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EU office in Dawson Street: Challenges to inadequate social policies

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Tuesday October 06, 2009 17:49author by Michelle Clarke - Media Pulse and Diversity

Protection of vulnerable sectors in the Community

In the past, I have written about a treasure trove of information much under utilised for parents, for individuals, for children, for the elderly concerned about the future, and for students. It is the EU office in Dawson Street. This is adjacent to the Royal Irish Academy, and St. Anne's Church which is also a haven for people with time on their hands and a curious mind. They have a coffee centre and for over 50's they assist people in learning how to use the computer

The Lisbon Treaty Re-Run has proved one point and that is the splintered groups of socialism that were unable to form the phlanx of NO. We need to ask ourselves now, as a Nation that has said yes to the Treaty, what do we expect from the Government?

At the moment in Ireland domestically, we have serious problems. We have the abuse of taxpayers money by who? Let's go: FAS, TD's expenses, Ministers expenses, county councillor expenses, and now as the whole country knows we have John O'Donoghue, Ceann Comhairle of the Oireachtas (above politics) but as Eamonn Gilmore placed a No Confidence Vote in the Dail today for the resignation or dismissal of Mr. O'Donoghue, it raises serious questions.

Doom and gloom abounds for 1 year now. The collapse started with one of the biggest banks in the US - Lehman Brothers and since then economics worldwide are in free flow.

Ireland is in particular disgrace. Led from the front by politicians, bankers and professionals, Ireland is awash with people who have lived lavishly off others and now, without shame, we the ordinary people ask will they be held accountable?

The people have expressed an opinion. The re-run of the Lisbon II Treaty indicated a change in consensus about Europe and support for Lisbon Treaty. This time, we were not influenced by the No campaigners, there was a change of perspective, a change of view, and the fact that the European Central Bank has intervened to support us, all these factors contributed to the Irish people saying yes to Europe.

In the past, I have written about a treasure trove of information much under utilised for parents, for individuals, for children, for the elderly concerned about the future, and for students. It is the EU office in Dawson Street.. This adjacent to the Royal Irish Academy, and St. Anne;s Church. St. Anne's Church is also a haven for people with time on their hands and a curious mind. They have a coffee centre and for over 50's they assist people in learning how to use the computer.

Now all we need is for Government to embrace the Knowledge Economy, my acknowledging the importance for high speed Broadband and putting into effect.

There is plenty of publications available and for free at the EU office. The one that caught my attention is titled

Media4Diversity - Taking the Pulseof Diversity in the Media

A study on Media and Diversity in EU Member States and 3 EEA countries. The manuscript was completed in March 2009.

Immediately, I thought of Indymedia. Blogs are popular but Indymedia is more about people press; it is more about the diversity part of the 'unity' and an exchange of views. This can be witnessed by using the search topic and say typing in a key word e.g. Peace, Corruption, and Indymedia will take you back a number of years and you will witness for yourselves about a different kind of interaction. Articles written about Tara, and writers like Chris Murray, Sean Crudden introduced us to a broad range of subject including Prisons, mental health, suicide, the Peace Process, the Gardai, Child Sexual Abuse, housing, public private partnerships and O'Devaney Gardens.

The ENFO office in Suffolk Street has been closed - an immediate response to An Bord Snip snipes. Let's now starting looking to the libraries, to Indymedia, to the EU offices, to form that Knowledge platform that the Europeans expect Ireland to have arrived at.

Ireland stands challenged now but where is the Shame? Where is the public Outrage? Do we really want to have a two tier society, the really rich and very poor 'underclass'. The indicators exist but alas the facts stand that people are already suffering. There are more young people begging on the streets. There are small businesses humbled for small loans to the banks that have been bailed out by NAMA. Old people are worrying what lies ahead of them, will they be able to live on social security, middle aged people are wondering how long will they have to continue to work beyond retirement age and what jobs will they be expected to do? What about third level education? Will people with disabilities, or from poorer backgrounds be able to access third level education? Will young people be able to take responsibility and work and study to pay for education? Do we expect too much of them? What about our prison system? What about life long learning? Why do so many young people quit school before leaving certificate? What about Suicide? I have heard that 5 taxi drivers have committed suicide in the last number of weeks? Who cares about these people?

Regrouping is needed and Indymedia has a broad spectrum coverage but biases hinder the diversity that Indymedia is supposed to be about.

For people who are serious about going forward, I would suggest a visit to the EU office and I would highly recommend the book (free of charge) on Media4Diversity - Taking the Pulse of Diversity in the Media to form an underbelly of how to extract from 'the fatted' calf of the Celtic Tiger and help us move forward into that Knowledge Economy of the Celtic Tiger.

A positive for us to take account of is: There is now a Whistleblower Charter. People will be free to make revelations!! and not be penalised by their employers.

Shell on Trial by Ken Saro Wiwa (1941-95) Nigerian Writer and Activist: Leader of the Ogoni people who were protesting against Shell's exploration on their land, environmental destruction and human rights abuses. Saro Wiwa was executed with eight others by the Nigerian Government

'I and my colleagues here are not the only ones on trial. Shell is here on trial...the company has indeed ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come'. The power of print and people

Comments (14 of 14)

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author by Patch - Vision and Ethical Journalismpublication date Mon Oct 12, 2009 18:13author address author phone

Did anybody see the amount of money paid to broadcasters on RTE radio and TV? The salaries move upward to near one million. This is excessive and if one asks the question about the expenses paid and the perks they have, then the whole situation becomes quite ludicrous.

Common sense will tell us that Ireland has moved too fast into the polar divide of earnings of the rich and the poor. We need to talk about this 'fame' mentality and these incomes. Why are people like teachers nurses secretaries ordinary workers so far down the scale when it is often their vision, talents, initiatives and hard work that are the backbone of the economy. We know that without their commitment and work, that society would fail dismaly.;; -

We need equality but equality that covers all spectres - not the kind of equality of category that operates in Ireland...

We need to see a cap on earnings for say the group that comprise the leaders of RTE, the Leaders of the criminal law legal profession, leaders of the practices headed by one GP elected by the HSE and with other GPs working for the appointed HSE GP. Money and perks is about motivation, I grant you but what about Quality as a motivating factor.

Surely we can expect quality from these high earners to such an extent that they will do the honourable thing in the financial crisis of the present time and ACCEPT LESS PAY OR PAY MORE TAX.

author by Percy - Media and Diversitypublication date Tue Oct 13, 2009 16:52author address author phone


Some good points about overpayment to certain sectors of Elite Society but remember there are others who contribute quality and common sense in a most committed way

David McWilliams is the new dimension of diversity in the media forum. Tonight on RTE 1 is his second programme and if it is anything like last week's, it will be good. He uses media to extrapolate pointers that help ordinary people to identify with what has caused this massive economic heave in world markets and in Ireland.

Hope is an important commodity which is in short supply in Ireland at present. Hope is that factor that is about 'quality of lifestyle' as distinct from 'cost of lifestyle'. We are badly in need of a sense of belief in the Quality of Lifestyle theorem.

If you get the opportunity to watch the David McWilliams programme tonight, it is worth considering that there is a new dimension to Economics and attributing a sense of hope to it.

Elinor Ostrom, a Professor at Indiana University, is the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Professor Ostrom has challenged the conventional 'tragedy of the commons' theory. This is of major significance to communties and societies and survival. She argues that societies regularly devise rules to halt the 'degradation'of nature. Professor Ostrom shared the prize with Professor Williamson.

There is challenge to our overburdened debt society in the work of this woman. This knowledge is at our exposure, most probably free of charge, if we operate the internet to its maximum effect and we all can participate in defining are society based on quality factors as distinct from the narcissitic pursuit of the view who are overburdened with wealth!!!

This is of significance to the Green's and by forging together at a meeting the weekend they might just gain credence suffice to buy themselves a more significant place in Irish politics. They will need however to take a position on the Corrib and of course Tara (they need to note that the UK plan to spend 25 million on Stonehenge for a visitor centre). We need to fast track urgently on faster broadband and the objective of encouraging people to use it.

author by Pete.publication date Mon Oct 19, 2009 17:20author address author phone

"Globalsation" Always existed.

The very first maps of Ireland were made by Greek Tryrene ships sailing outside Kerry,Clare, Galway ,Mayo, Donegal and onwards around Britain.

How else could people from the Eastern Mediterranean have made this map of Ireland so spot on and accurate Ten centuries before St. Patrick arrived?:

Crude but recognisable.

Humans were always "globalised".

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Wed Oct 21, 2009 17:05author address author phone

Pete you are right. The link says it all. By any chance did you see the third David McWilliam's programme last night on RTE 1. It was about Economics made simple and earlier histories of societies that came to fruition and just disappeared, formed a theme.

What can we do, the people of Ireland, who have embalmed ourselves in a globalised greed culture? But the issue is that we are human and human beings are not perfect and from there we start to learn in a new dimension. We are now part of the Europe for life long learning and at every level we need to engage with same.

What about Ireland? What potential do we have to wrestle with the Economic chaos that pervades our world, and so intelligently portrayed in the 3 TV series programmes with David McWilliams giving his version of his Vision?

Pete, your link is a good start. I reckon the map was drafted and produced in earlier centuries of an Irish 'Knowledge economy' when the Monks, and Clergy inhabited our lands and travelled to Europe and further afield to instruct and teach people about Christianity and religion. Our missionaries have grass roots in the African, South American, European, countries. This provides links that we need to now start engaging with. Ireland is presently challenged in its industrial base but the key rests in the plans of the EU for vesting Ireland as an experienced country moving forward towards a 'Knowledge' economy.

David McWilliams interviewed a man who is a 'thinking ahead' mentality - recognising the Peak Oil theory of 30-40 years supply of oil and being willing to exercise vision and re-schedule the mode of car transport based on electricity. He is based out of China, and the company which was a battery company a few years ago, aims to be the largest car producer by 2025. The country is China and as we all know China has the population and a growing capacity to innovate, engage in global markets, and is a major holder of US$ reserves presently. He has the vision that Henry Ford had and Vision is in short supply these days. The famous Jonathan Swift had a lovely quip 'Give Vision to the Visionless'. We need to start opening up our eyes to possibilities in Ireland and for Ireland.

Globalisation may have faltered with the banking crisis but we have the capabilities to recognise the faults and we have the abilities and where not we can learn to make changes and engage in true integration. The EU has opened up a considerable number opportunities in Ireland over the last 4 decades. We need to acknowledge this and to ensure that programmes established for social enhancement, for people with disabilities, and social mobility are maintained and promoted.

Today's reality is a precipise - people with conviction are out in the rain and wind. Mothers throughout Ireland walk their buggies to the gates of the Dail. The reason is that it is the coming close to yet another budget (this year) and the intrusion as they see it on childrens' allowance. As one mother said, this is not just an allowance. I live in the real world - this is a total necessity for me to give my children a basic standard of living.The mother went on - I didn't scam in Anglo Irish, I didn't abuse the Govt. jet, I didn't take millions over the years on overseas junkets from limousines, piano players and hairdo's. I didn't behave as the bankers did and in some cases no doubt still do, (as Shane Ross said Wild West Banking). Rody Molloy got a lump sum, a massive pension. Fingers Fingleton walked away with 26 million. Sean Fitzpatrick walks around Dublin as a Lord and plays his golf in Druid's Glen - O no, the mother finally said, I am just here for basic human rights.

The sheer cliff exposure is where the plain people of Ireland are at: - What do we need to know about this budget to protect ourselves from the harsh realities that recession means. I would suggest we need to look for some Vision, to share it based on the level playing field theory and actively promoting a more equal society, not a bipolar society of the excessively rich and the formation of an underclass. We need to remember the importance of the human being and their contribution, the value (and this does not necessarily mean the cost), the young generation and their education,, the potential of life long learning and the importance of knowledge.

Morally before this budget we have had the economists, we have had the media, and we have had the FAS scandals, we have had one fall-guy from FAS in Court last week . The Budget coming should never forget the word 'Conscience' and Morality.

Quotation - Muhammad Yunus, contemporary Bangladeshi economist and founder of Grameen Bank
'It's not people who aren't credit worthy
It's banks that aren't people-worthy'

author by Jonathan - Media and Ethics, Diversity and Freedom of Expressionpublication date Tue Oct 27, 2009 17:43author address author phone

Took up on this suggestion and was thrilled with all the sources of info. available in the EU office. The staff were accommodating and the literature which is free speaks for itself.

I asked about Penal Reform and they explained that this was dealt with by the individual States. However, the man mentioned two interesting points:

He referred to the European Social Fund and the procedures for application for such funds and he talk about the National Development Plan.

This made me think about Thornton Hall. I wonder is this why we are so glib about paying 37 million euros etc. etc. for the land 10 miles away from the present Mountjoy: Is it that the development of the prison will be fully funded or partially funded either by the European Social Fund or the National Devellopment Plan.

There could be far better ways of spending this money, if this is the case.


author by Green Mile - Incarceration: cause and effectpublication date Sat Nov 14, 2009 18:03author address author phone

Impunity is the Word.

The Banking scandals and the enormity has not yet fallen within the auspices of Correctional Behaviour. I wonder why?

Bernard Madoff of US fame, a 'Fraudulen' investment chief, aged 70, is already in prison in the US. The Madoff Auction with estimated values of his personal collection is featured in the papers today. One item - his 'duck decoy' is expected to fetch US$69; his blue jacket with Madoff on the back is expected to make US$700.

And more impact on corruption US style, is that 2 Madoff computer programmers were arrested yesterday for falsifying Mr. Madoff's trading records...yes, their aim was to make them look above board. Now in Ireland we need to smarten ourselves up on this score alone and look out for whistleblowers.

Well Ireland is in the recession mire, heading fast track for recession. Our media spits out news at all hours of the day and night that ensures we become entrenched in doom rather than enhance a vigour to get us back in line with the Europeans. If we continue to talk ourselves down, we will surely achieve that goal and then what happens. We could look to Europe and the collapse of the Berlin Wall to arrive at a good indicator of potential of where we don't want to go.

We all know about the Organised Crime. The number of people shot in our country over the last few years staggers belief!

The Pink paper today has a neat little article about how the 'Mafia rushed to fresh profits through the gap in the Berlin Wall....the collapse of the Soviet Bloc became an enormous buying opportunity for organised crime......the Italian Mafia moved in and for the mob it was a firesale of the century when everything was cheap'.

Now we can but learn by example and take preventative measures to assure the Island of Ireland so bitten by a Celtic Tiger culture of corruption doesn't progress further down the scale. We need to keep the mystic puma invisible and inspirational.

President Obama has made another huge leap for mankind!

Ireland needs to pay heed before it sets the pace to redress the overexpenditure on the Thornton Hall site for the construction of the state of the art prison.
It look like there will be a significant fall in the number of people imprisoned in the US - the largest since the 1970's. The approach motivation is simple, it is about reducing deficits. This week Christmas came early for 62 inmates in an Illionois prison. The focus is low level, non violent offenders and the belief that monitoring these people is better than incarceration. The Illenois Department of Correction that this will result a saving of about US$5 m. for the year. This is known as an early release scheme. Evidently the research exists from the leading universities to support this.

In the US it is said that it costs $35,000 a year to imprison a person. This sounds low by comparison to the costs in Ireland.

author by Salmon - Knowledgepublication date Sun Nov 15, 2009 17:47author address author phone

The patented pink paper has a weekly magazine and therein is an interesting analysis of Iceland.

Ireland is not the only country to fight criminal corruption.

A woman - Eva Joly, a 65 year old Norwegian-born French lawyer. This woman is part of an investigative team of selected investigators who hold a record in bringing 'Corporate Criminals' to justice. Unlike Ireland, the Icelandic authorities have asked her and others (not Icelandic necessarily) to help establish exactly what role white-collar crime 'may have in fact played on the Islands Boom and Bust cycle'. Eva Joly has a significant 'corruption crime' investigation profile. Joly was one Europe's most eager corruption hunters and her investigation of Elf is an integral part of her CV. This investigation lasted 8 years and significantly changed the Judicial landscape in France and elsewhere. So it is not just Ireland with the variety of Tribunals, including the Morris Tribunal (for which we are still awaiting an outcome) that has been crippled with organised crime, criminal corruption, bribery accusations etc.

Iceland and Ireland have in common, their Islandic status. They also share a form of political 'rot' that Joly found in the French political system also in her investigation into Elf in the 1990's. Joly goes so far as to predict 'that her latest project will illuminate the darkest recesses of Global Finance'.

The Iceland study is centred on whether the manipulation of 'markets' pumped up Icelandic balance sheets' (and so far up that they were 10 times the size of the Country's GDP. Does this ring bells for the people of Ireland? Are we but a 'pawn' in a game or the spratt to catch a salmon. The banks were part of the game and their role was to dish out the credit and they did. Their big shareholders became the clients. Yes, there are close similarities and the commonality of that greed culture was imported from the US and the City of London.

author by Liffey - journalist freelancepublication date Mon Jun 28, 2010 17:44author address author phone

Yes there is change but with it there is a new seediness about this area of Dublin. I heard Brian Lucey from Trinity speak of a kind of moral bankruptcy that forms part of the new post Celtic Tiger Ireland and if it applies to our health system in such a barbaric way, it also applies to our city and by that I mean O'Connell Street. Yes the Spire is there but what happened to that Floosy in the Jacuzzi and the Dublin wit that went with it.

Yes there is the Luas but why do the Quays still look as if the were bombed in World War II. I suppose there are those tax beneficial apartments to replace the older buildings but there is no heart in the city now.

The splendid Four Courts looks cold and abandoned now that the new Courts are open at the Phoenix Park location.

Where is Tourism? There are many famous trials that were held in these courts and would it not be appropriate to have mock trials and encourage young people in the area (who may be destined to a path of crime) to explore another angle...the angle of learning.

On this subject yes learning and knowledge. I have entered one of the only computer shops on the Quays and notice that broadband is so terribly slow in this country. Why? Eircom etc. where is the efficiency? This is a company that has had almost ten take overs in management in as many years and yet the service is pathetic.

Emigrant thinking of returning

author by Estonia - European Union Day Dublinpublication date Mon May 09, 2011 16:11author address author phone

We the Eastern Europeans mainly work in your restaurants, coffee shops, and those service jobs that people have placed lower down the list of priorities. There are advantages in that we can learn English but it is sad that small business owners fail to let us share our culture with the Irish culture.

Twitter and a day off determined I was going to be at the EU Parliament office today to see who in Ireland is really interested the shared European Union consensus and shared culture. This I believe is important given the structural funds which Europe has provided for Ireland and for that matter the Island of Ireland (Yes structural funds were and no doubt still are being contributed by the EU and the Bail-Out funds).

Surprise: I was late and entered through the main door on Dawson Street. As the first poster on this site in 2009 detailed - this office is a haven for published material on all topics related to Europe and they also have an exhibition on volunteering services in Ireland and the photography is excellent. Then I noticed a sign that simply said 'Cakes' so I followed through a corridor into the European Parliament office in Dublin and into the conference room. Each European country had a stand with more brochures and samples of their cakes - o if only some of our coffee shops who have Europeans working for them would use their initiative and we could sample some proper German cakes and puddings or for that matter Slovakian, French. Ireland is very staid in its approach to coffee houses. The profit is in the coffee and thats all that matters. Starbucks are the only ones that keep trying out new experiences for their punters.

Populations are ageing and it was quite interesting to note the OAP's making it their day out but then there was distinct absence off local office buffs, young people studying for exams and in need of twitter type break but then this doesn't surprise me. What is it that when something is free people appear to avoid it. I study at night and I find the material available at EU house essential. After all - it is proofed and not prone to human error.

Moan moan blame blame is part of the Irish psyche and the worst part is that they are not willing to explore change in the context of their European partners - it is probably to do with the Boston/London predisposition and it is hard for them to shake this off!

Happy European Union Day and well done to the tweet that told us Enda Kenny was going to support the EU day. I hope he enjoyed the cake samples - I loved the Latvia rhubarb cake and the non alcoholic barley drink.

The Germans who love their cakes had a variety. They are also promoting the FIFA Womens match .... this is Irelands opportunity to become interested in what Germany has to offer!

author by Bothered and Bewildered - Concerned citizenpublication date Wed May 11, 2011 19:46author address author phone

Pensions are to be docked for the next 4 years to raise the near euros 2 billion to fund the back to work schemes. Hard going on the pensioners who worked hard trying to gather enough savings together to provide for their old age. Is it fair? What is the compound value of this penalty to those people who presently contribute to private pension schemes over their life times? Again is this fair? There must be another way to enforce austerity versus a present day levy on people who only want to provide for their old age.

Add to this the scenario ex. the last Govt. Please correct me if I have it wrong. What happens if you are elderly and are admitted to hospital and then into a care home. The state have access to deduct costs from what could be your home if you recover or your Estate if you die? Do we know about this in a knowledgeable sort of way?

Pension funds and equities. The banks used to be the Blue Chips i.e. safe bets for those who wished to take a risk and invest. However, we all now know the reality. The two main Irish banks are now 20 cents approx v. 20 euros +. Many people have suffered harsh losses. Many pension funds are depleted and today we hear that those who manage the funds of wards of courts have also perished from the blight of the financial markets. Does this mean if say a child was awarded say 1 million due complications at birth that the Wards of Courts who administer this money and invest it are now left with substantially less?

There must be another way of making adjustments to the losses on our overall Balance Sheet going forward.

Today, two people well known to us all i.e. if we watch Vincent Browne TV3, Constantin Gurdgiev and Declan Ganley have identified a niche in the financial markets and for Ireland this has serious challenges. St. Columbanus, I think is the name. Its aim is to provide access to the Switzerland market for investments. It is a tall order to Irish people who have money in deposit accounts etc (and in the light of the fact that the guarantee period for renewal is imminent). In the absence of any sound reasons to continue investing in Ireland, those of us who didn't contribute to the massive capital outflows that besieged Ireland are now to be easily enticed to move onwards through a well thought out vehicle and we can be investors in Switzerland. Ireland needs to wake up and start re-structuring their banks and ensuring people who have money are keen to remain in Ireland Inc. with their investments.

Bothered and Bewildered

author by Bothered & Bewildered - Social Justicepublication date Wed Aug 01, 2012 14:27author address author phone

At last we are beginning to witness people being held accountable by the laws of Ireland for their misdemeanours. The Separation of Powers now will be tested in the post Celtic Tiger which was/is consumed with corruption, greed, avarice and too many more vices. Ireland does not stand alone in its Emperor's Clothing but Greece, Spain, Italy today are in the limelight for the levels of corruption that have consumed their so-called democracies. Italy's mafia have a turnover of over 80bn yielding profits of over 4bn p.a.

eKnowledge provides access through Citizen Journalism and sometimes in particular when morale is low, it is time to take stock of what has happened and decide to bring about change at every level.

This posting opens with mention of the EU office - years later less people than ever seem to be interested in grasping what is actually available to us from the EU. Recently Ireland hosted the ESOF. Nobel Laureates, academics, converged in Dublin to discuss Science, its future. Have we already forgotten about 'The God Particle'. Higgs made the discovery and the results happened in July. If this was astrology, one would suggest this is a 'sign' for Ireland to join Cern especially when Europe invites us to so at a reduced price.

Remember: Discovery is essential and knowledge is definitely no load to bear, especially now, as Ireland is on its knees economically, morally and otherwise.

The ECB meet tomorrow. Do you believe Mr. Draghi and his commitment to the Eurozone! Could it be verbiage? It is so important for people to have a view.

Bothered and Bewildered.

author by Observer - Life and experiencepublication date Sun Sep 09, 2012 14:35author address author phone

Ireland must be so proud today with those who entered the Paralympics, those who won medals and those who have competed. Their courage in the face of misfortune is a lesson to people who are being asked because of the economic crisis to face challenges they had never expected, to gain fortitude and strength from what these remarkable people have achieved and in the name of Ireland. It is disappointing that no Govt minister could be present in the UK for the closing ceremony, especially this week where they sought to make stringent cut-backs in the necessary services of PA's who enable people with disabilities (hidden abilities) to achieve in our competitive society.

Back to the EU office and one month later than the last posting. Is their a link? They say the Ipad and education is throwing up interesting outcomes about what children do instead of homework. Yes, games rank number 1 but more interesting is the fact that the father said his son had not written an email for over 3 years. To me as I watch the paralympians, so aware of the arduous mental and physical training they have engaged in, I wonder could we be responsible for creating a new generation with an addictive game playing computer scope and not that old creative essay writer? The EU have extensive bureaucracy servicing an Irish economy that has little or no interest in what they produce.

2020 Horizon means serious funds for the like of Ireland. Who really knows? Most information of this sort is located in the EU office and given the level of unemployment in this country now, I just hope the like of FAS are motivating people correctly to tap the resources we have and become interactive, interconnected within this Island of ours.

We are either in or we are out of the EU? The Eurozone limps ahead in the hope Merkel can persuade her people to put themselves behind the last ditch effort to keep the Euro. We need to negotiate more. Ireland is two tier in that we have North (Stg) and South (euro). This is a dichotomy in itself. Surely if we could agree to some fiscal rectitude to cut costs and carve away what is obviously fraudulent then the Euro could succeed and in the long run would halt another tier of bureaucracy and controls via currency transactions.

One last comment. The Island of Ireland. Assets which we have include communication, reserves like oil/gas/shale, water/seas - why is it that roaming charges for mobiles applies when you go over the border. Surely business states that this ought to stop now.

author by Chestnut - Paralympians who represented Irelandpublication date Fri Sep 14, 2012 13:48author address author phone

The previous posting causes alarm. When one listen's to the enthusiasm in the voice of Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, an invigorating person by all accounts albeit an Etonian, it is shameful to think that there were no Irish Government ministers or President at the Paralympic closing ceremonies and especially after the targeting of PA's and provisions for people with disabilities. One would at least expect that Mr. James Reilly's, Minister for Health, PR team would have advised him to be present.

There is an interesting article in Das Spiegel English about the crisis that German will face in relation to Pensions. Two tierism because of its ageing population will be prominent much in the same way as in the 1960's Germany sought low-paid workers from Turkey to do menial tasks to bolster up industry. Is there a lesson to be learned? Yes there is. Physical, mental, emotional trauma can be overcome and the Paralympics is the mirror that informs people to keep on trying, to challenge the breakers that life puts in your way, these are obstacles but they can be overcome.

I sincerely hope that today in Farmleigh House the participants realise that we erred by not sending our Taoiseach, President, Ministers, to the closure of the Paralympics but that we appreciate their efforts and they have given us HOPE. All we need to do is be inspired.


author by Opportunity - Career Guidancepublication date Tue Sep 18, 2012 14:19author address author phone

Sick buildings predominate in Baggot Street Upper Village. Searsons thankfully has enticed the entrepreneur Charlie Chawlk to take it in hand and a major refurbishment is being undertaken at present.

However, the Royal City of Dublin Hospital stands idly by as a relic of old decency, the Cinderella of the community care services, grossly under utilised. This building is architecturally splendid as too often you meet tourists taking photos and asking questions. The other side of the street there is an out-dated modern type of office block which is the Head Office for FAS.

Sitting in Starbucks yesterday, a young man evidently talking to a potential client asked if I would hold down the base of an advertisement he was marketing.

Bright Colours immediately drew ones attention: Creating Career Confidence.

They asked me what I thought and all I could say is walk to the FAS office and persuade them to engage with you. It could be an enlightening experience for them.

Nearly 500,000 people are unemployed in this country, yet you never see people (odd few, I concede) in the FAS office. Why? Where is the concerted effort from Government to motivate people to create employment opportunities. Northside of the city places like Guinness have 'their hub'. Here we have head offices like Google, IBM, Tescos, Boots and others who could give a little contribution to their local communities via FAS. These companies should feel they owe Ireland a little corporate social responsibility after all we enable them to pay minimal corporation tax on their worldwide income. A public private partnership could see our Cinderella hospital created into a centre of excellence related to health, addiction, community services.

Water is free still and it is a resource essential to life. But so is knowledge and it too is free but people need to go looking for these opportunities.

FAS - get creative. Encourage people to grow their opportunities for the duration they are out of work, encourage them to engage in voluntary work, to interact with the EU Head Office, to explore opportunities for third level. Be interactive and proactive within our little community.

Start by looking up this site and talking to a young man with ideas.

Chestnut: the Paralympians make us realise there is such potential within, it just needs to be tapped, explored, nurtured and who knows!

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