Phew! The Global Financial Crash has passed!

brken-bankIreland’s broken banks are fixed, backed by future tax take. The bankers are safe and secure. The Oireachtas Banking Enquiry is finished. The economy is on the rise and unemployment is going down, which means we can pay off that massive debt. We have it well covered. But, just in case the party peters out, let’s be prudent and keep a few billion for a rainy day for when the hangover comes around again. After all, a storm can blow up pretty quickly.
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Meals On Wheels Network: An Important Community Response

The IRL-led initiative in launching a national Meals On Wheels Network in September of last year is an attempt to respond to an important and long-standing need to strengthen and coordinate the efforts of the many organisations delivering a meals on wheels service to older and housebound people in the community around Ireland.

 
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Leaders must shout STOP

  • 147,000 per year as president of a volunteer non governmental organisation!
    A salary of €295,000, a pension contribution of €150,000, a €60,000 bonus and €30,000 director’s fee total
  • €535,000 for a general secretary signed off by the leader of that non governmental membership organisation!

There is a great danger that the IFA fiasco will have further collateral impact on voluntary, community and charity organisations in terms of public perception.

While Michael Fitzmaurice TD was naive in his statement that “down through the years” in the IFA senior positions in the organisation were effectively unpaid” (http://www.thejournal.ie/ifa-general-secretary-salary-2456214-Nov2015/) it has come as a surprise to realise that the president of the IFA gets 5 times the average farmer’s income to lobby for the poor in the farming sector. While the president of the biggest farming organisation is supported to continue the running of his (and it’s always a ‘his’) farm and provided with expenses very few farmers realised that the president also gets paid.
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European projects: Understanding their Long Term Purpose

I am taking the opportunity of this blog post to reflect on what I have learned from my involvement in European projects.

I have been active in a number of European projects. Presently I am active in a five partner two year project DIMA (Cyprus, Ireland, Slovenia, Belgium, and Slovakia) developing a toolkit for management and evaluation of adult education. This builds on REGIONAL (http://www.regionalproject.eu Comparative Analysis of Regional Policies for Adult Learning), a two year six partner, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Serbia, project that developed a toolkit for adult learning policy makers. Prior to that I was a member of a two year six partner, Italy, Spain, Italy/Sicily, Ireland, Slovakia, EKWALS (Enhancing Knowledge Workers’ Adult Learning Solutionshttp://www.ekwalslearningsolutions.com/)  project looking at adult learning solutions for aging knowledge workers. When I look at it now there is a pattern in the topics and the groups.
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Addressing Future Demands

Last week’s budget announcement from Minister Howlin and Noonan offers little comfort to people living alone in isolated rural areas especially the elderly. We seen very modest increases to the old age pension, fuel allowance and the 75% increase to the Christmas bonus but Irish Rural Link question the impact these measures will have on the most isolated in society. The allocation of funding for 600 new Gardaí recruits and surveillance operated is seen as some little comfort in the short term to people living in fear of roaming gangs but acknowledge it is a starting point. These 600 recruits are not additional support for An Garda Síochána instead they are compensating for the reduction in Garda numbers over the last five years. The latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show there was an 8.4pc increase in burglaries during the 12 months up to the end of June 2015. It is not just the rise in burglaries that is worrying but it is the increasingly violent nature of these criminal gangs that most fears rural residents.http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/crimejustice/2015/recordedcrime_q12015.pdf). An Garda Síochána are working to their full capacity with the limited resources available to them and in the past week they have arrested a criminal gang in Limerick believed to be responsible for a series of robberies around the country. (http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/fifth-man-arrested-in-rural-crime-crackdown-31611490.html) Continue reading“Addressing Future Demands”

Over-the-counter cash limits show how those with little money matter little still.

There is a date in the future when the good people in bank of Ireland will have moved on and be replaced by some kind of artificial intelligence. These will probably look like human beings, but will clearly lack the traits necessary to denote humanity. It will not be surprising then if they make decisions on a regular basis that on the face of it will exclude the concerns of ordinary people.

Their decisions will look like the one announced on Tuesday, by the Bank of Ireland to limit the interaction between human beings for tasks such as lodging or taking out sums of money over the counter. They will happily justify paperless billing, even though not everyone uses or has access email, either because they have no internet connectivity or they have not learned how to use it. The corporate message, completely devoid of irony will promote the new era of modern banking and in a very subtle way smooth over the concerns and practical difficulties which this will cause to some of its customers.

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