This week’s Blog deals with the Derry Tragedy, The Border, working from home, the Digital Hub, quality of life and Paddy Kavanagh’s Green Fool

Lyra Mc Kee
The murder of Lyra is an unspeakable tragedy and our revulsion was reflected in the attendance at the funeral by the President An Taoieseach and Tanaiste at the funeral.
Dangerously there is now a generation of young men who don’t know the horrors of violence and the accompanying suffering.
They can have a romanticisef view of the world.
Ongoing social and economic inequality with inter generational poverty and unemployment needs constant tackling and corrective investment.
A restoration of Government in Stormont is an absolute must. If there is any good to come out of Lyras’ death that must be a minimum. The real tribute the political classes in Northern Ireland can pay her is to act on this.
Those of us from the Taoiseach down who have been arguing that a return to a hard border will act as a green light to violence are proven right by last week’s events in Derry. One can only imagine what a direct fuse any infrastructure on the border would be. Sadly our fears were not ‘alarmist’ as some UK media outlets suggested.

Remote Working
I’ve recently spoken in the Seanad about remote working as a solution to Global Warming,traffic congestion,commuting, housing and quality of life issues. We should actively encourage some use of it.
In this regard I’m delighted to be attending an open evening on our new digital hub in Cavan Town next week. It will allow up to fifty people work at little cost from home. That will be fifty less commuters and fifty less apartment hunters.
The attractiveness of remote working to employers as a way of reducing costs is becoming increasingly apparent.
We have high speed broadband in seventy nine percent of homes and premises. Minister Bruton is on the brink of unveiling plans to get to the final twenty percent then. Those who legitimately sought to build dispersed homes in remote places must understand that there will be a level of cost and delay getting services to them.

Quality Of Life
Whenever there is a break from normal activities as at Easter I get to thinking about quality of life issues. We should not just measure progress in economic terms but also in lifestyle areas. Ending grinding commutes where possible is a big start. Participation in sports the arts and social action is vital. I have proposed changes to the CAO system that would help this. They involve a modest seventy point allocation for involvement in sports and the arts.
Over the weekend I read Paddy Kavanagh’s Green Fool for the second time. I hadn’t read it since my teenage years. I highly recommend it to all including my urban friends. It is a lovely narrative laced with humour and amazing social history. His observations on life and people are beyond perceptive. Finally he states that Cavan people were the most generous he ever met. Even in this he was perceptive.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website