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We Will Re-Build! BY JOE RYAN t was a running joke in the week of the Wexford earth tremor! Facebook and Twitter was filed with pictures of garden furniture on its side with the caption, “We will rebuild”. I was reminded of that phrase in the last few days as I canvassed some estates in Wexford District. Some look well, good quality housing built with good materials in a good setting close to facilities like the shop, church or school to where you can walk. I’ve lived in my own house that we bought before the building boom. I expect that others could buy exactly what I could about 15 years and get reasonable quality. However sometimes I can be wrong. Some housing estates look bleak. Although built since 2000, varnish is peeling off front doors, window frames, cheap paint fading on the gable, with no maintenance of the kerbside with weeds springing up to greet the lengthening day. Poorly designed houses that are cold and expensive to heat with little insulation, orientated away from sunlight. Constructed some distance from the nearest shops a car is a must and streets are deserted as nobody walks as there is nothing to walk to. And to top it off there’s the public lights, some flicker while others never worked as the bulb was never placed in the lamp standard. One estate I canvassed has such sub standard public lights that 2 street light could not come on together at once but seemed to alternate their flickering throwing light on the subject matter from different angles.


I am by no means a counsellor but I have life experiences so there's no need to feel alone! I hope my story will help you see the signs before it's too late? ey , pleased to meet you all When I got the opportunity to be part of this newspaper I was so excited.. then fear kicked in. Who was I? Just a regular divorced mother of 4, damaged goods. I used to call myself and I wont end that sentence with lol (laughs out loud) because at that point and time in my life I was far from laughing out loud. I could put up a fake persona, and be false. But I don’t want to introduce myself that way. So here goes, I'm Sarah, I was born in 1968, my childhood will be told as I get to know you im sure. But the whole reason I am here is to let you see that life goes on despite the obstacles. In August 1988 i went for a job interview with (gingerbread Scotland) and I got the job. That’s where my hell began. I met my soon to be husband. He had this controlling seen the signs. There were many jealous moments. We had an argument and he punched me in the face, I was shocked, but he cried and said sorry and promised it would never happen again and we married 8 weeks after we met. Biggest mistake of my life! He admitted he had been an alcoholic since the age of 12 . I tried to support him but I’d had enough of him getting pissed and beating me up, then saying sorry in the morning. When we were 6 months married (in the middle of sex) he says.... I dont love you any more, you need to leave.. I left that night and went to a homeless shelter. I was lonely and had no family or friends to turn to. He eventually got in touch after a few weeks and convinced me he wanted me back, I stupidly said yes! In 1990 we were told that I was infertile, I would never have children. I spent the years wrapped up in my friends children, brothers and sisters children. Turns out it was his low sperm count! I was offered sperm donor, but my husband freaked and thought it meant I’d have sex with another man, so I told him if I cant have your baby, I wont have any! Then in May 1994 I get a call from the infertility clinic to say I could be pregnant. I found out i was almost 6 weeks but sadly at almost 12 wks we lost that baby (charlotte). The nursery was already waiting, then 5 weeks after losing Charlotte I felt pregnant, but the doctors said it was a phantom pregnancy, I knew different! On April 13th 1995 I gave birth to connor, My life was complete now i finally was a mother. We decided to move to England and start afresh, I got myself a pharmacy job and he found night time security work. Then when Connor was 6 months old things went back to the old ways, the fighting, the accusations etc. I became home sick, I had nobody except him and my baby. We moved back to Scotland in 1996 I got pregnant with my 2nd child Toni, she was born 9 weeks premature so it was very difficult looking after her and Connor who was 20months old at the time. When we settled back


in Scotland my husband started drinking heavilly again and we drifted apart. In 2000 we moved to a new mortgaged house in Falkirk, life seemed better again for a few months until he started binge drinking again, my head and face battered off every wall and door frame in the house, jealous rages and headbutting and punches became the norm. By christmas 2001 I became pregnant again, and, but by April 2001 I had called my husband at his work he was in a pub with some females, that was it, I’d had enough of his sneaking and cheating and getting away with it, I told him I had enough and we would talk when he got home! By ten o clock that night I knew something had happened, I called the hospital and he was there, he had a drink driving car crash and nearly killed himself and his drinking partner.. I (6 months pregnant) went to the hospital and told him to go to AA or dont come home. He stopped drinking that day. But it was too late, I stopped even caring for him so I just carried on for the children. The beatings stopped but he was still verbally and emotionally abusing me. In Summer of 2005 I told him i wanted a trial separation, I thought it was going to be easy as long as I kept it civil and he would still see the kids anytime he wanted. But he was still coming around acting like we were still together, still trying to get intimate etc. telling me that if I didnt give him sex he could die of prostrate cancer! I felt so bad and guilty that the kids wanted us back together and my ex was asking me to try again, but i couldnt, my heart had taken enough pain and abuse i had to be strong, I did consider taking him back, but was visited by a friend of his to say he was canoodling and cheating and all with a 20yr old female. I was 36, and it made me feel old and used. Thats when the hell began... I asked him not to introduce the kids to her yet, but he took the kids to meet her behind my back, it confused the children cos daddy was always promising them he would be back home for christmas. Then the phone calls started.. around 20 calls a day, to accuse me of being with other men etc, it was none of his business but he still believed I was (his property) I used to put the phone on the microwave and tell him to talk to that lol, let him waste his credit. He would come to my house and throw any male friends out and cause a scene. I joined a website (relationship forum) and found so much support.and met people going through the same situations. The calls and threats and verbal abuse continued through 2007! On August 2007 he got my daughter to steal private cds from my house, he found a drunken online sexy conversation between me and a male friend, he came to my house and threatened me with a knife and took the kids away. I called police and social workers, but they believed all he told them, I lost my children my job, my house and my friends and family. I searched for a safe house and found one, I managed to get my ex to bring the children to me on my youngest daughters 5th birthday, he collected the older 2 children the next day but I kept my youngest and fled to my new house, hoping my older 2 would follow, but he had brainwashed them to hate m, to call me and abuse me. I decorated my new house (3 bedroom) and made the

rooms look good for my older 2 children. Social workers treated me like shi, to a point that all my children each had their own lawyer (curators) and ended up on the child protection register under emotional abuse. My older children started visiting for weekends but still had no respect for me, they called their dads 20year old girlfriend (mum) and called me Sarah! I was allowed 1 hour with them at christmas, it was the worst time of my life, I became depressed and suicidal and was drinking myself to sleep every night for months. Then in August of 2008 my ex called me.. is girlfriend had dumped him, and he was begging ME to call her and ask her to take him back WHAT!!! I had my kids here for the weekend and they heard the call, and were in tears asking me to please do it for them and dad...I did! I spoke to her and she told me that he treated her the same way he treated me. She asked to come meet me and If she could still see the children, I agreed, we got all the truths out, she listened to the calls on the cds and was shocked to learn the truth. We both agreed to get the truth out and did a double spread story in a magazine, he wasnt impressed at all but the story was told! When my son was almost 14 his dad kicked him out, i finally got my son back. But he came back the image and attitude of his dad, wrecking my house calling me names, challenging me to fight etc, but that was his way of coping with rejection from his fathe. Then the following year he kicked my daughter out (she was 14) she took an overdose before he kicked her out, and by the time she called me to collect he, I knew something was wrong, so I took her to hospital and they confirmed she attempted an overdose. She came to live with m, she too was out of control and it was so difficult to live with both of them togethe, the arguments and fights that went on affected me and their young sister. My daughter moved out and went to live with her step mum (her step mum was in a new relationship) and that didn’t work ou, so I helped my daughter get her own place when she was 16, also I helped my son get his own place when he was 16! Neither one of them want anything to do with their dad now! I am now in a relationship with my best friend next door :) Ian and I now have his baby (7 mths old) Life has been hell and I thought I’d never survive any of i, but I did and I’m here to tell the tale :) I hope I have explained enough about myself and helped you get to know me a little. Thank you for reading, and look forward to hearing from you.

Please check out my website If you would like to share your problems please email me at BE THE SURVIVOR NOT THE VICTIM :) S@r@h X

So can you blame someone who bought poor quality at a hyped up price from not answering the door to an election candidate? What can anyone say on a doorstep in the 5 minutes you get to chat that will change how someone has felt for 6 years? As one man told me some weeks ago; “You cannot vote money that I should never have been charged back into my pocket”. The elec-

torate are moving ahead of politics. The house buying public are intelligent enough to know they were conned by the developer! There’s no doubt about it. It’s not only that people were overcharged for property, what they were sold was not the quality that they were led to believe either. So where was the person who compiled the snag list? How many house buyers ever got the full snag list? How many

know what the real deal is on their home? This year home completions will be of the order of 6,500 nationally, well below the peak of nearly 90,000 in 2006. Cowboy builders have knocked confidence out of the housing market. In a cautious market once bitten is twice shy. So when the possibility of new home building is suggested as a way of reinvigorating our economy, is it not timely to ask the construction industry what are you going to build and what will any purchaser be getting for the money? Will it be quality houses or more cold apartments? Will it be accessible to facilities or put where the land is cheap and it is convenient to make a greater profit? Don’t get me wrong, we do need new houses in some parts of the country, there’s no doubt about it. There is a real need for the Department of the Environment to review building standards once more to ensure that the direction the housing market is going will be sustainable and high quality. However if we allow without question builders to slap up the same old sub standard kips that we raced to buy just 10 years ago, it only reemphasises the wisdom of Roy Keanes observation; “Stupidity is repeating the same error twice and hoping to have a different outcome”. So when we eventually rebuild, I want to know what exactly we will rebuild and how? Unless house buyers can be assured on quality the uncertainty will continue.

Local Election Campaign 2014 aking your area a Dementia Friendly Community. Local government plays a critical role in all our lives. Your council is responsible for promoting the interests of your community and the general development of your area, from community planning and development, to service delivery, housing, roads, education and health, as well as recreation and leisure activities. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is asking candidates to work towards making their area a dementia friendly community. Dementia friendly communities transform villages, towns and cities into better places to live for people with dementia and their families.


We are asking all candidates in the local elections to: • Support their local Alzheimer Society services • Raise awareness of dementia in their area

• Ensure the voice of people with dementia is heard by decision-makers • Ensure people with dementia are included in arts and recreation activities • Recognise the needs of people with dementia and

their carers • Respond to the needs of people with dementia who are under 65 When you meet candidates in the local election use our voter prompt card to help outline the concerns facing people with dementia and their family carers. We need as many people as possible to bring these issues to candidates, and we value your support.

For more information about our local elections campaign contact Emer Begley (Advocacy Officer) on 01 207 3805

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Issue 6 April 16th 2014