December 30, 2009

Life's a beach for Ireland's latest 'Generation Exodus'

Posted in Ireland · 171 comments ·

Earlier this year I was working in Australia and spent some time at the famous Bondi Beach where it became obvious to me that there were two types of people there.

The first species is the sculpted Aussie surfers. All sun-bleached hair, bright white teeth and toned limbs. Just the right proportions, strong features, physical perfection . . . and that’s just the straight blokes!

Gay men built like Bette Midler’s backing dancers in outrageously skimpy budgie smugglers ignore the Elle MacPherson clones doing early morning tai chi as they wait patiently for the right waves.

The second species is us, the Irish, in our GAA jerseys, huddled together so as not to frighten the natives at the far side of Bondi, not knowing how to surf, swim or strut: the O’Neill’s football, step one haircut and socks give it away. The faded teenage tattoos on freckly backs are another tell-tale sign, particularly as what was once a shark just above the shoulder-blade now resembles a beached whale, deformed on skin stretched by too many Hula Hoops, pints and Pot Noodles.

Two separate sets of figures just published — the first by the Australian Embassy and the second by our CSO — indicate that there will be plenty more of the second species on Bondi in the years ahead.

The Australian Embassy revealed that there has been a 25pc increase in Irish people looking to emigrate permanently to Australia. Quite apart from those who have decided to leave for good, other young Irish people are on the move to the ‘lucky country’ as never before. The number of 12-month working holiday visas for Australia issued to people under 30 has surged by 33pc to 22,786 in the year to the end of June. This figure is likely to have risen since then as recent graduates realise there are no jobs for them here.

This is the new Irish experience. In my book ‘Follow the Money’, I refer to the people I saw on Bondi Beach, working in cafes on the promenade or in the Irish bars in Bondi Junction, as ‘Generation Exodus’. Generation Exodus is the end result of the pathetic governance of Ireland over the past 10 years.

When the ‘insiders’ in Ireland waltz us up an economic cul de sac — as they did in the 1950s and the 1980s — society splits into ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’. The insiders — those with a stake in the society, those with the contacts and the networks to muddle through — get stronger. In contrast, the ‘outsiders’ get out. It happened in the 1950s and again in the 1980s and now it is happening again.

Generation Exodus should have inherited the fruits of 10 years of growth. Instead they are given the door. Meanwhile, the people who caused the crisis and dismissed persistent economic warnings as “doom mongering” are still in power.

For those who remember the 1980s, or even the 1950s, there is a perfect symmetry in all this. Today’s Generation Exodus is the ‘Ryanair Generation’ of the 1980s or the ‘Mail Boat Generation’ of the 1950s. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, thousands of young Irish people — myself included — headed on Ryanair flights to London. In the 1950s, 500,000 of our parents’ generation emigrated to the UK. Today, the opportunities are no longer in Britain, so Ireland’s latest exiles, Generation Exodus, must go further afield.

But the pattern is exactly the same. Today’s insiders, as in previous decades, couldn’t care less. One prominent politician, a consummate insider, summed up the establishment’s attitude to 1980s emigration with: “Sure how can we all expect to live on this little island?”

The same smug nonchalance is on display now. And worse, the full extent of the property madness of the past 10 years was confirmed by the figures published earlier this week by the CSO. The CSO data confirms that Generation Exodus will get bigger and bigger over the coming years.

For those of us with the economics weakness, dry numbers published by statisticians can paint vivid pictures about how our society works and if you join the dots you can see the big picture which links the numbers to the experience of Irish migrants in Bondi.

The CSO has published data on Ireland’s “capital stock”. The capital stock is the engine of the economy. The more capital of the ‘right’ sort that has been accumulated in a boom the better prepared the economy is to ride out the recession. The ‘right’ capital makes an economy productive. With the right capital we can get more people working, producing more and therefore getting paid more, which allows us to buy stuff without getting into debt. By raising the productiveness of everyone, investment in the right capital benefits all.

Unfortunately, there is also the ‘wrong’ capital. This is investment in stuff that produces nothing, that creates no jobs or opportunities and that demands no new skills to be used because it is the capital that, far from producing wages, is actually a cost that needs to be constantly maintained.

Too many houses are one such ‘bad’ investment. And in the boom we invested enormously in the ‘wrong’ sort of capital which will not contribute one job to Generation Exodus.

Looking at the CSO figures, we see that Ireland’s capital stock in 1999 was €189bn, of which €100bn was houses and other property. In 2009 Ireland’s capital stock is €476bn, of which €302bn is dwellings. So, discounting housing, Ireland’s capital stock has risen from €89bn to €174bn over 10 years. That’s a rise of 95pc in 10 years, which isn’t bad, but it’s not quite the huge rise of 150pc when you include housing. But the problem is that all this investment in housing is useless and has to be paid off.

To put things another way, in 1999, housing accounted for 53pc of Ireland’s capital stock. But in 2009, housing accounted for 64pc of Ireland’s capital stock. So while Ireland’s net capital stock is €476bn, if we leave out both dwellings and other buildings but include roads, machinery and transport equipment (ie the ‘right’ capital) our figure falls to a surprisingly low €80bn. This means that only 17pc of our capital stock is not a building of some sort.

Now contrast this with an economy like Switzerland. The total amount of their capital stock made up of buildings of some sort is 56pc, but the other 44pc is civil infrastructure, machines, transport and equipment. This is why Switzerland can be both expensive and productive: it has the ‘right’ capital.

Ireland in contrast, after 10 years of a boom, has the ‘wrong’ capital, which means we have the worst combination possible: we are expensive and unproductive. The high costs make us weak because they don’t reflect high productivity. So we have the brains of Generation Exodus, but not enough machinery to let these brains work to their potential. So we educate them to emigrate as we have done for generations and yet again some other country benefits.

And all the while, the ‘insiders’ knuckle down for the battle of survival in a shrinking Ireland and the ‘outsiders’ are told where to go.

  1. Robert


    “Sure how can we all expect to live on this little island?”

    The “insider” prominent politician who made this crazy above statement was Brian Lenihan Senior – So not only do ther insiders stay in power but their jobs are handed down to their sons and daughters.

    Another well written article which sums up this failed state.

    Happy new year – but remember we’ve “turned the corner” (Yeah . . Right)



  3. We need to ask ourselves why we as a people we allowed all this to happen and allow the insiders have their way .I believe that we as a nation are still recovering from the mindset of the Great Famine. Houses were a luxery and the security it brought was a high premium of feeling of personal achievement .It was ‘a mammies factor’ and everyone realised houses came first and last.The old established families did not hold the same ‘needed values’ and theirs were more enterprising as in production and the professions.
    Unfortunately the FF Politicians took advantage of this ‘NEED’ and USED US .
    Now we will never hold such value to houses again and our mindset will become more chinese like – enterprising – trading- long hours – more work ethic – and eventually – Gambling . …when the wheel turns round again once more .

  4. I am a former lifeguard and with many lives saved to my credit including 9 gardai .I could see myself on Bondi Beach ( if I were young again ) with my Tim Tams and the challenge it brings .Oh bring back those days ( roll it again collette ) .

  5. There’s 40 young people from a total population of about 500 gone from our area and all are meeting up for NYE on some beach or other in Oz. They were the brightest and best workers. Numpties, old people, the privileged and grumpy feckers like me remain.
    No new blood and no new ideas.
    None of this Dhiaspora Nua give a monkeys about the auld sod nor it’s troubles. They know there’s no future without ‘The Pull’ so they’ve left to find a level playing field.
    Ireland seems to have developed its own version of cyclical economics.
    If it’s problematical, send it away, whether it be non-aligned people, abortion or intellectual debate.
    This Nation is the democratic equivalent of The Stepford Wives. We’ve come full circle again from being dominated by the Church in the 50′s to the corrupt State in the 80′s to the parisitical Banks in the present.
    We’re a nightmare study of the worst excesses of neo capitalism gone completely astray.
    As far as eulogising any one of our political stalwarts is concerned, Brutus was an honourable man.

    • Deco

      The fact that the new ideas people leaves is a gift to the old ideas people. Competition is reduced. Bullshit gets less critique.

      It takes new ideas, energy, debate and deliberate focussed action to change a society.

      Ireland is trying to get it’s head around the problem.

      The people are looking for information. They are not listening to their leaders anymore. And an increasing percentage of the population are steering clear of any form of distraction that might avert any intellectual realizations.

      And folks this is good news. For the past few years I knew several people who were agressively and staunchly FF. And they have changed. Reading books like The Bankers by Shane Ross, David’s book, and even listening to Matt Cooper on the radio.

      Let’s not underestimate how tough it will be.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Furrylugs: Going away is what young folks do.

      I remember, aged 23, looking down on Ireland from an early 707 en route to LA. As the bogs and grey hills unrolled beneath, I wished I’d never again have to set foot in a land I’d loved but offered no way to make a living. In fact, I did visit most years after that, and gained an increasing understanding of Ireland’s many problems. In time, the economy and people’s attitudes gradually improved, no thanks to me or the many thousands like me who used our talents to find success elsewhere.

      I wonder how much faster it might have improved if we had stayed to compete with the motley crew who now run the place.

      Young man: if you have the gumption to leave, go. But don’t be surprised if when you come back, Seanie Hayseed is driving the Merc. that should have been yours.

      • Colin_in_exile


        Where do the young folks of California go away to?
        Where do the young folks of Canada go away to?
        Where do the young folks of France go away to?
        Where do the young folks of Germany go away to?
        Where do the young folks of Italy go away to?
        Where do the young folks of The Netherlands go away to?

        • Malcolm McClure

          Colin: US and Canada are big enough and have enough resources for their young folks to find employment if they hitch up a U-haul.
          France, Germany and the Netherlands, like Britain, are ex-colonial powers keen to keep young folks at home to preserve the balance from the influx of natives from their colonies and elsewhere.
          The PIGletS were part of the same farrow as Irish youth. The aul’ EU sow now needs to wean them.

          • Colin_in_exile


            I would argue that US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy & The Netherlands simply care more about their young people than Ireland does. Its less to do with balancing ethnicities and more to do with humanity, justice and hope.

      • I know they do Malcolm and thats healthy. Broadening the horizons and all that but most countries welcome their young back as experienced mature citizens to allow them further the nation. Our cliques stifle home grown enterprise and discourage all but , to quote ‘Pee Flynn’, ‘The best coming back with money’.

  6. Deco

    The phrase “Generation Exodus” is in itself chilling.

    For the insider capitalist the enemy is not socialism, but competition from other capitalists. In fact socialism is a boon to the capitalist insider because it centralizes control, so that the insiders can nest themselves closer to the wealth.

    This is shown in it’s most obvious form in the current socialism for bankers initiative – no banker left behind. No Irish banker will be left out in the cold, no matter how recklessly they have been behaving.

    We cannot operate capitalism properly in Ireland. [ And we have made a dogs dinner of the various attempts to implement socialism also-culminating in Ahernism].

    The people who are leaving are those who are finding out that this is still the Insider republic. Nobody from the K-Club, no union boss in ICTU, none of the wasters in IBEC, none of the scoundrels in D4, or the nepotists in D2 will have to leave for Australia. No we have socialism Irish style. Tax the workers. Subsidize the crony businessmen and their official opposition the union bosses.

    There is a way to survive modern Ireland. Opt out of it’s creeds. Opt out of paying for the Rip-off merchants. Opt out of being a customer from the cowboys. Vote for any politician who will BIN ANIB, and end the INBS type loser banks.

    Give your business to the most honest person you meet. And vote out the drinks cabinet government.

    The Irish concept of management has failed. Soccer. The Catholic Church. Kildare Street. The rest of the D2 complex. The banks(D4). The crooks controlling the ISEQ listed companies.

    Let’s be active in undermining the oligopolists. The insiders want the competition to leave, and make money in another country and send it home to prop up the farce that is Ireland. Let’s call a spade a spade. Let’s tell it as it is.

    Yeats was right. Ireland is a sow that eats her own farrow.

  7. Colin_in_exile

    Great article David.

    I agree 100% with the 5 earlier comments above. I will soon be forced to go further afield to find work, so I know how it feels to be the ultimate outsider.

    This country is run for the benefit of the middle aged middle classes. For some reason, many Irish people outside this socio-economic class like to be treated like shit.

    Also, I was briefly listening to RTE Radio 1 with Joe Duffy interviewing a few people earlier on. One woman was talking about living abroad and then returning home. Then she lets out the greatest fallacy ever in the English Language – Ireland is the best place in the world for children to grow up. Listen up Ireland – Its not! Repeat after me – Ireland is the worst place in the world for children to grow up! You don’t believe me? Look at the prefabs in our schools, look at our lack of playgrounds with proper facilities, look at vaccines denied to our teenage girls, look at the example our children are given reagrds alcohol consumption by their parents, look at our lack of cycle paths forcing kids onto busy roads, swerving between HGVs, look at appalling public transport which denies kids the ability to travel independently of their parent’s car. I could go on… This needs to be addressed.

    Lenihan Snr was a disgrace. Lenihan Jnr is a disgrace (mostly due to NAMA), and it looks like he has no one to blame for his medical condition but himself due to his fondness for hard drinking. Let’s hope his sons are kept out of public office.

    I will not doth my cap to corrupt politicians.

    • wills

      colin -

      I’m with you all the way on the ‘ ireland s a great place to rear the kid s rubbish’.

      It is a toxic kip in which to raise kids. And one must re create a safe space to raise kid in ireland healthily.

      • wills

        The society is a ‘toxic kip’.

        The geographic s are beautiful.

        The weather is acceptable but too damp.

        The society itself is a ‘toxic kip’, over all, made so by greed and incestuous relationships mainstreamized.

  8. Riggs

    Just a couple of additional points with regards to spurious numbers.

    We seem to have forgotten that “transition year” was introduced in our schools in the last recession to impove the numbers on the live register. In one move it eliminated a generation from signing on under the guise of the PESP 1994.

    Our live register is the most farsical statistic gathering source of the system. It is utterly ficticious not accounting for thousands who were once self employed or company directors and who have now become unemployed.

    It does not account for all those who have returned to their country of origin. ( 2 years ago Ryanair flew to 13 Polish destinations ex Dublin and now fly to 3 with a dramatically reduced service…QED)

    or whose Benefit has expired with no ability to pass a means test!

    A rough estimate of our real unemployment figure based on the above but combining available reliable sources would suggest that our rate is well in excess of 19% versus figures employed in mid 2007.

    • wills

      riggs -

      I agree.

    • paulmcd

      Riggs, It used to be said, when the school-leaving age was raised that it only resulted in the writing-on-the-wall being two inches higher.

      Perhaps we should keep quiet about this one because, if things keep going as they are, an Taoiseach might decide to raise the school-leaving age to 65.

  9. AndrewGMooney

    David, you’re a bit harsh on the Irish ‘fugees. Hula Hoops make a crunchy alternative ‘prawn cracker’ topping to Pot Noodles cooked in a Guiness broth. There’s a Lonely Planet gap-year cookbook recipe for free! You mention Bondi but forgot the Bogans / Westies….perhaps there was a Chinese tourist delegation that day and they kept them all corralled in the outer ‘burbs with free beer and barbies to pacify them.

    I hope all who have sought good fortune ‘down under’ find it, even if New Year Eve on Bondi is likely to be a ‘challenging’ experience according to the fearful Twitterings today….*rollseyes* ‘For the bogans who will descend upon Bondi like a swarm of locusts tomorrow night … Saw the barricades at the beach…hideous’

    I’m surprised David hasn’t probed the Aussie miracle escape from the GFC a little more forensically. Steve Keen is still detailing a terrifying denouement, and I can’t see any flaw in his position statement that Oz is an accident waiting to happen. A car-crash economy on the skids of debt:

    ‘Generation Exodus’ could benefit from thinking strategically before attempting to climb the Oz Ponzi Housing Ladder. Also, when the Chinese take a break from murdering the mentally ill they might realise they’ve bought enough Australian commodities for the foreseeable future. Have a nice gap year, lots of sex and the like, but it’s a long flight back unless you get to run Quantas like what’s-his-name at Farmleigh. Oh, and don’t end up back in Mayo with skin cancer for your troubles. ‘Slip, slap, slop’ sun awareness and so on.

    The rest of the article about FF shagging their compatriots yet again is just too depressing to dwell on. I hope that 2010 brings better times for all on the island, no matter how unlikely a prospect that seems. Still, there’s always the ‘entreprenuerial’ class who’ll duck and dive as always, despite Lenihan’s ‘carbon tax’: ‘Old Enemies Smuggle Fuel Together’

    I don’t know. Irish shoppers enriching ‘HM Treasury’ whilst staunch Unionists defraud their paymasters with Green Diesel. The island of Ireland has always been an ‘interesting’ condundrum. Growing up in the ‘mini-Dublin’ that was Small Heath and Sparkhill I was always confused by the ‘bifurcation’. Between those who thought they were in exile from The Holy Land and those who thought they’d escaped from a corrupt, mediaeval prison……will 2010 see the beginnings of ‘The Second Irish Republic’?

    Happy New Year.

    • Many bogans are of Irish descent. When it comes to loutish alcoholism I think “generation exodus” will be perfectly comfortable with the bogans. I used to lecture in college and was shocked by how much worse the Irish drinking culture had gotten since I was a student. 3-4 nights a week of parent-funded binging. It was already excessive as our hospitals are finding out with a ridiculously high incidence of liver (and related) illnesses in those around 30 years old.
      Funny how we’re happy to have a smoking ban in the work place but seem unwilling to legislate for the fabled Irish “thirst”.
      If the second Irish Republic comes it might be as a result of civil unrest. The economist sees us as a medium risk with Greece as high-risk. We’re inter-related of course thanks to EMU so things could become a lot more unstable if there’s a banking collapse in the first 6 months. Time to stock up on oil and beans :)

  10. JohnKenny


    “Generation Exodus” it’s a recession not a Holocaust. Sure I know plenty of people heading over to Australia on their 12 month visa most are upper-middle class kids in their mid-20’s who have just finished their marketing degree in Daddies Business School or their mechanical engineering in Trinners and ‘loike totally cant believe they are not getting 45K their first year of graduation’.

    If you want to work in a bar on Bondi beach and party it up for a year or two in OZ then that’s great, hey if you want to dance a year away at some full-moon party in Thailand high on some Magic-mushroom- Milkshake that sounds fantastic. However let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that everyone is been forced over there on the contemporary equivalent of the famine ship.

    The people who will do well out of the recession are the people who find a way to stay here and make it work. To be innovative and find ways to create new business opportunities, It will be these people who provide the jobs for those who arrive back in five years time tired of picking fruit in New Zealand and bored of the parties.

    David if you want to fight the cause of the little person stick with single parents, children, the disabled, forget about the MTV-Generation who have replaced Bondi-Beach Club Stillorgan with the real Bondi beach, on some indefinitely extended quasi-leaving cert holiday, that will end when the economy bounces back and the demand for 23 year-old marketing managers resumes.

    • Colin_in_exile


      The insiders – those with a stake in the society, those with the contacts and the networks to muddle through – get stronger.

      You might as well be accusing David of talking down the economy or advise him to go away and commit suicide..

      When exactly do you think the economy will bounce back? If there’s 400,000 on the dole, have we bounced back? or 350,000 or 300,000 or 250,000?

    • “The people who will do well out of the recession are the people who find a way to stay here and make it work. To be innovative and find ways to create new business opportunities”

      That would be me John.
      So far I’ve been in recession since late 2007 when the construction bubble burst. In design, we’re the first to go. When we start designing again, then we see the recession ending, at least for engineering and construction. We haven’t started designing yet, nor is there funding visible on the horizon. As a matter of interest, I’ve kissed goodbye to thousands trying to set up a little consultancy here with little hope of recovery. “You’ve got to get yourself to a different level” the accountant said. Presumably a euphimism for my inability to suitably grease the wheel with large enough brown envelopes.
      Thats my personal reality of trying to come back after 25 years away. It’s not theory or cant. Just simple truth.
      The place is red rotten.
      I agree with your caution on broad generalisations and yes, some of those youngsters have gone initially to enjoy life. But what happens when the fun stops and reality kicks in? There’s no role here for them and they’re in trouble if they can’t secure permanent visas abroad. Another generation of personae non gratis illegals who can’t return for fear they won’t get back to their adopted country.
      Exiled exiles.

      • Malcolm McClure

        Furrylugs: As a construction designer, presumably you are very familiar with VectorWorks. Apart from teaching this skill, there are opportunities to design and sell libraries of standard 3-D components to global architects who want to furnish their creations with á la carte toilets, wash hand basins, kitchen utensils etc. Then there are all the standard industrial components that haven’t yet got a 3-D avatar. Just a thought.

        • Many thanks for the suggestion Malcolm and I’m on that road come the New Year. I’ve taken a leaf from the Madonna Book of Reinvention and Cowens Book of Talking Complete Tosh(Because no-one will challenge).

          By the skin of me (foreign treated) teeth, the Furry Fridge remains full. Going into 2010 I’ll drive on to do anything legal and profitable. I won’t and will studiously avoid any crackpot Insider schemes dreamt up by FUSS, Gunterprise Ireland or the other Quangos.
          Keep an eye on this guy – The Kerry version of Michael O’Leary. When he made it big, he went down and bought the bank branch that wouldn’t lend him money to start up, thereby showing said bank manager the door.

      • Furrylugs, perhaps you should look at Ireland within Europe as been like America , if there is no work on the East then head west , only difference here is languages and of course the cultural differences.
        You could be in Morocco now ( while not Europe it is close to Spain ! ) ..Their Government are planning on building new Cities up in the north of their country.
        The redesigning we need to do here is Political …can you draw that plan !

    • Nice line in sarcasm John!
      I’d underline your point on the negative effect of forced migration on personal wealth. For the young and inexperienced such ‘repotting’ events broaden the mind and compress learning experience etc etc. For middle aged people like myself not short of international experience the time, cost and disruption involved in enforced relocation is greater and the upside in learning is less.
      For some, even though domestic earning options have evaporated, it will be possible to continue to use Ireland as a base to do business from throughout the EU – without need for relocation.

  11. Atlantic Nation – we are a nation in the Ocean and not adjoining the continent as we like to assume .We need to think empiricle and from above to move forward .I suggest we annex our state with Iceland learn from each other .Our future wealth is in the oceans and it makes a lot of sense .Iceland has moved on from where we are now hundreds of years ago so they can teach us something.We are related and they are not a threat to our sovereignty.So why not !

  12. Colin – few people left those countries because their Climate is a warm one.

    • Colin_in_exile


      When the phrases “Wandering Icelander”, “Finnish Economic Migrant” & “Norwegian Expat” enter the lexicon, then I’ll accept your climate driven argument.

      • paulmcd

        Colin, The vikings were exactly as you describe them above, though they changed their names to identify with the aboriginals: McManus (Magnusson), the original McLoughlin/O’Loughlin, McAuley/McAuliffe-son of Olaf

        • Colin_in_exile


          Such Viking activity ended with the battle of Clontarf, where Limerick Natives and Limerick Vikings were victorious over Dublin Vikings. The Vikings were more like merchants and colonialists rather than economic migrants. The Vikings were not herded into slums and given crap jobs and looked down upon by the natives, unlike the Irish in the last 250 years.

          • paulmcd

            Colin, On my mother’s side I am distantly related to a former-day Banker cum Tax Collector by the name of Brian Boroimhe (Brian of the Tributes). He was a super-heavy who travelled the length and breadth of Erin exacting the aforementioned “Tributes”. Rumour has it that he was one of your Limerick gan… – no, natives – who inspired our founding fathers.

          • Colin_in_exile


            I would gladly pay a tribute for as long as I live to the individual who saves this country from the current corrupt rulers who are selling its own people down the river.

  13. Colin – you will be waiting a long time .By the way there is plenty of work to be done in the country have you thought of that ? It must be worth something.

    • Colin_in_exile

      I’m ringing around my old college buddies – the few that were able to remain in Ireland, and none of them know of anyone looking to hire people with my skills. Please let me know where this work is. Or are you talking about entering a political career?

      • Ruairí

        John, I agree with Colin 100% here. There is very little work. And the foreigners aren’t getting jobs that no one else is. In fact, many of them have emigrated. That is EASILY ascertained by an redblooded young man (me) who looks around any petrols station, pub etc and finds that the whale tattoos are more prevalent and the dainty little shark tattoos have sadly exited staaaaaaage left! Dammit!

        Colin, I would consider myself quite entrepreneurial. So I say, where is the work in the sense of a ‘need’ rather than where is the job. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you. I’m just extending the parameters to also include the fact that actual demand / ‘need’ is being closed off from the newly unemployed also through rigorous regulations and claptrap.
        Specifically: – people need to get rid of Christmas trees. Sometimes, as in Cork, Galway and Limerick, they bring shredders in centrally. But in many rural counties this year, that’s not happening. So I figured, there’s an easy maybe 5k for me, plus 2 other operations that I would set up for 2 members of my extended family who are unemployed with mortgages bearing down. I had written a (very quick) business plan to ‘run’ the numbers but hadn’t counted on the bureaucratic pound of flesh being so exacting. Just like having the landlords back.

        Result? In order to bring Christmas trees for recycling, unless you’re just bringing your own, you must have already registered as a waste collector (€1000 first time application), plus €200 per ton delivered.
        That would be why you would have to charge €10 ( and not a more equitable €5 that we had in mind. Its these sorts of bloody regulations that are strangling basic entrepreneurialism in Ireland. satisfying a need.
        Those trees could be used for firewood, the branches for mulch (much as the councils do anyway, firewood excepted).

        A silage contractor, with expensive silage outfits, could pay down some debt on them using this mechanism while stripping the trees himself, selling the firewood and mulching the debris, selling that also in Spring. However, I strongly suspect that he would need a commercial waste permit to do so; wven though he would not be using a waste site to recycle.
        12 years ago, a boss of mine, who outsmarted Charlie Haughey on a house deal, told me that waste was the new oil as far as Ireland’s FF sheikhs were concerned. Certification will be the death of many businesspeople, enterprises and jobs.

        • You’re absolutely right Ruairi but it’s easier to get certification and membership of the various institutions than one would think.
          I’ve been at this same capability building for a little while now.
          When some gnome jumps out of the woodwork looking for paperwork, I’ll be one step ahead, hopefully…….
          We should perhaps form a cooperative here with Tim elected to deal with the Herrenvolk.
          JohnALLEN is automatically commercial manager being an accountant (and can double job as Cultural Attache. Any other volunteers? If there’s one of us needs a bit of free help or guidance to get back it, I think we should shoulder that wheel.

  14. Colin – if you dont find it someone else will maybe a chinese or someone from eastern europe ! Take it or leave it.

  15. David is wrong to assume that this is a generation exodus in the sense that population is emigrating .He should mean Displacing .The 50′s , 80′s and before that the famine were all different .This time people are Displacing because those that leave and usually native find that a foreigner has taken a job somewhere instead.The sad thing is that the natives are educated unlike before .Before natives would take any job available because they wanted any kind of work.Today natives are more choosy.

    • Colin_in_exile

      Employers cannot fire a foreigner and give that job to a native. How can natives be choosy when there are no jobs on offer? The only choice is between dole or emigration.

  16. Recalibrate – natives need to recalibrate the country’s needs with what they can offer . Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for your country .
    We need to militarise our minds into strategic movements that we always win.

  17. wills

    David -

    I reckon young people emigrating to day is no comparison too emigration in the past, thanks to cheap travel, tech gadgetry and a the back pack culture.

    So, i reckon the capital stock is your main point in relation too the insider / outsider paradigm.

    So, based on the stats it seems to be the case the insiders who are in the minority took for themselves a disproportionate unjust % on the wealth produced in the last 10 years.

    So, this means the insiders have increased their wealth power massively over the last 10 years.

    So, what does this mean, outside of consolidating more power in a living system which is rigged top down in the favour of the mercantilist and aristocratic classes favour.

    It translate thus, in my p.o.v

    The ruling class went ballistic looting for 10 years, as opposed to general looting which is their usual style, primarily to deter any rabble rousing or revoultion to any significant degree.

    So, why ‘ballistic looting’ and not the usual ‘general looting’.

    Because, it could be argued. the ruling class know something we do not.


    That their power is under threat in some way and they took a gamble and went on a massive booty grab to shore up a deeper problem the ruling class are keeping schtum on, which in my p.o.v is that, the ruling classes built in obsolesence is kicking in and they’re power is melting meltin melting.

  18. Ruairí

    As I probably won’t be reading this blog from tomorrow afternoon until after New Year’s Day, and as this is your parting shot at the state of the nation 2009 David, I’d like to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year and hope all of your followers think for themselves and look out for themselves and their families.

    Likewise the government lackies who no doubt peruse this website, like guilt-ridden furtive priests who ‘find themselves’ on skin street in the red Light district.

    A salute to David McWilliams and hopefully to the new governor of the central Bank, though we’ll hold off on that until NYE 2010: -

    “The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitable he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

    ~ H.L. Mencken

  19. colin – more foreigners are displacing natives in business daily I can show you a street in Limerick when less than 5 years ago traders were 100% native now it is less than 30% native .And the foreign businesses seem to be very busy too.So there is a choice and if they know better the natives are displaced .Maybe our senses are weak because we are Too Fat

    • Simply what is happening here John is these ‘foreign’ shops are supported by their own , this is where we let our selves down and we look at what the German or English supermarket shop keeper is charging before we go to our Irish one !

  20. Ruairí

    @ David McWilliams

    “To put things another way, in 1999, housing accounted for 53pc of Ireland’s capital stock. But in 2009, housing accounted for 64pc of Ireland’s capital stock. So while Ireland’s net capital stock is €476bn, if we leave out both dwellings and other buildings but include roads, machinery and transport equipment (ie the ‘right’ capital) our figure falls to a surprisingly low €80bn. This means that only 17pc of our capital stock is not a building of some sort.”

    Yes, you so clearly pointed out this rotten endpoint in 2005-2007 period in many articles.

    So, accepting that we have such a glut of housing stock, we MUST at least now, finally, start thinking strategically about what to do with those extant houses.

    Your previous article about housing senior citizens was poo-poohed but eventually we are going to have to ask ourselves what shall be done with all of these houses?

    Let’s now examine that asset stock, as is, and list the things that could be done, including listing links to that architectural enterprise that is currently dreaming up uses for self-contained estates (oops developments).

    1. enclosed retirement neighbourhoods
    2. schools, using the greens as the play area (the grass, people, not the social climbing greens)
    3. business incubator centres, particularly for service and online-delivery models.
    4. SOCIAL HOUSING !! Imagine that……
    5. Open prison for TDs and councillors. Per county. Everyone should keep their own, thank you very much. Oh and use the flood plains and lock the doors (on the outside) when the weatherman winks at ya. That Gerry’s a right aul anarchist.
    6. We could extend the use of Shannon by the American military junta to also using some of the snazzy housing “developments” in Limerick and Clare for the kidnapped disappeared, sorry, the re-homed baddies. That way, its a win-win for the Haves. None of that black&tan gangster crowd, just crazed towel-jockeys with exploding underpants and Irish politicos with exploding wallets.

    Interesting, related links: -

    The obligatory WTF link of course: -

    Scottish “National Housing Trust” quango

    I am trying to grapple with the black dog of obsessive compulsive personality disorder but I just find itemised lists compelling because: -

    1. Items are clearly separated and ‘itemised’
    2. points follow one another in a linear fashion
    3. ………………………Har de Har

    • Ruairí

      ps support the Wesht bise. Always check to make sure your poitin-maker is using irish spuds. None of that Norman corn for me buckos.

    • Ruairí

      Brendan the Navigator brought the spuds back up the Shannon and chips were bein et in Clonmacnoise when Walter Raleigh’s ancestors were marvelling at the invention of the wheel. It does explain his fondness for yon round spud though and why he thought it would make a grand gift for a Queen. And why they went on to make bicycles, his cousins on his Ma’s side, of course.

      And why, until very recently in history, girls love a lad with a face full of mashed spuds. Ah memories of the chicken and chips circuit come floating back to me. …. Copme back Charlie, come back Albert a mhic, all is forgiven……….

  21. johninmunich

    I think you have to seperate between the twenty somethings who are travelling around for a year having a laugh and those who are leaving on a longer term basis.

    The biggest difference between the previous generations and this one is that this one is only a few clicks from seeing what’s happening at home. If Ireland were to begin to change, I am sure a lot of it’s exiles would be happy to become more engaged in that process. But as it is now, they are reading stories on a daily basis that remind them of why they left.

  22. tony_murphy

    Where are the lone parents going to go?

    Did anyone hear Minister Hanafin today saying that she is thinking about removing the loan parent allowance

    “Continuing to pay somebody until their child is 22 mitigates against a lone parent having a stable relationship, marrying or finding a full-time job.”

    I believe she is planning on removing the allowance when the children reach age of 13

    Talk about attacking the vulnerable in society, what chance have these families of social mobility? None under Fianna Fail! I get more angry by the minute

    The government have no problem bailing out the bankers, developers, stock market gamblers with tax payers money. However, when it comes to looking after those who need really help – they aren’t interested

    Minister Hanafin is the new Willie O’Dea. Talking out of both sides of her mouth. Giving it loads to TV3 and attacking single parents.

    As for this Article, David, it’s good but you don’t mention those who can’t find work when the emigrate – what happens to them?, getting accommodation, a job, even opening a bank account in a foreign country is not easy. How many young Irish people will end up sleeping rough?

    • Deco

      You are right. Hanafin = Hypocrite. Listened to her last night sounding as compassionate as possible.

      Of course it is glaringly obvious that she do nothing to affect any voter’s tendency to vote for somebody else. The welfare laws of Ireland are open to abuse. But if they were fair transparent and honest, politicians like Hanafin would still be councillors. Instead these clientelism based politicians are running entire ministries when the height of the abilities is getting funding to fix lamposts.

      If Hanafin is the new Willie O’Dea – then what is Willie O’Dea – oh yeah, O’Dea is the new Groucho Marx.

  23. furrylugs : I want to make a million in 2010 too many people will only complicate it.

  24. [...] Link David cWilliams – Life’s a beach for Ireland’s latest ‘Generation Exodus’ [...]

  25. Hey! We’ll take as many of you as put up their hands, David! You’re lot are very good value!

    But anyone who emigrates should be aware that Australia more than matched your real estate bubble. [Websearch my "Unlocking the Riches of Oz".]

    $672 billion of the $2.4 trillion we pumped into bank-inspired real estate purchases was in bubble territory and will have to be written off.

    Australians remain in blissful ignorance of this fact. We think we’ve avoided the GFC when, in fact, we actually built the world’s greatest real estate fantasyland.

    So, while we’d like to see more of you over here, be warned that it may well be a case of out of the frying pan into the fire!

  26. Yeah, and I was in blissful ignorance that phrase should be ‘your lot’, NOT ‘you’re lot’. :(

  27. Tim

    Folks, some economists seem to agree with what I said about the senior civil servants getting a break causing some trouble in January; this, from Stephen Kinsella:

    • Ruairí


      well done on these relentless links. You do trojan work here (the warrior, not the virus!)

      I’ve just sent Stephen Kinsella’s and Karl Whelan’s links and comments to some radio stations and also to the INOU. Urging them to get on it, as soon as everyone’s back at work.

      These rolled-back “cuts” represented so many sacrifices that ordinary people were taking: -the money for salting the roads (how many dead so far??), the cervical cancer smear test programme (its absence represents eugenics aimed at Irish citizens by FF and the PD infection), and how many other life-saving necessities that we are told that we just can’t afford?

      Deco said it above but I still don’t think the public are getting it at all.

      We HAVE power. we give it away daily. Stop supporting your enemies. Stop financially giving life to those who harm your family. It is THAT simple. Support those who you feel make your life better in some way. That may be a small one man operation. it could even be a corporate. I support Sean Quinn for instance because of what he did in his locality and because he’s an outsider (I’m not focussing on his Anglo dealings as there’s bigger fish than him to fry). yes sirree…….

    • Tim,
      CRAS te victurum, cras dicis, Postume, semper.
      dic mihi, cras istud, Postume, quando venit?
      quam longe cras istud, ubi est? aut unde petendum?
      numquid apud Parthos Armeniosque latet?
      iam cras istud habet Priami vel Nestoris annos.
      cras istud quanti, dic mihi, possit emi?
      cras vives? hodie iam vivere, Postume, serum est:
      ille sapit quisquis, Postume, vixit heri.

      As you’d say, lets keep at it………..This is no time for procrastination.

  28. Tim

    Folks, look at Iceland’s new government’s decision; Does “political change” exist? (I don’t think so.):

    • Dilly

      I was reading Henry Thoreau a few days ago, and I came across this quote “that government is best which governs not at all”. From what I gather, Thoreau wished for a government that did not Govern, but serve the people.

      Today, vested interests have polluted a whole system, which many feel needs to possibly be scrapped completely ?. Modern government does not serve the people, but only serves as a tool to a few.

    • Dilly

      Also, check out this link with regards to Iceland and Europe.

  29. Tim

    See, now? The French, they don’t take no sh1t from nobody! :

    (Thanks, Liam).

  30. This cyclical downturn / emigration / angst embodiment of being Irish begs the question “Why?”.
    Why can’t we stand up as a Nation, elect responsible leaders? Why are we such mugs? Why do we roll over and take it. Why do we fly and not fight?
    To break any negative cycle, one has to identiy the root cause. I’m convinced the essence of our subliminal serfdom lies way back beyond even the 50′s. Back beyond even 1916. In 1916, intellectuals such as Pearse took a stand, were executed and sub standard entities opportunistically filled the resultant void. Any remaining Statespeople were subsequently mopped up in the Civil War leaving the Island available to a mere change in extreme idealogy, that is from British to Vatican.
    No real freedom ensued for the population at large who either conformed, were condemned or emigrated.
    This article I found very interesting as an honest appraisal of what led to the psyche of being Canadian. It contains several relevant comments that we , as Irish could well examine.
    I’m convinced that unless we revisit what it is to be Irish, the comments on this site will be used in a century hence to question why the Irish are still emigrating.“canadian”/

    • Original-Ed


      The Irish are still emigrating because they can’t do it for themselves, period. Education in Ireland is viewed as a passport to a cushy secure life and not the driving force that it should be. Success equates to getting a place in the restricted professions or close to the national till, from there on your well being is guaranteed and in the case of a state job, it becomes the responsibility of someone else. It’s every Irish mother’s wish and unlike developed industrial countries with large standing armies where the male parent is the dominant force, we’ve got the Irish mother calling the shots.
      Enterprise Ireland is a typical example with 3,000+ in secure employment looking after our tiny indigenous industrial sector – 300 would be more appropriate. The Bank was another biggie with Irish mothers, but that may all change soon, they’re doing their best to hold on, though, they’ve already got the keys to the national till.
      Outside of those areas, you have to be a member of the 1916 Club ( Fianna Fail) – there’re not behind the door when it comes to looking after their own – they’re so confident of their established position that their internal magazine is called “ The Nation” – all outsiders are, well, outsiders and have to fend for themselves – but, they have to pay tribute (Tax) to maintain the Club’s standing and the well-being of its members – it’s reminiscent of the old established church where everybody had to pay tithes irrespective of membership or not.
      Well, that’s Ireland!

      • wills

        exactly ed, and the handing over of the tithe / tax is like a gesture symbolic consenting too the serf system enslaving.

      • Dilly

        Nail on the head there Ed.

        I met an old school friend at Christmas. he is a Fianna Fail councillor, but has not worked for two years, he is on disability for a bad back (there is nothing wrong with him). He was out dancing and lashing the pints down, then he pulls me aside and says “you see that f**ker there, I got him planning permission and he never thanked me, i wont forget that”.

        The insiders and the outsiders !!.

        • wills

          Dilly -

          Brilliant snapshot of what this country is in reality, on the ground. Here it is in dilly’s snap shot. Perfect. Its not socio economic class based its a sick mindset in self justified corrupt ways politiking itself in a drunken stupour.

  31. LKSteve

    Just wanted to wish David & all the other bloggers Happy New Year from New Zealand.
    A comment on this article. It appears that Ireland’s Gombeen politicians have really messed up this time. I went to the U.S. in the early 90′s & was back a few times during the Celtic Tiger era. I couldn’t believe how the government was allowing the economy to overheat. I know that being locked in to Euro Interest rates didn’t help but there were other ways that discipline could have been imposed. Bertie prayed for a baby boom & showered money on his mates in the GAA & everyone fooled themselves into believing it would last forever. Now, Ireland appears to be a shambles, as they say, the only difference between Ireland & Iceland is the ‘r’. Happy New Year from a Sunny & Warm New Zealand. It’s not perfect here but at least the Gombeen Men are nowhere to be seen.

  32. Slave Trading Gangstabankstas –
    their troubled minds are hurting and no beard or scout leaders goatee can hide their deep ridden guilt .Gone is their charisma and self styled deception of their national claim to be among us as Irish.Their passports are now plastic and scredding fast as we begin to see the evil virus that they really were .The moon pull is lifting the truth and burdening their mortality and soon the moon wobble will in early january strike a fatal chord that will numb them forever.
    No tree or flower will salute them again and no music will play .All paintings will become a haze and no colour will excite .Their poisonous orifices self distructing viruses erase them forever.

  33. Deco

    I am making a comment because I have just realised that “Fingers” has made a comment concerning a TD in the Dail calling him a gangster. Of course without Dail privelege, the said TD would be open to a threat of being sued.

    But suppose using the technology of the internet – let’s say 100000 people called somebody something disreputable. How would suing 100000 people work ?

    Interestingly enough Fingers never made any commentary concerning the contents of The Bankers by Shane Ross. Hilarious comments in there.

    • Deco

      Is it permissable to call somebody a Failed Irish Banker when the company that he run ended up looking for a 2 000 000 000 Euro Bailout from the PAYE taxpayer ?
      How about an apology from Fingers to the PAYE taxpayer ?

      Nice to see that even when a banker makes a massive cathastrophe, that he is going around saving his “good name”. The whole thing of Irish Law and the right to one’s good name is an extreme impediment to having a transparent society.

      We need to get rid of every impediment to a more transparent form of authority in Ireland. So that these type of manmade disasters stop occurring persistently.

      • The ultimate defense to defamation is the truth. The fast-tracking of loans to “friends” didn’t seem good banking practice then and it appears worse with hindsight. There are far too many builders/developers who were allowed to run up loans of over 250 Million. Not saying INB were responsible for all of those but they certainly played their part. If these portfolios were to be analyses many I’m confident we’d see the same scenarios of practically useless personal guarantees, shoddy risk analysis and extensive debt cross collateralisation.

    • Dunno about 100,000 enlightened souls Deco but kettle , pot and black did spring to mind…

    • Of Course Fingleton is a Gangster,…when he gave loans to Political people without paper work….Let Him Sue Me.!….I’ll knock the old man out if I even see him walking on my streets .

      • Deco

        According to the “Prime Time” Documentary, Fingers himself personally handled the approval of loans to
        i) Celebrities/sports personalities,
        ii) politicians,
        iii) journalists.

        We know who some of the politicians are. It would be interesting to get the names of all the people who the thumbs up from Fingers. If INBS went bankrupt, then the list of clients would get sold on Ebay. Just like happened before concerning the Enron Manual of Corporate Ethics, and the WorldCom hotel expenses bills.

        But now that FF are in control of INBS, the documentation will never get circulated in public.

    • Malcolm McClure

      John ALLEN: Excellent links to Fred Harrison’s video commentary. He is entirely right about the need for a property tax and land levy. It seems obvious that the increase in value of property and land is created by all of us, not just the developer. Yet in Ireland all but commercial property tax was removed at the start of the period when it would have been most effective in damping down the boom.

      What makes this most disturbing is that Ireland had developed, back in the 1850s, a very equitable valuation of every field in the country. Griffiths Valuation was intended to be the basis for fair rating of all properties.
      It took several years to accomplish but using those maps as a foundation, a similar valuation of every property in the country could be achieved within two years. That would ensure that the government could control any future boom cycle.

      See also:

      I wish a Peaceful, Equitable and Survivable New year to David McWilliams and his wide circle of supporters.

  34. Colin_in_exile

    Does anyone know where Fingers lives? I’ll stand outside his house with a loudspeaker telling him that he is a gangster, and that the law is corrupt, and that he could do us all a favour by going off and committing suicide.

    Also, Hanafin, listen up, you do not speak for me. The whole country is not supportive of Lenny and his family. Why are we being conditioned to treat political dynasties as 18th century aristocrats? What happens to people on the dole who suffer from ill health? Does the whole country support them? Do they fcuk!

  35. Well I Hope Next Year , We see our Political families been hit by more than Health worries.
    Let’s hound them , march on the Dail, march to their Houses.
    Stop paying our TV license
    Withdraw our money from The Crooks in AIB and BOI .
    Stand outside local council building s when meetings are held.
    Stop Drinking in bars, Email TD’s every day , email Every Radio station .
    Protest outside The Banks and support those they threaten to evict.
    Grow our own food , support our Own trades people, get good honest prices from them too.
    We have to Challenge this ROTTEN Political system we have here, a man or woman should not be elected to speak for us , just because their father did before.
    We need to stick together , it’s not public against private .
    Real Leadership is needed here , not the mutterings of a pint guzzling bogger from Offaly
    Radio, Print and Television presenters need to stop letting these politicians away with not answering questions.
    A knowledge Economy and a Green one ?..let’s stop cutting school funding and cut the College managers salaries back to a honest salary and No more Task Forces or committees unless they are been set up to Start projects within six months.
    Sack Fat Mary Harney but before make her go on an RTE Reality Diet show. she has to loose weight to keep her job , ( let’s say each pound will be an extra week in her role !)
    And Let’s get some Personal Pride back again, take the law in our own hands report petty crimes visit the parents homes, write to local newspapers get them to begin Campaigns for change ( and of course to shop and support local business too )
    Old Brian Lenihan was wrong we are not a small country , look at Holland and ..yes maybe we should Allow hemp production and tax it , after all it was one of the big crops of the founding fathers of old America !
    And of course accept the views of others , no matter how challenging this maybe .
    Till 2010 ,…hope your health and Minds stay strong……..
    And David , thanks for doing what you do and the emails over the last twelve months

    • Deco

      It is really stupid having a fat obese person who is rumoured to be on the bottle as Minister for Health. Especially when the A&E wards are full of alcohol fuelled accidents, and a large percentage of Irish people have their life expectancy cut short as a result of an unhealthy diet.

      Even more concerning is the fact that over 80 other politicians consider themselves part of the government but abdicate responsibility, but letting it be known that they will not work on fixing the health system. Pure political smart-alec-ry.

      Close the Dail bar – save the taxpayers money, and prevent the further dimunation of the declining brain cell count in Kildare Street.

    • Deco

      RTE and the Reality Diet Show.

      Compere – Whine Tubridy.

      Competitors :
      Minister for Health,
      Gerry Whine from 2FM,
      IBEC Fat Cats,
      A Banker who needs to go on a crash diet of humble pie.

      All proceeds raised go to NAMA.

      Winner gets 10% of the shares of ANIB as CFDs – which can be used to acquire the 10% ANIB. (These have many uses – especially when we are in the midst of the coldest winter in a decade). Second prize a free tour of Heathrow Airport in a limo with Johnny Cash providing commentary. Third Prize – Dan McLoughlin’s latest economic forecasts wrapped in newspaper saved from 2006.

  36. Tim

    Furrylugs, I agree with you at 13 above. We can all shoulder the wheel. I’m not so sure about my handling of the Herrenvolk, but I will surely try to help.

    Colin_in_Exile, I read a couple of weeks ago that you are no longer in exile.

    I am sure that everyone here will use their own networks to suggest openings for use of your skills, if you inform us what they are.

    I will certainly be happy to try and find work for you.

    • Colin_in_exile


      Yes, I left Ireland in 2007 to find work abroad cos I couldn’t find any here. Returned home recently due to work drying up abroad. I’m a civil engineer so I can’t see work coming along soon. My skillset would be problem solving.

      I’m half thinking of going into business selling fast food because its the only business that continues to do well. I see Abrakebabra have the kebab market almost completely tied up. Their kebabs are awful – poor quality meat, appalling pitta, dire sauces, yet Irish people love handing over €10 for this with a drink and some mangy fries. I’d offer a wider choice of improved kebabs – cooked over grills, improved pitta – freshly baked naan bread, and authentic sauces. Thick cut chips(fresh, not frozen) would be on the menu. This food would be a lot healthier and cheaper. Service would always be helpful and pleasant.

      • Tim

        Colin_in_exile sounds like a great idea; fast-food is booming. In the meantime, I will spread the word and ask around about civil engineering work. (I’ve already put it on twitter, but when the holidays are over, I will have a better chance of meeting the people most likely to bring you good news – no harm trying, eh?)

  37. Tim

    We are ranked as being at “Medium risk” for social unrest in 2010, by “The Ecomomist”:

  38. wills

    Posters -

    Very little emigration going on here. 90,000 young women claiming disability allowance, so they are supposedly not even looking for employment.

  39. G

    Change comes from within, up to the Irish people to grasp the nettle, if they so chose, the kind of change required will not come from the Dail nor will it come from re-establishing the IFSC. I like the co-operative idea as posted previously, a fairer, more just and sustainable Ireland is possible – I just hope none of the main political parties just that as theor electioneering slogan.

    2010 is going to a very big year in this young country’s history, make or break. The known knowns, the known unkowns and the unknown unkowns :-) – I await more left field incidents like Lenihan to see if the ‘course’ can be thrown and the people awakened.

    In the meantime…………..others ‘live like dogs’

  40. wills

    Posters -

    Check out newstalk lunchtime pod cast for playback on a frank fahey / eamonn dunphy discourse on NAMA and its chicanery.

    Fahey is telling lies on air straight too eamonn keane and called out on it. The full interview is something else going into the NAMA nuts and bolts.

    THe NAMA delusion fully on view exemplified through fahey.

    The podcast is wed lunchtime show this week.

    • wills

      click podcast up top on the right then click listenback in the window opened up, and scroll down too keane and click, and go to this wed podcast.

      Well worth the bother. Classic ‘insider’ rubbish justifying NAMA, unbelievable stuff.

      • G

        sheer propaganda, to be expected, system is under serious pressure, the centre is trying to hold……………….business run society….thanks for heads-up.

        at times its like a parallel universe, you have a giggling Mary Coughlan being asked by an RTE correspondent on how tough it was for her family given her political role!

        I think we’ve moved way beyond that but RTE remains in Never-never-land.

      • paddythepig

        That is essential listening.

        I used to think I couldn’t detest any TD as much as I detest Bertie Ahern, but Fahey comes very close.

        He claims there is no market without NAMA. This is wrong. There is a market. There always was a market, just not as active as before. I know several people who have been involved in buying and selling their house in the past 12 to 18 months, sans NAMA.

        Fahey is a past master of obfuscation. He is fighting like a tiger for NAMA ; without it, would he be solvent?

        Whether you agree of disagree with the theory behind NAMA, one thing is clear to me, and it is a point Tim made a few weeks ago. Up to 89 TD’s have extensive property investments ; even if NAMA was a good idea for the economy as a whole, their judgement, with the best will in the world, is severely hampered by their self-interest.

        How many first time buyers are in the Dail? None I bet.

        An expose of the property interests of every TD would be very interesting.

        Final point. More a question to the floor. Will NAMA succeed in inflating property prices over the next 10 years, or will they fall to so-called ‘firesale’ values anyway?


        • wills

          Paddy -

          Absolutely agree, where too next in the great unravelling,………

          lets disclose every single TD’s property interests, all of it, and then we have the truth in our sights.

        • wills

          Paddy -

          on your question my answer is thus,.

          NAMA is all about funneling cash in from the ECB into the power elites coffers running Ireland, i think the NAMA fake floor on property pricing at this juncture is mute.

        • Tim

          paddythepig, here is a spreadsheet of all declared interests of TDs.

          Fahey is No. 1 with a portfolio of over 40 properties and, I believe, without NAMA there is no way he could possibly be solvent.

          The same goes for many others, of all parties.

          • Tim

            Oh, and don’t overlook all the TDs with collapsed bank shares – they may have lost even more than the boyos with property.

          • wills

            Gem link, truth is rising on this new years eve, nice one tim.

          • paddythepig

            cheers Tim, very interesting and valuable information.

            much obliged,

          • G

            this might also be of assistance, share interests also critical

            see Brian Cowen, willie o’dea, ned o’keeffee, frank fahey, martin mansergh, Dr. James Reilly & Bertie A-hern, even the great socialist E. Gilmore is leasing land in Galway.


            Registry of TD’s Interests

          • tony_murphy

            Thanks Tim

            If they are directors of companies, then I guess more investigation is required to see who owns what?.

            I guess it’s a matter of going to some companies house website and paying a fee to see what returns where made?

            I don’t know how declaration of interests works

          • tony_murphy

            And what about their spouses interests? does that come into it?

          • Ruairí

            paddythepig, Wills, Tim, Frank Fahey is not just a champion of property, like Sean Ardagh.

            He is also one of the shadowy movers in FF who in my opinion is guilty of great injustices against the Irish people and state:-

            He along with Ray Burke, Micheal O’Leary and others helped the oil companies to consolidate commanding positions over our wealth: -


            Now peopple, just cos its An Poblacht doesn’t mean it ain’t worth reading. There are other good commentaries elsewhere.
            But as Paul McD has analysed here, we have only to compare ourselves with Scandinavia to see just how disgusting the last budget’s cry of “No money!” is to equitable ears.

            It took support of a rapist to get Bobby Molloy out of office. In Tipperary, they still vote in the likes of O’Leary.

            I’m afraid we either need a lot more pain for the sheeple (they deserve what they do nothing to change) or else the non-mandated few shall do what they always do best………

            ;-) Happy New Year all yuse provacateur economic mentalists……

          • Ruairí


            “He along with Ray Burke, Micheal O’Leary and others helped the oil companies to consolidate commanding positions over our wealth: -”

            That should read Micheal Lowry :-D.

            O’Leary’s a dirtbird for other Lisbon-related reasons. But at least he pays his taxes.

      • Malcolm McClure

        Wills: good context link, apparently recorded earlier in December. A lot has changed since then, and we’ll have to wait until the committees convene 4th January or Dail assembles 19th January to get an up-to-date picture. Let’s be patient until then.

  41. Astral Diagnosis of David ( subjective view only):

    1 Philosopher
    2 Rover
    3Sun Sign – Fire Element
    Moon Sign – water element
    4 Romantic Irishman
    5 Economist

    Its impossible to guess because I read too much what he writes but I wanted to try anyway.

    Happy New Year to You and all your family ….and everyone on the site .

  42. Ire_in_Exile

    Hallo Folks!
    Ire_in_Exile here, I had made a few angry, infuriated and exasperated contributions to this site over a period of about 6 months last year, some of you may remember, but as I could not come up with anything positive to say about the situation in Ireland from my objective opinion elsewhere I decided best to simply shut up.

    However, the only common sense I have found coming out of the country seemed to emanate from this website.
    So I am very glad to recognise so many posters here still, and thought to stop by to wish you all a peaceful, prosperous and prolific New Year!!

    Keep battling, there is only one positive outcome from the greed fuelled lunacy, irresponsibility and surrender of senses during the Celtic tiger years and that is that now people have been forced into a position where they have to rouse themselves from their slumber and become once more alert to actual reality.
    Thus, though the economic situation is unacceptably and unforgiveably bad, the next decade promises a better deal from people who have hopefully learned from hard lessons.

    All the very best for a great new start to a New Decade!

    • Tim

      Ire_in_Exile, I remember. But why not stay and continue to contribute? “Ire” is good and we need it to spurr us on, but contribution of ideas is even better.

      I, for one, would value your contribution. I am trying to learn as much as I can, from as many people as possible.

  43. Colin_in_exile

    Happy New Year Everyone.

    I was listening to The Right Hook show earlier on, some guy called Ger stepping in for George reviewing the year the gubberment had. Ger thought it was the case that the gubberment did well to get through the year intact, and was suggesting to Vincent Browne and Sam Smith and A.N. Other that it was the opposition’s fault that the gubberment was still in power. Thankfully, a more intelligent being texted in to say that turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Where do Newstalk find these egiots to present radio shows?

    • tony_murphy

      I only listen to Eamon Keane at lunchtime. I like his show to be honest.

      But yes, there are some very dreadful presenters like Marc Coleman – how anyone in their right mind could give him any sort of a platform is beyond me. I hope he has no listeners

  44. Tim

    So….. Cardinal Cahal Daly RIP

    (Via Mark Little)

    I’m afraid I will only mourn the fact that he was not prosecuted. I want “prosecution, not resignation” (or death) for Bishops who covered-up and facilitated child abuse. “Accessories-after-the-fact”.

  45. wills

    Posters -

    Good link here on what it means in actuality for an economy if printing money is used for as a fixer.

    This obviously does apply to us if we are as fahey said in interview linked above by will,

    ” benefiting from the ECB printing euros of the presses it will not cost the taxpayer anything cos the ECB is printing it all out for us”

    This blind assertion into a radio mic across all of Ireland really sums up the last 18 months.

    We are in la la land not ire land.

  46. Tim

    Happy New Year to all here. It is up to us to “Make it so”.

    Let’s keep at it.

  47. Philip

    Tim, (in my New Yearzie Resulitionisitis) in the last Article you compiled the list of ideas proffered by people. Just wondering how we should give imput so we can prioritise.

    Also, while we have loads of great ideas – I’d prefer to see them as our options. So, my next question might be what are the criteria for selecting the options/ ideas. Criteria might include…
    Skillsets available
    Political bias
    Social Blocking

    I suppose all I am looking for is the thin edge of the wedge.

    Have a happy new year and decade all!!

    On a parting comment…everyone should leave Ireland for 2-3 years to a non-english speaking country…rather like conscription..maybe join the red cross or some such or start a business and only then…maybe I’ll give you a leg up for a startup company. It’s not diaspora I want – which is really nondoable in the short term…it’s positive braining washing.

    Bye and enjoy the holliers and your family and friends no matter where you are.

    • Tim

      Philip, those are reasonable criteria to apply to the 5s. Malcolm has asked for people to analyse them and choose a “top ten” that might serve as a plan of action/manifesto of sorts.

      If you can find the time to go through that process, we should come up with something quite interesting and potentially very useful.

      I am looking for the best online collaborative app that would allow us to edit the list in real time.

      I will post the link when ready.

      If anyone here already has a tried and tested online app, please let me know.

You must log in to post a comment.
× Hide comments