Mutton Island at dawn

Mutton Island at dawn

Monday, April 20, 2015

At least I've woken up

http://ciarantierney.com



When the politicians started colluding with the bankers and the developers, I did not speak out.

When they went into a frenzy, an "orgy of greed", I did not speak out.

When they locked themselves in a tent at the Galway Races, flying over our heads in helicopters and laughing at the peasants outside, I did not speak out.

When the bank manager persuaded the family member to buy a property he could not afford, I did not speak out. (Sure, everyone told us it was the "smart time to buy".)

When the economy collapsed, because of those bankers and developers, I did not speak out.

When faceless bondholders were prioritised over ordinary people, I did not speak out.

When my nation lost its sovereignty, and the ECB and IMF came to town, I did not speak out. (I was watching from Nicaragua, where people seemed to have a better idea of what was happening than the people back home.)

When almost an entire generation moved to Canada and Australia, just as most of mine moved to London or America in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I did not speak out.

When the Government imposed a Universal Social Charge, I did not speak out.

When it added a Local Property Tax, I did not speak out.

When my pay was cut, I did not speak out.
Carrying the coffin of Irish Water

When young people were asked to work for €50 a week, I did not speak out. (The cynical among us called it ScamBridge, not JobBridge.)

When I saw old people lying on trolleys in a dangerously overcrowded Emergency Department, I did not speak out.

When it took me six months to get over a procedure which should have taken six weeks - because of the state of my local public hospital - I did not speak out.

Sitting in long queues, day after day, it was clear that fear was a motivating factor. Who wants to complain out loud, when a loved-one is waiting on a list for life-saving treatment?

When a single mum was thrown in prison because she could not afford a TV licence, I did not speak out.

When none of the bankers, developers or politicians who caused the crash seemed to face any punishment, I did not speak out.

When bankers started evicting ordinary, decent people from their homes, I have to admit I did not speak out.

When a bank which is 99.8% State owned asked for a third of the workers at my firm to be let go, I did not speak out.

When the TV news and the newspapers seemed to ignore the despair all around me, I did not speak out.

When the videos circulating on YouTube and Facebook never seemed to appear on the TV, I did not speak out.

When Irish Water was set up and the senior executives decided they were worth €200,000 per year, I did not speak out.

When others pointed out that Irish people already pay for their water, well, I agreed with them but I did not speak out.

When the people at the top of Irish Water decided to award all the plum jobs to their best friends, I did not speak out.

When there were huge question marks about how the contract was awarded to install the water metres, I did not speak out.

When people in Roscommon could not even drink their water, I did not speak out.

When protesters were hauled from their beds in 7am dawn raids, I did not speak out.

When the 'Public Order Act' was invoked against people who objected to a private company installing water metres right outside their homes, I did not speak out.

When people were arrested just for standing on footpaths, I did not speak out. 

But, when the water metres arrived, and I finally decided to go and join a protest march, I became a subversive, labelled as a member of the “Sinister Fringe”. 

When I met 100,000 others who felt like me, I was told it was an attack on democracy. That we were undermining everything people should hold sacred about Irish life.

Some people might say it's too late . . . but I’m suddenly quite glad that, at long last, at least I’ve woken up!


For journalism work, social media strategies, content writing, 'ghost' blogging, or public relations, contact Ciaran at ciaran@ciarantierney.com


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