'Rural Ireland seems to be an inconvenience for official Ireland'
My week: Des Morrison, Castleconnor, Enniscrone, Co Sligo - Farmer, cattle valuer and employment appeals tribunal panellist
Published 16/03/2016 | 02:30
Des Morrison was a busy man last week. He spent his days at the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in Letterkenny where he sits as part of the IBEC panel and his evenings catching up with the routine chores on the family farm.
Des and his wife Mary run a Holstein dairy herd on "twelve acres around the parlour" and supply 400,000 litres of milk to Aurivo with the winter milk going to Killygordon in Donegal. The couple also finish some cattle on their fragmented 100ac farm.
"I call Mary 'management'," says Des.
It's very much a joint enterprise and given the amount of time which Des spends at employment appeals to say nothing of his work as a cattle valuer, his description of his wife's role could be an understatement.
His work with the EAT and his cattle valuing across Connacht, the border counties and Donegal gives him an unique insight into how things actually are in rural Ireland.
His assessment of the current situation is stark. "Rural Ireland has been deserted by official Ireland who seem to think that Ireland ends at the Spa Hotel in Lucan and the Red Cow in Clondalkin," he said.
"It's as though rural Ireland is just an inconvenient address for those running official Ireland."
"The people forming a Government in Dublin and celebrating 1916 at the moment should remember the Proclamation and what it says about equality as well as social, moral and statutory rights," he says with some passion.