Speaking on the issue of income and living conditions in the Dáil tonight, Sinn Féin TD Michael Colreavy lamented the devastating impact that austerity has had upon the whole of Ireland, damage that may never be repaired.
Deputy Colreavy said:
“The norm that many had learned to accept was upturned overnight. What once had been institutions on street corners, crossroads and quiet country lanes were now literally ghosts of their existence. Local sports fields lay silent due the young people leaving for lives on other shores. Meanwhile those who were left behind were burdened with loss of services and institutions of community. The arrival of the austerity in Ireland has had a major impact on the lives of people in every corner of the country.”
“Take for example the impact that austerity has had on many local businesses throughout the country. Locked in by upward only rents, unable to access sustainable or sufficient credit and being under-priced by multinational companies, many of these local businesses closed during the era of austerity. This in turn had an impact on businesses around them and on the streets of our towns, villages and even cities. Business has moved out from the small shops that have been in hands for generations to industrial, soulless shopping malls.”
“It is rather ironic that one of the catalysts for the economic crisis was the onset of a housing boom. Now we cannot even provide a roof to put over the head of our homeless. Young families who are starting out in life cannot find somewhere that has both adequate space and adequate services. We are stunting the future for our next generation.”
“In hospitals throughout the country there are sick and elderly people lying on hospital trollies for the want of a bed in a ward. Many of these are seriously sick and in need of adequate care. This is the Ireland that we are left with in the post Celtic Tiger era. The least that we should expect for our elderly is that they are provided with some comfort and that our sick are taken care of.”
“This is the Ireland that austerity has created and the fault lies squarely at the feet of this government that enacted its predecessor’s savage programme of slash and burn economics that has devastated the country at every turn and every level. This country needs a fair recovery and it is beyond this government to even consider this, let alone enact it.”