Hoping to be Bankrupt for Christmas …

first printed in IrishCentral on December 14, 2013 The New York Times has thrown cold water onto the success story that is Ireland. It has challenged the public perception peddled by Irish politicians that we are the ‘good boy’ of Europe and that ‘austerity politics are serving us well’. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth and what is emerging today in Ireland is a two tier society with the those in control enjoying large pensions, fat salaries and ‘top-ups’ to their income, while the middle classes have largely been eradicated and along with the poor are faced with stealth taxes; taxes applied universally so that proportionately the less well-off are hit harder.   Emigration numbers are at famine levels, suicides now number two a day and some 40percent of all households have no disposal income at the beginning of each month.   I can personally attest to the direct impact of austerity on Ireland and I can see no light at the end of the tunnel.  Six years ago a perfect storm of divorce and recession left me with a mortgage of €1million on a house worth half that. I accumulated huge legal fees (my divorce lawyer […]

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My week on @Ireland – my parting message

What an amazing week. I will write about my lovely time as the curator of the @Ireland account tomorrow but I am running out the door now and so I just want to ask people who follow the account to look at this presentation I did on debt, survival and hope. http://bcove.me/i68kpnpg  or click on the icon on www.SouthEastTelevision.ie This is a talk I did with SouthEast Television called I wonder – about debt,survival and hope I really put my heart and soul into this. I think it is important. I am passionate about not being ashamed at failing financially. Neither should you be – if you have the misfortune to be down on your luck. God bless!   Remember – This too will pass…  

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Arm young people with facts, not fear

I was going to add my twuppence worth into the ridiculous outrage in the past few days over the ‘threesome’ article. In fairness I had a lot of fun on Twitter talking about it. I also listened to Liveline and was bemused. Have we nothing better to worry about? Yes, in fact we do: rising employment, increased repossessions, suicides, poverty, teenage bullying, stress, despair, mass emigration, lack of proper health care, people lying on trolleys in hospitals, growing polarisation between rich and poor, and that poor child who drowned yesterday. We have a lot to worry about. Providing facts about sexuality is not a bad thing. Just because you know about a certain sexual act, does not mean you have to do it. Knowledge is power. From knowledge comes choice. Ignorance only creates fear. Anyway, I don’t want to labour the point, the good people at Spunout have expressed themselves very well and I enclose their statement here.   Arm young people with facts, not fear. Published: March 23, 2013 Young people are having sex whether the Sunday Independent or Deputy Michelle Mulherin like it or not. Some of them are having sex with more than one person, and sometimes with more than one […]

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Exporting our Troubles

As a nation we have become adept at exporting our troubles. When our population soared in the mid 1800s we exported our surplus population by the coffin ship. There just were not enough potatoes to go around. When we grew a pair and started to demand national self determination and that spilled in active resistance in the next century, so we began flexing the fledging muscles of independence. But then when a timely and largely indiscriminate thin red line was drawn across the upper province of our country, we managed to export the actual violence and daily grind of sectarian anger and destruction over the border. When we were unable to cope with the concept and possible results of sex outside of marriage, we exported our pregnant teenagers to the UK to have abortions. We still export this problem for distressed women who need a termination regardless of marriage status. When we could not tolerate any breakdown in the sanctity of marriage, we exported that problem too for a long time. Even now, we operate a splintered path to divorce, a two part process that draws out the painful division of a couple, resulting in months, even years of arguing […]

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The man next door is not your enemy – a rant on the side of the people

The man next door is not your enemy. He may well be in receipt of many hundreds of welfare money and reliefs each week, but he is not your enemy. The young girl who has a baby to ‘get ’a house is not your enemy. Would you wish that lifestyle choice on your sister, daughter, or friend? The chap doing the nixers and claiming the dole is not your enemy. People make choices but often choices are forced on them. It could be accident of birth, education or geographical location. It could be as result of job loss, divorce or bereavement. It could be the school you went to, the kids you hung out with, or what your parents did. It could a desire to follow a dream, or conversely inertia and laziness. It could be because you fell in love in final year, broke up in final year, or could not find love in final year. It could be the books you read, the books you hoped to read, or more importantly the books you never read. It could be the songs sung to you in the cradle, the songs you hummed as a child, or the songs you […]

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