12th October, 2009
7th November, 2009
Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals | DSPCA
This is a beautifully constructed site and a real enticement for a Christmas visit to the SPCA….If you live West of the Shannon Madra is worth a thought
A visit at Christmas to see the good works of people who love animals.
I received this today on a day that I feel there is some hope to be borne out of Recession times. Today, there was an article in the Independent about dogs and the elderly. Often old people have had dogs all their lives and the loss of ‘their perceived last dog’ makes them feel it would be unfair and selfish of them to get another ‘carer’ dog. Well now there is an excellent opportunity to put aside that fear and the option exists for dog fostering. This opens up opportunities for others with disabilities, depression, ABI, neurological conditions. I can personally vouch that the warmth of a loving animal helps the medicine ‘go down’ a lot better. I will go one step further and say that I personally believe that there would have been far less sexual abuse if dogs were more prevalent around children in the past! (I must go to the American Scientific site to see if there is any research on this theory).
Inclusion of the vulnerable in society and empowerment
Baggot Street Hospital, Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4. (Royal City of Dublin)
Something for people to consider during a irksome Recession and when vulnerabilities multiply, and people become further ostracised:-
‘Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in Knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
Ireland is now embracing the status within the EU as an Knowledge Economy, so let us use the Knowledge minus the unwanted information to make proper health provision for the vulnerable and aged.
The Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Restoration of ‘Baggot Street Hospital’ for the people in need.
The Origin of Ireland is the Sinn Fein Constitution drafted in 1905 (a good place to start, I would think to arrive at all the parties that seek to govern Ireland)
In the past I have highlighted my personal experience at the Royal City of Dublin i.e. Baggot Street hospital – yes as a ‘neuro-psychiatric patient’ and my hope of a restoration to former glory of said hospital. In the absence of a response, I am going to use an alternative approach. If you choose to look at this link http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/psychiatry it might give Sinn Fein the ‘vision’ for the decrepid, under utilised Baggot Street hospital. St. Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin 8, is presently developing additional mental health accommodation and a centre of Wellness. This is needed in Dublin 4 with the same motivational resources or even better.
By chance, I noticed that somebody (at some level, maybe spiritual) decided to pay heed and rather than convene those with drug addiction problems to a ‘dirty’ side entrance, it was deemed more appropriate to put a note on the door that now advises people to use the ‘Main Entrance’. Yes, somebody has taken note of the word ‘Equality’.
Space utilisation in the area of Dublin 4 merits some incentivised thinking! We need to always remember that Dublin 4 had people from all backgrounds, the rich, the poor – the first buildings of local authority houses, and flats in Ringsend after the Civil War. The place is ‘History’ but veiled and masked in shame.
The time for Revival is here. There was an interesting article concerning the views of Constantin Gurdgiev, Economist, Trinity College which embibes a glimmer of hope about ‘potential’, in the free paper PORTfolio for the Dublin 2, 4, 6 areas, which I suggest is well worth reading. Creativity at a central location, near the Canal, near the Sea, several available modes of transport to the airports, hotels, and under utilised, as we head full belt into recession, merits Vision and some piggy backing of ideas from say John Hopkins University and its psychiatric provision. Add to this Neurological capacity, Addictions, talent seeking capacity from those categorised as homeless/troublesome, a sanctuary for those not catered for by our restricted education system and other ideas from sociologists, community workers and all sources.
One point we can establish is that during the Celtic Tiger the infrastructure of Dublin 4 was enhanced. The inroads were created as the ‘Dreams’ of Sean Dunne, Bernard McNamara, Ronan and Barrett, inspired the architects to create locations that would bear resemblance to say Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Kings Road. Well, it hasn’t happened. Fate has determined otherwise. Sinn Fein stands challenged to find its soul and to have the vision that many of its forefathers had, back then in 1905 when the first Constitution of Sinn Fein was drafted.
Atlantic Philantropics are based in 32 Lower Leeson Street and I consistently write to them with ideas. I have received the occasional favourable reply but alas (I am only me – an idea mind with experience of illness). There is a great need for integration, community and working together. The ‘degenerate’ Baggot Street hospital stands there with open arms begging to be able to give to the people of Dublin, the people who are in need, those in the area that includes Ringsend and the opulent roads of Waterloo, Pembroke and Wellington. People in this area have to travel to St Vincent’s University Hospital now for their bloods. I know you say ‘take the bus’ but I will reply ‘you make being ill, like a full time job’. One task one day, another task another day, get medications another day. The pharmacies, the hospital, the general practice service, the nurses, a place where carers can assist and empower some of the homeless people on the streets, (if that is their choice….it is winter and if you talk to the homeless around here), you quickly learn there are no facilities. They are beholden to people who own coffee shops to use the facilities. If they go to the hostels, they need to be out the next morning by 9.00 a.m. This is sinister and people have died in this area from the cold. By sheer coincidence the Disgraced Head Office of FAS is across the road. There is most definitely another opporturnity for this state body that has been so susceptible to corruption.
The Constitution of Sinn Fein Point No 4. 1905:
‘Whereas no law made without the authority and consent of the Irish people is or ever can be binding on their conscience
Therefore in accordance with the Resolution of Sinn Fein adopted in Convention, 1905, a Constituent Assembly shall be convoked, comprising persons chosen by the Irish Constituencies as the supreme national authority to speak and act in the name of the Irish people and to devise and formulate measures for the welfare of the people of Ireland’
Sinn Fein needs to acknowledge its ‘birthplace’ by location. It needs to step aside from ‘Class orientation and opinion’ and review history. The real history is the people and let us acknowledge the people, from all backgrounds, by invigorating a vision and where best but with a Hospital that stands dishevelled yet resplendent on Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4. Do people realise that it was at Beggars Bush where so many men were shot i.e. executed or that the James Connolly library was situated on Pemborke Road (No 37.) The Developers did but then I don’t think they would have been interested in the history. That is up to Sinn Fein
The Website: It is worth looking at the original Sinn Fein Constitution and the emphasis on the welfare and this means the health of the people of the Island of Ireland. The website is a good place to start:
Written by: Michelle Clarke
9th November, 2009
by Brigid Collins
The Clergy of all ranks think they are above the law of the land and immune to prosecution and therefore they look down their noses at the laity and those they abuse feeling they have the right to do as they please with impunity.
The Gardai and the State over the years aided and abetted their crimes against the abused by turning a blind eye and deaf ear and not following up appeals for help or investigating complaints.
There is a lot of rot in the Catholic Church and in the Gardai and many State services who have hidden these unspeakable crimes by Priests, Bishops and Archbishops for over the last 50 years.
It is time the laity marched on the Churches and forced the Church to account for its wrongdoings.
It is also time to stop donating money to the Catholic Church. They have their properties, lands and Churches and are sitting on it in Banks and not paying it out to the survivors of abuse in any large amount so why do we continue to fund them to hoard more money away while being so mean with their compensation payments.
Think about it. DO NOT SUPPORT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. They do not pay their debts to the victims.
8th November 2009
Well written Brigid. The time has come for the Church to stand accountable.
You would think Ireland is a separate Vatican City established as in Italy as a distinct entity from the State or the Republic for that matter.
Much Church property was sold during the Boom. I ask where did the money that accrued to the Church go to? Was it invested in Ireland or did it wind its way back to Vatican City?
We don’t hear the Catholic Church in Ireland bleeting about the impact of the world economic crash. Where did it invest its capital?
Where is the regulation by the State of the Church?
Who stands accountable?
Can someone explain Divorce in Ireland and the judgmental secret annulment courts who subject vulnerable people and who can only be described as the perpetrators of true discrimination of a person by the Church who first spent thousands of pounds getting a divorce and then suffered the humiliation of the annulment court (why such silence – there must be more humbled by the ogres of the Church annulment brigade). The spouse in this case was given approval and so he could get married but the woman was subject to their judgment and if she happens to ever want to get married she must return to the Roman Catholic Church for their approval.
The Immaculate Deception and the House of Prayer….the book is a must. Why did the Church not take a stand? How could such corruption and deception take place while the Catholic Church reigns supreme in all sectors of our country. This nemisis started back in 1988.
We need the Criminal Assets Bureau or the Fraud Squad or even the God Squad to investigate just how such an antrocity could be allowed to happen on Achill. Even Failte Ireland promoted this Visionary. When do we stop making money on the back of vulnerable people
What about tax evasion and the Vatican conundrum? The problem is we in Ireland still cannot see tax evasion as a criminal offence.
15th November, 2009
The patented pink paper (Financial Times) 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 an interesting woman to engage with. 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, it must be said, has a significant ‘corruption crime’ investigation profile. Joly was one of Europe’s most eager corruption hunters and her investigation of Elf (Oil) is 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 Islandic status. They also share a form of political ‘rot’ that Joly found in the French political system also in 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 to Iceland but also to Ireland.
16th November 2009
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 later 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 Government’s tax breaks and incentives and who are now part of the surplus supply of houses with sometimes 100% loans based on fairytale valuations – and these are the punters that are really indicted to a life time misery of no reprieve due to lax and de-regulated practices of the Banks and lending societies.
How do we measure the pain? How can we ensure that children whose parents become unemployed are not caused a childhood of undue stress due to repossessions and evictions? There must be a strategy.
The woman on the Joe Duffy Show 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 now?
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 we have the creation of a further mire of bureaucracy and nonsense. The foregoing postings (source on request) 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 representatives; to their relationship and deals with certain privileged estate agents during the boom years. Rent Allowance duplications did occur and if you ‘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.
20th November, 20
Public Meeting for Clerical Abuse Call (source of citizen journalism site on request).
I note your posting and with shock. You suggest that Archbishop Martin would have known of the problem of sexual abuse in Artane some 40 years ago. You also state that there were five known priest sexual offenders in the Artane Parish. This shocks me and hurts to the core to note that it is not dealt with in the Ryan Report.
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 details for their own conversations and judgments’ 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 I billion euros. Could this be so? We must not forget that in centuries past the Church often received bequests of property…some people thought they could buy there way into Heaven mentality. 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 really indicative question and who better to ask than the Accountant Archibishop Martin who worked in Vatican City?
Ireland is now about a State. It used to be tightly intgermingled 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
The Movie, if we haven’t seen it, we somehow know about it.
The Late Late last night neatly included the social and ethical plight of some of our young people who were ‘sucked into’ loans by financial institutions that are totally non realistic with the benefit of hindsight.
What are we going to do? Yes, the people of Ireland, the people who fought for the 3F’s in the 18th and 19th centuries. (Fixity of tenure – being the one we need to focus on now).
We are told the reality of a young mother of three small children, a woman who bought into the dream and decided to move to Cavan to rear their children. She is a bright woman, and no doubt a good mother and yet we are willing to allow our Government and the Banks destroy a family unit that appears to be ‘working’. Why would one do this? We know better surely. If you watch the TV programmes and listen to the psychologist Mr Coleman work with different mothers and their interaction and the impact of stress, then there is no reason that we as human beings would want to spare people who have chosen to have a family (who are the providers of this generation’s pension fund) undue stress.
The Negative Equity trap that happened in the 1980’s/90’s in the UK bit many an Irish person badly. Some if they had qualifications managed to emigrate, oven to Third World countries, others just threw the keys and their future potential to have a credit rating through the letter box. The couple last night speaking on the TV are considering this option. What an inheritance for them and for their children and they so young? Now surely Climate Change becomes relevant for those in the much affected building game to match the Government’s demands to comply with say the BER Certification for house rental/or house sale. Where is FAS and re-training? ANCO in the 1970’s trained many a good entreprenneur. It is necessary now to keep people in employment in this country to embrace change.
What is the Government going to do? The man from MABS briefly outlined what services are available and highlighted the options in the UK market. The framework exists, we just need a few more ideas and brainwaves to create a solution.
The young woman from Cavan said they paid euros 210,000 for their house adjacent to the school and that now the market is so bad they probably would not even receive a bid. She said that a builder was selling new houses near to their house for as little as 88,000 euros. What this tells us is that over a period of say 25 years for a loan, that a period of unemployment and economic turmoil was not taken into account by the actuaries for the Lender i.e. the banks. Yes, the banks failed to assess the Risk. Can anyone look at the figures and come up with a suitable risk assessment and package for these young parents facing the onslaught of eviction, possibly no rent allowance from the state (apparently if they throw in keys, they are not eligible for assistance) – which is devious and wrong, given that rent allowance was paid willy nilly over the boom years to many a person in this country either via the Community Welfare system or the HSE to all and sundry. Many people came to Ireland from Europe and beyond and are living in Ireland now.
The developers are in the commercial courts but I am unsure about where these ‘debtors’ are dealt with. Actuarial science is highly mathematical and risk based. If there are some 35,000 already in difficulties with their mortgages and they are un-represented by the legal profession due to the vagaries of income allowances and deposits, why can’t MAB move up a category, employ some more people and even entertain the reforming of sets of the co-operatives embracing the needs for climate change and re-deployment of people, through sponsorship.
The 1980’s created major hassle in the UK when prices rose consistently in the dormitory (trains to City for work purposes) towns particularly. One week you could pay Stg£ 90,000 for a 2 bed flat which one month later was worth nearly sterling £140,000. What happened? Within 6 months the interest rates doubled from 7% to over 14% and those on non fixed rate loans were burnt to cinders. Your Stg£1,000 mortgage became Stg1,600 over night and employment hit crisis with many people losing both jobs. Many Irish were affected badly at this time. However, we know the outcome. Part of it you can put down to life-long learning curve but I ask what un-necessary hardships are caused into the future and now that we live so much longer – what is the cost? (The flat that cost £90,000 that rose to £140,000 reduced to Stg£65,000 for 10 years or more).
I see an avenue of opportunity for Ireland’s people in financial difficulties through MABS, the like of the Free Legal Aid Services, and ideally for some of those people like Bono who decided to find tax havens rather than support their own, to give some money back to our young people with families and work opportunities also.
NAMA according to Mr. Somers is reliant on assessing the risk and arriving at a valuation price. Surely the same applies for people who mortgaged their properties in good faith. A discount to cover the losses now and going forward can be accessed in a similar way. Nothing ought to be impossible, particularly now as world markets are beginning to lift.
24th November, 2009
Brian. I enjoyed the show and well done for keeping us alert to our social, ethical and mainly compassionate duties as people of the human race.
by CREMEnnis, Co. Clare
Considering the amount of rain that fell in the past week as predicted by Global Warming and the evidence of thousands of independent scientists,your rant reminds me of the Jackson Browne song “Before the Deluge” of which I enclose a verse:
“ Some of them were angry at the way the earth was abused,
By the men who learned to forge her beauty into power,
And they struggled to protect us from them only to be confused,
By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour.
And when the sand was gone and the time arrived,
In the naked dawn only a few survived,
And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge,
Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge.”
25th November, 2009
by Michelle Clarke (Stortford) – Enviornmental Concern
Thanks for the verse and the words ‘After the Deluge’ – how appropriate as the country is driven to despair with the impact of extreme weather conditions.
Reading the words make me think of Malthus and his theories back in the 1800’s that our world would be overpopulated. I fear his predictions will ring true. Already rice is a scare resource with a rising price that affects 3 bn people in Asia and Africa – and this is only a today example. Do we really grasp what it is like for those myriads of people who live in drought stricken countries? We see the poverty of spirit, will and being on our TV screens but do we really want to grasp their stark realities?
Realistically, we hear and see via TV, web etc. what is happening in the West of Ireland but the fact is when it does not financially or emotionally affect us, we step aside from it, as we have been conditioned to do by an overspill of hardship from media coverage.
It is interesting to hear that we have a humanitarian fund in place but more interesting is that the Government have covered the Lacunae. A means test now determines whether you are eligible. Yes, here we have more of the dreaded bureaucracy.
After the Deluge and Jackson Browne….we really need to start seeing, hearing, feeling, touching what our world is and give nature the dignity it deserves.
Michelle Clarke (Stortford)
Brigid: it is impossible to feel your pain but there must be some release now that Truth or so we hope is emerging.
Cleansing is a strong word and you and people like you have engaged with suffering to seek redress from people who perpetrated ‘wrong’ and sin on their fellow human beings. The fact that these vulnerable people were children makes it so much worse. To the people who stood by, who knew, who did nothing – their crimes are yet to be determined. But in the meantime, let their moral conscience come to the fore.
The Gods of the Ancient world recognised the inner drive in the human being ‘to know’. Aristotle said ‘All men by nature desire to know’ and Socrates, his pupil, said ‘the unexamined life is not work living’. Centuries on, we can realistically say that there are people who shape their own destiny and put their hands up when they witness wrong doing and make a stand.
To those of us who believe in the Gospels
‘Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open and
whatever is covered up, will be uncovered (Mark 4.22)
What I cannot grasp is the power of the Vatican?
A Tribunal of Inquiry and correspondence from a member of our Judiciary merits a response from the Pope given the global nature of sexual abuse perpetrated by the Church.
Again : In 1998, it was estimated that the Church in Ireland was the largest holder of property and that the property at that time was worth over 1 billion euros/pounds. We need the answers as to what happened the money from the property sold? Where is it? What investments were made in this country or was the money transferred to the Vatican?
Brigid. I hope the hurt heals. Clerical Whispers is an expose that we all should come to terms with. All it takes is Google and you access it.
What about these silent orders? What about Opus Dei or the Knights of Columbanus? We need transparency and this includes within our Church also.
‘With no control over secrecy and openness, human beings could not remain sane or free’
Denial is much more common than we expect. We can say that Denial has prevailed but now people are faced with facts and the time has come, and in particular for our members of the higher echelons in the Church to take on board the plain categoric facts and admit to themselves and especially to the victims, the courts and to people through media, that they were wrong and are wrong. They breached Canon Law and the Law of Ireland and they must stand accountable. Otherwise, they prove to be morally bankrupt and therefore they ought to be economically bankrupt and punished accordingly.
How many times has Eircom changed hands? We see so little of the news of its pending sale in the media and yet something as important as our communication network and ownership, is of significant importance, I would think.
Meantime, we see little about the Independent newspapers and the sparring match that is going on between two world league entrepreneurs and their particular financial power to influence media coverage.
Media is the order of the day. Marc Watson BT Vision Chief Executive, a former barrister who masterminded the deal to get Beckhams wedding photos into the OK magazine….is now reviewing a fledgling pay television service to the mass market.
Where is our vision? We need to focus on fast speed broadband. RTE pays too much to its presenters; there is a loss of vision and competitive advantage with the existing commentators. It has become a bureaucratic nightmare I would suggest and rather than respond to the privatisation of other radio networks, it has ballooned into a state mentality of one upmanship and a job for life.
Eircom is the start of a new wave. Chances are it will be bought out for a song (due to the recession); sold to either BT or the Singaporean company and it will then through mergers and acquisition (and most probably no need for insider trading) slip in with a pay for media up beat system like what is envisioned in the UK.
I heard little from the Greens about the forthcoming Budget but I heard less about upgrading broadband? Ireland needs Vision urgent style if we are to embrace this knowledge economy vision of the European Union – yes, with a re-run and a change of view, we have now ratified the Lisbon Treaty.