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.

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