LegalEagleStar

… a kind of Legal Column

Posts Tagged ‘Big Business

End of Days… and Remembering the Poor at Christmas, it just might be You !

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Homeless

Homeless (Photo credit: fotografar)

According to the Mayan Calendar, tomorrow marks the end of the world. Living in Ireland today we might think that the end of the world, as we know it, is indeed nigh. So, if you are reading this next Saturday, the prophesy is obviously wrong but you never know. Stranger things have happened as my Uncle Bernie used to say.

For many years now I have had the privilege, as a solicitor, to act for some of those we refer to as the poor. I do not make such a reference in any disparaging way but mention it now as it appears to be more meaningful at this time of year and in the Ireland of Christmas 2012.  Scripture mentions that the poor will always be with us, but today, more than anytime I can remember, the poor are very close to us. Yes, those living in this depressing country called Ireland. It was not always so. I love my country and condemn those that have abused it for their own selfish needs.

Poverty can be of many varieties. The obvious being those on low and middle incomes who have found it desperately hard to pay their household bills; to feed their children and indeed put clothes on their backs. If it wasn’t for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, The Simon Community and other such charities, many would have lost their homes and literally be on the side of the road. Those that have, will and should dig deep into their pockets in order to help their fellow-man survive this tough winter. We live in unprecedented times when our Government has literally turned their backs on the Irish Citizens in pursuit of a greater European vision of a New Beginning. Unfortunately that vision does not cater for, nor improve the lot of the working man. It is a Europe where Big Business will thrive at the expense of the ordinary citizen.

There is another type of poverty rampant in Ireland today that crosses all class barriers, if indeed you do believe in the class system, which I do not. This is the issue of the mental health of the nation. While you may be lucky enough to be able to pay your bills this winter, you may well be suffering mental illness brought on, in many cases by the disastrous state of the country. Those that brought about this economic decline and indeed those that continue the austerity policies which are drowning the citizens in debt, have a lot to answer for. The number of suicides is unacceptable but seem to be the inevitable consequences of austerity and the policies being imposed by those Elites who continue to pursue their own selfish agenda to the detriment of the citizen. Shame on them and their fellow travellers.

May I wish everyone a Happy and Holy Christmas but ask that you remember those less well off than yourself especially at this time of year. Be as generous as you can and remember to spend time with people. Many times it is the time spent with our fellow-man that brings about the most benefits. If the Mayans have got it right, then maybe our suffering poor can be spared the indignity of yet another harsh winter of discontent.

LegalEagleStar , Thursday 20th. December , 2012.

An Irishman at home with ‘The Spirit of Texas’.

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San Antonio - The Alamo

Image by teachandlearn via Flickr

Texas is unlike Ireland, in so many ways. While we speak the same language, well kind of, the whole mentality of the Texan is so unlike us Irish today. I have no doubt that they would not ‘lie down’ as we appear to be doing as regards the Banks and Big Business. The spirit of The Alamo is alive and well in Texas. We Irish fought in the Battle of the Alamo and many people in Ireland are unaware of this fact. Not so in San Antonio, where they remember that we stood shoulder to shoulder with many races in their fight for independence. And yes, Big Business is alive and kicking here with a ruthless efficiency. I for one would be occupied full-time in supporting workers rights and might well not be though of too highly as a result. That said, there is a work ethic present here that would put a lot of us to shame.

When I was young, growing up, I was aware of a sense of National Pride. Unfortunately with the onset of the Celtic Tiger our national attitudes changed and not for the better, as far as I’m concerned. There was also a kind of Tribalism that prevailed between Dublin and the rest of the country. For the average ‘Dub’ we were aware of Dublin playing in Croke Park against, well a Country side. I at least, knew of two other Counties. As my father was a Dundalk man he brought me to see the Mighty Down playing and that got his Northern Blood flowing. I was also aware of the Wee County, Louth but I have no recollection of ever seeing them play. In Texas, yes they are Americans and proud of  it,  but first and foremost they are Texans. When you see the Stars and Stripes flying outside a Company Headquarters, it will invariably be accompanied by the Lone Star i.e. the Flag of Texas. Sometimes the Lone Star stands proudly on its own. Many a proud Texan tells me of its history. The Six Flags of Texas… under Spain, France, Mexico, Independent Texas, Confederacy then United States. To this day, although this is disputed by many, I’m told that Texas has the right to secede from the Union. Whether this is correct or not it doesn’t stop many from displaying this as a car bumper sticker when they are angry with the direction the US is taking if they consider it not in the interests of Texas. Where we display, or did in past years, stickers saying ‘Keep Dublin Tidy’, their campaign states ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’.

Their attitude to crime is very black and white. If a crime is committed they go after the criminal with speed and efficiency. Child and Police killers get no mercy and these are deemed capital crimes to which the death penalty applies. I am very much against the death penalty as I believe violence by the State is obscene and that one person executed in the wrong is one too many. I understand where the Texan mentality comes from though. Life can be very hard. People have to work long hours to provide for their families. But there is a great sense of community which extends into looking after those not provided for by the State. People volunteer and as a result they have great pride in their communities. There is a certain old-fashioned attitude prevailing which I admire i.e. respect for each other. Whatever your status you’ll be address as ‘Sir’ or ‘Mam’. Nice to hear some manners spoken again. I have fallen in love with this  State, or Country, if you take that view, because of its people regardless of its Vast open spaces with its Huge Sky. I would never get a sense of  claustrophobia here, as everything really is Bigger in Texas.

As we plan to head back to Dublin shortly, I look around at the land with its wild deer, snakes (of 999 varieties), wild cats, bobcats, scorpions, and every type of bug you can imagine, and myself and family, including my grandson ‘Toes’ will miss this place. I head back home and I wonder sadly why we Irish have laid down and let our sense of Irishness and pride be taken away from us. I am certain about this, that unless we wake up and soon, we will be living in an anonymous Province of Europe where none of us will feel we belong. Already we have lost too many of our  young people to foreign lands and these were our future. What future can we look forward to now ? What will it take to wake us up again as a Nation and regain our sense of National Pride ?  Until then, I can only hope that I can spend as much time as possible among the Texan people who have made me feel, well at home here among the people of the Great State of Texas. Thank You Guys and Gals for this real sense of  ‘ Home’.

 

LegalEagleStar , Tuesday , 14th. June 2011 .

San Antonio, Texas.

Written by LegalEagleStar

June 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm

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