Archive for the ‘Features’ Category
a poem by Kevin Higgins
In the income tax arena
I am introducing a scheme:
whereby a fifty year old man
living in, for example,
Galway, will still be able to claim
for his increasingly rickety right knee
here in Ireland, but allowed register,
for tax purposes,
his far more profitable left leg in Jersey.
He’ll be able to claim relief here on his wonky eye
but will only have to pay tax on the good one
at whatever the rate is in Luxembourg.
His three sets of dentures, all twenty six
fillings and those two root canals
will continue to be deductible here,
though he’ll now pay tax
on what’s left of his actual
teeth in Bermuda.
The good fifty percent of his lungs
he’ll be allowed set up
as an independent company
in the British Virgin Islands,
while the useless half will legally
continue to be Irish.
His nausea will remain ours,
though his enormous appetite
will now officially live on the more
glutton-friendly Isle of Man.
His beleaguered liver will continue
to be officially resident here,
while his still superefficient
bowels will spend enough time in Switzerland
to pay (hardly any) tax there.
The scar above his left buttock,
acquired when he toppled through a glass door
backwards, circa nineteen seventy three,
will continue to be deductible here,
while the balance of his bum –
in surprisingly good condition for a man his age,
though he says so himself – declares
its vast income at an office
in Wilmington, Delaware.
Elsewhere, I am extending the relief on brown leather
trousers and industrial strength lawnmowers
for fat couples with Anglo-Norman sounding names
in the better bits of Kildare for another five years.
There is agreement across the political consensus
it’s essential such people are given sufficient incentives
to keep doing
whatever it is they supposedly do.
after Leo Varadkar, W.B. Yeats, & Enda Kenny
We are for the Ireland that rolls
laughing out of its bed every morning, those
whose national anthem is the alarm
clock exploding on the bedside locker and it still dark;
who, even August bank holidays, are
in the shed before five a.m.
fashioning origami former Garda
commissioners, or writing violin concertos in praise
of the Little Sisters of the Bon Viveur,
Blessed K.T. Whittaker and anyone else
who got up ridiculously early
to make this country what it
We represent those who know should they fall
up a ladder, or for some other reason –
be it insanity or baldness –
be unable to properly function,
we in government will do nothing
except, if they’re lucky, repeatedly
knee them in the nasty bits.
We whose ancestors have eaten
the still throbbing heart of General O’Duffy
(or at least what we thought was his heart)
now see leaflets tumbling through respectable letter boxes
in which cretin and comedian crow their gutless song,
their arguments a bladder bloated with animal blood.
We say, down the disposal pipe
with all these and their cries
of avarice and failure,
those who engage in wilful wastage of water
by sitting there all day – the jets
fizzing up their crevices –
in Jacuzzis given them
by the tax payer.
Drown them in the tank
and bill them for their own extinction,
for they are weasels who’d drink
of your chickens until they’re dry.
We are for people who look both ways twice
when crossing the road
and remember where they left their keys.
Statement from Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors
QUICK AND CHEAP METHOD OF “FULL INCLUSION” ALREADY EXISTS
RESULTS PRESENTED TO THE INQUIRY SEVERAL MONTHS AGO
The Government and particularly Minister Zappone are deliberately stalling with their so called “scoping exercise”. They were presented with a solution almost a year ago.
The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors presented the Inquiry with a simple and easy method to include all survivors almost a YEAR AGO. Minister Zappone and the Department of Children have also been presented with our plan and it was made public long ago.
Briefly, CMABS have strongly recommended that the Inquiry should extend it’s use of the “sampling” method already in place as part of it’s Terms of Reference. If the Inquiry and Government agrees to ‘sample’ as little as 6 institutions and a situation, then all survivors would be included in the Inquiry. While this would not be entirely satisfactory, the priority at this time has to be including all living survivors while there is still time before our ageing community passes away. The survivor community have been pro actively presenting workable solutions for the Inquiry from before it even began.
Statement from the Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors
IT IS TIME FOR IRELAND TO FINALLY DEAL WITH
THE REALITY AND LEGACY OF IT’S TREATMENT OF SINGLE MOTHERS AND THEIR BABIES
SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE STATE
SURVIVOR COMMUNITY DEMAND ACTION INSTEAD OF WORDS
Now that the work of historian and heroic campaigner Catherine Corless has been vindicated in the eyes of the world, it is time for immediate action on the part of the Government to meet with the survivor representatives to resolve the serious outstanding issues faced by our ageing and overwhelmingly elderly community. We have sadly witnessed many of our active members pass away without ever seeing a personal resolution to their many years of often heartbreaking campaigning work. In this instance, justice delayed is justice permanently denied.The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors have contacted the Taoiseach’s office to request that Enda Kenny immediately meet with representatives of the survivor community to resolve the outstanding issues facing elderly, and dying Irish citizens, who have been through enough in their lives and who need acknowledgement and some substantive movement by the Government before it too late for them.
All of our community universally acknowledges and salutes the trojan work of Catherine Corless over many years. Others needed proof but we never doubted Catherine for a minute. We trust that now that it is shown that Tuam, the 5th biggest of the 9 Mother and Baby homes, did indeed see 796 infants and children die over it’s lifetime, that Ireland acknowledge the real scale of the horror of Mother and Baby homes. CMABS have attached a Fact Sheet to this email with confirmed deaths and conservative estimates of yet unknown numbers of babies who died from neglect and indifference. It is absolutely clear that, and CMABS would like to stress that this is a conservative estimate, at least 6,000 babies, children and mothers died in Ireland’s now globally notorious Mother and Baby homes.
The attached Fact Sheet reveals the newly researched, registered deaths that occurred in Castlepollard Mother and Baby home as well as the first release of any figures for Stillbirths in any of the M&B homes. These forgotten babies who never drew breath have previously been overlooked but they deserve the same attention and sorrow as any other human being. These tragic infants were as deserving of life as any other survivor and must not be forgotten. They are our crib mates and our community will not forget them.
CMABS primary goal is the Full Inclusion of all living survivors in the current Commission of Inquiry. It is deeply unfair and hurtful to our community that so many of our fellow survivors have been omitted from the Inquiry. The real issue here is Ireland’s treatment of single mothers and their babies, not what happened to some of them behind the High Walls of the Mother and Baby homes. There cannot be a hierarchy of survivors, we are all equal and we need immediate FULL INCLUSION for all survivors.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, we await your urgent response…
CMABS & friends