The Budget


After reading through all the details of last Wednesday’s Budget in Thursday’s Irish Daily Star and all the comments on it from the regular journalists and other writers in that newspaper, my initial reaction to this infamous budget was one of anger and disappointment that any Irish Government elected less than two years ago would even dare to inflict an outrageous scourge such as this on the ordinary, decent people of our country. And then what actually entered my mind was a line from one of a late great poet’s humourous self-composed recitations which were uttered in a different context and went something like this; “And may God forgive me,  I said eff it”! Yes indeed that was my feeling about the austerity budget that was passed by the Fine Gael and Labour Coalition parties in the Dáil last week.

In fact the main objective and purpose of this cowardly and feckless Government appears to be not the welfare of our own people but the dubious privilege of being the puppets and servants of the European capitalists and to cringe and crawl before our European masters, do everything they are told by Brussels and get a clap on the back and a cheery “well done lads, thank you” from the bureaucrats and bosses of the European Union. Unfortunately they seem to see no harm at all in treating our own people, particularly the less well-off and vulnerable, with the same contempt that the British landlord’s agents treated the poorer Irish tenants and peasantry with in the old days of British rule in our country. Now we have no longer British rule in our land at least not in the 26 County State, but instead we have foreign rule from Europe which is trying to prevent us from doing things that the British, even in the worst of times, did not attempt, such as cutting our turf, burning our rubbish and killing our own pigs. Now all this is finished in our country under European rule and the time has come when our foreign rulers are overseeing and now dictating our national budget, hence the harsh terms that were announced last week. While it is not my intention to go through the whole rigmarole of the cuts and levies that have been  inflicted on our people, there are however certain aspects of it that really need to be brought to light. For instance, only a few weeks ago before the Referendum we had various government spokespersons telling us to vote yes in order to copper-fasten children’s rights and children’s welfare. Then at the first opportunity this government got, they betrayed the children of the nation by savage cuts in their allowance payments. Where, one might well ask, was the consistency there? So much so that the Daily Star political correspondent Catherine Halloran headlined her article on it “They Hate Our Kids” and “Government Hits Families with Austerity Cuts”, while another Star correspondent drew attention to the way the sick and the elderly have been squeezed for the prescription charges for every tablet and capsule that they obtain on their medical cards.

Even the dogs in the streets know that either of the two Government parties had the slightest notion of implementing any of the promises they made before the election but whatever about Fine Gael, from whom we could never expect much progress anyway, it is the Labour Party who were the biggest let-down for the people who trusted and voted for them. They have stood idly by while the bondholders, the gamblers, the big bankers and the European capitalists and the foreign loan sharks have continued to plunder the wealth of this country during the past two years and have made no attempt, apart from Roisin Shortall, from going down the road of slavery, misery and subjection to our foreign rulers.

This latest budget is going to bring every misfortune to our country, there will be suicides because decent, hard-working people are up to their necks in taxes, levies, mortgages and cut-backs in ways with which they no longer can cope.

There will also be robberies of all kinds and other criminal activities because the local Garda Stations are being closed and anyway many of the remaining Gardaí will be fully occupied trying to keep the legitimate protests of the workers, unemployed and civilian population under control. These protests as we have seen before will not be tolerated by our gutless Government and their pals and bosses in the big financial capitalists circles of Europe. But who cares about the more ordinary people of Ireland and their needs, sure many of these tired  old  men in the present Fine Gale/Labour Coalition are nearing the end of their political careers anyway and will not have to face the voters the next time around. All they want now is a quiet, peaceful life for the rest of their days in the Dáil and remain on good terms with their bosses in Europe. And then of course look forward to their certain substantial pensions when they retire.

What have these masters, or more relevant, assistant masters, of our Isle done may one ask apart from plunging the weaker sections of our people into the depths of despair. What we need in this land are young, or fairly young, men and women with vision in their hearts and fire in their bellies (no matter what party or non-party) who will be prepared to confront the foreigners and financial loan sharks, who are in the process of destroying our country (with the consent of our own native Government0 and tell them where to get off or get out. Those weary old stagers in the present set-up waiting for their pension don’t seem to have either the will or the inclination to do anything as far seeing or radical as that, they obviously let the foreigners dictate the policy and let our own unfortunate people take the punishment. This budget has been a ruthless one; it is anti-children, it is anti-family, it is anti-elderly, it is anti-jobs, in fact, it is almost anti-everything positive and progressive in most ways. But it is most pro-emigration, pro-unemployment, pro-bondholders, and for many of our own people pro-hardship and pro-poverty.

In fact, in the whole sorry mess it would be almost impossible to find much good in any of it except maybe perhaps that at least our meagre retirement pensions were not cut. Maybe this is even some small mercy that those of us in our twilight years should feel grateful for.

In the meantime we might like to read through the following little poem that was once published in a trade union booklet, long before the present right-wingers, was it once called a Labour Party, came to power. Even in the middle of all this depression we must still try and find some little spark of hope to sustain us, even the most recent emigrants need this .

“Tis hard with poverty to bear with hardship for to cope

But still the stout heart laughs at care and while there’s life there’s hope

Then hope with me one day to see that freedom great and grand

Then I’ll be true for life to you and stay at home dear land “.


Recent Deaths

The death occurred during the weekend of Brian Quinn of Templeathea. Brian was still a young man but had some health problems in recent years. At the time of writing we have not yet learned of the funeral arrangements but more details on this next week.

The death also occurred over the weekend at a fairly advanced age of Chriss Lawlor (nee O’Donoghue) of Carrigkerry. Again at the time of writing no details yet of the funeral but this will be published in next week’s column.



In my article in last week’s Athea and District News the name of the Garda who composed the famous song “The Isle of Innisfree” which was the theme in “The Quiet Man” film was mistakenly described as Richard Fennelly. This should read Richard (or Dick) Farrelly which is the correct name of the composer who is deceased since 1990. In case the error caused any mix-up it is regretted.

While we are on the subject of “The Quiet Man” it might be as well to include a couple of full verses that were sung or recited in the famous film which was only partially included last week.


“Oh Innisfree my Isle across the ocean

It is soon I will return again to thee

For nothing fills my heart with such emotion

As to sit a while beside you grá mo chroí”.


And the other different verse


“Have you ever seen the morning in Kerry or Killarney

When the dew is on the hayrick and every drop a pearl

Where the geese are full of blarney and the thrush is singing gaily

Then a rambling down the roadway comes a pretty Irish girl.