Sunday, April 20, 2008


Life in the Commuter Belt

As the Spokesperson on Commuter Belt Issues I've started a major survey of life in Commuter belt towns. Over the next two weeks we will be sending out leaflets to towns in Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. In all, up to 80,000 households will receive a questionnaire from myself and the local Councillor for the area, asking questions about health, education, crime, planning and entertainment facilities in their area.

Up to now there has been little real research undertaken on Commuter Belt issues. I'm hoping that the feedback will give us a real grounding for understanding concerns and more importantly, allow us to develop policies to improve the quality of life for residents of the Belt.

The economy continues to be a concern with further announcements this week of job losses. A recent economic report on Ireland calls for more investment in areas such as education to help to maintain our economic growth. In the Seanad I pointed out that the report calls for more help to be given to lone parent families and that more needs to be invested into the education system.

The Nation buried our former President, Dr Paddy Hillery on Thursday morning. Dr Hillery was given a State Funeral, which I was privileged to attend. It as a well-
managed, respectful event and a fine way to mark his passing.

The week also saw the passing of a new Criminal Justice Bill. Its aim is to increase international co-operation for cross-border crimes. Minister Lenihan was in the House on Thursday for the debate, during which I spoke briefly on the benefits of the Bill.

I was in the Newgrange Lodge in Donore this week to open the latest art exhibition of one of our local artists. Many of the works on display resonated with the local landscapes - Newgrange, Oldbridge, the Boyne Canal. The opening was well attended was very enjoyable.

The Lisbon Reform Treaty is now less than two months away. We held a briefing night for our prospective canvassers on Friday in Kelly's of Ashbourne. The purpose was to increase people's knowledge of the treaty and agree on a strategy for spreading awareness of the benefits of the Treaty.

RE Commuter villages,Take the front page news on the Chronicle this week for instance. I cant get over those who defend the "youths".It is amazing how the bleeding heart social housing mentality emerges to defend them. There is 101 and one things they could be doing with their time rather than going around with artificial scumbag accents and wearing hoods in the middle of day to look and sound hard and intimidate everyone else and then say they are persecuted.

They could play golf or pitch and putt in Ashbourne or Dunshaughlin a 15 minute cycle away or a 5 minute drive. Do kids not have bikes these days?They could play GAA or soccer in ratoath. The could get jobs. They could do what most lads in their day did and a kick a football on a green area. They could get involved in local clubs or societies in the community centre. They could go into town. They could play playstation. But no instead they or others of a similiar description "allegedly" (using that word for the PC brigade) go around wrecking the place and abusing adults with foul language. They clearly called him a C and a F B, he should have been much wiser than to have lost his rag but still it is understandable why he did. Their behaviour was unacceptable and illegal as they used threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour in a public place which is a breach of public order.

The GAA facilties and soccer facilities in town are second to none, these are the people who wont get involved know matter what is provided. It funny how the real areas with no facilities out in the rural countryside never have these problems, lads get together and do some of the stuff i already mentioned and dont go around wrecking the place. I dont mean to generalise but take Kentstown, every month there is another car burnt out and dumped on the rural back roads nearby. These things did not happen until the new folk arrived (I am not tarring them all with same brush though). The natives made the best of what they did have. These guys on the other hand do not take any personal responsibility and blame the government for everthing.

50 years ago your family worked hard to get by and played football with your mates in a local field. You also certaintly did not go around dressing and sounding like you lived in a ghetto in South Central LA. You will think it sound archaic as society has gone that way but a weeks detention with reasonably hard labour in an army camp would knock them into shape. Instead we take the “no consequences” approach and wonder what is going wrong when we hear in the paper the “accused had 65 previous convictions”
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