Citizen Journalism: Jack Russell our beloved canine friend and mentor RIP today. Selection of contributions to citizen journalism by Michelle Clarke

13th March 2016: hearts broken.  The decision had finally come to the stage that any longer we were asking our best friend to suffer life in distress.  Our friend Sally at 12 midnight brought us to UCD ‘University College Dublin’ 24 hour service Veterinary care, on the grounds of Belfied, Dublin 4.  The dignity which was afforded to him can only be a comfort for our anguish now.  Our dear canine friend ‘Grandpa’ in latter years Jack Russell has moved to the spirit world and the sadness is overwhelming.  The message is life is about loss and learning to live on.  Some articles penned in the name of our great friend Jack Russell in the early days.  The kindness of the staff at UCD to the animals and their owners is exceptional and thank you for this.

August 02, 2007 23:43
Ireland near worst in Europe in our treatment to killing dogs; it takes Sweden to observe and help

 by Jack Russell – Social Justice and Ethics


Shame on us in Ireland.

When will we give dogs the recognition they deserve.

Sweden thankfully have identified our ignorance towards dogs and a Swedish woman reacted by setting up a Rescue Centre in Sweden, obtaining funds, and working with rescue centres here to house the unwanted and often tortured animals. In 2005, we put down over 25,000 dogs; presently it is about 16,000 dogs per year.

Does anyone watch Crufts Does anybody know what these dogs can do if given training? We all know about Dogs for the Blind. Now, we have dogs for Autistic children to help them gain the confidence to integrate in a society that can be so hostile to their heightened sense of awareness.

There are Alert Dogs for the elderly, they are primed to phone 999 or set off an alarm.

For people with epilepsy – dogs at a more acute sensitivity predict the fit.  What a bonus a dog is to such a person.

Again I say well done Sweden but then again I would expect no less. It is the Nordic countries that show high regard for the Third World contributing both their time and money.

One suggestion:  How alert is our Department of Environment to Science? Pubs, restaurants, coffee shops are still hostile to the dog as if it holds manifest bacteria; I ask is this an excuse – maybe they fear the dogs would scent out illegal drugs!!! or maybe some rodents!!! The Americans and Europeans seem to have overcome this one.

Science is they say to learn……well, as a person with quite a few disabilities, I took to getting the American Scientist magazine when I can. Last September, there was an article I found about Pets and Children. Western Australia University research found that contrary to common belief – Children and Pets may derive benefits… is to do with interchange of bacteria that increases the child’s immune system.

In the Ireland of today – the MRSA, the other public health issues – surely we need to think and put an end to hideous cruelty to animals.

Jack Russell

Bertolt Brecht : German playwright. Here and Now……….
‘Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life’

Personal commentary will follow but note these words were written by Jack Russell who travelled far and wide in Dublin 4 and Dublin 6.  This is the year 2006 and with our disparate Government in Limbo this St Patrick’s Day, nothing has changed; people were being evicted even before the Recession of 2008.  Now shamefully we have 1600 children living in hotel rooms; 37,000 people are more than 2 years in arrears and families are facing eviction.

Aoine October 20th, 2006 14:05
Evictions/Ejectments Dublin 4 and no comments why?
author by Jack Russell – Rat Catcher

I am really surprised no-one, not even the Irish Property Owners Organisation or the Property Residential Board i.e. the tribunals or social services, or Threshold and housing agencies have replied.

These people are human beings who have worked many years and contributed to our tax system. Rather than apply for social housing back in the 1930’s and 40’s, 50’s, they chose another route. It was covered by the the Pre 1963 legislation which allowed owners of large houses to become private landlords charging rents and being allowed to divide their homes into the maximum tenancies.

Just think of the areas – Rathmines, Ranelagh, Wellington Road, Elgin Road, Waterloo Road; this policy was replicated throughout Ireland and Dublin. Who owns some of these near derelict properties with people living in some cases with no electricity?

A lot of people came up from the country and worked in our Civil Service, Banks, schools etc.   They are now in retirement and without homes and so very vulnerable to the markets for property prices fast rising.

Surely, they have a right of tenancy if they have lived in a property for over 40 years? Do these people deserve to be harassed by a system that is governed by greed, pomposity, lacking in compassion. Where is the protection? Where is the law? Do people realise that now Government say they endorse social housing as distinct from prior policies – we now have no real stock of corporation houses to sell off to owners who wish to buy them.

The IPOA report that private owners feels hard done by given the Government policies in providing housing for Govt. tenants and that the rate of return on renting out a house can be a low as 3.5%.

Doesn’t sound too much to me for the responsibility involved in being a landlord, if we ever hit negative equity…….. (and so we did but that thankfully this period may be over by 2019 according to the ESRI).  Me seriously I have my doubts.

Some integration is needed. Where a person is to be ejected by the Sheriff for having lived in her flat for nearly 30 years, the Health Services, the Legal Services, Threshold or the Like, etc ought to negotiate their rights under the 1980 Law, Section 17, rather than smother them from the facts in a bloated bureaucracy that ensures a path to homelessness.

Jack Russell (Really concerned about what is happening to certain vulnerable people)

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.
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