The Editor’s Corner

Undoubtedly the most pressing social issue facing us here in Ireland in the 21st century is housing. It is simply unacceptable that house prices are beyond the reach of even moderately affluent people, and that rents are allowed to escalate as markets dictate. Even more so that some of our citizens are forced to sleep in tents and doorways, and many children do not know the security of a permanent home. Having a decent home isn’t a luxury, but a fundamental right that should not be the preserve of scrupulous developers, but needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency by government. The ending of homelessness and the provision of adequate housing for all must prioritise every other agenda and issue at hand. The government’s new Housing For All plan was trumpeted with great fanfare when it was recently published, but will it live up to its high expectations? Considering the track record on housing of the two main parties in government one would be forgiven for being a little sceptical. We shall wait and see.
One of the finest characteristics that define a people is resilience. The world, not only Ireland, is just emerging from an existential crisis and we are all learning to readjust. The new reality as it unfolds will seem familiar, but will differ in significant ways from the old one; like an alloy that comprises the best of the old with new elements- these being community-based enterprises, and planet-friendly works, forged in an all-inclusive optimism. For all our vulnerabilities and imperfections, and for all the times we fail to live up to the ideals we daily set for ourselves, hope is the constant that we carry with us. Never was the need for it, for caring, and belief in ourselves and each other so pressing. In this issue we celebrate this resurgence of hope, be it in expressions in art and literature (Pgs. 4. 8-9, 19) or in community spirit (Pgs. 5, 6, 7, 30-31). As the poet Emily Dickinson said “hope is the thing with feathers.”
I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your notice that it’s that time again when the imagination is set free, and witches, ghouls, and spooky things take to the air once more. But a word of caution. Remember fireworks aren’t a toy, every year too many children get seriously injured by them so please make sure they are supervised. Also people forget that pets, especially dogs, are terrified of fireworks. So please remember to keep them indoors and ensure that our beloved four-legged friends are safe. It is great to see so many of the old favourites, such as the Dockers & Demons back again, and to be able to celebrate again with one another. Doing things virtually somehow just isn’t the same. So do enjoy Halloween everyone, have fun, and remember to keep safe.