This week three years ago I lost my job in the construction sector here in Ireland. It's funny, it happened the week after our Summer break, and although rumours were abound that things were bad, the fact that we didn't receive our marching orders before the break made us think that perhaps work up until Christmas was a possibility.
I never was much for the materialistic things in life, but during that break I decided to place a deposit on a house and lay roots, or so to speak. Fortune favoured me on that occasion as the builder gave me back the deposit and I was spared paying for an overpriced house on dole payments, something that is overwhelming thousands on this island at present. I counted my lucky stars on that one.
For the past three years I've survived. In the great scheme of things, however life comes about and deals its cards, to say I've been lucky would be a fair statement. Sure things like the car and holidays had to go, but I got the chance to explore some possibilities that would not have been possible but for this everlasting recession.
It's well documented on this blog what Ireland has been through this past few years. It's fair to say I haven't held back even if that meant perhaps not doing myself many favours. Because Ireland is that kinda land. The ability to schmooze will always get you far in this country. It's a characteristic I detest, and after all, what's the point in having a voice if one is not prepared to use it.
This week I have been looking over many correspondences I have had with politicians, training bodies, educational bodies and the such over the past few years. Basically looking for guidance on options opened to me here in Ireland. I got very little.
But it did cement in me a fact I had been denying even to myself over the past few years. That Ireland, for all her promise, is a place best vacated at this stage. Yesterday after a few long conversations I decided enough was enough. It's time for a change and it's time to set the ball rolling toward making the trip millions have taken from these shores over the centuries and see if one can't prosper a little further afield. I guess I've known for the past six months it was becoming a reality, but you still live for that little bit of serendipity that speckles areas of life at times.
Preferred destination is Australia and with contacts over there now who are going to weigh in with a little help, all going well, within the next 6 months it's time to get what's left of life moving again. I think the gut wrencher is the family you leave behind, but it's made easier knowing that we can still talk via Skype and that even at its worst, I'm still just a day away.
But no matter how good it all sounds, it's not right, not for me and not for the thousands who have left already, the thousands in a process like mine and the hundreds of thousands who unfortunately have to stay to be bled dry by a political system so wayward even Col. G would be proud. Am I over-reaching? It depends on what you know, I guess. Take the front line and media held view about Ireland and yes, I'll be accused of an overreach.
But those who look a little further know the score. How we have been failed time and time again by the established order for almost 100 years now. Poverty, literacy rates, homelessness, major social problems, gangland, you know what, the list goes on and on and bloody on. Again I've tried to document it here on the blog from time to time.
It's my intention to put some skin on the Don Booker character before I leave and perhaps make a few subtle points before I head. Why not, it's not like there is a lot to lose at this stage. In time I'll compile the past few years into something readable. Just what the world wants, hey? Another bloody book!!
I think the Irish people have been treated like fools for too long. We live in a country where accountability exists only for the small guy. The public service and political system stink with cronyism. And the sad thing is, we are further away from what those who died to give us our identity wanted for us today, than the day they signed away their lives when they put their names to our constitution.
I wrote this post some time ago and it's still my belief that until Ireland embraces this with all it's heart and with the will of the majority of her people then we stain the memory of that sacrifice. But on a planet hell bent on self destructing they are but the ideals of a dreamer, or a crazy fool, whatever the case may be. I'm happy to be labeled both.