Hope those of you who still pop by this place are well. I had planned on writing over Christmas but got a bad dose of the flu which seems to be going around. Thankfully it didn't spoil my holidays.
Despite the flu season, the miserable weather and the constant bad news about the economy, let's all try to be optimistic eh?!
I wish you all a happy and productive year ahead.
On a more sombre note I'd like to express my sadness on the death of Independent TD Tony Gregory, who passed away last week aged 61 after a long battle with cancer.
Gregory started out as a member of Official Sinn Féin and was later a founder member of the breakaway Irish Republican Socialist Party before being elected to the Dáil in 1982 as an Independent.
He gained national attention that year through the so-called "Gregory Deal", in which he negotiated a deal with the now disgraced Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey to ensure his support for the minority Fianna Fáil Government. In return, Gregory was guaranteed a massive cash injection for his inner-city Dublin constituency.
While I didn't always agree with Mr Gregory's decisions, I did admire his dedication to his constituents and felt he had more integrity than most in the Dáil. I was also grateful when just under two years ago he agreed to take my questions for an interview on United Irelander. You can have a read of that here. I remember admiring his honesty in that interview. RIP.