All farming groups must unite to fight for our future
All farming organisations should hold an emergency meeting to discuss the farm income crisis and to work as one to get a solution for all sectors.
They need to put differences aside and fight with one voice and one action plan.
The CSO figures, when published, will show that farming income is well below half that of the industrial wage and the CSO figures will be more about what they won’t show.
The full extent of the real damage being done at farm level won’t be shown in these figures.
By this I mean it’s not going to show how much each farmer had to borrow to survive this year and savings or investments used up at farm level.
It’s not going to show how much the debt burden from the past couple of years are going to impact future borrowings to invest inside the farm gate.
Nor will they show the hours worked on the farm in labour units to achieve these CSO figures.
Because of the low income they are not showing how many individuals are working long hours and putting a farmer’s health and safety at risk when working alone in many cases.
Maybe farm leaders can learn from the gardaí in their recent dispute, the gardaí tried something completely different and foreign to them to stand up for what they believed in.
Lobbying has failed farming and if we don’t try something different and maybe suffer a bit of pain to achieve it, then there is a bleak future for all of us.
So let’s see our farming leaders on the one platform to show us that it is us they care for, not their own future progression within these organisations.
They must know now that it is futile exercise to keep doing what they are doing.
Farmers are now the new poor in the food supply chain and this must be stopped by our leaders to ensure we get a fair wage for our hours worked.
Government must prioritise housing
While the provision of educational and other social and infrastructural facilities are of great importance for future prosperity; the provision of housing is at a critical juncture.
The Government must ensure that as many as possible starter and affordable homes are being built as soon as possible.
Any other housing stock ought to be planned now as well, because what happens after January is anyone’s guess.
The only certainty seems to be uncertainty.
There may also be significant changes following elections in Europe next year that could have knock-on effects here.
The Government must look after the welfare of all our citizens.
They must help the many who are now homeless to find them permanent housing.
And work and effort should be put into helping homeowners in financial trouble to keep a roof over their heads.
A special effort should be made to ensure homes are secured for people with no time to lose.
Right now, we need to gauge who are real friends and who we can dependably work with that would most help the Irish Republic.
The Government needs to treat this with urgency.
Pro-abortion peddlers lost vote
Once again the Catholic American hierarchy and Pope Francis remained mute about Catholics voting for and donating to pro-abortion political candidate Hillary Clinton.
Truly, it was the silence of the Catholic shepherds.
Mrs Clinton made it very clear that she supported legal abortion.
Millions of Catholics voted for Mrs Clinton even though they knew that she condoned the maternal assassination of the unborn child.
Yet the Catholic American clergy and their boss, Pope Francis, said and did absolutely nothing.
The American bishops, the pastors, and priests committed mortal sins of omission by their volitional silence.
They are accomplices in the American abortion holocaust.
The bishops, priests, and sisters as well as Catholic brothers, including those men who taught me in high school and college, appear to not know the nature of sin.
Priests who teach in Catholic seminaries especially don’t appear to know what sin is.
They are theological incompetents and they will be held accountable by Jesus Christ for their deliberate ignorance. Their ignorance could lead them to hell.
God gives to all of us who are refugees of the garden of Eden a conscience issued by the Holy Spirit, the Counsellor.
Most academically brainwashed Catholic religious, especially the bishops, only believe in reason.
And reason told the bishops it was morally acceptable to vote for pro-abortion Hilary Clinton.
Reason was wrong.
At least Trump is right about trade
There has been much negative coverage of Donald Trump in the Irish Examiner. For sure, he has many faults and flaws.
But he has hit the nail on the head as regards globalisation and so called “free trade” agreements such as NAAFTA and TTIP.
Imports produced by low wage economies have destroyed American Industry.
Free trade deals have led to the loss of millions of well paid jobs in the USA.
Many voted for Brexit for the same reasons.
The steel industry in England and Wales is on its knees because of cheaper, Chinese-made steel.
Think of all the great British brands which have disappeared because of globalisation — Rover, Talbot, Morris, De Havilland, Vickers, British Aerospace, Pye, Ferguson, among many others.
Most of those which survive are no longer “British”.
Raleigh bicycles are now made in the Far East and Leyland vans are manufactured in China.
Perish the thought of red poppies
I have often wondered why, on Remembrance Day, wreaths laid on behalf of our Republic are devoid of red poppies.
Could it be the Government lives in fear that if it decided to include red poppies the leaders of 1916 would rise in anger from their graves and storm the GPO to declare a new republic to bring again death and destruction to the streets of Dublin.
I’d say perish the thought but no doubt others would praise it.
Maybe POTUS has a vision. Let it be
I think it’s time to let Donald Trump get his show on the road. I didn’t vote for him.
I felt uneasy, even sick to my stomach of the thought him being POTUS.
I will give him a year to get things rolling. Maybe he has a vision I can’t see.
So as McCartney and Lennon wrote, ‘Let It Be’.
Act now to protect Irish children
We are writing collectively to express our concern at the continued delays to the commencement of the Children First Act which was enacted in November 2015 but today, almost a year later, only three sections of the Act have commenced.
Without the enactment of this legislation, children do not have sufficient legal protection when it comes to their safety.
The most recent date given for full commencement is not until February 2018, nearly two-and-a-half years after the legislation was enacted.
Responsible implementation of such important legislation is crucial, but it is extremely disappointing there has not been a stronger statement of intent when it comes to essential child welfare and protection safeguards.
Sadly, our organisations see every day the impact of this legislative gap.
Despite Ireland’s historic legacy of mistreatment and abuse of children, which is well reported and documented, the state has not put in place the strong legal framework that Children First promises.
We feel this is a missed opportunity — and our experience of working with children highlights the potential transformative effect it could have.
The strongest message the state could give to children on Universal Children’s Day, November 20, is to commit to their safety and security.
The Children First Act was born from a united cry to ensure that the level of abuse witnessed in Ireland would never happen again, but it cannot do its job until it is translated from paper into action.
We acknowledge there have been significant strides made with regards to the protection of children in Ireland in recent years, however, if this is not underpinned by the full implementation of this key piece of legislation the spirit and intent will remain an ambition rather than a reality.
We recognise Tusla has faced severe resource constraints in the past, but these have eased recently.
While it is of course important to ensure the requisite training and preparation takes place to ensure effective enforcement of the legislation, there comes a point when a prioritisation has to be made.
That time is now.
A copy of this letter has been sent to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, TD.