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Changing Ireland Video

Changing Ireland attended the Possibilites Conference which was held in Saggart on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011. over 2,000 people attended to hear the Dalai Lama, Mary Robinson, community activists like Rita Fagan, and music from Kíla.


 

Rita Fagan: How I became a community worker.

Rita Fagan tells 2,000 people how she became a community worker. She was one of a half-dozen speakers who told a personal story of how they learned about the need for change and taking action.

Rita works for a community project in Inchicore, Dublin, that is funded under the Local and Community Development Programme.

For more visit www.claimingourfuture.ie

     
 

Dalai Lama: Message to Irish youth.

The Dalai Lama was asked what should young people in Ireland be thinking about and doing today.

He urges them to think more seriously about the future, and with better vision, in a more global world where national boundaries are less relevant.

     

Dalai Lama: Reporters need long noses.

The Dali Lama talks about the importance of constructive criticism, lack of bias, and that the media must be always be vigilant and willing to investigate thoroughly and honestly.

   

Shalini Sinha: My parents saved me from prescription drugs

Shalini Sinha was prescribed drugs aged 6 after being diagnosed with a mental disorder. She told the conference that all the medical people wondered what was wrong with her as a child, but nobody thought to ask what was wrong with the society around her. Having a different colour skin and ethnicity led to her being bullied by other children. Her parents thankfully never brought the prescription to the pharmacy, something that made an immensely positive impression on her. The entire episode gave her an early impression of how power worked.

In recent years, Shalini has written, researched and campaigned on a variety of issues including mental health, equality and the environment over the last 24 years. A one-time Irish Times columnist, Shalini was also the life coach for RTÉ television's, 'The Health Squad'; presented RTÉ's intercultural television programme, 'Mono', and regularly contributed to Metro Éireann, Ireland's multicultural newspaper. She is currently planning a major "tell your story" event for May.

Her website is:www.shalinisinha.com/

   

Possibilities: John Monaghan invites Mary Robinson to Erris

John Monaghan, a community activist from Mayo, told the Possibilities audience, he had hoped his community's struggle would be over by the time his children became teenagers. Instead, they are growing up with the dispute a part of their lives as people in the community face the giants that are Shell, Statoil, the Irish Government and a biased mainstream media (much of it owned and controlled by a man who also owns an oil exploration company - Tony O'Reilly)
If you're interested in activism, this speech is well worth listening to as much for John's tone of delivery as for his words. He displays dignity and has a way with words.
To put his speech in perspective, a week earlier Irish policemen near his home joked about raping two women environmentalists opposing Shell's pipeline plans. Under pressure, the Irish police chief apologised, but followed it up a couple of days later by saying his officers (called Gardaí) were doing an excellent job overall in policing John's community. This despite the fact that 111 official complaints had been lodged with the Garda Ombudsman over the years over the brutal treatment of protesters. Not a single Garda has been punished and the Gardaí who joked about "arresting and raping" protesters remain on duty (albeit confined to desk duty).
John's speech addressed the long-term aims of the campaign and he thanked the many friends and neighbours who support the campaign, as well as Shell employees who have engaged in whistle-blowing at great personal risk.

John is spokesperson for the Pobal Chill Chomain community group: