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Letterkenny or LetterKenya.

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Sceala Clann T.D.
Location: Belfast and Donegal.

Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     Letterkenny or LetterKenya.

Thu Jun 18, 2009

I do not live that close to Letterkenny, thank God, but I have plenty of friends who do and to a man, they would agree with this insight by David McWilliams.

Why bail out our bust banks?
David McWilliams
May 17th, 2009
Last Wednesday morning, the dole queue on High Road in Letterkenny extended for about half a mile, out past the social welfare office, up past the Mace supermarket and on up towards the roundabout and De Valera Road. Up to the right is the ghost estate of empty houses which will never sell and will be used to house welfare recipients - locals and immigrants.

This is Letterkenny, or ‘‘Letterkenya’’ as one person described it tome, formerly the commercial hub of north Donegal; now, judging from the traffic, the gateway to Strabane.

Walking through ‘Little Britain’ - the retail park in the town which is home to M&S, Top Shop, Tesco, River Island, B&Q, Currys and Oasis - I wondered what the Long Fella, Eamon de Valera himself, would make of this ‘big box’ imitation of Middle England, populated by lads in Celtic jerseys, located at the bottom of Padraic Pearse Road.

The background noise is the roaring rev of pimped-up, third-hand Honda Civics bought in the North. The boy racers - fondly referred to locally as ‘shams’ - cruise with their ‘shamettes’ up and down Main Street. They proudly display their latest spoilers.

Initially, you think there’s no one driving the car, until you see the reflection of the white Diadora hoodie and the gelled hair brushed furiously forward, peering out just over the steering wheel.

This is the way they like to drive, sunk low into the customised driver’s seat, accelerator revving, Jay-Z blasting out of the boot’s massive sub-woofer, which makes the vehicle look like a cross between a Provo car bomb and the 2FM roadcaster. The Tango’d shamette in her ‘going out’ pyjamas is oblivious to the racket as she focuses on her quick-dry French manicure.

At the overwhelmed dole office, the staff stare out of the cubicles like petrified sentries. People in the queue look lost. They examine the countless forms, puzzled. These folk have never been here before; they are shell-shocked. These are Ireland’s ‘welfare virgins’. Like all first timers, they are a bit flummoxed by the experience. Young men and women who, up until Christmas, had good jobs, good prospects and good lives, are now faced with losing their homes - and, possibly, losing their hope.

Across from the dole office, the local credit union- the only financial institution to come out of this mess with any credibility - is self-consciously open for business.

This is our country. This is Ireland: a fragile nation of unemployed young people, clinging on to existence in ghost estates, driving cars bought in the North for half the price and competing with immigrants in British retail colonies, which are positioned like garrisons on the outskirts of our provincial towns.

Unlike the banks, these people are not being bailed out. They are fending for themselves. There is no Nama that is going to ask the taxpayer to pay for their mistakes. Their businesses were not considered systemically important. They are the ‘outsiders’ and, unlike the ‘insiders’, they will not be rescued.

Full insight is here

The number of immigrants compared to native population is shocking. Is this what equal rights for asylum seekers and immigration is all about. Destruct the native culture until you turn them into a minority. Ireland is a small country, small population. The numbers allowed in to ratio of our population is criminal.

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