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Category Archives: freedom

It was a public meeting, following the resignations of the artistic director of Limerick City of Culture 2014, Karl Wallace and two of his co-workers.

Many of us at the meeting requested that the board of Limerick City of Culture 2014 take their responsibility and step down, or at least, that the CEO steps down. Over the past few days, all the bad headlines in media have been caused by the Board – not the culture workers or people of Limerick.

The honest questions from culture workers and members of the public were met with political platitudes, such as Pat Cox’s statement that Karl Wallace’s resignation “was only a bump in the road”. Cox also claimed that the board, altruistically, “works for free”. I think we need to see the full accounts and ledgers of Limerick National City of Culture 2014 Ltd if we were to believe that statement. From where are the €120,000 coming, to pay the CEO?

Limerick National City Of Culture 2014 Ltd (Company Registration Number: 533149) was set up on Tuesday the 24th of September 2013 in Limerick. The company’s current directors Conn Murray and Tom Gilligan have been the directors of 16 other Irish companies between them, 2 of which are now closed.

Over the last few days,  we’ve heard the usual Irish patriarchs rant about the value of life, etc., in Irish media. This is, without any doubt, in relation to forthcoming political and legal decisions following on from the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar (who was denied proper medical treatment in Galway University Hospital while suffering from a miscarriage). It is appalling to see and hear the Irish politicians running away from responsibility, as their self-deception continues.

What if a woman from another EU country, with proper laws and medical practice, had died in Ireland due to similar circumstances? Would the Irish government have dared to carry on with their inhumane, medieval shenanigans? It has been very close a few times that EU Citizens have been close to death in Irish hospitals due to the Irish Catholic delusions of medical practitioners and administrators.

As Ireland is about the hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from the 1st of January 2013, I think all Europeans coming here should demand that the Irish government accepts that it is now the 21st century and by European ethics, standards and medical practice, every woman should be given proper medical care, including abortion.

Some other links:

Ireland – no country for young women

Savita inquiry-falls-apart

Abortion in Ireland, the X-case

European Court: Irish abortion laws breach of Human Rights

One of the main problems behind the boom-to-gloom economy is the illusion that buildings create value, or at least some kind of buildings. As I’ve written before, making things is crucial for our survival, but to keep making the wrong things for the wrong reasons is counterproductive, or put it more direct – stupid. Making things is good if these things are needed. If they are not needed, don’t make them. This applies to buildings as well. There’s no point building a garden shed if you don’t need it.
But more seriously, do we need more shopping centres in Limerick? I read in the Limerick Post today that the current Mayor of Limerick, Jim Long, wants more of the UK chains further dilute the viability of the few existing shops in the city.

“…my own preference here is for the Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer and the Asda chain, so successful in the North of Ireland.”

Now, that is the most stupid thing I’ve read, when said by a Limerick politician while the Limerick City Centre is decaying due to that the City and County have built an almost endless number of retail parks (what an oxymoron!) around the city. For each big chain store that opened along Childers Road, Ballysimon Road, etc., the local and often family run shops in town were forced to either close or relocate. You get what you plan for.

Parkway Valley chaos

Looking at the Parkway Valley area, there was a plan approved to build one of the largest shopping malls in Europe, which is totally insane when you consider that the population of the Limerick area is only about 140,000. The originally almost useless land on the east side of the Singland plane was envisaged to be worth multimillions if commercial rents and rates could be extracted for every square meter of soggy old flood plain. With the current state of the site, with massive unfinished concrete structures in place, the land is even worth less, and in my opinion it now has a negative value as the land cannot be used for anything sensible.

With the so called Opera Centre (which is a silly name), we still have time to do something more sensible. I think we should apply the term un-building to the site, which basically means to remove the derelict buildings and restore the land to a state where grass, trees and plants can grow, people can walk, play and breath and perhaps even have a few allotments for growing vegetables. Just imagine how inviting the city may look if the entrance to the city centre was green. By un-building, we open up all kinds of possibilities for the future while being able to enjoy the place now.

In the current world economic crisis, it seems quite obvious that countries that make original things, from idea to final product, are the countries with the least problems.

In making, we also need to include food.

a morph between an image of Planet Earth and a typical pizza.

Consider what you have eaten today. From where in the world did the food come from? It would be interesting to consider if every packet with a “frozen dinner” in supermarkets had a map of where all it’s components originated and how it travelled to get to you. Perhaps there should also be a number, how many kilometres it travelled to get to you.

Have you ever considered how much land it takes to produce the food to sustain you for one year? Some say that in Ireland in the 19th century, 0.5 acres (0.2 hectares) would be sufficient to grow potatoes for 8 people, assuming that they also had some chickens, perhaps a pig, and a cow grazing on common land. With a modern, more balanced, diet, you probably need about 1 acre per person, or, 8 acres (3.2 hectares) for 8 people.

And, if you grow and make your own food, you have to do all the work. No need for any gym.

dead christmas tree

Arab Spring – a novel elastic form of democracy, originally developed in North Africa. It’ll never work in Ireland due to scattered showers and sunny spells.

Bailout – letting perpetrators get away while asking for more. Cf. dig-out, whip-around.

Billion – something you have never had but that you now have to pay to someone you don’t owe.

Bonus – an absurd amount of money paid to laid-off politicians, bankers, quango board members and higher civil servants in return for amnesia.

Crisis – what politicians and bankers experience when realising that their goal (making themselves richer) is not congruent with the goals of the general public.

Deficit – the current measure of trust in authority.

Haircut – a bald move, if succesful.

Household charge – the amount of electricity it takes to charge a mobile phone.

NAMA – an Irish nonsense word (cf. Bla bla bla), used for explaining all unmentionable things, avoiding truth (a.k.a. lying) and as a motivation for all kinds of unreasonable an irrational political decisions.

Occupation – reclaiming what is already ours.

Trolley – a major attraction in Irish hospitals. To be placed on a trolley makes you realise you’ve been taken for a ride, for years.

…to be continued…

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The State of Israel has, again, violated International Law and murdered civilians. There have been numerous accounts for this morning’s violence.
Please feel free to download the image below and if you have a printer that can print stickers, print it and place on all things you find in your local shop that has been sourced from Israel.