Collection of quotations: 2012. Reviewed June 2020: Could there be a ghost dog? Love me Love My Dog Peter Shelley: the song

June 19th 2020:  COVID-19 and all dog pounds are closed down.  Our dear dog Freddie passed away after nearly four years with us.  We loved him dearly but we had Jack Russell for nearly 14 years and today I found this.  Having phoned all pounds and shelters to be told that the demand for dogs has resulted in closures of shelters and a shortage of dogs.  Then entered Ghost Dog as mentioned above Jack Russell.  The woman who brought Jack Russell to us in 2004 somehow got our number and she phoned to say, she remembered us and has a Jack Russell, aged 2 years, who will be arriving on Monday.  I had tried to find her through the Irish Times but could not get through to the dog section.  We are so delighted to have made contact with Barbara and to know we will be homing one of her treasured dogs who is left without a home.


2012 – Some quotations to add to the complexities of life; to empower thinking  and creativity

Meditation XVII, John Donne

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” – Meditation XVII, John Donne

E.F. Schumacher
‘Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, more violent.
It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction’
Tacitus 56-115 AD Roman Empire
‘The more corrupt the State the more numerous the laws’
Chinese Sage Lao-tzu
‘Nothing is more powerful than the emptiness from which men shrink’
Lao-Tao 16th century
‘Kindness in words creates confidence, kindness in thinking causes profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
Hindu Proverb
‘Water is purified by flowing, the human being by going forward’

Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet
‘You give little when you give of your possessions – it is when you give of yourself that you truly give.  For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?  and what is fear of need but need itself’
Jesse Jackson – US Civil Rights
‘Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up’
Thomas Merton – Cistercian Monk
‘To perfect the memory, delete the incidentals’

Eduardo Frei – President Chile 1964
‘If we always look outside ourselves for blame that in itself is a form of dependence.
We must look for own blame to find our personality’

Jonathan Swift 1667-1745
‘Satire is sort of glass window wherein beholders do
generally discover everybody’s face but their own

George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
‘An Irishman’s heart is nothing but his imagination’

Kate Millett: The Politics of Cruelty – teimonage
‘the one who has been there; seen it, knows.  It crosses genres, can be autobiography, reportage, even narrative fiction.  But its basis is factual, fact passionately lived and put into writing by a moral imperative rooted like a flower and carnage with an imperishable optimism, a hope that those who will hear, will care, WILL EVEN TAKE ACTION.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu – South Africa
‘Be nice to the whites, they need you to discover their humanity

Steve Biko 1946-77 South Africa murdered activist
The most potent weapon in the hands of the possessor is the mind of the oppressed’
George Orwell 1903-59 – Telling the Truth
‘During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act’
Jean Paul Sartre, French writer and philosopher
‘When the rich wage war, it is the poor who die’
Anthony de Mello Jesuit priest
‘The sun that gives sight to the eagle blinds the owl.  Stop searching little fish. There isn’t anything to look for.  All you have to do is look’

Jon Sobrino, Salvedorian theologian
The prophet is a person on the street, the person who judges history from the viewpoint of God’
Michael Harrington – Economist
‘If there is a technological advance without a social advance, there is, almost automatically an increase in human misery’

Groucho Marx
‘Look at me – I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty’
‘Never waste time thinking about people you don’t like

Mercy nun Zambia

‘Charity is about empowering people ie to make them self reliant’

Helen Keller
‘Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full overcoming suffering’.
Susan Jeffers
‘Oriental man is very light in the head and heavy down in the belly and feels very secure
Western man is light in the belly but very heavy up in the head, so he topples over’

Mother Teresa
‘Lonely and being unwanted is the greatest poverty’
Dale Carnegie
‘Co-operate with the inevitable’

Kabir – Mystical Poet India
I laughed when they told me a fish in water can be thirsty’
‘Its easier to split an atom than prejudice’



‘It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare: it is because we do not dare that they are difficult’

Robert Kennedy Former US President
‘Each time a man stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others,
or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a ripple of hope and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring,
those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest of walls of oppression’





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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


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.


‘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”)

“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)



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


This article ( 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’



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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Freddie, our beloved dog died before “his time”.

14th June 2020

Freddie passed away

Freddie arrived a spirited yet a harshly neglected young dog just over three years ago.  Our dear Jack Russell, Jack, had passed away but it was old age but still the tears fell relentlessly at our loss.  Freddie came from Dogs in Distress so we knew that his life had not been an easy one.  He was a Jack Russell but as it turned out there most definitely was a mixture of Staff, Hound and Russell.  The back feet were out of proportion with the rest of his body but we loved him and in his funny way he learned to trust us and as we now know today he put aside the fact that he was dying to try and remain there for us.  My selfish denial made me look each day for whatever was positive to convince myself that he was on the path to recovery.  But I was so wrong and the tears flow from my eyes tonight at his resilience and will to survive and my pure selfishness and refusal to see what Kevin had been telling me for weeks “The dog is dying”.

Three years is such a short period of time to have a dog but in my long life these three years presented some very serious challenges.  Freddie has seen me through each of these challenges and now yet again I  am alone, without a canine companion.  First it was breast cancer; then it was the sudden death of my mother while I was going through chemotherapy and then these last few horrific months of COVID-19 and it was revolving around the routine of Freddie which was so predictable that I could hold on, like a child on a merry go round – if you don’t hold on, you fall.  They say that people who have experienced mental health problems in their lives, contrary to what you would expect, have in fact a better resilience to cope with this severe pandemic COVID-19 and therefore are better survivors than others.  All I know is Freddie helped me stay on track and I am broken hearted.  Three years and three of the most significant events one could have and now Freddie has passed on too.  I thought I would never cry again, I thought life has made me so hard and bitter that there would be no tears.  I cried so much in my life especially as a child and into my thirties that I found life hard and tended to avoid situations that would cause me sadness and that was hard because in my head there were all those fears of loss – my mum, my dog, KT who thankfully remains with me.

Freddie and routine.  He had his morning walk with KT.  The other day there was a problem.  He was at the top step of the stairs and all of a sudden he fell the 7 steps and when I tried to lift him he whelped but I waited and stoic as always he rose to the occasion and we went for our walk down Wellington Road.  I was upset about the fall and we resolved that he was no longer well enough for walking up the stairs and that the lift was to be used instead.  This morning Kevin had taken Freddie out, as always for the first walk, and then at about 11 a.m. it was my turn, I finished washing the dishes and as he hadn’t left the bed I waited – a wait that was a mistake because he either fell off the bed or jumped and he being such a clean dog wet the carpet.  Then I should have known but that dreadful state called denial made me coax him to the lift which he did not want to get into so I then brought him back towards the stairs in the hope that he would prefer same.  Then it was back to the lift.  He stumbled a lot as I walked him from the carpark to the main gate but I kept on going thinking his legs would get stronger, not really understanding, why they appeared so weak.

He released his bowels and then he lay down on the grass.  A neighbour, Karen, noticed me and came over.  I think she could see there was a genuine problem and offered to call Kevin.  I assured her all was okay but it wasn’t.  Freddie was dying.  I lifted him and I brought him home.  Kevin again told me “he was dying”; he phoned the vet and Sally did the driving.

Freddie had spent much time visiting the vet.  An ill-treated animal and it is my humble belief the same applies to children (and we need to especially be alert to the experiences of the little children and their interpretation of what COVID-19 is), if they have a certain temperament become prone to many illnesses years before they should.  From day 1, Freddies health problems ratcheted up the scale.  First it was his intestines and he could only eat a certain set prescription nuts; then it was his heart so he was on heart tablets, then he developed bronchitis and shortness of breath which meant he was prescribed more drugs which were steroids and codeine.  He really didn’t have a chance but we kept giving him the tablets and especially the codeine which he absolutely hated and at any chance he would just cough it up and spit it out.  No doubt the codeine was keeping him alive.  I only hope that by my selfish choice of giving him the drugs I  did not make him suffer.  I recall a long time ago a friend telling me that dogs have so much empathy that when they know their owner does not want them to die, they do everything to ensure that they live as long as they can, even if they are suffereing.  The moral being that the owner should understand this and let the dog die.

The vet said he would not suffer any more.  I believe in dignity in death for dogs but for humans too.  I hope Freddie knows we did not desert him in those final hours before he passed away, having left him at the vets.

Goodbye Freddie.  You arrived three years ago, a young dog, but with hardships stamped in your heart.  You left as my granddaddy dog – because cruel people damaged your chances.  Please please people stop the puppy farms and raise the standards that animals are not treated with cruelty.


“There is a sacredness in tears.  They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.  The speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.   They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and the unspeakable love”.  Washington Irvine.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.

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5 minutes: Plague to America from Europe killed 90% of population: Why?

Eric Feigl-Ding

Americapox? why was there only plagues that European conquistadors brought to the New World and wiped out 90% of all Native Americans, but no reverse plague (e.g. hypothetical ‘Americapox’) that natives transmitted to the European settlers? Watch this:
Americapox: The Missing Plague
Why didn’t the Europeans get sick when they made contact with the American Indians?  Part 2: Special Thanks: Brian…

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Citizen Journalism Ireland: Published articles on different topics 2011 year. Revised 2020. 10 headings 5,450 words Tranche (C)

No. 1

1st April, 2011

The moan and groan society

Keep the Home Fires Burning

Opus:  Moan moan moan blame blame blame. What does it say? Maybe you are born with little motivation or incentive or for that matter a sense of hope. Give me a little Pollyanna please.

Ireland is in crisis – some say the worst crisis since the foundation of the State. The EU-IMF are really angry with us and we are being punished for a recklessness so much so that we must pay the price dearly for our great Celtic Tiger extravagances. The fact is we are bankrupt as a nation state and we cannot meet these debts (and let us say/euros100 bn). What are we the people of the Island of Ireland going to do about this? After all you can rest assured that those who made the millions are gone into exile and provided they invested wisely, which they no doubt did, they have the choice not to return and this applies to their families also.

Wipe the slate clean i.e. apart from the 100 bn euros debt.

Have we any family silver left?

We have our agricultural land which is ours … we have our forestry provided it is not sold off as part of State assets. We have our seas but let us recall that EU has covered the option up to our shores. Have we gold? Some prospectors say yes. Have we silver and while we are talking about it what else have we got? We need a little World War 2 hindsight to ferret out resources that we have. We have infra-structure and yes we have the Luas. While we are at it we must say thank you to the EU for all the NDP funds over the last number of decades since we joined the EU in 1973.

This site started about a Berlin Conference and tourism. Jerry Blake – you jump on the band wagon about nepotism. Tough sh.t. Action, Performance, Creativity, Connectivity, Interaction is the CV that creates the action. Now is a time for action. Are you saying that because someone has a connection with somebody on a state board and knows the person is capable of doing the job that because of the connection that person should be overlooked. Well I say Grow Up. Move with the Times.

Tourism can become our bread and butter, as can agriculture become our source of food and drink (alcohol and otherwise) potential. Baileys at one time brought massive funds to Guinness nearly one tenth of its world profit – why can we not regain this footing? Instead we see Bailey’s slashed in price. Marketing where are you? We need you? This is about reviving some potential within Ireland Inc. Where is that Bailey’s and Ice cocktail?

Stress Test and the banks. People are not stupid … we only have to search into our hearts to dig up case histories of what recession/depressions can do to people, to families and societies. Negative Equity has always existed. Take the UK 1988 when you bought an apartment for £90,000 and within 6 months it was worth £140,000 – what a feel good factor? Then out of the blue interest rates start rising, not once a year but every few weeks and all of sudden your repayments are no longer 700 per months but are 1200 per month. Back then you had trackers also, and endowment insurance type. Outcome; then for lots of people is the same as now. One job is lost, then a second job is lost and all of a sudden you are adding an extra £1200 and increasing to your capital loan amount and yes you have personal crisis, if not disaster. There is a financial cost and a massive social cost. We know this has happened. We know people who have told their story time and time again and we have not listened. Now we need to listen and find some alternatives.

Tourism must work. We may be wrecked due to the Celtic Tiger onslaught but we are not in a scorched earth scenario. We are not Tripoli. We have options. Our people are our best resource. Let us think our way out of the problem as distinct from dwelling on the Past. 2016 is about 100 years since the Proclamation. Surely this is about a value versus cost asset


Michelle Clarke
3rd April, 2011
Equality Justice and Law Reform – Please deal with the Prostitution issue

Jenny : I am most impressed with your article and again it is time for people in Dublin take action on the streets and via the net to demand justice.

Kerb crawling is not acceptable. I once knew a woman in the 1980’s who took such offence to kerb crawlers outside the offices at Fitzwilliam Square that she used her car to ‘shame them’ away.

I live in Dublin 4 and walk ‘a little bit drunkenly particularly at night’ due to head injury. Let me tell you the kerb crawlers exist here.

What concerns me about your area is its proximity to the Phoenix Park. Several years ago I was asked to read a book by a sociologist on Rent boys, it was harrowing. I would suggest that Govt Departments who engage in research for Ministers in this area are aware of the content. Evidently, the Irish politicians continue to file it under denial category.

At all costs children must be protected. You mention Drumcondra and Castleknock, personally I believe kerb crawlers exist everywhere and children are susceptible no matter what location; but some are more susceptible than others.

Minister McDowell must be asked to review this issue. As you say Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world and the economics of supply and demand says there is need.

Public Health intervention is critical. Singapore albeit you say (towards Fascist in approach) at least deal with the issue. We need to register brothels. We need to protect women who are prostitutes, to monitor the HIV possibilities.

I lived in Zimbabwe in the early 1990’s and I worked with two nuns who set up one of the first centres in Harare for women and their children with HIV – it was so sad, they had little or no future just people who cared to give them ‘dignity in death’.

In Ireland, our ignorance and denial is astonishing. The documentation, the books of self-revelation life stories exist, the daily news…….yet the denial says don’t hear a childs hidden messages…….a vulnerable person’s near silent plight.

Kerb crawling leaves anyone vulnerable and susceptible. We need to take action. If someone has an addiction to sex and has the money to pay for their need………contain it in an environment suitable……..not venture into a random choice based on kerb crawling……..

An aside comment by my little niece of five recently filled in the line about houses in the Castleknock area, ‘with prostitutes dressed up as lawyers’. Who want’s to spoil the innocence of any child for the mentality of a leery kerb crawler?

It is wakey wakey time for people. The women stood up in the inner city to the drugs in the 1980’s; women again made a stand over pensions via the media several months ago and the relevant Govt. Department had to retreat………..

The ‘Profession circulates money’ but then the denial creates deviance that need not necessarily happen.

Let us open our eyes to the fact that Dublin was the sex capital of Europe i.e. the Monto only over one century ago.

The time has come register brotherl, the ‘Yellow Card’ with thumb print and photo like Singapore.

Michelle always selects a quote from New International book of quotations – Great Women

You hold the Power – Aretha Franklin 1942 (US Singer)

‘Cause a rose is still a rose
Baby, girl, you’re still a flower
He can’t lead you and then take you
Make you and then break you
Baby girl, You hold the power’


No. 3

5th April 2011
Why not a Book of Commemoration at the Mansion House or somewhere South of the Border? There is a book in Omagh and quite rightly so.
A chance meeting with the Lord Mayor of Dublin


Opus’ –  your views are valid but let us have some hope please.

Walking down Dawson Street yesterday and watching all the taxi cabs waiting for customers – too many and a product of de-regulation in extreme. Passing by the Mansion House, the thought came into mind about the young PSNI policeman who died because a bomb was detonated under his car outside his home. A young man, a Catholic who chose to enter the PSNI, a member of the GAA and most of all an Irish man. A further thought came to mind and that was to ask if the Mansion House had a Book of Condolence for Ronan Kerr, for his family, his friends and fellow officers.

By sheer chance I was introduced to the Lord Mayor Mr. Breen. No: the decision is No Book of Condolence. Why not?

Opus you rightly refer to pomp and glory of the sovereignty that are invited to our shores (and include the entourage for Princess Grace of Monaco’s son and partner). Perhaps it would be more appropriate for the Queen of England to visit after the 2016 commemorations but if we have any regard for the fragile Peace Process surely we in Dublin City must have a Book of Condolence for this brave young Irish man.

Somebody has written about the revival of villages and tourism. If you look up the Lord Mayor of Dublin site this is already an idea that has gained sponsorship and enthusiasm…

Michelle Clarke


No. 4

21st April, 2011

Shame and the Shameless – Part III Angela Kerins in this weeks Phoenix

Liam Flannery is right to highlight this outrageous alleged payment of public finances to those working for people with disabilities.

The country is awash with charities and no transparency, ethics, accountability. The web has distinct advantages but not when it acts as a motivator to pay donations and exploit people and their needs at the same time. Think of a vulnerability category e.g. suicide and there are now a host of websites and you will note on each of them the prominence of the word ‘donation’ and details. What about humanity and contact with no cost? Where is value in this society i.e. meaning the value that is not related to financial costing.

Is there a “Charity” gravy train in motion on this Island of Ireland? Perhaps we have learned same from our EU masters?

Our world today is facing massive social and political upheaval. Aid is destined to places like Libya, to Nigeria, to the Ivory Coast not forgetting Haiti and even Japan. There is an international community relating to this aid: in our case, the EU external aid budget that amounts to euros 12 billion p.a. euros.

You might find it interesting to note that a UK think tank have found that the EU’s aid budget suffers from ‘poor accountability, un-necessary bureaucracy, and most critically, less than half the money spent actually goes to the world’s poorest people’.

What this is saying to people is that we need to question more; we should not be not afraid to ask for value for money exercises and seek transparency and accountability at each tier of the charity chain? Ireland can benefit from this UK research and also can question the efficiency of the EU and its auspices to ensure we are receiving a fair deal for what we contribute to this fund for external aid.

We are in a tight space now economically, socially, politically and we need to get VALUE FOR MONEY FOR OUR AID SPENDING both in the context of EU external aid and most particularly on the home front. Corruption is insideous and we must stamp it out for a more equal society.

Michelle Clarke


No. 5

21st April, 2011


He told Judge Hugh O’Donnell: “From this day forwards I am no longer practicing as a solicitor”.



We need people like Mr. Martin Coen LLB in this country. Appointments to the Judiciary by a Government in power must be tainted. Now is the time to speak out about such a system that openly and blatantly discriminates. Well done to the Irish Independent and the Irish citizen journalism site for publishing on this matter.

Corruption, we know is rife but little reference has been made via media sources to the Judiciary and corruption. The absence of media coverage begs the question why?

Ireland is a country that faces Easter quite rightly on its knees. The people need to take a stand and seek moral re-alignment in both their conscience and in their actions so that we can address by outspokeness against those who have behaved, acted and financially benefited in an improper and often illegal way. Easter and the symbolic nature ought to invoke a rebirth in attitudes.

Example of an injustice: People must speak out. Today a father of two went to a local post office to get his Dole. He was refused. The person behind the counter with no sense of morality just said the owner said money cannot be paid today. It would be paid next Tuesday. People in the queue added to the man’s plea and by making a stand this attrocity of power of the owner was stopped in its tracks. Is this what privatisation of post offices is really about? Who brought in these silent changes?

Where is the empathy, the compassion, the respect, the due diligence of Social Welfare for a person in receipt of the Dole, a person who may have had no meal for the last two days because his dole money is inadequate to support his wife and children? Shame on us. If this man had not made a stand, he could have been bullied into not receiving what is due to him and being left without funds for the Easter weekend.

Michelle Clarke
No. 6

23rd April 2011

Reflections of a Judge

by James – Legal profession (retired)


‘It was de Valera personally who offered my uncle the circuit court judgeship and I believe at first he refused, saying, “you had higher positions in your gift and passed me over”. He was given a time limit in which to decide and, principally on the advice – the wise advice – of his wife, he accepted’

What has changed? This offer was at the time when the Irish Free State was formed and at a time when certain alterations occurred in the Free State legal administration. Basically, what happened is that the British system of law was retained, but there were two most important administrative changes made. First: lay magistrates were completely abolished and District Justices were appointed. These were qualified lawyers who received a salary i.e. equivalent in ways to the stipendiary magistrates appointed in England. Magistrates at that time were known as ‘THE GREAT UNPAID’ and needless to say proved to be most unpopular in Ireland. These magistrates were mainly selected from the “Ascendancy class” – the same that provided the grand juries which needless to say were likewise abolished. Second: the Irish legal system established a completely new jurisdiction called the Circuit Courts, each presided over by a Judge.

The expected position that this man was promised was AG but de Valera thought differently and appointed him as the first man in opposition representing FF in the 1928 Senate and later de Valera invited him to be a Circuit Court Judge.

It disturbs and pleases me to read these postings.

Silence invokes a false security that states our Legal System is not above ‘scandal’. Part of its integrity is that we as people and citizens of Ireland grasp and understand the judiciary are part of the Separation of Powers and the constitution. If there is a rot in the in the legal administration then let those who know speak out truthfully and with stoicism.

One final point and comment: What is the greatest function of a Judge?  It is surely to deal with crime in an unbiased way.

Do we stand up to scrutiny is the question?

Michelle Clarke
No. 7
30th April 2011
By chance saw most informative article by Leo Varadkar
in the Daily Mail yesterday about the Cliffs of Moher
could be made one of  the
  New 7 Wonders of the World possibility.
All you have to do is vote as follows:
…. if you get a chance it is worth a vote.
Fear, apathy, media negativity but there is a part called take responsibility and seek a rainbow of opportunities.

Yes we need to heed the point that the minimum wage applies to the masses but somewhere I read that it is the 1% that are responsible for 25% taxes paid on average to government coffers.

The tribunals in their day have resulted in funds in excess of a 1 billion euros being collected from people willing to shaft their fellow taxpayers and more importantly citizens and no doubt more funds will come from similar sources in the years to come.

However what can we do to shake up our citizens to formulating a vision that will create policies that will favour a more equitable society. We have the “Bail-Out” even though we are unsure as yet as to whether it costs the Irish taxpayer 85 billion / 100 billion euros or even double that. As yet it may be that we the Irish will have to default and if this is the only way forward then we will be writing off debt and becoming a bad debt to the balance sheets of those senior debtors who took the risk in the first place and provided loans to our Treasury.

This is not the first time we have hit serious economic and political crisis since the foundation of the State and more importantly it will not be the last. The circle dictates the psychology and psychology tells us about the peaks and the troughs within the human being and human beings comprise our society.

Cash is King at present. However, the hoarding of cash due to fear is causing the economy to stagnate. This week the news informed us of the ‘plight’ of a man admitted to Accident and Emergency and when examined – his body was wrapped with wads of euro cash totaling over 60,000 euros…this is fear in the raw sense that creates a paranoia and fear to trust. There are people out there afraid to deposit money in banks. Why because for nearly three years now the news is bad and the time is coming when the 2008 granted guarantee may be canceled and the banks are free to party again and who knows we could face another financial crisis? We need the banks to start marketing again. We need them to retrieve the capital flows that left the country over the past 3 years.

What do you do with the Cash? You can stuff it in the mattress, you can buy Gold or Silver, you can take a chance and buy some shares or for that matter you can go a stage further and buy Bitcoin. But there will always be some people who just keep hard cash in a hidden place. The problem with this is that we deflate the economy, we add to the crises in small to medium businesses because nobody buys anything, we facilitate unemployment to those who are mainly represented by the unions which in turn creates unrest via strikes in our public services.

We need a little insight: we need to encourage people to start re-investing in our own banks not (foreign banks), we need to get people spending cash in the economy in small ways i.e. like having coffee with a friends in a local cafe, having a pint with a friend in your local pub, buying Irish products where at all possible. Brown coinage – why not collect it and then make the point of re-circulating same in the cash pool – you can pass it on to charities in your local supermarket, or change it in the bank. Take taxis rather than park in expensive car-parks in town. Then there is the old Punt. It is said that there is a couple of hundred million still to be presented to Central Bank!! Who has it?

Income tax is one source of revenue but another is where the wealth generates tax and we need to balance in our minds eye who generates most and work from there before we engage in militancy.  Holidays people still are travelling the world over but why not support Ireland Inc.  Northern Ireland has so much to offer visitors from the Republic and vice versa.  Break down barriers in communication and explore what the Island of Ireland has to offer.

Michelle Clarke


No. 8

11th, May 2011


Pension levy…the vulnerable…the impact


Pensions are to be docked for the next 4 years to raise the near 2 billion euros to fund the back to work schemes. Hard going on the pensioners who worked hard trying to gather enough savings together to provide for their old age. Is it fair? What is the compound value of this penalty to those people who presently contribute to private pension schemes over their life times? Again is this fair? There must be another way to enforce austerity versus a present day levy on people who only want to provide for their old age.

Add to this the scenario from the last Government.   Please correct me if I have it wrong. What happens if you are elderly and are admitted to hospital and then into a care home? The state have access to deduct costs from what could be your home if you recover or your Estate if you die? Do we know about this in a knowledgeable sort of way?

Pension funds and equities. The banks used to be the Blue Chips i.e. safe bets for those who wished to take a risk and invest. However, we all now know the reality. The two main Irish banks are now 20 cents approx versis 20 euros + in the days of the Celtic Tiger. Many people have suffered harsh losses. Many pension funds are depleted and today we hear that those who manage the funds of wards of courts have also perished from the blight of the financial markets. Does this mean if say a child was awarded say 1 million due complications at birth that the Wards of Courts who administer this money and invest it are now left with substantially less?

There must be another way of making adjustments to the losses on our overall Balance Sheet going forward.

Today, two people well known to us all i.e. if we watch Vincent Browne TV3, Constantin Gurdgiev and Declan Ganley, have identified a niche in the financial markets and for Ireland this has serious challenges. St. Columbanus, I think is the name. Its aim is to provide access to the Switzerland market for investments. It is a tall order to Irish people who have money in deposit accounts etc (and in the light of the fact that the guarantee period for renewal is imminent). In the absence of any sound reasons to continue investing in Ireland, those of us who didn’t contribute to the massive capital outflows that besieged Ireland are now to be easily enticed to move onwards through a well thought out vehicle and we can be investors in Switzerland. Ireland needs to wake up and start re-structuring their banks and ensuring people who have money are keen to remain in Ireland Inc. with their investments.

Michelle Clarke who signed off on this as Bothered and Bewildered


No. 9

3rd May, 2011

World Press Freedom Day; Ssafeguarding Free Speech and Democracy



What has happened especially to the readers of our newspapers on the Island of Ireland?

We hear that O’Reilly the Independent newspaper earns in excess of 1 million euros p.a., and yes the newspapers today are spun on the US coup d’etat and Osama Bin Laden but what about May 3rd being set aside as the day for World Press Freedom and the safeguarding of free speech and democracy. May 3rd surely is worth mentioning in the light of this extreme paradox of events on this day especially.

Show me the money or follow the money are about the root causes and impact of corruption. Transparency International press release today makes excellent reading. It challenges its readers to review what corruption means and emphasizes how it ‘ruins lives’ and urges people to ‘Fight Back’. Here is the challenge for the sinking abyss of the Irish economy. We are aware that the Europeans and the IMF have valued us at rock bottom economically but we must have some investigative journalists out there who can find answers to where the capital flows took flight to back in 2007 (the CAB, fraud squad, the DPP etc. appear to need some assistance).

We know that recently as in the last few months 16.5 billion euros approximately left the Bank of Ireland as more people became less certain of being sufficiently nationalistic to keep their monies in our economy. We know that at the time of the Guarantee 2008, Anglo Irish had funds in excess of 100 billion euros. Where did these Euros go to? Logically we know that those who had shares in Anglo saw their holdings devalued to nothing but what about those who had funds in excess of the 100,000 euros guarantee cover – their euros are not devalued, diminished – but they may be overseas in safe havens.

The Financial Times today (front page) is reporting that Billions of Sterling pounds held in Swiss Bank accounts are now to be subject to UK tax at 50%. So what about Ireland? Have we made similar changes to the powers of the Revenue in Ireland so that we can access details as to who holds accounts in Switzerland and then charge them tax and note at a higher rate? Maybe our neighbour would negotiate on our part for a similar concession from the Swiss bankers?

Article 19 : Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:

 “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference
and to seek receive and impart information through any media and regardless of frontiers’

Media is essential to maintain a system of Governance as reported by Transparency International today May 3rd 2011.  For Citizen Journalism contributors this may be of significant interest: TI makes specific reference to Citizen Journalism and Social Media. This is about an interaction between the media and civil society groups with the objective of being a watchdog and working for the Public Good. The theme of this day is about 21st century media. Interestingly, it 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’

Keep up the good work ‘citizen journalists’ and those in the social media as a source of grassroots citizen journalism but as for the newspapers, Ireland could do with more of the philosophy of investigative journalism with particular emphasis relating to the Public Good.

Michelle Clarke
No. 10
12th May 2011
Show us the money…how can we create money?

TV3 Vincent Browne and four different panelists with different consensus as to what we Ireland Inc. as distinct from the Ireland of Ireland, owe? The fact is: Austerity is now in the driving seat and the passengers can either attempt to take the wheel, or become proactive or just sit around bleeting about how bad things are and that there is no hope and that it is far worse than the 1980’s or for that matter far worse than the 1950’s when so many had yet again to emigrate. At this stage we might as well add in the 1930’s when we owed the Annuities to the former Colonial Master but decided to renege and take their rebuff of tarriffs/subsidies on the chin. This was known as the Economic War and to this day there are die hards who still blame De Valera and his team for the poverty from the 1930’s and into the 1950’s.

The point is markets are supposed to have no memory, they tend not be predictable; the unforeseen must be factored in, and then lets add some philosophy and add in the touch and power of mysteries. As an example in the 1980’s – Ireland produced the ‘moving holy statutes’ and today who knows if it was real or not but they sure gathered attention in the media and for that matter in the lives of many people. This time we have the arrival of President Bush, Prime Minister David Cameron and no less Queen Elizabeth. Who would ever have envisaged this in the hideous 1980’s of dire unemployment, high debt and no economic growth. At least, we are in a position now to be the proper Host Country to such prestigious guests. There has to be a spin off in Tourism and for all the people interested in such pageants there will be a creative burst of genius and who knows some ideas that might kickstart the economy. Todays radio spoke of a man who was made redundant from the motor industry…he did some thinking and he came up with a brilliant idea. Spokes repairs, yes he saw the potential of the bicycle market and he is back in a business that has ever increasing demand.

People (and include our diaspora) are the grassroots of an economy. Conversation spurs on initiative, sharing, opportunities. Personally, I believe that the loss of our traditional pubs has had a negative impact. The time is here for pubs to attract back their old customers and blend in with the new and younger people. Twitter, the internet create the linkages but what the pubs need to do is to build on this and encourage people to regain ground and our old pub culture. Instead of cards – why not access twitter and chat on topics and try and create ideas. For the pubs to work it is time for the drinks companies like Diageo to reduce price. Our towns; our villages, our communities within our cities are dying. Do we want to follow the same route as the English pub with non owners and just managers appointed by the breweries and half hearted menus? We need to kick start the traditional form of Irish pub so that people once more communicate with each other in person as distinct from virtual. The virtual is great but it does not make up for human contact.

Coffee shops are great but in Ireland apart from say Bewleys in Grafton Street, or Starbucks at the Canal, again there is a lack of centredness/heart. We are not Europe with its history of cafe bars. We are Ireland so let companies like Diageo re-focus and with the Government compliance to actually reduce their tax take, create a pub scene again. Companies like Tesco use Ireland as well as contribute to it. However profit is their purpose and our corporation tax together with other incentives make Ireland an above average infrastructure to be used by corporates. This means off licence is big bucks to them and again this takes from the pub and people drink at home and more than likely more than is good for their health. If you have people back taking a drink in pubs you create business for taxis, hotels, etc. This idea of brown change – why not make a concerted effort to recycle it via tips rather than hord it in piggy banks.

Met a friend at the Bagel today. We had a good chat about everything and then we started discussing TV3 Vincent Browne last night….we both agreed that there is a definite need for some creative thinking as to how cope with the debt. We agreed that the banks are in dire need for restructuring and we added drastically. Tony suggested a novel idea. He had heard that as many as 40 million people actually hold Irish passports? I was shocked. Even if it only was 20 million. His idea is simple but far fairer than the levy of 0.8% on pensions. He suggested a 5 euro charge at each renewal. We now need to start think about the power of one to make a change… Now there is a sound idea from a person with years of experience in business.

Monetarist Policy: Mr Durkan ESRI on Vincent Browne last night – we may just need the ECB to create funds.

The Germans: what has happened to the German who had the novel idea to record his travels, including his breakfasts, on his blog as he travels around Ireland… this is tapping a market surely?

Michelle Clarke


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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

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Citizen Journalism Ireland: Published articles on different topics 2011 year. Revised 2020. 5 headings 3,000 words Tranche (A)

No. 1
2nd January 2011
Comment on Ron Paul’s economic advisor Peter Schiff speaking at several events in Kilkenny (3rd November 2010)

‘What If?

What happens if the banks collapse? What happens if a country defaults? What happens if you change your currency? What happens if you don’t repay bondholders? What would the IMF actually do here? What if nothing happens? What if nothing changes? In looking down the barrel, ‘What If?’ looks at the precedent of what actually happens when armageddon strikes’ – Let it not be more despair!!!

Where are they maybe’s, the possibilities, the hope? Let our learned Economists make assessments and predictions but let them use a broad spectrum interconnected with mystery and hope ingenuity and scope.

What if the IMF intervene? Why not if this creates a trajectory of people who can restore marketability, credibility, and a sound banking system that can once again compete at a global level. Take an extreme and add to this: What if? A true and proper evaluation and valuation of our natural resources is negotiated by say the IMF and by this I mean a re-assessment of that fatal offer made to Shell and its involvement in the Corrib when Ireland, while on the ‘backfoot’ and recession bound in the 1980′s opted for a dud deal when we could have followed the example of Norway? (The Norwegians secured a deal for their oil that provided income and pension cover for years going forward …. while we played the part of Cinderella who never gets to the Ball at all).

So the IMF is a possibility but what if we have a change of Govt as has happened in the UK. Will this restore a sense of confidence in the Irish people and effect a positive change ….

Right now, in the political arena Ireland is in a very weak position. We have a lame duck government that is trying to promote a 4 year plan and the people are not taking it on board because the scent of a General Election is in the air and this in itself weakens the credibility of not just the Government but the Irish people as a whole in trying to get ourselves into a position to borrow again at the same level as Germany and this will and cannot happen without a new alternative government with a proper mandate and a nation with some sense of confidence. We need to ask why we are assessed for such risk that merits the charge to Ireland at 5% more than Germany pays for the same loans. Is this Eurozone Equality for the PIGS and Ireland?

Today, as he departed from the Dail, after 21 years as a TD and Minister, Jim McDaid, former FF fired another volley of shots into the lame duck government of FF and the Greens and even McDaid had the common sense, maybe even at this late stage, to shout WE NEED A GENERAL ELECTION. Now I am not saying that Kenny and Gilmore would make much of a difference and I put more focus on Gilmore, in a critical sense, a Labour politician who earns along with his profile wife Mrs. Hanney a total annual income of 350,000 plus euros p.a. so I would like someone to define the word in context the words socialist labour to the people of Ireland. Yes, as an Irish Citizen I do believe there is money i.e. billions still concealed in this country and even in Swiss Bank accounts etc. as well as hard core assets, commodities, reserves, artistic works and even devaluated properties with unknown potentialities. We are in at present a grave situation and the forthcoming budget has to in a moral sense start cutting from the top i.e. public servants and from those earning of say 80,000 euros with some focus on the 1% wealth source.

Our markets lack the confidence of the people due possibly to the weak Government in power and this is why our people are not spending. We need to inject money (even utilising the credit union system that has worked so well in the past), 2016 approaches, we still have Film Incentives and tax concessions so let us persevere constructively. For those who live in the City for example, shop local, take the bus rather than the car, even the train and use the taxi services. Keep money flowing in the economy increasing the supply so that people will have the confidence to generate economic growth once again. It has been done before. To the legal friends of Economists I would say refer to the case 1950 AG v. Comyn.

Shell on Trial
‘I and my colleagues here are not the one ones on Trial. She is here on trial…the company has indeed ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come.
Ken Saro Wiwa (1941-95) Nigerian writer and activist, leader of the Ogoni people who were protesting against Shell’s exploration on their land, environmental destruction and human-rights abuses. Saro Wiwa was executed with eight others by the Nigerian Govt.

Michelle Clarke


No. 2

11th January, 2011

‘Mr Drumm (Anglo Irish Bank) claimed Mr FitzPatrick began “interfering” in his management of the bank from late 2007 after problems developed over the secret investment, amounting to 28 per cent of the bank, by businessman Seán Quinn’

He says pressure imposed on him to be Chief Executive from 2004….’

Chairman/Chief Executive or Chief Executive/Chairman. Two roles and two grown up business men who benefited from fine salaries, pensions and benefits. They were supposed to be the risk takers, the bankers who get paid high bonuses for taking risks that ultimately yield major paybacks for the bank and its subsidiaries, for the employees, the investors, the shareholders and ultimately via taxation for the State.

Mr. Drumm may deny what Mr. FitzPatrick claims in the book the FitzPatrick Tapes but the fact is each role has specifities and these men had duties – they were members of the ‘professions’. Corporate governance ought to have been their code of conduct but they stepped outside it because the risks yielded even greater profit potential, more offices on the global map including the tax havens and even countries like Austria. No Mr. Drumm. You exceeded the boundaries of your role and you even had the opportunism to apply for residence in the USA so that ultimately you could apply for their more lenient Bankruptcy laws. Time will tell if you succeed. As the saying goes ‘Let the fools run’ and who knows you may prove to be not so smart after all.

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen. They say there are no details in the diary. What about a little ‘What if’ scenario. What if then Taoiseach Mr. Ahern knew of the problems and asked his Finance Minister to engage on his behalf? This is not an unrealistic request when one considers the power of collective responsibility within the auspices of democratic government.

Yesterday Independent states in 2007 that Anglo profits were 1.24 BILLION euros (no small amount) when you consider the 6 billion due re. Bail out. The bank held assets of 96.7 BILLION. By 2008, Anglo profits were down to 784 m and total assets at 101 bn euros. What a quandary for the Government?

Michelle Clarke

No. 3

Jaunary 21st, 2011


No Responses to “Senior Ministers Resign From Cabinet”

The Exodus, not Tunisian style but Irish Republic style.We thought we had stalworths but instead we have cowards. Having emigrated in the 1980′s recession and returned, I am astounded to read today’s Independent and note the severance pay packages available to people who are just above half way through their working life. Packages for Noel Dempsey at 313,000 (e) euros, to Mary Harney 285,000 (e) euros, 310,000 (e) euros for Dermot Ahern, Michael Martin 95,000 (e) euros, to name but only a few. Add to this the tax breaks they are open to if they decide to write their ‘narratives’.The headline of another article on infowars highlights that ‘Tunisia’s state coffers are missing 1.5 tonnes of gold, according to an industry group, amid reports that the ousted president and his wife had collected the ingots before fleeing the country’. To put the Irish situation in context….our politicians have no need to flee because we the plain people of Ireland seem to endorse their blatant self motivated actions. The 1980′s language was often about redundancy packages from work and yes there was a wide two tier gap about inequality but nothing to what we have endorsed in Ireland of today. Then redundancy amounted to a half weeks pay for every year of service, provided you were working with the company for two years and if you were over the age of 40 it was one years pay. You were allowed to receive an amount of £6,000 and after that you were subject to tax i.e. at your top rate.Based on the above, surely the people ought to be seeking explanations. These politicians are no different to employees of a company who in volatile economic times are made redundant or who choose to leave. If so, then should we not be questioning the amounts paid to them for termination of employment and applying tax rules? If the above equation applied then it would mean that there would be a tax amount payable by each of these members leaving government. Do we really know how their payments have reached such high levels over the period of 30 years?

The universal charge is in this month so for those who have abdicated their positions of power, how much will be their take home pay? This is a good start towards being part of the knowledge economy, encouraged by the EU. Surely, they ought to be the first to merit this deduction and then let statutory redundancy rules apply and let them pay the tax on the balance at their top rate. This may not be possible but at least let people contextualise what privilege is for those in the ‘established classes’.

If the US are reviewing pensions and the idea of double dipping then we too in Ireland ought to be reviewing same and where best to start but especially now with so many ‘relatively young’ politicians who are choosing to step aside. Again pension funds and tax breaks have provided for some adequately while others who may have worked to the statutory retirement age have been the fall guys. Yes, the elderly who have already been out marching in protest.

Crisis….emergency powers….the absence of the IMF-EU group. I find it hard to grasp why the IMF-EU group appear to be vacant. Perhaps it is because the people of Ireland have become so passive resistant.

How much sovereignty have we in fact forfeited?

‘The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution’
Hannah Arendt (1906-75) German-born political philosopher. A refugee from the Nazis, she is best known for her analyses of fascism and totalitarianism.

Michelle Clarke


No. 4

January 24th, 2011

Reply to Infowars Ireland article:  Asia’s richest many eyeing up Irish State assets….the Finance Bill is the focus of attention to the exclusion of other matters.  We await the election date.  Let us use the time to focus on our hopes for our beleaguered nation.

We have moved from the ego centric narcissists to the negative attitudinal blame merchants and what is the cost?  We are sinking in an abyss while the media stir the ‘dirt’. We need hope surely.

The Irish Financial Services Centre provided the vision for the Celtic Tiger and now visionless we have four Cabinet members fighting internally to become leader of FF. For me it is too much like ‘Et tu Brute…’

We need hope but we also need a sense of worth otherwise Ireland Inc could become the ideal location for take-over merchants be they corporates or in the case of this article countries like China. Recently it was reported that former FG Leader Mr. John Bruton now in the IFSC was on a trade mission to the Middle East with a focus on selling our ‘banks’. People behind the scenes are working within the global spectrum that they have experienced and there is nothing like a bargain for people like the Chinese, those from the Middle East and those from Russia, even from Irish tax exiles deciding to return. We the plain people of Ireland must embrace the knowledge economy which EU membership dictated our destiny to be. Education and creativity need to be fostered along side the promotion of an ethical life long learning ethos.

We need to stand tall, realise that we have a small population that are deemed to be educated; demographics that are more about youth than old age, we have an open economy; we are an Island surrounded by seas with wealth potential yet not discovered. Yes, this is not the time of the famine….we have potential; we just need to divest ourselves of corruption. We need to conclude the Tribunals e.g. the Mahon Tribunals and set a code of standards to encourage people to adhere to.

We need a leader with constancy, vision, ability, a team leader. It is interesting to read in the above article about Mr. Cowen and Department of Finance and Department of Enterprise meeting this Cantonese delegation expressing interest in our state sector businesses. We must not forget that Mr. Cowen, albeit shunned presently, did try to ‘keep his head while around him in his party, all seemed to be losing theirs’. Too much blame is bad for our nation.

I have written a considerable amount about inclusion and vulnerable members in society. There is some misapprehension in the body of scientific research that people are subjects to be studied but not listened to.

Michelle Clarke


No. 5

January 26th, 2011
Common sense medicine and the view of the patient/user as distinct from bureaucratic attempts to make life difficult for people who have illnesses and who need health services.

The services provided by pharmacies for people with queries about health prove to be excellent provided you live near a chemist as I do. Now, they have on their premises a private room where they can check your blood pressure, give you a flu jab or answer the little worries that often fly around in your head when you have certain medical diagnosis.  Some people who are part of the public medical service HSE seem to think that the community system of medicine deserves little attention and investment and care can be pawned off with non productive or strategic use of their time to people who are paid small amounts and patients who are deemed difficult because of multimorbidities and no true potential for recovery.

An example: There was a time you could go to your doctor and you would either have your bloods taken by the doctor or referred to phlebotomy in the local community hospital. Okay, this is about two destinations and effort. Baggot Street Community Hospital was my centre of non excellence. First you made an appointment, then they changed the rules and you could wait one morning a week. Then there were more changes and all those in need of bloods have to go to St. Vincents Hospital. Yes, this was about a queue but there was a great advantage in that the service was available 5 days a week 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Yes, you might have to wait up to 2 hours but there was a flow and the fact that three nurses took blood it was efficient.

As of December this has changed: It is back to making appointments. This is a nonsense. There are times when the hospital is on alert for viruses, flus etc. and you just have to put off getting bloods for a period of time. The people who get bloods include people with mental health problems and it is important for lithium levels to be maintained otherwise you can have admissions to A&E, and this applies to others who have different illnesses that require bloods.

Back to Vincents Hospital: Each time I have gone for bloods I have written in my diary the following:

‘Missed appointments are a staggering cost : 3,940,314.80 euros for the year 2008

i.e. 26,878 failed to cancel appointments

and yet they propose an appointment system for people needing bloods on a regular basis.

What is systemic about the health system. You need nearly a 35 hour week to be ‘sick’ in this country i.e. if your are a public patient.

And again as a person with disabilities the cut backs in tax and the universal tax discriminate.

Add to this people who each month of the year get prescriptions of a variety of medicines and the charges involved – yes 10 euro.

But can someone explain about why a prescription for Vitamin B12 injection is also subject to a charge for a patient with medical card? This is further discrimination or is it marketing because there are rumours that Vitamin B12 has resulted in positive findings re. dementia.

Michelle Clarke




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Citizen Journalism Ireland: Published articles on different topics 2010 year. Revised 2020. 10 headings 7,900 words Tranche (C)

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 and 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.



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Trailblazing Clare legal clerk considered not a ‘proper person’ even to issue dog licences represented by Michael Comyn and James Comyn snr

Robert Hume highlights a case of blatant sexism one hundred years ago.

Source: Trailblazing Clare legal clerk considered not a ‘proper person’ even to issue dog licences



The life-story of one of Clare’s most unusal nineteenth century emigrants.  Patrick McMahon, of Clounteen, Sixmilebridge, as told by Mr. Bill McInerney in Volume VIII of “The Other Clare”(pp. 7–12) makes fascinating reading. The photograph of the 250 year old landmark, the Sixmilebridge elm tree, with the almost equally old Garna House in the background, sets the scene for a vivid and enthralling account, from Mr. McMahon’s diary, of people, places and events in the neighbourhood in 1888, when he returned on holiday to his native place after 34 years in Australia.  Two entries in Mr. McMahon’s diary particularly caught the attention of the writer of this article. In his entry for Tuesday, August 28th, 1888, he describes his visit to the old Sixmilebridge Sessions House, where a Court of Petty Sessions was assembled. After passing his card to the Chairman, through the Clerk of the Court, he was invited to sit on the Bench alongside the Magistrates. In his entry for Monday, October 8th, 1888, he states that he “wrote a letter of condolence to Mr. Thomas Frost, Clerk, Sixmilebridge Petty Sessions, who had lost his wife ,leaving a large family.”  As I write these lines, there hangs before me, on the wall of my sittingroom, a framed, faded, sepia-tinted photograph, almost 100 years old, depicting a funeral procession. Inscribed on this photograph are the words “Funeral of Mrs. Frost, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare.” This Mrs. Frost was the wife of Mr. Thomas Frost, the Clerk of Petty Sessions referred to in Mr. McMahon’s diary. I also have in my possession the glass photographic plate from which this now faded print was made. Unfortunately, this plate was damaged many years ago by having the top and bottom right-hand corners broken off, possibly by some well-meaning relative who considered that the head of the young man which obtruded itself on the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph did not add to the solemnity of the scene! I have had a composite print made from the surviving portion of the glassnegative (which is quite clear) and the right-hand corners of the old print, which is reproduced here. The prominence of the famous elm tree will be noted.  These extracts from Mr. McMahon’s diary have prompted me to embark on a brief account of the involvement of the Kett/Frost family with the Clerkship of Petty Sessions in Sixmilebridge over a period of close on a hundred years and on a summary of a famous but probably long-forgotten law suit in relation thereto. John Kett, who resided at Garna House, Sixmilebridge, occupied the post of Clerk of Petty Sessions for the District of Sixmilebridge and Newmarket-on-Fergus in 1844. I have been unable to ascertain his exact period of office. His wife, nee Margaret O’Halloran, of Iverstown House, Sixmilebridge, married twice. She had no issue by her first husband, Michael Carroll. By her marriage to John Kett she had five children, John, Michael, James, Mary and Margaret. The three sons, like Patrick McMahon, emigrated to Australia. It would be interesting to know if they fared as well there as their neighbour from Clounteen. As far as I am aware, none of them ever returned to Ireland.

The elder daughter, Mary Kett, married William Nolan of Listowel and Limerick in 1864; these were the great-grandparents on the paternal side of the writer of this article. William Nolan’s brother James was the father of Paddy Nolan, Q.C., who became known as the “fa-ther of the bar” in Alberta, Canada, and whose son, Henry Grattan Nolan, K.C., became a Judge of the Supreme Court in Canada. The Ketts’ second daughter, Margaret, married Thomas Frost on 18th February, 1873, by which time it would appear that he had already succeeded his late father-in-law as Clerk of Petty Sessions. He is described on his marriage certificate as a “clerk”; the name of his bride’s father does not appear on the certificate. Thomas was certainly Clerk of Petty Sessions by 1879, as he is so described on the birth certificate of his daughter, Georgina. His father, Patrick Frost, was a farmer from Rosmanagher.  Margaret Frost, who resided with her husband at Garna House, was only 39 years of age when she died in 1888, leaving five young children. Thomas continued to reside there and to act as Clerk of Petty Sessions until his retirement in1915. He survived his wife by 50 years, dying on 8th December, 1938, aged 96 years.

The function of a Clerk of Petty Sessions during the period in question was to act as the Recording Officer of proceedings in the local Courts of Summary Jurisdiction in much the same way as would a Registrar of the Superior Courts. The jurisdiction of these local Courts would correspond roughly to that of the present-day District Courts and the duties of the Clerk of Petty Sessions to those of a District Court Clerk. Before Thomas Frost’s retirement from his post in 1915 he was assisted by his daughter, Georgina Frost. It was the function of the local Resident Magistrates to appoint the Clerks of Petty Sessions and on Thomas Frost’s retirement they unanimously selected Georgina for the post. However when their recommendation was sent to the Lord Lieutenant for his approval, he refused to sanction the appointment on the ground that “a woman by virtue of her sex is disqualified from being appointed or acting as Clerk of Petty Sessions. ”Many ladies at that time, faced with such a rebuff, would probably have accepted their fate and sought some alternative employment which would have been considered more suitable for a member of the fair sex. Georgina Frost, however, being a lady of sterling character, reacted by engaging the most high-powered legal team available and appealing to the High Court by means of a “Petition of Right”. Her counsel were none other than the famous T.M. Healy K.C. and Michael Comyn K.C. (with them Messrs. Arthur Clery and James Comyn)  instructed by Mr. R. W. Frost, solicitor, of Limerick. Serjeant Matheson and Mr.D.J. O’Brien K.C. (with them Mr. Devitt) were counsel for the Crown instructed by Sir H.A. Wynne, Chief Crown Solicitor for Ireland. The case is reported under the title Frost v. The King in 1919 Irish Reports (at page 81). The petition was heard in the Chancery Division before Mr. Justice Barton on 13th, 18th and 20th days of April, 1917, and Judgment delivered on 20th April, 1917.  The Judge in his Judgment referred to the Statutes governing the Office of Clerk of Petty Sessions (Petty Sessions Acts 1827 and 1858) and to the Interpretation Acts of 1850 and 1889. He reviewed a number of the cases which were cited to him by Counsel, including a recent case of Bebb v. Law Society (1914 1Ch. 286) in which women were held to be to be disqualified by “inveterate usage” from acting as solicitors or attorneys. The Judge commented that: “the reason of the modern decisions disqualifying women from public offices has not been inferiority of intellect or discretion, which few people would now have the hardihood to allege. It has been rather rested upon considerations of decorum, and upon the unfitness of certain painful and exacting duties in relation to the finer qualities of women.”The Judge stated that “the fact that it was not alleged that the holder of any Office corresponding to that of Clerk of Petty Sessions had ever been a woman seemed to amount to a usage no less inveterate than that which existed in the kindred Offices of Judge, juror and solicitor.” He dismissed the Petition, but made no Order against the petitioner as to costs.

Nothing daunted, Georgina Frost, advised by the same legal team, appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Appeal was at hearing on 8th, 9th, 12th and 13th November 1917, before the Lord Chancellor (Lord Shandon), Lord Justice Ronan and Lord Justice T. F. Molony, and Judgment was reserved. The case did not come on for Judgment until 20th December 1918, by which time Lord Justice Molony had become Chief Justice, and Lord Shandon had resigned the Office of Lord Chancellor. The Chief Justice read a letter from Lord Shandon which was accepted as his Judgment by agreement between the parties. Lord Shandon held that the petitioner was entitled to a declaration as claimed in her petition. Lord Justice Ronan then delivered a lengthy Judgment (running to 20 pages in the Report) in which he stated that on minute examination of the statutes he had come to the conclusion that the Office of Clerk of Petty Sessions was confined to males and that on that ground the plaintiff must fail in her action.  Lord Chief Justice Molony then delivered his comprehensive Judgment (running to 10 pages in the report) in which he included a more detailed review of the 3 facts of the case, pointing out that the “suppliant” (Georgina Frost) had acted for a number of years as assistant to her father, who was Clerk of Petty Sessions for the District of Sixmilebridge and Newmarket-on-Fergus; that on his retirement on 15th June 1915, she was unanimously elected to the Office by the Justices sittingat Petty Sessions; and that it was admitted that she was thoroughly qualified by her education and experience to properly discharge the duties of the Office.

He then reviewed the history of the Office and the Statutes and the Common Law relating to it, and referred to a number of cases which had been cited to the Court during the hearing relating to Offices which had been held by women. Among the more interesting cases quoted was that of the Countess of Warwick, who purported to act as Commissioner of Sewers under the Act 23 Henry VIII Cap.5 section 10. In that case the opinion was expressed (in 1685) that “this honourable Countess being put into the Commission of Sewers, the same is warrantable by law, and the ordinances and decrees of Sewers made by her and the other Commissioners of Sewers are not to be impeached for the cause of her sex.” Other posts which women were held capable of holding included: being a sexton and voting in the election therefor; acting as Governor of Chelmsford Workhouse; as Keeper of a gatehouse; and as an overseer of the poor.

Reference was made to Brady’s History of Boroughs from which it appeared that “my Lady Packington” held Office as Returning Officer for members of Aylesbury. At the end of this wide-ranging and exhaustive Judgment, Chief Justice Molony stated that “inasmuch as the statutes we are dealing with in this particular case prohibit the appointment of a woman, I think that the suppliant is not entitled to a declaration that she is qualified, notwithstandingher sex, to hold the Office of Petty Sessions Clerk.”The decision of the Court of Appeal having thus gone against Georgina Frost, by a majority of two to one, she would probably have been forgiven, even by the most fervent feminist, if she had decided to “throw in the sponge”. But no, she decided to appeal to the House of Lords! On this occasion, her counsel were Michael Comyn, K.C., Arthur Clery and James Comyn (instructed by Herbert Z.Deane, acting for R. W. Frost of Limerick). Serjeant Sullivan, K.C., Albert Wood,K.C., and S. L. Devitt acted for the Crown (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor, for Sir H. A. Wynne). The case is reported under the title Frost, Appellant, v Rex, Respondent in 1920/1922 Weekly Notes (House of Lords) at page 178, under date 8th May 1920.

In the course of the argument for the Appellant, after the midday adjournment on 27th April 1920, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Birkenhead, intervened and referred to the fact that, since the decision of the Court of Appeal in this case, the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 had been passed. He said that if this act had been law [at the time of Miss Frost’s election by the Justices] the Appellant would have been entitled to act. Under those circumstances, he“found it a little unattractive that their Lordships should be invited to go through all the older Acts in order to determine whether or not before this Act became law this lady would have been entitled to act.  ”The case, he said, should now be capable of arrangement. It occured to him that if the Lord Lieutenant were communicated with, it was not improbable that he might give a retrospective approval. He said that “on a representation made by his Lordship [Chancellor] to his Exellency [Lord Lieutenant], not, as he understood, without the ap-proval of the representative of the Crown, the Lord Lieutenant would be likely to adopt a course which would render this enquiry unnecessary, and he therefore suggested to Counsel that the hearing of this case should, at any rate, be adjourned until that course has been explored.”Counsel having agreed to this course, the Lord Chancellor said that “he would make a communication to his Excellency, and he did not anticipate that there would be any great difficulty, but if quite unexpectedly some difficulty should emerge, the case could be restored.  “No difficulty did emerge, Georgina Frost’s appointment was approved retrospectively and she continued to carry out her functions as Clerk of Petty Sessions until her retirement in 1922. She died on 6th December 1939 at Garna House. The portion of the Act of 1919 which allowed Miss Frost to be appointed to her post reads as follows: (Section 1)“A person shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial Office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or for admission to any incorporated society…”.

While it cannot be stated with certainty that the courage and tenacity of Georgina Frost in pursuing this litigation all the way to the House of Lords was the chief reason for the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, it would appear to be more than a coincidence that that Act was passed on 23rd December 1919, when her appeal to the House of Lords was pending. A contemporary press report on the case, published under the heading “Lord Birkenhead and Woman’s Rights”, reads as follows: “The Lord Chancellor of England has exhibited practical interest in the admission of women to Offices and professions from which they were heretofore excluded, by intimating, at the hearing of the appeal by Georgina Frost from the decision of the Irish Court of Appeal, holding that as a woman she was precluded from fulfilling the Office of petty sessions clerk at Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare, that he would write to the Lord Lieutenant requesting his Excellency to sanction the appointment of Miss Frost.”  This famous victory by a quiet, unassuming, Clare lady appears to have goneunnoticed by the Women’s Rights movement. I would suggest that the nameof Georgina Frost deserves a place in history beside those of the more vociferous ladies of the suffrage, nationalist and labour movements of the era, such as Madame Gonne McBride, Countess Markievicz and Mrs. Sheehy-Skeffington.

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Citizen Journalism Ireland: Published articles on different topics 2010 year. Revised 2020. 10 headings 4,700 words Tranche (B)

No. 1

March 3rd, 2010

NAMA: EU Driectives Public Tenders Article
NAMA sanctioned by EU to Bacon and the surplus of hotel beds to the people?

High Rents to vacant units.

What can ordinary people do to halt the Recession train speeding out of control and into a tunnel?

Look and see and listen and hear and think is a good start.

An example: Young architects are focusing on the design of Green Property but I ask why the design and not the redesign of the much negelected Georgian and Victorian houses that form part of the wealth of this country. Yes wealth. The doorways promote tourism but the registered owners have significant asset value as many of these properties are owned for decades and excessive rents based on Celtic Tiger going back years as well as expenses that is if they declare their property income in their tax returns each year.

How do we promote community in these hardened times.? We could start by asking people to communicate at a local level and utilising the internet to share ideas and knowledge.

The Italian restaurant in Dawson Street called Carlucci’s took the ‘bull by the horns’ and one day just announced they had closed because the rent was too high and they precipitated reaction. I asked the girl behind the counter when it re-opened and she said yes the landlord responded and reduced the rent.
This is common sense.

Tourists focus on Grafton Street so it is really important that shops remain open and doing business. All must be complicit in this. They may buy cheaper products and sell less but if this is the case then the landlord must charge less rent. Well done to the media coverage on the shopowners – the Grafton Street Tenants Association. They are making a stand. It seems incredible now that the Celtic Tiger boom is over that old legislation prevents landlords’ contracts reducing the rent. The only way forward is to promote rent reduction and effective management at community level. This avoids going out of business and strikes because it means people are thinking about the reality and while on their feet!

We don’t need urban abandonment. We need prosperity, growth, community enhancement, thinking and knowledge.

In the days of the last major recession in the early 1980’s, builders as they were known then and mainly in the local authority market, went to the wall monthly. Local Authority contracts became less and less and if awarded a contract the builders had to provide an insurance Bond and at that time there was only one provider – the Insurance Corporation of Ireland. If you could not get the Bond then you did not win the public tender. Competition was vicious at that time. and so many big builders at that time went bankrupt or just left the market.

Have times changed? This last boom has related not so much to public tenders but to NRA EU related contracts and private development. The boom has halted and we are left with many half completed buildings.

The EU is the new dimension here from the 1980’s. We are now part of the Euro and the ECB has an impact in the whole governance of this country. We are all talking about NAMA and the fact that it has rescued the Greedy Developers but there is a significant change (learned perhaps) from the 1980’s.

Today’s Independent has an interesting heading:

NAMA Builders can still apply for State Contracts. Now here is a change. This is what we are not hearing from the Economists. Unlike in the 1980’s when builders went to the wall, there is a proviso incorporated via NAMA and the EU directives that protect the vehicle structure in what can be called a practical way. The EU directive has provided a kind of canary in a mine symbolism. If the bird ain’t singing then there is no oxygen. So yes the developers have been given some oxygen re. public service contracts and the assumption is that there may be plenty of these since they were not the main focus of the last recession.

The interesting point here is that if the civil service are the facilitators of these contracts ….. could they be responsible for cutting of the supply of oxygen …. by not understanding market forces?

Look out where you work. If you know a landlord owns a number of properties along a street it might just be worth approaching him as a group. If he has held the properties since the 1950’s then he ought to feel ashamed not to reduce the rent.

The urban abandonment links are really interesting. They highlight what we need to prevent. Who wants to always follow the herd of sheep?


Urban abandonments giving rise to moral abandonments

 by Aine Collins – Our Heritage Wed March 03, 2010 15:58

yes an interesting perspective but the reality is a lot harsher than you portray. What about the grave yard hotels that are to be found in every county of Ireland? What about the supposed risk takers and the planners who failed to realistically look at the development plans for the too numerous hotels presently in Ireland? Who are the losers? Do we actually know?

Our commercial courts are full.

Yet our people who have the cash in the banks that have the guarantee clause until next September are afraid to spend!!!! Our elderly have the time and yet these are the people afraid to spend. What can we do to change their minds and activate spending in our economy.

Let us not be eaten up by moral abanndonment. We can make our Island of Ireland become a driver and a motivator again.

moral ebandonment

nama householder



No. 2
March 9th, 2010
October to March and the numbers who are unemployed are growing rapidly

Media Ethics Vision and Ideas (free)

We need jobs and yet our public services feel they have been unjustly targetted for extra taxes. Will strikes provide the answer? What about the unemployed and in particular our young people who are leaving school, college and universities with little or no option but to emigrate?

There are options that did not exist in the 1980’s recession. We have the internet, we have even won an Oscar for Avatar. Well done to this young team.

But for those who are out there trying to find a job – are there any options?

To gain experience to enhance your CV.  You can engage in Pro Bono work (for the good of or for the altruistic temperament of person). People often associate pro bono work with lawyers but its scope is now far wider. It involves advertising agencies and professional service firms. The aim is for the firm to donate a member of staff with a particular expertise for free. Now this is a good idea. It is similar to what transition year is supposed to be about. Likewise a person can target a market and negotiate a period of pro bono time based on experience gathering model.

Pro bono work can accentuate social networking, introducing people to ideas, suggestions, novelties, advice without the need for an upfront monetary payment. It helps people establish business/social relationships. It helps people to exchange ideas and target incubator units that may explore ideas to potential stage.

Negative thinking is the real enemy of the present downturn in the economy. Media coverage tends to be totally focused on the disruption but each invidivual has the power to make some change, maybe not a significant change but a change.

Pat Kenny spoke about Critical Analysis last night and no matter what Degree you attain, what you learn to do is analyse the data, look to the positives and the negatives and then make a judgement.

Take for example The Mahon Tribunal. Why have we not reached a conclusion? Why are Barristers earning so much money researching corruption for so many years? This is an example of where people have become passive resistent. People need to take a stand to such abuses of Power by members of the legal profession, government, the judiciary. The Rule of Law surely is being bastardised.

When is this going to sto? 18 barristers have shared euros 3.7 million in fees since the last sitting i.e. December 2008.

I wish they could learn about real pro bono work instead of wasting our valuable time trying to discover if ex. Taoisigh accepted corrupt payments….When does it stop?

If our services going on strike – what about our unemployed lending a hand saying in public psychiatric hospitals, after all the patients in these hospitals deserve a little extra and don’t deserve to be penalised by staff being on strike. Add to this HSE and care for foster children. The scandals are too many and people are responsible.

Michelle Clarke


No. 3
16th March 2010
Lack of media coverage:  Brain Awareness Week 2010

NAI is the umbrella for people with neurological conditions.  I note you have sponsored this foundation. 

Perhaps this explains why the ordinary person with ABI is discounted while Business/Professions prevail in the marketing of neurological conditions.

Shame on you for removing the human being impact and potential contribution.

I have written for years now trying to promote advocacy and support for people with brain injury.  By chance I noticed that this was Brain Awareness Week and have been trying most of the week to see why it is not gaining the necessary media coverage i.e except for the elites!  

Research in Ireland must change and allow for those of us with ABI to participate in our so often neglected diagnosis.  I have developed chronic fatigue from ABI yet where is the acknowledgement other than using the computer to access worldwide links re. the condition.  But then there is little money to be made from long term conditions like chronic fatigue and the possible links it has to traumatic brain injury outcomes.

Again I am very disappointed at the lack of media coverage.  My partners nephew sustained TBI in an RTA in Italy; while I sustained it from a horse riding accident in Zimbabwe – why exclude us?

Reading science magazines (hope builders) I came across a piece about a Harvard researcher (medical).  It was about stroke victims…and singing.  I had asphasia and it clicked with me when my partner told me his nephew pre accident had a superb voice…I sent the article to his sister or my partner did, to be more correct.  This is where the ‘affected’ can participate.

Michelle Clarke


No. 4

25th March, 2010



A grand plan for a Grand Theatre (History related with a scientific approach)

Electric canal barge Grand Canal Theatre

Boomtime Ireland of the 1960’s gave way the recession in the late 1970’s when too many builders ‘went to the wall’ and many were heard of no more. Joe Duffy’s show today indicated one major change – those thinking of suicide as the route out of desperation have charities like Console to contact now. Perhaps I am a little cynical but back in the 1970’s the Samaritans were there, there was the secrecy code of doctors, priests and disaster just had to be faced. Realistically, things were a lot worse then.

We need Hope. We need to encourage those people who are for their own personal reasons ‘hiding’ little snatches of money be it Euro, Stg, US$ or even the old IR£ to start spending. Buy Irish, spend local and while you are doing it, think of those who have taken the risk to start up a business and support them, their community, their family and then maybe we can start the climb back to prosperity.

When the going gets tough the tough get going and when better than now to urge people to move forward. Well done to the like of Michael O’Leary, Ryanair and to his “Horse” that won in Cheltenham, he pays his taxes in Ireland and he promotes tourism with motivation, drive, innovation and that can only be admired. We need his humour and get up and go to deal with this crisis.

P.C. Worlde Michelle Clarke Doc Martin Phoenix (contributors to citizen journalism site) you have created an appealing invitation to explore our city in Dublin. I want to add this new exploration: Yes, somebody inspite of the recesssion is willing to take a risk:-

The Grand Canal Theatre is open and there will be an electric canal barge which will have a kitchen and seating for as many as 48 people. It is called the MV Cadhla and its focus is tourists and theatre goers. Just imagine it will provide tours from Charlemont Luas station, near Ranelagh village, to the new Grand Canal Theater using the Grand Canal which was built by the Guinness Brewery.

What is interesting about this barge which cost euros 1 m to build – it is powered by batteries that cost euros 100,000 but they are charged over night and the carbon emissions are recorded. This is thinking ahead and we need more of this and it is people at ground level who can inspire. This is not a time to bring the country to its knees with strikes, we did this in the 1970’s and 1980’s with the Wage Agreements.

We need people to spend; to spoil themselves and go to the theater, go to the pub, interact, support those who are genuinely in need. Did anybody out there know that you can be sentenced to prison for begging. Yes you can. A man who sleeps outside told me he had been imprisoned for 3 months for begging. Yet what a paradox. People like this man who receives money keeps it in circulation whereas others still don’t know what to do with their deposits in Anglo, B of Ire, AIB, when the Guarantee ends in September 2010. How bizarre – you would think one would have learnt the lesson from the shares price reductions (E 30 to 1 odd)

2020:  COVID-19 like a thief in the night has stolen so much of our culture and small to medium businesses.  What will be the new normal?  We urgently need Visionaries to make the necessary changes so that we can once more build back our wounded economy destroyed by a Virus – coronavirus COVID-19 which started in Wujan, China, in December 2019.  It is pandemic so each country suffers.  The environment could be a benefactor because already the lack of emissions following the closure of the airports and quarantines preventing transport have shown massive reductions.  We can learn from this.  Nobody would ever have thought that the world over planes would be just parked up on runways and nobody would be travelling.

Michelle Clarke
No. 5
31st March, 2010
Where to now?

Swan Lake

The Grand Canal Theatre sure needed its first performance to be Swan Lake – we need imagination, vision and inspiration.

Ireland Inc as distinct from the Island of Ireland appears to have ‘hit rock bottom’. We read the headlines today and all of us are harkening to the words Embattled Bank makes history with euros 12.7 bn loss. Personally, I wonder what this equates to in Ir£ or Stg given that control of currency rates was a core power to the Regulator pre Ireland being embraced by the Euro currency.

Anglo Irish Bank appears to be the real demonic child and Irish Nationwide whereas the AIB and Bank of Ireland appear to have been bound by a glimmer of the moral and ethical compass.

The big question is: Will we take the bold decision re. Anglo Irish Bank and prior to September (guarantee option) and let it just go to the wall or will we nurture it back to health under the brinkmanship of Alan Dukes and a new management team. This time, the pledge by Government is that a emboldened Regulatory team will be watchful, as will be the case, with the ECB and no doubt the IMF. The Regulators are being challenged also in the UK and for the first time people are being imprisoned for engaging in insider dealing. It is wait and watch for all bankers, developers, solicitors who have breached the ethical/moral code in search of wealth, power, pension, position/status.

We are a Nation in a state of Shock but soon we will have to release the anger at how a contingent of so called educated, professional people, gambled away our gains from a boom period of nearly 15 years.

We the people will not forget the names of Sean FitzPatrick, David Drumm and William McAteer – they will go down in history and their obituaries will not be under their control. Their replacements in Anglo Irish Bank are Maarten van Eden as Anglo Chief Financial Officer and Mike Aynsley, Anglo Chief Executive so we must take note of these names and follow their progress for Hope in the midst of a financial abyss.

Quoted in Independent today – some words of experience perhaps or maybe wisdom.

Maarten van Eden

‘If you get lucky for a long period you start to think the rules don’t apply to you. These guys thought they could walk on water’

‘the facts are that Ireland had a 15 year (property) bull run and very basic facts of life were forgotten’

‘They weren’t even SMART THEY WERE LUCKY’

Mike Aynsley Anglo Chief Executive

‘We have never seen anything like this’

‘There were severe, absolutely unacceptable shortcomings in the corporate governance standards in this organisation’

Michelle Clarke


No. 6

22nd April, 2010

To:  Dermot Lacey

Broad Umbrella Social Democrat

Dermot:  I agree with your comments and I am glad to see you interacting with the citizen journalism site again.

Activists inspire others and in Ireland there is no shortage of activists from one decade to another and to another.

Today, the news is really bad for Ireland. The figures are running fast towards a debt of over 100 BILLION EUROS. The time has come to embrace ideas, vision, change, experience and arrive at alternative to being linked to the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) and Iceland; the reality is we are linked in the worst way possible. We have hit polarities in a decade and that is success in the context of the EU to absolute failure as being in the worst financial straits in the EU.

Will Mr. Matthew Elderfield appointed to the Central Bank tackle our problems; he has 5 years to make the next notch up in his career ambition league. He is a Cambridge graduate with experience in Bermuda no less. So let’s see how he approaches the Banks and deals with them. This man has the experience and it is worth entering his name on Google and getting his CV.

Trade Unions are soft. They were made soft by the Govt of the Celtic Tiger. People and young people particularly need to review just how much they are paid – it is well over the euros 100,000. Let us all have a turn at being activists but like Kathleen from Kilbarrack on Vincent Browne last night – give support to the community groups that cost little and do lots for the people on the ground.


Michelle Clarke


23rd May, 2010
Reply to article published in Science News re Brocas

Tina.  I just read your most interesting article.  As a person with ABI following a horse riding accident in 1993 in Zimbabwe, I have spent years trying to grasp the complications that ensued following the accident.  I live in the Now – Groundhog day and if you have seen the film Memento I live within the context of the limitations imposed upon my physical, mental, social and emotional being the day I had the accident.

I am delighted that the medical profession are opening up to include ‘the patient’ and their view.  My experience with hindsight suggests that the neurosurgeon who saved my life in Zimbabwe (the only one in the country – a man in his 60’s) was to encourage you to just adapt and not to dwell on your situation.  I had left hospital and weeks on I realised that my balance was catastrophic, I was deaf in one ear (subsequently a ENT consultant in Zimbabwe confirmed it), I had no smell, vision problems and aphasia.  Now back to the point about aphasia.

Medicine is shy in discussing the real impact of brain injury and the perservance required by the patient and the inherent frustration when you can’t carry out tasks, speak words or sentences.  The complications are simple.  Two wise nuns in Zimbabwe tried to advise me ‘Rest Restores’ but I kept trying and failing.  I attended a speech therapist, strangely she was Irish and doing voluntary work in Zimbabwe.  We tried hard to develop techniques but time is the healer here.  Broca’s takes me back a year of which I have scant memory.  ABI is often a friend of the old Black Dog and yes I have the bipolar aspect.  This involves lots of medications and periods in hospital with ECT.  For me this confirms my view that doctors 20 years ago appeared abrupt and non committal in their diagnosis.  What has changed in Ireland, I ask?.  Please allow our Irish medical profession access to the views of the sufferer and don’t make the scientific ethical morals so rigid that you exclude the potential of the patient to contribute to their own recovery.

Back to broca.  Last year my health took a nose dive inspite of the contant care of my partner and minder.  I became lithium poisoned and ended up in Tallaght Hospital Accident and Emergency.  I can vaguely recall the horrors of the paranoia but of equal significance was the impact of aphasia re-occurring almost 20 years later and the pent up frustration and abject fear that I could not influence the myriad of doctors, consultants, Irish or Foreign whose task it was to assess my diagnosis.  ABI must be equally frustrating for them because processing is one issue, while sequencing events is another.  What I recall is that one young man had the same name as my partner and for some reason, he probed further.  He was enthusiastic and reminded me of my dad who also was a doctor.  In the trauma I managed as I thought to write it out so I would remember it (alas when I sought my notes they were illegible, a scrawl).  This doctor reported to his consultant and a team of young doctors sat around my bed as the Consultant asked questions.  I came across this article ‘Broca’ the other day and enough of a sequence to tell me this was the diagnosis given at that time.

To understand, communication is imperative.  I knew because of the ABI that I was aphasic but I could not get the message across.  It took the chance coincidence of the doctor having the same name as my partner and out of that the patience to give rise to understanding and a few extra tests i.e. the ones that neuro psychologists carry out.

All I can say is tap talent at all costs and the brain is facinating even to the person who is living with ABI.

Addendum:  ABI and complications from Epilepsy, MS, Depression, and the impact of an onset of Chronic Fatigue provides a real challenge to the medical profession to make provision for a centre of excellence on the Island of Ireland.

Michelle Clarke
No. 9
28th June, 2010
Emigrant of the 1980’s takes a stroll up the Quays in Dublin


Yes there is change but with it there is a new seediness about this area of Dublin. I heard Brian Lucey from Trinity speak of a kind of moral bankruptcy that forms part of the new post Celtic Tiger Ireland and if it applies to our health system in such a barbaric way, it also applies to our city and by that I mean O’Connell Street. Yes the Spire is there but what happened to that “Floosy in the Jacuzzi” and the Dublin wit that went with it.

Yes there is the Luas but why do the Quays still look as if the were bombed in World War II. I suppose there are those tax beneficial apartments to replace the older buildings but there is no heart in the city now.

The splendid Four Courts looks cold and abandoned now that the new Courts are open at the Phoenix Park location.

Where is Tourism? There are many famous trials that were held in these courts and would it not be appropriate to have mock trials and encourage young people in the area (who may be destined to a path of crime) to explore another angle…the angle of learning.

On this subject yes learning and knowledge. I have entered one of the only computer shops on the Quays and notice that broadband is so terribly slow in this country. Why? Eircom etc. where is the efficiency? This is a company that has had almost ten take overs in management in as many years and yet the service is pathetic.

Emigrant thinking of returning


Michelle Clarke


No. 10

August 17th, 2010


Published Infowars Ireland:  Irish Dental Association:  Appointment of chief dental health officer (a post vacant for 7 years) as published Irish Times 17th August 2010

Meanwhile, president of the Irish Dental Association (IDA), Dr Billy Davis, said the appointment of a chief dental health officer (a post now vacant for seven years) “to review and update government dental health policies would have avoided the current confusion on the provision of services to children”.

The post of Chief Dental Health Officer (a post now vacant for 7 years).  This is a disgrace.  Why such discrimination?  Why is this post not filled?  Is there something particularly unappealing i.e. as distinct from the salary and perks that makes this post a no go area for dentists?  Where is the motivation?

The medical profession and the dental profession in Ireland have too much control over the Supply and Demand economic equation.  Cecil Rhodes was the forerunner with the 1 carat diamond who recognised the power of economics and supply and demand.  The outcome of course is vast sums of wealth for a few and a promotion of a two tier society.

We are paying too much and these professionals are demanding too much.  We only need listen to people discuss their trips to Europe and to the North of Ireland  to get their teeth in order for a considerably lesser ‘price’.  The reaction we get from the dentists here to this competition is nothing other than bleeting.

Where is the sense of morality?  What happened to medicine and the promotion of health, compassion and empowerment.  Living in England 20 years ago, I found the NHS service worked.

The vulnerable are the people who are suffering.  If you look to your local health clinic and watch the people who attend, people attending the psychaitric units, getting bloods for long term neurological conditions etc, people and particularly young people with addiction problems, and children – why are we so complacent in what ought to be a socially democratic republic that we allow these professions to visibly alter the two tiers of such a fast becoming unequal society?

Vincent Browne has recommended a book called The Spirit Level.  It talks about societies that focus on equalities and how this lessens inequalities.  People need to speak up not just for themselves but for those who cannot i.e. those with psychiatric problems, those with drug addictions, those affected by poverty, children, those with conditions like cystic fibrosis.  We do not need to be shelved for some future alternative…..

We need to put in place some form of Universal Health cover.  We can piggy back on the research of our EU cohorts.  The “mouth” is about what appears to others, it is also one of the main indicators of the state of health of a person.  There was a time when a visit to a surgery always involved a blood pressure check, a brown stick to hold down the tongue for the doctor to review the mouth…..have we become lazy and in particular relating to primary health care’?

Quotation Peter Singer (1946……) Australian philosopher and ethicist

An ethical approach to life does not forbid having fun and enjoying food and wine (i.e. priorities of our medical professions by virtue of high salaries, pensions, private medicine and perks), but it changes our sense of priorities’

Michelle Clarke


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