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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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Top comments of the week

Did you make the cut?

EVERY SATURDAY MORNING we take a look at all the best comments left on the site by our readers over the past seven days.

This week there was a lot of talk about Tony Fenton, Jeremy Clarkson and Sinn Féin.

So here, in no particular order, are the standout comments from the week that was.

The 5 most popular comments this week

1. Ireland mourns a radio legend this week following the death of Tony Fenton. Ciaran Behan got 2,157 for this sentiment.

Thanks for the tunes Tony.

2. Has Jeremy Clarkson finally gone too far? This is how Paul Brennan imagines the latest infraction, and 1,811 liked it.

I just have this image of him shouting “i made the BBC” just like henry sellers on father ted!

3. Last weekend, a US magazine advised tourists in Dublin to skip Grafton Street and Irish breakfasts. Lily Signoret and 1,517 agreed.

Not bad advice

4. John has a novel idea for the justice system – but 1,328 of you were keen on it.

How about the prison officers swap jobs with the judges and minister for justice for a week and then we might see some proper sentencing for attacks on working people.

5. Ireland is facing criticism from a European for its lack of laws on smacking. neo1 had a dissenting opinion, as did 1,309 readers with green thumbs.

An auld slap across the arse is needed every now n again…big difference between discipline and abuse :-)

The top 5 articles which received the most comments this week

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1. Just how damaged is Gerry Adams? (542 comments)

2. Bishop says gay couples with children are not parents (470 comments)

3. VIDEO: ‘We’re Roman Catholics, 50 years married… and we’re voting yes’ (342 comments)

4. Gerry Adams: Sinn Féin is ready for power (324 comments) 

5. Mary Lou: Anybody who rapes a child can’t call themselves a republican (302 comments)

Standout comments of the week

PastedImage-16618 Fenton in 1979, aged 18 Source: David Reddy

On Thursday, news broke of the death of Tony Fenton. Tributes flooded in, with this one from Mick Stafford hitting home for many of us.

Gutted to hear the news. I remember listening to Tony every evening and ringing in with the odd request for a tune for a girl I fancied at the time or 2 – some of which resulted in the an auld shift on the Friday night as a result!! RIP Buddy

Last Sunday, four people told their stories of growing up with an alcoholic parent. Many more people shared their heartbreaking experiences in the comments section. Here is just a snapshot, for the full and powerful thread, click here.

An Observer wrote:

I remember a small toy being given to me one morning. It was Donald Duck in a small car. It shouldn’t matter much any other day of the year but this was Christmas morning and my mother had gone through hell trying to get something for me and my brother and sister. My father had pissed away what money they had on drink that week. So she was left with buying me a small toy car,it fit in the palm of my hand. I don’t remember that day much, I wouldn’t even want to. But it’s the fear of someone coming home and knowing that something will happen that’s the one thing I’ll always remember from having an alcoholic parent. There was never any violence thank God but there was mental anguish. I was only 9 and I would beg him not to open the front door to go back to the pub for more after all the shouting. I stood in front of that door a good few times. Stopping one parent from getting more drunk while another threatening to walk out for good. That’s no way for a child to ever grow up. Ever.

There were more insights from Gwen Denny.

From the age of 5 ish all I can remember is the feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing it was nearly time for ” him” to fall home and trouble to start . Could be the slightest thing and my poor mam would get it . We were terrified and tried to protect her as well as a 4 and 5 year old could . My mam tried to get us to bed every weekend early to protect us but we wanted to mind her . We would be wrecked in school but I never told a single person . It went on until I was 19 although the violence calmed when my brother got old enough to stand up to my father. He never laid a hand on us , my mother would have killed him with her bare hands . She passed away 17 years ago on St Stephens day aged 46 . I speak to my father because he is my father but miss that woman more than I can say and wish she was here so that as an adult I could treat her to the life she truly truly deserved with my husband and daughter . I have had to have counselling and am on tablets which is all related to his alcoholism and my mans death and I don’t touch alcohol and still don’t like the smell of it and hate shouting . My father has not drank in 20 years but too much damage has been done for me to care .

And another very personal contribution from Frank Cauldhame:

This horrible “illness” can run in families for generations. My father was alcoholic and developed heart disease and then throat cancer before passing away at the relatively young age of 50, he was never violent but very quiet and to his great credit he was sober for a year before his untimely death. His illness impacted on me in that I was consumed with shame, had very low self esteem and despite hating alcohol because of all this I eventually became alcoholic myself which almost destroyed my own life. Now I’m sober, one day at a time, for the past two and a half years thanks to AA, and have reclaimed a lot of what I “lost” after hitting my own personal rock bottom. The best part of this is that I have broken the chain and my own beautiful children are still young and only “know” me as a normal sober Daddy. For this I am eternally grateful.There is help out there but you have to want it and once you’ve made the decision to seek help you have climbed the biggest hurdle.Fantastic article by the way !!!

Leaving Cert students are starting to hit panic levels never before seen in their teenage hearts this week as the CAO form becomes a reality. However, we’ve had some wise words for them from Modern Day Ireland.

I think it’s insane asking 17 year olds to choose their chosen career. At that age you have no real life experience. I studied for 4 years and it’s only when I reached my thirties that I discovered what I really want to do and it’s not what I went to college for. I think after the leaving cert, everyone should take a year to work or more or to travel. Wish I could go back and do it all again!!!

Speaking of the Leaving Cert, it’s always only a matter of time until the ‘S’ word is mentioned in any discussion on poetry.

Screenshot 2015-03-11 at 19.27.14 Source: Gill and MacMillan Books

John Cotter got there first this time, while people milled over Ireland’s favourite poem:

How many of them were in “Soundings”?

After a woman took to Reddit to find her bearded Valentine, O Swetenham shared a missed connection of his own:

I’d also like to find and thank the kind soul who left a half eaten carton of taco cheese chips on the ground outside Roma II last Saturday night. It was lukewarm and the cheese wasn’t fully melted but it still hit the spot. Thank you whoever you are…

And they say romance is dead…

Screenshot 2015-03-11 at 18.13.00 Source: Shutterstock

Meanwhile, Christopher Foley made this interesting contribution to a discussion on gambling addiction:

You can only drink so much in a day, you can only snort so much in a day, you can lose ur life savings in 1 bet at d 5 30 kempton….
I realize every addiction is a struggle, But the gamblin is horrific, especially on familys of d gambler cause it can b hidden quite well

Contribution by Órla Ryan

See any good comments? Send them on to sinead@thejournal.ie

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