December 3, 2012

IN PRAISE OF A MAN WHO DARED TO DREAM

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 106 comments ·
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In all walks of life, individuals make a difference and, in small countries, some individuals can make a big difference. One of those people in Ireland was Hugh O’Regan who sadly passed away – tragically, far too young – last week.

Visionaries can change businesses – and the pub business is no different. Pioneers are people who have the courage to dream and who have the bravery to follow through on those ideas. These types of people are few and far between; you recognise them when you see them.

O’Regan saw a Dublin in the late 1980s, battered, closed and without much nightlife of any real sort. Like many of this generation, he had travelled, he had seen what other cities offer their own people as
well as tourists, and O’Regan – together with other young publicans, such as Jay Bourke – set about changing the face of Dublin’s pubs and clubs.

It is important to contrast the Dublin we now take for granted with the Dublin of 1990.

In 1990, I was working at the Central Bank and entertaining a German guest who looked out from the elevated vantage point of the Central Bank at Temple Bar and the city quays and mused about the war we
fought with Britain and wondered why had the British bombed the city so devastatingly? I told her the Brits didn’t do this. We had allowed our capital city to fall into such a state. We did it to ourselves.

In 1990, the city quays, when looked on from a height, were like an ugly set of teeth smashed and broken, huge gaps between buildings, some buildings kept upright by unsightly iron girders which elbowed
apart other tottering, crumbling edifices that seemed to lean on each other like drunks.

This image was immortalised, for me at least, by a Frank McDonald article in the Irish Times in 1991, which showed a panorama of the city quays under the title ‘City of Culture, how are you?’.

A few years later, O’Regan, still in his early 30s, would build the Morrison Hotel on the site of an abandoned printworks on Ormond Quay. He saw the potential of these sites, not for ‘slap-’em-up’
development, but to build real, living businesses on them as had originally been intended.

But before that, he had figured out that businesses clustered together and he set about creating what we now know to be the tourist hub that is Temple Bar. He figured that if you build and create enough good
places for people to hook up, people will come. This seems straightforward now, but back then, large parts of the city, which are today thriving, were empty.

Hugh O’Regan could be seen in the early 1990s scouring the broken-down buildings for places to transform into spots where people would socialise, chat, drink coffee or beer and have a laugh.

I know this because I saw him. In the early 1990s I was one of the very few people living on Parliament Street. At night back then, that part of the city was an empty place. Hardly anyone lived there and
precious few lived anywhere in Temple Bar.

Parliament Street was a ghost street, full of falling-down buildings and two down-at-heel pubs. It served as a rat-run for CIE buses and little else. The City Hall was unlit and uncelebrated, hardly noted in
the traffic.

Directly opposite my flat stood Read’s cutlers, an exotic place, on its last legs, that sold all sorts of cutlery from knives to swords. Apart from that and one small family-run newsagents down by the
Liffey, there was nothing there.

This is where O’Regan gambled that he could build a continental-style pub, called the Thomas Read – and he soon also built the stylish Oak pub beside it. Both places were an instant success, attracting people
to a part of the city which had been bleak for many years.

Dublin of the 1990s was changing. The baby boom of the 1970s, which peaked in 1979, was coming of age and these people were going out.

This population bulge pushed up the demographic pressure in the city. And obviously, as we entered the 1990s and the economy began to grow, emigration, which had robbed Ireland of a generation in the 1980s,
began to decline. Instead of going out in New York, these young Dubliners went out in Dublin. Tax breaks for developing run-down parts of the city, together with lower interest rates in the mid-1990s,
encouraged the building of new places to meet this new demand. And although pub licences were not yet liberalised, publicans like O’Regan began to find ways around the regulations, which had strangled the
business for years.

In short, Hugh O’Regan did something odd in Dublin: he was a publican who put his customers first. I am not saying others didn’t, but he was one of the pioneers. He built businesses, employed people and, with
the notion of clustering, he went a long way to making Temple Bar an eating and drinking destination.

Many might complain about the direction Temple Bar ultimately took, but without people like Hugh O’Regan, it would never even have started. I know that all sorts of people such as civil servants and public officials will try to take credit for the vision thing, but they know deep down that the vision was driven by an ambitious publican. O’Regan’s bar accepted everyone – gay, straight, young, old, immigrant and local – and this added enormously to the nightlife of the city.

Yesterday, I decided to go for a drink in one of those O’Regan bars, which had made the Dame Street/Georges Street area so vibrant when I was younger. I went to one, admittedly in the late afternoon, and – guess what? – it was closed. It didn’t open till the evening because it was run by receivers, and receivers can’t run bars. O’Regan was trying to change the drinking habits of the city, suggesting that we could go into pubs in the afternoon and not get stocious.

These places are now run by people who have no idea how to run bars and, tragically, the person who opened them in the first place is dead. I know Hugh O’Regan latterly borrowed hugely and overstretched
himself. However, if we vilify those who took risks and created things and side with the dullards who did nothing more than lend other people’s money to those who dared to dream, we will be a poorer place
for it.

David McWilliams’s new book The Good Room is out now


  1. Dilly

    Back in the 90′s Thomas Read was my favorite spot on a friday evening. The music downstairs was great.

  2. Lord Jimbo

    I remember Dublin in the 1980s, the quays down by Temple Bar in particular stand out for some reason. It looked so run down and even today even though there have been general improvements one wonders why Georgian houses and Viking settlements were allowed fall into disrepair or be concreted over as in the case of the latter. Any other city in Europe would have given their right arm for such historical gems, for some reason in this country we have a shocking disregard for the past while simultaneously holding onto buildings which offer nothing but office space. Could it be associated with that notorious post-colonial lack of self-esteem?

    “However, if we vilify those who took risks and created things and side with the dullards who did nothing more than lend other people’s money to those who dared to dream, we will be a poorer place
    for it.”

    This comment however comes with a serious health warning, ‘be prepared for consequences’ as the same coud be said of people who are on the hook for hundreds of millions and banks for billions who have ruined a Republic the consequences of which the poor, the disabled, the working poor and unemployed now have to bear. It has to be entrepreneurialism with limits for fear people’s dreams have them flying too close to the sun, a fine balance I accept but one we must endeavour to strike.

  3. SLICKMICK

    HALF THE CHQ BUILDING IN THE DOCKS IS EMPTY. A FEW SANDWICH BARS HOOVER UP WHAT TRADE THERE IS. EVEN THE NEARBY SPAR SHUT. WHO SAID THE FSC WAS FULL OF BRASS PLATE OPERATIONS ? IF IT WASN’T FOR THE O2, THE PLACE WOULD BE TOTALLY LIFELESS. LOTS OF CAPACITY, NO ONE TO BUY/RENT THEM. WITH NET EMIGRATION OF 40,000 PER ANNUM, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ?

    • Dilly

      Dundrum and Sandyford are full of empty shop fronts and apartments. The Media are still trying to talk up the property game, but I certainly would not touch any of it at this point.

    • All caps is very agressive and no one will read it because it makes you look like a loser. I suppose your post is all about you and your anger. Take a crash course in netiquette. Flashman

      The Celtic Tiger was a soho three card trick and Dublin is dying. It is just another dirty old town where the freckly lower classes don’t look any different from the freckly middle classes

  4. Tiny Tim

    The recession seems to be noteworthy for the talk around stories rather than getting to the core of what actually takes place. Regrettably the banks seem to be cutting little slack, while the lack of government involvement when it comes to mediation and resolution seems astonishing given the banks are bailed out institutions.

  5. Philip

    What I like about the article is the example of how the power of one individual can make a difference. We need a hall of fame on this site for the Irish and those who live here are making a difference over the last 50 years. I just have few rules

    1) Is not a politician/ developer/ banker
    2) Is not in the entertainment business
    2) Has changed the perception of what it is to be Irish in the late 20th early 21st Century

    I wonder if anyone can come up with more. Maybe there is another way of approaching it.

    I do feel the Irish have so few role models they can emulate to give some example of how to crawl out of this mess.

  6. Philip

    Reading Dan O’Brien in da IT.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2012/1130/1224327300444.html

    The telling paragraph is at the end…”The very unusual incentive structures facing Irish voters and elected representatives are the reason for the bias towards inaction in the political system. If these structures were made more similar to those of other countries there is every reason to believe that the quality of governance would improve.”

    Basically, our constitution is rigged so we dare not dream.

    • Grey Fox

      The Constitution does not give any Irish person their rights! it merely reminds them of some of their God Given Rights!

    • bonbon

      Here is Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell – the Rütli Oath that all Swiss know and celebrate every year :

      No, there is a limit to the tyrant’s power,
      When the oppressed can find no justice,
      When the burden grows unbearable–he reaches
      With hopeful courage up unto the heavens
      And seizes hither his eternal rights,
      Which hang above, inalienable
      And indestructible as stars themselves
      .
      The primal state of nature reappears,
      Where man stands opposite his fellow man.
      As a last resort, when not another means
      Is of avail, the sword is given him,
      The highest of all goods we may defend
      From violence, Thus stand we before our country,
      Thus stand we before our wives, and before our children.

      –We will become a single land of brothers,
      Nor shall we part in danger and distress.
      –We shall be free, just as our fathers were,
      And sooner die, than live in slavery.
      –We shall rely upon the highest God
      And we shall never fear the might of men.

  7. Adam Byrne

    Subscribe.

  8. Joe R

    It is a great pity to hear about the death of Hugh O’Regan.

    However, important though he was, I feel it would be incorrect to solely eulogise his contribution to Temple Bar and and the riverbank as the over-riding factor in the redevelopment of the area. I doubt he himself would have seen it this way as well.

    Speaking from an architectural and planning point of view the successful reinvigoration of Temple Bar had a lot of thought and work, aside from the efforts of Hugh and his like. Prior to the big work starting it had its own tailored framework plan, which was implemented. It had lot of dedicated planning and design people working on it from all sides from the late eighties onwards and was subject to much theoretical project work in architectural colleges, too.

    To explain better the Temple Bar framework plan was laid down in the early 90s to guide the regeneratation of Temple Bar. It had an objective of using the quarters location to better connect the main north and south commercial districts in Dublin ( Grafton and Henry Street areas ) and use this quality, in other words the footfall, as the mapped basis of reinvigorating the area.

    So important routes were analysed and mapped out, continental squares were created, key projects ( a new concert venue and multimedia center, art studios, a photography school and galleries, children’s museum, IFC, the Viking Center, the Project theatre, the Green Building ) were constructed at important points in the destroyed urban fabric of Temple Bar to stimulate the routes. These were intended as anchors for the reinvigorated quarter and other new connectors too like the millennium bridge were added. These allied with basic street improvements, essentially, were to be the ‘bones’ of the new quarter.

    To these ‘bones’ Hugh added the vision and working ‘muscle’ of his pubs and hotels. Others added their bits too, good and bad.

    The framework plan had its precedent in the earlier successful reinvigoration of large areas of Barcelona, and took on many of the ideas used there. It had the involvement of many dedicated and thoughtful architectural practices too (Group 91) and occurred slowly at a time when the pressure of the boom mainly crazy speculation had not descended on Dublin. In short, to use a term in vogue, it was slow-cooked. Like it or lump it, it is probably the most successful of all the urban makeovers in Ireland that occurred across the boom.

    (Further info on Group 91 – http://archiseek.com/2011/group-91-exhibition-at-ucd/

    Also Frank McDonald has published two books; The Destruction of Dublin and The Reconstruction of Dublin, the second is to be found in many libraries around Dublin.)

  9. molly

    David we may have moved forward since the 90s but in the last 4/5 years we are moving backwards at a very fast pace.
    With the budget out this week I lay odds that the people who said they can’t take any more pain are about to get dumped on again .
    Breaking point is apon us this week

    • Grey Fox

      The time for complaining and moaning is over, no point in shrugging the shoulders and saying what can I do about it! If we the people of Ireland have the power to hire these gombeen politicians doesn’t it stand to reason we should also have the right to fire them! and not just once every 5 years…
      http://www.directdemocracyireland.com
      time has come to get uo and do something about it!
      P.S.
      Paddy Power has DDI at 75/1 to take the majority of seats in the next general election

      • molly

        Yes you are spot on.
        I was listening to the radio today and they where talking to people sleeping on the streets and one man said the reason he was out in the street was Nama put him out of his apartment and he did not get his deposit back, now I don’t know the full story there but what’s going on out there to people ,that’s not front page news or it does no even make the back page.

    • Martina Devlin: Begging letters fiasco highlights how all is sacrificed to pay huge wage bill:

      http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/martina-devlin/martina-devlin-begging-letters-fiasco-highlights-how-all-is-sacrificed-to-pay-huge-wage-bill-3312339.html

      It was a good night for the left on Vincent Browne.

      • And it goes on:

        St Vincent de Paul expects 75,000 calls — but you can help too

        http://www.independent.ie/national-news/st-vincent-de-paul-expects-75000-calls-but-you-can-help-too-3312427.html

        I am on the dole and will be making a donation. I think some of you rich guys might want to as well this xmas.

        • Adam Byrne

          Apparently the HSE have been ringing up St. Vincent De Paul looking for help for their clients – no shit. You couldn’t make it up.

          • It’s more than ‘apparent’. Just as the phone calls are more than ‘alleged’. The clues are everywhere that this country needs extreme supervision and scrutiny if it to drag itself into the 21st century and gain any self respect whatsoever. The alternative is to be perpetually looked down upon as a bunch of thick drunken paddies. You know this because you are always the first to admit it. Sorry but it is not far from the truth

            The Scots are the same. Difference is the Scots still have balls and identity but so the Irish …

            A Short History of Hibernian Football Club

            http://stuartfrew.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/a-short-history-of-hibernian-football-club/

          • It’s more than ‘apparent’. Just as the phone calls are more than ‘alleged’. The clues are everywhere that this country needs extreme supervision and scrutiny if it is to drag itself into being a grown up 21st century democracy and gain respect. Question is who is your daddy now?

            You guys seem incapable of organising a tea break and it is just as well that someone is cracking the whip

            I’ve never met an Irish manager yet whom I had much respect for apart from one and that was a long time ago now. I wonder why that is

            It was overdue but I think we have come to the conclusion that we needed serious help in getting a grip

            The alternative is to be perpetually looked down upon as a bunch of thick clueless entitled over indulging paddies. You know this because you are always the first to admit it. Sorry but it is not far from the truth and you can’t kid me because I am one at heart

            The Scots are different and are smarter. More inventors of note per head of population than any country on the planet. The Scots still have balls and identity but the Irish have no identity whatsoever and Flashman’s crew have even less. That is why West the Brits are so bitter

            A Short History of Hibernian Football Club for the Irish brothers. It’s your true heritage. Embrace it and be proud. GO to Edinburgh and see the Hibs

            Not that the Irish in Scotland are ever given credit in this cozy hun shop but there is no harm in driving the message home.

            The Scots could be one day soon be one our main trading parters

            Lest not forget the ties than bind

            http://stuartfrew.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/a-short-history-of-hibernian-football-club/

        • Colin

          The rich already make donations, its called income tax, and this income tax also helps to pay for your dole money every week.

          I’m not going to be guilt tripped into throwing my hard earned money away to strangers, especially if they are Foxrock home owners who haven’t come to terms with a change in financial circumstances yet. I’ll give to those I know deserve it.

          What you have is Pride rearing its ugly head again. Parents still want to get their kids the best of presents even though they cannot afford it, instead of telling the kids straight, look money is tight this year, you can’t have it. So they go to SVdP for a dig out so their kids can indulge in their own unrealities.

          I grew up knowing that I couldn’t have what I wanted for Christmas every year, and I saw my peers getting what I had wanted, but I survived it and came through unscarred the other end. Dare I say it, it instills character.

          • bonbon

            Draghi just loves to instill character with his Troika. Those that die just before will have character forming experiences and thank the Troika. It will make the ill miraculously heal – off the patient list and onto Liverpool Life Pathway conveyor belts.

            The kind but stern-hearted Troika will pay for heavy sedation but not medical treatment, to make the passage to fully formed character painless as possible.

            Something else is rearing its ugly mug again.

          • Colin

            Bonbon,

            If you feel that strongly about it, why don’t you help the needy and the sick. Liquidate your assets, and together with any cash you have, give it all to those who are at risk of developing character forming experiences.

          • bonbon

            That’s the Schumpeter column speaking again, the Voice of Britain. Now health care is to given to charities, the old, chronically ill, young, waiting for a tossed gold coin from a passing Duke. Strange you propose that – straight from Dickens, what?

            National character is the insistence that the Common Good is not the property of private companies, bought and sold. Ireland developed that character and the Schumpeter “gale of innovation” is about to erase it.

            Instead FG is actually selling the Common Good on the “free-market” and would just love hapless tigers to climb Everest to collect charity for Virgin (for example) to help the weakest. How caring those charities are, what?

          • I often say. Two world wars and 11 dead = compensation and quite right. Any sane person with any sense of self worth would come to the same conclusion and could never be accused of being morally wanting

            A man like me who only needs to look after himself and has no debts is not a burden. If I was offered a job tomorrow i’d take it. I’d love to be out working and chipping in believe me

            I’d take a drop in my dole because I know that there are people who need it more than me. I could handle it and would adapt without whineing because being a single man with no debt is about the best position to be in. A clean slate

            Thank you for subtely reminding me of my place in the scheme of things. People like me need keeping in our places. Should I remind myself every morning that I am a scrounger and remain humble?

            Stay quiet and bless my mercies. There for the grace … and all that

            Guilt and pride and strange bedfellows. I suffer from neither although I’d rather convince you otherwise

          • oor Tam talks a lot of sense sometimes

          • Colin

            Ah, lets have more of the meek Pauldiv, and good luck with the job hunting.

            For the record, I don’t do Pride. Guilt doesn’t feature either since I’ve figured out how those who thrive on your guilt actually operate. Knowledge is power.

  10. george

    People like Hugh O’Regan, and other honest Entrepreneurs, at the moment are the easy scapegoats, and are demonised by a lot of people who doesn’t have a clue what it takes to risk their own capital, health, and family life. And that practically are paid in advance inflated salaries and conditions, to work with the “book of rules and conditions” in one hand, and silly excuses in the other.
    The latter gets all the upsides and none of the downsides, while the former apart of risking a lot, are able to generate employment and wealth, that benefits the community.
    .
    Nassim Nicolas Taleb maintains, that “we are witnessing the rise of a new class of
    inverse heroes – bureaucrats, bankers, and academics-with too much power. They game the system, while citizens pay the price. I want the Entrepreneur to be respected, not the CEO of a Company who has all the upsides and none of the downsides”

    • Grey Fox

      It doesn’t have to be that way! People just have to take back the power they already had! and still have, but just don’t know it!

      • george

        Grey Fox sorry my intention was to go to that meeting in the Red Cow (is there another coming on?), but that day I had to work until late. I read some of the information on the Web Page, and tonight at last I’m going to have more time to read the rest, and once I’ll finish reading everything, and once I’ve done it, and if everything is OK with me, I’ll join DD, because the general idea is brilliant, and I agree with you: “enough of talking the walk, its time to walk the walk”.

        • Grey Fox

          Excellent Meeting george, and another great Executive Committee meeting all day today, watch for interview on Max Kaiser coming soon (no date yet) and yes the meetings will be more frequent and in more and more locations in the future, watch the Direct Democracy website of Facebook and you will get the announcements, the new year will bring a greater presence on the street and door to door, the momentum is building nicely, mostly because it is very hard to argue with the message!
          Cheers and thank you for the interest…

    • Joe R

      “People like Hugh O’Regan, and other honest Entrepreneurs, at the moment are the easy scapegoats, and are demonised by a lot of people who doesn’t have a clue what it takes to risk their own capital, health, and family life.”

      Eh, Mick Wallace anyone?

  11. bonbon

    The IT’s Dan O’Brien writes under the headline —
    “Coalition in troika’s icy grip on budget framework”
    Since the first emergency budgetary measures were introduced in August 2008, Irish citizens have swallowed a bigger dose of austerity than any developed economy (more even than the people of Greece), according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). On top of the €24 billion in cuts and new taxes that have been introduced since the crisis began, and the coming €3.5 billion slated for 2013 — the details of which will be unveiled on Wednesday — a €3.1 billion package must be introduced in 2014 and one of €2 billion in 2015.

    • bonbon

      With this in mind imagine what the British Empire has in store – it will make the “the city quays, when looked on from a height, were like an ugly set of teeth smashed and broken” of 1990 look like a paradise.

      And there will be always someone to say “we did it to ourselves” like in 1846, or the bailout gang. In Germany, whose keen observer was correct, it is also repeated that very same phrase – universal guilt of all generations.

      FG is playing on that!

  12. Vision

    I enjoyed this article and for me it was all about Vision and the Future and Change . This great man was unique and a great Leader .I salut him too .

    What happened that he has lost his life lies at the foot of an unscrupulous greedy Banker in Dublin.Faceless and Malicious and Immoral worse than Cromwell . Yet the laws allow the Banker to continue his plunder and who will be NEXT ?

    I remember Brian O’Donnell ( Solicitor who is currently being decimated by the bank ) when he was attending The Jesuits in Limerick .He was a great debater and won in his team on a national level too .My own school Ardscoil Ris also had a great team then that matched The Jesuits and on it we had Pat Cox and many a time they both debated against each other solo and on a team basis and won and lost .The Jesuit Hall at The Crescent then use to be full of aspiring professionals watching these great men deliver their reasoning and arguments and they did so with a style and panache.

    I never saw Brian again in Limerick since he attended University and I do not recall any further local record on him either .

    For me Brian O’Donnell is a leader figure that any young man would love to aspire to and to watch how dreams can and do come true in a real world .

    How can any young man today believe that by being a leader they can feel safe in their own country as they try to lead others to a higher level and show reward for their success .

    Whatever the outcome in the future I wish that Brian will fight harder and show again how he really can WIN. .

    • Colin

      If your mate O’Donnell had such a great mind, why didn’t he study science and help find cures for cancer, or engineering and help create jobs and products for people or art and produce art works for everyone to admire and enjoy?

      No, he studied law so he could charge his clients a fortune, wear silly wigs and gowns, speak in a hoighty toighty accent and enjoy the sound of his voice in the chambers.

      Just desserts. He’s got some neck still hanging onto that mansion in Killiney.

  13. wills

    Temple Bar area in the *late* eighties rocked.

    U2 used it to rehearse.

    The Project Arts center kicked ass.

    Mid-night at the Olympia spat in eye of closing hours.

    Bad Bobs brilliant spit on floor music venue.

    Temple Bar fell apart soon after.

    It turned into a kip after 1992.

    • wills

      - In my humble opinion. -

    • Joe R

      Who cares about where tax exiles U2 rehearsed? There are more urban legends in Dublin about U2 where they rehearsed than there are pubs FFS. Half of Dubin is sacred if they are all true.

      Kip is an interesting word. Is that some kind of new urban land economics phrase? What does it mean? Does it involve the creation or destruction of amenities jobs and the like? or is it an abstract idea?

      And TB fell apart in the 1990s? It was pretty upright and together to me last time I looked.

      And are we to take that when your connection with the prevailing zeitgeist was severed ( after the death of poodle hair and Status Quo more or less ) there was never a good gig to be had, an interesting event to be encountered, the place generally started falling in about our ears, and overall a big cultural black-hole sprung up in the center of Dublin where TB had been.

      Basically, your halycon days and Dublins halycon days somehow magically coincided in the late 80s?

      Wow – that is a humble opinion indeed. Coming from a clearly open mind, too.

    • Grey Fox

      This is a case of the ordinary Irish person attempting to do what our Government and trustee’s refuse to do on our behalf, standing up to the “too big to fail” Banks, and “Big Phil” the borderline facist, imagine getting voted in by the people, turning on them to extract money for the banks, and promising to bring the ordinary decent law abiding people of Ireland to court with the threat of criminalisation if they don’t pay.
      Stop and think about it for a minute!
      Private Banks march into our sovereign government buildings and put a gun to the head of our trustee’s and demand a bailout! and we allow it!
      I am proud to have taken part in the people fighting back, and applaud anybody else who does, what have I got to lose, the government and the banks together are conspiring to take everything anyway! should I worry about costs? NO because if I lose how will they get costs if they have taken everything already.
      Time to stand up and be counted, we are smart, educated people and we can beat them.

  14. michaelcoughlan

    Hi,

    “These places are now run by people who have no idea how to run bars”.

    We know that already. Look what happened to the Dail, banks, regulators office, building societies when also ran by bookeepers/aaccountants!

    Once again the Germans have said “Nein” to a banking deal for Ireland. People are dying and no one gives a shit.

    We Irish are nothing but a despicable race of unmitigated scum, the last great European peasant race.

    One wonders if Mr O’Regan had his time over would he put so much energy into projects in Ireland?

    The wealth creators are dying David and the corporate psychopaths in charge of the banks are still living in the lap of luxury?

    I really don’t know anymore, I really don’t.

    • wildata

      National Debt………..
      Funny Term.
      175 BN Private Debt. ?
      175 – 220BN Govt Debt ?
      According to Hobbs, the Entire Tax take from the Public Service is now inadequate to pay the pensions of their retired colleagues.
      Predicted Pensions Bubble 100BN+ by 2025 ?

      Tax burden on the Current Cohort of Effective Tax Payers,is at its max, apparently ! I estimate this at 700,000 people so we expect these people to generate about €650,000 EACH above the normal run of the mill Tax Life Time to get this place back to an even keel.

      Rejoin the UK, or become a Dependency of the German State, or tear up Europe and go it alone a a Monaco type,Green Tax Haven ?

      Good luck with the last,about 500,000 people here have a very clear idea how their bread is buttered,
      they get paid annualy twice as much a anywhere else, and with pensions that multiply that wage by literaly a factor of between 3 and 5.

      They will submit the rest of us to any indignity nd hardship necessary to borrow the money needed for that. Period.

      Would truly be grateful to David for a simple “Bank Loan Stlye” Cash Flow projection of Irelands finances over 5,10,15 and 20 years.
      5 critical items/ Columns
      TAX TAKE: (Per Taxpayer AVG)
      Social Welfare Spend: (per person)
      Pensions Top 30% SPEND: (Public Service per Retiree)
      Pensions Lower 70% SPEND: (Public Service per Retiree)
      State Pension Spend: (per remaining non public service pensioner).
      Has he got the Balls to do it and STAND OVER it.

      Making this info understandable and Public would
      cause a revolt in this country.

      If it to remain a country it needs a revolt.

      We need a starting point and the Truth seems as good a place as any.

  15. Very good read. I’ve never heard of the man but he sounds like a good one.

  16. george

    Please look at the 2 minutes video at the end of the comment!!!
    .
    PROPERTY TAX FOR FAMILLY HOMES IS IMMORAL AND UNJUST (a different matter is a holiday home, or an investment property for rent), so don’t matter if it is backed by law , because the principle of the injustice remains.
    .
    It will be the last straw that will brake the camel’s back, and will make the Irish economy implode completely, because nobody will be expending a penny extra in the shops. And also will have the catastrophic effect, of stopping any intention from home owners, to do improvements in their properties; consequently builders, electricians, plumbers, and others in the trade, won’t have a job, or will be killing each other over the few around.
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfGzW817Y3Q

    • paddythepig

      Hyperbole

        • paddythepig

          If you can explain exactly how a property tax can make an economy ‘implode completely’ I’ll take my hat off to you. We had a household charge, and the economy didn’t implode completely. What about the impact of other taxes, will they make the economy spontaneously combust? What is so special about a property tax, as opposed to any other type of tax, that it will have such an effect?

  17. Deco

    I can remember a time in the late 1980s when Dublin city was rife with slot machine outlets.

    • Tell us what these places were like deco

      From what faither told me these places were like snookker halls and no place for a young boy. He was kind of right but old fashioned and could spot a fly man a mile away

      Blackpool in the 70s. Ah the days of innocence and flymanship

    • mishco

      Ah, yes, Deco: “Come in and have fun in Funland”!

  18. george

    THIS CRISIS WONT END UNTIL CIVIL SOCIETY ENDS IT
    (Mannix Flynn in Joes Duffy’s program today, where he was defending Hugh O’Regan and other employers like him, against the vulture bankers and politicians)
    .
    He said that this coming Budget, is not going to be the last cruel one, but one of many.
    Basically he is saying, and we know it well!!!, that this Government and most of the Political Establishment, is again lying to us, and that we ought to CHANGE THE SYSTEM.
    .
    So as the PROPERTY TAX is going to be the backbone of tomorrow’s Budget, and basically the stick with what this Government and most of their palls in the Opposition, want to beat us to death:
    We don’t have to pay the Property Tax, or we are signing our own death sentence, and we are wasting the last chance of bringing down this useless Government, and put in place a People’s Government.
    .
    Look for today’s Liveline in RTE player. And congratulations to Joe Duffy that seems to be one of the few RTE presenters, that is not burying his head in the sand!
    .
    If you want to change society for the better, DON’T PAY PROPERTTTY TAX.

  19. gizzy

    I was Paye for 25 years abd self employed for years. If i known what I know now about owning businesses in Ireland I never would have. The State and its representatives have no time for the self employed and see them as a cash cow to be milked and then discarded. I opened one of my restaurants in 2007. We employed 15 in that one alone. Within six weeks of opening we had a health inspection, a vat inspection and one from NERA (the state watchdog on emplyees rights.) When we were looking for planning we could get nobody. We paid rates on businesses that used no State services all paid privately. I now have self employed friends who were years in paye jobs before becoming self employed. They cannot get State assistance one was offered 8 euros a week. People who never contributed to this State can get assistance Why? Who made that rule, Who thinks it’s right.

    I will never employ someone in this State again, at peak I had over forty. It is a brusiing frustrating experience.

    The permanent central and local government now works soley to pay itself. HSE 70% of budget for payroll, Dublin City Council 3-4 euro overhead for every euro in services it provides.

    I agree with eveything wilddata wrote earlier.

    The article is very good. I met Hugh O Reagan once and knew guys who worked for him and all had only good things to say. RIP and God Bless.

    • Adam Byrne

      Absolute disgrace, you deserved better gizzy. Hold your head up high mate.

    • Deco

      The Irish institutional state is reaching the point where it is killing the host upon which it survives.

    • Deco

      Symbiosis. Look it up. That is what happens when gombeenism runs rife. Time to starve the gombeens.

    • george

      Gizzy your businesses, and many other peoples’ businesses that were making things, or offering services, and creating employment and wealth for the community are gone to the wall. In the meantime, I know a person, who is going to have two weeks Christmas Holydays, after it two weeks Easter Holidays, after it a Midterm Break, and after all of it, almost three months Summer Holidays, not to mention the Lump Sum, and the generous Pension he’ll get on his retirement.
      It make me sick listening to him, constantly complaining about how hard he works, and how much more he thinks he ought to earn.
      .
      One thing is exploitation, and another is to indulge only a certain sector of Society, in privileges not everybody gets, but everybody is paying for them! We never have done what we should have done. We should have made a comparative study of pay, terms, and conditions, with Countries with a good track record in economic development and fair social policies, like the Scandinavian Countries. We never did it, because the ones that are at the top in power, are up to their necks in privileges, and are the ones not interested in doing what is right, but what is convenient for themselves.

    • george

      Not to mention that the “Political Class” are much more sympathetic to a foreign big Corporation, than to the local entrepreneurs. After all it’s nice to go abroad, with the money we provide for their exuberant expenses.

      • george

        Well guys, given the fact that we all agree “this is shite”, and we need to do something. Does anyone of you, have an opinion in Grey Fox’s alternative? I mean Direct Democracy. Shouldn’t all of us, join together a movement, that at least is talking about things, that makes much more sense, than this constant absurdity that the main Political Establishment represents.

        • gizzy

          my forms gone in post today

          • george

            After writing my last comment and reading yours, I went to the web and I found the video of the DD’s meeting in the Red Cow. As Ghandi said: “even if now looks like a little drop in the ocean, it can transform it”
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9pHQT1nEUQ

          • bonbon

            Ghandi often said the boycott movement in Ireland was the inspiration- let’s boycott the Inter-Alpha banking group the FG is trying to rescue. Even a “small threat” to burn the bondholders will cause huge tsunami’s of change. Ireland is small, but the financial empire is on the edge of a cliff. A tiny push is all that’s needed.

          • Colin

            Yeah bonbon, and lets import India’a Caste system. Fancy belonging to the bottom tier, the untouchables? No rights, no hopes, no food, no shelter, you could still comment here of course.

          • bonbon

            The British Empire exploited the caste-system to overrun India using the Raj (status quo). What is it exploiting now, the effect of the Genocide it committed in 1846? I think so. The lowest caste in India does not compare to the situation here in 1846. Just as India has not yet rid itself of that “tradition”, Ireland also.

        • Grey Fox

          The goal has to be to get Direct democracy in, once in we can sort the rest out, the problem we face is trying to solve all the problems with promises and policies and getting bogged down, Direct Democracy is what it is, Returning the power back to the People.
          Your local candidate won’t be foisted on you by a party headquarters, the local members of DDI will pick by vote who they want to run for them in their area and will have the power to remove the same representative if they do not perform, at any time during their term, read up on it! Understand what Direct Democracy is! It is the only viable alternative to the same old same old!

  20. wildata

    So there is a great need for a person with the wherewithal and balls put down on plain paper the real figures, who gets what and when.

    Let it go viral.

    No other Way.

    But until someone like DMW puts a simple spreadsheet into one of the Daily Broadsheets, and stares down the inevitable hysterical backlash from the Politicians, Teachers, Nurses, Guards, Middle Civil Servants, Banks, the entire Educational Establishment, there will be no change.

    All of these people have good arguments, the one they are missing is “to Pay them in the manner to which that have become accustomed, (which in many ways is no more than their due in a so called Rich Society), is now beyond the capacity of Society they live in”.

    If allowed to go much further this state will collapse, or return to a totally Black Economy to protect ordinary people from the rape of their lives by the agents of the State.

    As I pointed out earlier nearly anyone connected with the management as distinct from the running of this state is wildly overpaid, has no idea of the pressure in a real world environment. And with a CAST IRON pension multiplying that wildly inflated salary by a FACTOR between 3 and 5, THEY ARE NOW PAID BEYOND REASON.

    According to Hobbs, the Entire Tax take from the Public Service is now inadequate to pay the pensions of their retired colleagues.

    Ask a New York Cop, or a UK Teacher, or a French Nurse, or even a US Secetary of State what their total package is ?

    It looks like someone needs to;
    1. Start a website.
    2. Get the facts in a simple truthful way.
    3. Point out to those in the “Protected Sector”
    There is no Malice intended.
    4. Look fairly and objectively at the apparent fact;
    “A lot of the Protected Sector are overpaid and with effective Pension Funds of 3 to 5 times their gross career earnings, they are not only massively overpaid but get a guaranteed Lotto win on retirement”..
    5. Do a simple Cash flow for the next 20 years.
    Including as columns
    TAX TAKE: (Per Individual Taxpayer Avg, and Corporate Avg)
    Social Welfare Spend: (per person)
    Pensions Top 30% Real Annual Spend: (Public Service per Retiree)
    Pensions Lower 70% Annual Spend: (Public Service per Retiree)
    State Pension Spend: (per remaining non public service pensioner).
    6. Let it go Viral. And believe me it will, !!!!!!!!!
    7. Let everyone see who gets what for what.
    This requires someone with a lot of balls, a lot of
    inside knowledge, and the wherewithal to publish it.
    Anyone know anybody who could help.

    IT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE IN THIS STATE.

    Anyone doing this will be called subversive for simply telling the truth.

    Or shut down this forum and get on with it for a very long time, as the Protected Ones are pretty sure you will, in fact they are betting their very large pensions on it !

    • george

      Wildata you are saying the obvious, more or less what I was saying and few more, for long time.
      .
      We were and probably still are, one of the few Countries in the EU, that could have made the economy more efficient and competitive (probably few times over) OVERNIGHT, by reducing our overpaid Politicians and other top brass in the Public Sector, and it would have had a domino effect in the rest of the Public Sector, Professional classes, and Private Sector. And the amount paid to run the Country , mainly in education, social welfare, and health services . This together with debt forgiveness, for the negative portion of people’s assets, would have achieved the same effect as a devaluation has, without the bad consequences of a real one, that would have put us in the same miraculous recovery of Iceland.
      .
      At the moment we have an inept Government and Political Class (except for few exceptions), “robbing Peter to pay Paul” so to speak, with not an ounce of courage, or creativity, “thinking with their bank accounts”.
      We already lost very valuable time, and now we are in shock unable to do anything. So it’s time to wake up, and don’t pay the Property Tax, because from now on, we have to fight the same oppressive powers, that Irish People in the past, suffered at the hands of their colonial masters. The difference is that now, the colonial masters are represented by the Banks, which are being helped by our Elite, some of which are in the Public Sector and some in the Private Sector, helping each other nicely, and living a very comfy existence, with privileges (pay, terms and conditions, and fees in the case of professionals) paid by most of the population. And basically they don’t want to change the status quo(the high paid in the Public Sector don’t want to bring down their salaries and pensions, or Council commercial rates ; nor the Private Sector rents and fees, among others) because they are doing fine out of it! They still can live very well, travel the world with the highest salaries and professional fees in Europe, and have a nice retirement, even after paying taxes.
      .
      “If we dare to dream”, as David said, a fare and just Society for ourselves and our children’s future, we have to show them from now on that we don’t even care what happens tomorrow with the Budget. That justice is not achieved by immoral and unjust laws. That we don’t trust them anymore. That we want most of the parasitic politicians out. That we want another way. And that we are going to fight tooth and nail, courageously and peacefully over it!
      .
      If we don’t do it now, what are we going to answer our children in the future, when they’ll ask us: “And dad, mum, what did you do in those terrible days…?”

    • bonbon

      That’s the Economist Magazine talking – the Schumpeter column. Out of the destructive orgy you suggest, will spontaneously emerge out of the rubble good things? Very odd – the only thing that will emerge from that tantrum would be fascism.

      Much better to repudiate the Economist Magazine’s idol, Schumpeter and Nietzsche and go for a New Deal after Glass-Steagall-ing (sheep-dipping) the banks. Massive projects now on the table will require more labor and project management that exists in the entire EU. This shows the utter insanity of the tantrum’s countries are flagellating themselves with to please the banks and their owner – the British Empire.

      To simply tell the truth, the Economist Mag promotes a real fascist, Schumpeter who got it all from Sombard’s Nietzsche. Do not protect the British Empire.

    • Johno

      How much do you think an Irish nurse is paid? And how much do you think they should get paid? I am married to nurse who is qualifed 7 or 8 years now and I dont think she gets paid an excessive amount. I would freely admit I am biased in what I think my wife is worth in terms of the work herself and other nurse’s have to do.

      I would have no problem in telling you what my wife gets paid if you are willing to answer my two questions first.

      • george

        JOHNO I’m not blaming the nurses, they deserve every penny they get. And I guess in proportion for the work they do, they are paid less than some Public Sector workers, and with much less holidays. I was talking about the top brass civil servants, and the unrealistic pretensions of some sector of the Public Sector, that gets more holidays than anybody else, and very seldom have to do shift work or weekend work, and when they do it, they’ll make sure everyone else knows it, even if they are paid very handsomely. But I was talking as well, about the quasi cozy cartel between the elites of the Public Sector, and the elites of the private-Professional Sector.
        .
        I have the utmost respect for Irish Nurses, much more than for doctors, that think it is all right, to charge a patient 50 euro and more, even if they see a patient for 5 minutes over a flu . Because Nurses do one of the most difficult jobs in the community, and I’ve never heard them complaining about “how hard they work and how little they earn”, neither “blowing they own trumpet” in social events and through the airwaves, about how difficult is their work. Do they for instance get two weeks Christmas break, two weeks Easter break, a midterm break, and more than two months summer holidays, on top of earning very well? I don’t think so!
        .
        And please allow me to make clear one thing, always in any professional field there are honorable exceptions. Roisin Shortall for instance, has shown a lot of dignity by resigning, and by not taking the severance payment she was entitled to. But did you realize how quit are, most of the retired politicians, that even up to few years ago, where almost every day on TV, preaching us? They’ve no more dignity, than the lump sums they’ve got, and big pensions they are getting… paid by whom? In the meantime their “descendants” in the Dáil (and I know there are exceptions), find the easy excuse that it is unconstitutional to do anything about it!

        • Johno

          Hi George

          Thank for reply. I do believe the public sector needs massive massive reforms. But I do think certain sections of the public sector ( ie front line staff ) should be protected by some of the cuts. I know I am biased when I talk about cuts as my wife is the main bread winner in our house and it would have an impact on us, as the cuts she has taken already have. But it just annoys me when all public sector workers are banded together as blood sucking leeches who wrecked the country. Yes public sector needs reform. But frontline services should be protected as much as possible.

          The whole politcal system needs a good shake up. But unfortunetly ( myself included ) have voted the likes of FF and FG in. I tell myself now that its becasue there was no one else and I dont think I could give SF a vote when Gerry ‘ I was not in the IRA ‘ Adams is running them. I cant see them been able to turn the country around either. I do have hope a new party will emerege but does the real power not lie within senior civil servants? The whole system needs to be ripped up and start again. It wont happen though.

  21. bonbon

    As Ghandi was brought into the discussion above, and rightly so, I wonder is the “dream” theme, the dream of a caste? Did the Tiger era beget a caste system? Is this how the iconic Caste system was created – by a cultural and economic collapse. Is Ireland a land of publicans? Is this why the very concept of pursuing a better situation is rejected? To remain in a caste? Remember the Empire then took power over 500 million Indian’s with only 25,000 (private) British East Indie Company soldiers. Is this how a tiny group seize power? The Raj was key then, it sure looks like FF/FG/LP are now!

    • It was much less than 25,000. Try 1,500.

      Any caste system or class barrier in Ireland is a product of our imagination. If we choose not be deferent then it will not exist

      • bonbon

        Caste being a result of a cultural and economic collapse, can only be remedied with a cultural and economic reconstruction. Even committing to do that is the choice to make. Once cannot imagine no caste and presto its gone.

        Committing to do this is to actually break with a Raj and its owner, the Empire. That’s the spirit of Gandhar Tilak, Ghandi’s mentor.

        That is the spirit of Arthur Griffith, who’s work was known in India.

        So let’s burn the bondholders and reconstruct culturally and economically.

      • bonbon

        And not just argue how best to singe the tail feathers of the vultures descending on the soon-to-be-carcass they are relentlessly preparing.

        This is empire at work , flightless, ravaging, but doomed.

        Glass-Steagall means pluck their remaining flight feathers.

  22. Deco

    Tomorrow is budget day.

    If you want to measure the level of incompetence, ineptitude and outright deceit rampant in the Irish public dicsussion concerning economics, just take note of the number of times the term GDP is used.

    As Constantin and Colm McCarthy both have mentioned on numerous occassions, GDP in Ireland is highly misleading.

    You need to measure against GNP to get a more accurate assessment of financial and economic performance.

    • Tull McAdoo

      Very true Deco, GDP in Ireland includes a lot of transfer pricing entities that contribute a bit to the exchequer but not at the same level as those included in the GNP calculations.

      GDP in Ireland’s case is a bit of a “vanity” metric. GDP gives the impression of a large turnover of funds but it is in fact just a turn around of funds especially for outfits like Google, Apple, HP and such like. The real tax rates paid by the aforementioned can be as low as 3%, which is getting away with blue murder really, but given Ireland’s fear of loosing this investment and its unhealthy deference for the “foreigner” well……

      I remember someone telling me a long time ago, when I was starting out that “turnover was for vanity, while profit was for sanity”.

      Best of luck with the budget later today, I can just hear Noonan’s nails making that awful screeching sound as he scrapes the bottom of the barrel….

      • Deco

        GDP is an essential part of the “good room” presentation that official Ireland engages in when the grown ups happen to be about.

        Part of the veneer.

        GDP statistics are highly misleading.

        GNP is closer to reality. But you might not hear it mentioned once tomorrow. Unless David, or Constantin, or an economist who tells the truth is around.

  23. MjHi

    I took risks in my business & lost big time.I ended up homeless & in a mental hospital.However I still have new ideas but no credibilty in business terms.I want to start again even though it harder now.Its good to see a suggestion by you David not to vilify us the people that took risks.It gives me new confidence & hope that maybe just maybe we will be successful again.

    • Deco

      Stay with us. We will persevere and get payback on the gombeens that are running everything. We are all trying to acheive an intellectual revolution that will bring grreater freedom.

      Just do one thing. Opt out of the regular media. Go to a book shop and learn for yourself.

    • Colin

      Hope you regain your self-confidence. The first lesson in life is to learn who are the people who don’t want you to succeed. Once you know that, you can deal with it and develop strategies.

      • Deco

        Beware the people who want you to work hard, so that they suck some of it out of you. Local authothorities, state quangos, etc…

  24. Deco

    Switzerland’s “problem” !!!!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-03/swiss-capital-controls-escalate-credit-suisse-sets-negative-chf-deposit-rates

    Surrounded by Euro currency countries, Switzerland has a massive problem trying to prevent money flowing into it’s banks.

    Thankfully we have the internet, so we can find out these things for ourselves these days.

  25. wildata

    A Very Sad truth, at 50+, I have been listening and reading this sort of stuff through 3 cycles of National Collapse.
    Perhaps this time I think with the aid of the internet it could be different, BUT I have a deep and horrible feeling that if given a choice today we would not set up as a small state on the periphery of Europe with 4 million souls.
    The deep question is are we a viable entity, were we ever a viable entity ?
    And before Bonbon rushes in to decry me as a West Brit Git, I am not.
    In my life time I have seen all that is good about this Country turned to nothing.
    This was done by “Polilticians” ashamed of their humble beginings, they felt it hampered their rise on the Glass Stairs of Europe.
    “Up the yard with the smell of hay off Ya !”
    We destroyed the rural communities that made Ireland a pleasure to live (and Holiday) in.
    The little Pub, the rivers and lake now destroyed,the Harbours with fishing boats, on which I worked…..

    Romantic Nonsense ?
    NO,non,no, there was a society in which people felt
    a part of it,
    We now have been conditioned to see success as having
    “ownership” of a BADLY BUILT, 4 bed, CHICKEN BOX,A JOB IN SOME MACHIAVELLIAN CORPORATION, AND A NISSAN PRIMERA.
    I am a City Dub, and as with many City Dub’s their roots were in the rural Communities.

    • Philip

      I think we need to be mindful of the normal ebb and flow of organizational structure that disrupts when there is change. A good example for me would be to look at the evolution of musical forms over the last millenium.

      Back in olden days we had individual composition and musicianship. Music was a matter of the musician and how they interpreted the composition. With Baroque with some structure and more central control and rules and more focus on the composer and then to Classical where the rules where very very tight and it was just the composer. Of course while it all became very organised and “orchastrated”. Order was the watchword. Along comes romanticism, where we see a breaking of the rules but still tight central control and then to the 20th century where with the likes of impressionism we see a collapse of obedience to the composer/ orchestrator to respect individual solo interpretations. After that, Jazz and new harmonies and chords (new equipment really) and then to the stuff we have now pretty much as a result of all that new capability which means we now have to rewrite all the rules again. In time that too will be ordered and will cycle back to individualism. I think like music, these shifts in organisational structure take centuries.

      What we are witnessing here in Ireland is conflict between community and individual. Ireland lacks community spirit beyond the mere tribal/ animalistic form..Fair dos to the GAA, but really it is tribalism. Modern community as we see in Norway, or German etc is only at its infancy. That is the conflict I see in Europe. You have go it on yer own and fck everyone else versus consensus. And the conflicts are at financial and political levels.

      The internet has altered the landscape for allowing individualism/ community breaking while facilitating networking and offering a stage for gaining attention at a lower cost than ever before. Right now, it is a little better than telly – the media are controlling it as a broadcast only mechanism. Yammering, outshouting etc are the norm. Look at Bonbon…no discussion…only broadcast. So you are right, Internet is only a tool. It only benefits those who have the skill for it – and believe me it is a serious skill.

      Back to the main point of the article and Hugh O’Regan, here I have benefited from an insight into an individualist. But perhaps it could be argued that many of us over value this individualism at the price of underestimating the staying power of large vested interested and standardised groups. They may be dull bureaucrats – but we should be learning about this rather than fighting what we do not understand. Change from the inside out may be the only option.

    • Dilly

      When you are bankrupt, inside every Irishman there is a British Citizen waiting to get out.

      • wildata

        True Dilly.
        We are bankrupt, out of fuel, the airline is bust, but the pilots have parachutes, lots of money, and will stay on course until we have to crash land. They will bale out at the last moment.

        They could divert, but then they would have admitted there is a problem.

        They see their choice as get us over Germany, bail out, and hope there are not too many casualties as we spiral to earth. They know we will all die.

        The other choice is divert to an unknown airport, land and explain to the passengers
        how we got there with no money, no bags, and have to start from fresh.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Well said Wildata.

      Regarding people who dare to dream as the title of the article suggests; Do you know why the American dream of prosperity, security, happiness, nice home and happy family is titled a dream? Because every day millions of American’s have to live through the banking and financial induced nightmare that American society has become.

      And all we do is APE all things American!

      We can only change ourselves. Lets change what we can for ourselves and not waste any more time worrying about things over which we have no influence.

      best regards,

      Michael.

    • bonbon

      One reason we set up an independent republic was the sickening realization that unless sovereignty is asserted, literally genocide will occur as in 1846 on a massive scale. It became clear around WWI that extermination was guaranteed unless sovereignty was asserted.

      Viability of the current Empire? – look at its favorite euthanasia moves all around especially Britain. Look at the rising starvation levels while its green bio-fuel mandates consume essential food.

      It is not a parlor game – this empire is collapsing and all Irish have a certain instinct for what that means. I do not think it s forgotten. “The Famine Plot” by Tim Pat Coogan, out now, is a very timely reminder of why tourists just love those empty wilderness Irish landscapes – they were ethnically cleansed! All nations must re-assert their sovereignty just to survive – then real reconstruction of the unbelievable economic damage which like a World War as Haldane of the BoE said this week.

      So viability is impossible by playing along-to-get-along to hell.

      Is this book the reason the US Dublin Embassy refused Coogan’s visa? To cover for Obama’s Britain?

      Now the cleansing continues with massive emigration.
      I expect to seem some photographing ghost estates where before it was famine vilages.

      • wildata

        My sickening realzation is we have a group of Leaders
        who collectively are on the pigs back, by a factor of 5-10.
        By which I mean the Majority of them would never earn the money and benefits they are on anywhere else.

        Why would they not earn this any where else.

        BECAUSE NO WHERE IS IS SO DEEPLY CORRUPT AS TO PAY THE FAILED “GOVERNMENT CLASS” OF A SMALL NATION WITH 4+ MILLION SOULS A MULTIPLE OF WHAT OBAMA.CAMERON AND MERKLE ARE ON COMBINED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. gizzy

    I agee wildata. We now have a government and permanent government of inept individuals who run the State soley for themselves and their own families and friends. (phil hogan pays his PA whose previous job was as a bookies clerk 70,000 a year)

    They protect the farming sector (no rates on farms)and large business and the public service no budget impact at all.

    They suck the income from the self employed and paye workers.

    They only pay social welfare to keep the unemployed from taken to the steets.

    We are now working for our government and its agencies when it should be the other way.

    Government of the People, by the People and for the People. Isn’t that the bedrock of democracy.

  27. george

    This Government is as bad as the colonial masters of the past. Labour is gone with the Greens. And Fine Gaels are side by side with Fianna Fail.
    FAMILLY HOMES DON’T GENERATE INCOME, SO THE PROPERTY TAX IS THE MOST UNFAIR AND CRIMINAL TAX. People in Ireland should organise soon a protest in every town and city, at the same time and date, and show this corrupt Government to reverse it or to get out!!!
    .
    Yesterday I mentioned the honesty of Roisin Shortall by resigning from this corrupt Government, and for not taking the Severance Payment she was entitle to.
    .
    We should tell this Government who we want to represent us!!!
    So if anyone of the Ministers or Junior Ministers in this corrupt Government, wants to show us the People, that they are honourable, and they think they want to be part of the new Ireland , THEY HAVE TO RESIGN NOW, or risk the chance that History and People will be unforgiving with them; as People and History was in the past, with the former masters and their entourage.
    WE IRISH PEOPLE WANT HONEST POLITICIANS NOW!!!
    .
    Here there is another honest Politician who is ready to fight for us! Use the social media to name honest politicians, that can fight with and for the People!
    http://www.shaneross.ie/

  28. Peter Atkinson

    Certainly not begrudging you a day time scoop in the City Cenre David,but there are few and far around us that can afford the bus fare into the City Centre never mind an overpriced scoop.Recession arrives and guess what, increased public transport fares.Ya see the minister and his mates figure that dwindling passenger numbers can be offset by increasing fares.No thought to improving the service or attracting customers by enhanced facilities.Nah! sure aren’t we a momopoly.Sure why would we need to do anything different.It’s worked for years

    So you get to the city centre on foot instead and guess what.A pint of lager no cheaper than €5 and in certain establishments upward of €6.

    Remember the days when Temple Bar used to have an upward sliding scale on the price of a pint after 11pm.The tills were programmed to increase the pint hourly until closing time.

    The Super Pub.The louder the music the better the buzz.Queues ten deep at the door and a couple of gorillas in monkey suits handpicking the babes to let in.Guess what.Who needs conversation when you have a copious supply of snow and the babes bringing a whole new meaning to the term of “powdering your nose” in the WC.

    If the half built Anglo Irish Bank HQ is a monument to the collapse of the banking industry the super pub formerly known as the Fireworks in Tara Street is the monument to the collapse of the super pub.I remember when it opened looking at the queues forming on opening night but I also passed it a few months later and noticed the absence of queues.It was just around the time that the big wobble happened.I can only imagine the amount of dough that was ploughed into that project which I doubt will ever be recovered.

    Fast forward to 2012 and I’m in the City Centre looking for what could be described as some form of competition in the the pubs.I stumble upon O’Reillys in Tara Street selling a pint of all the major brands at €3.40.That will do nicely.

    Maybe Hugh O’Regan would have reacted to the recession in this fashion had he been allowed to continue running his pubs.Unfortunately we will never know.I do know that the vinters do not like competion and I can only compare them to the state monopoly called CIE.

    In relation to Direct Democracy (DD as it now seems to be known as) I’m uneasy at the whole concept of anything with the word democracy in it’s name.For anybody over the age of 45, you will fondly recall the furore over the formation of the all new singing and dancing Progressive Democrats (PD as they were fondly known as).They were going to break the monopoly on the established corrupt civil war parties and were going to change the face of Irish Politics for ever.And guess what.The rest of the story is history.

    The party politics model is broken beyond repair.The people of Ireland will never trust another party again.I fear that at the next election a disparate collection of candidates will usurp the major parties and we will end up with extremists on the right and the left similar to the mess we have in Greece.The people who should vote won’t bother and the people who shouldn’t vote will grab the opportunity to elect the people who wouldn’t get a vote in a month of Sundays.

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