I was watching questions and answers last night, and I was struck by one comment made by the Government minister.
The notion of the Irish landscape being divided by townland, parish, county and country. As compared to the idea of Spatial strategies, defining the landscape by City, town, village and hinterland. The old system of townlands and parishs, was mirrored in large institutions like the GAA and the religious organisations. The care for society in terms of health, education and social services was by the religious organisations. Now this modern planning strategy approach by local authorities etc, has been overlaid on top of this.
This was the transfer of power from clergy to state. In our grandfathers and grandmothers times, a lot of people never ventured beyond their own parishes. A lot of people had never been to Dublin, and their lives didnâ€™t seem to suffer from that at all. Our grandfathers and grandmothers would not understand this idea of people all going to Dublin, Cork or Galway to live. And leaving behind their rural roots etc.
Yet it seems that many people in the cities too, are in fact now leaving their mothers and fathers in Kimmage, or Crumlin, or wherever. To go and live in the suburban sprawl of Kildare. Where National Schools cannot keep up to the pace of development and growth. With people living as far away as Carlow, and commuting to Dublin city each day. Perhaps we should be looking at some form of rapid transport, as opposed to something like LUAS?
On the other hand, you should consider how many working mothers there are living in rural Ireland these days, compare to 10 or 20 years ago. A lot of homes in rural Ireland having 2, 3 and 4 cars for the people living in those bungalows. And many National Schools down the country have less children actually coming to the National Schools, in large parishes, where a lot of new bungalows have been built very recently. Why? Because more young couples are choosing not to have families anymore, because work/career/earning and lifestyles are deemed more important.
How many people from rural Ireland went on sunshine holidays twenty years ago, compared to nowadays? Even though the price of flights has bottomed etc, etc. Still it would appear that many more people demand these â€˜luxuriesâ€™. The day-at-the-beach is all but gone now.
Some useful discussion here perhaps
Try to avoid the gratuitous politician bashing here, but useful comments too
One I would not be without
Brian Oâ€™ Hanlon.