Sunday 20 October 2019

'Our lives became a prison, a prison for our jobs, our home, this tax system' - Irish mother's frustration strikes a chord Newsdesk Newsdesk

An Irish mother-of-two has described how her family have become prisoners of the Irish Government as they struggle to work full-time jobs, pay taxes and raise a young family.

Cork mother-of-two Donna Hartnett’s letter to the Irish Independent outlining the difficulties of ‘running to stand still’ resulted in an overwhelming response today as it struck a chord with families nationwide.

“I sat in tears with my husband as I realised our lives had just become a prison; a prison for our jobs, in our own home, and a prisoner of this tax system,” Donna Hartnett told this evening as she described the watershed moment her family realised something needed to change.

“We found ourselves there over the past year, up at half six in the morning, dragging our two little from their beds, throwing them in the car, bringing them to school, working all day, coming back, they were really, really upset, they didn’t know whether they were coming or going,” Donna said.

“They were confused. At times when they were sick, we were at a loss, we didn’t know what to do.

“Then the hype of the water charges started and we just thought we can’t, we’re killing ourselves, we’re breaking our necks, we’re breaking our children’s hearts and we’re going nowhere,” she continued.

The letter in today's Irish Independent print edition
The letter in today's Irish Independent print edition

Read more: 'Our two children are being raised in childcare centres like hens'

Donna described how a life-important decision was made and she gave up a full-time job to raise their two young children.

“No one will ever stand over my grave and say "wasn't she great at paying her water tax" but it will be at that exact moment that my children will evaluate the quality of the years I gave them,” Donna’s letter to the newspaper read today.

“The legacy of Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen has resulted in our two children being raised in childcare centres like hens.

Read more: Kenny has pushed an exhausted family one step too far

“Meanwhile, we work, breaking our necks and our children's hearts trying to keep up with tax after tax, with nothing left by the end of the month. We never financially over extended ourselves or left a bill unpaid, but still my two very young children are out of their home every day for longer hours than the average industrial worker ... as we work to meet another tax on our income.

“Our reasons for not protesting before were exhaustion, anxiety, fear and not a minute to spare, but this is where it ends,” she continued.

“As the Irish Government has chosen to protect those responsible for the financial crash and has seen many pensioned off, I'm choosing to protect my children.”

You can read Donna Hartnett’s full story in tomorrow’s Irish Independent

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