Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Pig paraphernalia has never been so widely available and as a self-confessed pig lover let me tell you, I’m like a pig in muck.  My obsession began some years ago when I made an unpremeditated purchase in Amsterdam of a cute t-shirt – three pink little piggies and the word “Pigs” emblazoned across the chest.  It’s a bit threadbare now, but it still attracts smiles from other pig lovers on the few occasions that I still wear it.

Nowadays I drink my coffee from a pig mug, write reminders in a pig note pad and hang notes from a pig magnet. I’ve got a pig sticker on my laptop and every birthday I’m inundated with pig cards. (Well, okay, I shouldn’t say “inundated” – these days I’m lucky if my birthday is remembered at all). Some people might find the availability of all these pig bits a bit over the top. They might even claim that pigs are hogging all the limelight. But I’m proud to display my solidarity with pigs to all and sundry.

Let’s face it: it’s time these handsome, intelligent and sensitive four trotters took their well earned place alongside the cat and dog as humankind’s favourite companion. A clear indication that life has never been so good for these creatures is their booming population. Take Denmark for instance: there’s a country with more pigs than people.  It must be a pig heaven. You might have heard of how the north European social democracies take care of their citizens from cradle to grave.  Well, it isn’t just the human citizens who gain all of the attention from these enlightened welfare states.  Pigs too have gained rights. Let me explain.

There are radical feminists who would demand the right to reproduce but without the bother of having a male partner. Well, pigs are already ahead on that one. Genetic experts make a careful selection of the best pig sperm and the liberated sow gets it – and free of charge. Near her due date she’ll be given a shot to induce labour at a time of her convenience. And because her fertility is her particular joy, after weaning her piglets, the sow will be given a treatment of hormonal injections, so her natural cycle can be skipped and within three weeks she is ready for another load of scientifically delivered sperm. And without any hanky-panky.

Progressive pigs have broken down the rather feudal chains that once kept them tied to the toils of tiring motherhood. No sooner has today’s sow been empowered by the rich experience of pregnancy and the goddess-like power of birth giving (all with top class scientific care), when state subsidized institutions step in and accept complete social and financial responsibility for the rearing of the newly born piglets.

What about heath care and housing you may justly ask.  Never fear. Cardboard boxes and underground stations might be the abode of some of your lesser well off human brothers and sisters, put your average politically astute pig has today garnered a house made of concrete. The days of the huffing and puffing bad wolf are long gone.  Pigs live from birth until death inside warm concrete shelters.  Some conservatives still claim that pigs would be better off outside, in some mucky field or other. But that’s just a load of mishogenist crap.

In the area of heath care pigs are way better off than some tens of millions of US citizens, for they have access to a fully comprehensive array of measures, including dental care, various inoculations and daily doses of vitamins, hormones and antibiotics. In fact, in the USA they consume more antibiotics than humans, even when they’re not sick. No more runny noses or sore throats, lucky things.  Many pigs even engage in cosmetic surgery and get piercings, and free of charge!  But who can spite them a spot of vanity?

Meanwhile, your average pig enjoys a calorie intact that outdoes that of many citizens of Africa and South Asia.  In a further sign of the high regard that pigs are held, huge numbers of farmers in these poor countries, rather than feeding themselves or their compatriots, instead  export everything they grow to western countries because we need the food to feed our pigs.  And there are no hard feelings about this.

Today’s pig enjoys a lifestyle that would have made the ancient Egyptian pharaohs green with envy.  But has the pig also achieved the right to a death with dignity?  The answer is a resounding “yes”.  The empowerment of the modern pig is total.  When the time has come, and the end is nigh, pigs are sent on one last trip – and carbon miles are no limit. Then, after unloading, they receive top care from highly trained specialists.  Electric prods, stun guns, scalding hot showers are all included in the service, no expense spared.  Then, hooked up by one trotter they are put on a conveyor belt, hanging upside down from the ceiling and a hook cuts their throats and they calmly bleed to death.  I know this isn’t your or my idea of having a good time, but hey, let’s not be anthropocentric about this.  Let’s embrace our differences, after all, we have a diversity of needs, and we have to respect that the pig’s interests differ from our own.  I’ve heard it said again and again, when the pigs are finally hooked up and hanging from the ceiling, they simply squeal with excitement.

So there you have it. The facts speak for themselves. What I’m telling you is not simply hogwash: from cradle to grave the pig enjoys the best attentions we humans can offer.  The pig population is booming, as is that of the chicken, cow and sheep.  The new fashion for things piggish is simply the exuberant expression of joy that we feel now that we have fully engaged in this feeling of solidarity between two of God’s own creatures.  How we treat pigs today makes me proud to call myself a human.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Successor

A man was born just over five hundred years ago who influenced life in Zurich as few others have done. This was a man whose influence in the 16th century stretched across the continent, reaching the Far East and the New World. He corresponded with religious leaders, princes, kings and queens as well as the greatest thinkers of the age, including that mighty networker, Erasmus of Rotterdam.  His still extant letters, penned during an age before email, when the delete button was unknown, number over 12,000; most of them are preserved in Zurich’s Central Library.  His house, the Antistitium, still stands outside the Grossmünster Cathedral at Zwingliplatz 4.  During his lifetime it became a type of communications centre for the European Reformation with all sorts religious radicals passing through, bringing news reports from across the continent. For 44 years he led the people of Zurich through some of the greatest changes that Europe had experienced since the fall of the Roman Empire.  His name was Heinrich Bullinger.

You will be forgiven if you have never heard of him.  If history is the art of collaborative memory, then Bullinger’s case is an outstanding example of historical amnesia. Although his statue stands outside the Grossmünster, if he is remembered at all, it is as ‘the other guy’, the one who lives, metaphorically speaking, in the shadow of Zurich’s Great Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli.

Born in Bremgarten, near Zurich, on July 16 1504, Bullinger was the fifth son of the local parish priest.  So much for the celibacy of the clergy!  At university he became disillusioned with the theological rigmaroles of his scholastic professors, and, like many young students, he caught wind of the new ideas that Martin Luther was beginning to propagate.  Luther made use of the Internet of the time, the printing press, and his ideas spread like a fire that would burn half a continent.

In 1522 Bullinger began teaching at the cloister school in Kappel am Albis and he threw himself into the study of Greek, so that he might read the New Testament, in the original.  He then commenced his study of Hebrew.  Like any modern renaissance scholar worthy of the name, he was digging into the past, pouring over ancient texts, grappling with the obscure meanings, in an attempt to plummet the authentic intentions of the original authors.  But textual criticism was a dangerous game. Then Bullinger met Ulrich Zwingli, and his life changed.

In just a few years during the early 1520s Zwingli crushed the power of the Catholic Church in Zurich.  When he persuaded the City Council to support his interpretation of Christianity, Zurich, in effect, became the world’s first protestant city (though that word did not yet exist).  An authority that had lasted a thousand years was swept away, almost overnight, as most churches were closed down, and all monasteries and convents were dissolved, their wealth handed over to the city. The city profited handsomely from the deal.  But some years later Zwingli was captured at the Battle of Kappel am Albis by a coalition of catholic forces. They tortured him horribly and then he was hung, quartered and burned.  His ashes were mixed with dung and scattered.

This should be the end of the story.  With catholic forces poised to wipe out the upstart church, the City Council surprisingly appointed young Bullinger as the new religious leader or ‘Antistes’.  It was a decision that saved the Swiss Reformation.  More moderate than his predecessor, Bullinger made peace with the catholic cantons.  He then set about putting his own house in order.  Schools were founded, the homeless were housed, and work was created for the unemployed.  From all quarters of Europe protestant refugees poured into Zurich and were warmly welcomed, including half a dozen churchmen from Oxford who were later instrumental in bringing about the Reformation in England under King Edward VI.  When Catholic Mary Tudor, “Bloody Mary” came to power and commenced executing English Protestants, many of those who fled were welcomed by Bullinger and given asylum in Zurich.  Queen Elizabeth later sent a silver cup to Bullinger as a mark of appreciation for Zurich’s hospitality. 

               Bullinger's house, Zwingliplatz, Zürich

Bullinger’s theological works were distributed far and wide.  Dutch ships carried them to the Far East, and the first sermon ever preached in New York (then New Amsterdam) was a printed sermon of Bullinger’s.  His official residence, the Antistitium, opposite the Grossmunster at Zwingli-Platz 4, became a clearinghouse for news from all over Europe – a sort of early Reuters news agency.  Above all he remained the devoted pastor of the Grossmünster.  

All (well, not quite all – visits from catholics were not frequent) were welcomed in his house, even though it must have been fairly full with the eleven children that he had fathered with a former nun. By all accounts he was a loving husband and father. He wrote love poetry and love songs for his wife that sound surprisingly sentimental and modern.

During the 1560s he lost his wife, three daughters and son-in-law to the dreaded plague.  He died at home after a long illness in 1575.  He was buried, in compliance with his own wishes, in an unmarked grave in the garden of the Grossmünster. As far away as England his death was greeted as a calamity. Heinrich Bullinger’s name then began to inexplicably fade quite away, almost disappearing from the pages of history. Perhaps the new electronic force, the blog, will help to keep his name alive. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Murder in the Cathedral (almost)

We all know about September 11th - but what of September 12th, September 12th 1776, that is? One contemporary described the evil perpetrated on that day as being as monstrous as the Crucifixion itself. Within weeks, scores of newspapers, the blogs of their day, blanketed the German speaking world with detailed interpretations of the meaning of the heinous crime.  The debate split intellectuals into two camps – the supporters of the Enlightenment, or Aufklärung, with their optimistic view of human nature, versus the Christian critics of the secular Enlightenment, with their view that human beings were inherently evil.
So what happened on September 12th 1776?  Well, perhaps not very much, as it turns out, though an innocent man eventually paid with his life.  On the aforesaid morning the ruling council of Zurich attended the church service under the twin towers in the Grossmünster cathedral that sits atop a hill on the right bank of the River Limmat.  
         The twin towers of the Grossmünster

The wine that was served to the congregation looked murky and tasted repulsive.  After the service the wine was tested by a scientist who declared it had been poisoned with a “mixture of a gluelike substance and Spanish pepper dissolved in vinegar, jimson weed, Iris, fly poison and true arsenic.”  Arsenic!!  Somebody had tried to murder the pious leadership of this strict Protestant town (nevermind that no one had actually become ill, nor had anyone died).
The case quickly became a sensation and it seemed to question some of the most fundamental beliefs of the Enlightenment.  If humankind could be led by rational means along the path of progress, then how could such evil as had just occurred in Zurich be explained.  The leader of the Christian anti-Enlightenment assault was the Zurich pastor Johan Casper Lavater.  The case of the poisoned wine was for him an example of the underlying sickness in society; only faith in God could save humankind.  Lavater had been admired and visited by Goethe and his essays and sermons were renowned in the German speaking world. His chief foe was one of the leading propagandists of the Aufklärung, Friedrich Nicolai.  He claimed that Lavater was a misanthrope, that this single incident did not mean anything at all, and that perhaps the wine hadn’t even been poisoned at all.  By this time another team of scientists had questioned the original verdict regarding arsenic.
       Lavater's townhouse, where Goethe visited

Meanwhile, as the intellectual ferment dominated newspapers and journals from Hamburg to Berne, in Zurich arrests and interrogations had led to nothing.  But in 1780 an unlucky clergyman and statistician by the name of Johan Heinrich Waser was arrested.  In 1774 he had been suspended after publishing an article accusing the Zurich city authorities of corruption. He had continued to publish articles critical of Lavater and the city authorities. One morning in March 1780 gendarmes arrived at Waser’s apartment and led him, still in his dressing gown and slippers, to the nearby town hall where he was locked in a cell.
       Waser's apartment, where he was arrested

Despite escaping temporarily out a window and plunging into the River Limmat, Waser was charged with being a traitor, and the authorities cynically tried to nail him for the attempted murder in the cathedral as well. 
       Townhall, where Waser escaped through the window

The eventual verdict did not mention the poisoned wine, but Waser was found guilty of treason and sentenced to be “delivered over to the executioner, who shall bind his hands in front and then lead him to the usual place of execution, where a sword shall be used to sever his head from his body”.  That very afternoon the unfortunate Waser was beheaded on a clearing that today forms a small park outside Globus department store, on Zurich’s exclusive Bahnhofstrasse. His last words, according to eye-witnesses, were, “Lord Jesus, I die for you.”

The story of the poisoned wine and the execution of an innocent man was gradually forgotten only to be recovered by the American historian Jeffrey Freedman.  You could google yourself to death and still uncover next to nothing about this case.  Freedman however immersed himself in archives in Neuchatel, Bremen, Berlin, Leipzig and, above all, the Zurich State Archives and Zurich Central Library and reclaimed this long lost memory.  You can read about it in his wonderfully written A Poisoned Chalice, Princeton University Press: Princeton and Oxford, 2002.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eating Animals

I enjoyed Joanthan Safran Foer's first novel Everything is Illuminated and the film is worth seeing I think.  I really liked his second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - I found it original and moving.  His newest book is a non-fiction work called Eating Animals. I plan to read it within the next couple of weeks.  Meanwhile I came across an interesting interview with him:

Some things are very simple, and some things are complicated. It’s simple that we shouldn’t eat factory-farmed products—I say that being somebody who does. And we should eat a lot less. But we have to stop thinking about it in terms of “I am a this, or I am a that.” And instead, really think about it in every situation: is this a time when I can say yes, or I can say no?

Even if you don’t care about animals, nobody is indifferent to the quality of air we breathe or the water that we drink, or the health of the oceans, or our ability to use antibiotics, or how workers are treated—there are so many perspectives from which we can look at this. But what is complicated is good farms. And farms where animals are treated very well. And these exist.

Read the rest of the interview in Prospect Magazine

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sigmar Polke's Stained Glass Windows

Writing in the New Yorker magazine two years ago Peter Schjeldahl referred to German artist Sigmar Polke as one of the two best artistic painters in the world (the other being the equally German Gerhard Richter). Now Polke has returned to an art form in which he trained as an apprentice over fifty years ago – stained glass.

The art of stained glass is an art form that gets better the further you go back in time, the inverse of progress, until you reach the great Gothic cathedrals of France, especially Chartres. A number of Victorians, like Pugin, tried to revive the craft but could not solve the mystery as to why the medievals could outperform the moderns. But today’s Zürich is gradually becoming something of a Mecca for the traveler in search of contemporary church stained glass art. Both the Grossmünster and the Fraumünster cathedrals, just a few steps from each other and flanking opposite sides of the river Limmat, have beautiful windows designed by Augusto Giacometti, while the Fraumünster has become a must see for visitors because of its four windows designed by Marc Chagall. Now the Grossmünster has been enriched with twelve exquisite windows by Sigmar Polke.

The site of the Grossmünster has been a place of Christian worship since the late 3rd century. Charlemagne ordered that a great church be built on the spot in the early 9th century. The present Romanesque building dates mainly from the 13th and 14th centuries. It was while being a priest at the Grossmünster that Ulrich Zwingli initiated the Reformation in Zurich during the 1520s. In a word, this is a site with history.

Polke, a post-modern anarchist if ever there was one, has succeeded in producing a miracle of luminosity that combines originality with a deferring bow to tradition. He has given the western half of the church seven windows where the glass has been impregnated with thin slices of agate. In other words, he has daringly covered the window spaces of this squat and dark stone church with yet more stones – stones far older than the stones of the walls themselves. The agate stones, which are of course millions of years old, are arranged like translucent mosaics joined by strips of lead and have been treated with pigments to ensure an almost alchemical transformation. I have been in the church at three different times of the day and the effect of the light is always changing but equally stunning. The ribbed lines within the stone are exposed and recall the magnificence of the deep, geological past, symbolizing in a completely abstract and contemporary manner the creation of the earth itself. Yet the effect also reminded me of modernist painters, like Gustav Klimt. The Byzantines and the builders of the Gothic cathedrals of France sometimes used stone within their stained glass, but never quite like this.

Polke has added seven windows in the east of the church with figurative images taken directly from medieval manuscripts and depicting scenes from the bible. Thus we pass from geological time – the time of creation, to biblical time – the time of humans. Polke’s work thereby configures a great axis of time. His references to medieval manuscripts inevitably draws a comparison with his oft used technique in his paintings of quoting texts and images from contemporary culture.

One of the most acclaimed artists of our age, as a young man Sigmar Polke worked for a short time as an apprentice in a stained glass factory. Now he has returned to his roots and transformed the Grossmünster into an ever changing event of luminous colour.

For more on stained glass windows see my post on Edward Burne-Jones.

Note: it is not permitted to take photos in the church.  All photos reproduced here come from a press kit released by the Gossmunster.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Stroll in Richard Wagner's Zürich

Strolling through Zürich's old town late the other evening I photographed a number of places associated with the great Richard Wagner during his stay here from 1849 to 1858.

Wagner fled, a political fugitive, from Dresden, the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony, and spent his first night in what was then the Hotel Schwert, pictured below.

The hotel had a long history, going right back to the 14th century.  Down through the ages its guests had included Montaigne, Casanova, Mozart, Goethe, Napoleon III and Victor Hugo. Today it is the home of Dolce and Gabbana and carries not even a plaque to commemorate any of its earlier visitors, nevermind Wagner.

He lived for about nine months on the bottom floor in this house:

Here he wrote The Artwork of the Future (Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft)

He spent most of 1850 living just outside the town centre in the suburb of Enge.  The building he lived in then is long gone, but it was close to this sign:

It was here that he penned his infamous anti-semitic tract The Jew in Music (Das Judentum in der Musik) and worked on the poem that would become Götterdämmerung.

From 1853 until 1857 he lived on the second floor of this building:

Today it houses the Portugese consulate, but just above the flagpole you can find a plaque that remembers Wagner's time here.

It was in this building, where sometime later Johanna Spyri, the author of Heidi, would live, that Wagner worked diligently on The Ring of the Nibelung (Der Ring des Niebelungen).  By 1853 he had finished the poem that would become the libretto for the 15 hour long opera.  On four consecutive evenings he would read the entire poem to invited guests at the prestigious Hotel Baur au Lac, pictured below:

One memorable evening in 1856 an invited audience at the Baur au Lac enjoyed the first ever performance of the first act of Die Walküre, with Franz Liszt playing piano and Wagner himself singing.

Throughout these years Wagner was a frequent visitor to the music store Hug, which is pictured here:

and the nearby bookstore that published some of his shorter prose works, Schultess:

In 1857 Wagner and his wife were offered lodgings by his benefactor Otto Wesendonck in this house in the suburb of Enge:

The house underwent major renovations in the late 19th century - it was far smaller in Wagner's time.  Nevertheless, this was almost heaven on earth for Wagner.  Here he had the peace and quiet to allow him to compose undisturbed and, another advantage, this was the view from his house:

View of Villa Wesendonck from Villa Schonberg

The view, as you can see, looks onto the neighbouring house, the Villa Wesendonck.  Here lived Wagner's benefactor Otto, who combined being rich and generous with having a young and beautiful wife, Mathilde.  Wagner was in love with Mathilde and Mathilde in love with Wagner, and their close proximity made for a heavy brew during the next one and a half years.

Villa Wesendonck, today the Rietberg Museum

Wagner now gave up work on The Ring and began composing Tristan und Isolde, which contains many of his sublimated feelings for Mathilde.  He would compose in the morning and then run over to Mathilde's villa (above) to play for her what he had just created.

This couldn't go on forever and Wagner's marriage reached crisis point in August 1858. He left Zürich in disgrace though he did return to visit the Wesendoncks a number of times.

There are of course many more sights in Zürich that would interest the Wagnerite, but only so much can be taken in during a leisurely evening stroll...

See also my Wagner and Buddha: Tristan and Isolde

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Luckily Called Paracelsus

The Swiss Pharmaceutical History Museum in Basel, located in the attractive Haus zum Sessel, might have a boring name, but nearly 500 years ago the building hosted the wonderfully weird Theophrastus Phillippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim. This ebullient eccentric was born in 1493 in Einsiedeln and having studied medicine he changed his name, luckily for us, to the simpler Paracelsus. I must admit, he is one of my favourite characters of the 16th century.

For years he travelled Europe studying the properties of herbs and chemicals and gaining reknown as a magician, alchemist, and most of all a compassionate if unorthodox doctor. He stood just five feet tall and carried a sword as long as his height.  He was cantankerous, irritable and fiercely argumentative – and that was just with his friends!  In late 1526, he arrived in Basel to treat the book publisher Johannis Froben.

Froben had understood that culture was business and from his home in zum Sessel his printing press exerted an enormous influence.  His domination of cultural production was greater than Ruport Murdoch’s today, and far more civilizing.  The star in Froben’s universe was Erasmus, who lived in Basel with his publisher friend. It was here that Erasmus’ Greek New Testament was published in 1516 – arguably one of the most influential books ever printed.  The painter Hans Holbein also worked at zum Sessel.  By 1526 however, Froben was on his last legs, literally, as doctors prepared to amputate one of his infected lower limbs.  Erasmus sent for the famed Paracelsus and under his treatment Froben was cured.  In gratitude Froben had Paracelsus appointed Professor of Medicine at Basel University.  Paracelsus landed at this esteemed centre of learning like a meteorite.

Medical knowledge was handicapped by an exaggerated respect for the ancient Greeks who, let’s face it, got a lot of things wrong: they had forgotten to invent zero, figured that the planets orbited the earth and the great medical guru Galen had claimed that disease was caused by an imbalance in the four humours.  Paracelsus made his position clear when he advised (and I beg your pardon) “Shit on your ….. Aristotle”! Never one to tolerate stupidity, he commenced his work in Basel by publicly tossing Galen’s works onto a bonfire on the Marktplatz, outside the Rathaus, accompanied by a bunch of joyfully riotous students.  Having thus poked his finger in the astonished eye of the establishment he blinded them with fury by consuming vast amounts of wine in working men’s inns.  Rubbing salt into festering wounds he refused to wear his professorial robes but donned a worker’s tunic and, adding insult to injury, refused to teach in Latin but lectured in the language of stable boys, German.  He then preached the revolutionary idea that to cure the sick one must not turn to Greek texts, but one should examine each patient in her environmental, physical and spiritual contexts.  Most illnesses, he offered, were caused by outside agents that penetrated the body. Furthermore, he advocated the use of minerals or chemicals to fight disease.
               The Cathedral of Basel overlooking the Rhine

Paracelsus had succeeded in becoming the most hated man in Basel.  One Sunday morning worshippers at the Cathedral as well as at the churches of St. Martin and St. Peter found scurrilous anti-Paracelsus poems hanging from the doors.  They had been signed, “The Ghost of Galen”.

Even Paracelsus needed a respite from the invective verbal wars he had unleashed.  He decided to visit Zurich and spent a week at the Hotel zum Storchen, on the banks of the River Limmat.  But Zürich was in the grip of the Protestant Reformation and the local ayatollahs watched him carefully; church leader and leading Reformer Heinrich Bullinger reported that Paracelsus was a ‘filthy man’ who spent his time getting drunk with rabble. As usual, Paracelsus pushed what was permissible to the limit, or should I say, to the Limmat.
         The Hotel zum Storchen overlooking the Limmat

Alas, this was but a brief respite in his life.  He returned to Basel only for Froben to inconveniently die.  With his protector gone our hero was chased out of the city and spent the rest of his life as a vagabond doctor, just one step ahead of trouble.  The Luther of Medicine died in Salzburg in 1541 and was buried, according to his own wishes, in a pauper’s grave.  Even then he didn’t rest in peace – his bones were exhumed in the 19th century.

Today Zurich has a Paracelsus School of Natural Healing while the University has a Paracelsus Research Project; Einsiedeln has a Paracelsus Pharmacy and a Paracelsus Society; Basel, forgetting its inhospitality, has a Paracelsusstrasse.  Homeopaths claim him as one of their own, but so do pharmaceutical industrialists.  Hunted when alive, all has now been forgiven and, dead, Paracelsus belongs to all.
     Plaque commemorating Paracelsus at the Hotel zum Storchen

Padraig Rooney Poem

The new edition of the poetry journal Magma includes a poem from my friend Padraig Rooney.  Magma always makes a few of its poems available online, and the current batch includes Padraig's newest. Padraig has won a number of poetry prizes, including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, The Poetry Business Award and last year's International Strokeston Poetry Award.  His second collection of poems, The Escape Artist, is published by Smith/Doorstop Books and is available from His third collection will be published by Salt Publishers.

A word of warning - this newest poem of his might make you hungry.  Of course, as is often the case, not everything it quite as it first seems in this poem from Padraig Rooney.