Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Fair-haired Roma children and hysterical racism in Ireland

How bizarre it all is.

A friend of a friend works as a social worker, and was recently complaining about how difficult it is to obtain a court order to take at-risk children into protective care.  

She also spoke of the hostile attitude of some judges towards social workers, and was greatly stressed by her knowledge of children who were suffering abuse/neglect and were being effectively ignored by the state authorities.

Which makes the recent shameful fiasco surrounding the taking into custody of Roma children with light-coloured hair all the more appalling.

Think about this.  We have some racist bigot making groundless "tip-offs" on Facebook, which are then passed onto the police via a journalist.   We are then treated to the spectacle of the fuzz raiding the homes of two Roma families, one in Athlone and one in Tallaght, before taking away one child from each family,  on the grounds that their hair is fair and their complexions are pale.

The gardai, of course, claimed their actions were because the children were "at risk".   Strange then, that they left the other dark-haired children at home with their parents while running away with the fair-haired siblings under their arms.

Keystone Cops doesn't even describe it –  only it is no laughing matter that racist hysteria has once more found embarrassing expression in Ireland. 

Meanwhile we have a government that is busy  taking medical cards away from sick and dying children – plainly putting them in a geniune "at risk" category.

"Bizarre" doesn't really do it justice;  and nor do the gardai.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

An Coimisinéir Teanga

Two of the three founding pillars of our wonderful bullshit banana repubic were the Catholic Church and the "Irish language".    The other one was their sporting wing, the GAA.  

The nuns and priests are on the run, cassocks and habits a-flapping.  

The other two are definitely still with us.   It might take another 100 years or so, but the De Irish Peeple, who voted to keep the Senate politicians in jobs,  will eventually get it and give them the bum's rush.  They're very sophisticated, you see. 

How about this, from a reader who works in the Civil Service?   

My  workplace Big Brick Building normally houses 400 – but in this recession this has gone down to 200. Our safety committee had dwindled but had re-convened: and decided to  do up the  internal safety signage of our Big Brick Building.

 Other signage throughout the building was also done up - since it had been drawn before the 2004 language act. However as internal offices changed rooms at times, not every office Had a sign ( eg Accounts office) on the door – most did not. 

So as well as safety notices, for example  "exit this way", they mostly contented themselves with putting new signs on each floor opposite the lifts - bilingually. 

I have no problems with this- even though office is squarely in central Dublin- and the public only use the ground floor...  therefore anyone getting to the remaining 5 floors are all Dublin-based English speakers.  However these signs duly went  up and some pointed out a "fada" in the wrong place on "Cead". 

What amazed me was when our admin staff came into my office and told us to take my home-made typed notice off the door: 

Parts of my Dept are re-organising  – and I am in one of the little set-up offices overseeing   the changes - a completely new office- so  to aid visitors  and service staff I put  up a notice:  "The ****** Transition Office’.   I was told to take it down as it  was English only.  The Irish Language Auditors were to be in the next day.  Of course they told me it was  OK to put it back up after they had gone!

So, better- NO Sign – in central Dublin - than one in English!

Compare the zeal of the Irish Language Auditors (!!!) - Nazis checking our Green stars are on - with the safety inspectors at Dublin city council.  Those who let Priory Hall pass due to ‘safety self-certification’- and it it took a suicide to force a solution. two Years Later……..

Of course the Irish language Nazis could also quickly fine us for any English only signs….. 

OK I don't know how often they issue fines- but the zeal of public officials doing a pointless job -  when safety in Priory Hall was never an issue...

If that poor man hadn't committed suicide he could have died instead in a fire there....

But  what  does all that matter?  Let's concentrate on matters important to Official Ireland and its career bureaucrats. Never mind the real issues, including many other Priory Halls that remain covered up or ignored.

Developers and builders are not subject, it seems, to regulations such as those described below.

Complaints & Investigations An CoimisinĂ©ir Teanga (The Irish Language Kommisar)
The Act provides for the imposition of a fine not exceeding €2,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months on a person convicted in court of refusing or failing to cooperate with or obstructing an investigation.

What''s "safety self-certification" in Gaelic, I wonder?

Developers can relax::  knowing they may remain less bothered about the placement of viable fire exits in their buildings than the Civil Service has to be with "fadas" on its internal signage.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Liam Kelly half-way line goal against Sweden - a welcome distraction from the Republic of Ireland seniors.

You would have to wonder about the future of football in this country.   By "football", I mean "football' as understood by most of the world.   Not bogball, not rugger-buggery and not, even worse, the North American variety of the latter, which is played in armour. 

I refer, of course, to the beautiful game, Association Football – or "soccer". 

Despite the odds, this country has produced some wonderful footballers.  Johnny Giles, Paul McGrath, Liam Brady, Dave O'Leary, Packie Bonner, Frank Stapleton and, though I hate to say it, Roy Keane are all examples.

But decent players haven't been coming through in recent years, just headbangers like Stephen Ireland with more belief than ability and a bad attitude to boot.  I think things will get even worse in the coming years with so many young lads being lost to the dark arts of the GAA and the rugby lot.    

All aided and abetted by the utter ineptitude of the Football Association of Ireland.   Which means we will never again grace the World Cup finals or the European Championships' final stages.  

A work colleague of mine described how his kids have been lost to football thanks to the FA placing too much emphasis on competion at and up to under-12 level.

Basically, if a kid does not make the team he is out on his arse, or stood shivering on the sidelines watching his mates play.   I've some memories of this, having partaken in the Home Farm Mini Leagues as a kid, in the capacity described above. 

Kids don't need to be told they are no good - they are at the start of their football lives and even Europe's top leagues are well endowed with players who developed late on.   

There  is some glimmer of hope, as the FAI have belatedly appointed someone who plans to shake up kids' football in Ireland, with three-a-side non-competitive matches played with small goals and designed to give young players as many touches of the ball as possible. 

Ruud Dokter, a Dutchman, might sound like a Carry On character, but he could be just the thing Irish football needs to ensure some kind of future.

Mind you, with a few more goals like the one below by Reading's Liam Kelly – scored against the Swedish under 19s – things might not be as glum as we think.

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Monday, 7 October 2013

Seanad stays - Irish democracy elects to keep undemocratic house

De Peeple  have spoken. 

The “upper house” of elitism and privilege will stay.  The chamber whose members are selected by 1% of the population and by political cronyism  – otherwise known as “appointments” (See Irish Times graphic above).  

A chamber full of dead wood and dross – graced now and in the past by heavyweights such as Ivor Callely, Donie Cassidy, Jimmy Harte, Bertie Ahern, and Michael McDowell – rejected at the polls in his last general election outing.

Most of  De Peeple I am acquainted with never stop banging on about our corrupt and useless political class, yet when given a gold-plated opportunity to put a few of them out on their waffling arses arrives,  De Peeple elect – the only such input they have ever had into the Seanad – to keep these wafflers in jobs.


The Dublin chattering classes have much to answer for.  Even so-called “left wing” commentators such as Fintan O’Toole called for a “no” to abolition of the anachronistic upper house.   For once, the culchies led the way by voting "yes"  – from this perspective anyhow – as a clear urban/rural divide saw the city slickers vote “no’ decisively.

Irish democracy has thrown a fundamentally undemocratic institution an unexpected lifeline.
It gets curiouser and curiouser.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Ireland is dying? Pacific Standard article.

Our "republic", readers will know, has always specialised in exporting its people - mainly because it's always been such a rotten kip.

Some reading this live abroad now, having voted with their feet (or because their parents did); some have lived abroad in the past, and made the mistake of coming back; some will undoubtedly evacuate in the near future.

It's so ironic, when you consider that so-called "confidence" of the bubble years...

B-B-Bertie Ahern was holding lectures on how to run economies.   Vested-interests economists were explaining how the Irish "boom" was "different" and how we were "catching up"...and it made perfect sense that a semi-d in the arsehole of nowhere was worth as much as a swanky apartment in Berlin.   Paddy and Mary were topping up their mortgages to plonk a new S-Class in their driveway every new reg-plate year.   

And the gobshites - many of the "blameless" Irish peeple Michael D so adores, the property tax-break politicians (many of whom had/have investment properties), the bankers, the media, the economists and the estate agents were manically dropping yet more incendiaries on the disastrous Ponzi-scheme conflagration.

And now the aftermath.  At least some of us can say we were never surprised.

The following, from the Pacific Standard, was sent in by a reader.  Well worth a read.


Ireland Is Dying

Why so many people—an average of 10 every hour—are fleeing the Emerald Isle.

Remains of the 12th-century Trim Castle in County Meath, the largest Norman castle in Ireland. (PHOTO:ANDREW PARNELL/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Rest in peace, Seamus Heaney. The latest exodus from the Emerald Isle has reached hyperbolic speed. The Financial Times titillating its readers with data porn:
Ireland’s rate of emigration is continuing to increase and at one stage one person was leaving the country to live abroad every six minutes – the highest number since modern records began in the late 1980s.
New figures published on Thursday show 397,500 people have emigrated since Ireland’s financial crisis began in 2008, with most travelling to the UK, Australia and Canada in search of work.
During the same period 277,400 people have returned or moved to Ireland, giving a net outward migration figure of 120,100. In a 12-month period from April last year, 10 people left every hour.
Using the same cited data for the same 12-month period, more than 20 people moved to Ireland every hour. Of course, that also means over 30 people emigrated from Ireland every hour. The centerfold shot:
Almost a third of 15 to 24-year-olds, who grew up during an era when highly paid jobs were plentiful, are now out of work and even those with jobs have seen their wages slashed. More than a third of people leaving the country in the 12-month period to the end of April were between 15 and 24 years of age. Some 50,900 of the 89,000 people who emigrated were Irish citizens while the rest were nationals from other countries.
Yes, throw some dirt on dear old Dublin. The Celtic Tiger can no longer hunt. Time to put her down.
Two variables explain much of outmigration, age and educational attainment. I’ve posted quite a bit about ties between a college education and geographic mobility. Concerning age, the younger you are (as an adult), the more likely you are to leave. Relatively speaking, Ireland’s population is young:
In contrast to general European trends, the birth rate in Ireland is soaring. According to the Economic and Social Research Institute’s latest Perinatal Statistics Report, Ireland’s birth rate increased nearly 30 percent over the past 10 years, equating to about 17,000 more births in 2010 than 10 years before. The island boasts the highest birth rate of any European Union member.
Galway, a small college city on the Irish west coast, likes to tout itself as the “youngest city in Europe.” In 2001, 40 percent of Ireland was under the age of 25. When the going gets tough, the young and college educated get going. Everywhere, not just in Ireland. All those babies will grow up and go to college.  Then they will move away like all the other twentysomethings around the world.