EXTRACTS FROM some LETTERS, EMAILS, ARTICLES highligting my anxiety for our future!

Hydrocarbon related numbers in red                 Politiciians in blue etc
17 Nov 2008

Irish Independent


"So this method of encouraging the consumer to up his spending is out, dead, gone!"

In effect, there was no one in charge of what I have long referred to as international financial buccaneers.

It was this concern and the complete refusal of our politicians to realistically assess and take control of the direction that Ireland was being led in, that propelled me to register my anxiety and disquiet by putting my name forward as an independent candidate in Sligo North-Leitrim in last year's general election.
9 Dec 2008

Irish Indpendent


There is about €60bn in securitised retail mortgage loans to be paid back to investors from outside the country which now appears to be indirectly backed by an Irish government guarantee. The drastic collapse in house prices means that we have nothing of value to represent these securitised loans.

Is it possible that our highly paid political masters and advisers are holding a couple of aces up their sleeves? On such a fickle outcome is resting the hopes of a very trusting and highly indebted youthful electorate.
20 Nov 2008

The Governor
Central Bank/I
Copy to Minister for Finance and The Governor B/I
Still waiting reply

RE: Mortgage Crisis

  I would like to know the total amount of retail mortgages outstanding from Irish Finance Mortgage Lending and how this is broken down between: <> 
That which is owned by the various financial institutions and
Those which are serviced by the financial institutions, and are owned by bond investors who own all types of mortgage-backed securities.
I have uncovered from my own investigation that there could be around €60billion of the second grouping. However, it is very difficult to read Bank Balance Sheets etc. even though I have a B.Comm., an Accounting qualification plus MIB; so I am seeking enlightenment on the above.
18 Jun 2008

Western People

EU created current Irish mortgage crisis
Ironically, under the European Union Stability and Growth Pact, Government debt should be no higher than 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Somehow, it has come to pass that loading the young people of the EU with mortgages some five to nine times their income has become acceptable.
The problem with the EU is that it is an aging society; until this problem is tackled we will be like hens in a farmyard when a fox strays in. The Lisbon Treaty mentions “defense” around fifty times; the word “birth” does not merit a mention. Coming down to the level of the EU politicians and international bankers, the bald fact is that the EU leadership has 100,000,000,000 reasons to listen to the voice of the Irish people!
Nov 2007

Submitted to an Irish website blog
Ireland has an External Debt rapidly approaching $2Trillion (if a straight Euro/dollar rate of exchange is applied to the CB official figure of €1.36 Trillion). I am sure that the ECB would be more than slightly worried about this, even though no one in Ireland seems bothered about it.

Our Taoiseacht Bertie Ahern could arrange with his friend Premier of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China H.E. Mr. Wen Jiabao to alleviate some of the ECB worries by knocking a few chips of our Debt with their measly $1.43 trillion in reserves, using the same nonchalance in which it was allowed mount up. Nothing is a problem to our boys on top; having developed a great repartee with all world leaders on St Patrick’s Day trips. It is getting wobbly here in Celtictigerland and very near time to call in the ten years of Credits. You got us the Debts and no doubt the Credits will not be far behind.

The Chinese would win from this situation too: they would not need to worry about hurting President Bush, he of the soon ten bowls of shamrock, in divesting themselves from dollar reserves. Good on ye! Taoiseacht and your team, we all thought that you were wasting your time in Washington and Peking. You will keep the leaders of the Capitalist World happy as well as the Irish Electorate. Bravo!

The Irish Electorate have full faith in you. We do not heed these rumours that you will be leaving us to take up some menial job in Europe. We want you to stay and guide us through the rough seas cause by Dan the Man Bankers, Property Developers etc. those guys with the fat wallets. We have full confidence that you are on top of things. Don’t Go!

There's white bailiffs and they're coming at me at a pace now
There's a blue summons man waving paper into my face
The children are crying on the underside of the bridges
And there's vans going by with bars in the windows

Don't go
Don't leave me now, now, now
While the sun smiles
Stick around and laugh a while, stick around and laugh a while
5 Jun 2007


Hello, I just surfed into your site. I am a father of four children between the ages of 22 and 30. I went up for election as an independent candidate in Sligo North Leitrim to highlight this very grave injustice that is being perpetrated on our young men and women on this isle of ours. The bottom line is that house prices both North and South are increasing rapidly because of the unseemly inward investment in mortgages from Elderly Europe! What is happening is that financial companies are bungling hundreds of mortgages together and selling them to European Pension Funds etc one and two billion euros at a time; now they take a big commission from the European Pension Fund; and then they have the balance to lend out again, and on and on and on!. The limit is: what the youth will bear. All the banks etc are at it; loads of commission is being collected from Pension Funds etc.

Our Governments are restricted from borrowing 60% of GNP by various EU agreements; but there is no restriction on the amount that Banks etc can lend out to our young men and women, can be up to 6 and 9 times salary. I reckon that c.€50,000,000,000 (yes 10 zeros) has entered the Southern Irish Housing market in this way. Housing in Dublin has increased by c. three times in the past 10 years when the CPI Index only increased by 30%. THIS IS PURE ECONOMIC MADNESS. This investment mirrors the total USA investment of €50Bn in the Irish Economy but will pull in the opposite direction i.e. young people will need huge salaries to buy a house. USA investment will fly out of Ireland. I called for a National Enquiry into this whole affair; even went to the expense of paying for an input to The Sunday Independent to highlight the potential disaster of this unregulated investment in Ireland. Ouch! The Silence! I reckon that this small economy will not be able to withstand worrying implications of this unplanned (by Govt. Authorities, politicians, etc). European Pension Funds are also being ripped off! All this is happening unbeknownst to our Politicians. Congratulations to the youth of the SDLP who have the gumption and the wherewithal to QUESTION!
22 Jan 2007

Letter to CB and FSAI

They were silent on this one.

The Director,

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland

Mr John Fitzpatrick and Mr Stephen Tracy of the CSO published a breakdown of our External Debt as at 30 September 2006 on the Internet.

I have four children in Dublin in their twenties. They have not “an ass’s roar in hell” chance of buying a house as I did in 1975 on the strength of one salary.

I am trying to get to grips as to what is happening. I am aware that the Bank of Ireland initiated a type of Stirling Securitisation deal in the late 1980s. This form of selling off, of lumps of Retail Mortgages appears to be more frequent in Ireland in the last number of years.

I wonder is it possible to give me “a ball park figure” as at 30th September 2006 of:

1.       the Total Debt (Whether it be classified as loans, bonds or whatever) that would be associated with Securitisation of Residential Mortgages

2.       the Total Debt (Whether it be classified as loans, bonds or whatever) that would be associated with Securitisation of Commercial Mortgages.

4 Sep 2005

Letter sent to The Sunday Independent


Demand the release of the Rossport Five

Sir – Many citizens are puzzled by the fact that even with such generous terms offered by the Government, oil companies are not rushing in to take up our oil and gas. There is a valid reason for this. Other countries have set up state-controlled energy companies that oversee their oil/gas exploration and exploitation.

These state-controlled energy companies bring in the multinationals as equal partners. Foreign governments have been able to tax the private sector companies more rigorously because it is not solely depending on them. The large multinationals, hiring the most effective exploration rigs, have to honour their commitments to countries that put up some of the costs of exploration!

Between 1966 and 1969 31 dry holes, as a cost of 850m Norwegian kroner, were drilled by the Norwegians, without any significant find. The industry was becoming despondent and on the verge of packing up. The Norwegian state was on the verge of bankruptcy! Shortly before the Christmas holiday 1969 the miracle happened, Philips Petroleum’s drilling rig, the Ocean Viking, struck a massive oil and gas field some 220km from Stavanger.

As young students embarking into the world, we were excited that oil/gas exploration would be initiated off our coasts, having been led to understand that the rock structure was favourable.

Alas, our hopes for jobs at home (western seaboard) were dashed by the news that there were no exploitable hydrocarbons off our shores: the result of studies carried out for our government by international oil consultants. Here we are 30 years on; many of us still do not realise that we were sold a pup!

It is time that attention and surplus wealth was directed towards the hydrocarbon industry and its related onshore activities. This would also guarantee a proper return, and security of oil and gas supply.

The western seaboard, already the poor relation, is being turned into a disaster area by the large-scale pull-out of international clothing firms. Is there a better economic excuse to change our policy and initiate a more balance geographical spread of investments?

Our present policy on the exploration and exploitation of our hydrocarbons is short-sighted, and makes a laugh of the notion that we are one of the most economically advanced nations in the world. Most worryingly it leads to our lack of regulation of events, e.g. the jailing of fellow citizens when they don’s fall in with the plans of those to whom we hand over control of our resources!
9 Dec 2004

Read out on air by Pat Kenny
My first awareness of the Rev Ian Paisley was in the 1960s. He did not want anything to do with any party or country that was in his opinion “ruled from Rome”.

The people of Ireland and Sinn Fein have hived off the cloak of Rome in no small way with the introduction of artificial contraceptives, divorce etc. In addition, the South has dropped their constitutional claim to the six counties.

The two Sinn Fein MEPs were vehement in their opposition to Buttiglione, a man who was the nominee of the democratically elected Italian government for the Justice portfolio in the EU; a man who was not shy in expounding the dominance of his Roman Catholic views. He got the chop!  History is full of many leaders who do not know when they are beaten. But Paisley does not know when he has won!
1 Oct 2004

To The Irish Times
Not published

Madam, -    The Irish Government encourages low paid workers, who by default are in the majority, to invest in Pension Funds for their retirement. Yet we hear from Britain that a worker who contributes £23 a week for 20 years could end up only getting an increase retirement pension of £12 weekly (The Observer, 26th September 2004). An in debt study into this phenomenon should be carried out over here.

On the other hand, the theory is that if you are wealthy and can afford to put a lot away into a pension fund that you will be providing adequately for your retirement. How true is this? Growth rates appear to be exaggerated right through the whole long term investment scene. Pension Funds are invested in the same type of financial instruments as are the savings element of Endowment Mortgages. Yet we hear that the short fall from these mortgage investment vehicles can be a third of the money actually borrowed in the first place, never mind the forecast surplus at time of sale (Prime Time, RTE 1, 30th September 2004).
1 Oct 2004

To The Irish Times
Not published
We read everyday about the poor performances of our fellow Euro countries. Many of them exceeding the 3% budget limit imposed by the Growth and Stability Pact. Unemployment is at record highs. Sales are down right across the board. Supermarkets are closing down right across the EC e.g. Kingfisher is to close six loss-making Castrorama stores in Germany; Laura Ashley closed 35 continental shops; Marks & Spencer have announced plans to close its 38 continental European stores and so on and so on. Car sales, compared to the 1970s, have plummeted right across the EC.

Despite the fact that the long term savings of Irish workers is vanishing at a phenomenal fast rate, the self same workers appear to be borrowing and investing heavily in property in the same countries whose economies are so sluggish. Oh, how they must love the Irish! The EURO economies are on a slippery slope. The USA no longer thinks of the EC as a growth area, they no longer invest heavily in continental Europe; why else are they contemplating the withdrawal of their European based army squadrons? It is not strictly true, as the old saying had it, that trade followed the flag; often, which is now the case, the flag followed trade.

Capitalism needs growth to work effectively, no matter how small or big the base point is; current demographics of the EC preclude this. It is time either investment strategy changed or the government for the sake of the future welloffness of its citizens stopped subsidising a loss making industry and read the Global position like it is!

23 Nov 2004

Letter to Enda Kenny TD

Maybe, I am a Dodo when it comes to politics. I know that you were surprised at some of my mutterings. But, I continue to be gob smacked with the enthusiasm that the Irish have for the EU. If we were bringing something to the party besides a blind faith in the economic future of the EU, then I might be less worried. I have written in all the Mayo Yearbooks from 2000 to 2003 (Let me know if you wish to read them) pointing out the very foreseeable disastrous future for the EU. Consumer demand is falling, depression like in Ireland of the fifties is taking hold. LISTEN! THE EU ECONOMY IS A BASKET CASE; GROWTH THE HOLY GRAIL OF CAPITILISM IS DEAD following on a forty year falling birth rate; and to my utter consternation I see the Irish nation gaily marching to the same tunes and in the same direction.

4 Jun 2004

Letter to Irish Times

Not published

Referendum on Irish Citizenship

Madam, there are close to 250,000 less children, under twenty years of age, in Ireland today than there were in 1984. This happened because Ireland in promoting feminism has become, whether intentionally or not, an anti child country. Just weigh up the following experiences that happened over the past 30 years:

·        Abandonment of tax allowances for children.

·        PRSI introduced without any thought given to the number of children being supported.

·        Higher tax allowances if both parents work outside the home.

·        Money and wealth promoted as an end objective e.g. 100% tax relief for pension contributions rather than the other factor of production i.e. the generation of future workers/consumers.

·        The burdening of our young men and women with awesome loan repayments

·        No serious thought given by our government to make the wider world more safe for children in the absence of full time parents in the home e.g. the lack of restrictions on pornography via internet, satellite, magazines.

A fertilised egg in the womb has to go through the gamut of a modern man-made mine field e.g. artificial means of contraception, abortion before it is born into our world. We now propose to welcome this little hero by telling it, it is not entitled to become an Irish Citizen.

The government remains consistent in its efforts to pass negative child legislation. We, citizens of Ireland and the EU, have got to introduce a regime that brings back the child as the foundation stone of our being. There were 50% more births in the EU in the 1960’s than today. Births should be welcomed from whatever angle they come from. Our government has now given us an opportunity to ‘Shout stop’ (borrowing the immortal words of a former columnist in your paper) and force the EU and the West to positively reflect on the encouragement of an increase in our birth rate as a guarantee of a future. Is it wise to solely focus our defence on restrictive internal security, armaments and aggression? Otherwise the path of the existence of western civilisation and democracy is finite! It is an Irish call. Ours now!
26 May 2004

Letter to Eoin Ryan MEP

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

Click here for full letter
19 May 2004

Western People

Tidal wave of social upheaval
Sir - There are close to 250,000 less indigenous Irish children in our country today than in the 1980s. The repercussion is that a tidal wave of needless economic and social upheaval, winds its way through the social fabric of our society.
This creepingly manifests itself in : a plunge of sales of children's clothes; less primary teachers needed; closure of local bakeries; drop in sales of jeans; less secondary school teachers needed; car sales and house purchases will plummet; less university lecturers needed; on going restrictions on civil liberties e.g. smoking, drinking, eating, banned associations, citizens encouraged to blow the whistle on each other; the demise of the irish influence through out the world; a land ruled by depression; collapse in the commercial like of the country; armed upheaval; leading to loss of tradition, beliefs and culture!
Statistics and experiences from other countries indicate that a reverse domino effect on our fertility rate is virtually unstoppable given our willing adoption of the liberal policies of the western world. The fact that this is happening in mainly democratic countries bodes badly for the future of world government.
Are we capable of a wider and mature debate before we embark on another assault on the rights of humanity, as it emerges from the mother's womb, via the forthcoming referendum? I do not see anybody else in the western world willing to grasp this nettle if we Irish don't!
10 May 2004

Letter to Niall Brady, Sunday Tribune.

Not published
Your article on the 9th May 2004 will have hit a few sensitive nerves, especially other people who lost their hard earned cash. <>You will find a piece by a fellow reporter, Michael Commins of the Western People. I am lucky that such a good précis has been done on my writings. It should explain to you, as to where I come from. My background, training etc was all geared to banking, investment etc. 

What makes your article so explosive is that there would have been many investment analysers in all the establishments who would have been able to see the warning signs building up at the end of the 90s. I would have had no special foresight. The one thing that I would have is independence, no special corner to protect a raw analyser of world movements, no special line to tow. In fact, I set up a company to give investment advice. But got so disillusioned by the lack of understanding in the GLOBAL Banking/Investment climate that I ceased giving personal advice c 1997. I took to writing instead.

Co. Mayo (my home county) had no political clout or economic motor in the twentieth century because it lost a far greater share of its young people through emigration, migration than any other county. I see that the same is happening now to the so-called developed areas of the world.

In the More Developed Areas of the world the fertility rate in 1960 was 2.68, and 1.57 in 2000, i.e. a drop of 41%, or the birthrate was 71% more forty years ago, as per United Nations Population Division These areas of the world account for c.90% of the world's trade! The ordinary punter on the ground is not informed of the potential this scenario throws up for world disharmony; to put it mildly!

GENERAL GROWTH the engine of the capitalist western system in the past is NO MORE. People are not realistic; a sustained fall in the birth rate results in no growth and flight of capital. 

I took an unprecedented step in Dec 2001, and sent relevant facts by Email to all the major banks, stockbrokers, finance and economics departments of universities etc. There was no gain to me. My sole concern was that we Irish should read the signals correctly and take appropriate action. The Irish are caught in the unmerciful eddy of a global wave of finance meltdown. My worst fear was that the small man, with little knowledge of some unscrupulous commission-based advisers that abound, would lose out as is evident by your fine research. The Pension Funds stand to continue to lose big time! The Irish Financiers/Fund managers had and still have the raw material to make more prudent decisions. There are still ways to rescue the situation here in Ireland. But, I would not be sure if the Irish people are ready for a cure, for the simple reason that we do not see the problem! They are being blinded by the current wealth. A quote from the Diamond Sutra, the oldest known printing, displayed along the Silk Road AD868, “Wheresoever there are material characteristics, there is delusion”.

I hope that you are a young man. If you are, the future is not as bleak as is portrayed by other media, if one looks through all the bull! Keep going to the bottom line. If it shows profits, without retrenchment, then there is a good chance that somebody is cooking the books and the small man; pension holder is loosing out e.g. Inron, Parmalat etc. <>Let me know if I can be of any assistance if you wish to follow up on your fine article.
8 April 2004
Democracy Commission
My full submision can be read here
An introductory submission can be read on their website below
17 Feb 2004

One of many Emails  to Frank Lahiffe. Assisstant to Minister Seamus Brennan RIP
Subject: Vindication: Sunday Times has it, four years later!
Thanks for the clarification on Western Rail Corridor.
Get a hold of The Sunday Times Magazine 15th Feb. There is a 13 page article by a Richard Girling called 'The Great Baby Shortage'. A true vindication of everything that I wrote since the year 2000 in the Mayo Yearbooks and letters to the papers. One notable quote that he has on the first page is "The ambitions of some in Europe to rival us as a world power is an empty dream". He has similar references to mine in connection with the Aging Society, women having no time to have babies, the weakening of society etc.
Compare the above with my quote "People who put their faith in the long term European Economy and the EURO are living in the clouds" 2002. There are others.
I sent a copy of my Email of 10th Dec to the Taoiseacht by snail post (his E-address was not working). I got an Email reply that he was to read it. In it, I quoted the United Nations Population Division stats, which is the foundation of the Times article.
Read the whole Sunday Times article. We are right mugs here in Ireland that we choose to go down a similar path. especially when this path is strewn with the wreckage of the breakdown in society! "Concentrating on Growth Centres is only yielding to this culture of seemingly invisible self-destruction" Editorial Mayo Association Yearbook 2002.
Our Government has got to take notice. Individually, they are all sound people; but collectively they are blind to the massive depression in which they are leading us into. For our descendants' future, they have got to cop themselves on. Read the Sunday Times article. All the info. already appeared in the Mayo Association Yearbooks. Ironic, isn't it! There has got to be an influential person of substance out there someplace.
23 Dec 2003

Letter to Brian Cowen, Minister for Foreign Affairs

Some of my letter was a plea to Mr Cowen to do something for our emigrants. His Private Secretary, Joseph Hackett replied and outlined the various inititives his Department had talen to help emigrant care groups in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia who require special assistance and support. However there was no reaction to the rest of my letter, some of which I print below:

< style="font-weight: bold;">"Mayo people, if their Hydrocarbon Resources are exploited for the Common Good, can look after their own and in so doing, the whole country can benefit.  Funds to help all our Irish emigrants need not be taken from the current budgets. All the present furore is happening while our citizens are investing billions of Euros abroad and International oil companies are lining themselves up to relieve us off billions more! Some obvious budgetary matching can and should to be done. 

I have written much about the Hydrocarbon resources lying off our coasts. Our emigrants are dying in poverty overseas, while we refuse to invest and reap the profits of oil/gas production off the Mayo coastline. In desperation, I have now written a short story of what is happening as seen from a fictional planet named Xlmn.(click) Please find story enclosed.

Tunnel Vision and ‘riches in tandem with the fastest falling birth-rate in the world’ seemed to be the stock in trade of your comrades at the cabinet table. We are living in a virtual world; you transfer 150 jobs to Co Mayo while presiding over a drop in the number of pupils in Mayo National Schools (8 yr. cycle) of 4,300 over the last 17 years. Your table has not a monopoly on losing a grip on reality! Pension Fund Managers etc are not able to comprehend changing macroeconomics in the midst of an acute 40 year old demographic disaster hitting the rest of the Developed world (90% of world trade). Two years ago, I wrote to: national papers, banks, IFCS companies, government departments, political parties, universities, warning them of the creeping Global financial meltdown. I did not want Ireland’s pension (50% state subsidised) funds to be among the financial losers. You see, I think like the rip-off merchant except I shudder because I see affluent Ireland as the prime targets. Expected commissions, bonuses made sure that no notice was taken of such advice. A Press Cutting is enclosed! Our country could have saved €15bn, yes billion, that’s right! Advisors to Greenspan, McCreevy did not even consider the principles on which I based my forecasts. Birth-rate (world demand) is collapsing; in complete ignorance of the balancing scales of demand and share price, pension savings are encouraged by governments. The joke is that Growth is the foundation stone of Capitalism. Negative  growth = fiddling of books, lies, balloons = Pension fund values disappear! Discount the wealth of a childless nation, you get zero value! Let us cop on!

Read the Xlmn story enclosed! I will keep my fingers crossed that one influential Irish person in four million may take heed! My efforts to date appear to be ‘in vain’; hope is all I have left. Seamus Heeney when writing a poem on South Africa and Nelson Mandella, had the lines

“History says, Don’t hope

On this side of the grave,

But then, once in a lifetime

                                                   The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme”

The Irish will have a lessor representation in Brussels after the EC enlargement than Mayo ever had in Leinster House! This fact was highlighted in Mayo Yearbooks before the Nice agreement was passed. Your big problem will be how to pull the wool over the eyes of the Irish electorate. Better skills than were ever in Mayo are needed. Go make your mark where you may have more influence and try and work your cabinet colleagues around to harness the oil money to help our own Irish citizens at home and abroad. Forget about inward investment from the USA and possible handouts from the EC! Just invest & dig! Read the story, Please!

Le gach dea ghuÍ i gcÙir na hAth bhliana"

17 Oct 2003

Marion Finnucane Show
Subject: Pension Funds
Marion, the Pension Funding crisis scenario is arising because our contraceptive culture is resulting in a collapse of our birthrate. The vicissitudes of the monetary system is not taken into account. We are being led into a make believe world that is relying on the financial system alone as a saviour for the Pension Crisis. Remember! Religious practise is waning. People will have no scruples in stealing, now that the eternal flames of hell is no longer a threat. Some recent raids on peoples saving have been:

·        Billons stolen from Pension Funds from the Enron scandals etc.

·        Twelve years ago, the Yugoslav investor had $12 billion of savings in state owned banks. The Central Bank had $10 billion in foreign reserves. It was all spirited away with a slight of hand!

·        It was revealed in a major newspaper that Britain’s biggest Financial Service Companies take more than £Ster20 billion a year from Unit Trusts, Pension Funds and other savings products without the true facts been revealed to their customers. This was in addition to published charges.

·        The English Chancellor of the Exchequer recently took £Ster5 billion with a once of tax on Pension Funds.

My contention is that Pension Funds will be the target of Financial Buccaneers etc. In the EC, immigration is making little contribution to counteracting the ageing of society.

The surest way to guarantee Pensions is to have a sufficient birthrate to replace workers as they retire. In this way Pension Funds can be invested wisely.

The birthrate has collapsed over the last forty years. In the More Developed Areas of the world the fertility rate in 1960 was 2.68, and 1.57 in 2000, i.e. a drop of 41%, or the birthrate was 71% more forty years ago, as per United Nations Population Division These areas of the world account for c.90% of the world’s trade! The ordinary punter on the ground is not informed of the potential this scenario throws up for world disharmony; to put is mildly!

Capitalism/Stockmarkets depend on Growth. How can one realistically expect Stockmarkets to grow with the above statistics. “Levi Strauss, for example, complains that the youth market is shrinking faster than the company’s jeans: shifting demographics caused it to shut down three European factories in 1999” – Newseek Sept 16-23, 2002. It does not take a genius mind to recognise that all other products e.g. entertainment related, cars etc. will eventually be substituted for jeans! Why are we Irish, taking up the rear, marching absent mindedly behind the Pipepiper of Consumerism etc., especially when stories are leaking back that the vanguard are in complete disarray! Capitalism needs growth so much, that Balloons will be accepted as the real thing. Big bulky Pension Funds will lose out in the subsequent collapse!

All this is as clear as the night is from day. Why are we choosing to be blind?
4 Aug 2003
Sent to about 30 Banks in the IFSC
I was PRO for the Western Care Association Dublin branch. I tried to encourage some of the Banking community to attend our Dinner by sending the following letter as a teaser. I thought they might be curious to hear the view of a guy who was trying to put the skids on the blind entusiasm of bankers and politicians. Letter can be read here.
6 May 2003

Letter to Irish Independent


Losing out our resources
Sir – Mr Frank Fahey, the Minister of State for Labour Affairs and former Marine Minister, is quoted as saying that an adverse decision on the proposed gas terminal project in Co. Mayo would have a “severe, negative impact” on the west of Ireland. What’s new!


Mr Fahey is a member of the Government, an institution that has an atrocious record on infrastructure and business development in the past 80 years in the west. It amazes this writer that our leaders do not recognise the great loss to this country that neglect of the west had on the population numbers and economy of this country e.g. billions of pounds of fishing revenue foregone in the 20th Century. Now we are stand to repeat the same mistakes and loose massive streams of revenue by seemingly allowing the unfettered foreign owned exploitation of our hydrocarbon resources throughout the 21st century.

The problem in regards to the current impasse with the gas terminal project is a continuation of this apathy towards the development of a viable and profitable business situated in Co. Mayo and the western coastline. It is an industry outside Dublin that would greatly benefit the whole country but needs some of the mushrooming investment that is being poured into that city. The west down through the years has too many people or not enough people depending on which glib answer suited Leinster House.

It is beyond time that the Government took the bit between their teeth in regards to the exploitation of resources off the west coast. Without a hands on approach (investment via a national owned petroleum company), the Irish people will continue to be ripped off! The Government should insist that all serving of rigs should be carried out from Irish bases.

 Their hydrocarbon taxation deal is recognised as the most favourable achieved by the multinational companies anywhere else in the world (see paper Profitability and taxation in the UKCS oil and gas industry: analysing the distribution of rewards between company and country by Ian Rutledge and Phillip Wright, University of Sheffield). The Norwegian government through intelligent investment have at least a 50% interest in oil fields in their sector of the North Sea. They invested heavily before they even found oil or gas. They now call the shots and can insure that their people get A1 environment policies. <> 

We in Ireland will continue to make a mess of exploiting our resources, if we continue to put the blame on a few concerned people trying to insure that we get the same consideration for our environment that the citizens of Norway have. These people are branded as misguided and possessing a lack of understanding of the overall gas development concept. The lack of concentrated interest of the Irish authorities is personified in Pipeline to the West splashed across a full page of our national daily papers. They were advertising the path of the proposed new gas pipeline that they hoped would eventually link up to the Corrib field. <><>

The following names spring to mind from across the world: the Alaska gas pipeline; the Tibet pipeline; Sable offshore pipeline project; the Caspian pipeline; Russia to Turkey pipeline and so on, all named after the region from which the future gas is to originate from.
  <>‘Reverse flow’ is obviously another concept that we 'culties' are ignorant off.!
Jan 2003

Letter to Alive Newspaper
Costs of falling birth rate
Dear Editor - Levi Strauss complains that the youth market is shrinking faster than the company's jeans: shifting demographics caused it to shut down 3 European factories in 1999 (Newsweek 16/9/02). Fiat the main car manufacturer in Europe is to lay off tens of thousands of its workforce. The fall in attendance at Irish national schools between 1985 and 2000 was 122,754. Primary school is an 8-year cycle; so the total drop in the under 20 age group will soon approach 250,000.
The collapse in the birth rate causes a drop in demand for clothes, food, education, and so on. Europe is 20 years ahead of us along this road. The emphasis on growth areas in the Government's Spatial Strategy plan just papers over the cracks in our society.
My hometown, Kiltimagh, Co Mayo recently lost one of its most stable employers, Mack's Bakery & Confectionery. Rural Ireland can expect the same in the coming years.
The richest countries of the world will be inhabited by old people. A fleeting prosperity based on a falling birth rate is human nature at its weakest.

Piece in the Irish Times

Needs of Mayo’s economy ‘being ignored’

  <>The Mayo Association has added its voice to demands for a review of terms under which mineral exploration companies work off the Irish coastline. <> 
The association, which comprises over 7,000 members worldwide, says it is worried about an “endemic” lack of interest in potential opportunities off the west coast. Previous governments’ handling of fishing resources off this coastline “does not indicate a good track record”, the association says in the editorial to the current Mayo Association Year Book.

“We feel very strongly, now that the Irish economy is thriving, that Leinster House should be seriously positive and set out to reverse the great neglect towards creating employment in Mayo throughout the 20th century”, the association’s year book editor, Mr John F Higgins, says.

He questions the Government’s “ability to weigh up and analyse the tremendous opportunities being opened up by the hydrocarbon exploration now carried out around the Orkneys, the Rockall basin and down the west coast”.

The association compares the situation here with Norway, a state which gained its independence as a similar time to Ireland and one with a similar population size. “Both Norway and the United Kingdom encouraged involvement of their coastal communities, notable around Stavanger and Aberdeen. The Norwegian government now has a net reserve built up of €75 billion for the benefit of its citizens.

“The Norwegian government went through difficult times with its various investments, but it never gave up because it had patience, belief and was not in too much of a hurry. We were horrified during the year to learn that the Irish Government sold off their interest in the Irish National Petroleum Corporation (INPC) to a US company, Tosco.”

Mayo Person of the Year 2002 has been awarded to Mr Johnny Mee, Castlebar, for his work on providing facilities for people with special needs.
23 Jan 2002

Western People


Sir, - At last, the politicians seemed to be acting in the interest of the people who elected them. They have finally woken up to the significant wealth that will be generated from the proceeds of the Hydrocarbon industry off the west coast of Ireland. An area that has all but been ignored by the Irish State throughout the 20th Century. This apathy resulted in other nations reaping the benefit of our vast fisheries. Should we the people of Ireland get excited? 

No! the politicians in question are from Italy. The Italian State owns 30% of the oil group, ENI. This company has recently made a play for Enterprise Oil. Berlusconi, much maligned Premier of Italy, may not be too enthused about the Euro; buy he certainly has a nose for when to pounce on a potential good income stream! What are the odds against the Italian voters receiving a Euro dividend from Irish oil/gas production long before the citizens of his country see as much as a brass farthing?

Follow on note by JFH
The Westminster Government was sent into a tailspin by the above move by ENI. The Minister concerned publicly expressed his displeasure with the Italians. He has persuaded Shell (An Anglo Dutch Company) to row in with a counter bid foe Enterprise Oil. This saga is not over yet! The whole world appears to realise that the assets of Enterprise Oil are worth bidding for!

2 Jul 2001

Letter to Irish Times.


Paisley's Perceptions

Sir, - I first became aware of Northern politics in the 1960s, when the Rev Ian Paisley wailed about the Republic as been ruled from Rome and gave the impression that this was the biggest obstacle to opening dialogue with Free Staters. Since then the South has changed utterly. We have rejected much of the teaching of the Catholic Church. We have abandoned our claim to the Six Counties. We have nothing left on which to compromise, except maybe to fly the Union Jack (currently suffering its own identity crisis!) over the GPO.

Trade between Britain and Ireland is running at record levels. Many of our businesses are subsidiaries of British companies. We have no problem identifying with the victorious exploits of Manchester United in Europe.

Yet Paisley is still moaning.

We have heard about poor losers; but a leader who does not realise that he has won creates a climate in which good men on all fronts perish. Maybe he should change sides and start all over again.

Little did I know what was to happen. He became First Secretary with the majority of Republicans politicians reporting to him!

Proof:  Many of his own Ulster Loyalists were outraged. See
                                                                                                                                                 See also above

11 Apr 2000

Letter to Irish Times

Not published.

Sir –  Dr Garret Fitzgerald, our former Taoiseach, stated in your March 4th edition, that ‘the number of 18 year olds has already started to fall: it is 2,000 lower than a year ago, and within the next three years, there will be a further drop of 7,500 in the number of young people attaining that age.’ He wondered from what source future workers would come from! ------------------How about entering a period of consolidation and reflection! Open our eyes and minds! Carry out a review of the effects of our great economic achievements from a long term social point of view; ask as to what kind of society do we want to bequeath to future generations of young Irishmen and woman? What actions can we instigate now to fulfil our hopes and desires? See rest of letter here

8 Mar 1999

Sent to one of our  newspapers.
Not published.
<>A growing number of pseudo serious articles and editorial content published in your newspaper is pure rubbish! Content focuses mainly on the top current of the massive tidal wave that is sweeping over our small island. You are not reaching the serious undercurrents that will engulf our society, and destroy the quintessentially ethical and Christian ideal (never mind the Roman Catholic ones), that is our inheritance. I refer to
The modern phenomenon starting in the late seventies to the middle eighties of a house mortgage needing two incomes to service it. Our Grandparents had to do without this dubious benefit, because begetting children could put the Indian sign on the repayment schedule based on the second salary. SEE rest of letter here
2 Apr 1998

Irish Times.
Not published

Sir-, --- It was very fitting that Mr John O’Loughlin’s letter, in which he criticises Dr Desmond Connell outspoken criticism of the ‘greed’ of property speculators, appeared on April Fools Day. It appears that not only the above mentioned personnel are arriving at a false diagnosis as to cause of spiralling house prices, but every latter day Economist.

The liberalised modern Irish couple works full time outside the home. They can plan their families in accordance with their ability to juggle work and the rearing of children. Accordingly, the birth rate has fallen by over 25% since 1980. (In Europe, where liberalisation! took place earlier, the birth rate per head of population has decreased by 40% since 1964, resulting in today’s crises over pensions).

We have a free economy dictated by the marketplace. The demand for bigger and better houses is increased by the greater ability of couples to pay higher mortgages. Land speculators, lending institutions, employers, religious orders (sale of land): they all benefit from the above situation.

Is anybody concerned that the ‘Tiger’ is a threatened species?
19 Apr 1997

Irish Times

Irish Economy
Sir - The ESRI in its recent book Welfare Implications of Demographic Trends (April 15th) appears to give a very rosy picture of the Irish economy over the next 10 to 15 years. Is it looking at the full picture? We are no longer a stand-alone economy and are rapidly relinquishing much control to Brussels.
The Maastricht agreement, along with the pending single currency, will copperfasten the shrewd pension investment in our economy by our European neighbours. The EC is rapidly becoming a joint retirement home. The elderly will represent nearly 33 per cent of the population between the ages of 15-64 by the year 2020. This figure does not appear to include the recent victory of the French truck-drivers, and others who won the right to retire at 55 years! Most pensions in Europe, as distinct from Britain, are paid from the national exchequer.
Ireland's birth rate has fallen by 27 per cent in the period 1980 to 1996. Is it time to wipe the dust from our eyes and question the balance of the EC's present affluency with the ability to survive.
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