Sunday, 24 May 2009


The Donkey in the Well

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a spade and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realised what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quietened down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, the donkey got closer to the top

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up. Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.

Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

Live simply and appreciate what you have.

Give more.

Expect less.




Artist Paul Kerr held an exhibition at Fort Dunree in Inishowen this week. Called Somewhere Else , the images reflect the isolation and nature of the area.There was a good turn out at the opening with local and national artists attending.


Noel Bradley lives in Buncrana with his wife Rosanna and their two children Ruth and Peter. Noel was born in Buncrana but moved away for a while and worked in Nigeria as a missionary priest for The Society of African Missions. Noel has trained as a spiritual guide and pastoral counsellor in Loyola University, Chicago. He works as a community facilitator and counsellor. He is currently sending out invitations for a new workshop called the Transformation Game starting in Loreto House in Linsfort. Spiritual missionary and author Donal Dorr will co-facilitate the course which starts on Monday 1st June and runs for five days. The game was created in the International Spiritual and Holistic Centre in Findhorn, Scotland. If you are interested in participating in workshop you can contact Noel on 074 9362390
What music are you listening to at the moment?
My wife Rosanna sings with the Gateway singers here in Buncrana and tends to practice around the house a lot. That’s all the music I need to hear! The choir has just returned from a trip to Wales on an invite by the Welsh Treharris male choir, who came to Inishowen recently.
What book are you reading?
'The Recession and God' by Gerry O’Hanlon SJ. In the book he proposes a vision for a common good inspired by the values of equality, justice and solidarity. Gerry is suggesting that this is a marvellous time to question the whole economic model that has put us in this mess rather than try to patch it up and get back to 'business as usual'. He wants a more sustainable future with a place for ethics in economics.
What was your favourite childhood game?
Rounders, the Irish kids form of baseball. We used an old hurley stick instead of a bat.

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
We went to see Gran Torino directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. It was about a disgruntled Korean War veteran who sets out to reform his young neighbour and ends up redeeming himself. It’s a very good film.
What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
The letters page. I like to see what topical issues people are writing in about. Literature, the church, society…It’s all interesting.
What would you never throw away?
My books…I still have all of my books from when I started reading and I still go back to them to read chapters and use them for reference.
Most embarrassing moment of your life?
The one that comes to mind was when I got caught with a ¼ stone bag of apples. I went to the chapel to pray and to ask what to do and was moved to go to his house and promise that I would never steal apples again….He took no notice and went to my parent's house to show them the spoils. My mother wanted to hit him over the head with the bag… out of embarrassment of course.

Favourite TV programme?
Questions and Answers with John Bowman, it has a good mix of celebrities and politicians.
Favourite meal?
I love salmon and a good plate of fluffy, dry potatoes.
What job did you want to do when you were a child?
I wanted to be a fire fighter. I wanted to save the world and rescue people with my big ladder.
Where was your best holiday and what made it special?
My wife and I went to Florida on our honeymoon ten years ago. I remember we met Martina Hingis in a restaurant, the Swiss tennis player who was at the top of her game at the time….
What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
Nelson Mandela, Mary Robinson and Seamus Heaney. All three of them have made wonderful contributions to humanity.

What do you do for a special treat?
I treat myself to a milky coffee. I try to stay clear of the chocolate digestives now though.

Favourite animal?
I like dogs and cats but an animal that I particularly like is the owl. It stands and waits patiently, taking everything in.
Biggest thrill?
When Donegal won the All Ireland final against Dublin in 1992. I was in Chicago watching it on a big screen TV and cried tears of joy. I played and loved Gaelic as a young fellow.
Biggest Challenge?
In my professional work that would probably be combining spirituality with social justice. As a parent to be a good husband and father.
What was the best present you ever got?
My wife and two children….
What was the last thing you bought just for yourself?
I bought a café latte and a big wedge of chocolate cake in a café in Letterkenny last week. It was a wet day and I couldn’t find who I was looking for so I thought “Why not?” I couldn’t get through all of the cake though….
What charities do you support?
Concern and Trocaire, both very worthy causes.
The world’s most irritating/most useful invention?
The best is the electric rice cooker we have. The worst are the election posters we are seeing everywhere. Why don’t the councillors just get together and say 'no' to putting them up. They are a pain to look at and spoil the town. It’s a waste of resources. If they can't co-operate on a little thing like that, what hope is for a new kind of politics?.

Favourite past-time?
Reading and watching television.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
Ancient Greece in the times of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. There could be loads of discussions about politics, ethics and logic.Not the time of Jesus, who knows I might have ended up on the wrong side?

What do you have for breakfast?
Porridge with raisins and toast.
Do you have a favourite comedian?
The Two Ronnies were very clever and I also enjoyed watching Harry Worth….remember him?

What was your first paid job?
I was a message boy on a bike. I worked for my dad at the Bradley’s grocery supermarket that was in Main Street, Buncrana. I got the princely sum of 2 shillings and sixpence for my work.

Best/worst household task?

The worst is taking out the ashes… very messy. The best is getting into bed.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

My mother once told me “This too will pass.”

Personal philosophy?
Try to be honest and fair. It is only with the heart that one sees properly, what is essential is invisible to the eye and that 'all shall be well, all shall well, and all manner of things shall be well..."

Burt v Naomh Columba

Intermediate Football Championship match between Burt and Naomh Columba. Burt lost and now have to win away to get the third decider.

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