Women’s Inspire Network (WIN) kicks off with first conference

For immediate release:  Friday 24 October, 2011 The inaugural Women’s Inspire Network (WIN) formed by Twitter-Goddess  Samantha Kelly kicks off its 2014 programme with a conference to inspire women in Wexford. The lineup includes Victoria Mary Clarke, Carmel Harrington and Jillian Godsil. The venue is The Talbot Hotel, Wexford, on Wednesday 29th October from 9am until 1pm, when lunch and networking will take place. The theme is Surviving in a Recession. Samantha Kelly, better known as @TweetingGoddess, is well known for her successful appearance on Dragon’s Den, the online group IrishBizParty and Goddess Hour on RadioActive. She formed IrishBizParty as a networking group and that has now grown to more than 2000 active members.  She formed the WIN group this year in response to her experience at formal networking groups. As she explains: ‘I found most traditional networking groups to be intimidating. They tend to be suit-dominated and very male in their orientation. Often, the timing too was geared towards people who either do not have children or who have a spouse at home to mind them.  I felt we needed a fresh channel where women in particular could come together to share experiences, link up and network in a […]

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Irish public should not pay for sins of the banks

First published by The Irish Independent on 30/09/2014 http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/irish-public-should-not-pay-for-sins-of-the-banks-30547742.html   It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in debt for a thousand euro is worried, but that when a man is in debt for a million, then the bank is worried. Or it used to be like that. Now the odds are that someone has to be in debt for a multiple of that amount before anyone loses any sleep, least of all the banks. Actually, it is least of all the banks – the new rules of capitalism mean that while bank debt is socialised, bank profit is retained for the few. How very convenient for them but, of course, it was always like that when it came to those too big to fail. We live in very different world financially and the Irish have been hit the hardest in this recent catastrophe. Sometimes we forget that there is a global financial crisis and we are only a tiny cog in the middle of it. The sad part is, like the new breed of capitalism, we have also been subject to new rules, sucking up 42pc of the Eurozone banking crisis debt. Given that we are a […]

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Make Good Law the First Time Around  

There are some things that improve with practice and revision; dance routines, manuscripts, driving, piano playing among others but not law. Law when enacted should be the very best it can be. ‘A suck it and see’ approach is not advisable. A ‘let’s start here and see where we end up’ is not advisable. A ‘this is getting better’ is not a good start or rather it is a good start but not good enough to be put into law. We need law to be as precise and as finished as possible. We know this for it takes a long time to bring in new law. We know this for law has a direct impact on the population. Law is very powerful. It regulates how we live, punishes wrong doers and can dramatically impact the lives of citizens. It needs to be good law the first time around. The very best law we can create because the possible negative impact of bad law has huge ramifications from unfair or unjust rule right the way through to unwieldy and costly law suits for wrongful justice. Last year as I waited for the new insolvency laws to come into practice I was […]

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Coming out

It is wonderful to see mental health issues being talked about in the open. Last week on television, footballing brothers, Ian and Gary Kinsela, launched 32countyjerseys in memory of their brother Jonathan and in aid of Pieta House. Another Dublin footballer Paul Flynn said talking about mental health was pivotal to dealing with it. If he had a hamstring injury he would go to the doctor, so why not a mental issue? This is a huge step forward. The TV3  interviewer Aidan Cooney, being a man of a certain age, said that talking about mental health was very much frowned upon when he was growing up.  No one would dare say they felt under the weather or needed a hug. It could be misconstrued in a number of ways, and none of them were welcome. A couple of years ago, I was involved with a Twitter-based initiative called #Depressionhurts run by the admirable Norah Boran and Alan Lavender and through the programme people shared their stories of mental health issues. It was the first time I came across the term ‘the black dog’ which has since become a keystone in describing depression. I remember vividly one man wrote about the […]

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Dirty Girls and Dirty Debt

There are 800 skeletons of small children found in a septic tank in Tuam, Co Galway. This horrific discovery was first made back in the 1960s by two small boys but nothing was done, no investigation made, not even a graveyard instituted. It was left to a local man Padraig to try and create a small memorial and sadly he passed away last week. It was left to local historian Catherine Corless to try and provide a proper and fitting response. The babies were looked after in a Bon Secours institution, called ironically The Home, from 1920s to the 1960s The babies were all born to unwed mothers; mothers who were thrown out of their family homes to give birth to their bastard children in an institution. If their babies survived they were often forcibly sold into adoption with suitable parents. The death toll of these children was four times the national average. The girls were often forced to work as indentured slaves as a punishment for their crime of having a child out of wedlock. Some pregnancies would have been as a result of violence and perhaps rape. Some would have been as a result of ignorance of contraception […]

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History is littered with the successes of failures  

I am no longer campaigning I am no longer a Wicklow county council candidate I am not longer a European Parliament candidate I am no longer pressed on all sides for my opinion on topics as diverse as youth, LGBT, energy and age I no longer get to sign pledges with impressive looking organisations My phone has stopped beeping every two seconds Journalists have stopped ringing me Radio stations no longer want to talk to me TV is no longer calling   I am now officially in a vacuum in which I can draw breathe and relax   So while I failed in my attempt to get elected what were my successes?   I successfully changed the law on April 16, 2014, and from there launched my European campaign I was successful in earning 11,500 votes from people across the Ireland South constituency I was successful in earning 250 votes from local Wicklow people I was successful in speaking on radio with LE candidates I was successful in speaking on radio with fellow EP candidates I was successful in appearing on television with fellow EP candidates I was successful in appearing in print and online articles across the region I […]

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Running the Race

Sunday morning, 25 May 2014 I have run the race and am reaching the end. I have yet to cross the line but it is in sight. My legs are sore, my breathing laboured and there are rubs on my feet.  There are many ahead of me; a goodly pack of politicians, first timers, old timers, new seekers, tired thinkers, young ones, old ones and inbetween ones. There are even one or two stragglers behind me. We have all run our race, some with parties, some without, some with zeal, some with polish, some with ideas quite divergent and some with ideas that are as old as the earth we cross. In this race there were moments when people slipped, were pushed or just fell. Mostly the other runners skipped over or ran around the runner on the ground. It was rare a hand was held out by another runner; it is not that kind of race. But it was common for the spectators to rush forward and pull the runner to his feet, to push water into his hand and to chivvy him on his way. No runner left behind, not until the fat lady sings anyway. When I […]

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Giving Thanks

I want to give thanks for my children, Georgina and Kathryn I want to give thanks for my mum Mary and my five siblings: Arthur, Ena, Richard, Ann and John I want to give thanks for my nephews and nieces I want to give thanks for my friends I want to give thanks for my neighbours I want to give thanks for my acquaintances I want to give thank for strangers who gave me a kind word I want to give thanks to everyone who helped me along the way I want to give thanks for every kind wish sent my way I want to give thanks for everyone who listened to me I want to give thanks for being alive and well and full of joy I give thanks

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Debt is the single biggest issue of our century – Primetime Monday 19, 2014

Debt is the single biggest issue facing the Irish people this century both on a national and European stage.  When history comes to be written the issue of debt in our time will be as big an issue as the famine was in the 19th century. And ironically, the misery caused by both – the deaths, suicides, emigration and homelessness – are utterly preventable.   We know that we hold 42 percent of the debt from the banking crisis in Europe. We also know this is wrong, that this is an unjust debt, an odious debt.   The current government was voted in three years ago with an overwhelming mandate to renegotiate this debt but they did nothing. They did not even ask for a single cent back.   This is why I want to go to Europe to right that wrong. Why should you send me to Europe? I have personally felt the impact of austerity in a real and painful fashion. Last year the banks repossessed my home, my business failed and bailiffs called to my door. I tried the Insolvency Service but I was too broke. I was forced to go bankrupt. But as I hit rock […]

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Shane Ross endorses Jillian Godsil – with Diarmuid O’Flynn

Deputy Shane Ross has announced he is endorsing my candidacy for Ireland South in the upcoming European European elections. He has also taken the unusual step of endorsing a fellow Independent Candidate Diarmuid O’Flynn, founder of the Ballyhea Protestors. We are both running in Ireland South. The election is on May 23rd. Last night Shane announced on Twitter: I will endorse both Jillian Godsil AND Diarmuid O’Flynn for Europe. Two noble independent battlers. Both deserve seats. Sorry decision delay. Please find his tweet here  This is an outstanding day for democracy. Irish citizens now have the option to vote for the people of their choice and not be curtailed by party politics. It sends a clear signal to the government that Independents are the new Opposition. I personally am very honoured to have received Shane’s endorsement. I am also proud to be endorsed alongside Diarmuid O’Flynn whose dedication to Ireland and justice is unrivalled,   To be named by one Irish patriot in the company of another is a wonderful day indeed. I came to prominence over the past three years when I very publicly documented my personal descent into financial misery; divorce and recession combined to force the collapse […]

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