Batten the hatches, keep out of the water

This is a Gael Warning. It officially came into force at the beginning of this penitential Lenten week.

It is Status Green in the South, and a flaming Status Orange on the other side of our historic border.

Even the most seasoned forecasters cannot accurately predict when it will all end, one way or another, not just on this small island, but right around the globe.

And there again is a melting fragment of the pure truth.

I’m doing my level best to inject a sliver of levity into the darkness all around us, and finding it a difficult chore indeed.

It’s Lent for sure, again. Just like the hard old days.

All the official news across the serious media outlets was darkly morose, as the Gael Warning came into force.

All the tidings were dark, including the official stats proving beyond doubt that our once booming national birth rate is falling sharply, for a complexity of economic reasons, and very soon, in consequence, there will only be about one hale and hearty worker available to support the sharply increasing number of old pensioners like myself.

The statisticians, with barely concealed regret, accused us senior citizens of living too long nowadays, overwhelming the groaning health service everywhere, causing endless social problems for both the State and our immediate families and friends.

Given the housing shortages, and the soaring cost of caring for the relatively few babies that young families bring into the world, it is no surprise that the Gael Warning has come into force.

Another fundamental truth there.

A source who knows more than I about matters connected with global warming, and the effects upon wildlife generally, informed me grimly, as Lent began, that there is a live chance that the swallows whose arrivals normally brighten our lives each spring will probably avoid the Emerald Isle altogether this year.

On the other hand, our waters will be invaded by savage shoals of hungry sharks, and an increased whale invasion.

He claims it will be a fortunate citizen who will spot any of the once numerous honey bees and butterflies over the fields, which the increasing hurricane events will sharply affect, and says there is geological evidence the fabled Cliffs of Moher down the coast from me here will be eroded to a frightening extent.

Sometimes, he claimed, large chunks of the Cliffs of Moher will be seen to fall down on top of the lethal sharks looking for prey in the surf below.

Much of this action will be likely recorded by the growing fleet of drones which, he also claims, will cause frequent problems around Shannon Airport, a few miles away.

This source is normally accurate in his forecasts and, whilst I am not claiming his predictions are accurate, I am shocked to the core, but not unduly surprised either.

Neither was I surprised unduly (maybe because of my continuing state of shock), when this wise man of matters environmental in the immediate future for us all, said that it almost inevitable that snakes and other serpents are likely to be commonly seen on Irish farms on both sides of our troublesome border, before the end of the century.

He alleged that Saint Patrick never banished our snakes, because they were not a native species in his saintly heyday, but the farmers of the future in this New Ireland would deliberately introduce them, to control constant invasions of swarms of locusts who, because of the changing weather patterns, would replace the lovely, lively flocks of swallows we’ve all grown up with.

Again, I am not claiming this as one of my pure truths, but I am passing it on, for whatever it is worth.

Some amongst you will be able to evaluate the information more efficiently and accurately than a mere pensioner who, according to the health statistics, has already lived too long, and will become a greater burden on all connected parties in a future which, frankly, I don’t want to talk about just now.

Finally, the Gael Warning now in full force, and the fallout from this equally complicated Brexit business, are likely to inhibit the flights from here to the outer reaches of our diaspora by our politicians, for the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations of 2019.

One fervently hopes that President Trump of the Disunited States will not be too disappointed, if he does not receive his ceremonial bunch of shamrock in good time, somewhere in the shadow of his own troublesome hard border.

It’s indeed a wonderful world!

Enjoy it all while you can, but maybe if you feel like an early season swim or dip along the Wild Atlantic Way, beware of those hungry sharks and whales.

More on this topic

146-acre West Cork farm offers varied possibilities

Teams from 13 countries to take part in European Ploughing Championships in Wexford

Cormac MacConnell: It’s an ill wind that blows no good...

How Article 50 filibuster could plunge us into no-deal smugglers’ paradise

More in this Section

Turning wood into food to solve protein shortage

Karen Walsh: Appeal Court verdict of interest for Irish farming families

Optimising our inshore fisheries

Dispute between farmer and wind farm company takes a twist


Lifestyle

25 years on: Do you recall where you were when you heard the news of Kurt Cobain's death?

MOMMY DEAREST: The portrayal of Irish mothers on screen

Making Cents: Consumers have more options with An Post

More From The Irish Examiner