Citizen Journalism Ireland: Selection of articles to Government and related: (March to December 2014) by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Squatting is illegal but vacant properties are a scandal
Date: Saturday 22nd March 2014 12:21:51 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Alan Shatter <>,, Clare Daly <>, Constantin Gurdgiev <>,,,, Mary Lou McDonald <>,, et al; Citizen Journalism site
Saturday 22nd March 2014

Time to raise the issue of the housing crisis as it existed in Dublin in 2013 which is now March 2014 compounded by the imminent evictions that people face as the private equity funds buy up properties and decide who will own what; who will be the landlord or will they sell on and let people who can afford to take out mortgages or buy houses for cash enter the market?

The An Taoiseach Enda Kenny speech while celebrating St Patrick’s day in the US ruffled some feathers. A great opportunity to state that Ireland is in revival mode and people are looking for houses again. The truth is prices are rising in Dublin but then market supply demand theory provides for this given we are now six years embedded in recession.

Realities must be recognised.

Tokenism tells us that there are individualised deals being negotiated by our State owned bank AIB. Write-downs of amounts of approx e200,000 are finally being provided but beware of that big bad wolf called profit margins and the actuarial expertise that abates what will be a quite different story over the next few years. These deals apply only within a very narrow framework for people who most likely can continue to repay the adjusted amount for the lifetime of the mortgage, which in fact may even be extended to say 30 years.

Constantin Gurdgiev Professor Morgan Kelly provide more realistic figures and are not as influenced by these quite significantly well timed offers made by AIB (pls note not by Bank of Ireland, and others). Bank of Ireland, quite interestingly, had an intervention by one of these private equity giants – the face being a Mr Wilbur Ross This man of influence bought in and bought out just recently trebling his money over approx 2 year time frame. The question now is where will Mr Wilbur Ross invest next and if he thinks Ireland is still a land of opportunity to make a quick buck in a short space of time.

Questions we need to keep asking:-

100,000 people on the housing list for social housing presently, a significant increase over the past number of years. This number is on the ascent.

Then ask how many social housing schemes are being constructed? Unlike previous decades, mention of some 425 social houses have been built over the last 2 years. How can this tap such inordinate demand and need for housing?

Then ask how many private houses are being built; nothing to cater for demand, I would suggest. Hence the commentary in our newspapers and more importantly from our Taoiseach to urge investors (even those who can “deNamatise” themselves or become bankrupt overseas) to re-focus on Ireland and its existing need for more properties to avert a housing demand crisis.

Could it be possible that there are so many vacant homes as per the previous citizen journalist contributor? We know that Dublin City Council and other local authorities appear to drag their heels when it comes to refurbishing their existing stock of properties. Some say there are as many as 3,500 potential homes just being laid waste to vandalism.

Multi-family is the new word in town. Blackstone, Kennedy Wilson, Lone Star, are names we need to get used to as they change Ireland from the idea of being a home owner to a home renter Nation. IBRC in liquidation has stocks of properties and these are the bidders. These groups will significantly change who is eligible to have a property and guess work would suggest that it won’t be people who receive the HAT formerly the rent allowance.

250,000 are said to be in search of homes.

Homelessness is worse than ever.

Justice Dunne placed a hiccup in the legislation that prevented the Banks from evicting owners of properties when they failed to pay their mortgages. This is no longer the case and we now know that the courts are receiving considerably more orders to evict people. Where will these families go? I would suggest that the deals we are reading about from the AIB apply to people who have employment and who can pay a reduced amount of mortgage. In other words they are in sound employment with life insurance policies.

A recommendation:

Google on you-tube Morgan Kelly lecture on economics – link above

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Whistleblowers and the Public Good. ‘Mis-Take’ defined by James Joyce as a ‘Portal of Discovery’
Date: Saturday 22nd March 2014 16:32:15 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list

Saturday 22nd March 2014

We listen to the new Prime Minister of Ukraine warn about the corruption of their police force; it goes with the territory. The objective to move forward is to make change and how best to make changes but to acknowledge flaws in the system.

Commissioner Callinan before a Dail Committee chose the words ‘Disgusting’. Whether it applies to the ‘actions’ of the Garda McCabe or former Garda Wilson or to them personally is irrelevant. The fact is their actions are now vindicated. The rot was identified and these men, often referred to as whistleblowers, first followed the procedures within An Garda Siochana to highlight malpractice and by the inaction were forced move a stage further. This is called progress surely.…/garda-commissioner-stands-by-disgusting-comment-despite-v…

The Morris Tribunal was established in response to known corruption within the Force. It is an ongoing battle to tackle corruption in any industry, in the banking sector, in any police Force for that matter, but what is essential is to acknowledge those who take life changing choices and put society ahead because of their courage to tackle ‘wrongdoing’ which is to the detriment of our society.

Mr Wilson is presently in hospital and we are told it is cancer of the colon. Stress must be a contributing factor. We hope that he receives the ‘apology’ he and Garda McCabe are due for being good and diligent citizens who stepped outside their Garda Siochana role to highlight wrongdoing that harms our societal value code.

JP Morgan in the US recently awarded a whisteblower $64 million This is the economic value placed on the importance of the actions of the whistleblower to highlight corruption.

We are only asking for an apology from the Garda Commissioner Callinan to the word ‘disgusting’.

Government ministers and TD’s are coming forward now with their recognition as to what is nothing but a portal of discovery in the recognition of corruption and acknowledging that sometimes it is necessary for people to exceed boundaries to do something in the interest of the public good. 

By Michelle Clarke

Date: Monday 24th March 2014 16:55:47 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism; undisclosed email address list
Sex Offenders System in Ireland – UK-paedos includes Eire.

By Michelle Clarke

Yes, Ollie (reply to Citizen Journalism contributor) – a bit of hot potato but the reality is checks and balances must dictate what is morally wrong.

Are people in Ireland aware of the UK website that includes Eire? The database is ‘UK-paedos…’ and it is up-to-date.

Meantime the Irish Examiner reporter Cormac O’Keeffe is writing about a much needed report about Ireland’s restrictive ‘Sex Offenders system’.

A multi-agency body at last is established to tackle the crisis of how to manage convicted sex offenders within the community. Prior to this, limitations prevented action based on data protection and lack of legal powers.

This multi-agency unit will include: the Probation Service, the Gardai, the HSE.

One of the biggest problems they face, not surprisingly, concerns the lack of suitable accommodation to house offenders. Tragically, we need only look to the reports relating to the abduction of Madeline McCann and how the Portugese police failed to highlight the number of child sex offenders adjacent to the location that the child was abducted from.

‘SORAM’ – The ‘Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management’ system is what is put in place to reassure people about the details of both former, on probation and released from prison sex offenders. It will categorise them into low risk medium and risk of re-offending.

Facts released in the SORAM report and reported in today’s Irish Examiner:

The total number of convicted sex offenders has increased from around 1,500 in 2008 to 2,400 in 2013

The number of offenders on reporting requirements has risen from around 1,100 to almost 1,300

Only 12% of the 1,300 (156) are subject to supervision by the Probation Service

Too little supervision surely when we know that the academic experts state that they have not yet managed to find a ‘cure’ and especially when the Granada Institute or alternative counselling is not available.

Irish Probation Journal:

SORAM is working: Offenders were being managed on a “day-to-day basis” and there was an effective communication between all agencies.   Is this enough? Daily our newspapers report child sexual abuse, pornography cases yet the ‘wilful blindness’ and denial ensures that people are not aware of the dangers that exist in their localities. Sex offenders and where they live causes real problems in the light of a transparent assessment. How many people in Ireland know about the UK and Eire paedos database and its up-to-date reports that include Ireland.

Despite too many years of revelations about child sexual abuse in the Church, education, the home place, by family, by people in authority, we still remain in denial about what happens to these ‘abusers’ and where they live? The fact is we need to know and act in the best interests of those who are most vulnerable in our society.

The report goes on to say:-

For SORAM to be effective at a local level, interventions targeting offenders and internal controls are needed. It said this included treatment, constructive daytime activities, measures to tackle social isolation as well as mental health and addiction issues The question is what is really happening at an effective level? Meantime we have Judges going lenient on sex offenders giving them suspended sentences. 

By Michelle Clarke

Subject: Archbishop Tutu and others seek Inquiry into Corrib Gas Project Policing
Date: Saturday 29th March 2014 16:28:53 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list

29th March 2014

The Corrib remains a live issue and it is good to see students keeping the academics informed from grassroots activity.

Lorna Siggins, Western correspondent, Irish Times today, in her article titled ‘Tutu calls for inquiry into Corrib gas project policing’ highlights Ireland’s experience with Shell, the Corrib and the issue of policing. When is it more appropriate than now to raise the issue of ‘policing’ and the history of the Corrib, the people and Shell Oil.

South African archbishop Desmond Tutu and former United Nations assistant secretary general Denis Halliday have called an “urgent and comprehensive” independent inquiry into the the policing of the Corrib gas project

The group of signatories include: Peace and Justice group Afri, human rights Organisation Front Line Defenders and others. They are calling for the inclusion of the Corrib gas dispute to be included in “any Government inquiry” into Garda accountability.

Why? The Oil industry is big business for elites and when companies like Shell choose locations like Ireland, we need to learn from countries like Nigeria, the social, the environmental and corruption costs that align themselves to being rich in a mineral resource but being reliant on the international companies to extract the oil/gas from our country.

The article states a series of incidents which resulted in the involvement of Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) concerning incidents related to policing at the Corrib site in Mayo. Local residents in Mayo are reported to have been subjected to a series of incidents (from assault to serious injury) from 2006 onwards. This resulted in a large number of Gardai being deployed to the Corrib project. The Afri statement states:-

Residents have submitted reports to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner without any satisfactory outcome

GSOC have been implicated on several occasions. According to Afri in the year 2008:-

“GSOC sought permission from the then Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan, to conduct a “practice, policy and procedure” review of the policing of the Corrib gas project, but this request was denied”

In 2013, Ms Sekaggya, UN special rappoteur on Human Rights, who visited Ireland in 2012, called on the Irish Government to investigate “all allegations and reports of intimidation, harassment and surveillance in the context of the Corrib gas dispute”.

Gardai dedicated to the Corrib need to be transparent and accountable. Who pays and at what cost to the services of An Garda Siochana in the exercise of their functions throughout Ireland? Human Rights must be a priority and any breach as highlighted above must be dealt with promptly.
by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Charitable Sector; more truth and lies to unfurl at the Public Accounts Committee on April 10th 2014
Date: Monday 31st March 2014 16:22:14 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism; undisclosed email address list
Monday March 31st 2014

Yes Sean (Citizen Journalism contributor) I agree but ‘if it were truly voluntary, the more the merrier’. This would reflect community or a “meitheal” spirit.


The truth is who can we trust because media investigative sources are only now identifying the truth that belies our basically unregulated charity sector and those “charity mandarins” whose narcissistic tendencies seem to go hand and glove with that appeal to be supporting the vulnerable. Too often these mandarins earn way beyond their brief on the basis that albeit they work for charity they must be paid like their cohorts of similar rank in leading industries, banks, etc.

Joyce Fegan writes a damning piece on the Rehab Group in today’s Irish Independent…/pr-firm-pulls-out-of-rehab-contract-months-early-amid-row-o…. Rehab PR firm Insight Consultants has decided to “resign the account” that was not due for renewal until the end of 2014. Surely, this speaks volumes especially when we are told that “Insight was then asked by Rehab if they wanted to tender in the new bid for the contract”. They chose not to.

Who are Insight Consultants? A PR firm based in the Ireland. They are reported to represent leading contracts including many charities such as the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice, and other contracts; the Beacon Clinic and Carton House.

The absence of viable charity legislation especially as it is consistently placed on the back foot decade after decade only gives rise to what is now before the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee and which provides us with a sickening tale of abuse of power that has been inveigled through the auspices of governments in power, lobbyists, PR firms and a semblance of catering for those who are vulnerable in our society. Since this Rehab scandal broke, we hear little in the media from the people who should have been their beneficiaries of funds/work placements. We know the HSE and other sources of charity fundraising provided millions each year to keep a charity mingled with business elite connections flying it up there with the Celtic Tiger developers.

The Oireachtas Public Accounts Commitee caused horror to those who watched it on the Dail report channel, to those who listened to the media and many others. The challenge for the next committee hearing scheduled for April 10th 2014 is to continue to explore all avenues: the now ashamedly defunct FAS course provision connections and if there are links to Solas/Intreo/Gateway; to review SMILE in the UK and the sale of equipment for people with disabilities, to explore the recent reasoning and business generation from the visit to the Middle East, and equally importantly to consider the inter connection between the parties detailed in today’s article as follows:-

In September 2006, Mr Parker, director of Insight, was paid 40,000 euros by Mr Kelly, who wanted to buy Rehab Group’s Dublin headquarters. Mr Parker was acting as a lobbyist for Mr Kelly at the time. Mr Kelly also claimed in recent weeks that he spent up to 100,000 euros entertaining representatives of Rehab, including Mr Parker.

At the beginning of March, it emerged that the embattled Rehab chief, Angela Kerins, and other charity executives used Mr Kelly’s helicopter to travel around Ireland and the UK.

As said before we all know the benevolent motives that led to the National Sweepstakes and the successful building of hospitals throughout Ireland. However, we also know that it became immersed in corrupt practices and a culture of greed led corruption eventually resulted in its demise.

We need to regulate charities. 1,200 charitable organisations relating to mental health and suicide shows that intentions are good but we must realise that these are often funded by the HSE as their excuse to withdraw funding from mental health in the public sector. We need accountability and we need to know that people are not neglected because certain charities only cater for those they select.

Surely, this posting in a society that 1 in four is affected by mental health problems and given the involvement of Rehab suggests that someone can report back on the event in January 2014, if not Rehab itself.

By Michelle Clarke

Subject: Michael Parker – Insight Consultants – is the name
Date: Thursday April 3rd 2014 16:26:10 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list
Thursday April 3rd 2014
Reply to Sean re: Impero (Contributor to Citizen Journalism site)

The name is Mr Michael Parker, Insight PR.

Impero is not asked to take account for how the HSE decides to spend its funds. However Rehab is before the Public Accounts Committee April 10th 2014 and today we are told that Chief Executive Angela Kerins resigns (severance package and for that matter pension unknown). We know that her salary and perks are in excess of euros 240,000, and possibly more when the Public Accounts Committee reports on its findings. We also know the story is that 80 million euros pa from the HSE to Rehab sure raises questions about how the HSE divests funds to organisations that are not fully transparent. Add to this the Charitable Lottery funds and other sources of fundraising and we must start challenging those in “Charitoracy” for some form of transparency and accountability. The promise of regulation dates back to the 1980’s and now the need for such regulation is urgent.

Mental health applies according to the Irish Independent health supplement article yesterday to some 66,000 people. Do they get the care plans? It seems not so. The question therefore must be is mental health a public health provision or is it just haphazard with some 1,200 organisations divesting the HSE of the vital service in line with the Vision for Change that it is duty bound to provide.

Our main thoroughfares in our cities tell the story that many people are falling into homelessness and hostel provision living while their mental health including their dental needs are being ignored. The policy is define and exclude from society by appearance and mental health labels.

by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Sunday Mail revelations Rehab: HeadSpace and Rehab Performing & Visual Arts Grant 11/4/14. ‘Charitocracies’ need regulation.
Date: Monday 7th April  2014 19:21:38 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke <>
To:, Alan Shatter <>,, Clare Daly <>, David Norris <>, <>, Luke Ming Flanagan <>, Mary Lou McDonald <>, Michael McCarthy <>, Pádraig MacLochlainn <>,, Vincent Browne <>

To the PAC committee

A Citizen Journalism site latest comments refers to a posting in January about HeadSpace linked to mental health and rehabilitation. Please consider the attached and review the involvement of the Rehab Group (Performance and Visual Arts). As a person with mental health and ABI, I was surprised to read the posting and more surprised to find only today that there is a bursary for people with disabilities relating to the arts available but the closing date is 11/4/14.

The Sunday Mail sends shock waves through my being because we all know that the vulnerable have little access to the numerous ie 1200 plus charity based projects. The HSE have negligently and recklessly divested responsibility for people with mental health, drug/alcohol addiction to often vanity driven “Charitoracies”.

By Michelle Clarke (not bitter but just a person who has relied on the Samaritans because in desperation they are always there to listen while I know that A&E and the wait on a trolley for days is inhumane and treats the person as if they have no dignity).

Subject: Rehab: Public Accounts Committee and who will attend and why not, if not?
Date: Wednesday 9th April 2014 20:08:08 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To:, Mary Lou McDonald <>, Alan Shatter <>,,, Clare Daly <>,,, Luke Ming Flanagan <>, Michael Healy-Rae <>, Sandra Hogan <>, <>,, Vincent Browne <>

Wednesday 9th April 2014

The great unwashed comes to mind. Teeth and the mouth determine the health both medical and physical of people who are most vulnerable including those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, to those who are medically labeled bipolar (formerly known as manic depressive), schizophrenic, personality disorder etc.

Public health in Ireland fails dismally. Ireland engaged in a massive shift in the 1980’s to remove people from the mental hospitals to the community. Funds were pledged but the truth is otherwise. Community health is underfunded.

HeadSpace still receives no feedback. Rehab – its Performing and Visual Arts section convey a picture of inclusiveness through its publication HeadSpace yet it comes back to what the HSE are funding; is their governance hit and miss with a myriad of charities in its wake collecting funds in the name of those with mental health conditions but without the necessary transparency, accountability, dignity and integrity? 1,200 entities cannot be cost effective especially if Public Health provision is sacrificed?

10th April 2014 and the media reports snippets as to whether those who have been requested to attend at the Public Accounts Committee namely Angela Kerins (retired recently from position of CE) and Frank Flannery (resigned recently from the Board) of Rehab Group that maybe they will attend or maybe they won’t or better still they will if the Committee give them the questions in advance so that they can prepare the answers. Surely we the ordinary people of Ireland and especially people with disabilities deserve more dignity and respect from an organisation that professes to act in our best interests and which receives e80 m from the HSE. Accusations that are untrue or which need clarification can be rendered untrue during the Committee hearing, so therefore why the ritual dance by the Rehab elites.

Today’s Mail covers an interesting further dimension to fundraising and Rehab.

This rudderless charity or so it appears is involved in a e500 million legal suit against the State. The expense we know is phenomenal because the proceedings are in the High Court. It is the charity Rehab who is in fact suing the State.

According to the article in the Daily Mail written by Niamh Lyons, Political Correspondent

The Charity is suing the State for operating an ‘anti-competitive’ National Lottery that has allegedly ‘abused its dominant position’ and ‘eroded’ Rehab’s potential market share.

… is purported that the charity claims that it lost out on e517 m over a 25 year period.

… also purports that Alan Shatter is ‘conflicted’ in his role as regulator of lotteries. The conflict of interest arising is because the State has an interest in the National lottery.

If the Rehab Board choice is to proceed in the High Court concerning fundraising lotteries and conflicts of interest, those so associated with Rehab must surely feel that it is their responsibility to attend the Public Accounts Committee.

 By Michelle Clarke

Subject: “Same old 1840’s Oppression” – Irish Independent page 34
Date: Friday 11th April 2014 16:33:39 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list

Friday 11th April 2014

“Same old 1840’s Oppression” (Irish Independent page 34)

President Michael D. Higgins has dined with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle and the metaphorical bridge brings the furtherance of the Peace Process another step further.

Unsure about the protocol of copying a letter printed in today’s Irish Independent, I will quote some and contextualise more, because the timing could not be more appropriate. The letter is written by Patrick Burns, Ontario, Canada and for due consideration the heading reads as follows:

“Same old 1840’s Oppression”

So much has been written on this site and in the media particularly over the last six years of the Troika led (EU ECB IMF) Austerity programme, it is time to consider if the landscape of the 1840’s has once again visited the people of the Republic of Ireland.

It is no longer the “landlord agents” who collected the rents for the landlords in the 1840’s. Now Ireland is prey to the private equity firms (vultures) that see ripe pickings and who are rapidly buying up Irish properties ie apartments, houses, multi-family units, hotels, commercial units – the key word being ‘distressed’ and therefore the implication is uncertainty for those who are in debt to the banks and the mortgage lenders. Now the new landlords ie the private equity firms like Oak Tree; Loan Star, Kennedy Wilson, Cerberus etc and their “operators” eg Pepper have arrived in Ireland and they are the new owners of properties. In this case, especially in the last number of weeks when IBRC dictates the pace and NAMA considers the market timing right – change of ownership is actively being foisted on so many people who have little rights to know what will happen to their ‘homes’. Private equity ethos is driven naturally by return on investment and that involves income roll and profit but uncertainty for those with mortgages related to their homes.

“The international and Wall Street bankers are the absentee landlords still able to suck the blood of the timid. The havoc they caused in America and beyond was pure evil, yet none of them were ever charged with fraud”.

We know that the 13,000 loans sold on at a substantial discount to Oak Tree & Lone Star private equity groups who are not banks will not be bound by the Central Bank code of conduct; and we also know that there was a substantial discount given to these purchasers, an option which was not given to the individual home owners. What we also know is that these home owners like so many more do not know what the future holds for them. These are people who invested money in deposits, equity, the acceptance of the home ownership credo fostered in Ireland and England that promised to endorse those who choose to own their homes by mortgages for periods of 25 years or more. The rug has been pulled back and now there are ever increasing numbers of people who will effectively become tenants in their homes with no potential for ownership. For many the new Landlords will be linked to Wall Street investment banker vision of new markets yielding higher profits. To endorse this the latest drive in the US is to buy mobile home parks and train people who live in these ‘excluded’ communities to run the parks while the profits roll in for the landlords ie all related to Wall Street and investment potential.

To return to the letter:

“The politicians today are the small farmers of old, who exported their produce while their cousins starved to death. The Garda are no different than their RIC counterparts – all Irishmen, who see injustices every day yet do very little. The Lawyers are the Lords, the starving peasantry are the unemployed……”

The letter ends: “This time, we can’t blame the English”

The metaphorical bridge: Martin McGuinness, you proceeded with dignity and courage. Unfortunately Lord Tebbit lost sight to bitterness in his comment but we can make allowances because his wife suffered and he failed to learn humility and understanding.

By Michelle Clarke

Subject: Private Equity groups have arrived.  Bankruptcies to soar
Date: Tuesday 15th April 2014 16:50:12 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke <>
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list
Private equity groups have arrived. Bankruptcies set to soar

Its about bankruptcy, the choice to become a bankrupt in Ireland or the UK?

Irish Independent April 14th 2014 tells us that the bankruptcies in Ireland are set to soar. 6 years of ambivalence and now the categories of Strategic Defaulters, Mortgage Delinquents and in particular those in the buy to let (BTL’s) market face the wrath of the Banks and the private equity groups, who are now owners of debts and decisions to act rests with them.

The time is now to monitor “ISI” . We know the names of the developers who strategically and successfully have now distanced themselves from billions in debt and have re-structured and who have returned to the market – some sufficiently clever to align themselves to the private equity buyers like Blackstone, Lone Star, Oak Tree, Kennedy Wilson – as many as 20 buyers in the marketplace presently.

Sarah McCabe – Irish Independent:-

“Following recent changes in insolvency laws, the agency predicts that bankruptcies will soar from minuscule levels to above 1,000 per year”.

“ISI” and the Department of Justice are finally ensuring that service companies are in place. These management contractors will be charged with managing properties “seized” and then renting out the properties surrendered by people who have chosen to declare bankruptcy. When the properties are handed over to “Official Assignee” ie a civil servant whose function is to handle the bankrupt persons’ assets will then delegate the function of maintaining and renting out the seized property in a cost effective manner to appointed contractors. These management contracts could involve months or years as negative equity means the markets determine when is best to sell and the owners of the debt are the people who decide.

England: You are bankrupt in 1 year. In Ireland, prior to the recent legislation it was 12 years. Now it is 3 years and the fees have been reduced also. 900 euros min is the present fee for each individual voluntarily seeking bankruptcy. However it is necessary to note that the Department of Justice has more than doubled the stamp duty to be paid by those declaring themselves bankrupt.

“As revealed by the Irish Independent, Justice Minister Alan Shatter plans to change the system once again and make it more similar to the UK’s Individual Voluntary Arrangement – meaning cheaper and less bureaucratic

A new protocol will be devised to streamline the insolvency process for people trying to work out deals with bankers and others creditors”

To those struggling in the mire of debt, maybe now is the time to grasp the nettle.

Subject: Mick Wallace and a warning we should pay heed to
Date: Friday 18th  April 2014 16:35:55 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list

Friday 18th April 2014

Did Paddy Healy receive answers to his questions?

Iceland wrote down 24,000 (must be US$?) on mortgage debt per household?

Morgan Kelly, Economist, has spoken harrowing words but this time he moves beyond homeowners, mortgage arrears and outcomes. This time it is the small to medium enterprises (SME’s) who are starved of the necessary capital to progress their businesses. The time is now to tackle the apathy prescription of Austerity enforced by the Troika and to embrace the power of the new literacy of the internet. Google/you-tube Morgan Kelly and listen to common sense talking.

Dublin 4 and other elitist Dublin locations see the property supplements of our leading newspapers to the fore once more. The media have jumped on the bandwagon and house prices appear to be rising. Nobody seems to mention that Dublin 4 like London’s Chelsea is not Donegal or Lancashire. Two completely different markets where house prices are multiples apart based on the theory of supply and demand and work prospects or for that matter wealth mass and choice.

Private equity is the new name in town: Reits recently brought in through legislation in Ireland is a new mechanism. To date we have three. Green, Hibernia and now Ires Reit (Irish Republican Properties Real Estate Trust) which has just raised 200 million euros from its launch on the Dublin Stock Market. There are many new players in our market who will determine who remains a home owner or who becomes a tenant or remains a tenant without every having the ability to be a homeowner.

Look out for the adverts in the newspapers that say cash buyer looking for mews or two bed apartment in Dublin 4. There are reasons for this and this is the change being instigated by these private equity groups and Reits companies and let us not forget the role played by NAMA. Marie O’Halloran’s article 17th April 2014 ‘Claims of ‘cartel in the rental market’ to be put to Nama. Are property speculators back in the market and are they operating a rental cartel on blocks of apartments now called family units?

Mick Wallace, Wexford TD (who is a developer and a politician) raised a question for the attention of Ms Burton, Department of Social Protection. Mick Wallace drew her attention to the fact that :

‘rents in Dublin were going through the roof because huge numbers of apartments, including ones he developed, “have been sold en bloc as opposed to individually, for less than half the amount than it would cost to build them today.

An increasing number of rental properties are in the hands of fewer people, he said, resulting in the “development of a cartel in the rental market…..”.

In other words by controlling supply will determine ability to enforce high rents and impose strict terms and conditions and the basic human right to home ownership.

We already know that rents in Dublin are rising and people on rental allowance are no longer in a position to pay the top-ups. We know families are being asked to leave their rental homes because landlords get paid higher rents in the private sector. Some of these families are being housed in hotels at a cost 3,500 euros per month.

This is causing a hidden crisis.

Add to this the banks and the Central Bank enforcement of tackling mortgages in arrears and apathy is challenged by realities that people must address. 

By Michelle Clarke

Subject: Students not registered at Millennium College – RTÉ News (Foreign students who come to Irish colleges to learn English; Fraud)
Date: Friday 16th May 2014 20:01:49 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To:,, Gerry Adams <>, <>, Mary Collins <>, Mary Lou McDonald C <>, Clare Daly <>, Shane Clarke <>, Mary Lou McDonald <>,, Robert Phair <>, Luke Ming Flanagan <>, Francis Craven <>, kt Hawklett <>

Now 4 colleges closed. Too many.

‘Ireland Inc. seeks global recognition and teaching English is one important means of promoting Ireland. Shamefully, visitors who have chosen Ireland rather than other potential countries to enroll in Colleges that teach them English are basically being exploited. They pay large deposits and fees and we have duped these vulnerable students from all over the world, which is totally unacceptable. It sullies the reputation of our country, at a time we can least afford it.

We surely know the importance of the immigration procedures. Incoming students are provided with classes for 25 weeks in the year. They are allowed to work for 20 hours a week, and 40 hours during their holidays. Shame on us to allow so called entrepreneurs to collect large fees and then close up shop leaving these foreign visitors, students, and workers particularly in the services sector, victims of fraudulent scams sanctioned by the Dept of Justice/Education.

Goodwill where education is concerned and ethics, as part of good corporate governance, says these young people must be facilitated to remain in Ireland with their immigration concessions being maintained and an alternative course being put in place immediately.

Urgent action is needed. Employers must be encouraged to ensure 20 hours at work, or maybe more, for a period, and the Department of Justice and Education must find alternative colleges and pay for their tuition to compensate for the fraud that has been perpetrated on these visitors to Ireland Inc.

Michelle Clarke.


Jonathan Swift ‘Give vision to the visionless’.

Subject: Press cuttings from the newspapers can impact more than fleeting images on the internet: Homelessness: Fr Peter McVerry; Brother Kevin … hardship for people
Date: Monday 26th May 2014 16:50:22 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list

Monday 26th May 2014

The power of the pen ie the written word has been subsumed by the visual.

However, the plight of the homeless is now ignored by both and the crisis is as stated by Fr McVerry a “tsunami”.

Sunday Business Post:

‘Pension couple could be evicted anytime’.

Surely, not. This could not be Ireland. This couple, two OAP’s, have lived in their semi-detached house in Castleknock for 14 years.

Their problem is not that the Landlord has chosen to serve an eviction notice on them; it is much worse than that: it is ultimately the banking sector who if they haven’t sold their debts on to the vulture funds, are finally responding to the demands of Central Bank and Mr Draghi of the ECB and they are hunting down the mainly buy-to-lets landlords; ‘BTl’s’ who for the last number of years have been non compliant and who have not paid the banks for the loans they have received.

This couple have just received an eviction notice. What we need to understand here is that there are some 40,000 more BTL’s who will be served with similar notices within the next year.

This couple have lodged an appeal to the High Court…..
For those who don’t understand the procedure, this means at any time they can in fact be evicted. This couple have no rights, or so it seems. They have rented this property for 14 years. They paid a rent of e800 euros a month, a rent which has increased significantly in the last year and is now in excess of £1400 p.m. The landlord in this case has transitioned legally to the bank who wants to sell the property. This couple have looked for a similar property but in no way can they meet the increased rent.

Where is the local authority housing? We can blame the present Government but we also can blame Fianna Fail and the PD’s. They had the clever idea of shifting public sector housing provision from the tender process of Dublin City Council and the construction of designated social housing, to meet the needs of the now 100,000 people waiting years on the housing list, onto the private housing sector. Tax incentives such as section 23 enabled people become landlords and obtain tax incentives.

The crisis with this sector came with the Lehman Brother financial disaster and the emergence of the “Delinquent borrowers” and the negative equity crisis.

Where does this leave Ireland? In a housing supply crisis. For the lucky people in the more affluent areas like South Dublin, we have a mini boom with 100 people turning up to view houses and gazumping being reported in some cases. We are told prices are rising. An example of a house in Clonsilla placed on the market at e190,000 actually selling for e290,000. However, this does little to those who are falling into homelessness.

The Irish Times: A letter from Brother Kevin Crowley, OFM CAP, Capuchin Day Centre.

“I am appalled that despite being alert to the increase in numbers of people accessing services such as the Capuchin Day Centre, the current housing crisis has been allowed to develop and that it took until 2 days before an election before it reached the agenda of the Oireachtas”….

He draws reference to the new dimension of the crisis in that people ask for food parcels to take home to feed their children. Brother Kevin quite rightly highlights the bureaucracies that submerge the promises and the delinquency of the local government and other agencies to combine together and effectively tackle the housing crisis. Too much, he says has been spent on meaningless research, surveys and failed action plans.

Pope Francis talks about waste – the waste of food that amounts to as much as 50% and that to engage in such waste is in fact stealing from the poor. Brother Francis reminds us of Saint Francis of Assisi and quotes:

“Start with what is necessary and do what is possible”.

Some suggestions for our Government especially An Tanaiste who asked for the homeless man to be removed from an area where he intended to make a speech.

The new poor are the 40,000 people who are in the private landlord sector who are now going to face eviction notices if they cannot pay the rent or if the landlords are being forced to sell by the banks then they are to be evicted anyway. Inept pre-election promises to allocate funds for housing is not enough.

Brother Kevin suggests:-

“For those sleeping rough, the night bus and emergency services should be restored to 2010 levels.  For families in the private rented accommodation, reinstate the rent supplement or force landlords to accommodate people adequately….. Stop the banks who owe the Irish people billions from repossessing homes”.

Another hands on involved person for many decades now is Fr Peter McVerry a Jesuit.

Regarding the right to a home, he states

“I believe having a home is a basic human right. It should be guaranteed by the State, and provided by the structures of the State and not through charities…..he goes on to say:-

“he is pragmatic, verging on pessimistic, about the outlook for Ireland’s homeless. Most people in this country don’t know anyone who is homeless, and so its very difficult to generate public interest in an issues that people are not familiar with. However, I think that’s going to change with the “tsunami of homelessness” coming down the road, as we will see ordinary working class people losing their accommodation”

It is for the plain people of Ireland to tackle this crisis before 40,000 more people face eviction and are potentially added to the 100,000+ social housing list.

To the vulture funds buying up the multi-family units. Is it your intention to exclude people on rental allowance when you are letting out your massively written down in value properties? Is the investment long-term or short-term? These are questions we need to ask.

Google: Morgan Kelly and his economy viewpoint on housing, small to medium enterprises and education. It is about a need to know at every level of our society.

 By Michelle Clarke

Subject: A Drug-Free World?

Try some 21st Century Remedies | The Diplomat.

13,000 ple passed through Irish prisons last yr. Mental health/drug alcohol addictions could be said to be about using vulnerable ple to keep prison industry/hostel industry/mental health viable for profiteers.

Date: Thursday 29th May 2014 11:32:18 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke <>
To:,, Shari McDaid <>, Alex White <>,, Clare Daly <>,, Prison Library Office <>,,,, McCarthy, Justine <>,, Patrick King <>,; Citizen Journalism site

Thursday 29th May 2014

A country should be judged by how it treats its vulnerable people.

I visited our so called Employment Office in D’Olier Street that is supposed to create work, seek talent, inspire people. It was an inept building while in affluent D4 but the shame is to see it now even more bedraggled, in a street that is full of no hope, housing the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Social Protection, and the office that has no name. Can we assume that it is the remorphed FAS now Solas?

Labour got their answer in the recent elections. Joan Burton, Department of Social Protection seriously needs to engage with the people out there looking for hope, work, inspiration and sell the product ie employment creation, talent finding skills and do something. We have Google, Microsoft, Dell, Intel etc. and their contribution to Philanthropy is not so much giving money like other larger companies in Ireland but time and teaching people. JobBridge could not be sold to people from the office in D’Olier Street. How can you sell a scam because JobBridge was the Paul Daniels trick that jobs were being created when now we all know this is not true. It is important not to forget that Joan Burton is a chartered accountant and surely knows how to balance the numbers of employed and the facts of JobBridge as now we realise, can only be described as a source of exploitation. This was the accountant at work. We can further ask that if Joan Burton is to lead Labour I hope she has a better foundation about the reality.

Politicians need to walk the streets. They need to go to D’Olier Street and ask serious questions about what has happened over the last 3 years. A few courses are outlined in the front window but a welcome, a coffee shop, newspapers, think-tanks, working to get people with mental problems into the workforce, should be core to finding employment. Nothing inspires.

What did we learn from the FAS fiasco; the Shane Ross reporting on the sick building culture that pervaded for years. We know from John McGuinness, Public Accounts Committee about FAS, now we can add the Rehab scandal. Nobody is seen to do anything constructive. Why? We need to tackle poverty. Poverty of spirit leads to mental health problems, drug addiction, homelessness, poor dental hygiene becomes the major visible indicator of what side of the divide one falls. All of this is about the dividing line of us and them and stigma determines their fate. We have been promised better community health. The research is done by Universities such a Trinity College but the political will and the lack of public health provision (as in Canada) fails dismally to provide for those who fall outside what private health care provides. Labour are to elect a new Leader. Ask Minister Burton her focus of attention in relation to Social Protection?

By Michelle Clarke

Subject: Accelerated Personal Insolvency: Is there hope for ‘Mortgage Delinquents’?
Date: Wednesday 4th June 2014 16:59:54 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Alex White <>, Anthony Timmins <>,
Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list
Wednesday 4th June 2014
Accelerated Personal Insolvency: Is there hope for ‘mortgage delinquents’?

Mortgage Delinquents, Moral Hazard, is there hope according to the news in today’s Irish Independent?

If you read the case study, then read between the lines, it sure opens up avenues of negotiation for people who have negative equity homes, certain mortgage arrears and unsecured loans with the credit unions and with credit card companies.

They say the ‘devil is in the detail’ but this devil has been hiding since this legislation was introduced in 2013.

What is important to note is that instead of bankruptcy over a 5 year period, restricted living expenses, uncertainty of deals falling through with negative impacts on the family, the banks and the PIA’s, you can now get focused and be out of your economic crisis which emerged in 2008 in three months.

The case study:

The family concerned. They had a small business and it failed. Significantly they are living on reduced income from low paying jobs. They are not in a position to meet their mortgage repayments or other unsecured debt payments eg Credit Union debts, credit cards.


The couple Borrowed 320,000 euros (date unknown); the value of the house at present is 140,000* euros therefore their negative equity is 180,000 euros and other secured debt is 35,000 euros. The latest option/gestures by the banks may be of interest to many. It is called:-

“Accelerated Personal Insolvency Arrangement”.
It means, if successful, the family in relation to their mortgage laden home, will be out of the debt in three months. The key point here is that they once again “become solvent”.

To negotiate this deal i.e. ‘to get over the line’ as referred to in the article, you have to be in a position ‘to tap family and friends’ for a 10,000 euros ‘bullet payment’. If you are successful and the Bank agrees to the write off of 180,000 euros from the mortgage, which also facilitates the write-down of the 35,000 euros unsecured debts, you have a situation where the unsecured debt is written-down to ZERO. The family can then resume paying reduced mortgage payments and no longer have debts relating to credit cards, credit unions amounting to 35,000 euros leaving the family free re-construct their lives.

Is this a life-line to so many people who have lived in fear of being evicted from their family homes? Now is the time to ensure that if the banks are agreeable to these “Accelerated Personal Insolvency Arrangements” to kick-start the momentum and find ways of raising the 10,000 euros waiver of unsecured debt arrangement with vigour and enthusiasm.

Ireland is renowned for raising funds for the Third World. What if we could raise funds to pay the 10,000 euros waiver from debt obligations of our fellow homeowners?

by Michelle Clarke

* Presently house prices are rising in Dublin, some say by 20%. Supply is limited but this makes this move by the banks ask questions about their predictions for house price increases.

Subject: Shocking infanticide cases in Mayo reported in Century Ireland.  Yet children are raised in Asylum centres; bed and breakfasts or other unsuitable conditions.  What have we learned from our history?
Date: Tuesday 10th June 2014 19:05:41 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Vincent Browne <>, Mary Lou McDonald <>,,, KT Hawklett <>, Alan Shatter <>, Alex White <>, Ariana Ball <>,, Catherine M. Joyce <>, Catherine Ghent <>,,, Ivana Bacik <>

Tuesday 10th June 2014

Catherine Ghent (Solicitor involved with Children and their rights) spoke with caution and depth today on Newstalk. Children today are suffering. Those 1500+ being reared in asylum centres where each adult receives 19 euros per week and 9 euros for each child. 4,000+ people are housed in asylum centres some there in excess of five years.  This mirrors the numbers in our prisons. What about those who are classified as children; those with intellectual disabilities, those with mental illness who are imprisoned because no suitable provision is available.  Direct Provision is the term we need to engage with.

Community health care provision is grossly inadequate for many people who three decades ago (20,000+) formed those who were consigned to mental asylums. Politicians need to walk Rathmines, O’Connell Street, our rural villages bereft of locals who are now once more on the emigration mission and look at poverty (including that of poverty of spirit) maybe due to alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness which is a haunting reality that we fail dismally to cope especially now. This is inhumanity on our doorstep and it applies to over 4,000 people.

Then there are 4000+ people in our prisons. Add to this the children who are hungry because the present economic war is causing hardship at grassroots. Peter McVerry and others talk of the “Tsunami” of homelessness and desolation ahead ahead and what about these children?  We need not forget the children who have disabilities now; the children who attend the creches and who regulates and supervises same?

To contextualise it may be appropriate to read the medical report completed by Dr Cameron in the early 1900’s to establish the dire poverty in our capital city Dublin and other cities. We were a garrison port and prostitution was rife. Slums and falling buildings housed so many in rooms in abject poverty.

Blame now is fostering a culture of dependency at a time when tackling urgent problems particularly relating to present day children is absolutely essential because it is neglected.


Citizen Journalism site; an impressive archive


Sunday 27th July 2014 16:44:26 +0100


Michelle Clarke


Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email list

Why we must acknowledge the importance of an undisclosed name citizen (or digital) journalism site and it is worth consideration?

For a start it has an all encompassing archive of material from the Peace Process to the Corrib to Tara Hill, Co Meath and now the Gaza debauchery of a human population who live in one of the world’s most confined spaces and where the average age is 17 years of age. The world looks on but this time social media facilitates all of us to be aware and to urge people in positions of power to act in the negotiation for Peace.

Surprisingly, if you read the Sunday Times, Bertie Ahern, former Taoiseach of Ireland, has been visiting Kiev and Eastern Ukraine on what can only be called a “Peace Mission” (and for no remuneration).

Freedom of the Press.

Editorial staff have a very important function but surely where a shareholder has nearly a 30% shareholding and we know that Denis O’Brien has such a holding in the Independent News and Media (INM), it becomes most disturbing to hear that late last Saturday night, Mr O’Brien is reported to have instructed the printing presses to stop and ordered that a reference to its leading shareholder, ie Mr Denis O’Brien, in the column of the Sunday paper by the Independent’s editor, Anne Harris, be deleted, should cause serious concern for the citizens of Ireland. Changes were made to the column. However, there are copies of the original version that had been published and distributed to “street” editions.  Luckily, the eagle of eye of journalist, Gavin Sheridan, spotted the story and uploaded Harris’s column on the website

We know from Mark Tighe’s article in the Sunday Times today that heated debate ensued on Saturday night. According to Campbell Spray, the newspaper’s editor of operations, told colleagues (Stephen) Rae was the “ultimate boss”. To quote from the Sunday Times: “In the original column Harris wrote…… “Denis O’Brien is the majority shareholder in the INM. In theory, with 29% of the shares, he does not control it. “IN PRACTICE HE DOES”. After the copy was changed, the line “IN PRACTICE HE DOES” had been deleted.

The moral of my story is for writers who have left this un-named Citizen Journalism site to reconsider media provision in Ireland and note that we grassroots contributors are essential both now and in the future.

by Michelle Clarke


Subject: Should You Be Paid For Your Social Media Posts? | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

This could be the way to help people with disabilities enter the labour market with abilities/talents they have based on Slim Carlos suggestion of 3 day weeks! Rebuild communities via virtual. Imagine living in D4 as your local village how you can promote its reality and potential?

Date: Thursday 31st July 2014 18:40:11 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Constantin Gurdgiev <>,, Brian Lucey <>, Dearbhail McDonald <>, Alan Shatter <>,, Derek Toner <>,,, Prison Library Office <>,,,, Emmeline Rajasingam <>,,,, Constantin Gurdgiev <>,,,,,,,,,,,,,, James Reilly <>,,,, <>,, Joanna Tuffy <>,,, <>,,,,, Cllr Mannix Flynn <>,,,,,, Shari McDaid <>,, wecanhelp <>

Thursday 31st July 2014

Today 3rd October 2016, just over two years after this article was written on a Citizen Journalism platform and sent to an extensive email address list, as above, the Homeless crisis is worse than ever. 

Figures indicate we live in a country of many vacant houses/sites/empty warehouses, some say there could be as many as 230,000 empty houses.  Dublin 4 includes the “gentrified” Ringsend, fully serviced, with history and some small sites remain.  I noticed just off the main street, beside the NCBI (National Council for the Blind Ireland) shop, a small vacant site being brought into action.  Containers are being adapated.  Windows are in and insulation was being installed.  Could this be about solving the homeless crisis?  It works in other countries so why not?  I heard that something similar is happening in the Royal Hospital Donnybrook.  Funds are being donated by philanthtropists.  Keep the people informed and give them hope.  Recommend @ReUsingDublin


Check out this link

Back to 31st July 2014

Two homeless people within walking distance of the Mansion House. What can we do? Virtual should get outcomes and we should be able to access a progress report. It happens in certain states in the US.

What can we do for Michael as he uses a crayon to tell his story of poverty and nowhere to live, outside what was once the most expensive shop on Grafton Street? What about Sharon, thin beyond all acceptance, a child, daily begging on Merrion Row? It is beyond money. It is about a care programme.

What about the young man who sits outside the door of Tesco, Upper Baggot Street. His well-being is deteriorating. Tesco supposedly support the community with their latest scheme. They support Aware. Perhaps it would be more beneficial if they could empower this young man, create a job for him and others with the focus being community. They have the advantage of geographic location spread.

Marioara Rostas was savagely murdered. The defendant was found Not Guilty. What we know is that this young homeless woman had a barbaric attack on her person that resulted in her death. These are the young people we see on our streets, unclean because they have nowhere to wash, and their teeth decayed because there is no health system to protect them; there is an urgent for community intervention.

The industry of charities needs an overhaul, some mergers and economies of scale, could ensure better outcomes for young people especially those who reach the age of 18, who have been bounced around the care system. They need opportunities and to be empowered.

By Michelle Clarke


Subject: Open Letter by 50 Israeli Army Reservists on Why They Refuse to Fight in Gaza…/wp/…/we-are-israeli-reservists-we-refuse-to-serve/

Date: Sunday 3rd August 2014 16:17:37 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list
Open Letter by 50 Israeli Army Reservists on Why They Refuse to Fight in Gaza

by  Michelle Clarke (Comyn) – Peace through negotiation is the only way forward

“The military tries to present itself as an institution that enables social mobility—as a stepping-stone into Israeli society. In reality, it perpetuates segregation. We believe it is not accidental that those who come from middle-high income families land in elite intelligence units, and from there often go to work for high paying technology companies”.

To the men and women courageous enough to write and sign this letter, I commend your bravery and endorse your position.

Too little is known about the politics of Gaza and Israel but what we all witness is the slaughter of innocents from an unrelenting military Israeli force supported by the US, and it is Israel that claims that provocation from Hamas has invoked them, like the Nazis invoked the British in World War II, to retaliate with all their military, financial and intellectual, might.

To the people who signed this letter, I would like to reply with my humble commitment to a peace effort.

You have already made the significant decision, you have stepped back and identified that war is wrong. The question now is about crossing the bridge. You are the people who can bring this about.

Books in hotel lobbies. What a brilliant idea to invoke the passer by to engage with social media and open debate.  The book that catches my attention is ‘This is Charlie Bird’, hard back. A random page selected was 170 and yes we in Ireland, the Island of Ireland, can impact on what is presently happening in Gaza.

To quote enough to make us recall and invoke those with the potential to activate Peace Processes, I include as follows:-

“The Republican leadership was under huge pressure to make a final and decisive step in the direction of constitutional politics……”

“After a Sinn Fein press conference in Buswells Hotel in Dublin, Adams said that he was not certain when a statement from the IRA (Provisionals) would come…….”

“A Republican resource rang me to say that talk about September was inaccurate. ‘When you hear that Martin McGuinness and Rita O’Hare are travelling to Washington, then you will know we’re on’, one Sinn Fein figures eventually admitted….”

Charlie Bird travels North to the Fairways Hotel outside Dundalk……”the person sat into the passenger seat of my car. You’ll need to be in Belfast from half-past ten tomorrow morning. There’ll be enough time to get back to Dublin after that”…..this left Charlie Bird totally confused.

To the 50 Israeli Reservists who wrote the letter, this is how the final stages of the Good Friday Agreement emerged.

Charlie Bird … his latest IRA contact, he said “I’ll call Thomas. He was the fourth, and it turned out my final IRA contact. It was clear that Thomas was a significant player in the republican movement…..he was at ease and highly confident in briefing on developments”. They went for a walk.

They came to a house where a man was reading a paper at a kitchen table. “He handed me a large white envelope. The IRA statement was set out over two pages. It was the first time I had been given any material from the IRA on official headed paper. The 1994 ceasefire statement had been typed on a tiny sheet of paper which, when folded, could fit nearly into the palm of my hand (as written by Charlie Bird). The 28 July 2005 statement was printed on larger lettering that proclaimed ‘Oglaigh na hEireann’ in a bright green masthead”.

…..reading the Statement, Charlie Bird admits to thinking ‘So the IRA’s war really is over’.

To conclude I will quote the words of Oglaigh na hEireann as detailed in Charlie Bird’s book (published 2006); page 172.

“The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has formally ordered an end of the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4pm this afternoon. All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever”

Gaza —– Israel

The relentless slaughter of innocents by a mighty military force, backed by the US, and Hamas engaged in provocation and the use of human shields, can halt this war and arrive at a peace settlement, if the will exists to do so.

By Michelle Clarke (Comyn)

Subject: Palestine bombarded:  How many in the world sustained the War Industry.  It must be in excess of 40
Date: Saturday 9th August 2014 15:35:11 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Citizen Journalism site; undisclosed email address list

Saturday 9th August 2014

Saturday the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign march that starts at the Spire today at 2 pm, destination Israeli embassy, Carrisbrook House, Pembroke Road, Dublin 4.

The week that is the 69th year from when Enola Gay, Nuclear bomb, obliterated the lives of over 100,000 people in Hiroshima, not to mention the decades of hardship for survivors.

Einstein quotation that applies now more than ever:-

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

The march is organised by Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) is running now for its fifth consecutive week. Bus loads of people from throughout Ireland are expected and people will walk in this peaceful march to the Israeli Embassy, Carrisbrook House, Pembroke Road, Dublin 4. Damien Dempsey, singer, songwriter will be performing. The march starts at the Spire in O’Connell Street, to Kildare Street, to St Stephen’s Green, to Lower Baggot Street, to Upper Baggot Street, to Pembroke Road……….Dublin 4.

Expected to be present include:-

Eamon McCann Activist
Professor Ronit Lentin
Professor Yasser Alashqur, a Palestinian academic and educator from Gaza

There will be a phone link direct with Dr Bassel Abawardi of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza and Omar Barahouti one of the Palestinian boycott and divestment and sanctions movement.

War destroys lives and particularly children suffer especially that mental torture that forms their memories in their lives going forward.

Pax Manifesto says

Peace Let’s Declare it

by Michelle Clarke (Forster)

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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 articles to Government and related: (March to December 2014) by Michelle Clarke

  1. michelleclarke2015 says:

    Reblogged this on canisgallicus and commented:

    Articles about homelessness too.

    “If you get the objectives right, a lieutenant can write the strategy.” George Marshall


  2. Pingback: Citizen Journalism Ireland: Selection of articles to Government and related: (March to December 2014) by Michelle Clarke | canisgallicus

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