Citizen Journalism Ireland: Selection of emails to Government and related. Year 2009 by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Courthouse, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.  Irish Architecture article.  To those interested in Dublin 4, its environs, its history, its potential….this is a good site. Not too much but enough history to enjoy the scope D4 (Dublin 4) offers especially the near derelict Royal City of Dublin hospital, Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4.
Date: Tuesday 14th July 2009 17:22:28 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Joe Murray <>,, Dermot Lacey <>
CC: Legal (LFD) <>, John Corrigan <>, geraldine callanan, Gabriel Bradley <>, Contact <>, conp <>, Cahill Gavin <>

14th July 2009

The Big Recession Bites deep.  Jonathan Swifts profound words are needed:
“Give Vision to the Visionless”
by Michelle Clarke

4th August 2008, an article by Steven Carroll in the Irish Times, caught my attention, suffice to retain it.  I found it today and I am wondering is the ‘Legal Museum plan for Kilmainhan Courthouse waived’  I have heard nothing further on it.  I googled it in and found this Irish Architect, buildings etc site.

The Big Recession is here but also never more is the time more viable than to revive the concept of community involvement and where better than in areas like Dublin 4.  I was in the D4 hotel, formerly Juries yesterday and I must commend Sean Dunne and others for their attempt to meet consumer demands rather than buckle under the planning board decisions.  People are there to play chess, to drink, to dance, for competitions and you can even hire our a cinema for as many as 18 guests and in comfort.  Also on Burlington Road, Bernard McNamara’s building has gone from start to near finish in a really short space of time.  Again fair dues.  A company in liquidation only is not only about casualties, the workers, the debtors….It is all about trying to stand TALL when things are bad in the Economy.  Then we can make it through with some hope.

If Kilmainham can plan for a Legal Museum Courthouse, I suggest it is time for the people of Upper Baggot Street to focus on the reconstruction of the Royal City of Dublin Hospital to a centre for Holistic, Psychological, Neurological, Addiction, primary care location, with a Museum for Medicine and Dentistry as part of the development.  Such a health care facility could be funded by philantropists with acknowledgement to the medical people who once made this hospital stand proud.  Now, it is like a ‘fallen being’ with no esteem or glory.    This would be part of the Baggot Street Revival.  This hospital must have its 1916 history too.  Then there was Parsons bookshop.

 J’espere….yes I hope…..

 Michelle Clarke


Subject: This is an article I managed to save before it being removed by moderator
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 18:42:31 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke <>
To:,, Vincent Browne <>

Saturday July 18th, 2009 15.58

Ireland in Crisis.
What approach to Health would the IMF have?

by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics

The International Monetary Fund comprises of the expertise of 185 countries. They are standing in the wings, waiting to see how the Island of Ireland is going to handle its mercurial position via the Vehicle of NAMA/NTMA.  We can rest assured that the developers ultimately face the Commercial Courts and if not the Fraud Squad. The Bankers face the Fraud Squad, the competition Authority, and even prison if charges of corruption are brought.

We know that the US have treated people like Madoff in his 70’s to a jail term beyond his life span……No messing in the US regarding corruption.

Health in Ireland. We have just had the Colm McCarthy proposals and recommendations…/proposed-health-cuts-the-wrong-way-to-make-savings-1.712259 to our Faltering Government. Remember, these are recommendations for consideration and we the plain people of Ireland can contribute and even sway opinions.

I say where is the option of Universality of Health cover? We seemed to have switched to the furthest extreme by increasing charges to A&E (which is meant to be emergency cover and not about having to find the fee to get the medical opinion); a charge on prescription drugs; the change to generic medicines. Add to this the reduction in social welfare, the reduction in contributions to education and community schemes and what you have is a dis-empowerment of our more vulnerable members of society and those with long term illness, if not lifelong.

President Obama is at least a Trend Setter that appears to acknowledge the two tier system of health in the US perpetrates great inequalities for its citizens. He is looking towards change and universality. Then let’s look to Ireland and the Lisbon Treaty. To date, we have had many financial advantages from our EU partners but we have been slow to take advice on our approach to mental health and health provision. France excels and so does Spain, as does it Italy. Then go towards Sweden and Denmark and even towards Finland, and we in Ireland have so much to learn.

We have the abilities but the reality is that we are paying our medical profession  and multiple layers (silo) management bureaucracy too much. There is no reason that we ought to pay these people beyond the European norm. I would suggest Health is a priority to Ireland.

I heard Fergus Finlay say the other day about judging a country by how it treats its most vulnerable. To me this is a priority. We need to have hope. We need for people to have the health that if therein there lies a talent that it is not wasted by a futile poor managed health system. What about the Peace Process? What about the North South Divide? So much has been written and we have so much more to aspire to. Why do we not look to the NHS in the UK as a model that we can adapt to our needs?

We did this in the 1950’s in the fledgling State of 1916 aspirations. So many of our doctors worked in England, learned the routines and came back to Ireland with their experience (perhaps our diaspora will return). Then our Architects like Michael Scott and others, prompted by progressive health system traveled to Europe to view the hospitals there and then design suitable hospitals for Ireland. Imagine if you can what Blanchardstown hospital looked like in the 1950’s when it was a TB hospital. TB was about death and no cure and long periods of isolation in hospitals built in ‘space’ mode. Rows and rows of beds with people listless hoping that rest would restore them to health.

Who is thinking about the Swine Flu? What about the vulnerable? The motives are clear if it is economic theory that consumes the agenda.  It is the decision therefore to let the vulnerable suffer.

I ask, can somebody ask the view of the World Health Organisation, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank for a root and branch overall appraisal of our faltering health system and then act sensibly.

Michelle Clarke


Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 21:54:25 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Gabriel Bradley <>, John Corrigan <>,
CC: Paul Lambert <>,, Sargent, Trevor <>

Sunday July 20th, 2009 21:40


Urban dereliction: Excellent combination of photos (no longer available)

by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice

To the people who produced the photos for this site – have you noticed the decline in our Urban space? The ‘For Sale’ signs, the ‘To let’, the shopping centres like Rathmines with many vacant shops. It will only get worse. It will be like England in the early 1990’s with vacant premises dotted all over the place and then a myriad of charity shops will opt to take the locations, at no doubt reduced rents, if any.

What can we do? We know the potential, we have seen it in Ireland. Ireland, the new State, post the 1916 Revolution saw many of its mansions, tower houses, castles, burned to the ground and if not, become un-inhabited. For those who remained in the houses, often they lived spartan lives, occupying only the room space necessary.

This we need to avoid. We the people can intervene, we can volunteer information, views, and experience. An Bord Snip has made its recommendations and we the people have a right to agree or disagree. The internet is here. We can use it. In fact, we can make our statement that the proposed cut to Broadband funds put forward by the report, be discarded and promote high speed broadband throughout ireland. This allows our aspiration of moving forward as the Knowledge Economy.

NAMA and NTMA I believe have taken space in the Treasury Holdings building in Dublin 2. Let us ask NAMA/NTMA to be an active participant in the sustainable development and refurbishment of property in the Dublin 4, Dublin 6, areas and beyond. We have ribbon development throughout Ireland and we should note the cost of same is highly expensive. Urban living, well promoted, provides the cheaper alternative. The time is now ideal with the necessity of the BER certification to upgrade our stock of houses to maximum standards in line with a ‘Greener’ environment.

Most people of a certain age group will be aware of the Gallagher family and their involvement in housing and development. I worked for Seamus Gallagher, son of Mr. James Gallagher, in the 1980’s – yes at a time of great unemployment, companies going into liquidation, it was the beginning of times getting tough. Governments changed. Land banks that ought to have received planning permissions were left in futility. Mr. James, as he was known to staff, was a TD. In fact, he had established BASTA locks in Tubercurry, Co. Sligo. This was another time but fear not developers then, as now, were involved in politics. The name that will remain on the lips through the decades is former Taoiseach, Mr. Charles J. Haughey.

I note, that Abbey one of the publicly quoted companies associated with the Gallaghers, has been forced to write down the value of its land bank by Euros 58 m. Abbey is in fact the largest housebuilder on the Irish Stock Exchange. This is where experience may count. Ahead of NAMA/NTMA, Abbey have taken account of the market forces that have forced them to reduce house values by 50% in some areas, and they have moved ahead to value the land at the appropriate discount value. This leaves them free to engage in a root and branch exercise of their current workload and to look to the future. Being a publicly quoted company, it means they have also engaged in an upfront way with their shareholders. We must always remember that in public companies, the shareholders can play an important part in the ethos of the company. They speak now of corporate, ethical and social responsibility and of course a form of corporate governance attaches to this. Vision is so important especially in this time of severe Recession. (The IFSC was born out of the 1980’s recession).

Mr. Soden ex Bank of Ireland, speaking about NAMA some time ago stressed the importance at arriving at a value per square meter of property per each city. It looks as if Abbey have paved the way and it is worth noting that they have a broad spectrum over time, here in Ireland and in England, to build up a plan of action for recessionary periods.

Again I return to our Georgian Squares. I note an article by Ray Managh in the Irish Independent. It is about an artist who is in a battle about a ‘Georgian’ 4 floor over basement home in Middle Abbey Street. It has a Georgian doorway and albeit not as ornate as those found in Fitzwillian Square, Merrion Square, Henrietta Street, it is rather splendid. The premises has become an artists studio. A man has lived in the house for 20 years and is in battle with Dublin City Council regarding the ownership of the building. Dublin City Council claim to be the owners. Whoever owns it, it is representative of the unacceptable degree of dereliction so many of these houses are permitted to descend to. We need to stop this carnage. To have dereliction scattered throughout our urban spaces only gives false history. (I refer to the Germans while travelling along the Quays of the Liffey in the 1970’s who said they had not realised that Dublin was so badly bombed during the 2nd World War.

No matter what corruption has occurred, there was also vision. Let us not lose sight of far we have come. Let us take care of our people and let us be inclusive. Regarding the house in Middle Abbey Street – July 23rd is the date of the Court hearing. Dublin City Council will seek a court injunction restraining the named person from trespassing in the building where, he is supposed to have a tenancy in the basement. Watch and Wait. Ireland has the potential to witness many evictions or ejectments. We have access to knowledge, we must use it wisely.


Quotation randomly chosen from
The Little Book of Rebels
Spike Milligan (born 1918) British humourist, animal rights activist’
‘I am a hero with coward’s legs’

Subject: Citizen Journalism: Published article re Rocky and American Scientist data
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 20:10:13 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Undisclosed List
Tuesday 21st  July 2009 08:01:39 PM

Rocky, the handsome sniffer dog with the Beret: Where are you?

by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Disabilities

To: Ronan and all contributors Citizen Journalism site

Rocky came to mind as I read through the American Scientist magazine.

The title ‘Cloned dogs sniff our contraband in South Korea’ immediately caught my attention and Rocky and the Beret posting from Ronan back in 2007 could be found through the search button.

I wonder how is Rocky these days? Does he visit the prison to sniff out illegal substances or perhaps he is still in hiding trying to avoid a ‘hit’.

The Big Recession preaches doom these days but let us bear in mind we earn a considerable sum for exporting trained canines to sniff out contraband (even music discs…tobacco…drugs) in countries like Hong Kong, China and possibly South Korea. If this is so, cloning would destroy our market of expertise in training dogs.

‘There are six cloned Labrador retrievers now using their olfactory prowess to help officials find drugs and explosives at airports, harbours across South Korea’.

Highly original the 6 dogs share the same name: Toppy which combines “tomorrow and puppy” – these are the world’s first cloned puppy dogs.

The parent dog for drug-detection as a specialty came from Canada and had been trained for 16 months.

As few as 10% of dogs born have this potential.

Also Germany have been involved in cloning a 5 German Shepherds from Trakr (the 9/11 hero) › Science › Genetics…/0,28804,2059858_2059863_2060232,00.html

Dogs ought to be held in more esteem in our society. They can be healers, guides, protectors of the vulnerable, snoopers, sniffers, friends, and have a long history.

Michelle Clarke

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) French Writer and Philosopher
‘When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die’

August 11th 2009

Evictions, Ejectments, Negative Equity……

What can we the people do?

by Michelle Clarke (Comyn) – Social Justice for all

It is now August 2009 and one year since the last posting (Citizen Journalism site) in 2008, so many crises have challenged the people in Ireland. The assaults are relentless but at least we are not like Taiwan and swamped by the effect of climate change; we can do so little for those poor people in Taiwan today and their unwarranted personal hardships.

In Ireland, we face crises but are there solutions. If so what are they? Can we have a more positive approach in media coverage?  We can try.  A good writer, presenter and experienced lawyer, is Vincent Browne. April 5th 2009, Vincent Browne wrote an interesting article in the Sunday Business Post. No doubt, this can be accessed but there are a few points that bear relevance to the previous postings on this site.

Quite rightly, the title highlighted that the ‘Budget (ie 2008) will not address fundamental inequalities’. We must at all times of crises exercise common sense and we can all now via the media make our contributions and suggestions.

Vincent Browne states that Ireland still remains a rich country that has had a contraction in the economy of 12% between this year and last year. He goes on to say that if the euros38,000 comes back to euros32,000 by next year, we will still be richer than Australia, Japan, France, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark and very much richer than Cyprus and other countries.

The problem with Ireland rests with the inequality in the distribution of income. He goes on to say that 6% of our population receives 28% of all income i.e. according to the Revenue Commissioners and 50% of the population only receives 17%.

What does this say?   What can we do to make changes to the attitudes of people so that we can alter the unfair taxation system i.e. unfair to the majority of people and in particularly those who are vulnerable.

What about motivation? How do we generate money in the Island of Ireland to create the balance sheet that is most equitable. We need those who have the special gift of being Wealth Creators because without them our people would stagnate. We only need to look to human psychology to work this out. Equally, we can look to psychology to see how we can make those wealth creators more giving. The capacity to give exists otherwise we would not have philantropists like Chuck Feeney, Rockerfeller, Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates to name but so very few…….notice the absence of women!!!!

Some say that ‘Inequality is essential’ for a ‘successful’ economy. There must be some truth in this because all one has to do is look to say Marks and Spencer marketing in the last number of months to see ‘the lateral creative thought function in full swing. M&S as a brand is celebrating its 150 anniversary and I heard on the tanoy that there is an exhibition being held in England to outline their history. They have moved towards social and ethical responsibilit; note their in-store advertising of cotton tops from Fairtrade; their food labelled ‘healthy’; and so on.

We can all contribute to making our economy improve and that includes those wealth creators who have funds overseas. Let them invest in our country and as NAMA reduces the prices of the toxic property they have on their books, let these people imbibe some nationalistic fervour and re-invest and re-invigorate the Celtic Nightmare.  It was done before, we had the Congested District Boards in the 1880’s; these became the Land Commission after independence and we re-distributed the land. It is said on wikipedia that some sterling pounds 5,000,000 was given by the English govt at that time. Now we all have access to our history; we can be part of changes for the better.

Michelle Clarke

Subject: Ireland’s Justice System – Citizen Journalism. Ireland Let us not lose sight of the conditions in our prisons over the summer recess. Let us be aware of the Irish Justice system….. we hear too little of MRSA these days – interesting postings contributed via Citizen Journalism
Date: Tuesday 18th August 2009 21:34:48 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To:,,, Tanya M. Hanbury <>, Andrew Harkness <>, Fíona Ní Chinneide <>,, Leonor Bethencourt <>

Tuesday 18th August 2009

Awareness of realities we don’t like to think about

by Michelle Clarke

Does anyone think of the impact of Swine flu, if it entered our prison space.  Are provisions made?  Would silence befall Swine Flu, as it appears to be the case re. MRSA etc. in hospitals and prisons?
Do people notice the increased number of people begging on the streets of Dublin?  A young man asked me for money the other day and as I stood seeing the pain in his young eyes, I waited and spoke to him for a little while.  Here was another person who had fallen between ‘two bar stools’, as the expression goes.  He rolled up his trouser leg to show me the scars of a wound caused by a JCB (work accident)…you could see where the rod passed from his shin bone through to his knee.  He was a young man, a casualty complicated by MRSA and infection.  There was hopelessness and lack of direction for him.  He told me that others had robbed the money he collected the previous day…..okay I hear you say…. a tall story….but then I put it to you, what if he was telling the truth?  We must recall that society is judged by how it treats its vulnerable people……and this includes in our hospitals, our prisons, our homeless shelters.  We must remember that word Dignity.

Subject: Draft Mental Capacity Bill / Personal Guardian Bill. Some serious thought is required before enactment…..
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 20:48:27 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Undisclosed list
Sunday 23rd August 2009 17:21

Magna Carta to Democracy today and the trial by Jury.  Context: Draft Mental Capacity Bill/Personal Guardian Bill

by Michelle Clarke (Comyn) – Social Justice and The Rule of Law

There is a contract known as a Swiss Cheese contract. Simply it means like Swiss Cheese, little holes, or silences connote safer contracts. There is more room for discussion and evolution. Something similar to a Bill of Rights with less rather than too much written detail.

There is a significant law on the brink of being passed and again this relates closely to the human rights of an individual. This time, the Bill is intended to create a role of ‘Personal Guardian’. The Court will act on behalf of the ‘Mentally Impaired’ and appoint ‘Court Appointees’. The intention and expression is without fault but the realities for individual human beings so categorised, is a completely different matter. It means that someone has to be an adequately experienced, educated, aware, visionary to act on behalf of the vulnerable person.

A “personal Guardian” could be appointed by the High Court to make decisions concerning the person or the property affairs of a person deemed to lack the necessary mental capacity to make certain decisions, in their way of negotiating their life. The Bill states that a new Body will be established known as the Office of the Public Guardian.

This Bill should make us think about the Ireland of today. The inadequate health services, the treatment of the elderly, the bullying culture, the predators in search of vulnerable prey, the infallible family members who feel they are entitled to make the decision about a member of their family say with ABI (Acquired brain injury).

We are talking about fraught situations and room for much misadventure. We need only look to our history to know the vulnerable are so often taken advantage of. The Ryan Commission speaks volumes and as for the final decision of the Mahon Tribunal, well where and when do the Scales of Justice stand accountable.

Personally, I would like to draw attention to the medical profession. Medicine is governed in this country by self regulation. What chance does this give the vulnerable person with say ABI, Downes Syndrome, lack of mental capacity or straight forward mentally ill. The law is improving but still the powers that be can have a person’s rights usurped. We need to review this carefully before the legislation is enacted.

The legislation is aimed at protecting people (protection connotes all kinds of meanings) who suffer from impaired decision making capacity due to illness, dementia or an acquired brain injury. (There are a number of articles on a citizen journalism site by Michelle Clarke on Brain Awareness worth considering).

The important part of this legislation is the enforcement of the following words:

Capacity will be understood in terms of a person’s ability to make a specific decision at a specific time, AND WILL ALLOW FOR THE POSSIBILITY that the loss of capacity may be temporary or permanent……..

How can we uphold the human rights of the person with ABI who may develop abilities in a certain field of creativity as a direct consequence of the ABI…like a person with Aspergers – they may as a consequence of ABI have a loss of reaction to the normal cues people pick up on; they may become Bipolar as a result of the head injury. There maybe an impact of extreme anxiety and frustration and the outcomes of this.

We must realise that people with ABI may be alive now because of the advance of neurological medicine and per consequence may be able to negotiate their lives on the basis of their pre-accident memory but with the assistance of a carer and be entitled to live independently in the community.

This requires a Fiduciary component, yes the word relates to Trust – of which little exists for vulnerable people today. There is a loss in Morality, Transparency and Ethics that could in fact make people so defined by the above Legislation more vulnerable as Tug of Wars take place between families and partnerships they may form post ABI.

How do we protect the person’s rights? If the person has had an accident and a large amount of money is awarded by the courts, how can we ensure that the human being part of the person is not stressed to such a degree by the antics of family, friends, Guardians etc, so as to further destroy the mental capacity.

Patricia Rickard Clarke at the Law Reform Commission, is involved in the recent published report including a report draft on Mental Capacity has said it is important to look to the human rights law in the Bill…..This is vital before the legislation becomes law, I would suggest.

Deirdre Carroll of Inclusion Ireland also welcomes the Bill but expressed a concern about the implicit PATERNALISM. Rightly so, she emphasises that everything should be done to establish the NEED for assisted decision making and COMMUNICATING a decision.

She also drew reference to the advanced work in the field of Cognitive work in Canada but said that the input of family and other social supports must be taken into account….

We hear daily of head injuries sustained, knife attacks, RTA’s, kicks to the head in alcohol brawls but we never hear just how these people negotiate their lives once Medicine has stepped in give them life…..medicine’s role stops there……the battle goes fwd for the person.

A young man with ABI went missing from a care home in Bantry – no money. It was on the news but nobody ever came back to say he was found….Does any know or care?

Michelle Clarke wants to add one more point. Wards of Court is what exists in law now. Surely, it is time for media to review just how successful an instrument it has been and what lessons can be learned before the enactment of Personal Guardian and Mental Capacity Bill.

Fortunam Tabulam Audaces
Fortune favours the Brave

Date: Friday 4 September 2009 17:56:33 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Undisclosed: address list

4th September 2009

Imagine The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is meeting Charlie McCreevy Europe’s Single Market Commissioner

by  Michelle Clarke – Justice and Peace

Well, it is the truth. Yes, there will be an exchange. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is campaigning against tighter financial regulations on hedge funds and private equity funds by the EU and certain directives. This will make for an interesting exchange. My hope is that those in NAMA, the Department of Finance here in Ireland, the Yes Votes, the No Votes, will take time to listen to their exchange.

The world is about Finance and financial markets need to be monitored, sometimes cushioned, sometimes they need more regulation and in cases like over the last number of years, the pattern was governed by Globalisation and for this free flow of funds, the fact is de-regulation had to be engaged in.

What is important for the Irish people to realise is that ‘we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water’. We need to listen, to hear, and even piggy back on the experience of others.

Boris Johnson was the Daily Telegraph’s correspondent in Brussels from 1989 – 1994 and he was colourful in his reporting. Do you recall the headline ‘Threat to British pink sausages’. He kept the headlines going making people aware that the EU could become a massive super-state capable of smothering Britain with copious directives of no relevance.

Remember the Institutions of the EU were also subject to fraud, nepotism and mismanagement. In fact, the Commission had to resign in 1999.

In Ireland, we like to blame and criticize but sometimes we need to accept that others know a little more than us and are ultimately acting in the best interests of the overall purpose.

We await the news from the meeting with Mr. McCreevy… Again….Lisbon II, will remove Ireland as an EC Commissioner in the top tier. Is this equitable based on the argument of demographics as distinct from our vast experience?

by Michelle Clarke


“It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom.” Jonathan Swift

Subject: Citizen Journalism: The Sea…Membership of EU but at what cost?
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 20:41:45 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
Sunday September 20th, 2009

THE Sea….membership to the EU but at what cost

 by Michelle Clarke (Dolphin) – Marine Industry

Fred. Yes, where are all these people? Those who we can now call the self nominated ‘Entitled Classes’. Those who gained a little power and abused the ethics, trust and credibility of the people in the Island of Ireland.

Talking about Islands Fred, are you a man from the coast of Galway. I live in Dublin so I too have access to the sea.

A taxi driver (an interesting grassroots conversation on the day of two marches) gave me a paper, mentioned in earlier posting. What an interesting piece of journalism and well worth reading if you have an interest in Ireland as it stands now, on the eve of yet another Referendum!!

Title of article reads ‘Irish Resources robbed from the people of Ireland’. The temptation is immediately to think of Shell and the Corrib but this article goes far deeper and covers the loss to the Island of Ireland of our fishing waters which it sums up as ‘A Continental Coup’.

Michael O’Driscoll quite rightly asks people to take account of what we the Irish people gave to the EU when we are bleating about what we received from the EU in the form of structural funds. He goes on to say that we gave up our entire fishing waters, as a price for entry to the EU. So we had to pay a Fine Price to enter the EU?

The seas that surround Ireland and Britain are among the world’s richest fishing waters. I must admit to being ignorant about this but now I am going to look into this further. Apparently there were four applicant countries in the 1970’s (Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway). The point of major significance is that these four countries amount to 90% of EU fisheries. The legal profession were called upon to find some loophole in the Treaty of Rome so that a deal could be made (what has changed, just look to NAMA). Article 38 1 was the only article that mentioned ‘fish’. They were looking for words that would say “equal access” principle, which was made a condition for EU membership….’right up to the beaches’.

O’Driscoll further comments on the irony that during the same period of time, the United Nations conference had extended the national control of fisheries to 200 miles which meant Britain and Ireland controlled 86% of European Fishery waters.

So we the Irish are far from cap in hand to Europe, I would think?

Then we have the Corrib and Shell to consider and our sell out to Corporates for our resources from the sea, oil, gas and who knows what else. The Sea to the Island of Ireland is like the innovative mind of the human being.

The sea is our history, our emigration, our aquaculture, our fishing, our starvation due to ignorance of the food of sea. We may have costed it too low in the 1970’s as we did not understand its true value to our country and as it transpired to the whole of Europe…The question here is whether article 38 1 is a legally binding.

They say scenery cannot make up for hardship

….but Ballyvaughan and its surroundings are rich in scenery. The limestone hills are themselves impressive in their grandeur, there is a wonderful expanse of water in Galway Bay, which must be one of the largest, loveliest and alas least used bays in the world and in the distance across the bay lies Connemara, with its expressively named mountains, the Twelve Pins, ranging across the horizon’ by a man who believed in the wealth of Ireland and the potential.

by Michelle Clarke

ubject: Citizen Journalism: Challenges to inadequate social policies
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 18:39:07 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To:; undisclosed list

Tuesday October 7th, 2009

Challenges to inadequate social policies

by Michelle Clarke – Media Pulse and Diversity

Protection of vulnerable sectors in the Community

In the past, I have written about a treasure trove of information much under utilised for parents, for individuals, for children, for the elderly concerned about the future, and for students. It is the EU office in Dawson Street. This is adjacent to the Royal Irish Academy, and St. Anne’s Church which is also a haven for people with time on their hands and a curious mind. They have a coffee centre and for over 50’s they assist people in learning how to use the computer.

The Lisbon Treaty Re-Run has proved one point and that is the splintered groups of socialism that were unable to form the flank of NO. We need to ask ourselves now, as a Nation that has said yes to the Treaty, what do we expect from the Government?

At the moment in Ireland domestically, we have serious problems. We have the abuse of taxpayers money by who? Let’s go: FAS, TD’s expenses, Ministers expenses, county councillor expenses, and now as the whole country knows we have John O’Donoghue, Ceann Comhairle of the Oireachtas (above politics) but as Eamonn Gilmore placed a No Confidence Vote in the Dail today for the resignation or dismissal of Mr. O’Donoghue, it raises serious questions.

Doom and gloom abounds for 1 year now. The collapse started with one of the biggest banks in the US – Lehman Brothers and since then economics worldwide are in free flow.

Ireland is in particular disgrace. Led from the front by politicians, bankers and professionals, Ireland is awash with people who have lived lavishly off others and now, without shame, we the ordinary people ask will they be held accountable?

The people have expressed an opinion. The re-run of the Lisbon II Treaty indicated a change in consensus about Europe and support for Lisbon Treaty. This time, we were not influenced by the No campaigners, there was a change of perspective, a change of view, and the fact that the European Central Bank has intervened to support us, all these factors contributed to the Irish people saying yes to Europe.

Subject: Dublin and Potential
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 19:57:40 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Reception <>, Byrne, Daryl <>, Aosdana <>, Amy.Mahon@Taoiseach.Gov.IE
CC: Roche, Damien – Head, Business School <>, Kevin J. Regan <>, Fred Johnston <>, Fagan John <>, Cahill Gavin <>

October 15th 2009

Dublin and potential :  Reference to Constantin Gurdgiev, Economist Trinity College.

Also we must look out for this Nobel Prize for Economics winner Professor Ostom

by Michelle Clarke

It is an interesting phenomenon that we in Ireland need to explore given the harsh impact of the Recession.

Talking about hope. I picked up a copy of PORTfolio (IFSC and businesses in City areas 1, 2, 3, 4). We need a little more positive reporting and I have to say this giveaway paper offers a little hope.

It reports that as many as 30,000 people will be living and working in Spencer Dock within the next two years (the forecast of director Rob Davies, Treasury Holding’s Spencer Dock Development). Given that it has land, infrastructure and established financial services and the Convention Centre, it invites people commune there. It makes common sense that people will be driven inwards to an area that provides infrastructure. Add to this ‘the Sea River Canal’ dimension and boy is there scope?

According to economist Constantin Gurdgiev, Trinity College Dublin, he believes that the population of Dublin will in fact increase to 1.7 million approx. by 2026. This will mean there will be a demand for houses, apartments, workplaces etc. He went on to say that Dublin ‘is Ireland’s biggest driver of economic growth and that by 2010 66.7% of all high value added jobs will be located in the Greater Dublin area. This is an increase from 62.7% in 2000. He further adds that by 2020 (only 10 years 2 months away) Dublin will account for half of all GDP and the city will need to accommodate people in order to deliver growth.

Mr. Gurdgiev (who has appeared on several occasions on TV3 nightly Vincent Browne show) further identifies the importance of internationally traded services as the most competitive origin of future growth for Ireland. He advocates the concept of clusters and clustering.

Add to this the findings of Professor Ostrom and economical behaviourism and perhaps with a sense of awareness we can ‘skip and jump’ and ‘piggy back on experience’ and regain our position in Europe and worldwide.

Economics is about factoring and really if you apply common sense, you can get a good handle on making the economy work.

Baggot Street Upper and Lower is adjacent to the Financial Services Centre (IFSC). It needs to take a lesson from the like of Spencer Dock and to start searching out for it’s soul. The Bernard McNamara consortium are in the throes of completing their Burlington Arcade on Burlington Road, likewise he is involved in the Burlington Hotel, yet there is a deadened beat to the area, which is considerably worse at weekends. The soul is dead and yet if people and it only can be the people sought actively to revive it, there is great potential for all sectors of society to become involved in City Living. The City Living of Baggot Street rests in its history….that history of which we are paradoxical about. It is the history imbibed by Shame and that of Pride – it is the Celtic Twilight versus those who were in the Civil War. The two dimensions are hidden. Personally I can see no reason why this area could not become the ‘Knightsbridge’ of Dublin. There is the Canal, the buildings, the Georgian Squares, the Civil War history, the History as far back as 1200, it has been home to writers, to artists, to eccentrics.

Businesses are closing in Dublin because Landlords are charging rents that are too high. There are numerous eateries paying exorbitant rents and if O’Brien’s have failed to survive there will be many more. The time is here for review. If businesses are facing closure, let them examine the space they are renting and then draft up a business plan that they can inform their landlord they will be able to pay a lesser amount. The word of the now must be NEGOTIATE NEGOTIATE NEGOTIATE. If landlords are too demanding, remind them of Oscar Wilde ‘some people know the cost of everything and the value of nothing’…..

Likewise to the people who have houses they cannot let. Be prepared to reduce rents. Look to alternative markets. Reduce prejudices and stop saying No to rent allowance tenants. Take the reduction rather than let the house cost you money.

Social Housing. Given that there is a lot of property on the market, community welfare offices and HSE housing units, the Church, etc. ought to focus their attention to upgrading people to better accommodation (that is available) and making negligent landlords the ones who lose income.

Believe it or not, recessions can be good for economies….so let’s make this recession work for the People of Ireland. Let’s give Ethical Journalism a chance.

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Criminal Assets Bureau CAB
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 00:39:43 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Mary <>, John Corrigan <>, Ciara.Mahon@Taoiseach.Gov.IE, Fíona Ní Chinneide <>, Gabriel Bradley <>, Amy.Mahon@Taoiseach.Gov.IE
CC: markets <>, Legal (LFD) <>,, Fagan John <>

October 17th, 2009

Criminal Assets Bureau. Use the Model viz a viz NAMA data

26th September headline caught my attention.

The title ‘CAB nets Euros 6 million in war on gangster dole defraud’.

Tom Brady, Security Editor reported that the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has ‘deprived gangsters of more that Euros6 m in social welfare payments since it began targeting them’. Well done.

Apparently a number of social welfare inspectors have been granted to the CAB. This is the news we don’t hear about! These men are actively working to identify and target funds accumulated by criminals.   Now the word criminal is unclear in this article. Does this mean a person who has a criminal record only can be targeted?

If so, what about the alleged Euros 80 m. and solicitor Michael Lynn? It is disconcerting to hear people informing the Joe Duffy show that they encountered Michael Lynn on their recent holidays and that they felt quite certain, it was him. Now that pressure has been placed on TAX HAVENS like Switzerland, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Lichtenstein etc, surely we can locate this solicitor and if not arrest him, source where he has invested his funds? There is one thing we must know is that if he has ‘spent’ the money, there will be a record and if not we can presume it is buried away in some Swiss Bank account. His ‘crimes’ which can only be called alleged in his absence and those crimes of many other financiers, give rise to one ’cause and effect’ Lynn and his sterotype failed to provide for and that is the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the impact that was a globalised financial crisis and the remedies required to contain it.

If the CAB nets 6 m euros from its war on gangster dole fraud (well done to Mary Hanafin), can we please have more officers appointed to the Criminal Assets Bureau to target the funds of those who in time will be found guilty of fraudulent transactions (as has happened in the case of Madoff – the pyramid man, who will spend the rest of his life in US prison). If people embezzle funds, the funds must be transferred somewhere via bank account. The CAB was set up in 1996 and has worked ardently and successfully over the years.

If this model works, then adding additional officers makes sense and allocating a task e.g. find tax haven accounts with a focus on the Countries like Switzerland that the US have put pressure on to release details on US tax exiles.

by Michelle Clarke

24th October 2009

Response to Old Codger Citizen Journalism site

The importance of the word ‘Honest’among the Judiciary

by Michelle Clarke

I am very interested in the context of your posting. The qualities of the judiciary, in a country that is supposedly democratic ought to be above reproach. For Mr. Justice Johnson (retiring) to have included the word ‘honest’ as per your quote, is suffice to say, that the Judiciary are not above reproach.

I recall reading something from a Judge who presided in the 1950’s who said the most important quality for a Judge was firstly to be a good lawyer and then to have a solid knowledge of the law. To me, this is common sense but common sense has become driftwood in the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger.

Does anyone speak of the Mahon Tribunal…these days? When will we have a conclusion and when will we stop paying these massive salaries to legal beagles who know ‘what their best interest is’ yes ‘go slow’ get paid more.

Our Commercial Courts are the new order of the Decade? Where is the money coming from?
We need to cut our cloth according to its measure but this doesn’t mean the middle class and near impoverished, as well as the elderly must bare the brunt of excessive fees and payments. The decision needs to be made, and the ‘sterling qualities of expertise and genius’ needs to be tapped, with persuasion to forego income and wealth in line with a just and fair society.

Do people really take account of the number of solicitors being struck off the rolls? You occasionally hear the name but there is no significant emphasis on a professional ‘doing something that is illegal’. There is a kind of sympathy extended to them, it is part of that paternalism that is invoked by being a member of a profession.

Lynn owes 80 m and rising no doubt. People claim to have met him in Europe but when they query it, they are told it is difficult to charge him. What does this mean? I know law is not retrospective but surely there are enough precedents in Law to charge for fraud, deception, etc. etc.   Did Lynn suffer a massive loss in his 80 m with the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the US September 12 months ago? Well, we all know that Madoff the Pyramid con man is now in his seventies in jail for life….thanks to the Federal system of Law in America. Apparently he is sharing a bunk bed with a real gangster.

The US have not been ‘sitting on their hands’ since the collapse of Lehmans. No they have been thinking and acting. People have been held accountable and fast tracked through the legal processes and placed in prison as criminals. There is none of this ‘white’ collar ‘blue collar’  in the US – Enron proved that and then the fall of Arthur Anderson…/enron-s-collapse-overview-arthur-andersen-fires-executive-for-enr…, who were Enron auditors.

Also countries like Switzerland, the Bahamas, yes the Tax Havens are under serious threat. 5,000 names of US Swiss Bank holders are to have their names released to the US revenue and there is a potential for some 50,000 more greedy people to have their names released. Who knows what this will in effect do to capital markets – it will cause an injection to the EU, Britain, the US, to a lesser degree Japan, China, Asia. It is going to be a really interesting dynamic.

Nobody could predict the Lehman crisis but now that it has happened transparency and accountability is the battle cry so let the masses pay heed and vocalise the need to source taxes from those who have failed to pay in the last decade and who seek to remain tax exiles yet own major businesses in IRELAND. I admire O’Leary of Ryanair on two scores. In the 1980s when the recession was really bad, he saw an opportunity and he gave emigrants very cheap travel to other countries for work and secondly, he can jest about his view of politicians because he pays considerable tax in Ireland and lives in the Country.

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Citizen journalism: undisclosed list
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 20:13:08 -0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Undisclosed:  Address list
28th October 2009
Living space; its importance; the Green factor; the forthcoming 2009 Budget

by Michelle Clarke – Human Rights and Living Standards

It is now almost the end of October and November 2009 is the annual Budget. Some are saying the country is bankrupt, others are threatening all out strikes. Corruption is the order of the day and based on the comments of a former High Court Judge, the judiciary may not been immune from crossing the line which is about Honesty.

The question is should we welcome the International Monetary Fund to our shores. There are distinct advantages, they were called into the UK, as far as I am aware in the 1970’s – a time of miners’ strikes’ and Sterling currency problems. Where is the media to state their position on the entry of the IMF, more importantly what have the many economists to say?

The people can stampede. The old folks have set the pace in Ireland, earlier this year, with the march to the Dail. Swathes of people from all backgrounds; all ages, convened and shouted for their rights. The question is what did they really gain? Did anyone monitor the cost to their health and perhaps even their early demise due to stress. Who really cares? It appears that people claiming expenses were totally detached from the plight of others i.e. yes the underclass and the potential to be underclass sectors of society.

Fianna Fail….the developers, the planning, the dreams. What are they doing now? Where are these Developers? Are they tax exiles or is their intention to become tax exiles in the immediate future?

At least Sean Dunne (Dublin 4 fame) is trying to salvage something from the Planning Nightmare he engaged in. The Berkeley Court is going to be renamed back to its old name and hopefully its fortune of earlier times. Dunne is not short on ideas and initiative and thank God we have people like him who are prepared to keep on pulling tricks out of the proverbial Hat (i.e. Island of Ireland demise).

Property is the order of the day. Negative Equity exists but then bear in mind this is based on which decade you bought your house, or did you inherit a house and gain from the reduction in Capital Gains Tax 20% brought in by Mr McCreevy and co. Property is core to people in Ireland – after all if you take a look at our history, the 700 years of colonisation, we were fighting for the 3 ‘F’s.

What has changed? We had the Celtic Tiger but we got too greedy and property became the mechanism via tax breaks to make many people landlords instead of just having old fashioned landlords; the County Council and Dublin Corporation sources for people in poor housing conditions.

Dublin City Council has gained another responsibility now, it is as a result of all those tax breaks that FF provided to developers and speculators. The State have mainly stepped aside from being the providers of homes and passed it on to speculators. Now according to the Metro daily freebie paper, there are now more pertinent points to be dealt with forthwith. Instead we have tax policies trying to penalise the speculators with stealth taxes.

The headline reads ‘35% of properties to rent are illegal’ by Ross McDonagh. As many as one in three rental properties in Dublin do not meet the legal standard. Could this be true? If so, what are we going to do about it? Already if you are speculator landlord, chances are the property is vacant and there are myriad of new taxes you have to pay before you get a day’s rent?

14,880 properties have been inspected and 2,854 were below the legal standard……I wonder how many properties were inspected in Dublin 4. There are houses still pre-63 while houses on the same street are for sale for e6 million. We need some common sense thought before this budget!

We need to get the quality of home provision adequate for all people. We do not need to penalise landlords who speculated and basically took over the role of provider of accommodation from Dublin City Council etc. and punish them further into the ground by having the banks foreclose and then the vultures entering.

Learning Lessons is about diversity of thought and creativity.  What about a creation of a property portfolio with proper property Management much like what used to be provided by the State e.g. the Corporation. and the Co. Council?

Where is Nama? What is it going to to assist proper housing provision for all Irish People. They have the deck of cards. All we are asking is for them to play a fair hand to the plain people of Ireland.

Subject: The Brain Research Trust – The Institute of Neurology (IoN) Please consider this and I will send you a copy of earlier letter for your convenience.
Date: Wednesday 4th November 2009 00:45:26 -0000
From: Michelle Clarke


The Brain Research Trust – The Institute of Neurology (IoN)

From:Michelle Clarke

Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 7:04 PM

From:Michelle Clarke

Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 6:21 PM
Subject: Fw: The Brain Research Trust – The Institute of Neurology (IoN) Please consider this and I will send you a copy of earlier letter for your convenience.
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 6:15 PM
Subject: The Brain Research Trust – The Institute of Neurology (IoN) Please consider this and I will send you a copy of earlier letter for your convenience.

A reminder from Michelle

I wrote a letter and I referred you to a Hospital in the US pledged to Psychiatric Health for over 100 years

I wrote an outline about what I would like to see happen to that ‘Fallen Angel’…. the Royal City of Dublin Hospital – Upper Baggot Street Hospital, Dublin 4, a hospital with a most incredible history, no doubt, and the potential is substantial and will be lost through ignorance.

I have ABI, Chronic Fatigue, Bipolar, Anxiety, medicated etc. etc.  Today, complications from Lithium poisoning sent me for yet another blood test to check up on organ functions.  I want you to understand that for me being sick equates to an almost full time ‘job’ and that equates to me being valued as a worthless drone on society with potential for underclass categorization.

I went to St. Vincents University hospital today.  I was number 59.  We all sat like stool pigeons and all I can say is that almost 2.5 hrs later I had my blood taken.  I noticed on the wall some clever piece of marketing directed at the service user.  The point was that in year 2008 the cost of people not turning up to appointments cost the hospital over euros 3.9 m.  Enlightening for No 59 and wasted time for all the remainder in the queue.  I was public, add in the bus trips (pass means no charge) but time wise possibly one hour and exhaustion to follow.  Is there a go slow given the strike that is due on the 6th November 2009? This is one of the many questions that flips through my head.  With ABI – I have no comparison because that is what groundhog day is.  Then I look at those with carers, and think double time wasted.  Then I look at the wall and I see a note about swine flu but sight is poor and really I can’t intellectually grasp its content. 

Then I think – what a big hospital?  If the old public health existed like in the days of my father a 1950’s public health doctor, then space, location would be utilised to its maximum effect.  St Vincents a.m. should allocate a space to a number of GP’s or nurses and all people should gravitate towards the largesse of the hospital for vaccination i.e. if we have enough of a supply!   Supply and demand determines but do we have intellect to make the system work?  I would have thought that the vulnerable waiting for bloods would have been the ideal target group for a medical hospital to target, with immediate affect.  But then the ‘public’ don’t count. 

If I was private patient, I would attend my ‘clinic’ in the precincts of SVUH no doubt, and I would be neatly packaged, pay my fee, claim it back, and get into my parked car in the car park.  Time, no doubt if I worked it would be company time and hence have a value.  Then I wonder about the notice and appointments.  Nearly 4 million euros lost.  Does this mean private or public?  Or Both?  or private alone!  What about our universal system of health and equality?

I am not bitter.  I just want to ask people to think laterally.  To look to a form of centrism and to consider the potential of Royal City of Dublin Hospital, Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4.

People run Marathons in Ireland, in New York.  They raise funds for charities – so many charities but same need questioning also and about expenses and egotism.  Some illnesses are more fashionable than others!  Some hospitals like the Mater have more kudos – their consultants are privileged and have trained for periods of time in the US top hospitals of course.  That is the snobbery that is destroying the Ireland that evolved from 1916.

Psychiatry, Addiction, Psychology, Neuroscience, …… drug addictions, alcohol addictions….. yes, the neurological calamities ….  Read the American Scientists magazines, there is huge potential in this group of people that may not generate income from production. 

I would ask you to look to the potential of Baggot Street and the resource that can be tapped yes I mean the people.

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Learning from Europe and Iceland
Date: Monday 16th November 2009 18:54:26 -0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: M A Brennan <>, Gabriel Bradley <>,, Amy.Mahon@Taoiseach.Gov.IE
CC: Bannon, Mary <>
16th November 2009
Culture of Greed and Osmosis from Iceland to Ireland? What next?

by Michelle Clarke

The patented pink paper has a weekly magazine and therein is an interesting analysis of Iceland.

Ireland is not the only country to fight criminal corruption.

A woman – Eva Joly, a 65 year old Norwegian-born French lawyer is worth noting. This woman is part of an investigative team of selected investigators who hold a record in bringing ‘Corporate Criminals’ to justice. Unlike Ireland, the Icelandic authorities have asked her and others (not Icelandic necessarily) to help establish exactly what role white-collar crime ‘may have in fact played on the Island’s Boom and Bust cycle’. Eva Joly has a significant ‘corruption crime’ investigation profile. Joly was one Europe’s most eager corruption hunters and her investigation of Elf an integral part of her CV. This investigation lasted 8 years and significantly changed the judicial landscape in France and elsewhere. So it is not just Ireland with the variety of tribunals, including the Morris Tribunal (for which we are still awaiting an outcome) that has been crippled with organised crime, criminal corruption, bribery accusations etc.

Iceland and Ireland have in common, their Island status. They also share a form of political ‘rot’ that Joly found in the French political system with great emphasis needed for her investigation into Elf in the 1990’s. Joly goes so far as to predict ‘that her latest project will illuminate the darkest recesses of Global Finance’.

The Iceland study is centred on whether the manipulation of ‘markets’ pumped up Icelandic balance sheets’ (and so far up that they were 10 times the size of the Country’s GDP. Does this ring bells for the people of Ireland? Are we but a ‘pawn’ in a game or the spratt to catch a salmon. The banks were part of the game and their role was to dish out the credit and they did. Their big shareholders became the clients. Yes, there are close similarities and the commonality of that greed culture was imported from the US and the City of London.

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Citizen Journalism article written in 2006.  ‘Evictions, the vulnerable in Dublin 4’
Date: Tuesday 17th November 2009 18:29:48 -0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Cahill Gavin <>, John Corrigan <>, Vincent Browne <>, M A Brennan <>, Gabriel Bradley <>, Amy.Mahon@Taoiseach.Gov.IE

Monday 16th November 2009

Going backwards to move forwards – Evictions, Repossessions, Negative Equity victims
– Fall out from Financial Markets Capitulation
by Michelle Clarke (Rackrent)

The housing market is in free flow. Nobody knows when the over supply will halt the crazy situation some people find themselves in. For those who have bought their properties in the last five years, their reality is that they must remain employed, they must earn enough to pay the mortgage, they must hope that interest rates from the European Central Bank don’t start to rise (as happened in the 1980’s/90’s in the UK when rates moved from 7% to 14.5% in 6 months).

From all walks of life, there are people worrying about ‘Eviction or Ejectment’ as it is often referred to. For some it is sooner rather than later. For those in the latter category, there will be those company directors who have engaged in securitised borrowing putting their property up as the security. This will include many of those who speculated, encouraged by the Governments’ tax breaks and incentives and who are now part of the surplus supply of houses with sometimes 100% loans based on fairy tale valuations – and these are the punters that are really indicted to a life time misery of no reprieve due to the lax and de-regulation practices of the Banks and lending societies.

How do we measure the pain? How can we ensure that children whose parents become unemployed are spared a childhood of undue stress due to repossessions and evictions. There must be a strategy.

The woman on the Joe Duffy Show (Radio programme; RTE 1) today spoke of being evicted from her home with her 4 children yesterday. The Gardai were present (precautionary) focus. The bailiffs allowed her to leave her furniture in the house until today. What does this woman and her children do? Who provides for her now when it is the Co. Council who provides her accommodation and has basically evicted her and her family?

I presume she must go to her Community Welfare Officer or the HSE. Then she must inform them as to why the Co. Council evicted (yes, they suspected she had a partner whom she failed to notify them about). The campaign in Government and the reason for tax breaks was to remove state involvement in the provision of nationalised housing through the Corporation and Co. Councils. The move was to encourage speculators to take over the role as landlords and encourage them to be the speculators.

Now is the creation of a further mire of bureaucracy and nonsense. The foregoing postings since 2006 form an outline Agenda that can be created before the Budget goes up a notch with more stealth taxes on property.

We cannot rely on the public service to release us from our housing problems, because before the crisis, and at a time when the mortgages were fluid, we realistically are aware that the public services were grossly inadequate. Many speculators who have been spared the pain until now, will find that they have been short changed by a public service that had reputation of efficiency.

I ask the question has anyone looked to the records of the HSE and Community Welfare people to their relationship and deals with certain privileged estate agents during the boom years? Rent Allowance double/treble did occur and if you as landlord were the victim ie ‘suffered’ try getting some accountability from the Public Bodies.

We need a simple Balance Sheet done before Christmas. We need to look at the people in immediate need. We need to see what rental property stock exists. We need to find the value of the properties and write-down the potential losses.

Then we need to look to the number of houses available for rent, their locations, work potential, school places.

MAB’s have been around for a few years. Now is the time to test their abilities and lateral creativity.

Repossession applications have almost trebled in 2 years.

We need help at all levels. A person’s home is a person’s right and we who can avert making people homeless must intervene.

by Michelle Clarke (Rackrent)

Subject: Citizen Journalism: Public meeting concerning Clerical Abuse
Date: Friday 20th November 2009 18:25:06 -0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Kathleen Soden <>, Vincent Browne <>, Gabriel Bradley <>, Aosdana <>, Amy.Mahon@Taoiseach.Gov.IE,

20th November 2009

Public Meeting for Clerical Abuse Call
Have we learned anything about people and power? Watch out for children today is an imperative to all 
by Michelle Clarke – The Catholic Church and the Abuse  

Citizen Journalism:

To:  Kevin Flanagan

I note your posting and with shock. You suggest that Archbishop Martin would have known of the problem of abuse in Artane Children’s Home 40 years ago. You also state that there were five known priest offenders in the Artane Parish. This shocks me and guts me to the core to note that it is not dealt with in the Ryan Report…/RyanImplementation.htm

When do we learn? It appears that all in sundry knew what was going on i.e. particularly those who had the language to express it, the Church, the medical profession, the legal profession, the politicians and yet they kept ‘the language for their own conversations’ and ignored the pleas of the afflicted.

They continue to do so as those so afflicted by men who chose the evil path of abuse on the vulnerable are protected by the Code of Secrecy. Yes, Omerta prevails and it seems to work. Too few people have been held to account for the children who suffered abuse at the hands of people who chose not to ‘rock the proverbial boat’.

Does anyone ever hear if any of the secret arms of the Church like Opus Dei or the Knights of Columbanus had any clergy who engaged in these illegal practices or did their self affliction of flagellation protect them from human weaknesses? I really would like to know.

I read that as the properties of the Church were being sold in the late 1990’s, mainly to Developers, that the Catholic Church was the largest holder of property in Ireland and at that time it was worth one billion euros. Could this be so? We must not forget that in centuries past the Church often received bequests of property; some people had the mentality that they could buy their way into Heaven.  If these properties were sold – what did the Church orders do with the money? Where did they invest it? Did the money return to Vatican City, is the real question and who better to ask than the Accountant Archbishop Martin who worked in Vatican City?

Ireland is now about a State. It used to be tightly intermingled with the Church but the State emphasis is coming to the fore especially in education where parents are forging ahead with a code of independence e.g. Educate Together.

Beware of Secrecy…it can harm vulnerable people in particular

Citizen Journalism site:  Reply to Trevor:

Saturday, November 28, 2009 6:57 PM

by trevor Fri Nov 27, 2009 13:44

The thing about psychoanalysis training given to priests that Brigid mentions should be a matter of concern to the medical profession’s ethics committee. . With their claims to ethical virtue undermined by these revelations the clergy wants to worm its way back into the subconcious of the faithful any way that it can . So they now embrace Freud to give it all a scientific gloss. Any survivor who makes too much of a noise about what went on will find themselves being asked by any of the various agencies involved , “Have you been for counselling?”

28th November 2009
What about the Ethics and the Medical Profession (Psychiatry)?

by Michelle Clarke

Psychotherapy ought to be incorporated under Medical Ethical Control. Too often is psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy scapegoated from Regulation. People who attend a psychiatrist will no doubt confirm that their psychiatrist will advise them to hasten slowly before attending a ‘counsellor’ for the very reason that there are a myriad of qualifications under the heading of counsellor/psychologist which in effect are not regulated.

Old books often have little gems that our brought into the present so as to make us think. Dr. Dobblestein, a praticing psychiatrist, wrote a book back in the 1950’s to help priests recognise ‘all such symptoms in their flock’. Well, what happened? The title aptly is Psychiatry for Priests.

A few lines from the introduction makes most interesting reading :

‘Theologically speaking a ”lunatic” is not held responsible’ was the teaching of the time. This meant that if the priest proffered the wrong advice, a crime is committed and in turn the outcome would be that it would virtually impossible for the lunatic to return to ‘normal’ society.

This is about “Take Responsibility” back in the 1950’s: What happened is the question I would ask the deceased Archbishop McQuaid of 32 years near Theocratic rein?

At this time psychiatry was an outlying branch of ‘specialised medicine’. What has happened now is divestiture with no regulation?  The book goes on to say:

‘Few doctors had any understanding of mental illness, and most of the cases were incurable. Therapeutic methods were almost unknown, and it was seldom anyone – except the horrified relatives – took any serious interest in their fate.’…nurses took care of them.

Well we have had ample opportunity to learn since then but the deep question to be answered must be; have we? Psychotherapy became the modern treatment for nervous disturbance and Freud who developed the implications with deep sexual needs.

Psychoanalysis: the 1950 definition is the ‘scientific process of disentanglement’. How appropriate? Is their money for Psychiatrists in this process? I doubt it, hence the introduction of the clergy, and good listeners into what we have today.

Carl jung and the Adler, both psychologists extended beyond the individual of the human being to envisage further psychic fields – yes, “the Collective Unconscious” and its applicability to all human beings. They regarded the neurotic states to not only be derived from past experiences, but also attributed them as a marker of a failure or breakdown of the patient’s behaviour towards life, when confronted with a crisis. They sought to look at the whole personality of the patient.

Somewhere, medicine and the Church divided.

Clerical Whispers is an excellent source of informative data which shows how ‘de-regulation’ or ‘biased regulation’ can lead to a mire for innocents and vulnerable people derided and cast aside from society.

How many have we lost to suicide in this mire of deceit? How many long term patients have we got in psychiatric hospitals left to wallow in the ineptitude of the so called professionals?

How many priests have lost their souls because the Church and this includes the Vatican (who fails to respond to correspondence of the Murphy Tribunal) have been submerged to the abyss of silence?

Trevor. There must be transparency and accountability. The Medical Profession must take a stand and in particular Psychiatry. There must be regulation. The Church must stand accountable. It was said today that if the Church had acted with responsibility in the first place and applied Canon Law – the priests would have been defrocked and then the State would have been in a position to press charges via State Law. What happened?

Again I ask about Opus Dei and there strong links to medicine and education….Trevor, I again reiterate the importance of your point re. the sanitized ….

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Inclusion:  the forthcoming Budget 2009
Date: Sunday, 6th Dec 2009 19:06:29 -0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism

Saturday, 5th December 2009

The Budget 2009.
Let us look to our stock in trade and move on forward and let us imbibe the true meaning and importance of the word Inclusion

by Michelle Clarke (Gracie) – Inclusion and Diversity

The Spirit Level book, as highlighted by Vincent Browne TV3 on several occasions speaks about the increasing Divide between the Rich and the Poor and it samples first world countries.

We must always accept in a society that there will be the very rich, even Sweden will admit to a 5% quotient but once we earmark this quotient then the focus ought to be on more equal parameters, after all this is core to the EU Treaty and now reinforced by the Lisbon Treaty.

Ireland has been a major beneficiary of funds from the EU since joining in 1973. Often people fail to recognise the words – Horizon; ESF, NDP, Leader › Pobal › Funding Programmes, etc. All of these have been vehicles to deliver funding into various sectors of the Irish community. We perhaps now need to awaken ourselves to what we have received, the benefits therein.

Yes, I agree that there is a vast variety of written information about the EU and its support systems. However, it appears that the Celtic Tiger has somewhat stilted our lateral thought function to seeking information and while we have been sitting on the fence, people coming from Eastern Europe and Europe have been appreciating FAS (now Solas) and its variety of programmes, as a means of seeking work in this country. Likewise, FAS has traveled to countries like Poland to promote employment and training in Ireland. These are hidden cost/benefits that at present we fail to recognise as we feel the pain of the recession beginning to bite hard. For those drafting the budget, maybe it is time to review our Stock in Trade viz a viz EU contributions (which while in part monetary also provided a social and environment underlay) as distinct from multi-national companies who came to Ireland with profit motive for shareholders and based on purely corporate ideals. We provided the competitive advantage for these MNC’s for a period but now this is no longer so we need to retreat and take stock.

We voted yes second time round to Lisbon so we had a change of heart – when the going got tough and the economy changed direction the mindset of the Irish people followed suit and yes was the vote for Lisbon.

We are the “Knowledge Economy” of the future. Let us remember we have been the knowledge economy in another time and space. From the Skellig Rocks to Tara to the Monastic Settlements in Killala, to Corcomroe, to the Book of Kells yes Ireland has promoted education and knowledge through its people so the endeavour that faces us is about reactivation of the belief in the power of knowledge and innovation. The key component is that now we have the means of generating knowledge with equality as core to the dynamic.

While the Celtic Tiger was been spearheaded by our developers, FAS executives, Bankers, Insurers, and their globalised fashioned mindsets, there was another core of people being funded by the EU through our University Faculties, through management in FAS, through Leader programmes, Charities who had access to social funds, etc. These people were involved in dealing with marginalised people and up-skilling them, leading them towards higher education and most importantly often away from the mindsets of people who wanted to subjugate them. I refer to the work of the Horizon programme and the promotion of values with mental health problems. We must take sight of the work done here and capitalise on what these people have already contributed to society and their potential. This value is inherently important because these people are driven people but the difference is they are driven for the betterment of their counterparts and not necessarily for money and consumerism.

The EU office has a most interesting publication dated June 2009 concerning ‘MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN LIFE’ the EU investing in people through the European Social Fund.

Note, the word People. I would highly recommend looking at this publication.

Ireland has progressed considerably since the the 1980’s when emigration to the US mainly as illegals or to our nearest neighbour the UK and mainly our educated. There are some comparisons that are worth considering here. In the 1980’s, it was Branson who took the chance to undercut Aer Lingus and fly into Dublin at £25 each way substantially lower by several 100%), albeit for a short period of time. Out of this entered Entrepreneur Michael O’Leary and Ryanair which in effect altered all concept of connections in Europe to Ireland. There was an idea, there was a potential market in the Irish of the 1980’s who had to emigrate giving them the option for the first time to commute. This idea tailgated with the growth of the new Europe and the flow of people with Ireland as a major receptor.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair, is not afraid to speak but sometimes people are too prejudiced to listen. Public sector have advantages. They have full time jobs, full pensions, sickness benefits and in the case of teachers the longest holidays in Europe. Why do we feel that their job security makes them a higher value than the teacher assistant who was fostered say by the European Horizon programme, a person with say mental health problems or for that matter an ordinary person working as a flight attendant.

We need to promote employment, growth in the economy and most importantly to move on to the next stage of development for the Island of Ireland. Can you imagine O’Leary’s suggestion of making the public service work as private enterprise staff work i.e. 9 to 5 p.m., unpaid overtime, 20 days holiday – just imagine the potential the country could gain. This is real work. Nurses can manipulate how best to get the a pay deal by working weekends etc. but this does not happen if you are working for say a supermarket chain and you have been fostered from a charitable organisation into mainstream employment. Where is the Equality? Just because people don’t complain, there is no need to exclude them. We want our country to prosper surely.

O’Leary says he would promote Tourism – well maybe he has a point. FETAC is a course for guides run by FAS and you get a Diploma. What a country to be a guide in? Apparently quite a number of retired teachers especially those who have taught history have taken the course. O’Leary has always served the people…the fact that he may be wealthy and given that he is prepared to pay his tax here is secondary to his promotion of significant growth to the economy of Ireland via an industry called travel. Promote it and income flows follow.

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Citizen Journalism: Budget 2009 Approaches……
Date: Tue, 8th December2009 19:20:07 -0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To:, paws <>,, Amy.Mahon@Taoiseach.Gov.IE, Karen Addie <>
CC: Scully, Paul (Consultant Psychiatrist) <PScully@STJAMES.IE>, Plunkett, Patrick (Emergency Medicine) <PKPLUNKETT@STJAMES.IE>, Irish Senior Citizens Parliament <>, Raymond Murphy <>, Harbison, Joseph (Medel) <JHarbison@STJAMES.IE>, Doherty, Colin (Neurology Consultant) <CPDoherty@STJAMES.IE>, Leonor Bethencourt <>,, Barry, Michael (Pharmacoeconomics) <mbarry@STJAMES.IE>, Ariana Ball <>
Tuesday, 8th December 2009 6:59 PM
Budget Approaches and diversity becomes scarce and people less tolerant of mavericks – Tapping Talents and Accepting difficult employees

by Michelle Clarke (Rainman)

Scary article in the Irish Times today about mental health patients and involuntary ECT at the selection of the Medical Team.

You may think mental health is the glitzy part of the medical profession given the upbeat media coverage of groups involved in suicide, mental health for the youth programmes, and all the not for profit organisations representing people with mental health issues.  But let me assure you, there is a darker side and this headline in the Irish Times deeply concerns me.

Private medicine if you have a psychiatric condition has an element of transparency and ethics but the other side is not transparent. You may say about Regulation but the fact is that the Regulatory body, if you have been blessed with the lucidity to get that far, is made up of the medical profession only. Also if you have mental health problems you need to be alert to the motives of your siblings and family members. This will be more apparent for some with experience of being the defined mental patient – the one who is left to fight the uphill battle and yet be lauded and taunted with the label.

The state provides the services of the Mental Health Commission but what can one say about a faceless organisation in Dublin 4 that is only represented by its all encompassing web page and an inability of its personnel to relate to a visit from one of the ‘Tainted’ – yes the “bothered and bewildered” subset of society ranging from homeless, to former prisoners of either mental hospitals or our prisons, to those in community care and humbled by inadequate housing conditions and fear.

The Maudsley the UK is a public Facility but then diversity in the UK always provides different dimensions.

The Sunday Times article 6th December in the Appointments Section makes interesting reading for those who differ from the so called “Norm” in Society.

The title simply reads:

‘Make a Maverick your wingman’. and the warning ‘Handle with Care’.

This message is not for the benefit of private only mental health, it ought to equally apply across the board to our public mental health system.

Yes, posting no. 1 – what about Upper Baggot Street and the bedraggled yet prominent Royal City of Dublin hospital, and the potential to upgrade this part psychiatric community hospital along the lines of John Hopkins the US or the Maudsley in the UK or for that matter along the lines of successful private hospitals like the Priory Where is the transparency in Mental Health in Ireland – yes the visibility factor? The research is hidden away in our Universities and basically after that is presented via conference links worldwide and through networks. The fodder is forgotten to easily.

The appointment section is promoting “Vision” in those making appointments in employment. It highlights that talented employees can ‘be hard to control, so give them freedom and let them shine’ The article is written by Frank Dillon.

He talks about dealing with these employees and the huge problem they can create for management. They often are referred to as unpredictable and loose cannons but why forsake them! Why distance them out of society, condemning them to a form of mental health institutionalisation, when if given the encouragement and scope, they can link into creativity and create economic growth.

John Lennon spoke of Giving Peace a Chance. The Recession is so bad now, we really need to give these Mavericks a chance and who knows?  We are talking about harnessing talent and promoting creativity.

The Budget is this Wednesday. Savage is the word about town. But all I ask is stop the savage onslaught on the needy, look to the well of research done in our Universities over the last 20 years and using the material more productively and economically. Don’t waste our hidden talent.

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Georgian Squares, Dublin 4, Dublin 6
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 17:30:14 -0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Legal (LFD) <>, Cahill Gavin <>, John Corrigan <>, Gabriel Bradley <>,

16th December 2009

I enjoy your daily articles and information from Tree Hugger.

 A question you may be able to answer.

 Ireland is famous for its Georgian Squares.  It used to be the the North side of Dublin but with the transition to Independence these Georgian homes of another century became the slums and housed many people; children to a room.  Some were demolished in the 1960’s as new estates were built (what one would describe as the urban sprawl of the 1960’s and 1970’s).

I live on a Road of old Georgian Houses – some are still in a poor state of repair, while others are the homes of the ‘the rich and “powerful” of Dublin society.  One of the last houses to sell pre. the Economic Crisis was sold for 6 m. (refurbished to high standard).

The word they use is Retro-Fit.  Is there a proto-type of a Georgian house and how it can be brought in line with environmental criteria and how to access grants?  I viewed a house in Elgin Road recently and it is still in the pre-63 apartments.  It is 3 stories over basement.  I believe, there is real potential in re-establishing communities v. the urban sprawl scenario.  Too many of these houses are owned but not utilised; they are held  for investment purposes.  This motive is now questionable.  I fear these houses face a future of deterioration with a potential for squats.  Along Leeson Street, some houses are already squats.

by Michelle Clarke

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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2 Responses to Citizen Journalism Ireland: Selection of emails to Government and related. Year 2009 by Michelle Clarke

  1. Pingback: Citizen Journalism: Selection of emails to Government and related. Year 2009 by Michelle Clarke | canisgallicus

  2. Pingback: Citizen Journalism: Selection of emails to Government and related. Year 2009 by Michelle Clarke | canisgallicus

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