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No More Deaths On Our Streets # 2

category dublin | crime and justice | feature author Monday September 19, 2005 10:31author by blanch4life Report this post to the editors

Guns, drugs, work and the future of life in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

In response to the death of Mark Glennon, the following article appeared on the Indymedia newswire under the byline Blanch4life. While the crime reporters for the rest of the media can report breathlessly about the "westies" and the politicians and Guards can outdo each other with get tough responses, this article looks at why the trade that Mark Glennon and his brother supposedly died over took such a hold in D15 and what the celtic tiger is actually delivering for those who have jobs. People protested in Dublin this weekend at the deaths of two people left behind by our Celtic Tiger economy, and tried to find out why some citizens in the North are so alienated - who'll speak for those riding the tiger out in Blanch?

"So, what's the answer to all this? How do you stop young men becoming involved in gang culture? The traditional left wing answer is that the area is economically depressed, a 'blackspot', and needs more investment in jobs as well as extra Garda on the beat to combat crime. This may have been true in the 80's and even up to the mid 90's, but it is a blinkered response to the reality of Blanchardstown today. The Celtic Tiger is there in full effect..."

From the Newswire: The full Article

The Glennons are dead. The drugs live on.

People were coming in early evening last week saying that someone had been shot in Hartstown. It didnt take long to find out exactly who it was. I cant say I shed any tears - I dont imagine that many others did either. Several years ago Mark Glennon and his brother "Madser" (Andrew) had assaulted a member of my immediate family during a large altercation between two groups of people outside a social night. The ferocity and intensity of the attack was pretty shocking at the time, but I suppose in the context of who they were and the reputation they cultivated for themselves, anything less would have been a surprise.

When Madser was shot near the gap between Huntstown and Clonee (only 50 metres or so from a local primary school) in April, the greater Blanchardstown area sighed a collective breath of relief - but only for a second. Since his days of growing up in Fortlawn in Mountview, he had always sought to live up to his nickname, which reputedly was given to him when he drank a bottle of spirits when he was only 11 (this of course may be bullshit, but so the story goes). After dropping out of Blakestown school, he got involved in low-level drug dealing and sank into the crap career criminal lifestyle - which largely consists of sitting around drinking, watching daytime TV, nursing meaningless grudges which inevitably lead to violent retribution, and neverending speculation on other members of the same subculture, expanding to their brothers, sisters, and partners (exacerbating their complete detachment from the wider society around them).

The public relief of seeing another drug dealer shot dead by others is always a guilty feeling. And in the cycle of violence, everyone knows in their heart that it is not the end. There is the opinion, expressed openly in our work canteen the day after the shooting of Mark, that as long as they were killing each other, who gives a fuck? Better they were all dead. The problem is that, unlike old-school "Ordinary Decent" criminals (certain amount of fuzzy truth in that, but I'll continue anyway), the Blanch crims are completely detached from the wider community, and do not give a shit about innocent people getting in the way of their vendettas. The machine gun attack early in the year at the door of the Blanchardstown Garda station sent a shiver down the spine of residents living south/east of the Snugborough Road extension, in the Village/Roselawn/Coolmine area, which is more prosperous than other parts of the suburb. The gang war was surfacing in places which had never experienced anything more threatening than a raucous bonfire. Over 50 rounds were discharged from a high velocity Uzi. Anyone in the vicinity could have been seriously injured or killed.

So, what's the answer to all this? How do you stop young men becoming involved in gang culture? The traditional left wing answer is that the area is economically depressed, a 'blackspot', and needs more investment in jobs as well as extra Garda on the beat to combat crime. This may have been true in the 80's and even up to the mid 90's, but it is a blinkered response to the reality of Blanchardstown today. The Celtic Tiger is there in full effect. There are greater job and educational prospects than ever. The IDA, after years of granting massive tax breaks to multinationals, nurtured the growth of some of the biggest industrial estates in the country to the north and west of Corduff (the 'Westies' heartland) including Snugborough, Ballycoolin, Rosemount, the Corporate Park, Damastown, etc. Every hi-tech giant you care to mention has a base there. At one point the local papers were referring to it as "Ireland's Silicon Valley". Many local people, including the long term unemployed, have found work in these factories. During my time there in various manufacturing jobs, it was almost something to be proud of to list off the different places you'd worked in around the area. Despite Joe Higgins' antipathy towards US multinationals, without them his constituency would be in less healthier shape. Also, after years of crying out for a third level facility, the Institute of Technology is running smoothly, and increasing in numbers every year.

So unemployment is at an all time low, there are openings and finance for further education, and there are 05 cars parked in the driveways of council homes. Why are there still criminals in Blanchardstown? How are they making enough money to buy themselves houses, foreign holidays and fast cars? Yes, the economic situation has changed. But whats often glossed over is the nature of many of these new economy/tech sector jobs. They may provide a stable income (as long as you're not a temp or on contract - as many are) but in many cases, especially for people in the entry level positions, the work is painfully, brutally, soul-destroyingly mind-numbingly BORING. No amount of champagne announcements of new jobs created by the Dept of Trade & Enterprise will ever compensate for the fact that these jobs are menial, repetitive, unchallenging, and ultimately degrading. But this is never talked about - after all, if everyone's working, surely they're happy?

This cuts to the core of many of the social problems in Irish modern society. I remember working in one of these much-lauded tech sector jobs about seven years ago. I was nothing. A robot, an automaton, doing the same 5-second task over, and over, and over again for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (plus overtime, which in many cases you didnt have a choice to refuse - people that did were let go a few weeks later). But on Fridays, I was let loose, with a new fat wad of cash sitting in my bank account, waiting for the first of many ATM withdrawals over the weekend. At times on the job I thought I was losing my mind. What better way to deal with it than go out on the town and get completely fucked out of my mind, a mental prison for most of the week, on whatever drink and drugs I could get my hands on? In the factory, there was a seeming never ending supply of yokes, coke, trips, napps, smack, hash, grass. I knew exactly who was selling what, and who was higher up the food chain as well. I was conscious of who these people were and their reputation in the neighbourhood as scumbags destroying the community, but I didnt care. I just wanted to be out of my working week mental state, and drugs (ecstasy) were the best way of doing this for me. The dirty underbelly of the Tiger is a huge rise in the consumption of recreational drugs from the early to mid 90's onwards. Cocaine, a 'status' drug because of its relative expensive price, has been seized in larger quantities every year.

This is the same with alcohol for our society at large. In a society that values working 40+ hours a week, and a 'career', above genuine time with your family, friends, and space to do absolutely nothing if you wish, alcohol is always going to be the answer. We're all working more and making higher wage packets - but we've no time to enjoy it. More than a hundred years after Haymarket, the concept of an 8 hour day being enough to keep society afloat has not been improved upon. Surely with technological advances with labour saving devices, we should all be working 4 hours a day. This doesnt feed into a system based on profit however. There's lot of talk at the moment of the loss of 'social capital', but this is debated in the same abstract stratosphere as debates surrounding the work/life divide. There is never any conscious examination of the working life at its base. Merely encouraging people to spend more time with their families or gettting active in leisure without facilitating the possibility of them doing so in legislation, means any posturing by politicians about the effect of the commuter lifestyle on communities will only be waffle-vote-talk. Imagine the response from the likes of IBEC if the State legislated for a maximum 20, 25, or 30 hour week (or even 35!).

Seriously though, in reality, short of a complete change in the way our working society operates, what is the answer to stopping gang culture? Another possible answer is legalising the drugs that provide the gangs with capital. If drugs were readily available from chemists, the bottom would fall out of the market for dealers. Inevitably this would lead to a higher drug consumption rate among the public, as legality = acceptability, but maybe then the drugs would be safer, and you wouldnt have people killing each other for them. I dont ever recall a turf war over cans of Dutch Gold. The problem here is that you might have more people killing each other _on_ drugs, thus exacerbating the problem of the 2am warzone on some city streets (for origins of this conflict, see previous paragraphs). The Irish culture of over-indulgence would not sit well with Class A's either.Nevertheless, poitical leaders rarely stick their head above the trenches when it comes to the drug war. Intelligent open debate and questioning are met with knee-jerk responses and gombeen party point-scoring. Reactionary groups like the National Parents Council fire off press statements about the potential devastating effect on our kids - despite the fact they're all already down the local scrub ground mad out of it. So any possibility of opening up discourse on this level of solution gets nipped very early.

If we legalise drugs, wont the gangs just move on to something else? Perhaps. Long before drugs were around, criminals werent sitting around waiting for consumer society to splurge out on chemical reality denial. Extortion, bank robberies, currency forgeries, media piracy, smuggling, gambling, prostitution, blackmail, car ringing, scams, burglaries and so on are undeniably more EXCITING to a youngster than packing boxes for 40 hours a week. If we're serious about reaching solutions to drugs, we need to look at the reasons why people are doing them. What kind of a society are we building here? Are we employing people in meaningful, varied, thoughtful and skilled positions - or are their lives turned over to multinational wage slavery? Are we happy with spending a third of our lives in work, and another large chunk preparing for work, commuting, and trying to unwind afterwards? What kind of future do we want - and what will happen in five years time when all the tech companies leave? What will Blanchardstown be left with when the industrial estates start to close down? Will there be a community there to pull through the bad times together - or will everyone be too busy getting off their face?

Blanchardstown Garda Station, site of Glennon brothers machine gun attack earlier in the year.
Blanchardstown Garda Station, site of Glennon brothers machine gun attack earlier in the year.

The Brookwood Inn in Corduff, ex-Westies hangout and general all around hard bastard's pub.
The Brookwood Inn in Corduff, ex-Westies hangout and general all around hard bastard's pub.

Whitechapel, where Mark Glennon's killer is from, who is currently in hiding (along with his girlfriend).
Whitechapel, where Mark Glennon's killer is from, who is currently in hiding (along with his girlfriend).

The gap between Huntstown Wood & Clonee, where Madser was shot. About 100m from a primary school entrance.
The gap between Huntstown Wood & Clonee, where Madser was shot. About 100m from a primary school entrance.

author by Dermotpublication date Fri Dec 15, 2006 05:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it's all down to the parenting in early years I believe. Parenting classes should be compulsory in secondary schools. Ask any scumbag how often they were hugged or how often they heard encouraging words from the Mammy and Daddy and you'll find 'Never' is the reponse. But they're spoilt rotten in other ways. Look at all the money that's being spent in town at the moment on kids for Xmas. I bet books on good manners aren't besellers this year. No, trampy clothes for toddlers and violent computer games are top of the list. And look at the carry on in the pubs at night. Alcoholism is rampant among our young but it's so socially accepted and has been for decades. Guinness has a shrine in James ST to their drug and noone cares because we're all brainwashed into thinking it's okay.. It's a bleeding tourist trap. Unlike the Glennons and their ilk, Guinness has a respectable facade. Show me just one family in Ireland that has not been touched by alcoholism? 'Tis the season to be jolly, jolly welled pissed more than usual. Holy Ireland I ask you.........it's the most depressing kip in the world but everyone is under the sad illusion that they're 'having the craic'........RIP Anthony Campbell. May his family find solace this week. Apologies for rambling all over the place but I'm in mourning for a country that's gone down the toilet.

author by tim - old friendpublication date Sun Dec 10, 2006 22:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i am an old friend of mark, the way you most peopl talk about him, what about his mam an dad, you all no that there looking at this an not one of you give a shit, an you call your selvs human bean,if any one of you had the hart the first thing to say , is i wonder how the famly
are getting on, how they kope wit it, an so on, ok mark
did what he did, but he is no sgum bag, to me at the momment the only sgum bag i can see is the like, of you talking about him an his brother the way you have been over the weeks, if there is a god an i hope there is he might have the hart to forgive the two lads as they never judged you as you are judging them,stop looking down on people an mind your own affairs, good look.

author by Paulpublication date Fri Dec 08, 2006 04:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im a Glennon
Related to Mark & Andrew. Never involved in crime, the same goes for all cousins and mark and andrews family.
Everybody misses the bigger picture here.. grow up being deprived of basic human rights such as education welfare system
etc.. this is what happens. Its not only blanch.. look at clondalkin, ballyfermot, tallaght,finglas..etc..!
I know mark and Andrew were no Angels.. but 80% of people in the areas mentioned above are'nt angels either.
Because of Poxy social policies from endless governments who have created ghettoes across west Dublin, all for backhanders.


author by blanchpublication date Mon Oct 16, 2006 00:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

2 more people died earlier from what looks like cocaine overdoses. link to news on the RTE site.

no end in sight...

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/1015/blanchardstown.html
author by .publication date Tue Oct 25, 2005 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excerpt from the article, link below: "Mark Glennon knew what was coming. He slept in a bullet-proof vest and his west Dublin council house was a fortress of bullet-proof glass, CCTV cameras and reinforced doors. To maintain his edge, and his trigger finger, he fuelled himself with cocaine.
But last month Glennon, 32, became the latest in a long line of drug dealers with reputations for extreme violence to be shot dead in Ireland's gangland wars. He was gunned down in broad daylight outside his home in Blanchardstown, Ireland's silicon valley, an area of conspicuous wealth."

I'd hardly call Blanch an area of "conspicuous wealth." Parts of it are comfortable in some ways but its not as if its Blackrock. The article lays it on thick a bit, especially the bit about "Some who lost kidneys in shoot-outs continued to wage war on their rivals unworried by their colostomy bags, pumping themselves with steroids to compensate for ill health." Its hardly 'some', its just one guy that suffered from this condition, Declan Curran, and he was from Finglas not Blanch (he died in Cloverhill Prison, aged 24).

Anyway, the full article is at the link below. Its similar in some ways to the one above. But I'm sure mainstream journalists would never lift an idea for a story from such a disreputable source as Indymedia Ireland... would they?

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1596102,00.html
author by Amused by all of Upublication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 15:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All your Pictures are wrong.........................................................................................................................................................

The Murderer of the Glennon Brother is locked up with his own brother.....

Ring Blanch Gardai Station if ya dont believe me.

The Glennon Brothers were not involevd in the attack outside the gardai station....

Ring Blanch Gardai Station if ya dont believe me.

And 1 last thing................

The truth can be found if you read any of Paul Williams Articles....

author by Deepublication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have read all of your comments and to be honest I do not disagree nor do I agree. Basically none of you live here in Blanch TODAY, maybe you did and you used to but do any of you live here now today?
Well I do, and I see what goes on each day, NO its not right.
You each have made your own point about the crime and drugs here in Blanch, but I still have yet to read one of you critics to comment on how the families of the these people are feeling and how they are coping. Two brothers were shot dead in the space of 4 months, yet you all seem to forget that these two brothers left behind alot of people that actually loved them.
These families did not wish them to be involved or wish them to be shot, they are the victims more so the people that are CHOOSING to buy drugs. None of us can act for what a member of our family has done, none of us can make up for what they done.
We can only suffer from what may come from it. Im am so sick of reading articles about drug selling, There is a better way of wording taht comment. Drug selling to children, well I could not even put that into words because of how wrong it is. But in Blanch, its not children taht is our problem, its young and middle aged adults that are walking the streets basically out of it. The dealer and the the person taking the drug is to blame for that.
Thank God all of you people have innocent families, I really am so happy for yous, But dont yous forget that some of families are not so lucky.
As for the Glennon families, myself as a mother, I could never imagine what their mother must be going through, How she is still breathing is beyond me.
Each of you should count yourselves as the lucky ones that no member of your family chose that road, And god forbid that they ever do, I really hope none of you have to suffer.
So the next time you decide to get on and critisize these people, remember these people are dead, its the ones left behind that your words are hurting..

author by Buckpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 04:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Roselawn is in Castlekcnock.

The parish is nearest to the church in Blanchardstown, but unlike the areas in Clondalkin that were rezoned to be parts of Lucan by Liam Lawlor, Roselawn has always been part of the barony of Castleknock.

Anyone not sure should ask the residents there.

No it is not a matter of "the price of the houses" if a lot of them plan to live there until they die.

author by Shipseapublication date Tue Sep 20, 2005 17:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A hacked-almost-to-death cliche but it is still true. If people dont engage on a personal or local level, how can they ever hope to influence the larger systemic failings referred to above (Seedot). Our complacency and inaction is a huge and integral part of the very system we'd like to see changed and there is an element of personal choice involved in that - a sort of collective laziness and/or hopelessness that its all too big and too complicated to tackle. We need to get off our backsdies. There is also the tendency among us to sneer at and scapegoat people who care enough to try. Virtually every story written on this news website boils down to the same core issue that underlies the discussion here: how to stop the greed and the corruption so that we regain some decency and humaity in the way we build and share our communities. (Not that there ever was any utopian era but things are really looking pretty bad right now). For instance, why on earth are the people of Blancardstwon not bringing the centre of Dublin to a halt about what the developlers are doing to their communities? Christ, if people won't even complain what chance is there? Get out there and get angry.

author by seedotpublication date Tue Sep 20, 2005 16:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. The article rejects the standard liberal/left wing answer that crime is simply a result of poverty that can be solved by economic growth. It says so explicitly.

2. The focus is not so much on the people becoming criminals as on the market for drugs. Since at least some of the commenteers here seem to believe in the market, surely they can accept that a demand will be met by suppliers - thats the free market way.

3. John from Dunaree states: "The quality of jobs has never been so high. ". This is the key element of the article - the quality of the jobs provided. I know of one multinational in Blanch that has a 5% monthly attrition rate in it's call centre - and it prides itself on being a good employer that pays well and hires direct labour. But the jobs are shite - and thats in the good employers. In the bad employers there are centres where average contract lengths are under 6 months, the call rates are over 140 per day and the main driver to contract rather than direct labour is the number of sick days from stress related illnesses.
This doesn't even look at wage rates which have seen nearly all of the GNP per Capita growth being taken up by the top quartile and the gap between top and bottom quartiles increasing.

The article does ask a lot of questions rather than giving answers - but not the ones that John and nerraw and Glen seem to imply. It's bigger things - like 'What type of society are we building' - all that social capital stuff that Robert Puttnam has been whispering in Berties ear. blanchie is right in relation to organising within communities - but maybe the problems are bigger and more systemic. It's over 30 years since Harry Braverman wrote "Labour and Monopoly Capital" and talked about deskilling and post-fordism but it's as relevant as ever out in Blanch - except now the workplace alienation is combined with the planning monstrosities that form Dublins exurbs.

But if we looked at these issues the soundbite solutions of either right or left seem stupid and shallow - so lets avoid that.

author by nerrawpublication date Tue Sep 20, 2005 14:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good article but they only have themselves to blame. I grew up in a similar area yet I didn't turn to drugs or crime.

And yet people who have gone down that route are claiming the dole, get free bus passes and get houses.

I have no sympathy for them. I worked my ass off, so too did my friends. No reason why the rest of them can't do the same.

There is always someone to blame..."oh we're working class no-one cares, Oh there is nothing for us to do, Oh I need a house as I have a baby."

Get off yer hole and earn it like the rest of us, working class etc

author by blanchiepublication date Tue Sep 20, 2005 05:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

there is the best part of 100,00 people in the greater blanch area, most of the gangland crime involves a handfull of people. The vast majority of us get on with our lives and building our communities. At the moment there's problems with rezoning (another 3,000 houses near hartstown without the sniff of facilities, schools etc). In tyrellstown and mullhudart people are organising against the double taxation of private management companies. If you live in the georgian village your grass is cut for free, if you live in affordable housing you pay extra!

There's a constant battle against developers without community in mind and constant battles to keep our community alive, the bin taxs blockades were just one small visible part to this. The only real challenge to the gangs is strong communities, there'll always be opportunistic scumbags (look at FF).

People should get involved in their communities and struggles rather than just complain. The more that get involved the more that can be done, there's no quick fix to violent crime. Only by building communities and trying to prevent more "madsers" from growing up like that will they be removed from society. there's more to life than 9 to 5.
Joe Higgins is a good man and does his best (along with the rest of his crew) but there is no replacement for real vibrant communities, until more get involved in their local problems they won't stop.

author by Glenpublication date Mon Sep 19, 2005 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well written article but you don’t really offer any solutions do you? No mention how these fucken scumbags managed to get to be top dogs? Surely SOMEONE must have seen a potential scumbag in the making at 11 or 12? What about Social Services, what about the police, what about the JLO’s ???????? None of these bastards give a fuck ‘cos it’s a working class area and NONE of them have to live there. Between the corrupt police and the middle class liberals of the Social Services, these areas are left to rot. It’s no wonder the locals get pleasure seeing the scumbags killing each other.

author by Shipseapublication date Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To reply to the comment above. Young people dont make the sort of informed choices you are talking about because they are discouraged from thinking for themselves. Conformity is the opioum of the Irish people. Where once it was unquestioning obedience to relgious masters, now it is mindless consumption and greed that are king. On another thread, a group of young people taking an active and principled interest in the world are actually being punished for it by their so called 'teachers' - with the approval of their parents in some cases.

State funded educators are now teaching young people that to care about anything is to be a trouble-maker.

Someone said it above, our politicians are obnoxious bullies practically to a person and we let them get away with it. They dont care what or who they trample on so long as a couple of people somehwere are making a profit. Nothing matters to them, not community, quality of life, decency, environment; nothing. They are openly sneering at us all .

Boycott the next general election. It makes no difference who you vote for, so dont vote for anyone. Isolate this parasitic and corrupt elite. Destroy the mandate.

author by Johnpublication date Mon Sep 19, 2005 01:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is just self-pitying whinging nonsense. Criminals are criminals because they make a conscious decision to be criminals. No one foces them to. Jobs have never been so plentiful. The quality of jobs has never been so high. Those whose intelligence results in them finding certain types of manual work boring and repetitive should get some sort of qualification and get a better job, one that will tax their brain. Like jobs, educational opportunities have never been so plentiful. The working week is at an all-time low, about 37 hours. In the 1960s it was 50 hours. People have far more leisure time than they ever had. Thats why golf courses, squash courts, tennis courts, keep-fit centres etc are opening everywhere. Its absurd to describe Dublin as the most dangerous city in Europe. Whats's the evidence for that? None. The homicide rate in Ireland is the lowest in Europe. The unemployment rate in Ireland is the lowest in Europe. The tax burden on new enterprises in Ireland is the lowest in Europe. Useless deadbeat socialists may not see that, but tens of thousands from abroad see it. That's why they're flocking to Ireland. Over 70,000 new immigrants in the past year alone. Socialists never do anything but whine? They whine from the moment they get out of bed until they go back to bed a few hours later. They whine about unemployment if there are no jobs available and they whine about the tyranny of work if there are jobs available. Being a socialist is a psychological disorder that results in the afflicted person being both permanently unhappy about everything in his life and permanently lacking in the enterprise or initiative needed to improve it. Socialism is for losers.

author by seedotpublication date Sun Sep 18, 2005 22:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

James Gogarty is buried tomorrow. Thanks to him we know how bad things actually were on the planning front and what decided on the location of all the homes that have been built for the people working in ballycoolin and snugborough and leixlip and citywest and all those other geographies of the celtic tiger.
Northside - Ray burke's pocket decided. Southside, Liam Lawlor. To the west, they seemed to share - but the people who never got a look in, the people who's needs were never considered are now bussing it to Liffey valley or the Square or Clare hall or some other consumption monstrosity when they want to buy food and doing drugs in big barns of public houses all round the M50.
James Gogarty may have been the bag man - but at least he proved what we thought was going on was only the half of it. RIP.

author by paupers body bagpublication date Sun Sep 18, 2005 19:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

of having to fly their loved ones &/or rivals back from foreign countries, but thanks to modern european cooperation on embalmbing and foresenic scientists costs have reduced over the last years. It now only costs an average of 16,000€ to 60,000€ per casket depending on the location of the deceased.

Many of us will indeed as Oscar Wilde joked of himself - "die beyond your means".

this not the way to pay the relevant social insurance contributions to guarantee your 635€  Bereavement Grant from the Dept of Family & Social concern.
this not the way to pay the relevant social insurance contributions to guarantee your 635€ Bereavement Grant from the Dept of Family & Social concern.

Related Link: http://www.mqi.ie/Home.shtml
author by bansheepublication date Sun Sep 18, 2005 14:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The option of a horse drawn hearse at funerals has been available to all Irish dead and their mourning loved ones since 1999. Their popularity here mirrored the peak in demand in the UK which followed the funeral of Lou Beale of the Eastenders series. One of the carriage builders still used in Ireland made their first hearse from a vehicle which orginally belonged to Lord Mountbatten with his crest of an anchor, cross and harp, and was sold to Ardmore Film Studios and can still be seen in occasional Hollywood movies (keep your eyes peeled).

The world of undertakers is generally regarded as a closed one, in the UK the almost guilded profession has long been associated with low ranking York rite freemasons and interstingly in Ireland virtually all funeral parlours boast one director who sits on the local FF cumann and indeed more than one funeral home owner has sat in the dail for FF. Recently ITV made a fine series on the british parlours see link for pdf

Legal restricitions apply to both motor limousines and horse drawn carriages. Mourners must be organised in groups of 7. And the transport of the corpse must have one driver and one extra whose job it is to cope with any unforseen little accidents (such as droping the casket whilst going over a bump).

Legal restrictions also apply to the land on which you may bury your loved one / rival. Plots vary in priced from 500€ to almost 1000€ depending on location, Dublin's most famous graveyards are now almost full, but the government working with the Irish association of funeral directors has opened new cemeteries throughout the state where the value of real estate is arguably the highest in the land, but there your loved one will count on limited security personel who keep an eye out for the unlikely event of someone spray painting "smack dealer" over the headstone.

It is important to remember that newspaper announcements are expensive, and if you want all the main suspects / rivals / loved ones to walk behind your remains you'll have to phone in your
advert well before hand, generally a quick call to the crime desk along the lines of "jayzhus we've a gang war here" will suffice to excite interest and reduce cost. Please note that according to the guidelines of the industry Funeral Homes will ensure that all advertising is sombre, dignified and in accord with the highest standards.

If you're not planning a horse drawn hearse and don't want the loved ones / rivals / suspects to line up and walk the walk behind your last statement, you probably never suceeded in competitive business and instead are looking to further task the tax payer.

In which case the you may be entitled to a Bereavement Grant (currently €635) from the Department of Social and Family Affairs where the person who died has paid the relevant social insurance contributions. If you are the insured person, it is also payable if the person who died is your spouse or dependent child. Employees, including civil and public servants, and self-employed are covered by this scheme.
(Don't forget to enclose the funeral bill and the death certificate (or newspaper notice) with the Application Form)

useful link:-

Paddy Hanley and Philip Ryan of Doon & Nenagh respectively who are proud to have re-introduced the tradition to Ireland.
Paddy Hanley and Philip Ryan of Doon & Nenagh respectively who are proud to have re-introduced the tradition to Ireland.

Related Link: http://www.bereavementireland.org/
author by reggie kraypublication date Sat Sep 17, 2005 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By the lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling,
Michael, they are taking you away,
For you stole Trevelyn's corn,
So the young might see the morn,
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.

CHORUS: Low, lie the fields of Athenry,

Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing,
We had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely round the fields of Athenry.
CHORUS: Low, lie the fields of Athenry,

By a lonely prison wall I heard a young man calling, Nothing matters Mary when you're free,
Against the Famine and the Crown,
I rebelled they ran me down,
Now you must raise our child with dignity.

CHORUS: Low, lie the fields of Athenry,


If we are to raise our children with dignity we need to recognise that a global trade in hard drugs prinicipally Heroin and Cocaine has for too long been dealt with most harshly at the level of those campesinos who grow the raw material and those underprivelaged first world citizens who problematically misuse these drugs. They die alone, and their remains are disposed of without horse hearse or plume. Such honours are reserved for a certain class of criminal, and have become increasingly popular in ireland in the last ten years. The last vulgar valedictory of a man who sought fear and in that thought he had found respect.

Reggie Kray would roll in his grave, he was old fashioned, a man who just pimped, menaced, gambled, stole, tortured and murdered {the criminologists assure us because he was a paranoid schizophrenic psychopath.} his way to fear / respect & the horse plume and hearse.

A pity, he could have been a fine executive or brilliant leader of business instead.

author by Brian Npublication date Sat Sep 17, 2005 05:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey a really good article. I was thinking you could expand the point somewhat and talk about whats happening in the wider community when the bulk of the population is so tied up with long work hours and the rest commuting. Its like there is a sort of negative cycle here I think. What I mean is imagine that workaholic guy taking a few weeks off work and trying to 'find himself' on the streets of that area rather than being at work. What he finds is that the whole community has died around him because everybody has been at work. Arts centres or public libraries or whatever are pretty dead places because nobody ever goes there during the day (or at nite on weekdays) so if he visits them he will find everybody staring at him wanting to know who is this person who isnt at work. This kind of thing happens I think to housewives say who stop working. They find there is no community left out there so they find their brains rotting more out of work than in work!

Most of the local activists who might be trying to organise a campaign to save a green area or build a swimming pool or whatever find that hardly anybody turns up at their protests because again so many are tied up with work/commuting etc so they kinda give up which is another nail in the local community life. Also a lot of people might be ill informed about those kind of political issues because of course again the workaholic guy dosent have time to read up on those things in depth but instead can only catch a headline in a daily newspaper or a national radio station and they might be misinforming people rather than the opposite. Its like they say that the price of democracy is eternal vigilance and if you have no time for that then its not surprising democracy goes downhill.

This is an important point because I think a lot of people just dont realise to what extent their understanding of events or issues might be mistaken. I mean i dont know much about the gangs in Blanch. but I think if you follow events in Donegal etc you might find it unwise to believe everything the Garda press office churns out on the subject .(the media on policing issues generally only prints out what that office have sent them so there is usually no real difference between the media story and the garda's story I think.) To be honest with the level of surveillence etc that the gardai have access to I find it very hard to believe that anybody could successfully go into hiding in Dublin but I guess its possible.

Anyway I will stop waffling I thought it was a good article anyways and the first of many of many I hope!

author by sofiapublication date Sat Sep 17, 2005 02:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if this week an 80% sample of the Irish population when polled expressed the opinion that housing should not be made more accesible to problem drug users and that homeless people had made a lifestyle choice, how many of a selected sample of 1006 Irish adults would express strong approval for shooting of hard drug dealers?

author by Ex-Corduff Headpublication date Fri Sep 16, 2005 20:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a person who grew up in Corduff as a kid (escaped at 20!), this article tells it as it is (was). I would add that the multinational companies that first came in the early 80’s (and 90’s?) left a trail of damage behind them. They came for the 5 year tax breaks available at that time and usually ‘closed’ before the 5 year time limit – MosTech Inc a case in point. Workers borrowed heavy (mortgage, car, etc) on the strength of the so called secure jobs. They were left with massive debts/loans with no way of paying them. The obvious consequences ensued.

Let’s not forget the environmental impact caused by the building of these massive factory buildings. Blanchardstown was once a vast and beautiful countryside with many natural habitats. It’s nothing more than a massive capitalist ‘city’ now.

author by Con Carrollpublication date Fri Sep 16, 2005 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

fed uplistening to the do gooders ands poverty pimps I see every day the activity on the board walk, I live in flats complex in Dublin 8 and see the scum who sell cocaine and heroin in Dublin their attitude is we can do what we want. they go off to expensive holidays,
whatever happened to the rights of children and eldery who have a right to live in drug free communitties
no sympathy for the scum involved in shooting each other about who controls the drugs trade my attitude let them at it the more the better.

author by iosafpublication date Fri Sep 16, 2005 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its just I've argued with others on this site so many times on the need for the gardaí to be armed against the samurai sword club of raheny that the use of an UZI in the blanch by [non garda members] seems worthy of comment. Perhaps they bought it on Ebay?
Perhaps they borrowed it from a neighbourhood community liason garda? Perhaps they just nicked it off the police instead? Perhaps they have pals in Israel who collect them along with the amunition?
Who knows. anyway, spraying (& you can only spray things with UZIs) a garda station with an UZI seems a clear way of making a point on arms in the community issues.

This is a great article.
Provocative, Real, Challenging, and great photos.
Thank you. Hope you do another.

author by normalserpublication date Fri Sep 16, 2005 15:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

excellent article. check out the below link for some great articles in the same vein.

Related Link: http://www.prole.info
author by ==publication date Fri Sep 16, 2005 15:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's a big part of the problem though. The vast majority of our "rulers" are intellectually inferior to those on mainland Western Europe. The kind of person who succeeds at Irish electoral politics is a bully. Think of any Fianna Fail, Fine Gael or PD T.D. you are familiar with. The vast majority fall into this category. They would be better off as managers of GAA football teams then running the country. These guys simply work for their friends - builders & publicans and have absolutely no moral problem with war, poverty or environmental destreuction. This is why we live in a country where there are

more golf courses than playgrounds
teenagers from 14 up drinking too much
heroin epidemics in working class areas
no bicycle lanes
no "wild parks" in which to take a walk

Can you imagine any politician who would actually care about these issues. Take Tom Parlon for example. Living in whatever mansion he lives in it doesn't matter to him about the quality of peoples lives. For him everything comes back to money. Give people more money and they can go on more holidays to Spain, buy a second car, get more clothes, get a nose job...

Basically Dublin no more than Blanch or any other part of the city is a shithole. It's probably the most dangerous city in Europe. As Blanch4life shows they build housing estates and nothing else. The builder isn't responcible for anything else and the politician doesn't care because he sold the builder the land to build the houses. In every postal district in Dublin there should be:

a skateboard park
an ice rink
outdoor chess boards
cycle lanes
wooded areas
somewhere to Swim
somewhere to play in water

The Celtic Tiger will come and go and quality of life will only marginally improve. Whoose to blame? Politicians and the people who put them there for looking to England and USA for inspiration and not looking to societies where there is low

drug abuse
teenage pregnancy
alcohol abuse among youth
completion rates for education

To be honest I was like Blanch4life too working in factories in another west dublin suburb. If it wasn't for the ecstacy I probably would have gone insane or turned into an alcoholic. And I wasn't the only one...

What's Tom Parlons advice for me: Go off to Australia & Thailand for a year and spend it gettting wasted on drink and drugs. Then you'll find youself and come home to be a good corporate citizen. Yeah right!

The revolution can't come fast enough.

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