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    Is it our birthright to stay?

    By Noreen Bowden | May 13, 2010

    I happened upon some thought-provoking words this evening, as I read the blog of a man who has been trying to make a living for himself in Ireland. The blog is written by Alan Brophy of Wicklow, and it’s called, “Alan tries to start a business“. The domain name for the site, however is “” – because, as his blurb explains, there were two of them in it before one of them had to up sticks:

    In this Blog, Alan and Neil two unemployed engineers, chart their progress through the daunting process of trying to set up a company, get off the dole and avoid having to emigrate. Unfortunately, Neil has had to leave Ireland and is now living in the Land of Big Skies and wide open spaces, Canada. Alan’s still here and its difficult going but if this project gets off the ground, it will be well worth it.

    Tonight, Alan has written that he has given up. “I will call it a day on the “Alan tries to start a business” business,” he writes. And it looks like Alan may be following Neil out of the country: “So what now, look for a job elsewhere, I hear Saudi is quite temperate at this time of year….not,” he jokes.

    So Alan sounds like he’s in pretty decent humour despite his frustrated hopes.

    It was words he wrote a week ago – before he gave up, when, he said, he was “on the verge of tears” over the frustrations he’d faced in his “attempt to stay in Ireland, not be a burden on the state and raise a family” that I thought were particularly powerful:

    I seriously think that the powers that be in this country would rather I along with everyone else, Teachers, Guards, Nurses, Lower paid Civil Servants, unemployed construction workers, would just F off and don’t rock the boat.  Don’t be moaning about unfair and immoral pensions and perks, they want us to just go away and not be annoying them.

    One of things behind try to start a company is that being unemployed gives you time to think, gives you time to make realisations.  One of those realisations was that I have a birthright.  This birthright was gifted to me and mine, to all of you.  This birthright is the right to live, work, earn and raise a family in the country of my birth. Like all of the best gifts, it has responsibiliies attached, they are; to be a decent human being, to always do your best, to be moral, to be ethical, to be the very best you can be and to pass on this birthright with all of its benefits and responsibilities to our children.  This birthright was gifted by the men and women who went before us, not just the men and women who made blood sacrifices, but the men and women who worked 7 days a week 16 hours a day to make this country worthy of those blood sacrifices.  This gift should not to be given or taken away, I’m trying really hard to hold on to it, I don’t want to let it go and I don’t want the powers that be to take it away from me.  We all need to fight to hold on to it, we all need to fight for it, we need to be everything that we can be so that this country can be everything it can be.

    I’d like to think that Alan is right – that anyone who wants to stay in Ireland should be able to feel he or she has a place here, and a right to a future – but does anyone believe he is? Is it naive to believe that citizens of a modern European country have a right to expect that emigration would be seen by our leaders as something more significant than a way to keep unemployment under 14%?  If our politicians actually believed in the right of ordinary people to a life in their own country, is there anything they might be doing differently?

    And I realise that I’m a tireless bore on this point, but if Alan – who clearly is doing everything he can to stay – winds up having to leave the country, who is it going to serve when he loses his vote and, with it, all power to influence whether he and his children might actually have a future in this country? Is it his fellow ordinary citizens, facing the same struggle he’s lost, who will benefit?

    Fifteen years ago I read a description of the emigrants who had left this country in the 1980s as “rats off a sinking ship”; the analogy disgusted me then and still does. Because we all know that the rats are still on the ship, and they’re still eating the cheese.

    Topics: Latest News | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Is it our birthright to stay?”

    1. Portia Says:
      May 27th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

      This birthright is the right to live, work, earn and raise a family in the country of my birth.”

      As a free sovereign human being, you have the right to a living from Mother Earth- which she gives for free- but sadly the elite take more than they need, being greedy.

      Not many people know this, but the wealth of the planet divided equally, gives every human being, black, white, yellow, brown, red $3.5 billion dollars… now ask why anyone has to leave their own place of birth?