Citizen Journalism Ireland. 2007 and The Celtic Tiger; we had lost sight of wisdom (Common Currency; Follow the money; Plain people of Ireland) by Michelle Clarke

Dé Céadaoin Deireadh Fómhair 24, 2007 19:27

Plain People of Ireland : Common Currency

by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics
Lets form an equation, let us become acquainted with money supply, unemployment, people and avarice.

We the plain people

Aaron Russell documentary is well worth watching – America Freedom to Fascism

The presentation alerts people involved in financial, markets, transactions to review history before consolidating on present day financial transactions.

Some pointers to look at for those who form the group Plain People of Ireland – all of us who pay tax.

Do we know enough about pensions and what comprise these funds? Do we know about cash and cash returns from bank?  If rates are low for mortgages, they will be lower for cash invested.

Stocks and shares: Are people about to change attitude, become shareholder activists and invest in “Green” markets, look to companies for social and ethical policies as distinct from those who seek profit and place little value on labour? The returns are volatile but some bed and breakfasting using knowledge might help people to tune back into real living and a fairer distribution of wealth. Morally should we support the building of Wall – Palestine? or for that matter should we support arms supply – what is also known as the Military Industrial Complex?

Cash: What about the Black market cash? Where is it hidden? Maybe house prices reflect hidden cash so a down turn in house prices may ultimately benefit a less corrupt society, then we have the recent example of Mr. Wall hiding his cash…(Berties)….in the Ashling Hotel for safekeeping.

220,000 houses reported vacant – why? Rents are increasing, the social housing list has been increasing for years, there are people homeless – yes as many at 15,000 people of all ages roam the streets and back lanes of Ireland looking for beds. Again, we need attitude change in those who make and implement social and economic policies.

Local Authority Housing: At least when one looks back to policy in the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s through to the early 1980’s, we know that Governments FF and FG tackled the slum problems which had their origins prior to Independence, by setting up local authorities in Dublin and the Counties and providing housing and Flat developments to provide for many people in need of urgent accommodation. Areas like Crumlin and other estates provided housing for large families over several decades and then Government while in a privatisation mode of thinking allowed the tenants to buy out their properties.

For some people, privatisation of local authority housing provided massive gains (unexpected I am sure) and the stock of houses dwindled and the private market benefited, from many local authority houses built in years gone by. Next time you pass an estate agency just pick up a brochure and you will get a good idea of how high prices are. Areas like Cabra and Crumlin, former local authority houses now cost Euros 550,000.

I note the price of the Pembroke Cottages in Dublin 4 at about Euros660,000 but I do know that before I emigrated in the harsh eighties to England, IRPounds27,000 1983, would have bought me a house in that estate near Herbert Park, the problem then  was about employment in Ireland in deep recession.

The service sector is a real growth sector in Celtic Tiger Ireland. Is this aspirational? Is this tied into the vision associated with the Financial Services Market? This is about fluidity. I note that Ireland benefited from major banks but I note that the Swiss are reviewing their approach to the market and intend to open up to the more risk averse Hedge Funds?

Products sold by financial institutions.
When do staff who sell Financial products with tax initiatives stand accountable? I often write about Accountability, Transparency, Ethics parameters in our business dealings but alas we are so remiss here. Will someone explain to me how Mr. Michael Lynn, a Mayo man, unknown in the legal profession until the last few weeks, could bring the morals of the legal profession down to its knees (let us not forget Mr Byrne, another disgraced solicitor pending trial).  Mr. Lynn now allegedly owes between Euros 36 to 52million. Mr. Byrne today reports Euros 22m of an alleged mortgage scam. The alarm bells are starting to ring. How many people in Ireland, unknown to them, have had their deeds of their house used by these rogue solicitors?   We need to ask about when do they intend to finish the building of the new prison at Thornton Hall because I don’t think there will be enough room for the legal profession, the developers, the profiteers and other corrupt practitioners. Where is the Regulation? What responsibility does the Department of Justice take for such irregularities?

Plain People of Ireland

We have the service, we have the employees providing the services from countries far and wide but what we evidently have lost is our conscience. There is falsity of class, that drive their flash cars, have the boats, their private schools, their live-in housemaids but do we really care about what ethical and social behaviour exists?  The expression used to be ‘jumped up’ but the time is here for admonition of their behaviour and an ability of people to say that we will not endorse the abilities of these elites to have the money power supply and treat the rest of us like dirt on their shoes.

The people who control the National Supply of Money –

The internet provides us with access to information and we can learn.  I recommend the video documentary mentioned above, the quotations from Mark Twain, and George Orwell lend to its realities.    What are we willing to do about this?

I ask about Tara? I ask about Shell – the Corrib? It is worth looking up the postings on Tara and looking at the coincidence in the names of developers who have bought land adjacent to the motor way? Why is nothing done? Is it to do with the High Kings of Tara, the archaelogy or is it about ‘Who has control of the decision making process’? The European Court of Justice “ECJ” appears to be in support of the people – yes the plain people.

and…….the appointment of the Developers……..raises many questions.

by Michelle Clarke

Consuming Passions
Ivan Illich (born 1926) Austrian born philosopher, theologian and author of Limits to Medicine

‘In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves; the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy’

No 1

Céad Samh 21, 2007 23:08

Common Currency: What is it? What about Opium?

by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics

Met an interesting man at the usual haunt at O’Brien’s coffee shop, on Baggot Street. The coffee is excellent and conversation is better.

Common Currency

Today’s big shocks:
4 billion off the Dublin Stock Exchange:-

The Impact:

…shares; profits; pension funds; employment – Bank of Ireland shares are down nearly 50% and at a 52 week low….

Loss of jobs at Waterford Crystal…..

Headline Irish Independent: ‘An average of 7 families a week now face losing their homes to banks and mortgage lenders as the number of court ordered repossessions hits an unprecedented level.  All I ask is that Minister Cowen puts on a serious thinking cap and comes up with a PLAN with the lenders ie the banks and building societies. There must be a way of avoiding evictions because it is not fair or equitable that families be transferred to the housing list which is excessive. Negative equity, no job, most likely leads to poor health, stress, disillusionment and no pension!!!!….It is worth thinking out a policy.

Domhnain – You say follow the money. How safe is money at the moment? Equities is a nervous market, cash – well interest rates ought to go down to suit the property market clients, bonds remain questionable i.e. based on provision, and markets;

The advice about Currency options – we all need to be aware!!!!

The safe currencies were US$, Euros and Sterling but looking at the UK papers the Dollar is losing value fast. The American economy is challenged presently. The Independent headline of 19th November 3007 warns us that the ‘Dollar no longer welcome at the Taj Mahal’. The US$ represents US Hegemony. Prepare to Embrace Change.

Wealth – what comprises wealth?  What currency will investors choose? Just think if you are working for a large financial house in the Financial Services Centre, what currency will you now select to be paid in i.e. if you are privileged? The bets go with the Yen but definitely it will no longer be the US$ and it definitely will not be the disaster Zimbabwean inflationary Zim$ that is impoverishing people.

Take this a stage further and review the loans granted by the Banks and building societies in the US and as they reverberate throughout the world markets. Today; bankers can value their loan stock but nobody can predict the trends. Downwards is the trend.  For examples if these loans are US$ and this US$ continues in decline – there have to be net losers in the wealth market game. The US$ is at its lowest level against the Canadian Dollar since 1950 and Sterling since 1981 and the Swiss Franc since 1995.

The Chinese have not remained quiet, commenting recently that the US$ ‘was losing its status as the world currency’.

The Chinese, it is reported, have been confident enough in the past to stockpile 700 billion of foreign currency however, it is now reported that they are now changing their weightings. If they slow their accumulation of US$ then they have the power to devalue the US$ further. Then there is the Iraq Central Bank who have stated that it wants to diversify its reserves from a reliance on dollars.  We must recall that Iraq was invaded by the US 4 years ago. Currency is power but power rests in the hands of elites.

Weakness in the dollar means for Ireland higher prices for our exports: take the prime example today, we know that Waterford Crystal has become too expensive in the US market.

Follow the money – and the Plain people of Ireland:

Let’s consider the barter system the exchange and value factor that allows us to trade.

A magic wand gives a choice what currency would you opt for?

Sterling: US$ Euro Yen (then China, Korea, local…..)

The Conversion produces what? It is a game of chance and reading signs in the markets.

An article in the Independent on 17th November caught my eye. The question simply stated the bid to wipe out Afghan opium that failed.

President McAleese stated in such a categorical way, on the Late Late Show her view about Gangland/illegal drugs. Yes, it is market driven, dictated by those who wish to sell (currency, cocaine, antiques, cars) and those who wish to buy. We are talking about people making decisions.

Opium to me conjures up the beautiful poppy flower, a rustic red, that grows wildly in Autumn time. The poppy is worn to commemorate those who lost their lives in World Wars I and II. What a paradox? Death and beauty.

Something for people to consider: Opium as a product for Afghanistan is a Currency; a common currency. It is a product that if traded without scruples, earns large amounts of money that is divested into world currency and lodged in accounts in the banks located globally. Quell the marketability and surely you quell supply onto the world market and thereby the currency transactions created.

If one can imagine farmers and their land in need of crops in Afghanistan. They will choose the crop that pays them the most money (as the Irish did with the potato, in the 1840’s). Gordon Brown in the UK aims to intervene and curb the powers of the Taliban. His strategy is to target the farmers and increase the price paid for non illegal crops so that they do not farm the poppy seed.

This is a possibility surely. If I recall farmers in Ireland were paid by the EU to leave their land fallow and encouraged with a payment to do so. Surveillance ensured that the farmers kept to their side of the contract with the EU.

2007 Afghan opium (draft) 2007, the UNDC chief said poppy growth was increased by 17%. The report shows that Afghanistan now accounts for 93% of world opium production and is the biggest Narcotics producer since 19th century China.

Follow the currency……..and if you do, you find yourself in a marketplace…..that has no ethics, value on life, value for people.


Soundbite: Opium…..Poppy……Currency…..Market……..Lack of Scruples
93% from Afghanistan farms…….arms for the Taliban

No 2

Sath Samh 03, 2007 18:46

 Plain People of Ireland – we want to participate in the “Carnival Ride”

by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics Sath Samh 03, 2007 18:46

Kevin (Reply to Citizen Journalism contributor)

What a carnival the Celtic Tiger provided us with? Many (What ifs) exist in the face of the Tribunals relating to corruption, gang crime, the shooting of John Carthy by the ERU (Emergency Response Unit – An Gardai Siochana) and the profound findings of Mr. Justice Barr in the Barr Tribunal. The scandal of the Donegal affair and Mr. McBrearty at last is over and despite the fact this innocent man was imprisoned and wrongly so, for murder. This resulted in the State having to pay Mr. McBreaty euros2 million in compensation; most probably not enough given the level of Garda corruption involved and the physical beatings he received* but at least Mr. McBrearty persevered and restored to the confidence of the Plain People of Ireland that ‘that Right is right but Wrong is no man’s right’.

*Over 9 Gardai have been dismissed from the Force already including a Superintendent Rank, who if he hadn’t been caught would have been Deputy Commissioner (Lennon).  The Morris Tribunal link is attached for full details relating to this scandal with unacceptable levels of An Gardai Siochana corruption.

2008 approaches and world financial markets are in decline. Predictions are uncertain and the toss of a coin states Recession/Depression or onward and forward.

Time to take Stock surely – absolutely. Time for the Finance Minister Mr. Cowen to put on his thinking hat, recall the obligations placed upon him to be fair, just and equitable.  The Developers are courting him, they are saying look at what we did for Ireland – the introduction to world markets, the invitations to foreign architects to develop high rise buildings, the promise by these developers to extend the Luas via Ballsbridge as a bi-product of getting the permissions from An Bord Pleanala to create a Knightsbridge/Sloane Square/King’s Road (Dubai) where the now closed down Jury’s Hotel and Berkeley Court are located in Dublin 4, which until recently were the intrinsic part of the post independence Ireland, a Republic.

We shortly will have Lansdowne Rugby Grounds regenerated.  The GAA are now hosting Rugby and Soccer games, and money abounds. The GAA are in no rush for the completion of Lansdowne because with their reluctant goodwill, they are making millions from rent paid by Dublin 4.

The Balance Sheet records these capital assets and income.

The time has come for the Plain People of Ireland to be catered for, Mr. Cowen. The people who have stood behind because of health, lack of education, addiction, homelessness, are due their part of the revenues.  These people need an allocation of money to empower them and to help them explore ways so that they too can contribute to this country.  The time has come for the Developers who have gained vast sums of money (in certain cases through corrupt practices), for the banks, for the legal profession, for the medical profession, to start sharing their income and wealth, to either make a fair contribution of their turnover as done in Germany say 6% and foster programmes to empower the people who have not gained during this Celtic Tiger period.

These Developers rather than preoccupy themselves with their wealth, need to mix a little more with the ordinary citizens of Ireland.  It is time to ask why are certain lavish properties being sold, despite of the downturn in the property market, in places like Wellington Road at e10+ million when the guide price is e6.5 million. Why is Ireland festooned with all the luxury hotels; golf courses, fly pads. How far removed is Ireland from real corruption when we know the details of the Ansbacher accounts, the Beverly Flynn case details with RTE, Mr. Gilmartin’s reputation defamed – how many more are in the wings harboring and hiding cash and where does it go!!!!

Drink has caused an absolute crisis in the health standards of our people, young and poor. This is not the first time in history that drink in a time of affluence destroys the vulnerable.

Kevin as you said before and I now see it clearly we have waiting lists, people are dying from long delays for operations. Rebecca O’Malley is the latest casualty of a faulty health system. Imagine tonight knowing you have the all clear from a cancer diagnosis and then to be told sorry we made a mistake. Shame on Mary Harney but also shame on the people. We need to listen to the Consultants; take account of their cartel; the salary; their hours; their holidays and if the equation is wrong and lives are lost and people not treated, then action and immediately is required.

There is an option to the waiting list crisis: More Consultants are needed; Proper backup rehabilitation is essential.  The route is simple increase tax or reduce salary, if desperate.

I will close with the obvious question tonight – we are supposed to be the 2nd wealthiest country on the planet – Man walked the moon on 1969 – with the press of a button you can now contact Australia and so many other countries.

The bottle blonds drive their 4 x 4’s and FAS advertise the new slave labour to the new Irish aristocrats as nannies; some of whom sadly are psychologically and emotionally abused and even exploited.

The Monk paid his arrears in tax as did the Bailey boys – tonight I ask the site – what is the difference?

One For All, Annie Besant (1847-1933)
British Social Reformer, speaking on India

No 3

Aoine Noll 14, 2007 21:34

Follow the Money: The Plain People of Ireland who pay tax have a voice but nobody is listening

by Michelle Clarke- Social Justice and Ethics Aoine Noll 14, 2007 21:34

Have we hit a period of awakening to Corruption? Somebody has been watching others recently. The Criminal Assets Bureau seem to be on their toes and hence the motor industry is under scrutiny. Accountants, solicitors, and others have had offices raided and they are looking for evidence. The Target market who were following the money, may have wanted to pay less than necessary and avoid taxes! These people are not people who comprise the plain people of Ireland, who pay their taxes.

Ironically, money spent on the glamour machines that haunt the environment, are not bought with a sense of conscience. Is it time to invoke conscience? Do I recall some women in Chelsea, London SW3, making a statement for the environment? They targeted the 4 wheel  drivers – mostly women, and politely, asked them did they grasp the costs involved in driving these 4 wheel drives while others put mud (to be washed off) on certain vehicles. These are what I would call value added qualities that ought to be attached to price.

Follow the money is what spurs on the spending of money – the money involved in the narcissistic type of personality. The following is about satisfying ‘needs’ i.e. emotional, visual, pleasure, so the price is paid for the persona’s nominated identity eg the hair, the make-up, the clothes, the shoes, the holidays, the elite dinner parties: add to these the Car(s), the House(s), the Houses in Ireland by US mavericks in private equity fund acquisitions, the apartments abroad, the designer children, the designer play creches, then the private schools………The Money, the Perks, the Inheritances, the ……… add to this the Black Economy…….the cash and where to spend it in such a way that it can’t really be identified……All we need to note is the amount of people going to blitz out spending in the US when if they made a value added decision they would realise that the Dollars weakness has lent to the near closure of Waterford Glass – craftmanship and part of Irish history and how a little community and nationhood with such turbulent financial/currency markets could foster the notion of awareness and home-bound support to our plain people of Ireland in particular people who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat.

You ask why we have problems with our Health Service? Easy, public and private patients. Old wisdom says beware of the vested interest and if this is so why can our Minister for Health and the representatives of the Consultants representative bodies not make some serious decisions? My belief is a decision with the preference of public and the option for others who want to attend privately being able to do so. This market is now open for people with the financial resources to choose hospitals in other jurisdictions.  In fact people who are diagnosed with cancer and who have the knowledge and the means do travel abroad for treatment.

Cocaine, Heroin, illegal drugs – too many have died. Some say the cocaine was too pure and others say they don’t know what rubbish was added to the batch – either or means death for Katy French age 24, and three other young men. Follow the money………it is in reverse ………. how much did Katy French pay and to whom? How much did the other boys pay and to whom? Did they have intent or was it addiction need? All we know is whether it was given as a gift to them or bought by them, it was a price too high. The price was death. These people die and the illegal substances market out there grows and expands. Why?

The Island of Ireland we are, but it is difficult to control those who are determined to follow the money; particularly when there is lots of it; and a solid market and an infrastructure to sustain the God called Money ‘Mammon’ (‘wealth regarded as a source of evil’).  Too many have blood on their hands, call them gangsters or facilitators ie Banks or buyers, it is so easy for them  to trade.  These drugs come from South America or Afghanistan (96% of cocaine is sourced here).  The trail of destitution is never-ending apart from those who don’t engage but just trade. The price offered by the negotiators is too tempting to the local impoverished farmers to stop growing the crop and start growing another.  Again here there is the vested interest more of the Follow the Money of arms and the Taliban with Poppy the agricultural gem to grow.

The Plain People of Ireland are survivors. They have a strength of spirit. Moyross in Limerick has been so frequently in the news for the hardships sustained by so many.  The Franciscan Monks have ventured forth. In earlier centuries, it would have been to South America or Africa as missionaries. This time, these missionary men have come to Moyross what could be called Limericks No Go territory and people’s hearts are lifting, the children are responding, please support them in their efforts, this first Christmas. One monk sings Rap: we need more interaction; we need to explore the hidden talents that lie within people.

by Michelle Clarke


Ruth First (1925-1982) South African Journalist and anti-apartheid activist

‘For the first 56 days of my detention in solitary; a black iron bedstead became my world, my retreat’

No 4

Máirt Noll 11, 2007 01:29
The Plain People must continue to Follow the Money
by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics

Prime Time tonight, in strict investigative role, has no doubt dug up some other sources of money, that is played in the field of those dealers, smugglers, mules.

That Market that bids people to be biddable to others and even go so far as to conceal their ‘cocktail sausage’ piece of gear in their bellies or anus – some held 93 and others over 100. It is sounds agony but it is desperation no doubt, desperation that money makes it worthwhile and of course risk.

All the same, there are people willing to be the dealers and subcontract out to the carriers and the whole of Ireland has been planted with dealers at every town, village a marketplace for illegal drugs to be transacted.

Who receives the money? Where does the money Go? We know some finds its way to foreign lands in Europe but the amount of product being sold in Ireland states large tranches of cash related to illegal substances sold are being money-laundered.

How this work? Are the solicitors involved?

The Plain People of Ireland took the matter into their hands in the 1980’s. The flats eg Pearse House, Fatima Mansions and many others were witnessing daily hardship, and lives lost. HIV was prevalent and people died. But people power, the Mothers in particular and the Grandmothers formed groups and hands on it was.

Times change and now it is cocaine which is considered to be more sought after by the middle class.  The social divide merits consideration because when a middle class person, with healthcare provision, decides to give up on the drugs, they have private hospitals and support systems.

This money needs to be followed: just like the drug dealers need be stopped. So time to get Banks to gear up and not be facilitators.  This is where whistleblowers are required. The Illegal Drug Trade needs to stop. A ‘high’ is a really great feeling desire and strength.

Ask questions?

How does this cocaine get to Ireland. 92% pubs are showing up usage in the loos. If this is the case, perhaps they are losing their once reliable trade of old-timers. This makes sense. Cocaine Bravado young people bragging their heads off and competing with each other are not where the gentle old folk used to frequent.  Time to consider it perhaps. Get the dogs into the pubs……Like Rocky in Portlaoise, what is the harm, if you drive out the illegal drug trade and addicts are not facilitated.

Traumatic brain injury and complications: I have retrieved these articles from an Open Publishing site I wrote on back then.  It is quite scary for me that I could not identify the mistakes at the time but now I can and thankfully technology has provided WordPress and I can edit and make changes.  Michelle Clarke December 2015.

No 5

About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Citizen Journalism Ireland. 2007 and The Celtic Tiger; we had lost sight of wisdom (Common Currency; Follow the money; Plain people of Ireland) by Michelle Clarke

  1. Pingback: 2007: The Celtic Tiger; we had lost sight of wisdom | canisgallicus

  2. michelleclarke2015 says:

    Reblogged this on canisgallicus.


  3. Pingback: 2007: The Celtic Tiger; we had lost sight of wisdom | canisgallicus

  4. Pingback: Citizen Journalism: 2007: The Celtic Tiger; we had lost sight of wisdom | canisgallicus

  5. Pingback: Citizen Journalism Ireland. 2007 and The Celtic Tiger; we had lost sight of wisdom (Common Currency; Follow the money; Plain people of Ireland) by Michelle Clarke | canisgallicus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s