Selling ‘Ireland’ and Forgetting the ‘Irish’? Some Thoughts on the Taoiseach’s St. Patrick’s Day Speech

Excellent article here from one of my favourite bloggers.
Any thoughts you have please do pop over and share them.

Irish in the American Civil War

This week Ireland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, visited America for St. Patrick’s Day. Each March, our small country enjoys exceptional treatment on the other side of the Atlantic, treatment which includes a meeting with the President of the United States at The White House. Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. is the envy of other small countries. That relationship is almost entirely based on the affinity that many Americans hold for Ireland as a result of their own ancestry. In other words, Ireland has its past emigrants to thank for the extraordinary access and coverage we enjoy annually in one the world’s largest nations. It seems to me, however, that in our eagerness to use these opportunities to sell ‘Ireland’, we are consistently forgetting to remember the ‘Irish.’

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with President Barack Obama in The White House (Wikipedia) An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with President Barack Obama in The White House (Wikipedia)

As might be expected, Ireland uses the opportunity presented every March…

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Rural Communities under attack from the State

The island of Ireland looks set to be the generator for Europe, all over the island communities are raising funds, holding meetings, learning environmental law, giving up YEARS of their time to learn all they can about how European Law works in Ireland. Communities are up against some of the best legal teams that money can buy … tax payers money used to fight tax payers.
Read the link below and learn of how one such community is being ‘played’ by the energy corporations that are invited into OUR country by our own elected officials.
Something’s gotta give people … something’s gotta change before we’re left living among the infrastructure that other countries are moving away from.
We NEED new politics in Ireland before it’s too late.
G’wan – stick the kettle on and have a read.

The Law is my Oyster

RTSI received a letter from a member of the Ratheniska community which is battling An Bord Pleanala, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and EirGrid in their plan to build a massive substation which is intended to be the connecting hub for the plague of wind farms that are planned for the area.

The contents of the letter are heartrending. In addition, as a lawyer I find the contents deeply disturbing as it shows how far this Government and its lackeys are prepared to go to impose their will on rural communities fighting the madness that is Grid25.

Laws are useless if they are not properly interpreted by the courts and properly enforced by the civil authorities. It is clear that in the headlong rush to build Grid 25 and the associated industrial wind farms, any semblance of respect for the rule of law has long fallen by…

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About ‘Atlantic Stream’

About: From the makers of ‘The Pipe Film’ comes ‘Atlantic Stream’ but it needs a little funding to get the last part done.
Richard O’Donnell, a native of Cahir, County Tipperary now living in Galway, put together ‘The Pipe Film’. A documentary style look into the lives of the people of Rossport, in Mayo.
What happens when a few people make a stand to multi corporates? Watch the film and find out.

Richard needs our help to finish the second documentary style film.
Let’s dig deep, tell everyone, reblog, tweet, facebook, text, e-mail. Let’s help him get the second one finished.
Thank you for your support.

Pylons – Waterford route picked in 2011.

Here’s a second ‘blog’ that I’d like to share.
When ordinary people make a stand and take on the established political regime in Ireland today. Midi de Paor Walsh is one woman who is doing just that and she’s already got half the country behind her.


Eirgrid KRA8 Corridor Eirgrid KRA8 Corridor

Midi De Paor Walsh, an independent local Election candidate in West Waterford has challenged EirGrid to produce all 2010 and 2011 documentation in relation to Gridlink.
A 2011 internal EirGrid/Grid Development and Commercial Division document affirms a “400 kV overhead line of approximately 108 km in length from the Knockraha substation to the Great Island substation”. The shortest route is approximately 106 km according to EirGrid’s September 2013 Stage 1 report. This is route KRA8 that runs from the Knockraha substation onto Clonmult, Knockanore, Aglish, Dungarvan, Lemybrien, Kilmacthomas, Carrigeen, & Kilmacow finishing at the Great Island substation. The map of the route is shown here.
The Ring, Co. Waterford native commented, “It is evident why Eirgrid did not advertise in County Waterfords main Newspapers, the Dungarvan Observer & Leader, in consultations 1 & 2 in May 2012 & September 2012 respectively; they wanted to keep us in…

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The Ethics of Objectivity

For everyone who’s interested/following this ‘Energy Scam’ in Ireland ‘The Law is my Oyster’ is well worth reading and following.

The Law is my Oyster

Child leukaemia
The word ‘ ethics ’ comes from the Greek ethos, which means ‘custom or practice, a mode of behaviour’. When we study the ethics of a particular practice or profession, we often call those ‘applied ethics’ as we are looking at the implications of general theories for specific forms of conduct. Examples of applied ethics would be medical ethics (doctors) or legal ethics (lawyers).

There is a never-ending debate over the difference between ethics and morals because they seem to be saying the same thing. Without going into it, let’s just say that morals are more of an individual belief system (subjective), whereas ethics are more of an imposed and regulatory system of conduct (objective). There is clearly a lot of common ground between the two and it can be said that if the one becomes less important to society it is inevitable that the other does as well.


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Trying to make sense of the nonsense.


There are times in life when things make no sense. 
No matter what angle we approach a ball from we can not see the other side unless we have a mirror or someone is telling us what they see there. 
The problem with having a mirror is that we have to reverse the reflection and the problem with relying on a person is that we have to already know to trust them. 
So, our present ‘Political System’, is a bit like a ball, we see the side we are shown and it’s left up to us to figure out what’s on the far side! 
Like all balls our Political system is a sphere, there’s an upside and a downside, an inside and an outside, a front side and a backside and not all sides are visible at the same time so what do we do? 
This is where conversation and communication are vital, this is where community spirit and local chat over the cup of tea makes a difference. You see what you see, I see what I see and between us all we can get a more ’rounded’ view of what’s happening. Lets’s face it, even the people ‘in the know’ don’t know anymore and are reluctant to inform us of their own ignorance! 
We approach our local Political representatives and they wait for an ‘ear’ within their party, who waits for a timely manner in which to bring a matter before a committee and it’s all wheels within wheels, like hamsters in a ball, and we are re-assured that ‘wheels are in motion’ and told to wait for the right time, and we do because matters matter and we don’t want to be the cause of not getting a fair hearing. 
By nature we Irish are reluctant to confront authority, and when you look at our history it’s no wonder we are. We cling on to our inherited beliefs of fairness and honour and applaud our hero’s of the 1920’s and hope to God another one will appear for us and march us to safety. Consider this idea … Our Grandparents fought for our independence, not to be subservient, the sovereignty they fought for was relinquished when we joined the European Union. This is a fact, most of us don’t like it but it’s the reality that we live in and it could be our saving grace if we learn how to use it … in the same way the small parish on the peninsula had to appeal to Dublin years ago, now we have to appeal to Europe. 
Ireland is now that small parish on the peninsula, we are that little island off the mainland and we need to behave like islanders and we need to listen and talk and share our grievances at the corruption that is blinding us. 
The small island on the edge of Europe, with a penchant for the mystical and a bit of divelment, we love our craic and our welcomes are second to none, all around the world we are known for being friendly and trustworthy so why do we accept our current Political representatives, they are misrepresenting us, mocking us, giving us a bad name and making us look like gangster eejits. I was chatting with a neighbouring family a while ago and the phrase ‘Super Capitalist’ came up, it’s not a phrase I’d heard before in a conversation in front of the fire, and dots started to join up … Super Capitalists hide behind Multi-Corporations and can use Government backed ventures to make money. It’s all so outrageous and a few months ago it was beyond my comprehension but I’ve had a baptism of politics recently and I’ve learned loads.
These ‘ventures’ happen in business all the time, keep the company looking like it’s struggling to pay back a loan in order for the business to stay afloat. Tax returns and year end reports are deceiving, but ‘It’s all legal’ and never brings attention to itself and at the end of the day, it goes unchallenged. We didn’t borrow this ‘bail-out’ money that we are paying back, developers did. No one has been brought to court over it, the ‘blame’ is laid thinly and veiled over different people so that no one person or group can be held accountable and our political system goes along with it … wheels within wheels.
Are these the same developers that are behind ‘Eirgrid’? 

But someone (we) need to start a new game, someone (we) need to sort out the rules and if the local bully boy club won’t play fairly then we need to go above them and make demands. 
Over the past few months I have witnessed some great and inspiring changes in Ireland and more in my local community. I have been privy to conversations and present at meetings where people have gone to all sorts of lengths to attend. The internet has played a huge role in the sharing of facts and reports and connecting people but the people themselves have left their home fires on cold nights and turned out for meetings. Not to hear what our reluctant political representatives are saying but to meet each other there. 
It is a fact that Irish people are outraged over this proposed ‘Grid Link’ power project plan.
It is a fact that European guidelines, policies and proper procedures are being ignored. 
This ‘Grid Link’ is not needed. 

Yesterday I read “Ireland’s Communications and Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, has launched a public consultation on reducing emissions from the electricity sector by 2050.
According to his department, emissions from electricity generation amount to nearly 21pc of Ireland’s total national emissions, or some 11.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide”.

Which means that over 79% of carbon emissions are caused by other factors yet our boys want to tackle the smaller numbers and rip through the country to feed this ‘PowerGrid’ and send the power oversees for profit.
Meanwhile we’re left with a MASSIVE pathway wrenched through the countryside full of pylons and wind turbines beside our homes and schools and it still leaves us with 79% of our carbon emissions going unchallenged?

I met with Senator Denis Landy last Friday morning, he’s local and has an office close to where I live. I was curious as to what I might hear but not prepared for the style of interaction I had with him. 
He has an ‘clinic’ (I think that’s what it’s called) and people can make appointments to meet him, so I did. I asked what his views were on this whole project and he told me a story …  
“Back in 2008 I was sitting in the car at the traffic lights out there” he pointed to the window “and a news report came on the radio saying that Ireland may not have enough electricity to last the next 24 hours, that was in the ‘boom’ and today we use 20% less electricity than we did during the boom times”  
He went on to say that “This project gets us ready for when the boom comes again”

How’s that for a plan?

(bejaysus and begorraha sure paddy how’s your leprechaun doin today we don’t need a feasibility assessment at all sure and we know that an environmental impact study would say we are great men. Aarhus Convention? not at all, we’ll meet up at your house instead.) Inside the door to Senator Landy’s ‘clinic’ is a large office desk, the secretary sits with her back to the wall and has one of those keyboards that clickety-clicks non stop as you try to have a conversation with the Senator while he’s seated at the end of the desk and you’re opposite the secretary. It’s all very strange, there are self promoting photo collages covering the walls and the door leads straight out onto the street, anyone can walk in at any time.
His mobile phone doesn’t stop beeping and at the end of 10 minutes and in the middle of a conversation his phone rings and he takes the call thanking me for my concerns about a local hydro project and if he gets a chance he’ll look into the matter. I’m not holding my breath, especially since he was one of the Senators who abstained from voting in the Seanad on this Grid Link project. He could have made a difference, he, for whatever reason, chose to abstain. 
On Friday last I attended another ‘Grid Link’ meeting. Organised by some other local political representatives, local newspaper journalist and a photographer oh, and another Senator on his way home to Kerry.  
Like other people who attended I thought I might learn some new information. I did, but not from the politicians who were there two weeks before the submission date to state their disappointment at the poor turn out!  
Two weeks before submission dates the politicians rally and get a little ‘miffed’ at the lack of support from the community! 
Hey … you reap what you sow and if people are not there to support you at a meeting but have been up the mountain a week earlier, in the cold rain, in there hundreds then something’s amiss and it’s not the support of the people. 
While attending the meeting (I’m new to all this) I learned how people interact with political public reps. There is a certain order of commentary that is made, the public rep is commended for their interest and for organising the meeting, others are praised for their attendance and then the person makes whatever comment they want to make. 
I learned that people are afraid to upset the local politician.
The Kerry Senator had a go at the local Senator, The local political reps had a go at each other and then they praised each other for being able to get along on this important matter (two weeks before submission date). One rep turned out in an up-turned shirt collar wearing a jacket that looked like he’d slept in it for days, the shoes (*face palm, dear God, if I left any of my kids go to school with that amount of house dust on their shoes I’d be mortified) We were told the importance of bats along with lots of other ‘one last things’, I think barn owls got a mention too, oh, and “if you ‘google it’ I’m sure you’ll find out about some unusual plants”.
Very worthy causes but there are hundreds of thousands of families, farms, schools, small business’s who will have to live under and with these pylons, hydro turbines and wind farms.
We are an independent people with a right to our freedoms and the opportunity to make decisions for ourselves. We have the right to live in a safe environment and not be living in fear of our own Government.
We have a right to a leadership we can trust to support us not use us for self gain and profit.What’s proposed for Ireland will be detrimental to her land and the welfare of ALL her people for the rest of our lives.  SAY NO TO 'GREED ENERGY'

SAY ‘NO’ TO GREED ENERGY and join up with your communities. 
This is not a political campaign for votes, it’s far more powerful than that! 
Perhaps this is the final straw that has broken the backs of the Irish people as the outrage can be heard all over the island. I am delighted to be able to add my own voice to it … c’mon and join the change. Sign the petition and add your own voice, no matter where in the world you are.   
If you visit the people behind ‘Rethink Pylons’ and ‘Comeraghs against pylon’ group on facebook you’ll find lots more information there, a fantastic community of everyday people who are not afraid and are proving to be an inspiration to us all.   

Where the road takes us …

How are you doing?

As some of you may already realise we don’t ‘blog’ a lot, but we said that in the beginning, most of our posts are on the facebook page, and we’d keep the blog for ‘tours’ out and about and for highlighting different things, using the blog to take a closer look.

So, today’s blog covers a lot, mingles and mashes what we’ve been doing and ties it in with where we’re going, and where we’re going is a response to what you’ve been asking for.
The Irish Way is becoming a business, but it might be hard to catagorise us.
We’ve discovered from your comments that a lot of you want to visit Ireland but don’t want the typical tourist routes, and we’ve asked where do you want to go and what do you want to see, to which you respond “I want to explore” ~ so we listened and over the past while Joe has been taking people out exploring, which works very well, as most of you know Joe is the photographer, and most of you travelling have an interest in photography as well as history, which is where I come in, so between the two of us we’ve been meeting you for different ‘explorations’ and your feedback has been so generous and gracious, and kind and encouraging that we’ve decided to ‘go for it’ … which brings me to the other ‘issue’ … Ireland is changing, a lot of you who use social media will see a lot of new groups and social media sites being set up in protest to ‘Green Energy’ structures that are planned for Ireland. It’s an issue that I have taken a huge interest in, but I’m only a novice compared with the likes of Pat Swords and others who have petitioned and argued all the way to Europe. There is outrage against our Government and Parish’s are dividing, people struggling to make ends meet can be overwhelmed at the thoughts of earning money to pay for their children’s education or indeed to supplement a pension … social change is happening and an awareness is growing.
It is a changing time in Ireland’s history, a time when ‘fear’ is rearing it’s ugly head and people are at a loss as to what to do … and along come Joe and Fiona and decide that now would be a great time to set up some sort of business!

Sounds ludicrous?
We know … we’ve spent hours and hours talking about it and being afraid that we’ll make a fool of ourselves or that some people won’t be happy with what we’re trying to do or that we’ll fall flat on our backsides but sure, we’re going to have a go and see what happens.
Like millions of other Irish people, we love our country but there’s more to it than that. Having a grá for a bit of land, that we don’t own, is something that has to be experienced to be understood, a lot of city people don’t seem to ‘get it’ as they make decisions to carve corridors to bring us energy that we don’t need. There’s more to that field than you realise, there’s a wildlife habitat that keep it alive and fertile, there’s a history that respects the people who’ve worked it, there’s a knowledge entrenched in it’s soil that will continue to teach for thousands of years. So our love is born from knowledge and an inherited respect. It’s in our bones and the visual delights of the changing seasons is what feeds the creative creature in us all. It nurtures us and provides quiet places of rescue when life can get too hectic. This land can change you, it can relax you, it can open up a more gentle pace of life and offer you a freedom that you may never have known.
There is a reason that Ireland is consistently up there in the top 10 of places to visit, and when you see it you’ll know why.

So, that’s where we are in our journey. Maybe you’d like to come exploring with us when you’re in Ireland?
We’ll do our best to keep the costs down and to supplement the ‘explorations’ we will start selling ‘stuff’ on line … all sorts of stuff, but they’ll have to be genuinely Irish stuff, and stuff of interest, stuff I’d like myself. Good quality, enduring, precious crafts that can be kept in the family for years. We will be sourcing hand carvers, pottery makers, jewelers. Crafts people from all over Ireland, but mostly from the south east. So if you have something that meets this criteria then please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you and see your crafts.
Joe’s photography will be used for calendars and his prints will be kept to affordable prices. T-shirts can be fun, but we want good quality T-shirts that last for wash after wash after wash, and we wanted our own unique trade marked logo on it, it’ll be like everything Irish , it’ll be a slow change … which brings me to the final part of the mingled mash of a blog today …

Our New Logo … very much like the present one, but this one is ours .. for everyone who loves ‘The Irish Way’ of doing things this is our logo – our trade mark, our identity badge.
We worked closely with Neil Dring of Knotty Inks, I’ll add his facebook link here, (  I think the man is gifted and what he’s done for our logo is just wonderful as it incorporates all what we strive for, Love, Honour, Protect and Loyalty … it is The Irish Way.

Irish Way Logo

Maybe we’ll see you soon?

All the best for now – and as always we appreciate all your feedback and thank you, so much, for it.

Joe and Fiona