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By Mattie Lennon.

   I have just read an account of one Bernard Gallagher whom the author, Allen Foster, describes as “Ireland’s greatest hoaxer.”  Mr Gallagher was born in Derry in 1856 and died there in the Workhouse in June 1926.

  One of his lesser-known scams was executed shortly after the foundation of the State. He posed as a government engineer, in Donegal, and carried out a survey with a view to building a proposed wall between the two states.

Mattie Lennon  mattiejlennon@gmail.com

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Mattie Lennonh Irish Author- An Obstacle Confusion

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Mattie Lennon Irish Author- LACKEN SCHOOL


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Mattie Lennon Irish Author – Who Nose or A Sense of Woodbine, Buttercups Rouses Memories

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Mattie Lennon Irish Author- NEWS WORTH IT?


By Mattie Lennon

The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them: inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehood and errors.”

So said Thomas Jefferson.  I don’t agree with that but now I’m going to go on a bit  of a tangent.

    You know when you need two screws but you are obliged to buy a packet of twelve? Or when the sitting-room clock battery needs replacing and you have to purchase a brace of them? Annoying isn’t it?  Well, market forces do that kind of thing to me every day but especially on Sundays.

  You see, newspaper magnates are biased against people like me. We have no interest in sport and lack the finances necessary for an interest in the Travel, Property and Finance sections of newspapers. Yet we are forced to purchase the complete newspaper while reading, maybe, only 25% of it.  I weighted last Sunday’s Sunday Times. The total weight was 641 grammes. While the    parts that I read or wanted to read weighted only 139 grammes.

   The price of that particular paper is three euro but . . if I were allowed to buy only the sections that I wanted, according to my I would be paying only 65 cents.

In a restaurant if you don’t take the side-salad you don’t have to pay for it. When purchasing a loaf of bread in a Supermarket you are not compelled the buy a pound of butter as well. Although I will admit there is no refund when I leave the Yorkshire Pudding behind on the plate or refrain from using the shoddy Rawlplugs that come with flat-pack furniture.

In  one of these supplements  there is an ad which offers me a residence in Glenageary at 4.5 million Euros or a house to let near Laragh for a meagre 40,000 Euro a month.

   Do I look like a potential customer for either of those?  My little dog  usually sleeps on  predictions of the outcome at Landsdowne Road,   Croke Park or  Dalymount  Park  and  I am obliged to bin, unopened,  financial advice by Eddie Hobbs (A friend of mine pointed out that anybody who needs Eddie’s Advice doesn’t deserve to have money in the first place.)   How many beautiful trees gave their lives so that me, and my likes, could fill the recycle bin with pictures of swimming pools in Barbados, Estate agent’s descriptions of Ailsbury Road, a full page account or a row at the match between Rathnew and Tinahaley and the latest figures from Dow Jones?

    And another thing. I’m sure you have noticed that you seldom see a witty headline in the financial, business or sports section of a newspaper.  The best headline writers seem to avoid or be steered away from those sections.  But you will find some very clever headlines in the main section of even Provisional papers.

    A couple of years ago there was a little bridge swept away during a storm at Ballinastockan.  Because of formalities and regulations it took the local Authority a long time to replace it. The headline in the Wicklow People? “  New Bridge held up by red tape.” You wouldn’t find anything like that in a report about Denis O Brien in the Financial  Times.

 When there was an industrial dispute at Arigna mines  the Leitrim Observer had the headline, “If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile.”

  And the health supplement of the Irish Times told us, “New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group.”

  The long gone Evening Press was reporting on a bit of a situation pertaining to reproduction at Dublin Zoo. The headline read, “ Pandas refuse to mate; vet takes over.”

   The Irish Voice in America revealed in a headline that ,” Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft.”

    What gave me this idea about only paying for what I am going to use? I think it may be genetic memory. My grandfather was about to appear in court . . . something about trespass of livestock. He went to a local solicitor for advice. The solicitor did his best, told him what to say in court . . .and more importantly what NOT to say.   When the session was finished the grandfather took his hat up off the floor and headed for the door.   The solicitor called him back and reminded the grandfather that he owed him twenty guineas. “For what” said the grandfather. “For my advice” replied the solicitor. “At” says the grandfather, “sure I’m not taking it.”

  All newspapers, Sunday, Daily and Provincial, have a section or sections in which I, and many more like me, do not have any interest.  So I am suggesting to the Media magnates of the world that you introduce a pay-as-you-read system. That way those who only need the salacious accounts of the carryon of celebrity society will not have to pay for accounts of how a club footballer in Manorhamilton missed a free.

   Charles Lamb said of newspapers that no one ever lays down one without a feeling of disappointment. I haven’t  that statement but maybe he had a point..

   You know, I think I’m wasting my time. Nobody will pay any attention to me. I’ll have to go on buying a, largely, unwanted Wicklow People where last week we were informed that., “ The Cold Wave is Linked to Temperatures.”

Mattie Lennon


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Mattie Lennon Irish Author- THE UNSIGNED LETTER


By Mattie Lennon

   Most people have received anonymous communications at some stage. Be it a Valentine card from a shy admirer or a Christmas card that the sender had forgotten to sign.  And in more recent times there is the occasional baffling text or email.  There is of course the more malicious anonymous letter usually sent by the cowardly and insecure who  often tend to be inconsequential people of little importance to the addressee.  The senders of such letters usually have a chip on the shoulder.   It may be a begrudging colleague whose own   life is not satisfying, and they may have recently been disinherited and/or rejected. One source says, “These letters seem to be a cry of the powerless from persons who have lost the ability to speak their mind and have been pushed to the limit of their understanding and patience.”

   One  expert in the field wrote,

    “From my own observations, these writers are sick individuals. Within their makeup there is a weak streak which is inter linked with dishonesty and anyone who writes anonymously, even though purporting to have the receiver’s welfare at heart, has a problem.  “

  According to, ‘Judicial Graphology, by Renna Nezos, “that  personality is socially maladjusted and he/she suffers from a feeling of persecution and excessive jealousy.”

The following motivating characteristics of the anonymous letter-writer are put forward by an expert;



*Malice and Spite.


*Sexual Frustration.

*Inner feelings of personal inadequacy, which fuels a desire to cause suffering.

*The urge to wield influence.

   That anonymous letter you got could be from a shy retiring admirer or a forgetful acquaintance who neglected to put their name to it.  It could be from a well-meaning  person who wanted to put you wide to some treachery without getting  involved.  But . . . it could be more sinister.  Anybody who has read, “ 10 Strange Mysteries Involving  Anonymous Letters”  knows that the unsigned missive  is very often the hallmark of a psychopath.  Jack the Ripper and The Zodiac Killer are just two examples.

     The  anonymous letter that arrived in your letterbox may be from an innocent person but  it could also be from a coward who, in the words of one psychologist , “ . . . is using a power hold over the selected victim. From the feeling of power comes an inner sense of superiority, as real or imagined developments are anticipated. The correspondence may be planned with care, to hit the target and then retreat into hiding to await the results; or it may be the outcome of supposed slights and resentful feelings that have been festering over a period of time. The reaction is triggered by sending a threatening letter.”

Mattie Lennon



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