Sound on. Bird song, bluebells, children laughing.
A minute of peace in a busy world.
Roscommon, Ireland. pic.twitter.com/CuRucfm78f
— Val (@magnumlady) April 26, 2019
Vehicles on fire at the home of the McGann family in Falsk, Strokestown, Co Roscommon
Local reports in the north Roscommon area this morning suggest that a man has been arrested as part of a Garda investigation into alleged incidents at Falsk in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Gardai in Roscommon are continuing investigations into alleged incidents in Strokestown in recent days.
The Garda Press Office has confirmed to Shannonside FM that an operation is currently ongoing in the county and they will be issuing an update on events later today.
Two men have been arrested in connection with an attack at a farmhouse in Falsk, Co Roscommon, at the weekend.
The men, aged in their 50s and 60s, were arrested this morning after a number of planned searches were carried out by gardaí across Co Roscommon.
It is understood the men were detained in the north of the county before 11am.
Uproar in the #Dáil.
— Mick Caul (@caulmick) December 18, 2018
From top: Pearse Doherty, of Sinn Féin; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil this afternoon
This afternoon in the Dáil.
During Leaders’ Questions.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was responding to comments made by Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty about the recent eviction and subsequent events at a farmhouse near Strokestown, Co Roscommon.
He said the High Court doesn’t issue eviction orders lightly, and said 116,000 mortgages have been restructured while “only” 400 eviction orders were executed in the last year.
In response, Mr Doherty said:
“No family, regardless of their circumstances, and it’s not the Revenue that are evicting them, regardless of their circumstances, should have been treated in this way. This idea that banks enforcers, these thugs, and I call them thugs, can enter into somebody’s property, can cut down locks, break down doors, can take somebody out by their ears, can kick somebody on the ground and push them out of their own home and property, while the guards watch on, is not acceptable.
“And we have raised this with you countless times and it is not just bank enforcers that are unregulated, we have rent receivers that is unregulated. Why are they doing this? And why is the public so outraged? And I commend the public for standing up in solidarity with the family and people who are facing eviction.
“And standing against the type of thuggish behaviour that we’ve seen last Tuesday. Why are they doing this? Because your government has completely abandoned these communities. You have rolled out the red carpet for the vulture funds, you’re allowing thousands of sales of restructured performing mortgages to take place of the vulture funds outside of the code of conduct of the Central Bank.
“And you have allowed, time and time again, the banks to ride rough shod over ordinary people. So Taoiseach, will you…ensure that this is the last time that unauthorised, unregulated bank henchmen will be entering property and behaving in the type of despicable way that we’ve seen in Roscommon last Tuesday?“
Mr Varadkar told Mr Doherty that he was “very concerned” that Mr Doherty “had nothing to say about what happened afterwards” – referring to events at the property on early Sunday morning.
“Twenty or thirty people arriving in a cattle truck, armed with baseball bats, who then injured three or four other people. Set cars alight and caused an animal to be shot dead. I find it very concerning that you have nothing to say about that. You’ve made two contributions now and you’ve not condemned, you’ve not condemned, you’ve not condemned, you’ve not condemned…”
At this point Mr Doherty started to respond to Mr Varadkar and the Leas Ceann Comhairle Pat “The Cope” Gallagher called for order.
The call for order went on for more than 30 seconds.
After order was restored, Mr Varadkar said:
“Deputy, I condemn violence and thuggish behaviour by anyone, under any circumstances, so let there be no doubt about this. But in two contributions, in fact, in three contributions now, you have dismissed the fact that tax evasion is a serious offence.
“You have criticised the gardaí, you have criticised the High Court for making this order, having heard the cases…and you have said nothing about the thugs who climbed on the back of a cattle truck, 20 of them, broke into property, injured three people, killed a dog…”
Mr Gallagher began to call for order again.
Then the Taoiseach said:
“Deputy, deputy, when it comes to Sinn Féin and the rule of law, and public order, and condemning violence, it doesn’t take very long for your balaclava to slip.”
Watch Dáil proceedings live here
Previously: Cause And Effect
Taoiseach @campaignforleo says nobody likes to see evictions, particularly at Christmas, but “all of us have to condemn, unreservedly, the use of violence”. | https://t.co/NdK2DD1nRY pic.twitter.com/wihFh0dAdw
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) December 17, 2018
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to RTÉ News about last Tuesday’s eviction in Strokestown, Co Roscommon and events at the property early yesterday morning where security personnel at the home were attacked.
Earlier: Cause And Effect
Yesterday morning and all last week.
Anna Kavanagh, from Longford, who volunteers with Athlone Community Radio, reported via Facebook on events from Strokestown, County Roscommon.
Further to this…
Last night Anna posted a letter she wrote to the Irish Farmers Journal in 2016 about the difficulties that farmers are facing when it comes to meeting their loan repayments.
I predicted in April 2016 that we were about to see a land grab in Ireland not seen since Cromwell and I called on the Government to put a contingency plan in place to prevent this happening.
I’m very shaken by what has happened in Roscommon this week and my reporting from the scene of the eviction has taken its toll on me. I do not want to see any further breakdown of the rule of law and order in this country. We are a democracy and I believe in the power of the ballot box.
I’m pleading to Leo Varadkar, Charlie Flanagan and Drew Harris to restore the rule of law to the courts, the Gardai and the body politic because history teaches us that the alternative is anarchy. I’m unable to respond to all the requests for the moment and I appeal that you continue to keep your comments respectful.
Many thanks to you for reading and for your support.
Thanks Johnny Keenan
“I’m live on air at 3.20pm to bring you breaking news from Roscommon eviction. You can listen live on the net at this link. Please share and let others know.”
Woodland Walk, Strokestown, Co Roscommon.
Mary Cooney writes:
If you are in Strokestown House and Woodland Park, Co. Roscommon during the Summer, be sure to check out the fantastic outdoor sculptures created by post primary students from the Midlands and Western region for Strokestown’s annual School’s Sculpture Competition.
This year’s theme is “Ireland, the Land of a Thousand Welcomes”. Visitors to Strokestown Park can stroll through the picturesque woodland walk and see the students’ sculptures which are dotted along the path. Visitors can then vote for their favourite piece on return to the reception desk.
Above is the entry from Ardscoil Phádraig, Granard, Co. Longford which is a giant wooden 8’x4′ mug of tea, complete with open half door. You can look inside the mug to see a little room with a table set for tea in typical Irish Country Style. And what would make you feel more welcome than a giant mug of tea…
Strokestown House and Woodland Walk is open to the public all Summer. Entry is free.
The Marriage referendum electoral map of the Republic of Ireland
‘No’-voting Roscommon/South Leitrim.
The Heart of Darkness?
Or something else entirely?
There have been quite a few sneering and cruel remarks about the people of Roscommon/South Leitrim that voted ‘No’ by a narrow margin (51.48%) in #MarRef.
That was surely a disappointment for the 17,615 constituents who voted ‘Yes’ but more soul destroying for that county and a half was the attitude of many social commenters who took the opportunity to belittle and demonise the entire population there.
Screwed over by government on issues like healthcare access, job creation and clean drinking water, these are not people who deserve that treatment. These are people who are mostly used to being forgotten about and not noticed.
Several other constituencies had incredibly tight votes – Donegal West was Yes by .05% or 33 votes – it was a very closely contested referendum in other rural areas. It’s a shame there were any constituencies that voted ‘No’ but to be the only one is unfortunate.
These are counties ravaged by emigration and the flow of younger inhabitants to urban centres and jobs. Sligo, Dublin, Letterkenny and Galway are typically the places where they live and vote. Ros/South Leitrim doesn’t have an urban centre larger than Roscommon Town (12,500). The younger voter is evidently a Yes.
Having canvassed voters’ opinions in the area in the run up to Friday, I noticed there was a disconnect with the Yes campaign and message that I hadn’t encountered in Dublin. Many rural people felt talked down to and alienated. They felt shouted at. They got left behind by the Yes campaign which is worth reflecting on…..(cont at link below)
Thanks John Gallen
Gardaí outside Regans Bar in Roscommon town last night
Further to Enda Kenny’s visit to Regans Bar last night, the Roscommon Says No group writes:
“We saw unconfirmable rumours on Friday evening (yesterday) on the internet that Enda Kenny was going to be attending a Fine Gael Function in Roscommon Town later in the evening. We phoned the pub and they denied that he was going to be there. A number of us decided to travel from around Roscommon to the pub just in case the rumours turned out to be true. We could not pass up the opportunity to let the Taoiseach know the strength of our opposition to his government’s anti democratic imposition of water charges.”
“We were thinking the possibility of his actually arriving was a long shot as the idea of Enda Kenny at the present moment turning up in Roscommon, where many people’s water is poisonous, and where he and local FG TD Frank Feighan are despised because of broken promises made about the local Roscommon Hospital A&E before the last election, seemed ridiculous. Around 25 of us gathered initially outside the premises. Eight of us went inside to have a drink, basically convinced that he wasn’t coming as there were no Gardai present.”
“Around 15 minutes later we realised that he actually WAS coming when we saw local TD Frank Feighan preparing to greet him. The minute he walked in the door we began to sing the anthem of the anti water charges protesters in Dublin in solidarity with them: ‘You can stick your water meters up your arse / you can stick your 100 euro up your arse’. Some of us also repeatedly told him that we did not want our water supply privatised and that it was time for him to go as his mandate to govern has disappeared. We were surrounded by Gardai and asked to leave and did so without any fuss.”
“We thought it fitting to protest Enda Kenny in a constituency where – according to the government’s plan – we will not be charged for the poison coming in to our homes – but WILL be charged for the privilege of having the poison taken away again. FG / Labour have been in government for years and many of us present have lived with the reality of constant ongoing boil water notices for those years.”
“We are also angry with the fact that this government are basically setting up a system whereby the ordinary people – many many of whom are living on the breadline – will end up subsidising the water supply of the privileged in our society with money they cannot afford. The water charges at base are a regressive poll tax. We also have no confidence whatsoever that in the medium term – if entrusted to the care of the present government – our water will remain in public ownership.”
“There has been criticism on national radio from Fine Gael public representatives of the manner of our protest. Our language may have been colorful – but our actions were entirely peaceful. Freedom of expression still exists in Ireland despite some members of our political and media elites openly wishing things were otherwise. We will continue to use it.”
Previously: ‘Get Out Of Our Pub’
Pic: Sisa Guevara