Citizen Journalism Ireland: Published articles on different topics 2011 year. Revised 2020. 10 headings 6,725 words Tranche (B)

No. 1

6th February 2011

Corporate Crime:  3 year jail term for banker in the UK.  The Crime:  Insider Dealing.  Another person is extradited having been sentenced 2 years and an order Stg£640,000 in confiscation
Fair dues to Enda Kenny when he recently took a question from the floor about Cloud Computing. Basically, data management has moved beyond thepiece of hardware in situ i.e. the lap-top – mobile, at home, on holiday, in the office.  Drumm, former CEO Anglo Irish Bank, is in the US seeking to be declared bankrupt; his manipulation of position and choice, while we in Ireland are left on the outside track re. access to information that we are entitled to and yet deprived of. (the Purcell Report).


Nikhil Kumar, wrote an interesting article in the Independent (UK) paper during the week – ‘banker gets record three-year jail term for insider dealing’.  In the past, we in Ireland have had problems with Insider Trading breaches,  but the fact is the Irish Stock Exchange is really only a sub-station to the UK FTSE and preparing the case is more difficult for us to establish and prove.  However, the law in the UK is carving a path for us in Ireland and hopefully the likes of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide personnel will be ‘burnt’ for their  breaches of the law i.e. once our Regulators, Fraud Squad, CAB and DPP can put together sufficient evidence.

Reported 3rd February 2011: ‘A former City banker, his wife and a friend have been sentenced in a £2.15 m insider trading scheme uncovered by the FSA’. Now here is a scenario that hopefully will prepare the way to seek out the pathways of money patterns through the global financial system. This is one of a number of successes by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. Similarities exist, I would suggest, to some cases pending or even with the DPP and other regulatory forces in Ireland presently.

The three people, in the case cited, pleaded guilty to 8 counts of insider trading in a number of listed shares between the years 2000-2008. Interestingly, the ‘insider dealing’ only came to the fore after Mr. Sa’aid made suspicious share purchases in advance of the Highway Insurance takeover in 2008.  Investigation yielded details of his trading records and the FSA noticed other suspicious trades connected to as many as 21 deal announcements. In fact, the FSA trawled through large amounts of data, including a floppy disk found in Mr. Littlewood’s garden shed which showed how the profits of the deal were divided…

Coincidence or whatever, investigators spotted that Mr. Littlewood, a Shore Capital banker on the Highway deal, used to work at the German firm. The inquiry progressed: ‘The FSA took a closer look at movements of money between Mr. Sa’aid and an individual names Siew Yoon Lew (Mrs Littlewood). This link proved crucial and yielded to the unravelling of patterns that established insider trading.

We need to take heart that ultimately corporate crime by bankers and others, maybe even Auditors, will appear before the courts and some redress and compensation will be granted. What is interesting about this case viz a viz Mr. Drumm is that Mr. Sa’aid was extradited from the Comoros Islands in March 2010, he pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to two years in prison AND ORDERED TO PAY £640,000 IN CONFISCATION. Do we in Ireland have in place this legislation?

‘Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order!
Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control’
Denis Diderot (1713-84) French Philosopher.


No. 2

14th February 2011


‘Delay NEGOTIATE, Default’ route surely

A thought perhaps and then maybe some questions.Yesterday, the Sunday Times has a brief article about the ‘Hunt’ for Mubarak’s millions.  I thought this is quick, he is just deposed or so we are led to believe.  But money markets act fast and in the UK the Senior Fraud Squad (yes the same SFO that operated in the North of Ireland) and which is similar in operation to our Criminal Assets Bureau, have acted.

The SFO or so the report goes has launched its hunt for millions of pounds of cash and assets ‘believed to have been secretly stashed in Britain by Hosni-Mubarak, the deposed Egyptian president, and his family.’  Meantime, last Friday, Switzerland became the first country to freeze assets ….. those that they believe belong to Mubarak and his regime.  Sovereignty no longer applies to this dictator and his assets are up for grab…and hopefully return in some format to the people of Egypt.

The next surprise is the amount of his family fortune is estimated at £1.5 billion or 1.8 billion euros.  It is held to be in British and Swiss Bank accounts and tied up in property in Britain, New York and Los Angeles.

Where are the CAB in Ireland re. solicitors like Lynn, bankers like Drumm, and developers, and also negligent politicians?  Yes  too many to name and their tracking network so difficult to find as to where the money actually is invested?  How is it that a country like Egypt has a leader for 30 years and his ‘takings’ are only 1.8 billion euros when Ireland appears to be in debt for over 100 billion euros.  The accounting is proving bizarre to say the least.  It makes one think of pawn brokers, ‘Jewish debt collectors’ in the hard times of the early State and the penal rates of interests that applied to people who were so impoverished that they were forced to pay the money lender huge interest on money lent.

Yes:  Enda Kenny.  Well done for not side stepping any more than necessary and meeting Angela Merkel.  We need more transparency.  Noughts are appearing without justification.  It is similar to taking out a car loan in the 1980’s for say three years at a fixed interest rate.  Then you get a job promotion and you have a bonus and you go to pay off for your car.  You go to the bank and you are told no….you are signed in and you pay right up to the last payment….no negotiation allowed.  This can be changed by people power.

The Sunday Times again:  another consideration worth thinking about.

‘Anglo is on brink of the Quinn deal’.  The question is that investment bankers are in the business of creating opportunities for investors willing to take risks and invest funds and particularly insurance companies.

It announces a joint venture between Anglo Irish Bank and Liberty Mutual (the large American insurer)….This is a significant move and surely a positive one for both Quinn and Anglo and by consequences re. values its debt downwards?

Margaret Mead (1901-1978) US antropologist,
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has’



No. 3

17th February, 2011


Pessimism will not persude the IMF-EU:  Ireland and Tourism motivation is key


Back to regeneration and vision.

Yesterday Tourism Ireland launched their plans for St. Patrick’s Day. The targets are the UK, Europe and USA. What about China and Japan? The Japanese have lost out to the Chinese as world leaders in productivity, financial and economic success. The Japanese faltered in a place that we the Irish could do likewise. The people were frightened by the 1980’s recession and they stopped spending i.e. the people who lived and worked in the economy and (no doubt relating to the fears compounded by the World Wars) started to save money. The outcome now in Japan is that people save and there is so much money invested in accounts that yield no interest return or loans for new business ventures or homes, holidays etc. OK this sounds simplistic but it a fabric to work on.

We in Ireland need to ask where did the 111 BILLION euros that was in Anglo Irish Bank and similar amounts in other financial institutions in 2008 go to. We know some people were very quick to get their money out of Ireland but other people moved more slowly and some remain. Before the bank is no more…let us tap into where the money went and re-direct it out into the community and small businesses. There has to be a way. There is a law in the UK of confiscation so why cannot it not apply here? Politicians stop the squabbling and start focusing on what really happened in banks like Anglo Irish yes insider trading and look to similar outcomes in court cases in the UK, US and France and learn.

Meantime re. Tourism. Yes….we need the brand (I stand corrected as the concept is already in motion) but we also need to start kicking into play with the right hemisphere of our brain and becoming creative and lateral thought functioning. We need to make sure that when tourists arrive in Ireland that it is not the stale Celtic Tiger culture we are promoting and that we have tapped into something new and enlightening. Vision is required amidst this time of political assassination of characters who deserve nothing other than conclusion of the Mahon Tribunal and whatever outcome it produces.

Baggot Street Village Upper. Let us form a virtual community that can be replicated. Look to what you can see before you and start applying the power of one and the impact of any one person to contribute to forming a community. Let us ask the Irish Architectural Foundation to contribute their ideas. There is a rather unique and splendid architecture in the area.

News on the street is about rents. Businesses are suffering under the pressure of excessive rents and Landlords who are just too greedy to reduce the rents. It is not fair. It impacts on the community. Coffee shops, print shops, hairdressers are all vital contributors yet if they are put out of business all we will have is hideous vacant premises and an emptiness that does the opposite of promoting our country.

Grafton Street: Let us take heed and follow the example promptly. Two retailers have succeeded in getting a 53% reduction THROUGH THE COURTS (and we know how expensive this is). However they were not bound by leases that apply upward only rent reviews. Dublin City traders are starting to take things into their own hands and rightly so. Places should consolidate into groupings e.g. Baggot Street Upper Village and discussion should lead to similar impact via a court settlement and drive rents substantially down to promote business.

Rents and their reduction is vital. It has happened in relation to housing/apartments and rents that were circa 1,000 per month are now about 800 euros. The outcome of this is that the State could reduce the rent allowance. This puts in play the power of negotiation.

Businesses need to heed who their landlords are: If it is a case that a property, as many are, has been in the hands of a family for say several generations then it is only equitable for such landlords to reduce the rents with a clause of reversion when markets change.

Albert Camus (1930-1960) French Writer
‘The only conception of freedom I can have is that of the prisoner or the individual in the midst of the State.  The only thing I know is freedom of thought and action’



No. 4

16th February, 2011

Yes. Cities are so very important. Georgian Dublin is being foresaken and we need to revitalise it urgently. The politicians are canvassing, the time is now to petition them. They talk about retro-fitting but what about re-generating inner city lifestyles. As regards the ghost estates in far away places… demolition is possibly the best route and provide alternative accommodation for those who have been caught in ‘negative equity’…

The article (Citizen journalism site) below adds another dimension:

Nation Branding and Tourism
Motivation about Income Sources for the Island of Ireland 

You may be skeptical about nation branding in the context of branding 
and globalisation but at least the Germans appear to be focused on the 
importance of Tourism which sadly we appear to have lost sight of in 

Okay the terminology nation branding is cold but the idea of structuring 
an identity as a people, a nation, a country is surely sensible at this 
point in time when we are now labelled a 'bankrupt state' and what this 
conjures up is the picture of nothing other than a despotic nation and a 
pretty useless people.

Thankfully we are not yet so and there are jewels in our crown which if 
people focus on, identify them, value them, endorse them - there is hope 
for the Irish nation to buy themselves out of this hideous economic and 
financial crisis that reckless banks and certain personnel have caused.

Already in the UK there are signs of improvement. The Bankers are 
seeking and receiving their bonuses again which means they must be 
identifying markets that will yield profits and in turn dividends. We 
must realise that we are linked to the hip of capitalism and our banking 
is part of the globalised conundrum.

Back to our balance sheet: What can we do? Well, let us leave aside 
branding the term Tourism or relying on the word 'culture'. What about 
re-inventing the concept of communities and in our cities re-creating 
communities and working on more interconnectedness using the computer as 
a tool that helps us partially communicate with people, but importantly 
that it does not replace people power and communication.

An idea: Take areas like Rathmines, Ranelagh, Baggot Street. A Local 
freebie paper refer to Ranelagh Village and this has the feeling of 
same. Rathmines which once was known as a village is now just open ended 
without any sense of history. Then you have Baggot Street, it too has 
lost its sense of identity. To create a community we ought to focus on 
an area as an experiement and see how we can create a new community 
using all the potential therein:

We now approach 2016 and let us not forget that much of Irish history 
started over the centuries in Dublin 4. The time has come to exploit 
this while people still live in the area and have first hand 
experience....we need to tap this before it is confined to boxes in 
archives. Genealogy and tourism has great potential. The Americans, the 
English, the Scottish, many people have connections and so much is 
possible now to revive, review and maybe even learn

I would suggest Baggot Street as a model. I would start by referring to 
it as Baggot Street Upper Village and would then add in all the strands 
that relate to it from the canal via Mespil Road, to the hospital that 
once was a place of renown to the Irish Architectural Foundation and 
what it wants to do to revive Georgian Dublin.

No. 5
23rd February 2011

Reply to Opus D:  Ireland Inc – what assets have we to work with going forward?

Community reactivation locally and countrywide on the Island of Ireland

Enjoyed your cynical but realistic view. To the contrary we need a fragment or fragments of the “Pollyanna” optimism to make us opportunistic enough to regain some growth in our economy from the factors that add to economic growth and ultimately to a distribution of resources to ensure a fairer society. The economic hiccup, the depression, the default, the scorching of the bondholders, the election ahead of time – all these comprise the boulders that could sink this Island of Ireland.I hear what you are saying … your comments about our wrecked system of hospitality tourism that is both industrialised and commodified which has lost its sense of direction. This in itself creates one advantage at election time for the like of you and me who enjoy narrative and writing…yes, we can inject motivation into others who can in turn challenge the politicians to make changes in line with those written about in books like ‘The Spirit Level’. Now more than ever, after such economic, social and political flux – not alone on the Island of Ireland but overseas, we can look to the balance sheet of FF reign and state the assets versus the liabilities and make an assessment. We then must seek a ‘truth’ as you referred to and apply the lens and become the iniatiators of a fairer and more equal society.

You speak of industrialised hospitality. What does this exactly mean? The cut to the minimum wage is unacceptable but then we must realise that this is an outcome of being on the verge of bankruptcy and being forced to make a deal to get funds to keep Ireland Inc. literally FLOATING. Services are vital but as history tells us those who provide same always put in excessive hours, doing menial work for exceptionally low wages. Europe driven by France and Germany in particular want services to remain low wage sectors and Ireland is out of synch with their goals. People in Ireland need to express that they place a higher value on services than their European counterparts mainly for one good reason… we were Colonial servants for 800 years.

Industrialisation – maybe you are referring to Ireland and Tourism being discussed as a Brand of Tourism. Well up and coming shortly is the recognition of Dublin as the City of Literature (Unesco nomination) or take this week – passing by the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare Street there is a banner ‘National Employment Week’. Further revelations reveal that a conference was scheduled for the Monday with a conference given by Careers and Trinity College. Yes, you may be right because the strange thing about this is that there is no mention in the newspaper about same, nor more interestingly at the FAS office in Baggot Street Upper Village (as I like to call it) or anywhere of signficance for that matter. Yet, people must be attending and people from abroad also. What linkage is this information on?  In a way it is about tourism – that of the ‘intellectual kind’ perhaps.

Ireland has become two tier. Leo Varadkar recently spoke about ill-health and poverty…my grasp is that if you suffer from ill-health on a long-term basis you can nearly be assured that ultimately (without winning the lotto) you have drawn the short straw and you will be far removed from wealth…in fact you will be relying on wealth to be benevolent to give to charities for the causes that apply to you to give you a basic life. We need to address this and in order to do this we need to examine the pros and the cons of the outgoing FF government and take what is good and add to this initiative, education, equality of opportunity, consensus, we need to look to what will make a better society in this Island of Ireland and it is only we the people who can effect change with the assistance and diligence of our Politicians.

My last point is that the time has come to demand the outcome of the Mahon Tribunals and seek the closure of all with reports. We need to know that those who breached the law are dealt with efficiently and effectively. This has happened in countries like Iceland, Britain, France, Germany, America. This is important from the point of you of re-branding the Ireland now referred to as a corrupt state in favour of an Ireland that can lead the way in the Eurozone because it is capable of Reform and Rehabilitation. Again it is quite incredible to realise that Mubarrat from Egypt only a few weeks ago, is deposed and already the Senior Fraud Office in the UK are seeking out his assets in England while in Switzerland his accounts are frozen. Surely, we must be able to ring fence those who played such a significant role in the banking crisis causing banking debt that now has become known as our sovereign debt….

Michelle Clarke

June 2020:  Twitter John Finucane MP recommended Chris Hedges.  I often listen to him;  you may be interested in this recent link


No. 6

28th February, 2011

‘Stretching to new limits ‘One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions’ Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) US writer. We need dimensions……

Rent Allowance – Keep Town’s Tidy works


There the idea of reviving a village culture in Dublin city particular is a strong contender.

Living near the canal – what could be better than reviving the Baggot Street Village Upper mode of thought to action. Ruairi Quinn, Oisin and other family members may be able to put us back on the map again. A sense of community is vital and match this to the history of the area and there is real potential.

For the young population who are doing their Leaving Certificate this year, let there be some lateral thought and rather than rote learn the poetry of say Patrick Kavanagh, or William Butler Yeats, hire out a bicycle and geographically pace their movements in areas around Raglan Road, Elgin Road, Waterloo Road, Clyde Road, Baggot Street Upper Village (the pubs they frequented), Fitzwillam Square, Merrion Square. Try creating a geographic map (similar to the creative thinking methods of Tony Buzan). Parsons used to be the hang-out in Baggot Street for writers, politicians, artists, historians in the decades gone by. The big market type book shops are being phased out by market forces and there is a revival now in the small, people centred book shop again i.e. in England and the US so ultimately the same applies in Ireland. People say that the new machines will take the place of books but not necessarily…access to books may differ but the costs are less buying books in print and then there is the power of the second hand book.

2016 is the centenary of the 1916 Rising and back in power is either FG solo (!) or Fine-Gael/Labour or Fine Gael/United Left/ or what about Sinn Fein?  We will know in a few days and then the race to the commemoration is in place. Ironically, it is Sinn Fein who must seal its identity and strategically Adams made his most embracing chess move…now it is for the people of Ireland to create the history of a Centenary by determining what the Island of Ireland represents in terms of republicanism and democracy and how it works? Thankfully the Good Friday Agreement is a chess move made so now we need to capitalise on this significant achievement in favour of Peace on the Island of Ireland.

Rent Allowance is the topic. This may have side tracked the topic but the idea is to go back to our cities and re-create the environment that produces opportunities for growth, interaction, re-generation. This is not about de-mobbing our suburbs but it is putting forward the serious challenge to put in place the concept of market factors and the supply demand theory. Some hard decisions are required now. The developers houses that are but half built mansions with no real opportunity of being sold should be ‘knocked to the ground’. It happened after 1916 and again in the 1950’s, it can happen now. The ‘ghost estates’ ought to have a demolition outcome where those that have no hope of being sold and are nothing other than hazardous to the residents living there. Also housing estates like Moyross where dereliction is embedded in terraces must stop. The psychological impact on the community is immense with boarded up houses and graffito can only weaken morale. This need not happen if there is proper oversight and enforcement.

Mean time…..we must note that Green representation has been wiped out…but let us not wipe out the whole value of what ‘Green’ is meant to be. It has been suggested to review the Irish Architectural Foundation site about the Georgian Squares and houses of our inner city. We are looking now to preserve this history. Previously we sold many postcards and photos of the famous Georgian doorways. IAF informs us that Unesco are looking promotion our Georgian architecture. The Green’s spoke readily of retro-fit and tax incentives. However, they never seem to have mentioned about our inner city Georgian houses. Why? These are marketable for a diverse number of reasons including major infra-structure advantages. The idea is good surely. We do not want these houses to become the slums of our city as has happened in other capitals like London, Paris…the time is now to stop this and revitalise our cities with people, people who own houses, people who rent houses, people who rent out houses (given FF govt. policy to get people rather than Dublin Corporation, co. councils to be responsible for social housing). Let the suburbanites review their life culture.

There is a house (4,500 sq ft) for sale in Ely place (Irish Independent). Basement is a business rental so therefore a serious rent potential. It is valued a approx. 2 million euros but given the market will sell for considerably less and taking account that at the peak of the market, the value would have been about 5 million euros, this could introduce a new dimension approach to family living.  The 4,000 sq. house with some clever retro-fitting (given as a tax break, with solar panels on the roof for heating and water), could promote a business in the basement, a ground floor apartment at ground level going upwards. Just imagine if those parents who complain of their children not leaving the family home were lateral enough to think ahead…considered a proposition of reducing their living space and providing apartments for say dependent older children under the one roof but with independence. This is all about ‘Diversity in Unity’ John Hume)…this would impact on banks and mortgages in a practical sort of way.

Richard Bruton said that means testing involved as many as 1500 offices in Ireland. There is no need for this. Reform is on the way so let it be efficient and effective. Social housing is a must in society but too often people and their needs fall between stools and degradation is the outcome. If the landlord is to be the State or an individual who gains a tax incentive to encourage him/her to spend their capital providing a house for rent, let there be proper controls in place to ensure a proper standard of housing for whoever is the tenant…we want equitable distribution of assets. Transparency, Ethics, Accountability are the buzz words of this new adventure for a country that is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Michelle Clarke


No. 7

2nd March, 2011



Reply to Opus D.  We all have a vested interest in finding a source of income for Ireland Inc

No. I have not got a vested interest. I am just a right brainer hoping against a stark reality that we don’t have to experience a depression that makes our small country the servant yet again. We have only just removed ourselves from the shackles of serfdom and are once again on the brink of savage IMF-EU group corrective pratices.

The Guardian today talks about the Police in the UK and cuts to pay…this is what lies ahead for us in the Republic but not at our own dictat but that of the IMF-EU team and we are the one’s who will be the example of how to achieve fiscal rectitude for the remainder of the PIGS (Portugal Italy Greece Spain) in Europe. If this is to be the case, let the people understand what the debt really entails and at least take the lead as to how we agree to tackle the debt and how we repay it? Then and then alone if there is to be a default … our politicians, consultants and ultimately the people of Ireland who voted in so many independents this time around, have some level of input and most importantly comprehension.

We approach 2016 and our forefathers of mythology to revolution and the Proclamation await our Contribution. We can sit on the fence and blame but this only reflects our own dependency culture … a culture based on self pity, blame and negativity. We are now part of Europe and we need to be aware of the mindset of our new masters…Yes Opus I think I get your point about the diaspora but let us extend the meaning a little further. We the Irish benefitted significantly always from the diaspora… you see at the time of the Famine and thereafter these people who survived an arduous ship journey to America or the UK, sent money home; in the 1950’s again they sent money home and again in the 1980’s they brought tourists home as they were able to travel home more frequently with Ryanair competitive pricing flights.

What are we going to do now. We need to start thinking, acting and taking on a new mindset related to creativity?

Olli rehn visited this country … a dour man from Finland. Yet Finland has been where we are …. it has turned the corner as it appears so as Iceland (only considering whether or not it will join the EU). The Irish Times had a neat little piece about how the Finnish have focused on education since the 1980’s. Unlike Ireland they have moved up the league while we have moved significantly down. Like Tourism an educated people is part of the portfolio we need to be marketing and why not start with the plain people of Ireland at grassroots level and calling on our diaspora to visit and connect. Did you see the programme about the history of Ireland and the very special perspective of Fergal Keane recently. This is a source of great inspiration I would suggest both on the grounds of education and the potential for Tourism.

Opus: You are right talking about blame sounds like the war cry of management but that does not mean we cannot oust said management mentalities in favour of a more equitable and motivated type of people. Again the Spirit Level books argues a good point that the more equal the society the better.

The sun shines today…and we are not Tripoli….Annie Basset is trying to be a diamond in those dark mines in Africa…those mines that exploit people. We in Ireland have the power to make a change and move forward from the position we have been dumped in by the Banks and their reckless approach to making more money for themselves….and their cohorts.

Patrick Honohan, Central Bank – last night: One point…things are very bad but we can contribute to the EU-IMF conundrum. We have something we can sell, it is argument, assets i.e. our territorial waters which are under utilised and explored, and ability to rise up and be counted – we afterall have negotiated the Peace Process.

Michelle Clarke


No. 8

March 22nd, 2011

The Moriarty Report is published; one report in excess of 1900 pages


From 1997 to 2011, March 23rd and finally the cupboard of corruption is laid bare and like rats off the sinking shiap, too many are now running for cover.

The names have been reported and are now documented with the Judge Moriarty’s (Moriarty Tribunal) findings. What happens next? Are there grounds for the Criminal Assets Bureau to proffer charges to the DPP and seek redress and if so can there be a confiscation of monies gained by illegal methods?

This is the new area of crime called “Corporate Crime” and what we need now is an approach similar to that in the US where people who engage in such deception, breach of trust, and corruption (e.g. Madoff, executives from Enron, the US) being brought before the criminal courts in Ireland and let there be some plea bargaining to facilitate confiscation of funds gained from illegal transactions to help alleviate our Bail Out status which if the Moriarty report is comprehensive enough will indicate that there are inroads to that theory of ‘follow the money’. We need to get serious about finding out where investments in deposit accounts have flown to.

Now it is time for the people to follow the money. There is a distinct loss in confidence by the ordinary decent person (as distinct from the ODC – ordinary decent criminal) who has funds about investing in our banks. Today, the Bank of Ireland is again losing ground because of lack of confidence. The time has come to draw a line and place a stake in the heart of corruption and that time is now. We need to ask how we can restore the confidence in our banking system and get money again from the more secure foreign banks who pay higher interest and give greater security.

Now all we need is the outcome of the Mahon Tribunal. Then the approach to serious government can begin with a new balance sheet albeit it will contain a mighty high value of debt for the diminished Celtic Tiger contingent of gangsters.

To those exiles who form part of a group who call themselves a platform for reform – amazing that you waited until after the election to put out your stall. I hope you have a clean bill of conscience now.

Urgently we need funds in our banks on the Island of Ireland. We need economic growth. We need to support Google Ideas and other start up initiatives. Now is the time to get focused.


Michelle Clarke
No. 9
23rd March, 2011
Grassroots media and comments on Tourism
Berlin conference link worth a view
Reply to Opus.

Opus – you sure are not in marketing? Sad really as there is potential and hard experience in the content of your responses.

We are not Japan? We are not Tripoli? We are about to be host country to three Very Important People on the global scale of events: The Queen, the President of the US and most likely the Pope. Does this bode well or we relying too much on Celebrity? Now here is something to consider and the impact of same to the Island of the Ireland.

Did you access the Berlin Conference site outlining its global context on tourism. Note all the influential names yet we don’t seem to be making a serious contribution. Could it be that we are too negative in Ireland? The ambassador Mr. Mulhall is our representation at the event but who does he report to and how inspirational is the content and promise?

People who study the markets and investments report that in the initial days after a tragedy has happened as in Japan, the world markets take the hit, but then after 100 days a kind of empathy forms in the mindsets of people and markets and people begin to look towards investments. Now this is a pendulum effect for you and those of you with your views on tourism to seriously engage with.

Another important point to consider is that ‘markets do not have memories’. If this is so and I suspect it is so then the blame culture that has consumed our state funded media is just about pure futility and stifling potential and the growth of talent at every level.

The Mastiff for 150 million euros is worth noting (i.e. China). The Labradoodle because that is the dog President Obama family have chosen for their term in the White House.  We have our new Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny with his photo front page of the Phoenix magazine with an assistance dog – both in absolute awe of each other These photo opportunities with dogs connotes a feeling of empathy and empathy is just what is needed in these harsh times with too many people losing their jobs. The Queen well we all know her choice of dogs – the corgis and many of them.

Why the dogs? well tourism is about welcoming people to our shores and from other parts of the Island. We are not animal friendly. We hide behind petty legislation yet animals don’t face these barriers in the US, Europe or UK. It is such a joy to see George the Beagle sitting patiently in the local Hairdressing salon with his toys, and the attention and of course creating local employment.

Michelle Clarke



Not in the trade at all…just looking for some initiative

author by Afghan Alley – Tourismpublication dateTue Mar 22, 2011 16:55Report this post to the                   editors

We need to rake in some serious funds. Ireland Inc is in receivership pending bankruptcy charges at the hands of the IMF-EU group. We can sit and bleet and moan and say we have ‘been dare’ but what can we do to rebuild our battered Nation State and restore it to a credible identity.

pay attention back there, AA by opus diablos – the regressive hypocrite partyWed Mar 23, 2011 16:44Report this post to                     the editors

We just spent twenty years raking in some serious funds. They all got raked out again by the same usurers as lent us the easy credit, and are now stashed offshore along with the brown envelopes of those who sold us this program first time round.

Its a long-running, wide-ranging scam on such a mega-scale most people are unwilling to believe its anything other than paranoid conspiracy. But a little research will show its been played from Chile to Indonesia, repeatedly. The program needs changing, read your Larkin again. He was not a tourist product, he was a shrewd observer from ground level. But then, you probably think we should exhibit Connolly’s bandages and set up a coin-op turnstile.


No. 10

29th March, 2011

Private landlords nominated as social housing suppliers


Let’s get honest, if at all possible.

The tax breaks i.e. section 23 etc. were not purely for the advantage of speculators. FF had motivation. They wanted to divest the public housing stock to general public ownerships saving money on government side and placing the onus on the private landlord.

All have been burnt with the 2008 recession.

We have been hit at the level by lack of supply and downward valuation/negative equity so all we have show for market economics is a supply demand pendulum effect and a sad outcome of people without housing supply who are in need of it. Then you need to add to this those who are in negative equity and the banks who have them in the courts facing eviction charges.

We need some serious cost benefit analysis in social housing.There is a severe shortage of accommodation for people on the housing list.  We need to make provision via the housing associations for our vulnerable people including people released from mental hospitals into the community.

Liveline – Joe duffy (now) today is talking about rent allowances. The Department of Social Welfare and Protection may at last wake up to the amount of scamming that has gone on regarding rent allowances. Earlier postings highlight specific plight on both sides, the landlord who doesn’t receive the allowance when it is paid to the tenant and the landlord who chooses to be prejudiced against people who receive rent allowance.  (Let us also take account of the poor standard of accommodation provided by some landlords).

Parameters have changed for government and Joan Burton has the enormous task of assessing this rental allowance market and ensuring the supply/demand equation is operated in an equitable way. This has not been the case. There is scope for Govt. to make money by proper enforcement and at the same time ensure people have adequate living standards without exceptional financial pressure. This is a must. Negative equity has occurred in other countries and no research I suggest details the human cost of loss of job, negative equity, high mortgage payments, interest added to capital. There is a huge social cost e.g. ill-health of a permanent nature, divorce, poverty, children and loss of family connections and so on.

The system must work in an equitable way. We need a vision and a sense of trust and the tax benefit driven FF stand of the last 14 years has created a monster that needs dismantling.

Rachman (this man in the 1960’s saw a market in the Georgian houses in an area in London and out of it he created slums adjacent to a central London location). We had slums like this before and at a huge human cost factor. We do not want to re-create this do we? Retrofitting was the buzz word of the Greens – well we need to look at our housing stock and re-assess our priorities.

published Indymedia Ireland search rent allowance for other comments


Wings to soar
‘The person who has no imagination has no wings’
Muhammed Ali/Cassius Clay (1942)  US Boxer

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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