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I heard...

September 2, 2017

Photo credit:  (Left) K O'Halloran  (Right) P Nicholls

 

I heard you died somewhere on Suffolk Street, but they got you out of there before the work crowd started strolling by with their skinny lattes and ok-yahs—businesses can’t afford that down time. Money is of the essence—but that don’t matter to you now.

 

The papers reported, it was because of a bad policy—truth is Jack,

 

They don’t know shit.

 

I heard you died in a hotel room, I don’t know if your babies were there—but I know you are younger than mine, by a good few years. The people in grey buildings always say they can’t comment on individual cases, but Jesus they were fierce fucking quick telling us how they had giving you a home, then served you up some condolences.

 

Papers reported it wasn’t suspicious, a personal tragedy—truth is angel,

 

They don’t know shit.

 

I heard you died Jenny, living in a tent at the other end of the country. They said you were a client of the Simon Community—but I know that isn’t your full story. And if I’m being honest, I did wonder if you knew Michelle and Paddy and if you were alone? Did anyone show you kindness without being patronizing? What were you’re last thoughts? What did you once dream about? Who were your heroes? Or did you have any at all? Did people really listen when you spoke to them?

 

Papers reported it wasn’t suspicious and the family asks for privacy at this time. Truth is Jenny,

 

They don’t know shit.

 

I heard ye died, jumping off a bridge into the River Lee, Michelle and Paddy—shortly after Jonathan’s demise on Molesworth Street. There was great philosophical thought given to the progress in language, that you were just unfortunates now, not bums or winos—and, I can tell ya, everyone felt great for it—that respect was being shown in how they addressed ya.

 

Papers reported that being homeless was a complicated matter—something ordinary folk just couldn’t grasp—some people chose this way of life, they insisted—truth is humans,

 

They don’t know shit.

 

I heard there were others living in tents now, in the Phoenix Park, but the Establishment needed it clear because the Pope’s congregation wanted to pray for them, so the Guards took away their tents. Then they calmed Middle Ireland by explaining to the unfortunates that they had to respect how uncomfortable decent ordinary people were with uncouth and angry behaviour. And the decent ordinary people slept more soundly in their beds (unaware that the banks and the Department of Social Protection were monitoring the cars they were driving—because car value is a red flag of potentially undeclared income).

 

Papers reported that the current state of affairs is all because of identity politics. Truth is comrades,

 

They don’t know shit.

 

I heard Leo say that the homeless crisis wouldn’t be resolved with this government—for once his telling the truth. His selling this little island to the highest bidder with talk of infrastructure and civilized behaviour, twinning the Financial & Investment Sector with the Cayman Islands. People with a conscience, like Rory in academia, will be maligned for caring and daring to speak up. Leo who is not a democratically elected leader, but is sitting in a chair earned only by political nepotism. Enda told the ordinary decent people of Ireland, there would be no election, and they made googley-eyes at him.

 

Papers reported that what Ireland needs is stability and consistency. Truth is self,

 

They don’t know shit.

 

I heard they called an emergency housing summit—I suspect to discuss what they will say with the spin doctors and PR people (who apparently aren’t being paid by the Irish tax payer—which begs the question, who is monitoring the undeclared income of the elected few?). The answer is probably, no-one at all, because the elected landlords have deemed it unnecessary to give an independent body investigation rights, not even to the Office of Data Protection—they simply rely on the ‘honor among thieves’ code.

 

Papers reported what they were told to. Truth is,

 

They don’t know shit.

 

I heard they were looking for bigger reasons to get angry, and they found the children

whose mothers say “have you got some milk for the baba” to provoke a reaction from the powers that be—but they only talked about Princess Diana. They don’t know about the Anglo recordings, or the Fianna Fail TD who (allegedly) embezzled funds to help out an ol’ mate, who happened to be an ex-partner of one of the big four accountancy firms—now sitting on two pensions pots, or the judge that threatened a Gardai if he reported him for drunk driving (as it happens, the same place that poor Jonathan passed away).

 

Papers reported that the Gardai are cleaning up their act, with the help of herself, Frances Fitzgerald. Truth is,

 

They don’t know shit.

 

In businesses across this little island, women (mostly) and gay men and people of color are being bullied, harassed and sexually harassed, and the businesses make noises that sound like they are adhering to the Health & Safety policy—noises until the harassed leave the building and don’t return. At the end of the year, in the financial reports, they use a fancy name to describe the exodus—its called natural attrition. It’s all very civilized.

 

Enda and Leo like civilized, too. But they don't say natural attrition—they say, personal tragedy and homelessness.

 

And…

 

 

The papers reported that Minister Zappone expressed her frustration. The truth is,

 

They know exactly what shit they're pulling.

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