Citizen Journalism Ireland: Published articles on different topics 2010 year. Revised 2023. 10 headings 7,900 words Tranche (C) Mental health, so little has changed; homeless with mental health are condemned to tents, post Covid anxieties will create their own trauma overtime and we have not got the mental health system in place. We spend half the budget amount that other countries spend.

No. 1

20th August, 2010

Mental Health: The Stigma. The inadequate primary care provision. The lack of beds for those in need. Children who have mental health issues not even receiving consideration. Suicide and the loss to suicide.  As Prof. Malone said…the loss is two: firstly the dead person but secondly the loss to the bereaved.

Keep up the good work. A listening ear is so important.

Amended:  August 20th 2010

Dublin Hospitals scoop four awards:  a heading in a local newspaper!
Does anyone think there is a total mismatch in reporting by the media?  You listen to RTE news and watch the TV and read the newspapers and all that is portrayed is the negative impact to our health system; the myriad of inadequacies, much of which is covered in the foregoing postings (source citizen journalism site).  The thought of having to present at A&E conjures up pure horror.

Today’s Irish times covers mental health and its need for priority. It is now 5 years since the supposed Blueprint from Government to MODERNISE mental health services and in the meantime the supposed property landbank i.e. including the properties of St. Itas, St. Brendan’s etc. has devalued by near 100% and that is if the properties are even marketable.

All we seem to hear about these days are Awards that our hospitals receive and yes those Centres of Excellence. Well the community hospital in Dublin 4 is no recipient of such awards. It is a crying disgrace and yet it is in the same locality as the Mental Health Commission; the Health Research Board; and other associations connected to improvement of mental health provision.

Malcolm R. Garland MD, Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons writes to the Irish Times Editor today: The title is re-inventing ‘asylum’ buildings. His first line mentions the Mental Health Commission’s statutory powers to order the closures of St. Brendan’s, St. Ita’s and St. Senans and he refers to the inhumane conditions people are contained within in these hospitals. However he asks the poignant question? ‘Are we throwing out the baby with the bath water’? I say yes because we have no community services for the people we release from these inhumane hospitals at a community level. We have wasted time, money, potential, resources just neglecting our most vulnerable members in society – yes those diagnosed with a mental illness, those who at times need periods in hospital to regain a balance in their existence, are hounded further by Society.

This is of significance to me today. I was in a public hospital a decade ago because I needed a haven. I was in a ward and all I really recall was the friendship of an elderly former school teacher. I had been in hospital for months and the day I was leaving Eleanor, distressed gave me a hug as I said good bye and gave her and the others in my ward a bar of chocolate. To this day I stand ashamed but I did what I could. She told me what she planned to do. I listened and I even pleaded with her not to hurt her family, her children. I told the nurses who continually take notes i.e. (avoid contact and engage in functional administration) and I left the hospital and that day so did Eleanor. She did as she told me and her body was found in the river.

I came out to family and friends and a degree of understanding but what about others? What about when your family tires of your bipolar or dystonia episodes. Mr. Garland is right to ask in today’s Irish Times where are the replacement acute units for people with mental health problems (add to this people who have addictions, phobias, social anxiety, young people who give up school due to anxiety problems). Mr. Garland may have a good point about the locations of these hospitals and their link to nature.

The last line must ring out to those who look so weary when they talk about mental health i.e.

Minister for State Mr. Moloney (who at least has the courage to appear on the Vincent Browne TV3 show…..)
Dr. Siobhan Barry, College of Psychiatry of Ireland
Mr. Hugh Kane, the Mental Health Commission
Mr. Rogan, St. Brendans
and Mr. Garland, of course……..’

Is a small cramped admission unit with little or no access to outside space the best place to recover one’s mental health? Can we transform it into a place of Vibrancy, Dignity and Recovery?

Discrimination and stigma says no. The funds were supposed to have been ring-fenced for proper care in the community for people who have a mental health diagnosis and who are in need of continued support but the evidence suggests otherwise.

Yet I had occasion to go to Harold’s Cross Hospital on several occasions this week. Here is a facility that is a Centre of Excellence. There is a large building with bold print stating Education and Research on the Grounds (a source of inspiration for a person with a life time diagnosis).

The standards are beyond belief. Each Ward after another is spotless. There is a rest room with views to the grounds. The literature abounds about Arthritis and how best to engage in palliative care, physiotherapy, counselling etc. There is an Oratory. The staff are approachable and pleasant. But then this is not a stigmatised illness. There is HOPE.

I applaud the standards but what really concerned me was the lack of patients. If one was doing a cost benefit analysis one would reckon that spatial to person had an underlying profit factor for the Architects, Engineers, Developers etc.

When I called at the weekend. My friend was gone but then so was everyone in the ward and the other wards; they were parceled out nicely for the weekends and all that remained were the staff.  My friend was transferred to the main building to a room and again he had staff surrounding him but no patients.

To all in Government: It is time to look at quality and space utilisation revolving around the potential and actual care of people. I read the web page for the consultant based at St. Vincents (Mental Health) and I note that there is a waiting list in excess of 5,000. What is the problem? Is this about private care in a public hospital or what is it?

Mental health is vital and it is extremely important to have community services in place and acute units when the need demands. We call for a referendum for children but in the meantime we are leaving children open to vice, suicide, being murdered etc.

Add to this the conditions in the Central Mental Hospital……where is the hope?

Michelle Clarke

Quotation from a man eminent in his field of research in decades gone by:
Michael J. Kelleher was a clinical director with the Southern Health Board, consultant psychiatrist and the founder of the Suicide Research Foundation in Cork.  He was a member of the Department of Health National Task Force on Suicide…..he had extensive experience in working and lecturing abroad….He is not to be forgotten.  (Book:  Suicide and the Irish 1996).

About tipping the balance…the real cost of anxiety!

‘Anxiety is a sense of dread and apprehension about the future.  It is associated with a loss of confidence and a loss of assertiveness.  Although, if a person is threatened, he may respond with a vehemence and anger that surprises even himself.  There may be a fear of going out, as well as a fear of being alone.  Added to this there is a gnawing fear that the suicide will be imitated – by oneself, as sometimes happens; or by children or siblings, as is more frequently the case.  Depression and Anxiety are often mixedAnger and a need to apportion blame are common experiences.  Recourse to alcohol or medicinal drugs (in particular the benzodiazepines, which are commonly prescribed for both anxiety and sleep) is a further hazard.

The individual’s future emotional and psychological health will be determined by how he or she responds to these unforeseen stresses.  It is important to emphasize that it is natural to feel pain. In a sense emotional pain helps to cleanse our minds, at least initially (page 73)

12th June 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown:

Phases are being released back to what is called a New Normal.  We must be aware of mental health especially the impact on young children


No. 2

September 9th, 2010

Joe Duffy show worth listening … Enid O’Dowd dedicated Community Activist

Nearly one year ago these postings originated and yet if we ask what has happened to improve the lives of the socially, medically, economically vulnerable people and in particular the children, those sick, those in need of community development supports, all we hear about is more evidential research (i.e. for the status quo of academia), unemployment figures in excess of 470,000, people losing medical cards, children with special needs losing their assistants while the wealthy are protected.

Note: how the wealthy are given credit for inspiring charities e.g. look at the myriad of suicide related groups that have mushroomed yet the powers of medicine and academia are crying out for research. What about humanity, compassion, interactiveness at a practical level?

Enid O’Dowd not related anymore to a political party has dedicated her time to being a Community Activist. She is involved in the campaign to try and stop the close down of the eminent hospital of St. Lukes – who so many can vouch for.

Enid spoke with emphasis, authority and genuine concern about our failing economy. This woman is a Chartered Accountant who put her academia and experience together to create a study and an Irish Times article that kicked the ball into play. It was summed up in brief words ‘She published but the Govt. representatives rubbished it’

Yes, this woman sighted the “Expenses” conundrum within government and no doubt relating to many other bodies. Do you realise that ‘Turning up money is paid’ i.e. euros 12,000 tax free?  But more annoying this is paid to Mr. Ahern retired Taoiseach also. This is the minimum payment.

This woman explained that our expenses proviso is in fact dealt with in the Constitution which concerned very different times and speaks about allowances. Apparently when Charlie McCreevy entered the Department of Finance he mooted a radical increase in expenses by 70%. Are we surprised? No. The Irish people are passive resistant and they have come to believe that a two tier society is ok. I ask them what has changed? Our forefathers provided they were not the landed gentry just dopped their caps to their masters……..all we have in Ireland presently is a new breed of politically connected and basically corrupt set of masters…. who too easily became clad in the Monarchial gowns of times gone by. Our media is originating and consumed by their vanities, their activities while all in ‘Rome/Dublin’ is falling beneath the abyss which is linked at the hip to moral bankruptcy.

Enid summed it up well when she referred to her findings and blatantly spoke of our political hippos as being engaged in legalised theft.

The first posting referred to the following: It is time for people to start thinking, engaging and looking to outcomes for those who have engaged in Financial Crime. It is being tackled worldwide and we need action. Sometimes in the formation of country such as Ireland which is ‘YOUNG’ still, a reminder of earlier intentions is worth the effort: Note the words ‘consent of the Irish people’ and the word conscience.

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’

People phoned in and while another man spoke about the beliefs that there is an under current that invokes the spirit of revolution….

Michelle Clarke


No. 3

5th October, 2010

‘While the tax remains a “sovereign issue”, Olli Rehn, the European economic and monetary affairs commissioner, was quoted as saying that it was “a fact of life” that Irish taxes would have to move into line with tax rates elsewhere in the eurozone’….and what if Olli Rehn says it is a “fact of life” – to the people of Ireland, it is a “Sovereign issue”.Yes we are a casualty of the Celtic Tiger but why would the EU commissioner attempt to add further injury to a country that who suffers as a consequence of the global banking crisis which gave rise to a housing bubble. Business Scotsman is correct when it states that the 12.5% corporation tax was a key element to our country’s industrial policy and it was this initiative that helped to rebuild the economy in the late 1980’s. The Celtic Tiger had a sprint followed by a few more sprints but then that is the nature of the ‘Tiger’…

A bomb in Derry and RIRA….what about the Peace Process? Bill Clinton, former President of the US made a visit to the Island of Ireland last week to endorse and give credence to what has been achieved. We are part of EU yes but we are Sovereign also. We relate to the US and we relate to the UK (particularly when one considers our currency is Sterling in one part of this Island of Ireland). We have our options open and we must be resolute that the EU do not ‘abuse power’ and honour our involvement as a contributor to the EU since we joined in 1973. Let us not forget that the Lisbon Treaty at first vote referendum yielded a ‘No’ vote and EU pressure forced us to hold the second Referendum that secured the ‘Yes’ vote. No – it is not for the EU Authorities to dictate that we backtrack and increase our Corporation Tax from 12.5%.

Our Government and people face a strict austerity programme as to other members of the EU, the US, and the UK. The task is to increase tax revenue and reduce public spending – the simple balance sheet i.e. income versus expense = public debt (which approaches 32% of GDP). We need to tap all resources to maximum potential and this includes our ‘waters’.

War (let us say economic!)
‘When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die’
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) French writer and philosopher

No. 4
October 22nd, 2010

Article:  Published InfowarsEU Commissioner Olli Rehn….

‘The EPP group, he said, welcomed proposals tabled by a taskforce headed by European council president Herman Van Rompuy which call for a strict sanctions system for those member states that don’t respect the criteria set out in the stability pact’The article by Mr. Banks is most interesting but for a small open economy like Ireland, who are now no longer part of the 27 countries, we need to ‘stand tall’ and seek corporate governance standards that indicate to Europe we will appoint our own Taskforce and impose our own sanctions on those (when their case files can be processed through the DPP) who will stand accountable for the abuse of power within our economic markets (this is where our housing bubble diverted from the Global economic crisis).

The EEC, former President Hillery and the foresight to enter Europe Union. This generation of people, who were already involved in the League of Nations had a vision. The question: have we lost the vision or will we take responsibility as Irish citizens to address the corruption that has left us in jeopardy with the EU and challenged by the need to draw down funds from the Stability Pact ahead of the other errant economies, the ‘PIGS’?

Sean Barrett, Trinity College, spoke on Prime Time last night, about whether it is necessary for our economy to spend further on capital expenditure re. infrastructure and linkages to the airport. My impression of what he said is that this capital expenditure is not an urgent consideration and we have the option to hold off. Now here is a saving and a decision to be made.

Deflation, stagnation, economic growth strangled: We need to be alert here and there is a good example of what happened to Japan in the 1980’s in the New York Times. I will quote:

“Osaka, Japan, like many members of Japan’s middle class, Massato Y….was a small business owner, bought a $500,000 condominium, vacationed in Hawaii and drove a late model mercedes’ (i.e. 1980’s……) but his living standards slowly crumbled along with Japan’s overall economy. First he reduced his trips abroad to the point of elimination, then the cheaper modes domestic car was his only option. Last year he had to sell his condo for a third of the price he bought it for….”therefore he still owes a mortgage which he took out 17 years ago. So he is a man with realised negative equity.   The same applied to many people caught by the 1980’s/1990’s recession in the UK….some took the option of putting their keys through the letter box and just walking away.

The article goes on to say that Japan was one of the few nations to see such a reversal of economic fortune – it rode high on the great speculative stock and property bubbles in the 1980’s. It was the first Asian economy to challenge the dominance of the left.

What happened is what is happening in Ireland? It is fear in the rawest form. People who have money/wealth/income are afraid to spend in the economy. They are saving their money or else those with wealth are targeting safer markets overseas either in deposits, commodities or currency choices. The guarantees that apply presently to the banks have been extended but the question is how long will these guarantees apply.

The decisions and impetus rest with the citizens of Ireland, young people and old and inclusive. We need to spend small amounts e.g. take a taxi instead of a bus on the odd occasion, buy Irish, support our charity shops — all of these keep cash circulating in our community.

The NTMA banks on influx of  euros 3 bn. to post office savings schemes this year. This reduces the amount that Ireland needs to borrow on financial markets. We need to realise that when the Guarantees no longer exist, people will see an outflow of funds, mainly to do with fear, justifiable or not, as funds move to safer options which can be post office savings/prize bonds/national loan stock or abraod (this is what we do not want to facilitate)

We do not want to follow the route of Japan: (we need tourists from Japan realistically)

Final quote from article in New York Times:

‘But the bubbles popped in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and Japan fell into a slow and relentless decline that neither enormous budget deficits nor a flood of easy money has reversed. For nearly a generation now, the nation has been trapped in low growth and a corrosive spiral of prices, known as DEFLATION, in the process of shriverling from an economic Godzilla to littler more than an afterthought in the global economy’



12th June 2020
Nobody envisaged a global Pandemic coronavirs COVID-19 of such enormous proportions with people saying that it will take countries back to what was experienced in the Great Depression in the 1930’s
One point to consider.  Dan O’Brien mentioned recently that never in the history of deposits held in banks in the country, was there as much saved as in April this year.  The message is we need to spend and spend wisely promoting growth for our economy in the hope that we can return to the positive place we were in before the Pandemic that started to take effect in January 2020
What we have now, for free, are Podcasts or youtube choices.  I recommend this as introduction to Dr Gabor Mate (especially interviews/podcasts with Russell Brand)
No. 5
28th October, 2010
Published Infowars (Ireland)

‘But it is Germany’s views on the €750bn EU/IMF bailout fund, and whether or not member states’ voting rights could be suspended in the event of repeated breaches of the rules, which has brought the Lisbon Treaty back in to the frame, to the horror of some governments’. There is something a little unbalanced here and in particular relating to Ireland.

Ireland, in good faith joined the Eurozone. Ireland likewise yielded her prior standing with the second vote (gentle persuasion) of the Lisbon Treaty vote. Yet a near unprecedented economic crisis determines significant change with the main players the Germans and the French mooting change to the fabric of the Lisbon Treaty.

Ireland is vulnerable, it is more exposed than other countries (relating to an exceptional housing bubble and bubbles). Yet, it is a time of crisis and the people of our Nation State need to become aware of what is happening at the so-called political/academic level. Grassroots media is now core to peoples’ lives and this means people can engage at a deeper level with the so-called Knowledge economy promoted particularly by the EU.

Tomorrow is the EU summit: Prime Minister David Cameron will be confronted with a potential change to the EU Treaties. He most likely will be asked for an increased contribution to the EU’s 2011 budget. The ensuing issue will be whether a referendum will be called for in the UK. This in effect would mean a repatriation of powers back to Britain. What does this mean for Ireland; and what is the impact to the Island of Ireland?

Some key points from think tank ….

The budget: assume that Cameron is forced to accept a 2.9% increase in the budget, the impact of this in an already austerity compacted Britain would mean that UK taxholders would be forced to pay roughly £430 million extra for the EU budget. For the Island of Ireland, we need to consider the impact of this North of the border.

Economic Governance: Ireland is massively exposed here. We have little contribution to this debate because we are offenders.  The UK government has said it will support proposals for stronger economic governance. They favour sanctions for countries which violate the EU’s budget’s rules. However the UK will not be subject to sanctions. The Eurozone may gain from fiscal discipline but to achieve Single Currency effectiveness the problem of huge differences in competitiveness within the Eurozone needs urgent attention.

Ireland joined the Eurozone with conditions. We relinquished powers re. interest rates. Interest rates are a significant tool when trying to curb an overheating property market. The decision that was previously with the Central Bank (and which the UK still hold onto i.e. Stg) is now with the EU. It is not unreasonable to say that Ireland may have been able to curb the economic destruction regarding property if ordinary market forces of supply and demand increased the rates of interest to levels that stopped the property market from over-heating. The quote is not about revolution but more about experience and learning….

‘I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I’d do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith’
Fidel Castro (born 1926) Cuban Revolutionary who ousted President Batista in 1959

Michelle Clarke
No. 6
7th November 2010
Let us focus on ‘Following the Money’ and connecting with the Corporate trail through the elites of corporate crime and their minions.



Has Ireland been ‘desperately unlucky’ or maybe we have procrastinated to such a degree that that we are now in the category of ‘stolen’ time and we are paying a high price in interest rates…rates that are likely to rise again.

UCD professor Karl Whelan, a former Fed economist is reported to have said there is a “reasonably high probability” that Ireland will have to turn to the tutelage of the EU-IMF “even though this will be resisted until the bitter end as a horrible humiliation”. Add to this that Ireland has a bond crisis that is ‘snowballing out of control’ but there is a positive, we have a pension fund that if we really hit dire
circumstances we can activate as a partial safeguard. Sadly as so often happens in history, the punitive costs are paid by those who have built up pension funds
both at a personal level and institutional level.

It is said:- ‘What you focus on expands’ and in Ireland’s case, this appears to be so: moral bankruptcy, corruption, bribery, dishonesty are words that did not just appear with the collapse of Lehman brothers in 2008. The truth is in Ireland we have nurtured dishonesty and moral bankruptcy for decades. The Proclamation, Independence, the Republic,the Peace Process with the supposedly protective mantle of the Church has dealt a culture of denial.

The truth is, we have a faltering Separation of Powers and we need to address our Sovereignty status before we lose it to what is fast becoming a two-tiered Eurozone. The people of Ireland still retain control but we are on the margins. We can embrace this murky culture, challenge it and arraign those who are responsible for taking us to our knees.  We need to accept ‘frontloading’ and aim at providing financial recompense for a draconian cut of 7 bn. euros for year 1.

Yes Ireland is running out of time so we need serious creative thinking, (that of the calibre often used by a criminal),to start tackling those who have breached the moral code and created a sinking abyss from a country that had and still has vast massive potential.

Where do we start? An integral and essential part is the creativity of the mind as it applies to Justice and Ethics. In early 2009 a reporter (grassroots media source) commented on the retirement of Mr. Justice Johnson who spoke about the importance of ‘Honesty and the law’ and that the qualities of the Judiciary ought to be above reproach. Therein rested Doubt about some members of the Judiciary and legal profession.  To take a step back in time, a Judge in the 1940′s said the most important quality for a Judge was firstly to be a good lawyer and then to have a solid knowledge of the law. To me, this is valid constitutional sense but alas this appears to have become driftwood in the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger. Is there hope? The Commercial Court shows potential.

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

We need to cut our cloth according to its measure but this doesn’t mean necessarily the middle class, the elderly, the youth and the near impoverished.  The decision needs to be made, and the sterling qualities of expertise and genius need to be tapped, with persuasion to forego income and wealth in line with a just and fair society.

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

Lynn owes 80 m and rising. People claim to have met him in Europe but when they query it with our Garda Fraud representatives, they are told it is difficult to charge him. What does this mean? We know law is not retrospective but surely there are enough precedents to extradite and charge for fraud, deception, etc. etc.

We also need to ask the question did Lynn (and others of the ilk) suffer a massive loss in his 80 m euros with the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the US or had he funds invested with Madoff? We all know that Madoff the Pyramid ‘conman’ is now in his seventies in jail for life….thanks to the Federal system of law in America. Apparently
it is rumoured he is sharing a bunk bed with a real gangster! We know the Lynn loss is estimated at 80 m. euros but if you invest the proceeds of crime wisely, as one would expect these corporate criminals do, then on a 10 year spectrum, there ought to be a satisfactory return.

The US have not been ‘sitting on their hands’ since the collapse ofLehmans. No they have been thinking and acting. People have been held accountable and fast tracked through the legal processes and placed in prison as criminals. There is none of this ‘white’ collar ‘blue collar’ categorisation in the US – Enron proved that.

Also countries like Switzerland, the Bahamas, yes the Tax Havens are under serious threat. 5,000 names of US Swiss Bank holders are to have their names relased to the US revenue and there is a potential for some 50,000 more greedy people to have their names released. Who knows what this will in effect do to capital markets – it will cause an injection to the EU, Britain, the US, to a lesser degree Japan, China, Asia. It is going to be a really interesting dynamic. The Swiss have recently pulled back slightly but they may agree to stop a % in tax on their overseas resident accounts i.e. something similar to the DIRT charge.

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

Keep Trying
‘It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails,
admit it frankly. But above all, try something.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) US President

No. 7
12th November 2010

Published Infowars Ireland.

Almost 1,000 tenants illegally evicted.

Everyone is crying out … act/Change/penalise the landlord but nobody realises that Ireland Inc. may be flogging a near dead horse.

Ms. Hayden, Threshold, said last year the State spent €500m on rent supplement, yet tenants experienced increased problems with their accommodation. Why and does she not ask about the approach of Threshold to Landlords who ask about making property available to say a homeless person? I would suggest the response is likely to be ‘this is not our remit’…without a suggestion of avenues that can be pursued like housing associations or nominated estate agents.

The social housing market was systematically handed over by the Local Authorities to nominated housing associations and estate agents over the years that the section 23 tax breaks were released onto the market. People saw the investment opportunity of being the landlord without necessarily understanding that it was the State’s divestiture of social housing to the newly qualified private sector ‘landlord Class’.

The hand-over has occurred over the last 10-15 years and now we have the problem. A landlord used to deal with an estate agent and paid the agency a fee for the contract of approx. 6% of the annual rent or for a higher rate could put in place a management contract. If the tenant was eligible for rent allowance, the decision rested with the landlord to accept same. However, the landlord was left exposed in this transaction. The rent allowance was paid not direct to the landlord but to the tenant who in turn was supposed to pay the landlord. Was this effective…? No. It complicated the bureaucracy from the whole concept of social housing provision as previously provided by the State through the local authorities. Meantime, the State had applied the long finger to the provision of social housing.

Then the legislature brought in more regulatory supervision. Another state body called the PRTB. Effective, this is highly questionable? The PRTB it is reported is pre-occupied with deposits with-held by landlords and evictions for non payment of rent. What one needs to ask is – has it got Teeth? No: for the landlord and/or the tenant it is in effect toothless when it comes to effectively getting a decision and outcome. Yes, it is another cost for the landlord and the onus is on the landlord to ensures he pays the PRTB fees annually.

In case people do not realise, people who have property to rent in Dublin (either with or without rent allowance) have faced inordinate bureaucracy and often have had no recourse while tenants accepted rent supplement from Community Welfare and other sources and failed to pass it on. When the tenant leaves and you discover this, you will find that nobody is interested in errors made by the system so most likely your former tenant moves on to a new landlord and more of the same happens. This is all about bureaucratic welfare waste.

Rents have been reduced. A 3 bed semi detached house in Castleknock in the good years would earn approx. 1200 euros a month; now if you look around and negotiate you may get the same property for about 950 euros. This works well for the housing associations now who can negotiate on behalf of social housing tenants.

If the State spent 500 m. on behalf social housing tenants last year, the first question I would Government to assertain would be: Find out the waste factor at the local authority end; establish proper links between housing associations and landlords taking account of rental income v. the expenses incurred to maintain the house to a proper standard. Also we need to take account of the landlords loans re. the tax break benefits and given that bond rates are now over 8.5%, interest rates for the Irish property market will be creeping upwards. The PRTB needs teeth and needs to be efficient and effective and lets stop penalising people who are landlords and who have assumed the State’s capacity to provide social housing. This country administratively is driven to core by ‘pass the buck’ elsewhere. To introduce another law to penalise the landlord re. deposits or to hold these in escrow is about more administration surely.

The last budget yielded yet another tax and who knows what is up and coming next month. If there is a glut of rental property on the market, in spite of the facts that rents have lowered then this means it is the landlord who has to fund periods of vacancy and pay the overheads including bin rates etc.

‘It should be remembered that the foundation of the social contract is property; and its first condition; that everyone should be maintained in peaceful possession of what belongs to him’
Rousseau, A discourse on Political Economy

No. 8
6th December, 2010
Published Infowars Ireland



The graphic depicts an Asylum. Thanks Mr. Gormley for this mockery of our political system.

I will start by saying can somebody out there with a global political mind explain to me how John Gormley and his Green Cohorts can last week tell  Brian Cowen – we have no confidence in you, we want an election as early in January as possible. This means now that the Irish people have morally no legal Government. Maybe I am wrong but Gormley and the cohorts are out but yet they choose to vote this budget in (but where is the mandate of the people of Ireland)? Also these usurpers of a democratic process welcomed the IMF and the Eurogroup to our shores, the first time sadly in the history of the State.

Again could somebody explain to me how the Greens can be in and out in the one page. The Greens gave Cowen, I believe a 30 minute period of notice before they were going to hold a press conference and did in the company of motor mouth Paul Gogarty and the creche toddlers he portrayed that day. This is the biggest and most tragic joke you could put on any people because this ‘absolved’ yet involved a crowd of chancers along with the bankers and developers have given the people of Ireland a bill of approximately 200 billion euros.

Tuesday 6th December 2010. Budget day looms as Govt. and the mandarins of the civil service and no doubt the myriad of quangos conspire to produce a Budget that will be acceptable to our new Overlords, the IMF, the Eurogroup, Britain, Sweden and Denmark. We failed dismally from those heady days of Mr. Bertie Ahern’s leadership to this sunken alcatras of pay-back time. What is important is a successful outcome and IMF have a history of putting countries ahead of programme back on the right track…so therein let us find some hope to compensate for the economic loss of sovereignty.

Fintan O’Toole and those who marched last week aptly selected the GPO to reinforce to the Irish people their history – their fight for freedom. 2016 approaches and we have the opportunity to stand down the corruption, cronyism, the corporate criminality, the poor decision making that has led Ireland to be placed under the auspices of the IMF-Eurogroup for a defined period. The Proclamation may have been forgotten for a while when hedonism took over but now the challenge rests with the people of Ireland to look to those men and women of 1916, to those who with honesty, ability and discretion contributed to this Island of Ireland to move it forward. These people gave their lives’ for our sovereignty and nothing other than pure chancers forfeited this sovereignty for mere narcissistic effect and ego.

African dilemma
‘The biggest obstacle is that those who are in power are like one riding on the back of a tiger. And they really want a water-tight assurance before they get off because they feel if they get off the tiger’s back, it will eat them’.
Julius Nyerere (1922-1999) President of Tanzania on the Rwanda/Burundi borders.

Well, in Ireland’s case, the IMF Eurogroup British Swedish and Danish have provided the assurance but we know not if it is water-tight or the eventual cost of the bail-out. The hope is that we will not be eaten up.


No. 9

19th October, 2010

What an interesting article! The economy is in economic and social crisis and yet we have catchphrases that are prompts to say we are a ‘Smart’ economy, we are a ‘knowledge economy’, we are 12.5% corporation tax economy and we have been a success story in Europe in attracting Foreign Direct Investment but the big question for us today and when we read the article from the Belfast Telegraph (Island of Ireland coverage) who in Communications has been sitting on their laurel?. We all know about the importance of the internet.Did you know that 70% of the UK adult population are now online…the internet is part of everyday life for people, it also plays a key role as a tool to improve the lives of people and communities.

An interesting point is that 9 million people in the UK are not online but most alarming is that 4 million of these are some of the country’s most socially excluded and the barriers are both social and economic. Do we know the figures in Ireland? We ought to. Ireland is that small open economy that needs to be online with the most competitive coverage and broadband speeds.  “Digital Divide” will be of great significance going forward.

We talk about unemployment rising rapidly yet if you live in the supposedly hub areas of the city of Dublin what is distinctly obvious is that places like the FAS headoffice in Baggot Street show no signs of initiative, creativity, ambition to earmark unemployed people to a premises that quite evidently has plenty of space and start training programmes for internet usage….I note the job-centre in Adelaide Road, at least is attempting to do something along these lines as is St. Anne’s Church in Dawson Street. They say Justice needs to be seen to be done…well let us add to this that semi-states who claim to provide jobs for people are now called upon to be SEEN promoting people to gain skills (young to old, young perhaps teaching old or old mentoring young people) from what is supposed to be a hub.

The title of the Belfast Telegraph article ‘Finding a common language in the internet world’… well when better, when are economy is faltering to focus on upskilling our people and broadening the work specification range to create hope for the future.

We need a fully networked nation. We have the scenery, the people, the weather, we have potential for media production and films, for history expression, and a genealogy that his accessible for the 40 m Irish diaspora to explore if they choose to visit our country. However, we must have the internet and the broadband coverage.

We need an online week in the South of Ireland also to match the North. The blame game needs to be put to bed and we need to give people in our semi-states a second opportunity (possibly third) to leave their havens, come up with ideas and give us space in their locations to access new skills. It often fascinates me why Baggot Street FAS office is so under utilised – in the days when the Europeans came to Ireland they used the FAS offices but we don’t seem to….Why?

FAS to put it mildly as we all know in recent times has not lived up to its expectations and before the departure of the infamous Roddy Molloy FAS had a taxpayers check of 1 billion euros with no questions asked. Thanks to people like Shane Ross and others they have exposed the vast waste, the corruption, the multi-thousands spent on offshore holidays and dinners around the Dublin 4 area – menu being Thai, and now the taxpayer asking Why? Now FAS luckily for all of us is under, we are led to believe, the watchful eye of no less than 4 different ministers and yet there is still scams being exposed in courses e.g. the authenticity of certificates. FAS being led by people with transparency could have a great potential in using internet and web facilities e.g. evening classes in liaison with the VEC and our nationa libraries – o yes, the potential is there but I wonder and ask is the Motivation the problem.

I also want to highlight one section of the Telegraph that is a problem: It is our retired citizens who did not grow up with the internet e.g. retired doctors, dentists, the old establishment now in their mid to late 70’s and beyond. These people sadly have a deep fear of what they don’t know and I believe our young people FAS other govt. agencies and even their grand-children have a role to play in overcoming that fear. The internet is a channel to reach out to a bigger picture and we all have that potential and age should never be a barrier.

Michelle Clarke

‘The salary of the Chief Executive of the large corporations is not a market reward for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by an individual to himself….’ JK Galbraith (1878-1937) US Humourist and Jounalist

No. 10
4th November 2010

No Responses to: “Garda Commissioner expects decision on Anglo probe by year end”

  1. Michelle Clarke on Your comment is awaiting moderation. November 4th, 2010 11:37 AM

    ‘Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said the investigation was progressing “without any distraction”. He said the garda job was to ensure a file went to the DPP as soon as possible. “I would expect a decision by the end of the year,” he said.

    Yet, tonight, quite unexpected, we hear Garda Comissioner Fachtna Murphy is to retire this year. Is this opportune or does it matter? Is the file in fact complete and now ready to go to the DPP “without any distraction”?

    To concerned people about the socio-economic future … where do we now stand in relation to Organisational Ethics? Media tells us that we are rife with and near destroyed by greed, fraud and corruption so the challenge is there to grasp the nettle, prosecute the figure heads and the passive facilitators and move on. To those interested in a democratic society, I would suggest embracing ‘knowledge’ based on the copious amount of facts that are presented in the media and to engage with the Power of the Book, the Bookshops, the Libraries.

    Hodges and Figgis and Waterstones have a haven of books recently published by Irish writers honed in on the blame of those responsible for this catastropic economic disaster with a gradual introduction of those who promote Hope. If you want to browse in Hodges and Figgis – look to the prominent position of collection of books titled ‘Obsession Recession’ or Vice Versa. You will notice books by Dearbhail McDonald, legal Editor, Independent – core legal incisiveness, Fintan O’Toole, David McWilliams, Michael Soden (interesting alternative view ex. Banker of the era concerned).

    I would ask the question if the media reports are accurate and Fachtna Murphy is to stand down as Commissioner in December, one would have to think there is a bigger picture here or let us put another way, something doesn’t level in the general consensus. What I mean is – the Fraud Squad are dealing with the Nation’s Biggest deception in its Sovereign history and I don’t think that they have the motivation, the political will behind them, but last but not least, they don’t have the expertise to deal with the vast complexities of a multi-billion euro fraud, brought about by bankers, developers, accountants, and friends of the FF mafia and the PD’s and now the Greens, the Frogs since 2007. Why is Murphy leaving now? Has the amount of fraud challenged his expertise in such matters – I again ask the question?

    Fintan O’Toole is giving a speech and others tonight at 7.30 at Liberty Hall. The topic is ‘A Way forward for a new Republic’….maybe we can say this is a dream but sometimes all we need to motivate and challenge us is a Dream.

    I will close by saying…. our future on this Island yesterday i.e. our students, our youth, were chased by bullies with weapons and on horseback – they were baton charged and sadly some young people received some bloody noses and were hit on the head. The era of Robo Cop is not gone yet sadly and I again question who gives the Orders for thugs in uniform to assault our young people and democratic protesters.

    Quotation to consider:
    Measured advice

    Kabir 1440-1518
    ‘Speech is priceless
    if you speak with knowledge
    Weigh it in the scales of the heart
    before it comes from the mouth’


The above are a selection of articles written by me during the year 2010 and published mainly on a citizen journalism site and Infowars Ireland.

2017 BreastCheck located breast cancer so I decided to write a book.  Fortune Favours the Brave is the title by Michelle Marcella Clarke.


About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
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