Another farce from government
What is most depressing about the pay-by-weight farce is that we have been here before. Yet again the government knew for months in advance that the scheme was coming in, and yet there was no effort to sell it to get public buy into it.
Yet again the government came out with rubbish numbers claiming it would save us money, simply believing what the service providers told them, and didn’t double check the figures to make sure.
Yet again the government was repeatedly warned for months that there was going to be a problem and they ignored the warnings.
Household charges, septic tank charges, water charges, broadcasting charges, and now pay by weight bins. Each one an excellent idea in principle that could not be communicated and implemented more badly if one tried.
As for opposition criticism, they should be reminded of the saying, “Better to have tried and failed, than not try at all.” At least the government is trying. The opposition were all given the option of power and they collectively shunned it. It is so depressing to see the paucity of leadership we have in this country. Bring back the Troika, they were as unpopular as the government, but at least they were competent.
Prudent lending is key to housing crisis
Evidence from the construction sector is that builders parked badly-needed housing projects when the Central Bank plans were announced.
It could not have happened at a worse time for our society and economy. Now, there are too few homes for the well off and none for the not well off.
We will struggle to attract businesses to areas where workers are in need of high wages to keep a roof over their heads.
We have a homeless crisis not seen since the war of independence and families not knowing each morning where they will sleep when night falls.
Sensible lending should be part of the solution.
The best lesson the Central Bank should have learned from the crash is to work hand-in-hand with the public administration at all times if it wants to formulate durable policies.
Vulture funds add to homeless crisis
We are being told that the Government is giving the matter of “Homelessness” priority.
We should remember over many decades various Ministers and Governments have given “priority” to HSE and yet many problems still exit within the Health Service.
In addition we should remember while the Government (on the instigation of EU) reacted promptly to problems within the banking sector — neither Government nor ministers have demonstrated the same “concern” for people made “homeless” by banks.
The problem of homelessness is increasing with the arrival of “vulture funds” (and welcomed by Minister for Finance) to the Irish Market.
These vulture funds will want empty possession of properties purchased unless the Government acts quickly to prevent people being thrown out of their homes.
This country seems to be moving back to the 1800s — with home owners being evicted by “foreign landowners”. And the Government are not only failing to protect the people — some would say they are collaborating (again) with Banks.
Words of wisdom at weekly sermon
Our parish priest An tAthar Sean Ó Gallchoir in his weekly sermon spoke of the attacks on Christians in foreign countries and indeed on Christianity here at home.
It got me thinking and to be honest there wasn’t much thinking involved, because I’m well aware off the fundamentalist teachings stemming from the ultra conservative wahhabism religious movement within Sunni Islam in Saudi Arabia and its non-tolerance of Christian beliefs that is spinning a worldwide web of hatred and murder across the middle east and into north Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
But there are more sublime attacks coming from within our own borders where the values associated with Christianity no longer hold sway.
Secularism in the form of picking or choosing the parts you like and discarding the parts you don’t is the new religion of the western world, who can argue that this is not the case because we all partake in it to some extent? There are many economic and political trains of thought involved in the make-up of this new evolving secularist world order and no-one can predict for sure how its going to end up.
It is very easy to blame Muslims as the root cause of this cancer but if you look at the bigger picture it is easier to see that the pursuance of western ideology and undue influence in internal middle eastern countries is the real cause of throwing petrol on a fire that was contained by its cultural identity and shared borders.
We cannot turn a blind eye to the other pair of elephants in the room, one of which was the rampant abuse by paedophiles dressed in church vestments. This did more damage in curtailing the nurturing and teachings of God than anyone can or will be able to fathom in our lifetime.
The other is the fact that in a short number of years Christianity of different shades on this Island, have got growing competition in the form of free flowing migration from non-Christian countries, will this unchecked freedom of movement cause problems in years to come? There is an expression that says, ‘when in Rome. do as the Romans do’.
It is not advisable nowadays to say in company that you attend Mass on a regular basis for fear of drawing snide remarks and undue references.
In a way, it’s comparable to the situation many an Irish person living in England years ago found themselves in, you kept your head down, said very little and went about your business without drawing attention to yourself.
Getting back to An tAthar Sean and his sermon, although he is some priest to be one priest, as a way of explaining that statement, it doesn’t matter if a person is sick at home or in hospital, he is guaranteed to pay a visit.
He possesses a memory that retains and guards parochial knowledge with equal measure. He knows every person — man, woman, and child in the parish by name and is an expert and author on Donegal GAA affairs.
For any priest to follow in his footsteps, it will be a hard act to follow. My feeling is that priests in general or laity should not be afraid to speak out and call a spade a spade. If that means rocking the boat on parochial, national or world issues relating in any way to the health or wealth of their parishioners, then so be it.
Good advice, but just a little too late
Your editorial on June 22 ended with the following sentence.
‘A reluctance to make a hard decision may be a cultural trait of ours but it is one that does not serve us well. Not only does it defer the inevitable but it also encourages poor politics which, in turn, leads to pretty poor outcomes. It’s time we made a decision to change this.’
It is a pity we did not get — and more importantly — follow that advice from 2002 onwards.
It was then that government expenditure and bank lending were tripled in an orgy of ‘poor politics’.
That led to the ‘poor outcome’ of a bankrupt country and an unprecedented succession of austerity measures.
Forget the whips, ban hare coursing
By the time you read this, the Dáil may have debated a Bill sponsored by Maureen O’Sullivan TD that aims to ban live hare coursing in Ireland.
Would it be too much to expect that TDs of all parties and groupings should be allowed a free vote on this Bill?
A previous attempt by the late Tony Gregory TD to end this blood sport, in 1993, was defeated by a huge margin (104 to 16), not for lack of lack of support in the Dáil or amongst the general public, but simply because Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour imposed the whip in opposition to the Bill.
A lot has changed since 1993. Hare coursing itself has since been outlawed in Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Gregory Bill was debated at a time when marriage equality was far in the future, political corruption was all pervasive and embedded in our culture... a time when the last Magdalene Laundry had another three years of existence ahead of it.
This is a different Ireland and we have now supposedly entered the age of ‘New Politics’.
So I earnestly hope that the party whips will be set aside for the vote on the anti hare coursing Bill.
This is clearly a conscience issue and the vote will have no implications either way for the country’s economic well being or the government’s survival.
A free vote would allow TDs, to cite the old aphorism, to run with the hare or hunt with the hounds, as preferred. And democracy would be the winner.