Strictly Local



Kilcullen Credit Union, Co Kildare

The author rallies for change to start where you live.

A local solution for local people.

Frilly Keane writes

Whatever you had to say or not say about last week’s Frill-Bits, This week… tis a “we’re on the one road” call to arms. So do yerself a favour and stop reading now Jonotti. Or whoever you are today.

I know I’ve spoken here and there over the years about Registered Charities, HSE Service Providers, Representative Bodies and the NGO/ Voluntary Sectors in Ireland, and because of the day job I’ve had to behave myself and ‘hould back (Transparency Note: I don’t agree with a CHY Tax designation. Be a Not For Profit operating entity, VAT can be Zero Rate too btw).

However, for the year that’s in it, I’m determined to rally ye into a change that might have a more visible effect in yere own backyard.

Tales of wages benchmarked to the CEOs of PLCs and Multi Nationals, gluttonous expenses and HQ overheads, before we even get to the Pensions bigger than Beckham, are no longer news. That’s sad, but while I blame Revenue, Big 4/Top Tier Firms, and Corporate Enforcement for allowing this behavior become the norm; here’s something I want ye to consider:


I don’t blame you the lad that buys the daff or runs 10k in a pair of slippers. There is a feel good that you earn. But there are other sources of well being you could try. Buy the brekkies for the next week in your nearest School Breakfast Club. Have you knowledge or skills you can share?

How about helping out their Homework Club. Do you know any local Community Welfare Officers, Social Workers or Carers? Ask them, is there anyone that needs a dig out. A visit every now and again, even if it’s just to swap out a bottle of gas, a box of nappies, or a spin to the post office to collect a pension. Giving away perfectly good prams, bikes, furniture, to family and friends? Find a local family that have had a tough time of it instead.

That’s the behavior that sees immediate effect in your community, and its long lasting.

Annuder one.

Banks. W’da’F have they done for your local patch? Besides trying to own it or Ghost Estate it? The time has come to get back to yere Credit Unions. The very institutions that were there for our Parents and Grandparents, in times of Communions, Funerals, School Uniforms etc, are in serious danger of extinction.

If they are not being suffocated by new Central Bank rules on Investments, Post Office Banking and Online Lending, they are been forced to merge. The Common Bond, a very valuable ethos to our grassroot identity, be it urban or rural, is racing into being a thing of our past.

I appreciate we all have a Credit Union story of mad lending, Assistant Manager jobs for Grandkids who only managed a term of Barber College. Those days are gone. If you have no interest in applying to your local Credit Union for that Car Loan, or that Trip to the World Cup Loan, or the Home Improvement – Man Shed Loan or the College Fees Loan, or clear the Bank Overdraft Loan, or whatever you’re having yourself Loan, then fair enough.

Volunteer. If you have Executive Skills, Management Skills, Marketing Skills, anything that could land into a daycent contribution at Board Level. Stump it up folks. BTW, Compare the lending rates…. You might surprise yourself.

And annudder’ting.

Shop Local. Fair enough, many’s a time I’ve gone for the fifty cent bag’a spuds too. But where would’ya be for the Fruit n’Veg man when you’ve forgotten the fancy herbs for sum’ting special? Or needed a bale of briquettes delivered. Even if it’s just once a week for a bunch of bananas; give them some custom. Show them your face once in a while. Likewise the butcher, baker, dry cleaner etc.

Our local traders, if they’re not being rated out of it, they are being Insurance Premium’ptied into closing down. Anyone been to their nearest pub lately, or who here goes into town to one of the ‘Squares to engage a Solicitor or an Accountant. Again, pick the nearest one to your front door. They might surprise you. Its not much lads. A pint, a pound a sausages and a few heads a’cabbage every week won’t hurt ye.

These are just two extracts from an election flyer received yesterday from a local independent.

“Increasing social and sporting facilities for our local area, with particular emphasis on allotments, community gardens, outdoor gyms and playing pitches

Ensuring a safe and clean environment, by focusing on footpath repair, gulley cleaning and tackling illegal dumping”

That’s who I’m voting for.

The Big Banks, The Big Bhoys, The Big Charities, The Big Retailers, The Big Parties. HAVE ALL FAILED US.

If you want to actually see this recovery they’re all taking about. Start it yourself. Strictly, Local.

Frilly Keane’s column appears here every Friday. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

88 thoughts on “Strictly Local

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    I’ve volunteered a fair bit in various guises and durations and really really enjoyed it. Keeps you in touch with your community, with human issues, human strength and inspiring people and ideas. You can reap some personal rewards by mentioning it on your CV if you wish.

    1. Cup of tea anyone?

      Are area has a community clean up 2 or 3 times a year. It is always the same people but it is nice to get to know them. Also helping out sets a good example for the childer.

  2. Peadar

    I work for a charity. I’m not paid an obscene amount of money. Less than I would be for doing the same job for a bank or other private company. Far less than I would be paid for doing a similar role in the public sector. The Rehab and CRC scandals hit the charity really hard. Donations are down across the board. Salaries are under scrutiny, and all this is a good thing. As someone who was proud to take home a modest salary for work that is honest and helps people, I was delighted to see the back of Angela Kerins. I welcomed the Charities Regulator and I wish it had teeth when it comes to enforcement.

    But this…this. “STOP GIVING TO THEM”.

    Ill-informed, poorly thought-out goonism. The same logic as Facebook judges who deem €140,000 too much for a CEO of a business with a turnover in the millions, but don’t actually have an idea what an appropriate salary is. The same logic as journalists who happily stir fake outrage at the idea that anyone in the charity sector needs a wage.

    Lovely sentiment, though. Charity begins at home and all that. Shame it’s horsepoot and people will die when donations go down. People will die.

    1. ahjayzis


      Just cutting out all charities without even attempting to vet any / seek recommendations / talk to them is tarring them all with one brush.

    2. Dόn Pídgéόní

      +1. Either accept higher taxes to pay for social services or accept that you need charities to pick up where the state fails to provide.

    3. Frilly Keane

      People will die?
      Who exactly?
      Who will die if a 10 yoyo a month DD is stopped?

      ’cause if thats all it takes then the HSE have some explaining t’do

      Stop the drama ffs

      1. Joxer

        why do we need fecking charities anyway? surely the state is there to take care of all its citizens?

      2. Ramone

        Kids in sub-saharan Africa? Starving refugees in Syria? It’s a long list.

        Is it not possible to maybe help out in your own community without stopping a DD to a worthy charity?

        I agree with what you’re saying about investing your time in your local place – it’s a great message. But I don’t think “STOP GIVING TO THEM” in big bold caps is a good idea.

        1. Frilly Keane

          Do you seriously think that tenner is getting to Sub Saharan Africa.
          I’d say 40c of it, max, is made available for “projects”.

          1. Nice Anne {Dammit}

            Well done on giving in to the lazy stereotype of presuming that if a charity has admin or wage bills to pay that this makes contributions to them less effective.

            If a charity “only” passes on 40% of its contributions, the question to be asked is around how effective that contribution is to the cause it is donated to.

            There is one charity in the UK and Ireland who have bank reserves in the millions because of the influx of donations. As they pay admin and wages from the interest, they are in a position to declare that a very high percentage of donations are contributed to those that need it. To some people, this may seem a very good charity to give to. However, as your money would not be likely to be used for a very long time, it could be better used for causes in more dire need.

            If you are only interested in sprouting rubbish like this about charities, crack on. If you are interested in talking about how individuals can give effectively to a charity you are interested in, Peter Singer’s “The Life You Can Save” is a great read. Even the preview pages available on Amazon are enough to give you a lot to think about in terms of common perceptions about charities.

            How a person chooses the charity to support should be based on how contributions are dispersed, how effective that dispersal is AND the charities willingness and ability to articulate this when asked.

            Good charities themselves are interested in how to make donations more effective for the cause they represent and regularly review books and studies on the subject to learn how to make things better.

            That is the biggest difference between these and charities that are in it for the money, power, influence etc. The next differencing characteristic is the will to put change into place to make their spending more effective for their cause.

            Good charities differ in their effectiveness by factors of up to one thousand fold or more. That is 1000 more hours of research, 1000 more animals rescued and 1000 more people fed.

            Someone commented on here that there were multiple housing charities in Dublin. So putting this principle into place, if you want to decide which one to donate to- Ask them how effective the contributions they have received so far are and scale to compare appropriately. Where a charity puts the roof over the heads of 1000 people for every £10000 they receive, that looks great on paper but not so good if you realise they restart the count every week by moving families around between accommodation. (Yes, this happens)

            As an aside – In Ireland and the UK animal charities receive more money than prisoners and their families, hospices and the adult mentally ill put together. I leave that there as an aside.

          2. jean

            Well you’re wrong. Here’s a sample of the percentages that go to projects from some of the better known develoment charities:

            Concern – 88.5%
            Trocaire – 91%
            MSF – 84%

            Took me 2 mins to find that via Google. It’s nice that you have a platform here on Broadsheet. Pity you couldn’t be bothered informing yourself before using it.

          3. Frilly Keane

            88.5% 91% & 84% of what Jean?

            Government Allocations?
            Cash handed in?
            Corporate donations?
            Big ticket fundraisers?
            Small ticket events?
            Who manages supervises and confirms the cash in all those Lenten Trocaire boxes?

            So. 88.5% 91% and 84% of what

            If its income
            Then how do you know that value is complete?

          4. Niallo

            75% of statistics are made up on the spot 87.6% of the time.
            Charidees should have oversight as there is massive corruption within even the most po faced of them.
            There just is, ok.
            However while “some” of the money does indeed find its way to those in need.
            All staff, board members, directors, managers, etc. should be working on a purely voluntary basis.
            That way you will have only altruistic staff, for those without another normal income, this work could be paid as social welfare, which, when you think about it, makes sense.
            Frilly’s right though, it is an awfull shame about the syrians or ethiopians or biafrans or whoever the global pity case du jour happens to be today.
            But charity does indeed begin at home, if more people got off their h@les and helped out locally, the need for charities would be diminished.
            Oh, and get your butts into your local CU they are the only friendly ear you will find when things really go pear shaped.
            And thier interest rates wont cripple you.
            Niallo out.

          5. jean

            It’s all income. How do I know it’s complete? Because these accounts, where reputable charities are concerned, are audited and are also checked by the Charities Regulator. Can you show some evidence for your assertion that only 4% (40c from each 10e as you said) donated goes to projects?

          6. Nice Anne {Dammit}

            @Niallo – you are obviously the revolutionary all seeing eye that all charities have been waiting for to help the change their motivation, effectiveness and efficiency.

            Can you please submit your “wageless” point by point plan, new operating model, and measures for assessing charity effectiveness to the majority of the countries charities by the end of next week mucker?



    4. Nice Anne {Dammit}

      You were going great until the melodramatic ‘people will die” histrionics. Ignoring that, people should make smarter choices about what charities to support and how to be more charitable without giving to the bigger charities if they want to.

      Although, some manage to do the both at once. (*imagine that!*) a concept that has not apparently occurred to Frilly or if it has, he has not articulated it in the article above. However, I get that his article is all about the people around the *parish pump rather than global charities and economics so that is all good.
      (*I use that term as a visual image not a derogatory slur)

      If people want to do both and have the nice warm glow of knowing you are helping at a local and higher level, regional, national, international, outer space *whatever* there is a guide called “It ain’t what you give, it’s the way that you give it” written by someone who used to advise companies and people how to give to charity effectively and meaningfully. How to look beyond the hype of Daily Mail headlines about Fat Cats creaming off the charity sector and ask the right questions of a charity to know if they are an institution you would be happy to give your money too.

      It’s easy to find the book and how well regarded it is with a little googling. I have nothing to do with the author or publisher of the book but as I worked for one of the charities mentioned in the book, we were sent an early copy for review which is how I got to read it.

      1. Peadar

        At least I made it to the last line before I lost you.

        The book is by Caroline Fiennes, and yeah. It’s great.

      2. Nice Anne (Dammit)

        What was wrong with the last line??? Are you annoyed I read the book or read it for free? I said the charity I used to work for was mentioned. I did not specify if this was in a good or bad context :)

    5. Kieran NYC


      It’s a moronic and ignorant attitude. Instead of investigating the right charities to give to, Frilly says ‘Fupp them and let them take their chances’. But then this is someone who’s posts rarely rise above incomprehensible paddywhackery.

      Frilly’s generation had it worse, you know.

      1. Frilly Keane

        But sur you’re a cut above all that
        Aren’t ya?

        Yet you still can’t help yerself
        Is that it Kyc?

        (BTW. You would be profoundly mistaken if you don’t think I have knowledge and direct experience of how CHY registered organisations report their income and expenditure. What is “moronic and ignorant” however, is seeing a bucket rattler on the street and not asking how all that untraceable cash collected is counted, traced, accounted for and reported to)

  3. Joni2015

    I’ll take the bait. That shop local buy Irish guff is am inefficient form for capitalism that ultimately harms consumers. Local shops and manufactures should not rely on charitable custom but they need to offer genuine competition. The world would grind to a halt if everyone just shopped locally.

    1. Cup of tea anyone?

      I find the local butchers and fruit and veg shop can rival tesco prices on certain things. I find them better for quality and handiness and they do great deals on the basic meats.. But I know so many people who never go in local because it is “too expensive”. It may not be about just giving charitable sales, but to see what is available instead of just going straight to the big shops.

        1. Nigel

          Local is fantastic. We have a community farm a five minute walk away. All the veg we need, local jobs, low carbon footprint, no chemicals or pesticides and our diet has improved radically. The unit cost of each item is only one of our considerations when making our consumer choice in this matter.

  4. Lordblessusandsaveus

    Rambling, no proper intro, presumption of previous awareness on part of reader, haven’t a breeze what’s going on here until at least half way down and even then it’s not really clear.


    1. Gav D

      Marginally more cogent than last week, at least.

      I don’t disagree with the sentiment, I suppose.

      Honestly, I just feel bad falling for irritation based click-bait.

      1. ahjayzis

        Rooted in community values of reciprocity and treating your neighbour how you’d like to be treated – proud circle-jerkers! ;)

  5. Jake38

    Is the use of grammatic comprehensible English to make a cogent argument now considered another manifestation of blueshirt fascism or whatever the current phrase is on BS?

  6. DubLoony

    I do have an issue with the multiplicity of charities that are doing the same thing. They are competing with each other for the same charity money.
    Like housing charities in Dublin – Peter McVerry, Focus and the like. Why so many?

    1. Lilly

      The charities dealing with homelessness seem better than most but no doubt some tawdry news story lies in wait to prove me wrong.

  7. dan

    Insight. Intelligence. Wit.

    The big ideas, artfully explained.

    The Economist will be knocking on ‘Frilly’s’ door soon.

  8. Mayor Quimby

    >If they are not being suffocated by new Central Bank rules on Investments, Post Office Banking and Online Lending, they are been forced to merge.

    they’re being forced to merge because they were badly run and gave out silly money to silly people…

    1. ivan

      They? All of them? Every single last credit union? Or just a few that made the news, and it’s a thing that you enjoy broad sweeping generalisations?

      Some did, undoubtedly, but as a retired director of a Credit Union which made mistakes (and sorted them by reducing dividends and outgoings to the thick end of f*ck all until we were back on the right side of the line) the vast majority took decisive action and cleaned up their act. The mistakes of the past (which in the grand scheme of things aren’t as spectacular as the mistakes in other areas of the financial arena) are being used as a stick to beat the Credit Union movement by a Central Bank/Regulator which simply doesn’t want to have to oversee a few hundred CU’s but would rather a smaller amount of big ones.

      Rather than force mergers, what’s happening is that such an amount of regulation is required now (largely regardless of the size of the CU) which means that the costs being incurred by CU’s to be compliant means that mergers appear to be the only way to survive. There’s an agenda to turn Cu’s into banks, and it’s my opinion that in 10-15 years time, they’ll have become the equivalent of the Trustee Savings Banks we had in the 70s and 80s. Then they’ll find that merging and becoming a bank is the only viable option and the CU movement will have died.

      1. Frilly Keane

        Are who I think the non- Industrial Credit Unions are going to be handed over to

        For nathing

        Seriously lads
        This is going ta happen
        And it’ll be job done
        Like Clearys and the Bank Bailout

        A stroke of a pen in the midnight hours

        And we’re letting it happen

  9. b

    I shop in a local butcher and I regularly get deals that I wouldn’t get in a supermarket. I get better meat too. I also have access to a ready supply of gourmet sausages…

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      The local butcher has way more savvy with cuts and with stock control. Better variety too – especially if you fancied a bit of rabbit or venison. I would never buy my meat in a supermarket unless the butcher was closed.

  10. Frilly Keane

    Wha’how’ya now lads

    I could’a written some of them responses myself they were that predicable.

    Broadsheet, if at all possible at this late stage, can you highlight/ bold the last bit:

    “The Big Banks, The Big Bhoys, The Big Charities, The Big Retailers, The Big Parties. HAVE ALL FAILED US.

    If you want to actually see this recovery they’re all taking about. Start it yourself. Strictly, Local.”


    1. Deluded

      You rustled the jimmies last week, Frilly, they were waiting in the long grass for you this morning.

    2. Nice Anne {Dammit}

      Which just means you saw the flaws in what you were writing as clearly as everyone else did.

    1. Frilly Keane

      is Fox’s gone?
      and wasn’t there a butchers along there too?

      ah here. Maybe tis too late for ye in D4.

  11. dan

    “I don’t blame you the lad that buys the daff or runs 10k in a pair of slippers. There is a feel good that you earn. But there are other sources of well being you could try.”

    Have you had a stroke?

  12. Stumpy

    This shtick is beyond tiresome. Next week’s stream of consciousness: “Blackface. Shure it’s only a bit a craic.” Broadsheet: can do better.

    1. Kieran NYC

      I forgot that.

      Her other greatest hit is “The Confederate Flag: Grand at Cork matches because I don’t know any black people”. Pure parochial ignorance.

  13. Valleyoftheunos

    What a load of garbled nonsense, the Healthcare system is in tatters and anyone who went to college in the last 10 years has left the country but if I go to my local butcher and help out at the GAA it will all be grand? Oh and “it was all the bhanks lhads ” get a clue ffs.

  14. george

    “Increasing social and sporting facilities for our local area, with particular emphasis on allotments, community gardens, outdoor gyms and playing pitches “

    “Ensuring a safe and clean environment, by focusing on footpath repair, gulley cleaning and tackling illegal dumping”

    Are you voting for a local councillor or a TD? This is not what TDs should be doing.

    1. Frilly Keane

      I don’t care
      ‘Cause there’s no one else ( so far) in the running I’d vote for
      And let’s be honest
      Unless the candidate is Ministerial stuff
      They might as well promise to keep the leaves off the drains

  15. jean

    I know this is deliberately provocative and button-pushing…but the stuff about charities is SO stupid I have to respond. Needing charity is about much more than needing food and household items, for most people who rely on charities. Help with homework in homework clubs is great, but that’s only a tiny bit of the support that children growing up in severe disadvantage need. They need a range of supports including therapy, educational support, home visits etc, from professionals who have the training to deliver them effectively and safely. I know someone who worked for a homeless charity as a case worker in a residential centre for recovering alcoholics, and he put it really well:

    “Some would think that these residents would have been better served by just giving them the money and letting them off on their own. I think our service was required (and still hold that belief) because these residents had severe difficulties living independently and their alcohol addictions had reached such a point that they had drank themselves out the door of their own homes, rejected the support offered from their families, often broken contact with those families and they needed round the clock support. ”

    A donation of a bike isn’t going to help someone like that, is it? I agree that people should help out more and get involved in their local communities if they can, but to say to stop donating to charities is beyond ignorant.

    1. Lilly

      Such services should be provided by our taxes not charidees run by chancers on the make. Frilly is on the right track.

      1. jean

        What do you mean? It is a charity. The support service is provided by a registered charity that fundraises for its work. You don’t just get to decide the definition of charity that suits your argument.

        I agree that more taxes should go to providing services like this. But there’ll always be a role for charities in supporting vulnerable people, because government services are too prone to cuts and changes as different parties come in and out of power.

        1. Frilly Keane

          Jean. If an organisation is providing a Service to vulnerable people, then they have to be under some form of service provider agreement with a State Agency. Therefore they should budget according to their allocation.
          I note your remark about “prone to cuts and changes a different parties come in and out of power”
          It made me smirk actually
          Because it kinda answers a query above as to why there are several charities attempting to fulfill the same needs.
          “Different Parties ” involved within these charities
          When they go “out of power”
          Go off and set up another

          1. jean

            An organisation can be a service provider and a charity. Most charities provide services. I’m not sure what ‘budget according to their allocation’ means. Are you saying organisations providing services to vulnerable people should only use whatever scraps the government give them and not even try to do more? In that scenario, who meets the need that is out there? Nobody? People set up and work in charities because they care about vulnerable people, and a large proportion of the public care too, that’s why they donate. Not everyone is so mean-spirited.

            That there are multiple charities working on some of the same causes is mainly for two reasons: 1) there is immense need in some areas (homelessness is a good example of this) and 2) people who have been affected by an issue often want to work directly on it, and many of them set up their own organisations to give their work a particular slant or angle that isn’t already covered by existing charities (mental health and suicide prevention charities are a good example of this).

            Like many things about the anti-charity rhetoric you’re spouting, the idea that there are “too many charities attempting to fill the same needs” is reductive and badly informed. Homelessness and suicide (to take the examples I used above) are two enormous problems that our society is nowhere close to solving. There are only “too many” charities working on these issues if they can’t find people who need their help And that’s not the case.

            You said:

            “Different Parties ” involved within these charities
            When they go “out of power”
            Go off and set up another

            Who exactly are you referring to here? Can you give me some examples of specific charities where that has happened?

          2. Frilly Keane

            Ya know what “Jean”

            I’ve better things to do with my Saturday night

            So note this
            I stand over everything I wrote

            And sum’ting you seemed to have missed in your gobshittery indignation
            (Read what’s inside the brackets)

            You’re right
            I do have a voice
            Back to the message:
            “The big banks, the big bhoys, the big charities, the big retailers, the big parties have all failed us”

            Shop Local

          3. jean

            “I’ve better things to do with my Saturday night” – lol! You mad :D

            I completely agree by the way. For example, you could take your Saturday night to do some research on the next topic you’re going to write about, instead of posting similarly badly-informed nonsense.

          4. Anne

            “For example, you could take your Saturday night to do some research on the next topic you’re going to write about, instead of posting similarly badly-informed nonsense.”

            I wouldn’t say badly informed now.. just no homework done.

            Take this for instance – “Compare the lending rates…. You might surprise yourself.”

            Would it have been very difficult to get an example of the lending rates of a bank compared to a credit union, instead of waffle about being surprised?

  16. Anne

    I finished that, right to the end. Do I get a medal or something?
    I hope you are developing more empathy for your fellow contributors.. They’ve spouted considerably less waffle than you, in fairness Frilly Keane.

    In general,I agree with the sentiment, shop local.
    Big banks, the big bhoys – in bold, bad or something.

    But this I found promising – “BTW. You would be profoundly mistaken if you don’t think I have knowledge and direct experience of how CHY registered organisations report their income and expenditure. ”

    I almost missed that with the double negative.. so you’re saying you have some knowledge and experience of how the CHY orgs report their income and expenditure.

    Could you not have kept to the facts on that?
    Just write about the facts, and let them hash it out themselves?
    It might make yourself less of a target… more facts, less waffle.
    Just a suggestion on being ‘medja savvy’..
    Or as you were. Whichever.

  17. andy moore

    Spot on Frilly ! @ times It’s frustrating though ! Even if best intentions are persued many find find fault because of to many ties outside of Communities ,Be it other Issues or itmay affect present employments awy for Community !! Keep it Going & I’m off to lodge me Pension in Creds & have another Minge about ATM at Ulster Bank while withdrawing such !!

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