Taking a Stand

I had to share this story with you, brought to my attention by my sister Grace.  But first some context …..

Austerity measures in Ireland since the collapse of the economy in 2008 have crippled the people of Ireland. The banks and a handful of businessmen who caused the financial crisis and the deflation of the Irish property bubble, have not taken responsibility nor have the authorities done anything to make these crooks pay for the damage caused.

Instead, it is the people of Ireland – the likes of you and me – who have suffered enormously – loss of jobs, loss of livelihood, loss of homes, cuts to healthcare, education and other rights of any citizens of the world.  Just think if it were you??

Many have lost their homes and whole families are out on the street, some even living in cars.  It’s a disgrace and boggles my mind while there are ~1/4 million properties lying vacant across Ireland, properties repossessed by the banks from those families that are now homeless.

An Irish housing advocacy group Home Sweet Home together with a bunch of artists (Glen Hansard being one of the leaders) have come together to find housing for these homeless before the year is out.  They have occupied one of the NAMA buildings and have started to move families into the property.  The authorities haven’t stepped in as yet … smart move given the people of Ireland are in overwhelming support of Home Sweet Home’s actions!

NAMA is the National Asset Management Agency whose primary role is to improve the availability of credit in the Irish economy by bailing out the banks.  That includes buying back properties from banks to remove them from their books, thus improving how the books look.  These are the very same banks who systematically built the property bubble in Ireland in the first place, only for it all to collapse with the global financial collapse in 2008.  This group of bankers and businessmen made a heck of a lot of money while the ordinary people of Ireland suffer. There’s a documentary in there for sure.

Anyway, 2016 is a significant year because it has been 100 years since the 1916 Easter Rising, when the Irish fought for our independence from British Rule.  The following clip is a reading of an essay penned by Film Director Terry McMahon, asking the people of Ireland to stand up and fight … not with bullets but with their humanity.  His piece brought tears to my eyes and pride for what Ireland and it’s people stand for.

I know this is not light Christmas fare but it’s too important not to highlight.  It’ll only take 7 minutes of your life to listen.

About Kate Coffey

After 25+ years in the investment management industry, I packed in my job and spent 2014 living and working in Nepal and Bangladesh, and visited some other places in between. It took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and it's people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Sanga foothills. Since 2014, I have continued my warm relationship with SIRC and worked closely with my friends there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes to date. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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