Peter McNiff, writer, Greystones, County Wicklow


(CONTINUED from page one)
Democracy has been dumped. The mob, always waiting around the corner are now in power. Like all good money lenders, the IMF has broken the country's legs.
We have brute bureaucracy, one that gives us boxes to tick, recorded voices to keep us in line,and the pretence that they care about our custom, quality, and say sorry and no problem at all when really they mean, too bad kid, if it's broke go buy another.
We are the suckers. Pay your taxes. Pay for the water that drips off your roof. Keep pouring money into the drain of politicians' wallets in return for promises they never keep.
Boys in the banks knew all along, so cough up. Keep the EMF and IMF in clover. Keep those golden parachutes in the air.
HOLD ON...nothing is ever really that bad except death, or life in another country.
What was dead or dying in this town beats now with all the colour of life.
There are living and breathing people about. They stand on street corners laughing and joking.
Forget that the roads are gridlocked during school time transits. Forget that town planning isn't a science. Forget that your road tax doesn't pay for road maintenance.
Hell, we have a commuter service of a kind. And you don't have to bribe the train driver with a couple of bob to stoke the boiler to get you there on time.
We have a magnificent harbour. Sure, its a boat park for the rich. But it's so much better engineered. Unlike that old broken down concrete and granite one we used to have that poets and stick in the muds like me loved.
No professional fishermen are allowed on the quay, no smelly fish boxes, and definitely no coal bearing boats from Wales. Even the seagulls are gone.
And just like the old harbour this one is built on sand. The harbour will crack up and fall into the sea. And the critics and begrudgers and ne'er do wells will be right all along. Only, they'll be dead, too.
The people who were against the new harbour will be right in the end.
The harbour will be a beautiful ruin again.
I know that People disagree when I say Greystones is a great little town. Seriously, think of the alternative: Iraq, Syria, Palestine. Will I go on?

painting by Peter McNiff

The way we were....