Citizen Journalism Ireland: Published articles on different topics 2011 year. Revised 2020. 10 headings 4,800 words Tranche (D)

No. 1

22nd March, 2011

The Moriarty Report is published; one report in excess of 1900 pages by Michelle Clarke (Corruption) – Dublin Castle : The Scales of Justice

 

From 1997 to 2011, March 23rd and finally the cupboard of corruption is laid bare and like rats off the sinking ship, 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) 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 back 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.

The Joe Duffy show today throws light on a report that to many may seem to be pure waffle but its translation to ordinary speak is essential.

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. 2

18th May 2011

Affordable Housing. Making hay while the gloom descends

 

Austerity is now the Irish agenda. These ‘8 days of Dublin shut down’ are over after President Obama’s fleeting visit and Ireland no matter what links exist is on the road to an IMF agenda of austerity.

The depression is hitting home. Home loan lending is at the lowest ever level i.e. ever recorded. The graph in todays Independent is grim and scary. The first quarter 2011 issued 3,259 mortgages i.e. half the same period last year  and 44,000 less than at the peak of the boom in 2006.

We have ghost estates going nowhere and the sensible approach is to demolish the partially built houses. There are blocks of apartments empty as can be seen if you take a train from Heuston station. We need to know what is vacant? Then we need to know who is living in appalling circumstances in the older estates. People may not wish to leave their existing communities but that doesn’t mean that they should not be encouraged to move to vacant apartment blocks under the auspices of Dublin City Council who in turn can pay off NAMA. This is about housekeeping at government level and humanity.

The fall-off in mortgages, the people in negative equity, the cases before the courts where people cannot pay the debts must be matched to the surplus and the alternatives that are available. The affordable housing scheme has all but fallen apart. Now is the opportunity for people with poor housing conditions and in need of housing to get together and pressurise the Government to provide in line with the social housing initiatives that started in the 1920’s, 1930’s at a time when Governments realised that slum conditions had to be stopped in Ireland. This is a mistake of greedy entrepreneurs but mistakes create opportunities too.

Unesco: Georgian Dublin is renowned in Europe and worldwide and there is an indication that it could gain a UNESCO award. However, the number of vacant houses, the amount of nil/under utilised space, the for sale signs and the to let signs bode badly if we are to seriously seek such an award. We may need a tax break of sorts to encourage people to revitalise this part of the city/cities again. Also we need to know how easily and least expensively these houses can be retrofitted? As it stands people fail to grapple with the rules and regulations of the Irish Georgian Society, in fact they provide a disincentive.

People who need housing need to join together and create a balance sheet and work  to persuade Government to provide the money for the social housing shortfall that is a direct cost of the Celtic Tiger years and the truth here is that there was no consensue to provide the much needed social housing; it was not the priority. It was about when private development is complete and the profit gained, then we will think about social housing.

Austerity can be the grim reaper or who knows!

Michelle Clarke

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No 3

20th May 2011

Have we lost our sense of outrage? Contrast 2006 to May 2011: 

We need to revert sometimes to the past but we need not be shackled by it. We need to know suffice to grasp the culture of then and now and how changes can be effected.

The names of Michael McDowell, Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen, Mary Harney are now those of pensioners aged 50+ (or let us be more correct in receipt of several pensions, payments for speeches/events, and potential to get prime employment positions yet again, or write their autobiographies). These are the privileged. These are the people who rose up the ranks of elitism to become the “Established Classes” within today’s society and all bar one emerged from humble origins. The west of Ireland is good for sayings and one that might apply here goes ‘Castles falling, dung hills rising’ or better still if the money is spent let it be deluged in the Irish economy ‘after a gatherer comes a scatterer’ could bode well.  The new rich abound in politics and moral bankruptcy saturates our country.

We need a united front with the strong theme of social justice. We need the outcome of the Mahon Tribunal urgently to clear up the outstanding issues relating to corruption in political circles involving politicians. We have in fact lost our sense of outrage and we should demand closure of all tribunals. It is not acceptable that we read in the news that because lawyers earn hundreds of thousands of euros and into millions that they are now eligible for pension payments. It is my humble belief that their excessive payments is for the volatile nature of the work they engage in and because a lawyers work does not equate to the benefits of a permanent pensionable job.

The Fair Deal: What is fair about the deal? You work your life through, you take a risk and you buy a house which becomes your home. You pay the mortgage for 25 years so that means you approximately pay three times the cost you paid for the house in interest, take from this the so called tax relief and the fact is you pay a lot for your home. Mary Harney ought to stand in shame for the legislation she is responsible for putting in place. Now if you are old and can no longer live at home – social services can enquire into your asset base and offer you a deal that the State will keep you in return for your home and assets being signed over to the State. What is fair here?

Now this deal is in trouble: Dr. O’Reilly is unsure and needs to research it further. I am sure he does. I think it breaches a persons individual human rights. Now you have to wait for someone to pass on before you become eligible for a place! HIQA – how are you? What kind of health service puts in place legislation that people pay for out of their life savings and yet the insecurity is that they can remain in a bed blocking scenario in our hospitals without options. We need to work towards keeping our elderly in the community and realising that because people are older, they are not non productive. If ever this week we should note that elderly can contribute:

The Queen at 85; Prince Philip at 91 and the stalworth who contributed fully until he became ill a month ago the Late Garret FitzGerald…We need to look to the contributions the older people can continue to make and welcome studies like TILDA so that people can be guaranteed a better quality of life in their elder years.

Quotation

‘If God has given all people skills and brains to use, we cannot be happy if people at work are simply asked to be less efficient robots’
Bishop David Sheppard

 

Michelle Clarke

==============================
No. 4
Challenge to Journalists in the Broadsheets
Show us the money and where it has gone to?

 

Ordinary Citizen – a piece well written on Citizen journalsim site.

What we need is more open disclosure similar to the Nordic countries and if that means paying higher taxes that is the route to follow.

Equality in society is an essential source of motivation and research now shows that the greater the bipolarity in society, the greater the inequality. We have two tiers presently in Ireland with the middle class being lambasted as the drive globally is those that have versus those who have not. The belief system seems to be to keep the worker bees so busy doing the mundane chores that they have no time to think about using their income/no wealth to create their tax incentive benefit income and derive (income)/wealth from wealth). Sadly we see the excesses of this with Sean Quinn when a man through years of occupation and wealth gathering can make a mis-TAKE which in effect is nothing other than a gamble and lose all. Yes, we can all watch Bloomberg (if we pay for it) but the contracts for difference need caution and some of our 1st generation entrepreneurs got a little too greedy and were caught. Yes it was CFD’s on Anglo Irish shares predicted as an upward option that ignited the fire. Let us wait and see the outcome now. What will be the next gamble for the Quinn Empire i.e. if they retained their personal wealth as distinct from their companies and assets? Will they use the legal route to regain acclaim, power and position?

The momentum is slow to deal with the so called Golden Circle and Anglo Irish Bank. My humble belief is that ‘insider trading’ must apply to what underlies this major collapse of a Bank that set the competitive advantage for our homegrown AIB and Bank of Ireland.  It comes down to the old equation about abuse of power and anyone is susceptible to that. What is essential though is that the Law of the Land, the media, the journalists are hungry to establish the sense of what is Justice and how it is applied.

Clyde (another contributor) – you lay it right at the feet of the media and journalists in particular and the power of Article 19 and Freedom of expression. Our broad sheets are not making money and yet a certain citizen journalism site hasn’t the profile that is indicative of its archives and open newswire. Journalists in the broad sheets by now should be crediting those of us in citizen journalism and moving forward with their new forensic investigative capabilities. As Clyde states – ‘The shift towards citizen reporting also brings with it new opportunities. But with the now public crowded space given to citizen reporters and social media users, traditional journalists also play an ESSENTIAL ROLE INVESTIGATING WRONGDOING, MAINTAINING CREDIBILITY AND PROVIDING REPORTS THAT SERVE THE PUBLIC GOOD’

Show me the money. The money is somewhere – it just doesn’t disappear. It didn’t in Nazi Germany because lots of it made its way into Swiss bank accounts and some of the other 20 tax havens around the world. The search is still on for this.

Daily the ordinary punter on the street needs to look around, think a little outside the box, listen to what another person might be saying. People who have small businesses are really suffering. They are putting in long hours and cutting back on prices of the stock they are selling, they are cutting down on staff or cutting back on wages and bonuses are no more. People are waiting for the Minister for Justice to bring in legislation to retract on the Upward Only reviews on leases. This is what is killing small businesses.

Xtravision is one of the latest companies to fall into financial problems. They are seeking examinership which will give them 100 days to re-structure. This means the shops are open for 100 days. If you ask them what is the major problem you will find out that if they have 180 shops, as many as 150 landlords have refused to make any concessions on rent. Rent – they may have the excuse that it is legislation that excuses them from reducing the rent but where is their morality? If they fail to be human in their approach to being a landlord with a conscience then surely they ought to suffer from a taxation system that impedes on their ability to generate wealth.Journalists need to investigate more and also take chances to report on wrongdoing.

 

 

Michelle Clarke (Herbert)

==========================

No. 5

19th May, 2011
Queen Elizabeth II visits Dublin Castle accompanied by Prime Minister David Cameron.  President Obama visit also.

 

The Monarchy in all its glory has arrived in Ireland and accompanied by the British Prime Minister.

Let Tourism milk this for every cent it is worth. We need to earn billions urgently and we need all the PR to promote our syncronicity with our nearest neighbour to the right and for that matter our other neighbour via the Atlantic on our left. We in Ireland need to keep all routes open. We are a small open economy as they keep telling us and most of our trade and vice versa still moves between England and Ireland. Regarding the US we need to use the infrastructure that is above par, our educated work force and the English language, to ensure no EU member tries to trick us out of our 12.5% corporation tax incentive to multi-nationals.

The benchmark for Ireland pre. Euro was the German mark.  At that time, they determined that interest rates were low while they bordered on to recession and we paid the penalty. This is morally unacceptable.

Let them repay by encouraging their people to holiday in this country of ours. Good to hear about the young blogger named Mueller who is reporting daily on his blog while he travels through the Emerald Isle – so far his reports are that breakfasts are good and he feels Germans would enjoy holidays here.

The website above is excellent but possibly a little ahead of us in the concept of Branding.

Any figures yet to indicate tourists who have targeted Ireland for the 8 day event. Good to see the Portuguese coming to Ireland. After all we are all part of the PIGS and it looks as if we can spend some money also.

Michelle Clarke

Example of how Germany markets its brand of Tourism

The Berlin International Economics Congress:
“An International Conference on the Future of Nation Branding, Tourism, and International Investments in a Globalized World”
(March 9th – 12th 2011, Berlin, Held Parallel to the ITB Berlin and in conjunction with the ICD conferences “Nuestra America” and “The Rise of Africa”)
www.biec.de

“The Berlin International Economics Congress 2011” is an international conference taking place over 4 days that will explore the future of Nation Branding, Tourism, and International Investment in a Globalized World. The program will consist of lectures, seminars, workshops, interactive sessions and panel discussions that will feature leading figures from international economics & politics, academia, marketing, advertising, and civil society. Participants of the program will also have the opportunity to experience Berlin through a series of cultural and social activities.

Speakers for the conference include:
• Dr. Alfredo Palacio – Former President of Ecuador; ICD Advisory Board Member
• Baki Irmak – Director of Communications, DWS Investments, (Deutsche Bank Group)
• Amb. Dan Mulhall – Ambassador of Ireland to Germany
• Bendt Bendtsen – Former Danish Deputy Prime Minister, Former Danish Minister of Economic and Business Affairs; ICD Advisory Board Member (tbc)
• Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim – Former Foreign Minister of Brazil
• Dr. Erhard Busek – Former Vice-Chancellor of Austria, Former Minister for Education & Cultural Affairs; (tbc)
• Filippe Savagado- Minister of Culture, Tourism and Communication of Burkina Faso
• Dr. Gerassimos D. Arsenis- Former Minister of Economics of Greece, Former Minister of Education and Former Minister of Defense; (tbc)
• Dr. Gerhard Prätorius – Head of Coordination CSR and Sustainability, Volkswagen AG (tbc)
• Dr. Jacques F. Poos – Former Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Minister of Foreign Affairs (tbc)
• Sir James R. Mancham – Former President of the Republic of Seychelles; ICD Advisory Board Member
• Janez Jansa – Former Prime Minister of Slovenia; president of the Slovenian Democratic Party
• Joy Wheeler- Ambassador of Jamaica to Germany
• Kalonzo Musyoka – Vice President of Kenya
• Kazenambo Kazenambo – Minister of Youth and Sports of Namibia (tbc)
• Kintto Lucas Lopez – Deputy Foreign Minister of Ecuador
• MONIE R. Captan – Former Foreign Minister of Liberia; President of Liberian Chamber of Commerce
• Dr. Miomir Žužul – Former Foreign Minister of Croatia; President of Dubrovnik International University; ICD Advisory Board Member
• Dr. Rick van der Ploeg – Professor of Economics, Oxford University; Former State Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands; ICD Advisory Board Member (tbc)
• Dr. Solomon Isaac Passy – Former Foreign Minister of Bulgaria; ICD Advisory Board Member
• Dr. Vasile Puşcaş – Former Romanian Minister for European Affairs;
• Zeine Ould Zeidane – Former Prime Minister of Mauritania (tbc)

Contact:
www.culturaldiplomacy.org
info@culturaldiplomacy.org

==========================

No. 6

21st July, 2011

A martyr to the Cause.
When do we face up to those who abuse the vulnerable?

 


When do we stand up and say ‘We Take Responsibility’. Crimes are still being committed against children, vulnerable people and there is an endorsement of Abuse of Power at every level in society. Moral bankruptcy is the true crisis faced by the people of Ireland today. Markets comprise the news but markets will survive and as they say markets have no memories but our children have. Just look at the desolation that has been caused to people in the Magdalen Laundries, the abuse by members of the Church, and worst of all the recidivism that led to more young men within the last number of years, being prey to the hands of an abuser within the auspices of a local school in Gweedore, Co. Donegal.

They say people knew? Of course people knew but did they care or the question is Do we Really Care?

Do we look to our Gardai? Do we look to Parents? Do we look to Children or more importantly do we listen to them? Do we pay heed to those who are vulnerable and crying out for help and possibly engaging in behaviours that make them even more vulnerable? Who is really listening? Who wants Change?

Mr. Donal McAteer from Poland. Thank you for your letter in today’s Irish Times.

Mr. Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein. Thank you for your honesty today about Mr. Ferry and your lucky escape along with your friends on that camping trip.

Mr. McAteer – I quote as follows:

‘Growing up in Gweedore in the 1980’s, I came in contact with Michael Ferry, as many young people did. He was involved in youth clubs, he went on official school tours, he ran a school tuck shop and became a school caretaker.….
It was widely known among children that he was “Dodgy” and plying children with drink.  There must have been doubts about him in the minds of adults to’

This was the 1980’s. He went on to be charged for abuse and then released back into the community and back to the school where he could use his grooming skills to smoother emotionally/psychologically/socially more young vulnerable children.

Mr. McAteer. I agree if this had been a person shoplifting the heavy hand of the Gardai would have fallen with the greatest of ease and the man would have been charged.

But abuse… what makes us so slow to take it by the throat and deal with it. Where is the Shame?

Michelle Clarke
====================
No. 7

14th September, 2011


Suicide:

This article (www.indymedia.ie/newswire?author_name=Michelle%20Clarke) is relevant possibly even more so when one considers Vincent Browne’s article about Suicide in today’s Irish Times.

Yet another suicide convention has been held, and yes the numbers of suicides have reduced slightly this year, but I am gravely shocked and annoyed to hear that the Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly (formerly connected with St. Ita’s Portrane i.e. mental hospital/asylum) dedicated only 10 minutes to Suicide out of the half hour slot and then left the conference early. This is shameful and indicates that he too must look upon this as the Cinderella of Professions for the Cinderella’s of society afflicted with neuropsychiatric diagnoses.

I wonder have any readers of Indymedia watched the two part series ‘Behind the Wall’s’. It takes courage to do so but if you have I plead with people to remove the stigma, include people who are vulnerable in our communities, and to be watchful of those who may need additional support every so often to battle through in this life.

Michelle Clarke (Patch (if only) Adams)

 

==============

No. 8

19th September, 2011

Martin McGuinness decides to run for President of Ireland

IRA Statement: Hope and Vision for Peace and a United Ireland

What a wet miserable day. The rain is constantly pouring down and the memories of winter prevail. This is about the weather.

7 years on from the Belfast Agreement, today the IRA have made a statement. Within lies hope and a future. Today, 28th July 2005, is a historic event. Let the people of Ireland now take up the cudgel and enact the will of the people.

Let the people realise and enlighten their children of the significance of Freedom.

Today former IRA prisoner Senan Walsh who spent 18 years in prison made the statement on behalf of Oglaigh na hEireann. This was a unilateral statement with Oglaigh na hEireann itself, without discussion with the British Government, Irish Government, Unionists and others.  Mr. Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein, speaks of a ‘defining point in a search for peace with Justice’. Let us savour these words.

Let us remember the people who died during the Northern Ireland troubles. Also, irrespective of ‘beliefs’, let us recall those people who engaged in Hunger Protest strikes in the 1980’s, their passion for Freedom cannot be denied.

I hear the word ‘photos’ mentioned as the weapons are decomissioned. It would be a sad day that the verification by the Catholic and Protestant clergy men would not be acceptable to the people of Ireland. Do we really want to diminish further the value and significance of the Oath; of Truth. ‘My word is my bond’ is core to contract with stockbrokers.

Let us accept the ‘Bona Fides’ of the IRA over the next few months.

Criminality and the over emphasis by the media is but a ‘bauble’. We can all make criticisms, judgments etc. but the truth is do we really have a meaning we can endorse.  The shame, as far as I can see, is the over emphasis on something that realistically must be regarded as a component part of mercantile life.

Ireland particularly needs to review its own political culture since 1921 and thereby realise the reality in pushing an newly emerging economy onto the world market. People had to take chances and risks; the desire and passion was about a United Ireland.

Let us think of the moral aspect of history and realise that Morality and judgment are subject to ethical ups and downs.

We need to regard our history; we gained money from a variety of obscure sources e.g. Bonds in the US, funding of a National Newspaper, the building of hospitals programmes, houses, infrastructure, tax incentives. to name but a few. We need also recall that the Revenue have been the beneficiaries of over 2 billion euros since the 1980’s…..funds mainly hidden so no tax would be paid!!!!!!

I say Let us give Peace a Chance…….

Michelle Clarke
Quotation Amelia Earhart
‘Adventure is worthwhile in itself’

 

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No. 9

14th October, 2011

4 centuries later and thinking of Jonathan Swift and
still we need visionaries, writers

 

 

Technology is the new dimension but people who are interested in social justice are out there; those who consistently wrote on this Indymedia site going back to 2002 and yet were bullied by others and placed in ‘Hidden Articles List’. Some writings though made it through the wall of prejudice and by chance while googling this site this and others appeared. In the light of the Presidential Campaign, it should be interesting to take the view of those who appear to have followed the potential of the Peace Process back in those days of early 2000; those heady days of Developers/Politicians/Professionals/Tribunals who were too self obsessed and money driven to pay heed to a new dimension in the formation of a United Ireland.

We await 2016: This site also mentions the paper Daily Ireland which covered this period but sadly financially could not continue in the business of publication. We should not forget its intervention and impact on the Process also.

Occupy Wall Street is but 3 weeks old. They say it is a metaphor. The people their values are transcending two dimensional politics and creating a network of views but the theme is Anti-Corruption/anti the God like salaries/bonuses paid to bankers who do nothing other than take risks like professional gamblers. It is these gamblers that need to start taking account for the loss of core moral, ethical values that are essential within a society.

Let us start to rebuild Ireland. The President plays a role in this country; maybe it is time yet again to have a President who has fought and fought realistically and literally for Peace on this Island and who has transcended prejudice.  (Reference to Martin McGuinness running in presidential race).

William Blake 1757-1827
To see a world in a grain of a sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour

==================================

No. 10

December 2011

Discretion, Perception, Understanding – Dogs as companions

Beagle, a companion canine friend

Economic growth is what they tell us they want. They say shops are paying inordinate rents and as for rates they are prohibitive and legislation change is needed to stop the upward only clause.

But what about the simple things in life?

What about a little understanding and tolerance?

Last week’s Sunday Times featured the story about one homeless drug addict man and a @bobcat (twitter) cat who became his friend, guardian, mentor. This ginger cat is now featured in a book and both are to be found signing books (paw prints) at bookshops such as Waterstones.

What is so lovely is that the Cat and his friend can go to cafes and are welcome. You see, the English and the Europeans have a healthy reaction and love for their animals.

Alas Ireland falls behind on this. There is no creativity. A little discretion should allow people who enjoy gathering at coffee shops bring their dogs along too. Stop hiding behind rules and regulations that are so often cited and God alone knows if they even exist. A person who is blind, the dog illustrates the fact but what about the person with mental illness – this is the silent condition but the dog is most probably equally essential to their participation in society.

Be friendly, Be kind. Be creative.

Mexico have paved the way of invention for those who bark so much about Poop. They collect it and in return you get wi-fi energy!

Beagle Baggot Street Upper Village in support of his canine friend!

Michelle Clarke
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About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for Irishhealth.com 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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