Friday, February 25, 2011

The of price of cattle should be better

The price of cattle in Ireland has changed very little over the past 20 years. The cost of feeding an animal over the winter months including veterinary charges would just about cover the price of a good animal. So why has the price of Irish meat gone to a level which makes it one of the most expensive countries in EU?
EU regulations is what has happened. Because of EU regulations in regard to the butchering of animals and the storing of meat hundreds of butcher shops all over the country have had close shop.
Could it be that the Dept of Agriculture went a bit over the top in enforcing the rules? If you travel through France and see all the Open Markets selling all sorts of dairy produce including meat it would seem so.
A few years ago on a visit to the UK I was amazed to see meat hanging on hooks outside a butcher shop in Stafford, no one seem a bit shocked at this, it seemed to the norm. I sure it's 50 years since the likes of that was seen in Ireland. EU regulations no where to be seen.
Meat Factories and Large Supermarket chains have taken over the whole dairy produce and meat industry, they dictate the prices and they take most of the profit. Then the consumer blames the farmer who is finding it hard to make ends meet.
Large Supermarkets can buy their produce anywhere in the world where they can get the cheapest prices then sell for the highest margin of profit. They can even sell it below cost price to draw customers in to buy high prices goods. The small guy just can't win.
Sold are the "Fields of Athenry" along with at least half of the Livestock Marts in the country. What were Teagasc doing over the last 10 years apart from selling off lands which were formally used for Agricultural Research. Talking about selling the "Goose that had laid the Golden Egg"!.
Yours Truly

We need some accountability for the mess we are in

There can be no doubt that the people of Ireland are angry. They will not be able to move on until someone held accountable before the Courts for the financial ruin of this country. Otherwise they will not be able regain trust in Government or politicians who are elected to protect their interests. No real change will happen unless we stop brushing the dirt under the carpet.

While the Gardai Bureau of Fraud Investigation were sent into examine the books of Anglo we have yet to see those who were up to dodgy deal brought before the Courts. If our laws are weak in this area then they should be changed by the incoming Government asap.

Al Capone was responsible for the "St Valentine's Day Massacre" he was not jailed for murder but they got him on tax evasion. From then on to this day the Mafia like some of our Developers used a complex set of shell companies to keep their dodgy deals below the radar. We are "a small open economy" the Taoiseach told us sticking out his chest with pride. But we were too open, this is why Ireland was lead by the nose to its inevitable financial destruction.

So where are the billions of euro which were borrowed? Will there be a demand from the Swiss Banks for the names of account holders who have siphoned off money. Does NAMA have the teeth to take over properties in various countries which are in the names of the Developers who owe billions?

Another question is why the Revenue was not watching those people? If Mary with an average job has a spanking new Mercedes out side her door Revenue would be inquiring into her financial affairs immediately. Yet when an average Joe, a small developer, had his own new helicopter to fly the Galway Races no questions were asked. The Revenue is the one Government Department which actually brings in millions of euro but because of the staff embargo it was often left short staffed or being moved to new premises which were rented from the very people who we are now bailing out!

Water meters will not plug our water systems

With our water distribution systems nationwide leaking like huge sieve I should imagine that the instillation of water meters should be the at the bottom of the list for any sane thinking Government. Such meters would become totally unworkable with the next cold spell.
"Good Europeans pay water charges", so we must do the same? It will help us to save water they say, will it what? There is something very wrong in this country if we have a shortage of water seeing that for the most part we are getting drenched by it or in our Wellingtons bailing it out of our houses. Surly it is years of neglect and lack of prioritisation by various Local Governments which has caused most of our water problems.
During the Celtic years County Engineers all over the country got large bonuses for excellent services rendered, yet the depths of water distribution pipes in new housing estates were not monitored, will anyone be held to account? Don't think so. Towns in the most scenic areas of our country got no proper sewage systems, Cliften and Oughterard being cases in point. Again the tax payer has to pick out the tab for work not done and services not rendered.
Now to add insult to injury the money to pay for water meters is to be taken from the Pension Reserve Fund. We are paying to put in meters to charge ourselves! When all the costly work is done at the expense of the tax payer you will see the whole system privatised. The Water Distribution Network like the ESB will sold off to fund the biggest Bailout in History....I am not talking about water here.
Are we not just like turkeys voting for Christmas when we agree to water charges under the circumstances where the majority of working people will find a huge drop in their take home pay as a result of the recent Budget.

"Animal Farm" Irish style

As the Cabinet gathered around the table in Farmleigh House with it's luxurious surroundings discussing what cuts the rest of us mere mortals will have to endure in the coming November Budget one was reminded of Orwell's famous novel "Animal Farm" where the pigs are living it up in the parlour while the rest of the animals are slaving away in the farmyard trying to build the impossible windmill.

While a plan is hatched for Boxer the old workhorse to be sent to the glue factory the pigs will drink fine wines and begin to walk on two feet. Yes, four legs good, two legs better. "All are equal but some are more equal than others". The men who gave their lives in 1916 must be turning in their graves. Our political elite have now become aristocrats.

In today's Ireland older people are treated like Boxer, they may not be sent to a glue factory but their life savings will be siphoned away by the enormous cost of nursing home care. In the health system they are treated without the dignity which is due to them. Being left on a trolley in our "Centres of Excellence" for hours on end is quite the norm, this is not acceptable by any best practice health procedures within the EU.

Young couples will be burdened with water charges, and a lot of hidden taxes in the next Budget. Many are already struggling due to the various levies which were enforced over the last year.

I have not had the privilege of visiting Farmleigh House but I believe it is well worth a visit. The cost of buying and refurbishing this stately Georgian House was an extravence which was part of the Celtic Tiger era making it not the ideal setting to discuss a Budget which will cause hardship to those still part of a declining PAYE

The Cabinet should have hired out a Supermacs or McDonalds outlet for the week so that they can get the proper perspective of the cuts they are proposing and help them to come to grips with the real world.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jim Kemmy was right

Tuesday January 29 2008

In a Dail debate in March 1992, Jim Kemmy made a heart-rending appeal to the then Minister for Justice Padraig Flynn for 24-hour policing in Moyross.

"This weighs heavily on me and I regard it as an indictment of myself, my fellow councillors and my city that we have not been able to tackle this matter," the now late Limerick TD told the chamber.

He outlined the fact that some 70 houses were lying idle, unfit for human habitation and that single parents were so intimidated in their homes in the small hours of the morning by roving gangs of youths that they had to move out.

I am sure if action was initiated at that time, Moyross would not be in the state it is now.

However, the knocking down of 2,500 houses is not going to undo the social destruction caused by the neglect and lack of action of the past 16 years.

How many innocent children have now become criminals?

While the rest of Ireland was able to reap the benefits of free second- and third-level education, these children were left out of the loop.

Some will say it was their own fault but I would say it is the fault of the State.

Every citizen has the right to live his or her life in peace.

There must be no more "no-go areas" in the country -- be it in the heart of Connemara or in a large housing estate in Limerick.

If the law cannot protect vulnerable people in the street or in their homes then we need to revise it.

What have we learned if we think we can blot out the past by knocking down 2,500 houses?

With huge estates all over the country without the basic social facilities like schools, community centres, churches or garda stations, it looks like history is likely to repeat itself.

And what happens to the people and their families who will now be refused housing because they are "known to the gardai"?

Will they be sent to other parts of the country?

Is it actually constitutional to refuse a family housing because their son or daughter is involved in petty crime?

This is the big question which no one is tackling.

I would also ask another question: why is no one held accountable for nearly 20 years of inaction?


Had the above was published in both local and national papers back in 2008, but has anything been done to change things?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flooding a result of neglect and greed

Every farmer knows that if you dig a drain you first have to figure out where the water is going to flow to. So it is important that when planning permission is given for houses that the water-table debt is taken into consideration.

In many cases this was ignored and that is why new residents are so shocked to find themselves up to their knees in flood water. In many cases, their houses were built on flood plains. Should they sue the authorities for not doing their job? In the US this avenue of action would be a given.

Most people are busy getting on with their lives and expect the government and the local authorities to look after the country in their interest but that is not what has been happening.

Many objections by ordinary people were ignored by An Bord Pleanala, which gave planning permission for huge housing estates where there was a history of flooding in the past. It has been only the generosity of people in the various communities in the last few days that prevented the loss of life.

Much of Holland is below sea level yet with constant new innovations not only have they managed to stay 'above water' but are busy reclaiming more land.

It seems to me to be just short of a miracle how a city as big as Amsterdam, which is built on numerous canals, deals with its sewage, etc. Are our engineers up to date on new technologies to deal with preventative flooding methods? I don't think so. It seems that the attitude has been to leave well enough alone and that is why we are so ill-prepared for the recent flooding.

We don't need to invent jobs -- there is work to be done and we need to start now.

What we need is investment in drainage, good water systems, up-to-date sewage treatment plants and cleaning up of our lakes and rivers.

The head of the IFA said that proper drainage has not taken place over the last 40 years.

But this has to do with the value of land for housing and the fact that various governments took their eye off the ball when it came to the monitoring of flood plains.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

If you are open to everything you stand for nothing

From every disaster lessons are learned and new ideas spring. The kind of thinking that was ripe in the Celtic Tiger era will not bring back prosperity to Ireland.
What we need now is to base out economics on a sound footing by putting the lifestyle of constant borrowing behind us. Quick fixes only work for a short time. Being a small Open Economy no longer has advantages because the Banks world wide don't trust us, neither do international investors. They see us as a gang of cowboys.
The saying "If you are open to everything you stand for nothing" surly applies to the Apostles of the Celtic Tiger. Ethics in business went out the door. Fly by night business were built on large bank loans which were backed by an nod and a wink Bank lending policy. Some chancers started businesses they knew nothing about thenn hired managers to run it.a manager. They bought the big car, fancy house lived the life of Reilly. "No one was minding the shop". It was all crazy.
In NAMA we the taxpayer are paying back money owed to International Banks! Now do these banks and the ECB see Irish taxpayers as some sort of "idiots" willing to take on more debts should the plans go pear shaped?
Now we the taxpayers are to take risks again for people who did not have the necessary money to fund their own projects. They used Public Private Partnership deals to get the taxpayer to back massive loans. The two edge sword is that under Strategic Infrastructure laws these projects were be passed without the public having any veto. Crazy!

About Me

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GALWAY, Ireland
Born in Gaway City,spent 10years living in Roundstone, Connamara. Passionate about politics, singing and oil painting. Not a great cook but could learn