Apart from economics, a society contains a lot more; children, old people, sick people, criminals, politicians, artists, plumbers, gays, straights, natives, foreigners, men and women.
We all need to live in the same space and figure out rules to live by. Today, apart from the financial mess, Ireland is ignoring many vexed issues – pretending they’ll go away. They probably won’t.
- Our prisons are skips
- Our abortion policy is in chaos
- Our mental health system is a disaster
- Our drug and gang problem is out of control
- Our state’s institutional relationship with the Church is in limbo, neither cleanly severed, certainly not as it was
- The Irish language is still just fading away
- Access to education, particularly higher education, is not equal for poorer children
- Our relationship with Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland protestants, has been put into stasis
Today neither the Dail nor the Seanad are effectively debating these social issues. For example, decades have gone by with no clear resolution of the abortion issue. Whatever you think about abortion, today’s situation is beyond a joke.
How many other areas are there where solutions are available, but we’re not even talking about the problem? Despite what we sometimes say about ourselves, Ireland is a mature and modern democracy. We can do better.
Let’s start talking about these issues.
Solving the crisis demands fresh thinking
Restoring our democracy needs independent voices
Building Ireland’s future requires new faces