In what might be seen as the first salvo in an inter-generational war, Friends of the Elderly has called for the scrapping of transition year.

The organisation…described the senior cycle “gap year” as “self-indulgent” and “a luxury we can’t afford” and said it should be replaced with a community service year.


Scrap ‘Self-indulgent’ Transition Year, Urges Elderly Lobby Group (Ronan McGreevey, Irish Times)

Which prompted Declan to write:

– Speaking as a 27 year old who did transition year and is now a tax payer left paying off the debts incurred by the auld ones – I’m a bit annoyed. How about we take away the vote from them and the travel pass. They obviously made a fuck of it the first time time so why give them a self indulgent second chance.



38 thoughts on “Some Friends

  1. Dave

    How about we remove their unfunded luxurious pensions. Huge age war coming in the future. Most States run benefit systems that are basically a ponzi scheme and with demographics working against that now, there’s going to be fewer and fewer young people paying for more and more of the eldery.

  2. sinabhfuil

    This is the usual response of primitive societies when the crops fail: demonise the old, starve them out. I’m expecting to see accusations of witchcraft any day now.
    Small correction to Declan: the old (people over 65) didn’t cause the self-indulgent excesses of the Celtic Tiger; that would have been caused by those now in their forties and fifties.

    1. Galino

      The elderly are far more responsible for the “self indulgent excesses of the Celtic Tiger” (*as well as voting for Haughey et al, ignoring child abuse etc.) than the transition students whom they are proposing to enslave.

  3. tommy

    This disgusting boomer generation needs to be put down. The whole country has bent over backwards for them now and in the past.

  4. Spaghetti Hoop

    Agree with the scrapping of the transition year, but these old dears have nothing to do with it. Friends of the Elderly would hardly like it if they were dictated to by a bunch of 15 year-olds.

    1. K

      Disagree fundamentally. Its a fantastic opportunity for students do engage in non curricular activities, a lot of students do community activities that have a great impact on their lives. Like many if not all of my peers in school, I spent weeks working in a centre for people with mental disabilities. The opportunity I believe, helped me become a more rounded invidividual and had a lasting impact on the importance of these centres and in understanding a little more about my community and society and the needs of people with disabilities.

      Furthmore. for some children, studying will just not be their thing. There are countless examples of school dropouts who became very successful in other aspects. So this opportunity — transition year — allows them to learn about other aspects that might help them with their life. I personally spent plenty of hours studying some things that I never used, but felt that some of the things we did in Transition year had a lasting impact.

      Furthermore, students aren’t ready for the leaving cert cycle at 14/15, in part because the junior cert is a relatively tough year for a 13/14 year old.

      1. tom

        I whole heartedly agree K. The Transition Year provides a welcome opportunity for students to develop themselves beyond simple rote learning and gives them an extra year to mature before they have to make a decision that may impact their entire lives.

        1. Paul Q

          +1 was a beneficiary of it. extra year of maturity meant i got a sheetload more out of college.

  5. Susan Lanigan

    They really have got a nerve rawer than a Los Angeles aspiring model’s diet. Are they for real? Next thing they’ll be telling us they fought in a war like, well, English people…

  6. Adam McSavage

    Don’t really understand either statements. When I did transition year, I did more work for my surrounding community than I have done in subsequent years!

  7. Right Wing Dribbler

    Send the children to work up the chimneys. They have no respect and thus should have their lives made a misery for our morbid amusement.

  8. Sido

    So what’s it to do with so called”Friends of the Elderly”,
    Seems to be some sort of agenda overshoot here.
    In Ireland if it sounds bent then well it is bent.

  9. James van der Kamp

    Free Electricity Allowance
    Free Natural Gas Allowance
    Free Bottled Gas Allowance
    Free Television License
    Free Telephone Rental Allowance
    National Fuel Scheme
    Medical Card
    Free Travel
    Carers Allowance and Carers Benefit
    Treatment Benefit
    Living Alone Allowance
    Supplementary Welfare Allowance

      1. cluster

        If you are between 25 and 35 as I’d guess most BS readers are, there is no way you will have anything like the level of allowances that the elderly do today. We aren’t really in a position to afford it now and we are even less likely to be in a position to afford it in 40+ years as demographics change and life expectancy increases.

        1. Clampers Outside

          I do realise that Cluster. that’s why I’m starting my campaign to keep as many of those benefits as possible, now.

          I’m also starting a new campaign called ‘One TD, One Pension… and NOT before 65″.

          I hope you approve.

  10. Mrs Stapleton

    The elderly got all of those things which James van der Kamp listed because they vote.

    1. Brian Mahon

      Eh, don’t think 16 year olds can vote? Does that mean that we should disregard what is best for them?

      1. Mrs Stapleton

        The guy responding to them is in his 20s. They tend not to vote which is one of the reasons why people in their 20s get shafted more than people in their 70s.

        1. Declan


          I’m the original annoyed guy here. I’ve only ever missed one election and that was because I was on a Fas work placement in Dublin and I couldn’t get home due to a lack of cash and timing issues.

          Personally I even enjoy local council elections – democracy as the “youths” say is totes. However I accept your point as re youth voting – personally I think its more to do with moving around and been at that stage of your life where you don’t have firm roots

    1. Tom Red

      Obviously they think lying around all day, snoozing and daydreaming is too good a thing for the elderly to be sharing with students.
      Besides, that garden isn’t going to tend itself!

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      There’s a smell of Jobridge off this.

      How many of these people have sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren that couldn’t be arsed visiting them? 15-year olds are depressed enough without throwing this sh*t on them.

  11. Cillian

    I actually did some work for Friends of the Elderly during Transition Year.

    I almost feel as though this is my fault.

  12. robocan

    Transition year was the most important year in my entire education, and is directly responsible for me getting into and finishing college. Why? Because I was given the space and time to find out what it was I wanted to be.

    It’s one of the few genuine successes of the Irish education system. I’m actually proud of it. Proud, no less. How often do you get to say that about something in Ireland?

    There’s more to an education than constant, learn by wrote, testing.

      1. cluster

        I think exactly the opposite. I would much rather have had a gap year after school and before university rather than farting around at the age of 16.

  13. Three Broadsheets to the Wind

    The important thing is they had an onion on their belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Now where was I… oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time.

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