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    I attended earlier today at the funeral of the late John Moyna of Quiglough, Ballinode and

    John Moyna

    The late John Moyna

    formerly of Scotstown, County Monaghan. John was a farmer by occupation. He died at 47 years of age and left behind him his wife Tracy and his young son Domhnall.

    I didn`t know John, although I know many of his family. I was at secondary school at St. Macartan`s College, Monaghan  with his older brothers, the twins Niall and Donal, and I have known his father Tommy well through business down the years, where Tommy has been a very prominent member of the poultry farming community. Tommy is, of course, half of the famous Scotstown GAA football twins, Tommy and Mackie, who played for County Monaghan in the 1950`s. Indeed, I learned today that the late John was also a twin, survived by his twin brother Michael. My former school colleague Niall, who is a Professor at DCU, has carried on the proud GAA tradition where he is recognized for his research on vascular health and sport.

    I have known Tracy of the McGuigan family of O`Neill Park, Clones for many years. The McGuigan family are a much loved and respected family in the Clones community. Tracy`s uncle, the late Pat McGuigan (McGeegan), was a famous Irish singer who came into the national spotlight in 1968 when he competed in the Eurovision Song Contest, singing Chance of a Lifetime. Tracy is a first-cousin of the late Pat`s son Barry, world champion boxer. The McGuigan family have had their own sorrows. Tracy`s father died at the young age of 52 (as did the late Pat McGuigan) and her elder sister Joan, a very popular teacher in the local Primary school, died tragically of cancer 3 years ago.

    You could say that both the Moyna and McGuigan families are typical backbone members of the community – the heart and soul. Hard workers. Decent people.

    John`s sudden passing
    John died very suddenly on the 9th May last, as he was going about his business. When speaking to one of John`s relatives outside the church today she commented how he, like so many members of the farming community, must have been under huge stress, because of the terrible weather we have had this year and the consequent pressure this has put on all farmers in ensuring that they have sufficient fodder to feed their cattle. This led to the inevitable conversation of the pressure that all families are under nowadays in our efforts to adjust to the austere financial circumstances which have now taken such a stranglehold on every community in Ireland. So many young people have died. When was this going to end and who would be the next casualty?

    Former Taoiseach John Bruton and his Austerity Speech on the 9th May
    On the same day that John Moyna died, another John, John Bruton, former Taoiseach,  spoke at the European Insurance Forum 2013 at the lavish Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin, where he is reported to have said that the Irish people should tighten their belts, urging the public to ignore pleas which had previously made by our President Michael D. Higgins to the EU to protect those sections of society who have been so harshly affected by Government economic measures.

    John Bruton insisted that Irish people must get used to living with less and that borrowing to stimulate growth was “immoral and anti-social”. Such statements, coming from a man who reputedly earned €500,000.00 last year, must stick in the throat of many families who are struggling to get by in the current economic climate. While initially shocked at his comments I recalled that he was the Minister for Finance during the last Recession who took down the Government in 1982 because of his efforts to impose VAT on the price of childrens` shoes!

    Bankers and Politicians out of touch
    It is perhaps no coincidence that John Bruton is not only a former Politician but is also now President of the IFSC, Ireland`s International and Financial Services Centre. One wonders whether he was speaking on Thursday on behalf of the people of Ireland or on behalf of the Bankers and Politicians  of Ireland.  The shocking fact is that, while many SME`s, farming and business community, struggle to survive with no guaranteed cheque at the end of the week, both Politicians and Bankers, who caused our downfall, continue to collect their wages and look forward to their secured Pensions(funded by the very same Austerity measures which John Bruton advocates). Yet they have the gall to tell us to “get used to living with less”!

    What about the future?
    During the “Prayers for the Faithful” today at John Moyna`s funeral Mass one of John`s nieces prayed that her uncle John would intercede with God to provide some good weather, so that the farmers could get in the silage and maybe rescue what is left of what has been another disastrous year for many rural families in Ireland.

    Perhaps it is an indication of where we are today in Ireland – that we have finally given up hope with our Politicians and our financial system and are now desperately seeking assistance from the Almighty.