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'My generation of Tiger cubs will protect their own'


Donna Hartnett and her children

Donna Hartnett and her children

Donna Hartnett and her children

A searingly honest letter from Irish Independent reader Donna Hartnett touched the hearts of many Irish people.

She wrote of the difficulties faced by so many working parents who are working long hours to pay their bills while their children grow up in childcare. Donna’s image of rousing her sleeping children at 6.30am so they could be packed off to creche struck a nerve around the country.

For Donna, the introduction of the proposed water charges was the final straw and she has decided to leave work and stay at home with her children. Her letter quickly went viral — and was viewed more than 15,000 times on Independent.ie. This week she talks about the latest developments in Irish Water and how her family are coping.

Donna Hartnett:

For those who welcomed it, I hope the Government's unveiling of their new plan towards the Irish Water set-up, which was due to bring "certainty, clarity, and predictability", delivered on its promise.

For those who didn't, there was little chance these outcomes could ever have been achieved because they all required a level of trust in a government that, for me anyway, is lost. There appears to be an attempt to divide citizens united in a common goal - city against county, silent against vocal.

Behind all this, there is the softly spoken threats of what would happen if we did not pay.

Then as if we needed reminding as to who really runs this country, "Big Daddy Europe" called to remind everyone that the government's new water plan was actually the first step on the road back to austerity for us all. I heard the message alright, but as some of us have yet to exit that little sticky wicket, it hasn't had any effect on my anxiety levels.



My little lady is gravitating towards the big five pretty soon and has high expectations of what that milestone will bring her. This past year has seen her subtly negotiate the terms of independence that come with the momentous age.

 My hope is that maybe, just maybe, turning five will bring her the realisation that Mammy is perfectly safe to visit the bathroom alone and it is absolutely unnecessary for me to be accompanied by a minion on my lap while another attempts to clean her teeth with a toilet brush.



I do want to mention those who expressed their gratitude that someone had highlighted the stresses and strains that many of my generation live with - a generation that was entering a new chapter in their adult lives just as the curtain was being called on the Celtic Tiger.

Maybe history might remember my generation as the "unfortunate cubs". Well this particular cub has turned into a tiger and tigers protect their own.

Irish Independent