A tale of two Irelands

 

A chara, – Your report “Emotions high at Dublin Airport as emigrants fly out” (Alison Healy, Home News, January 3rd January) made for good preparatory reading before we headed to the airport with our daughter who was returning to Wellington in New Zealand after a Christmas break.

Having listened to our Government, with the assistance of a somewhat compliant media, spout much guff over the last while concerning the success of The Gathering and the country’s exit from the bank bailout, your report highlighted the current situation for many families.

There are now two Irelands. There is Establishment Ireland where The Gathering, the exit from the bank bailout, Nama, ongoing high salaries and pensions, property taxes, water charges and severe health and social welfare cuts are hailed and generally reported as positive successes for the long-term benefit of all. While there is also Hidden Ireland, where emigration, massive personal debt, unemployment, severe poverty and homelessness – all with resultant stress, health and even suicidal issues are played down and receive minimal government or media comment.

It is time for people to be made aware of and recognise the scale of Hidden Ireland. For that to happen we need a media that does not simply portray and highlight Government soundbites and press releases as fact. Your report from Dublin Airport was a much-needed and welcome antidote to last year’s constant positive Gathering hype.

If there is a single New Year resolution appropriate for 2014 it is that Hidden Ireland is now given as much attention as Establishment Ireland. Only then will we be able to begin to make any inroads into resolving our current situation for the equal benefit of all. – Is mise,

EF FANNING,

Whitehall Road,

Churchtown,

Dublin 14.