Children have been arrested using a huge force of Gardai and while the ‘paper of record’ and the INDO have reported the arrests they have failed to comment on this state of affairs. Are these incidents – with more to follow it seems – such a very unusual occurrence that the named media can pass over them without comment?
Such a huge force of police to arrest children contrasts very badly with the invitations issued to bankers to attend Garda stations for questioning on the economic cataclysm visited on families and communities across Ireland – particularly on the very families & communities that these children hail from.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the arrest of children is more to do with intimidating those communities opposed to the infliction of even more austerity on the very communities who have borne the brunt of the economic recession and who were NOT responsible for the reckless lending of German, British, French and Irish Banks.
Let Sporus tremble –”What? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass’s milk?
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?”
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne’er tastes, and beauty ne’er enjoys,
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Strange is this red beside the blue
I absorb the spiritual resonance
within the green mist
Intense! The vision has come
Strange and colorful
Inviolate spells inside the dream
The wind has stilled
Heavy are these flowers
I breathe invisibly
restless in the night
the next morning waiting
out of this dream
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140 characters is usually enough
“When I was living in New York and didn’t have a penny to my name, I would walk around the streets and occasionally I would see an alcove or something. And I’d think, that’ll be good, that’ll be a good spot for me when I’m homeless.”
– Larry David.
Last Christmas, on a cold evening of misting rain, I was walking down Carey’s Lane when I saw a pale, thin young man sitting on the pavement opposite the Pavilion, beside him a paper cup with a few pence in it. I stopped and gave him €2. I felt embarrassed. I’m not well-off, but €2 is still little enough to me that I always feel guilty it’s not more. Then I feel it’s awful that anyone is reduced to begging for €2 from the likes of me, so I just want to drop the coin and move off as fast as I can without…
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Cunning Hired Knaves
There are two major stories in Ireland at the minute. One is the tribulations of the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and something of a crisis in the Fine Gael party. The other is the introduction of water charges through Irish Water.
Most of the attention is dedicated to the first story. Kenny’s attempt to get a failed county council election candidate for Fine Gael elected to the Seanad, via an appointment to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, has blown up in his face. This is the kind of story that gets political correspondents frotting their laps in excitement. Disarray in the court of King Kenny, that sort of thing. More broadly, it exposes the gap between the promises made by Fine Gael and Labour for a ‘democratic revolution’ and ‘political reform’, and the sordid reality: patronage, cronyism and disregard for transparency and accountability. So it provides good…
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Not everyone in Ireland bent the knee to the prevailing culture of punishing the children of the poor and their Mums. There were some who reached out to protect children. An Irish Traveller family sheltered and fed me after I absconded from one Institution. I received more food from them in the short few hours I was with them than I’d received from the nuns for a whole week – and the Travellers food was fresh and plenty of it.
Then there was the family in Dublin who took me in for a magical Christmas (late 50s/Early 60s) – even though they’d just become parents themselves, they’d actually opened their home to a child from the Institutions!
That was some Christmas – it even snowed! I’ve tried to recreate that Christmas for our own children every Christmas. Nothing fancy. Good Food, warmth, a few presents, sing-songs, games and importantly: A Sense of Belonging. Could never recreate the snow though!
And a family in Wexford who took me in for a Glorious Summer in 1960. There were trips on trains to the seaside, sandcastles, buns, lemonade, a visit to the cinema, good food – especially tomatoes! And A Sense of Belonging. And after I was returned to the Institution the family and friends I made in Wexford collected comics and sent them to me in the Institution.
All Memories to Cherish and I Do Cherish them.
If any full history of Ireland’s treatment of children in Institution is ever written these good people should have a place of honour in it. They brought Warmth and Love and a Sense of Belonging.
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