Not that the government will lose any sleep over my opinion, but I’ll give it anyway. I believe the images of a Dublin mother, (she could just as easily have been from Roscommon), and her six children, (aged between one and 11 years) who were, due to their alleged homelessness, forced to sleep on plastic chairs at Tallaght Garda station showcases all the hallmarks of what I’d call the most egregious example of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s appallingly inefficient allocation of our financial resources.
Now, while I know this woman has received a backlash on social media for so-called lavish spending, and that her partner is reported by some publications as being ‘in prison awaiting trial since July,’ on an apparent ‘assault charge,’ my concern here, as a mother, is, quite honestly for the children’s plight.
It may seem harsh, but I don’t necessarily care about the welfare of the parents of these kids. You see, they’re adults – and they’re responsible for their own situations. I don’t even care about their status, i.e. whether they’re unemployed or in prison, whether they own an iPhone, whether they don’t look ‘homeless enough,’ or whatever the monopoly of stories currently doing the rounds allege; it’s all irrelevant to me because all I see are homeless kids; vulnerable kids and innocent, entirely faultless kids who don’t deserve to sleep rough, nor do they deserve to be the subjects of a story that has a major ‘clickable’ factor.
This situation is wrong; especially in 2018 Ireland when our government is lavishing an estimated three million euro of taxpayers’ money providing security for the Pope’s visit later this month.
Now I know thousands of readers will be making their way to see His Holiness, and I hope it proves to be a wonderfully enlightening ecumenical experience for them because the Holy Father and their faith plays a major part in their lives, and I would never, ever deny them this encounter. But, big picture here folks, while all children are the sole responsibility of their parents, and it’s not up to the State, i.e. you or me to provide for them, the notion that any child would be homeless due to lack of resources is sickening and it absolutely breaks my heart – as I know it also breaks many readers’ hearts.
And, the sorry thing is, while this family’s plight sparked shock, horror, disgust and outrage across Ireland, I can tell you it will have absolutely no impact whatsoever in this government’s grand plan because this mother and her kids’ tragic situation is not unique; nor is it a big news story, rather it’s a nine-day wonder. You see, wasn’t it only last summer that 12 homeless families (including 30 kids, I believe) were forced to sleep in Garda stations across Ireland, causing us all to express repulsion before swiftly moving on.
Due to that, I’m acutely aware this latest story will not prove a pivotal point, nor will it change our overall homeless picture. Now I don’t wish to embark on a misery safari, but the reason we’re in an atrocious shambles is squarely down to this (and former) governments making empty promises and ineffective decisions in order for them to achieve short-term political gain, as opposed to making sound long-term economic plans, rendering people like you and me to be constantly living close to the wire, day to day dangling precariously without the benefit of a safety net.
Methinks it’s time this government was seriously challenged and the place to do that readers is on the doorsteps and at the ballot box!
Best of luck to our Eimear and our Paul
The frocky horror show, ooops, sorry, Rose of Tralee – an event in any social butterfly’s ‘must attend’ calendar – is upon us and I’d like to wish a huge ‘best of luck’ to our stunning representative, Roscommon Rose Eimear Reynolds.
Now I admit, as ‘the sun is declining’ over Roscommon, it’s unlikely I’ll be sitting in front of d’telly to binge-watch over the entire two nights of loveliness, Irish jigs and badly performed hip-hop routines as these ‘lovely and fair’ high-achieving cailiní deasa, without ever having a hint of cleavage on show, (well done), compete for the chance to be plucked from obscurity to become Mary, the Rose of Tralee!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not slagging the festival where non-Irish Roses are challenged to prove their oirishness, their regular attendance at Mass and their love of Barry’s tea. I really do think it’s a wonderful celebration of women, and that’s not just because the moorkishing gurus have brainwashed me.
Look, while many may feel the festival is outdated, I believe anything that promotes, highlights, honours and commemorates our Irish culture on an international stage should always be showcased and I have no doubt whatsoever Eimear will do us proud.
Well done also to handsome and eligible Roscommon escort Paul Clabby who I’m sure will be well able to cope with such demands as carrying the handbag – great training for when you marry, Paul – as well as being a chivalrous chaperone for his Rose. I think we’ve got the Rose of Tralee and the Escort of the Year 2018 nailed folks. Ádh mór to ya both!