An elderly man died from burns he received in a nursing home tragedy in Bray, Co Wicklow after he allegedly went for a cigarette in the toilet.
Mr Oliver Cronin (69) was a resident at Shannagh Bay Nursing Home on Strand Road in Bray which overlooks the seafront.
Staff became aware of the incident when they noticed smoke coming from underneath the toilet door. They used staff pass keys to open the door and found Mr Cronin whose ‘clothing was on fire in a serious way’ according to staff.
One of the things of which we ‘pride’ ourselves in this country is our ability to make our own decisions. Since independence, we have been able to choose our own way, even if in some cases it has brought us to the brink of disaster.
Nonetheless, the ability to decide among ourselves what is best for us was the whole point of seeking independence, and maintaining such independence should be our tribute to all those who in the past were killed, silenced or marginalised because they fought for that freedom.
One of my great heroes in journalism was the great John Reed who wrote the definitive book on the Russian Revolution, “Ten days that shook the World” and he did it mostly by being there. He happened to have had the fortune to be in Moscow in October, 1917, and so his eyewitness account of those events has become the standard by which all others are judged.
Limerick isn’t Moscow, and Ireland’s general practitioners aren’t exactly the lumpen proletariat, but last Monday night I got a sense of what John Reed must have felt at the beginning of a revolution. There was a sense that whatever comes next must be radically different from before – a sense that nothing could be the same again.