Whatever words are being documented to describe the outcome of Saturday’s election, there are still words such as “homeless crisis”, “trolley crisis”, “climate crisis” and “crime crisis” rising to the fore among us — the electorate — the true hands of power.
And while parties scrabble to the chess board and egos begin to move towards checkmate, we the electorate are left waiting in the wings.
While the experts squabble over the reasoning to the outcome of this election and while tit-for-tats occur over the surge and decline of parties, the message from the citizens of Ireland must not be lost.
We’ve asked for one united voice to be heard.
We’ve asked for sustainable solutions to our housing, health, education and justice systems. We’ve asked for a change to the status quo because clearly that status quo of aiding the top few percentages of our citizens isn’t working for the majority.
In 2016 we warned Dáil Éireann we were tiring of the old when we began asking for change and yet, those elected still didn’t listen.
On Saturday, we screamed at Dáil Éireann, demanding it open its ears, listen, act and improve the living standards for all citizens of this land, whether their first breath or millionth breath was taken here.
We all deserve to live in an Ireland that is fair, just and holds hope for our — and the future of the next — generation. We deserve our taxes be spent well.
We deserve to live off a wage, we deserve to retire, we deserve to receive the care we require should we fall ill and we deserve to have those less audible voices heard amongst us.
All of us are supposed to be equal yet it seems for the past decade, a few have been deemed more equal than others, often at the expense of others.
This is a country regularly promoted to the outside world: A country where the diverse nature of our being, our creativity, our work ethic, our skills and our labour force are touted and lauded.
A country that flirts with big corporations; corporations who use our workforce to gain them big profits while our government hands over taxpayers money to aid their start-ups and expansions.
Allowing them then freewheel the stock markets with little to no payback to the very land that gave them their workforce in the first place.
This is an Ireland that has become a country of struggle with some living in fear: Fear of a landlord; fear of a lacklustre wage; fear of an adult child and their children returning to the family home; fear of falling sick and being stuck on a trolley for days; fear for the health and future of an incapacitated loved one, and fear of the future.
For some, fear is of the dark and fear is walking down a well-lit street.
I for one don’t want to be part of a society that nurtures such fear.
We all deserve better, we’ve demanded better and we now expect better as we hold out our hands, clasp one another and look to Dáil Éireann and the people elected to aid the future of our nation.
Marie Hanna Curran
This readers' opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 14 February 2020.