

Monday, November 5th, 2012

That was a very moving final episode of the current series of Gay Byrne’s (RTE 1 television ) The Meaning of Life in which Gaybo interviewed Norah Casey, one year after the sad and sudden death of her beloved husband. It was touching, sad, honest, true and insightful, marred only by Gaybo’s cultural conditioning within Catholicism and seeming inability to transcend that limited and relatively recent (loopy) worldview. However, he remains a master of his broadcasting craft, verging on the peerless in fact. And I’m pretty sure I saw his eyes well up too at the raw grief evident still of Norah’s sad loss. It is true that Catholicism offers tools to help deal with grief – whether rattling off rosaries like a mantra, or the music and colour of the requiem mass. It’s just a pity that it often seems to hijack the human inevitability of death, as if the Catholic way is the only language of handling death when it clearly isn’t. And when, as is the case now, increasing numbers of people no longer believe in Catholic dogmas – happily – it can leave people floundering for an alternative rite of passage which is meaningful for post-Christians/unbelievers. True, humanists offer secular funeral services but as yet not so many people know about these. And Catholics have the advantage of dry/warm/sheltered church buildings in which to hold ceremonies for the bereaved. I wonder if they are sufficiently ‘catholic/universal’ to allow non-Catholics or former Catholics to shelter there from the elements on cold, rainy days to conduct secular funerals for bereaved fellow humans? Finally, Gaybo mentioned he’d never been present at anyone’s death and Norah seemed surprised. I was lucky/privileged enough to be present at the death of my father and my father-in-law, profound experiences both. Regardless of one’s religious/secular worldview, death is the one thing that unites us all. Each of us must die. How appalling that some religious people exclude people, even in death. It is not long ago that unbaptized infants could not be buried in ‘consecrated’ cemeteries and when crazy religious thinking¬† deemed such infants left to fester in ‘Limbo’. What unmitigated nonsense was taught to us and we, with our brains parked somewhere other than inside our heads, believed such waffle.


Sunday, February 7th, 2010

I’m sitting by the fire, listening to Gay Byrne on RTE Lyric FM of a Sunday afternoon. I’ve resisted the invitations to go elsewhere. There’s a lot to be said for sitting in a recliner chair in your own home. And I’ve just looked out the window and, no surprises, my daughter and her cousins are visiting here: just as I expected. And now my son and his cousin has arrived too. Just as I predicted. And the girls came laden with a bowl of sticky toffee pudding for me. Now, does life get any better than this?

Uncle Gaybo! His show is just over. But I recall that it was he, Gay Byrne, who first planted the irresistable bug of writing. He held a short story competition way back in the mid-1980s and I entered the competition. It was a tiny piece. I think just 500 words. A professional actor performed my little piece. I was one of the top ten finalists. It didn’t win the competition. But the buzz I got out of having my words read out on radio by a professonal actor was brilliant. I’d caught the bug and here I am, more than 25 years later, earning my living as a writer, editor and inveterate diariest. Thanks Uncle Gaybo! For your encouragement, the chance to taste the delight of my profession, and for being The Voice of Irish Radio through my youth, adulthood and, now, middle age.