move on forwards
4th July, 2009
20 years tomorrow is an anniversary date for people interested in their Human Rights to take note of. Our Government have signed up to it so now. As the “Budget” approaches on Wednesday, let us the plain people of Ireland encourage them to review same before making any harmful cutbacks to the human rights of our people and in particular relating to our children.
As this is an International agreement and as we have just second time round changed tack and voted yes to Lisbon, we must take on board that the “Budget” will be harsh to reflect the global economic crisis experienced. However Fair Play is vital.
What about an assumption re. the forthcoming budget? Things are really bad! NAMA is the Vehicle that is supposed to steer the Developers, the Landed, the Government out of crisis. Too much money was paid over for property and now with the private sector companies facing financial ruin and unable to repay their loans to the banks, it is time yet again for the vulnerable to pay the price.
Constantin Gurdigiev is an economist to watch out for. He makes an interesting point about the private sector pay in a recent article. He reports on the latest data from the central statistics office. Earnings in the public sector (excluding health) have increased from just under 943 euros per week in the 2nd quarter of 2008 to euros 973 for the equiv. period this year i.e. a rise of 3.2% He adjusts this for inflation and sector earnings equate to 8%. He compares the private sector in a similar way. Yes….euros 783 to 789. Think it through and the message is loud and clear when you take into account the advantages of public sector employment and this includes pension, holidays, security etc.
Those who have bought homes and face eviction due to the Global Economic Crisis
Let there be leniency. Let us think of their children and the impact of stress, anxiety on parents, on children. The Head of the EBS encourages us to see our houses as HOMES and not investments in a recent article. The comment reads “The Culture in Ireland” was that buying property makes you money. It got into our DNA. In future, we need to look at property as a Utility.
Now Taoiseach – this is some common sense. How do we re-juggle the figures and factors to equate to this finding.
Well try start from the bottom up this time. Look to the swell of properties vacant and under utilised out there in the market place. Let us look to rentals and rent allowance from Govt, let us reduce rents and think laterally about work structures and social mobility.
We need to look to our Innovators cosied by our Universities and let them expand with the people as distinct from just taking from them as data banks.
FAS is in the news but let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is no harm in going for a complete root and branch approach of these state sponsored bodies and accommodating new blood (even encourage some more of the diaspora home). Let us also acknowledge the good. The market is about waste management these days and how best to achieve it. FAS having provided Fetac certified training for a group involved in clothes recycling in the Liberties – people who have been part of community employment schemes. This has worked since its initiation in the 1990’s as have others. We need to be watchful of cutbacks in these areas.
This year merits another change: a woman won the Nobel Prize for Economics. Professor Ostrom has an interesting argument that societies regularly devise rules that stop the degradation of nature….now here is some serious material for consideration by those drafting the Budget.
Tara and archaelogy. Before it is too late let us review our position here.
Likewise with the Corrib. Do we have to continue to sell off our natural resources with an un-necessary degree of humility masking corruption? I refer to a case in the 1930’s re. mineral resources e.g. gold and phosphate mineral rights!
Human Rights are about people. People do need to be made feel surplus to requirements of the wallowing island of Ireland, the casualty of the Celtic Tiger. Stand Tall each and everyone and let the Divide between rich and poor find a more equal balance.
Michelle Clarke (Blake)
8th December 2009
Scary article in the Irish Times today about mental health patients and involuntary ECT at the selection of the Medical Team.
You may think mental health is the glitzy part of the medical profession given the upbeat media coverage of groups involved in suicide, mental health for the youth programmes, and all the not for profit organisations representing people with mental health problems.
But let me assure you, there is a darker side and this headline in the Irish Times deeply concerns me.
Private medicine if you have a psychiatric condition has an element of transparency and ethics but the other side, public health system, is not transparent. You may say about Regulation but the fact is that the Regulatory body, if you have been blessed with the lucidity to get that far, is made up of the medical profession only. Also if you have mental health problems you need to be alert to the motives of your siblings and family members. This will be more apparent for some with experience of being the defined mental patient – the one who is left to fight the uphill battle and yet be lauded and taunted with the label.
The state provides the services of the Mental Health Commission but what can one say about a faceless organisation in Dublin 4 that is only represented by its all encompassing webpage and an inability of its personnel to relate to a visit from one of the ‘Tainted’ – yes the “bothered and bewildered” subset of society ranging from homeless, to former prisoners of either mental hospitals or our prisons, to those in community care and humbled by inadequate housing conditions and fear.
The Maudsley in the UK is a public Facility but then diversity in the UK always provides different dimensions.
The Sunday Times article 6th December in the Appointments Section makes interesting reading for those who differ from the so called Norm in Society.
The title simply reads ‘Make a Maverick your wingman’. and the warning ‘Handle with Care’.
This message is not for the benefit of private only mental health, it ought to equally apply across the board to our public mental health system.
I have written many times of the potential of a now wasted Baggot Street hospital, Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4. What about retaining it as it’s function always has been and that is medicine but concentrating on Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Addictions along the lines of John Hopkins in the US or the Maudsley in the UK or for that matter along the lines of successful private hospitals like the Priory. Where is the transparency in Mental Health in Ireland – yes the visibility factor. The research is hidden away in our Universities and basically after that is presented via conference links worldwide and through networks. The fodder is forgotten to easily.
The appointment section is promoting “Vision” in those making appointments in employment. It highlights that talented employees can ‘be hard to control, so give them freedom and let them shine’ The article is written by Frank Dillon. He talks about dealing with these employees and the huge problem they can create for management. They often are referred to as unpredictable and loose cannons but why forsake them! Why distance them out of society, condemning them to a form of mental health institutionalisation, when if given the encouragement and scope, they can link into creativity and create economic growth.
John Lennon spoke of Giving Peace a Chance. The Recession is so bad now, we really need to give these Mavericks a chance and who knows. We are talking about harnessing talent and promoting creativity. 2020 and I highly recommend the excellent Outsider Art and these people are Irish and have experienced mental health complications. In other countries, outsider art is very expensive and is recognised. Check out Brent Pope and how he introduced this from Australia/New Zealand to Ireland. https://www.thecopperhousegallery.com/exhibitions/59/overview/
The Budget is this Wednesday. Savage is the word about town. But all I ask is stop the savage onslaught on the needy, look to the well of research done in our Universities over the last 20 years and start using the material more productively and economically. Don’t waste our hidden talent.
Shame to the Minister of Justice
How could this happen?
A ‘shook’ man with deep emotion in his voice was broadcast today to the Nation about his experience having been taken from Dundalk (Minister Ahern’s area) to Mountjoy prison because he forgot to pay a 350 euro fine for a dog licence reminder. This man’s basic right to freedom was taken from him by our State to punish him for failure to pay for a dog licence.
The humility of the man is worth considering. He was not a man shouting about the injustice he suffered but a man telling his story….
This man explained that his Shitzu Dog called NIMO was given to him by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His failure to pay was more an oversight that could happen to any human being.
The man spoke about loneliness and the reason he got the dog. He spoke about the dog being his best friend as most dog lovers and cat lovers will empathise with.
Does the Government not grasp the importance of dogs to people who may be vulnerable in Ireland. These dogs often are companion dogs who guide and assist people to cope with their often isolationary lives through illness, old age or otherwise.
Our former Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahern has often acknowledged his preference and belief in animal support. He was interviewed recently and he mentioned about the character trait of upholding confidences while at the same time mentioning his cat called Ben. In another interview he spoke of his liking as a young person for the song ‘There once was a doggie in the window”
e12.50 is a token licence fee but surely if you charge for a dog, there must be a charge for a cat, a pet mouse or whatever?
How could a man have been put in a prison? He gave a description of his treatment but I missed the details. I hope somebody can enlighten us before the budget? (Also we should note that Ireland has a high rate of termination of unwanted animals and worse a puppy industry without regulation. This alters our position in relation to the rest of Europe – shame on us).
8th December 2009
WW2 phosphate mines in Co. Clare
History ought to tell us that we must pay heed to our ‘wealth’ and that is the wealth contained in our land and seas.
This is about the ‘dream’ that same dream that swept the Irish people in the 1980’s to hunt for Gold and Oil on our shores.
Atlantic resources was in the news back then, in fact people who scarely knew anything about dealing on the Stock Exchange bought into the dream and bought shares.
Tony O’Reilly, as he was known then, was the driver of market forces. The outcome for Atlantic was: …. well we are still waiting!
Did we learn anything? Well, we have learned that in Norway the Government secured a deal with the oil companies that would reflect fair payment for the people of Norway as a priority.
This is not the case in Ireland. We need to review the deal made in the days of Ray Burke. The law evolves and often retreats. Try looking at Comyn v. the AG 1950 (Sean McBride lead counsel) in the hope of a fairer package especially with the latest find by a company from the UK.
Lisbon. We need not hang our heads too low. Ireland did foresake her ‘seas’ to the beaches’ for entry to the EU in 1973.
Michelle Clarke (Ballyvaughan)
Also: April 7th, 2009
You wrote in October 2008.
Today is the so-called mini-budget to redress ther Economic Crisis that Ireland has become immersed in. We must at all costs avoid the situation in Iceland i.e. to become bankrupt; to take the lead and follow the Swedes who have experienced near bankruptcy in the 1980’s and have emerged innovative, capable and accepting of a more social orientated democracy, accepting that richer pay higher taxes.
Maura Harrington sentenced to 28 days prison by a Judge in Ireland, is thankfully released. She has served too long in such a sentence. She is passionate about her environment and she and others are entitled under the Constitution, I believe, to express their concerns about the paltry remuneration to be paid to the Irish as distinct to Corporatism……worldwide mode.
Michelle Clarke includes a little family Comyn narrative: Lemass and De Valera engaged in similar exercise in the 1940’s against my grandfather, Judge Michael Comyn, KC, Prospector of Phosphate in Co. Clare. He started in his venture for Gold and phosphate in the 1920’s with another Senator Mr. Briscoe.
World War II and the state needed phosphate for agriculture and imports from North Africa were blocked off. The State took power and seized the mines from him.
In his eighties, he sued the state and he won. As far as I am aware this case remains precdent. The State v. Comyn (Sean McBride and Brendan East provided the legal representation)
There must be some innovative lateral thought function out there that can eek out a case for the Corrib…….out of the Precedent……..i.e. miner resources both…..
We need the funds now, the equitable funds…..oil is worth billions they say and yet our focus is restrained to admonishing the vulnerable.
December 9th, 2009
Read the Dublin Report on Line
Michelle Clarke (Dillon)
20th December, 2009
Cinema ticket takings: hit due to recession is £1 billion
What is totally beyond me is the prompt value downwards of 85% in the value of the Dublin Glass Bottling site and the fact that is appears to be the first hit made by NAMA? Is there no scope for the Green’s and bottles or any dream?
Tread carefully is the learning curve ie if one looks to the forerunners e.g. the Gallagher Group and the Stephen’s Green Dream late early 1980s (now developed profitably by others). Gallagher a young man took the fall and so did many, all the way down to grassroots small builders and even to the people who bought semi detached houses in Castleknock and other areas….do you recall? Builders bought land and developed for a nominal fee, the balance being paid when the houses were sold on. The outcome was massive delay for purchasers of property and an inability for the local councils to take in charge the green areas – and again this involved years.
Former Catholic priest’s bid for new trial rejected – The Boston Globe
Sexual Abuse – Ireland in denial: What is coming down the line……………………….? This is about the Island of Ireland, past, present.
We have had the tribunals. We know children were abused by members of the Roman Catholic Church but going by the Sunday Tribune today in regard to Sinn Fein and the questions that Gerry Adams must now answer, we must halt our moral bankruptcy and stop the denial and with particular emphasis of over the past 25 years.
This topic like the Church is not going away and I am sure, a prominent journalist like Suzanne Breen and well done to her, a mother of young children, will continue to write about this tragic despicable history of sexual abuse in all sections of Irish Society and I would go as far as Europe and ask another mother and Sinn Fein politician, Bairbre de Brun, where is her moral stand on this issue? I also would like the view of Mary Lou MacDonald, Deputy Leader of Sinn Fein but the saddest question of all is Caitriona Ruane is the Minister for Education in Stormont (from Castlebar, Co. Mayo) – her views are also needed. They also have one vital moral humane connection – they are mothers of children.
In trepidation, I believe this abuse is far more widespread than we the plain people of Ireland appear to have been kept abreast of.
What do we do now?
I would suggest reference to the US and the Supreme Court Decision.
It is wake up time: Repressed memories count.