… a kind of Legal Column

Storms over Texas and sadness over Georgia

with 2 comments

texas storm

Image by {Wes} via Flickr

Storms arrived into Southern Texas on Saturday and continued throughout Sunday. Starting out as mostly thunder, followed by huge rain drops but a foot apart ! Then later there was some really heavy rain which was badly needed. I then did what all good Texans do when it rains heavily… I reversed the car out of the Garage. This I’m told is a Texas Car Wash !

Now I know Fr Jimmy has prayed for rain for months and his prayers have been answered despite some cynics /doubters on Twitter, but I did say a little prayer myself that the sun reappears if only until I vacate the State at the end of the month. If we in Ireland could export our rain to Texas we’d all be wealthy and tell the Troika to F Off. I can now say that my prayer was answered and we’re enjoying a great spell of weather again. There is a God after all.

Well, Mass on Sunday with Fr Jimmy was as exciting as ever. That man can really keep your attention, is very witty but gets his point across. His Masses last nearly two hours and later people queue up just to thank him and shake his hand. My daughter was one of these and gave him a Big Hug. She says of him that he is ‘A Priest like my Grandad would have liked. A real connection with God’. So prayers said, we all headed to Jim’s for Breakfast. ‘There’s always something good cookin’ at Jim’s !’ is written across the top of the Menu. It seems the founder opened a Bicycle Rental Business in 1947 and placed a Watermelon Stand outside. You guessed, it developed into the Chain of Restaurants today known as Jims and is now a great favourite here in San Antonio for breakfast. The gentleman serving us was a kind and gentle man. Slightly older than me. An ex-teacher he told us. He’d taken a break from the School system and now couldn’t get back in. Now he was working at Jims. He said his name was Ealy but that his ancestors who came to America from Ireland, had been called Healy. He went on to say that the family were divided into two groups. One being Artists while the other were Thieves. He believed it was the latter group who ventured to America. The alternative history of the Healys he said, was that Mr Healy married a Mexican woman and moved to Mexico. It seems they have no ‘H’ in Mexico so Healy became Ealy ! Having been up for hours and sat through two hours of Fr Jimmy I was now starving so ordered The Rustlers Roundup..3 Eggs,Sausage,Grilled ham and bacon, served with Hash browns or Grits and toast or flaky biscuits $7.69. I did say I was hungry. My daughters put in their separate orders while Toes had Texas French Toast:…Three Texas-sized slices hand-dipped, grilled and served with syrup and powdered sugar $4.79 and of course, Milk. Where Toes put the food I have no idea. I didn’t hang around to find out anyway as with his mother on hand, I felt his nappies were her business ! Well after that feast it was back home and a quiet day in front of the TV. Starting with The Disney Channel then later my daughters choice. I now hate MTV !


While I write this piece, I’m saddened to hear of the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia. Despite the apparent production of evidence which suggested a miscarriage of justice, the State nonetheless executed him. I abhor violence of any kind and violence inflicted by The State is, to my way of thinking, the worst possible kind. The premeditated murder in such clinical circumstances is wrong. Scripture says ‘vengeance is mine says The Lord’. Well I believe that. The execution of a human being by The State is not justice, it’s vengeance. I take no pride in the fact that here in Texas the State seems the worst offender in this regard. On too regular a basis I see on the News stories about the latest person to have been executed. Governor Perry obviously is a strong believer in Capital Punishment. While I respect him as Governor I do take issue with some of his policies and on this one we’ll never agree. Just think of the poor families who arrive at the Prison of Execution to collect the Body Bag containing the remains of their Father, Son, Brother or other relative. Absolutely horrific. I’m not a soft Liberal like some Republicans may suggest but I do not believe in the Old Testament where it demands ‘a tooth for a tooth’. I am a lawyer practising for over 30 years now and I am a firm believer in the concept of  justice. I condemn those who murder, rape and terrorise our Citizens and believe the State has a role to play in removing from society, those criminals responsible for such heinous acts. You won’t find me soft on these issues. But C’mon Governor Perry. Here in Texas, where we have a predominant Christian Society, please, where is your compassion? Justice is not directing vengeance on the victim and his/her family. If it is then you and me need to talk as The Christ I believe in obviously differs somewhat from yours.


Finally, I’d like to remember the mother of a close friend of my son who died suddenly from a Brain Hemorrhage. Jean Carley. May she rest in peace.

 LegalEagleStar , San Antonio , Texas , Thursday , 22nd. September , 2011 .

2 Responses

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  1. Tom,

    There is a huge amount of all kinds of humanity in your blog today!
    I’m not sure, I’d enjoy a two hour mass, but then, having not ever
    experienced Fr. Jimmy, in truth, I cannot truly answer. I’ll take your word
    for it.

    Jim’s sounds amazing. I think it would be delightful to taste it all! I’m not sure
    how I’d manage all that food!

    And then you hit me with Troy Davis’s execution. A mega reality hit!
    I do not agree with murder of any kind.
    No other human being has the right to take a life, no matter what the circumstances.
    I believe that only God has that right.
    I admire your courage to speak about mass, Fr Jimmy & God.
    Not many of us do these days.
    It is a subject, that seems to be, “not politically correct” to talk about publicly these days.
    In fact, I’ve been debating about blogging about God for a wee while. I’m not so sure
    I have the courage to yet! Sadly.

    In my training, as a relationship mentor, with Dr Tony Humphreys, here in Ireland, I have
    learned, the hard way, and I say this with much humility, that when any individual behaves
    as Governor Perry did, you are, in fact, looking at where that person is within themselves.
    Many people may love the individual, but do distinguish them, from their behaviour. I do not know Governor Perry, as a human being, but what I can say, is that I do not like his behaviour.

    In truth, in my own life, I have not often liked my own behaviour. But what is so very wise, is that my behaviour acts as a mirror to me, about what is going on, in side of me. If only I cared to notice. I have often, in my life, chosen to ignore it’s beautiful wisdom. I have therefore hurt not only myself, but those I love and those who have come into my life to teach valuable lessons! And some lessons in our lives need to be learned the hard way. Maybe ?!? and I don’t know, Governor Perry has a tough life lesson to learn from Troy Davis’s execution. If I said anything else, then I commit a bigger crime/sin, in that, I would judge Governor Perry. That in my book, is a big sin. There is far too much judgement in our world. And maybe the lesson for all of us here on earth, is Judge not, least you be judged!

    My prayer for Troy is that he is now home, with God and that his days are filled with the truest love of all, God’s love.

    I admire your courage Tom.


    September 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm

  2. I really liked your piece Tom, it’s the first thing I’ve read by you…that picture is fairly eyecatching, touch of the apocalyptic about it !! It’s so funny between Fr. Jimmy, and Jim’s I couldn’t help thinking about my own Dad, who is Jim as well…he is in the Grand Court hotel in Jerusalem as I write !!
    I didn’t follow the Troy Davis case I’m just aware it happened… that Fr. Jimmy sounds lovely and the breakfast a hearattack in the making hah ! Great blog Tom… I’m signed up now. Maura.

    Maura Donohoe

    September 23, 2011 at 9:41 am

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