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!

Anti-Social behaviour needs to be taken seriously

The Residential Tenancy Act 2004 as it is at present has no teeth. Frustrated Residents Associations have highlighted this many times but are not listened to. Why have laws that are there not policed and why is the law abiding citizen not protected. They seem to be the ones who have to move house and home while those who flout the law get to stay and take over whole estates?
It is a know fact that excessive noise levels cause stress and sickness so why do the Authorities not take it seriously?. In recent weeks I have heard of two house owners in Galway who have had to leave their homes because of anti-social behaviour. Noise pollution levels made it impossible for them or their families to get a decent nights sleep. The anti social behaviour made them feel unsafe in their own homes. Their dealings with Gardai, Local Authorities and Private Residential Tenancy Board had left them totally frustrated. It took them months first of all to find out the names of the landlords who failed to take responsibility for havoc some tenants caused in their estates.
In the US all one would have to do in most states is to go to the local Town Hall where one could receive name of offending landlords free of charge. Surly it is in the interest of landlords to see that their properties are kept in a decent condition and that tenants behave themselves. The laws governing the renting out of residential properties in Ireland needs enforcing and where needed new by laws created. It is amazing how quick new parking laws are enforced when money is to be extracted from Joe Public yet when Joe Public is harassed in his own home nothing is done. Renting be it done through Local Authorities or through Property Management Companies should involve a legal commitment as it is in most Western Countries, all rented houses should be registered and fines imposed on those who ignore this law as the law provides for this.

Don't worry about pensions we need more jobs

Thaoiseach, Brian Cowen says the by 2060 there will be two people at work to support every pensioner. Where did he get this figure? Was it from Astrologist or from some psychic sitting in the Irish Financial Centre. Surly there is no shortage of people from all over the world who want to come to Ireland if we have jobs to offer to support our aging citizens.
The problem is not the lack of availability of workers, the problem it is that at present there is not even enough jobs to support even today's pensioners and he wants an excuse to take more money from the PAYE worker. The Pension Reserve has been rifled by the Government to shore up the black hole in our Banking system without our consent. This money should have been used for job creation but alas...the lack of jobs is not high on the agenda.
Mary Hannifin says that by 2014 that the Pension age will be increased to 66 and that by 2028 it will be 68, but at present you can not claim benefits until you are 66. Does this be that in 2014 that you will not be able to claim Contributory Pension till you are 67? Now for people who love their jobs and are in good health these changes maybe welcome but what about those in jobs where one can get repetitive strain and burnout. Wether we like it or not one slows down with age, not intellectually but physically. Can't see anyone over the age of 55 working on the counter at Supermacs can you?, not to mind a 66 year old even with a boob job and a face lift.
The truth is that many people are in jobs they don't like or just endure and can't wait to leave. In the 1990ies when there were high rates of unemployment workers over 55 were allowed apply for a pre-retirement scheme.This is the way to go, let those who want to retire or cut working hours do so. Then these jobs could be given to younger people who are setting out on their working lives or are trying to cope with high mortages.

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