Dear all,

I hope you are all well and I send you warm greetings from Ireland.

I have just recently joined this group as I only very recently learned about this area of Psychology. I am a MSc. student studying in Northern Ireland but I am originally from the Rep. of Ireland. I'm from a beautiful county called Co. Sligo (famous for surfing, the Poet W.B. Yeats, and its stunning scenery). 

Before I started my degree in 2013 I worked for just over 14 years in retail Banking. I was an extremely hard worker dedicated to my job. Maybe too dedicated as I had no life/career balance. In the end, due to the stress of the job I took voluntary redundancy and moved to change my career. 

While working in the Bank, I witnessed and experienced the inequalities in retail banking which I think was reflective of Irish Society. For example, those with hundreds of thousands or millions to invest or save were treated like royalty and the Manager would be on a first name's basis with them. However, if you were not in this bracket your experience of your local branch would be very impersonal and unremarkable. For instance, I know that a destitute "Lady of the Manor" was secretly visited by Bank Staff to financially assist her in the sale of assets. [This should not have happened but it did]. It also would never have happened for someone with no title. I cannot say this is indicative of all Banks, only the Branch of the Bank that I worked in for over 7 years. I found this behaviour disgusting to say the least. 

For years, I have believed that there are so many things wrong in Irish society: 

  • corruption - in politics (this is improving but I am sure it is still there)
  • corruption - in employment (people getting employed because of who they know and not they know)
  • a justice system that favours the criminal rather then victim (again this is slowing changing but needs rapid change)
  • prejudice towards the Travelling community (while they are allowed to work, nobody will employ them). On the other hand, their culture plays a huge factor in this problem. 
  • many people (including foreign nationals) working and also claiming unemployment benefit - cheating the Social Welfare system
  • Working poor (middle income earners) who are struggling to make ends meet - extremely high tax system in Ireland with little benefit
  • a broken health system that nobody seems able to fix 
  • The pub is still a huge part of Irish culture - and alcoholism is rife
  • Drug abuse is rampant in every little village, town and city in Ireland
  • Homelessness epidemic in Northern Ireland (UK) and Rep. of Ireland
  • Suicide epidemic in the city of Derry, Co. Derry but also suicide occurring too frequently everywhere in the country
  • Unemployment is huge in Northern Ireland 
  • Segregated society in Northern Ireland - Catholics and Protestants mostly live completely separately and attitudes are still very bitter towards the other side. 
  • Paramilitary groups operate in Northern Ireland and fund themselves through extortion and other illegal activities

This list is not exclusive. 

I would like to see a better, happier, more equal, more inclusive, hopeful Society both North and South. I would like to do a Study related to all of this for my Dissertation but I cannot seem to narrow it all down. 

I was thinking about asking people questions about their attitudes towards Irish society because a lot of people are aware of the problems but I have noticed that very few are willing to do anything about it. 

What is your attitude towards helping others ?? Are you happy with life in Ireland at the moment ?? Do you believe everyone should help themselves?? What are your feelings on this?? 

I would appreciate your thoughts or help with this please. 




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