Tag Archives: Ireland

Child Abuse Rampant In Irish Catholic Church!

A new report issued by Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse blasted the Catholic Church for its failure to protect children against systematic beatings and sexual abuse. ” A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from.” The system created to deal with children placed in industrial and reform schools turned out to be one in which those in charge behaved like criminals and those subject to their authority were treated like slaves. According to the report, thousands of boys and girls were raped and exploited by the religious brothers and nuns who theoretically were responsible for their well being.

The Ryan Commission also was critical of the Irish government for failure to supervise these institutions and protect children instead of simply going along with anything proposed by those in charge of the Catholic Church. There were calls for Pope Benedict to hold a special investigation into what happened to children in Ireland.

I have taught at a Catholic College and knew many wonderful nuns and priests. The horror of such stories is that all too often, those who are abusive to children are the ones placed in charge of children. In confronting this horrible story, hopefully, we don’t forget the decent priests and nuns.

How To Reduce Government Spending-Cut Government!

Nations throughout the world are focusing on new strategies to reduce government expenditures. Ireland may have finally discovered the best solution — just eliminate the government! An entire tier of Irish minister will resign after Easter in order to help the Premier, Brian Cowen, to reduce the cost of government. He has asked 20 ministers to vacate their posts so that he can appoint some and allow the others to take a break from government work. The plan is all part of an attempt to close a deficit.

The Irish may well have come up with the perfect solution– let’s just get rid of a larger tier of government bureaucrats and discover if life goes on. Perhaps, we might discover that less is more when it comes to efficiency and effectiveness. After all, if you are a minister you have to justify your existence.

Sarkozy Confronts Angry Irish Voters

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is currently acting in the role of president of the European Union, opened talk with Irish political leaders in an attempt to resolve differences over future directions of the EU. Ireland is the only EU member constitutionally required to submit treaties to a national vote and the Irish people rejected proposed changes in the European Union. Since changes in the EU require a unanimous vote, this rejection, in effect, blocked any action by other member states. Anti-treat activists in ireland insist the Lisbon Treaty is dead and the entire process must begin from ground zero. Patricia McKenna, head of an anti-treaty pressure group called the People’s Movement, said was of the core reasons for voting “no” was “the fact that people sense a lack of democratic accountability and control of power slipping away.”

Sarkozy was doing his job as acting president of the European Union in expressing concern about the “no” vote on the part of Ireland. “What was expected of the European President,” he asked reporters, “that I should stand by lifeless?” Perhaps, the problem of the EU is the existence of a requirement that each member state must agree to every change. This is hardly a process ensuring moving forward. If nations come together in a union, there must be a process by which the majority are able to act without every single vote. If not, there will be inaction.

France And Germany Fight For EU Revision

France currently holds the presidency of the European Union so Sarkozy is using this leverage in order to push forward alternative strategies in order to secure Irish agreement on revision of the EU. His efforts were torpedoed by President Kaczyinski of Poland who refused to sign onto his parliament’s agreement to EU arguing that Ireland’s “no” vote meant “for the time being the question of the treaty is pointless.” However, Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel are exerting pressure on both Poland and the Czech Republic to adhere to their decisions of agreeing to revisions. French President Sarkozy made it plain that failure to support revisions would doom the chances of any new nation to enter the European Union.

The European Union is at an historic moment in its history. It can move forward and truly become a Federal Union of nations which has a centralized leadership in order to become a force for peace in the world or it can turn backward towards divisiveness and impotence as a world leader.

Sarkozy Envisions New Europe

President Sarkozy is taking advantage of France being at the helm of the European Union in order to push forward his ideas for the reconstruction of the institution. He believes “there have been errors in the way that Europe was built” which must be corrected if the EU is to become a powerful force in the world. Sarkozy regards the Irish “no” vote as a step backward that must be corrected and discover a new “way of building Europe.” The French president believes there are four key issues facing the EU– energy, the environment, immigration and defense.

The United States in its formation went through a similar process of change that is confronting Europe. The initial Articles of Confederation were ineffective because there was a lack of central organization and direction which eventually was corrected with the writing of the American Constitution that created a national government. Perhaps, Europe must undertake a constitutional convention in order to free itself from the current system which makes difficult central direction of the EU.

Irish Eyes Not Coming-Is It An Irish Lullaby?

The decision by Irish voters to vote no against changes in the European Union has placed a damper on virtually any positive changes including the possibility of new countries entering the union. French President Sarkozy told Reuters news agency: “No Lisbon, no enlargement. I would find it very strange for a Europe of 27 institutions to agree on adding a 28th, a 29th, a 30th, a 31st which would definitely make things worse.” The EU is currently meeting to discuss strategies of what to do in light of the Irish block of majority views. Janez Jansa, Prime Minister of Slovenia, which is the current presiding state, argued that new members should not be “a victim of Ireland.”

At some point, the European Union has to agree to new principles for change. Allowing a single state to halt the work of the majority is neither a logical nor feasible manner of managing a complex organization such as the European Union. It might be preferable to move towards either a two-thirds or three-fifths compromise which certainly demonstrates widespread support for change.

Ireland Rejects Lisbon Treaty And EU

The voters of Ireland gave a resounding “no” to the Lisbon Treaty and, in so doing, gave a resounding no to efforts of members of the European Union from moving forward in efforts to enhance the power of the organization. By a margin of 53.4% to 46.6% Irish voters, who represent about 1% of total membership in the Union, vetoed what the remaining 99% of European Union members desire. President Sarkozy of France, said he regretted the action but insisted the EU had to move ahead. He indicated there might be a way to proceed without Ireland’s vote and still have the Lisbon Treaty take effect. Chancellor Merkel of Germany expressed her disappointment, but coalition members from the SPD were furious. President Stipe Mesic of Croatia was upset because Ireland had received so much help from the EU to jump start its economy and was not turning on those who had been of assistance.

It is time for the European Union to abandon the idea that one nation can thwart the desires of the remaining members. Perhaps, it is time to move toward a three-fourths rule as is present in the United States.

Ireland Rejects Lisbon Treaty And EU

Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty which offered members of the European Union new opportunities to come together as a united force. By a vote of 53.4% to 46.6% Irish voters expressed a loud “no” to the agreement despite the fact so far 18 of the 27 EU members have signed on. EU Commission president, Jose Barroso urged other nations to proceed with their signing of the treaty and he hoped some way could be found to get around the Irish rejection. President Sarkozy of France expressed his “regrets” but he apparently is working to proceed with the treaty and then have it implemented with Ireland deciding whether or not to live by its rules and procedures. Chancellor Merkel of Germany was disappointed by her Social Democratic(SPD) allies were furious and termed it a “catastrophe.”

Stipe Mesic, president of Croatia expressed the feelings of many when he commented that Ireland had used EU funds to jump start their economy and give birth to the present prosperity, but now they are turning their backs on those who helped. At some point, members of the European Union have to abandon the 100% required to get anything done, because that is not democracy, it is a dictatorship by the 1% over the 99%. The American model of three-fourths required to amend the Constitution might well be interesting guidelines for the EU.