Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Unpaid mentors support unemployed women in Mayo

Conor Hogan reports
Conor Hogan

By March of this year, there were 4,680 women on the live register in Mayo, up from 3,315 two years earlier. 

In fact, Mayo has the highest rural unemployment rate in the country with CSO figures showing the rate among women in the county has risen by over 40% in the  last two years.

“Many small businesses are making attempts at rationalising cuts,” Breda Murray of South West Mayo Development Company’s (SWMDC) told us, “and secretaries seem to be the first people they will lay off.”

This led the SWMDC to join up with Tacu Family Resource Centre (FRC) in Ballinrobe and Claremorris FRC to provide a support programme called ‘Revival’. It has been run twice, so far, and could become a blueprint for a national strategy if the course leaders make a successful case.

The aim is to improve people’s educational qualifications, as well as helping them to develop social skills – making a return to the labour market that bit easier.

It isn’t just women on the live register that are eligible, however, but the underemployed and unregistered too. Each woman on the course works one-on-one with a mentor who themselves is unpaid and values gaining experience.

“We hoped to get 30 people on the course," Ms Murray told us, "but had to accommodate nine more.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rest in peace Richard Douthwaite

Richard Douthwaite, Westport, Co. Mayo, has passed away. He was a hero to many of us in Ireland and abroad who strive to promote sustainable local development as opposed to growth and materialism. Tributes are pouring in from around the world and can be read here on Feasta's website.
Richard was a fortune-teller of sorts and his work and writing educated many about green economics. He wrote 'The Growth Illusion' (1992) and 'Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies in an Unstable World' (1996).

Thanks Richard and rest in peace.
- A. Meagher

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Ireland is €3.6 BILLION better off than we thought!
The Dept of Finance confirmed today that an accounting error took place. Well, if we were to make use of these billions, it would be:
- the same as giving everyone in Ireland €800 in 'luck-money' for Christmas.
- the same as giving 167,000 unemployed people jobs.
- the same as the amount originally earmarked for regeneration of Limerick’s disadvantaged estates.
It's also the same coincidentally as the amount the EU/IMF say we must cut in this year’s budget.
It's all rather curious.
German officials found €55 BILLION that went unnoticed in another "error" last month.
Seriously, Horace McDermott, our fictitious good news correspondent predicted as much in the summer of 2010 when he wrote that officials found €22 million lying in a biscuit tin in Anglo Irish Bank.
Horace never imagined he should be thinking in billions. The incredible becomes reality.

Here's more about the Germans' €55 BILLION