November 28, 2007

State's lack of respect for services affects us all

Posted in Ireland · 37 comments ·
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It is funny how odd bits of relatively useless information that you learned in school sneak up on you. Somewhere in the back of our brains is a skip for stuff we crammed in at some stage. Every now and then some of it re-emerges. For example, last Friday night, Archimedes’ principle elbowed its way through the crowd to take an unwanted cameo role in my consciousness.

The image of Archimedes sitting in his bath trying to figure out how much water he displaced over the side every time he took the plunge is an affecting one. When he had finally understood that the weight of an object could be worked out by weighing the amount of water displaced from the bath he reportedly ran through the street of ancient Syracuse screaming “eureka” which means “I have found it”. Unfortunately, last Friday night’s Archimedes intrusion was not half as uplifting.

Looking down at the blocked, stinking toilet bowl on the overcrowded 7pm Iarnrod Eireann service from Dublin to Sligo, Archimedes’ principle suggests that it is only a matter of time before the entire fetid contents of the bowl spills over the lip, gushing in determined piss eddies all over the passengers who are sitting on their bags in the freezing corridor.

To get an impression of how poor some of our public services are, take the last train to Sligo on a Friday night. The loo is a place to start. Ten minutes into the journey, the bowl is clogged. Fag butts floated in the lilting urine and tobacco-coloured viscous slime. The door is jammed, so, quite apart from a lack of privacy, the trickling tributaries of commuters’ piss flow unimpeded into the carriage, soaking the rucksacks and coats of the people who sit on the floor. They only realise what’s happening when they felt unexpectedly damp. One sudden lurch or wobbly track and the piss levies would break. No one seems to care. There is no staff anywhere.

In America they refer to this wilful neglect of public property as “the broken windows theory”. If the State allows an area, an estate or a train to become so run down, this lack of respect for the property signalled by the owners seeps into the minds of the users. If the owners tolerate the deterioration of the service then the service will deteriorate further because the owners set the tone. If the owners have no pride in the conditions on the train, it sets the tone for everyone.

It’s difficult to say whether it’s the smell of urine or Kentucky Fried chicken or both which makes you retch. The overwhelming urge to vomit is unmistakable. Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey and the so-called, train-friendly Green ministers should get the last train to Sligo (leaving Dublin at 19.05) next Friday night. It might give them an idea of just how appalling our train service is. (In fairness to Irish Rail, the Dublin/Cork service has been upgraded substantially in recent years, but the point is why bother upgrading one line if you are going to treat your other customers with such contempt?)

We stand, as the tiny four-carriage “commuter” train (the average Dart train is considerably bigger), trundled through Maynooth, Kilcock, Enfield disgorging the victims of our property boom who have been forced — by the “land cabal” that runs this country — to buy ridiculously overpriced shoe-boxes miles away from work. These young workers are now picking up the tab for the faltering property market and will suffer negative equity for years to come. And as if that betrayal of a generation wasn’t bad enough, they are being given a large two fingers by the State every time they part with their cash to avail of the Sligo cattle train.

We finally get a seat an hour and 10 minutes into the journey after miles of jerry-built estates, replete with outside decking, trampolines and for some inexplicable reason — given the lashing rain outside — top-of-the-range barbecues! Past Longford and the train enters uncharted territory. The reason for saying this is that even the Irish Rail management advertise that the train is unsuited for the journey. It was never meant to go further than Longford, let alone two hours further. If you look up at the proud “network” map — Irish Rail’s equivalent of the bragging wall — you see the farthest extremity that this train is supposed to travel is Longford.

Yet, as we crossed the Shannon, this glorified Dart was bound for the north-west and Sligo when, even by the management’s own admission, the train isn’t up to it.

By now the smell from the loo is overwhelming, adding to the fragrance of dead sheep which steams off the wet coats and bags. It’s hardly a surprise that latest CSO figures reveal a 22pc increase in the number of people driving to work since 2002. Wouldn’t you?

Interestingly, as if this trend, and the Friday night ordeal, wasn’t capable of putting you off public transport on its own, the ads in the carriage suggest that Irish Rail’s management doesn’t believe in a future for trains either.

The most prominent ad is for a Bank of Ireland car loan, urging us to “get our skates on” and take out a car loan at “only 6.9pc APR for loans over €20,000″. This ad is complemented by the AXA insurance ad informing the long suffering train user about the joys of cheap, fully-comprehensive car insurance.

At 11 minutes past nine, over two hours after departure, Paul from the North of England finally arrives with the trolley. He is a member of Ireland largest ethnic minority, the English. Many of these “English” are members of the Irish Diaspora. They are the children of the 500,000 people who left this country in the 1950s and 1960s. These people are the demographic echo of Ireland when it was a failed economic entity. As we trundle into the West heading for Dromod, Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle and Ballymote, it’s worth remembering how many people left these places in the bad old days.

Pulling into Sligo, the pretty young girl two seats in front is putting on mascara without smudging which, as the train lurches on ancient tracks, is quite an achievement.

She’s no more than 20, stretching her face in the tiny pink mirror. She pouts, flicks her hair and bounds off the train.

She is the next generation. It is her Ireland that we are supposed to be building. The three and a half hour ordeal on the Dublin/Sligo “Intercity”, suggests that we aren’t doing a great job.


  1. VincentH

    What on earth gave you the idea that the train was to go further than Maynooth. Thats the why its a small dart or a biggish luas. Next time you are going in that direction, aerarann.com and a taxi.

  2. Tommo

    Sounds like it hasn’t changed since I use to go to Sligo RTC/IT by train 13 years ago. At least back then they had the good decency not to charge you for a ticket. With no staff on board to check your ticket, there was no point in buying one in the longford ticket office, on the rare occasion it was actually manned.

  3. Donal

    If the english are the largest ethnic minority here? Why are these people also in the regarded diaspora surely Detachment disorder Irish should cover them, because they rarely know anything about their ancestral past

    Anyway, the train service in this country needs to expand as it is ridiculous that you can’t take the train to places like Donegal or Skibbereen.

    If you want to go from Cork to the North, you have to pass through Dublin?

    Why can’t a horizontal, circular and vertical link go through the island?

  4. Philip Smyth

    David,
    while the main thrust of your article is fine, I wish to inform you that Archimedes’ principle has to do with volume rather than weight.
    Regards.

  5. I have not travelled by train in Ireland for many years.I had occasion to go to a wedding in Cork this year and being based in Dublin(when I am in Ireland) I presumed it was the only alternative to driving, but happily I discovered that Ryanair have a splendid service-and ,amazingly, a cheaper one -than C.I.E. (or whatever they call the rail network company nowadays.) I am sure they will include Sligo in their destination list when the airport can handle their planes.

  6. David Roche

    David,

    I too have experienced the ineptitude and depravity of the Sligo / Dublin train. The service is third world at best and it sends out a disgraceful image to eager tourists while frustrating our natives. The service is an insult. I now live stateside and when I return home to Sligo I always fly from Dublin to Strandhill which is great value and only takes 30mins as opposed to the 3.5 minimum rail fiasco. When the Dublin or Cork trains are on their very last legs they get shipped off to Sligo and small towns nationwide where they break down on a daily basis and are conveniently swept under the western carpet. Forget Maynooth, Dromod, Carrick..etc; To get to Sligo you travel through the mid seventies in avacodo woodchip depression. Shame on Irish Rail and shame on us for putting with this for so long.

  7. marie

    I lived in the South East of England and saw that just because a service is privatised it does not mean that the service will get better. The number one objective of private companies there was profit, not giving good service. The cost of a day return to London was 50 euro but the journey was only 48 miles. The toilets were not cleaned too regularly either. The service was frequently delayed due to bizarre reasons. I get the train and bus every day in Ireland and think its reasonably good. If you think the Irish public train service is bad, get the privatised train service in the South East of England.

  8. Another moot point, but the journey time for Sligo-Dublin 19:05 is 3 hours 6 minutes and not the 3 hours 30 minutes as David is suggesting.

    Also, I don’t know why there would possibly be a smell of kentucky fried chicken on the train, as they don’t serve it onboard, and the nearest SuperMac’s is a fair old distance away from Connolly station.

    The intent of the article is correct though. The only sucessful operation that Irish Rail has going is Commuter rail service (i.e. the Maynooth/Kildare suburban rail lines and the DART). Profitable lines like these (believe it or not, but these routes actually make a profit for Irish Rail, even before government subsidy!), should be built upon.

  9. Billy

    Ireland had a comprehensive working railway system before independence. The shining lights of Fianna Failure systematically pulled them out. If it was in any way connected to the British it was ripped out. The Irish rail system was fully functioning 100 years ago and served the places that voters have to prostate themselves in front of dim witted ministers to get service to. Navan being the one that people go on about.

    The West was alive with railways and trains were not limited to half arsed services too and from Dublin as is now the case.

    My ancestors travelled from Sligo and Mayo to Waterford via the railways on which they gained their living. They would be aghast to see that they could not make the return journey in modern Ireland.

    As an example I can stand for days on end on the level crossing at Waterford port and be in no risk of being hit by a train. Instead we send from one ship alone up to sixty trucks up to Dublin when two trains would do the same job.

    One company begged for trains to transport their goods to Ballina but its pleas fell on deaf ears. The Government and the ruling class could not care less but will be out with the wailing and gnashing of teeth if this major Atlanta based employer pulled back from Ireland.

    Trains make sense and that’s why we can’t have them.

    On another related note the reason the health service is such an non-transparent mess is because the Government abdicated to the Church in 1951 over the Mother and Child scandal and never regained control again. This is not a recent problem we have had it for years.

    As Gordon Ramsey so well put it last night to a hapless chef “you couldn’t run a bath” I apply this to the faceless cowards who decide who lives and who dies in their petty political games in the health “service” which is another facit of the slop thrown in the faces of voters as “services”

    If I get sick or need treatment I head for the airport or the border or a private clinic and pay for it myself. I don’t understand why I pay tax. The public services are unusable and I am afraid of being killed by the incompetence and pettiness of Irish hospitals.

    I remember one meeting in Tallaght Hospital where a two bit administrative dictator had a psychotic attack over us not calling the hospital by its correct name. People referred to it as “Tallaght Hospital’ instead of its official title of “The Adelaide and Meath Hospital incorporating the National Childrens Hospital At Tallaght”. I do not want these people anywhere near my body and like a lot of Irish people I will take my chances elsewhere.

    I would love to take the train to town or to work but as I live near Dublin International Airport the demand is obviously not as great as the fishing villages of Malahide and Howth, so no train. And the Port is not served, the station having being turned into the Point depot.
    So I will drive through the empty tunnel and along the empty dual carriage way alongside the port with the speed cops on it outside the Point to work instead.

    In France they would be on the streets. In Ireland we sit on our hands and consider ourselves lucky to be allowed to vote at all.

  10. John Coleman

    God this brings back a few memories.. Having lived in Australia now for the better part of ten years (great rail service)
    I remember travelling from Kildare to Silgo years ago. The Sligo part was just as David described. That was back in 1995.

    I haven’t been home in nearly 7 years & stories like this remind me of why i left. Things haven’t improved.

    On another note why would all those who left be bothered to return?

  11. MK

    Hi again David,

    Well, your journey to Sligo on the train enlightened you perhaps to a number of things which are holding this country back.

    For one, the civil/public service unions and civil/public service workers in the main are not interested and do not work hard to provide the necessary services. They couldnt give a s?it. Pardon the expletive but its true. Think of a runner running 100m, but at walking speed. That is what on the average they are doing. This impacts on Transport, from the planning stages to the operational stages. The only politician I have ever seen on the train was Michael D Higgins, politicans shun public transport.

    I have travelled on all trains throughout the country, Dublin to Sligo, Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford. (Not to Donegal though as there is no train!). There are inadequacies everywhere, and it all emanates from the staff. And the politicans are included in that staff of course! And inadequacies, which is a nice way of saying it, arent confined to trains, but also buses, roads, and not only transport, but other areas of public service. Yes, ALL areas of public service. They are holding the country back and their main function is to provide jobs which others must pay for, usually with sweat and hard work. Worker ants they are not.

    Another aspect though which is damning on society is the ‘one window breaking’ problem which you mentioned. If the users of the aforementioned toilet (thanks for the visuals!) treated it like their own and were any way half thinking of their fellow passengers, it would not have become blocked in the first place. Filthy people I’m afraid is what our society is. People just look out for themselves. It is a rat eat rat world. People dont care. eg: Everyone knows it is morally wrong to litter, we teach this to 1-5 yr olds and so on, and they grasp it and udferstand it(!), so its not a question of it being compolicated, yet look at the place. The country is a tip and people dont care and are the cause of it. Public servants PLUS the worker ants!

    The question for us as a society, do we want better things or is the ‘ah sure its alright’ attitude so ingrained in our fabric of culture that we will have these problems forever/for a long long time. I have not seen enough change over the last 40 years to see that any of these problems will be solved anytime soon. Our culture is not changing fast enough and people are just not interested in providing quality output in their daily lives. Add all of that up by 4.5 million or so (okay, kids are not fully responsible) and you get what you see. One of the manifestations is your experiences on that train to Sligo. Your tip was a symptom. But people are not tackling the underlying root causes, nor does it seem, are they really interested.

    MK

  12. I went to Sligo recently, on this train. We sat in the front carriage and listened to the engine grunting it’s way westwards. It sounded like a Morris Minor was pulling the train, gear changes and all. Desperate. But as for flying there! You mean, go through Dublin Airport….not a chance!

  13. zilla

    While the rest of Europe are well on their way to meeting carbon emmision targets, Ireland is expected to overshoot on polluting by 100% by 2012. While other countries governments and public work hard to get public transport, energy and recycling in line with Kyoto the Irish simply shrug and say “It’ll be grand.”

    As long as government is serving its own agenda and not its people, it will be skewed and corrupt. If all the Irish refused to use public hospitals for a month until Mary Harney steps down, or if trains are boycotted until a clearcut plan for upgrade is set in motion, there would be such an international uproar that things will change immediately. But even though the trains are scandalously fickle and dirty, and hospitals are delivering substandard care, they remain bursting at the seams. People keep buying high energy intensity goods, houses, cars. There is no vision for a better, healthier, claner, more efficient world. The Irish, sadly, are content with what they have.

    You vote with your feet and your wallet. We can choose our future or we can let our government do it for us, either way, in 10 years time the Irish will have only themselves to blame for what they chose and who they voted for.

    Ireland will always be mainland Europe’s dirty little sister because the voters will never complain or choose differently.

  14. Conor

    Yes, this funny little country of ours truly boggles the mind! We are in quite an intreresting situation at the present time as we come to the end of an economic boom, yet have absolutely nothing to show for it.

    For the last ten years or more, this ocuntry has had an unprecedented opportunity to invest the fruits of our once-off, demographically inspired, credit-fuelled Tiger. Instead what have we done? We come out of the boom as we went into it. Similar economic booms in Frace and Germany during the 1950s/60s produced fine, affordable and reliable mass-transit systems. They produced world-class education systems and comprehensive healthcare systems. Yet we have nothing.

    Admittedly European systems of public welfare and labour markets are in dire need of liberalisation and reform in order to continue to succeed in the future. Nevertheless, at least continental Europe did something with its boom. All Ireland has to offer are ridiculously over-priced houses with a wave of reposessions set to follow – that’s right folks, uemployment is set to rise. With no money, how does one pay for one’s inflated mortgage. The answer is they don’t! The same goes for all of us who maxed out numerous credit cards, bought SUVs to drive the kids around Donnybrook, and the rest.

    We have only ourselves to blame! We may blame the banks, but we were the oes who went looking for credit in the first place when we knew we couldn’t afford it. We were the ones who bought Brown Thomas, just because the neighbours did so. We were the ones who voted for Fianna Fáil, ‘The Builders Party’ and allowed them to squander billions upon billions without results. No infrastructure, no education, no healthcare! What exactly would foster etrepreneurship and globalism on this island in the future. Any banana republic can create a system of low taxation. Look at the Baltic states, they are doing exactly what we did twenty years ago. And fair play to them I say, hopefully they won’t bollocks the whole thing up like we did. God knows, in thirty years time my kids may be emigrating there to get away from this damp, senseless, god-forsaken hellhole.

    Was it so hard for us to take stock for a moment and look at what other coutries do when they get rich? Our closest neighbour should have been a lesson to us. The United Kingdom is a country not overly-dependent on one particular sector of the economy. The UK is a wealthy, prosperous and stable place. It has proper systems of transport and healthcare, admittedly with problems, but its foward-thinking government is addressing such issues. Perhaps we should all do ourselves one great big favour and just move. Leave this GUBU nation of ours and live with our bretheren diaspora elsewhere. Has anyone yet asked why they don’t return to Ireland? Because the place is a mess and the sooner we realise it, the better.

  15. Paul

    Not really related but just on public services.

    This morning the local council were erecting a sign indicating the name of a road. It took 1 truck driver who sat in the truck sleeping, 1 JCB driver to dig a VERY small hole (and as an added bonus plough up the grass verge) and 2 men to stand and wait for the hole to be dug. This massive peice of engineering started early this morning and at 11.10 it’s still in progress.

    The same council dug up the footpath outside my house to fix a leak. Fair enough. Then they came back a couple of months later and did the same. Ok maybe it was still leaking. Then thay came back again. Then they came back a week later and were starting to dig up the footpath. So I went out and asked what’s the story. Reply – fixing a leak. I said you were here last week. This will be your fourth time and I pointed out the three different repairs to the path. They produced a peice of paper and said this was their instructions. I said to the man in charge as I recognised him from the pervious week “Do you not remember digging up the path last week?” A pause and one of the crew said “Yea, we were here last week Tom” So they decided to head off and I haven’t seen them since.

    So I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that your taxes are weel spent.

  16. Donal

    Conor,

    The UK is the biggest slum in Western Europe with an education that is no better than the 3rd world facilities, unless you go private. They have ruined the NHS, Pensions and Transport is utterly crap, expensive & unreliable for the public.

    They are also steeped in debt with £1.3 Trillion to the country, I won’t take lessons from a nation that still holds part of our country captive in the north especially when they were responsible for the troubles in the first place.

    Yes, I admit the government have pissed up bigtime and didn’t do half as much as they should have done to improve the country but calling this country a damp, hell-hole is a lack of respect too far and I question anyone’s pride who insult their country that much.

    All we have to show for our “Boom” which never really happened is an influx of people from abroad who we don’t give a damn about and never will. Our history alone should prove that we’ve never been an open or welcoming people because we rebelled numerous times against foreign rule and that occupation of our land has made us very territorial and norrow-minded.

    We’ll never change our view of others and Mary McAleese is daft enough to belief this possible? The same with the rest of the Dail with Conor Lenihan refering to Turks as “Kebabs”, I hate hypocrisy and liars like them.

    We should look to America for transport, Japan for infrastructure, Belguim for Healthcare and the Diaspora to fill the vacancies because we give more a damn about them than the “New Irish” whom have no link with the nation and never will. At least those who left do have an inkling of care whilst the immigrants and Asylum Seekers don’t, they are kidding themselves if they think they can live here permanently.

    When the crash occurs and people lose their homes and extravagent lifestyles they had no way of affording, I hope they pray to god like mad for forgiveness. They’ll need it

  17. Ed

    Conor

    Very good critical summary of our situation – the “Irish Mind” is difficult to understand. Perhaps it’s because we have great imagination, but poor application. Our neighbour went from water power through steam power to electric power in a period of about seventy years in the nineteenth century. When you look closely at the movers and shakers you see that , in the main, the Scots did the thinking and the English did the doing. The same type of situation that applied during the days of the Roman Empire – Greek thinking and Roman doing – can you name one Roman Mathematician/ Scientist? – Less thinking and more doing calls for a military type approach – perhaps some type of national service is called for if want to become more organised society.

  18. Ed

    On the idea of National service – In my dealings with China , I’ve noticed a form of this in their Industrial Sector. Young people work on the shop floor for a year or two and then go on to complete their education. Irrespective of what they end up doing in life, they’ll have an appreciation of what’s involved in making things, an essential part of any economy,

  19. Chip on shoulder

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Americans

    Look at the end of this, the results will stagger you and put all those to shame who think the 1st official language is no longer valid!

  20. Not coming back.....

    As someone who left in 2000, after deciding that housig cost too much, salaries were too low, taxes too high and the resultant services inadequate, there is a simple answer. Leave the country!

    If you’re single, have no permanent ties (and flights are cheap now, so it’s not that hard to make it back when you need to), LEAVE. I’ve worked in Nigeria, South Africa, Dubai, Romania, Miami and now New York. Transport & health infrastructure was worse only in Nigeria. I can’t comment on education.

    I get paid more, pay less taxes and have a higher standard of living.

    Advise your younger brothers / sister / nephews / nieces to leave. Without a major fall in house prices, they will never be able to afford their own house. With a major fall in house prices, there will probably be no jobs for them. Do them a favour – tell them to leave.

    As for the Irish that have gone, yes, we care about what goes on, but it’s an academic interest – this article describes why. Go back to a country that will force me to the outer suburbs, not provide me with transport to get to and from work, charge me a tax to purchase this house, pay me a lower salary and charge me a higher tax rate? I don’t have to think very long to say, I’ll be back for the holidays, but I’m not living there again.

    Good luck to you all – and leave if you can. House prices will fall further, the electorate will no doubt vote Fianni Fail on the basis that no-one else can run the country, jobs will be lost and it’ll be back to the late 70′s and early 80′s atmosphere by 2015.

  21. That post by “Not coming back” is spot on. Ireland is in a kind of time warp. Nothing ever changes-despite numerous commissions, tribunals, consultants reports, and so on. A good swathe of the electorate have grown rich, of course.Speculators,builders, publicans etc.the kind of people who do “whiparounds ” when their boss is in trouble. Self employed tradesmen have gouged and prospered.The Public Sector workers do very well.The prison officers, for example, who are currently on strike (briefly) on a rather minor matter. I know for a fact that their enormous wages and restrictive practices have enabled many of them to assemble a huge property investment portfolio.
    The rest of the workforce suffer on,and struggle to make ends meet. Meanwhile every field in the 3 (republican) provinces of Ireland is a rezoned building site.The good news is that as David predicted, it is all going to end in tears.Thank God Fianna Fail got their third term in office.

  22. I have not lived in Ireland for 10 years = I am keen to go back but like many other people posting here I find it difficult to justify receiving less income, dealing with a higher tax burden and being forced to sit in traffic every day (if I relocate to Dublin). I am confused that like Eddie Hobbs and his Rip of Ireland stance the focus is on the problems more so than the solution. Unfortunately solutions are not always easy to coordinate etc. One obvious solution is to use the ballot box (like the Australians) but we never seem to do that.

    What should be done:

    Build a Train from Dublin Airport to the City Centre now

    Upgrade the train infrastructure all over Ireland – e.g. Cork to Dublin should be 2 hrs max.

    Increase frequency of DART and expand service.

    Develop low cost options in Cork and Galway

    And a really audacious wish -reform the political structure – we have more elected politicians per capita than almost any other developped country. Get rid of half of them.

    Finally, any Green readers – influence the politicians to behave like Greens. The Tara routing bewilders me and as for rubbish collection please have some economists get involved. Rubbish collection and disposal should be FREE – anything else encourages AVOIDANCE = Litter. To finish with an anecdote – I helped a family member gut a room (carpets, old presses etc) We filled up the car (admittedly a station wagon type) and drove off to the landfill site – we were charged something like 40 euro for the priviledge. I could not believe it – talk about creating an incentive to fly tip.

  23. andrew

    Donal,

    take a chill pill mate, this ain’t 1968. you sound a wee-bit racist in your rant about New Irish, which is really ironic, given how many million Irish people have emigrated to other countries (including my native one). what gives you the right to piss on new immigrants?

    Regarding Conor’s description of Ireland as “damp”, dude, stick your hand out the window. Do you recall it rained on 51 consecutive days this “summer”. the country is damp because it rains a lot.

    Ed has a good point in that certain countries think better than they do. Ireland doesn’t “do” well. Why not just outsource the doing to someone else?

    everyone has a right to be proud about their heritage, but Donal, you’re creating more history and one can consume.

  24. andrew

    Donal said
    Our history alone should prove that we’ve never been an open or welcoming people because we rebelled numerous times against foreign rule and that occupation of our land has made us very territorial and norrow-minded

    this attitude has served Ireland so well in the past, hasn’t it Donal? by the way you go on about the past, you’d think Ireland was the only country ever to be occupied. There is a big world out there, Donal…..

  25. Chip on shoulder

    Andrew,

    judging from your comments you are either an American or from the UK Commonwealth. You’re from a former colony or an existing one.

    Don’t comment on things you can’t understand

  26. Donal

    First of all Andrew,

    I have a korean Cousin = How does that make me Racist or Ethnic Discriminatory?

    I don’t support Multi-Culturalism because of the social unrest and problems it creates, and I lived in the UK for 20 years so I know what exactly these people are going through. I need not remind anyone that every host country always betrays their “new nationals” and I was betrayed by the UK, bullying from a young age makes you bitter and angry.

    Ireland is heading down that route and will betray these people, I think you should realise that we are friendly and welcoming but only to a point. We have no problem with visitors coming here from all over but to reside here and live in the country that’s when the smiles turn into grinding teeth.

    Look at France that has Libertié, Equalité et Fraternité enshrined in its constitution and what has happened recently with their people from former colonies: no jobs, opportunities or respect.

    I don’t want this to happen Ireland but the resentment is growing, wether you are aware of it of not.

    Sadly I think it will

  27. Fianna Fail have no mandate to create an even more divisive society-which is what Ireland will have shortly, now that the economic wheel is turning.Their rotten legacy will be a lasting one.(besides the corruption and whiparounds). We have had no empire, like France and England.
    We dont need this wonderful new multiculturism. There are enough unsolved problems in Ireland without adding new ones.
    There are, for example,thousands of new negro taxi drivers in Dublin-as in France -as in Oslo- as in the U.K. they are handed PSV licences to get them off welfare.The 12,000 odd white drivers in this industry are seeing their livelihoods decimated, and racial attitude is now emerging.Someday it may explode. Why are these people not absorbed into the Irish Civil Service.
    We need more prison officers, more driving testers. Why do they not have an allocation of a percentage of these well paid jobs in the IMPACT and SIPTU public service unions? Why not indeed!

  28. andrew

    John,

    The word “negro” has been deemed offensive in most developed nations. I would challenge you to go to anywhere in the US or Canada and call someone a negro to their face.

    Chip, yes I am from a former colony, which has taken multiculturalism to the extreme, and yes, i think it has gone too far there.

    Donal, I said your rant sounded racist, not that you are a racist. Anyway, if the hat fits, wear it. Having a Korean cousin and being a racist are not mutually exclusive.

    People get the government they deserve.

  29. Not coming back.....

    I think Chip on Shoulder’s mind has damaged his brain… He says that Andrew cannot understand (the irish situation) because he is “from a former colony or an existing one”.

    Chip on Shoulder – what is Ireland? A country that has always maintained its independence?

    Rename yourself – to “Empty Mind”

  30. Henry Barth

    David is dead-on about the Sligo train. I live in the Sligo and daily think “third world” when I consider transportation and infrastructure in this or neighbouring counties. One improvement is coming soon, though, thanks to an EU mandate. We are assured that the water pipes will be put under ground. They are installing water metres now as the first step.

  31. Chip on shoulder

    Not Coming back…… take your own advice and never return.

    One positive outcome was bad eggs like yourself who left this country was a good thing, its a shame that most had the opportunity to bring this country forward in infrastructure.

    Why take lessons from an individual whose own ancestors probably contributed to the destruction of that nations indigenous population or suffering.

    US – Natives
    CAN – Natives
    NZ – Maoris
    AUS – Aborigines
    RSA – Apartheid

    These settlers of course have nothing to acknowledge then? They have never suppressed anyone and can prove it?

    Ireland should be free entirely but spinelessness and stupidity allowed it in it’s partioned state today

  32. Chip on shoulder

    Andrew, Europe and the rest of the english speaking world are completely different.

    Everyone has the right to an indigenous culture especially Ireland who never invaded anyone, or supressed anyone.

    I wouldn’t go anyone or pick on anyone but you should acknowledge that people if they are different in any way apart from similar religion or ethnic group, they won’t get on and this causes problems. I ask you to respect my viewpoint and I in turn will respect yours.

    If you say that immigration is justified because the local population aren’t talrnted or qualified enough, like you said previously in another article…. you infuriate people like myself. Ireland is a land of scholars and jobs in Ireland should be given to the native population as a priority, giving it to someone else who doesn’t know the culture or customs only results in that Irishman having to leave for elsewhere.

    Immigration only creates more diasporas and long-term suffering, disadvantaging one nation (Ireland) and another of their talented people (Poland). No-one wins and I’m fed up of this being ignored.

    So I would appreciate you if distinguish the difference between and hate, I find people like the KKK in the States or other form of “Chosen Race” ideologist supremecists disgusting people.

    Anger at least is controlled and you are against the practise, not the people.

    Thank you

  33. SpinstaSista

    John, if so many PSV licences are being handed out, why is it almost impossible to get a taxi after dark in Dublin? I don’t care what colour the taxi cab (or driver) I get is, as long as it takes me from A to B.

  34. Not coming back.....

    Chip on shoulder,

    Debate is generally limited to the topics at hand, and facts or at least backed-up theories or opinions. So, if you have a theory or opinion that Ireland is not nad never has been a colony, I would be interested to hear it. Otherwise, I must use logic to assume that you are incorrect.

    Your opinion that I am a “bad egg” us based on what? That I looked, recognised that Ireland was a country in which I would not have the quality of life that I could have in other countries and left makes me a bad egg? Staying to support those in power buy buying an overpriced house miles from services that are underdelivered and overpaid for would make me a good Irishman? You’re either an idiot or very idealistic.

    As for your argument about not taking lessons from someone whose ancestors “probably contributed to the destruction of that nations indigenous population”. What are you basing this assumption on? What difference does it make if my ancestors raped and pillaged, murdered and stole? They are who they are, asides from DNA, they have nothing to do with me and I bear no responsibility for their actions. If you think about your position, you are essentially saying that we should all be judged based on our ancestry. If that is the case, perhaps you would like to live in a monarchy? The dynasty of sheikhs in Dubai (the Maktoums) have been very succesful in bringing wealth to their countrymen.

    How far back in history does this responsibility count? Do our cave dwelling pre-historic ancestors count? I’d be interested to hear where you draw the line for ancestral responsibility!

    Defend your position, don’t accuse people of being “bad eggs”.

  35. laura

    The problem with public transport in Ireland is this Tory mentality that nobody who is “successful” in Ireland should have any need to use public transport. Our wonderful leaders hardly set a good example as they fly around in fat cat executive cars. One of the interesting things is how a lot of welfare dependents get free transport – somehow no value is put on such things.

    But there is another issue and it does involve the public sector. There is a real perception outside of the services that these are overpaid, underworked and getting far better conditions than most private sector workers. The increasing political pressure this is putting successive governments over is likely to push all future services into private sector provision. In the long term this will decimate the public service. Unless they realise that they can and must be willing to cut back.

  36. Chip on shoulder

    Not Coming back…….Responsibility just means acknowledging it happened and admitting it was wrong.

    Not just forgetting about it and saying I had nothing to do with it, that attitude makes those actions possible for a repeat and the lesson hasn’t been learnt. History is about predicting where you went wrong and how not to go that way again, even realising what can be done to avoid it entirely.

    That’s all I was saying, and insulting someone by calling them names just shows a lack of respect that why I called you a bad egg because you were aggressive in your arguements. Provocation is not a way to put your point across, nowhere is perfect but you shouldn’t put down our country for its faults.

    Ireland in David’s comparison is looking like the European Uruguay, we had prosperity (supposedly) and threw away. You might have more money, buying power for homes and lifestyle but that doesn’t bring you happiness in the end you don’t belong there and you can’t buy happiness.

    My Aunt in the US longs for home

    Now let’s just bury the hatchet

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