87 Allen Park Road

                                                     Stillorgan

                                                                                                          Co. Dublin

                                                                                                          Ph:         (01)288 7651

                                                                                                          Fax:       (01)288 7228

                                                                                                          Email: gyrosak@indigo.ie

 

                                                                                                                   26th May 2004

 

Mr Eoin Ryan

23 Fitzwilliam Place

Dublin 2

 

Your visit to Stillorgan Shopping Centre

Dear Mr Ryan

 

Please accept my apology for my unethical approach to you this morning. I tend to loose all faith in mankind when I see the amount of apathy displayed by the media, politicians for the real situation as regards falling birth-rate in the so called Developed World. Forty years ago, there were 70% more births.

 

I was reared in a drapery shop in the west of Ireland. Children’s clothes were the main sellers. I left in 1969. My Dad died three years ago. He was still working at the age of 86. He was concerned that the sales of children’s clothes had plummeted in the late 80s and 90s. He was right. I found out that there were 4,500 less children in Mayo schools in 1999 than in 1985. A fall greater than the number killed in Northern Ireland since 1969. This in a county that should know what it is like to loose the cream of society i.e. our massive emigration/migration of our young people. Young men and women are the engine of any society. Dublin could get away with giving a grant for a school or old folk’s home to placate the people of Mayo. No infrastructure for the employment of young people was needed. A lot of the investment has being done from emigrant remittances, donations etc.

 

I tried to warn the investment fraternity here in Ireland about the changing global economy as a result of falling numbers of young people. I described in the Mayo Yearbook 2001, launched Dec 2000 how a drop of  £350bn of annual consumer spend was taking place in the EU(More than the total spend of the American army in Iraq to date). I advised that all Pension Fund, Investments be withdrawn from Stock Markets. You will find an article from the Western People which shows that not only peoples savings was lost, but also government taxation as a result of tax allowances for pension contributions. The GOVERNMENT SHOULD DISALLOW ANY TAX BREAKS FOR PENSION FUNDS THAT ARE INVESTED IN THE STOCKMARKET. Specific funds will rise, but the general trend is a depressed economic world. Otherwise as a businessman, I and hundreds of others see that such funds are ripe for plundering e.g. Inron, Parmalat etc

 

The Irish are blinded by wealth. We have a wide open economy. I heard a Leitrim woman saying recently that ‘After a Gatherer comes a Scatterer’.  We have lost EURO 15-20 Billion of savings. How much more will we loose before we cop on? It will take generations for the large EU economies to bounce back to positive growth. This will not happen until the problem of the birth rate is tackled. In 2001 I Emailed politicians, bankers, professors, etc. as to the hole that we were being sucked into.

 

Enough said. You have a very good presence. I sensed that you were hurt over what I said. I apologise. We need leaders with realistic vision. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN POLITICS, they know that there is no future based on the current practice of Democracy. They are not stupid. But are baffled by the mess that is being created by us grown ups. The old adage of ‘Respect your Elders’ is being giving the kiss of death by our generation! Democracy and anything associated with us will be rubbished until we stop consuming everything and leaving a huge problem for the few children that we bring into the world.

 

I am off tomorrow to Toronto (c/f from 2003 because of SARS) for the Mayo World Convention where I can mix, have a drink and joke with former friends who emigrated. Dublin 2005, Buenos Aires 2007. All the Mayo Associations throughout the world raise money for charity; last year we in Dublin raised Euro 40,000. In addition we sent children from poor areas in Dublin to Mayo Gaeltachts. The child now growing up will not have even this luxury. What happened to his potential mates ‘Sin Sceal Eile’! Will they be able to help each other? EU nations will be opened to invasion etc. Think as to why tens of thousands of Protestants had to leave the border counties in the 70s. We shed crocodile tears for what happened in Magdalene laundries, orphanages etc. The greatest scandal ever to hit Ireland and the EU is happening now and we cry what can we do? The threat from the English was never as serious as is our own self-destruction. Why can we not react before the explosions erupt.

 

I have nothing personal to gain from these views. In fact, I lost a career, because I objected in the 80’s: to the sales of endowment mortgages to young people; to full scale lending to women to buy houses. Bankers realised that women could now put off children in order to pay the mortgage. I at the time thought this action could not be carried out by a civilised society. I thought that the then management would get their knuckles rapped by a more knowledgeable society. I was trying to rear a family of six including three girls. I soon learned that women’s liberation was a red heron that we were really embarking on an anti child policy. It might not be intentional, but it is what happened. As a returned emigrant used to say ‘We are as far back as the god damn Indians’! I am still gobsmacked and disbelieving that we still think that we are a great nation and that we are an advanced society! We are made of sterner stuff, we have more ‘bottle’ between the ears and this poverty of thinking and inaction belittles us.

 

God bless and good luck in the elections. If you ever need a sounding block in a quiet situation, I am willing.

 

<>Yours sincerely 

 

 

John F Higgins