Ireland Third Most Deprived Nation On EU 15 List

Enda Kenny, the great leader of the Irish nation

The Irish news media has spent much of the last week focusing on the issue of homelessness following the dreadfully sad passing of Jonathan Corrie, a forty-three year man found dead in a doorway just meters away from Leinster House, the building housing Oireachtas na hÉireann. Unfortunately much of the reporting has been at the shallow end of the analytical pool as has been the government response, more concerned with rhetoric and PR stunts than any substantive long-term changes. The issue of homelessness is symptomatic of far greater social and economic problems in Irish society, problems stemming from the ideologically-driven, centre-right policies of our major political parties. From a recent report by Norma Costello in Vice:

“Food banks pop up like melanomas on a sick society. Last week, Ireland opened a giant food bank to cope with the 600,000 people living in food poverty. According to data on Material Deprivation published by the European Commission, Ireland comes in at number three on the list of most deprived countries in the EU-15, just after Greece and Italy [ASF: EU-15 nations are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Britain]. This means that one million people, or 28 percent of the Irish population, struggle to provide themselves with heat, shelter, food, and bills.

Bia, Ireland’s first giant food distribution hub, was launched last Friday in Munster. What makes it different is that, rather than a community response to a failing state, Bia comes with state backing—almost $330,000 of backing from the Department of Social Protection over the next three years. Joan Burton, Ireland’s minister for Social Protection and Leader of the Irish Labour Party, opened the center, to little media attention.

It’s in this climate that charities like St Vincent de Paul and Crosscare struggle to carry out the gargantuan task of providing the homeless, working poor, and those on welfare with supplies that will see them through the cold Irish winter.

Rose Sinclair-Doyle, 44, is a final-year art school student and mother of two from Tallaght, south Dublin. She has recently started to use the new community food bank to feed her family. “People never think it could happen to them,” she said. “I’ve been living under austerity for years, but it was only when my daughter moved back home with her two kids that the money just couldn’t stretch to feed us all.”

Rose now collects a weekly voucher that entitles her and her family to a set amount of food worth $98. Previously, she was the only income in the house, receiving a Back to Education Allowance that gave her $231 a week. After paying her mortgage of $160 a week, Rose, her daughter, and her two grandkids were expected to live on $71 a week, or $17 per person.

But Rose isn’t alone. Students, the unemployed, people on low incomes, and those who racked up massive debt during the economic boom are now starting to depend on Ireland’s new community food banks to feed their families.

It’s impossible to gauge how many unregistered food banks have popped up in Ireland during the recession, but they’ve now become lifelines for a huge chunk of the population.”




  1. I can’t afford my Lamborghini any more – have to drive Porsche now – boo hoo hoo hoo.

    I would love if Latvia was as poor as Ireland.
    Ireland is so radically capitalist with it’s 1500 eur minimum wages (one of the highest in the EU btw) and unlimited dole term limits.

    Try living on a 360 eur minimum wage instead to see what’s real poverty.

    1. We’ll have to try..If this Government stays in power much longer.
      Don’t worry Dame Edna can easily make Ireland to bottom place behind Latvia.
      BTw i was reading this article about Riga.
      And the guy is a car spotter hoping to find Eastern European Fiats in Riga.
      Turns out he could only find Bentley’s Audis and Cadillacs and some other US cars.
      Interesting though that the US embassy had a bullet proof Cadillac.
      What are the yanks afraid will happen to them in Latvia???????
      The mind boggles!!!!!!!
      Here’s the story.

      1. Ah, the Ford Cougar, big brother to the Puma. Very comfortable car and great for motorway drives (though not so great on a West Cork bóithrín). Puma was better, especially the 1.7 Racing Puma. Though I may be biased… 😉

        1. That’s a nice set of wheels the Racing Puma. 🙂 Pretty Fast too.
          Can’t say anymore otherwise this will turn into an advert for FMC!!!
          But I am biased towards Fiats. It was my first car!!!

          1. I must admit a grá for the modern take on the Fiat 500 (especially the beautiful – and crazy? – Abarth versions). Love the looks. Though at 1.9 I wouldn’t have a hope of fitting behind the steering wheel 😀

            1. +1 Love the 500 and the Abarth. Will have to save my pennies and get one second hand..Pre Loved/ abused of course!!!!!

      2. What are the yanks afraid will happen to them in Latvia?
        Well, they probably are afraid of “curry my yoghurt” crowd and Putin worshippers.

        And buying too expensive cars that one cannot afford is a Latvian national tradition. 😀

      3. BTW – there was an incident a few months ago when some Putin worshippers seriously beat up a few NATO soldiers.

        So yeah – the Americans need to be careful, unfortunately.

    2. I wonder where this data comes from. Spain and Portugal undoubtably have more “real” poverty. Not saying a 44 year old art student isn’t entitled to a few pound when her grand-daughters don’t even receive the children’s allowance, mind you.

    1. The Dublin property bubble is expanding nicely. Give it another few years of government incompetence and lack of state oversight and it will burst again with predictable consequences. You can already feel the Celtic Tiger vibe in some salubrious parts of the capital, all those 2014 carplates and house renovations/extensions. The socio-economic hard times were no more than a temporary embarrassment for our American-style 1%. Back to making hay while the sun shines and screw the future (or the peasants).

      1. It’s actually pretty astonishing how predictable these ups and downs have become. More folks to lose their homes after investing their life’s money in them.

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