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If I could change six things. . .

I was always brought up with my parents telling me that if I put my mind to it, I could achieve anything. I grew up thinking that was an obligatory talk that every Irish parent gave their child to spark the imagination match and to get them thinking. Fast forward 15 years later and I’m actually starting to believe that there was some truth behind my parent’s weekly sermon. Although there’s not much that I can change in 21st century Ireland, I whole heartedly believe there’s safety in the numbers and my generation in particular could really make a difference.
When it comes to myself being my own fairy god mother the six things I would change if I was granted the power would vary from putting politicians greedy salaries to building Disneyland on a 100 plus acre field somewhere outside Dublin. Selfless changes I know, but they would make me feel greatly accomplished.
My six changes in more detail would be-
The price of Dublin bus fares– When I first moved up to Dublin almost two years ago I had never once been on a Dublin Bus. I thought paying €1.60 for a 15 minutes journey into town was more than reasonable. When my fare went up five cent at the start of 2011 I still thought I was getting value for my money as it wasn’t exactly breaking the bank. Fast forward to the 4th of January when I’m waiting for a Dublin bus after spending my Xmas in Mullingar. I put in my €1.65 and the driver blankly looks at me and says the fare has gone up to €1.90. I almost swallowed my chewing gum. A twenty five cent hike? Why wasn’t I aware of this? I know it’s only €1.90 but a five to a twenty five cent hike in a year is more than steep, it’s on a height par with Carrantuohill. That’s the price of a Freddo bar I bemoaned to the bus driver who politely smiled and promptly closed the bus door behind me.  Although now three months in the €1.90 blow has well and truly been cushioned if I had the chance I would reduce the fare back to the €1.60 it was when I first moved up.


Applying independently for student grants- I have been living independently away from my parents since I’ve been 19. It hasn’t been the easiest at times but it has learned me by fare share of life lessons. When it comes to college I definitely wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for it by myself and neither would my parents, nor would I except them too. Luckily for me I can apply for a student grant which pretty much acts as my saving grace from September to June. The one flaw I have with the student grant system is the fact that I can’t independently apply for it until I’m 23. If I want to apply for a grant I need both my parent’s income details and both their signatures. When I was first applying for my grant last year my parents weren’t comfortable with giving me their details and I almost missed out on the application deadline. They didn’t understand why I needed their details even though I had been independent from them and either did I. I think its foolish how at 18 you’re considered an adult but you still can’t claim independence until you’re 23. I know that until I turn 23 next year it’s going to be a major problem for me and many others in the same position as me.


Cutting politicians salaries- I try to sway harshly away from breakfast and dinner time talk about the state of the Irish economy because at this stage now you could be talking about it until the cows come home, but one thing I undeniably would greatly reduce  is the Irish politicians salaries. Since 2001, Irelands TD’s and senators  pocketed 15 pay rises to almost double their bounty every year- and all this is without the extravagant ink expenses and allowances they claim. I don’t want to get into the money figures because I’ll only anger myself but there is no need for a €245.325 pay packet every year. I would feel no remorse for cutting these money ravenous politicians.


Building Disneyland near Dublin- I would to build a Disneyland near Dublin so my friends and I could have a place to kick back and have fun. I’d even make it available to the whole of Ireland and make some moolah off the back of it. I heard wishful rumours towards the end of last year for plans to bring Mickey Mouse and company over to Irish shores but I’m afraid it was only benign hear say. I’d find a couple of acres of land  not too far from Dublin and I’d secure the planning details and hi ho away I’d go.  I also make sure that the Disneyland would of accessible to anyone who wanted to visit it. I would have hotels within a couple of miles radius from the park. I would also make sure that all national public transport and Dublin bus had stops near the resort.


Discrimination against people with Tattoos and piercings in the workplace- Back in August I applied for a job in a well known nutrition shop in Tallaght. I felt the interview was going in my favour as I had done my research and I was able to talk confidently about the business. The interviewer then asked me what my stance on personal hygiene was because he saw I had my tongue pierced. I was immediately taken back by the brashness of his question. I got my tongue pierced two months previous the interview and did not for a second ever think that it would retard my chance of getting a job. If I did I probably would never have gotten the piercing. I answered his question by saying that I carry antibacterial hand wash in my bag at all times and I’m a very neat and tidy person possibly boarder lining on OCD for my hygiene and if my piercing was a problem I’d take it out for the job if needs be. Sadly I received an e-mail a week later informing me that I my interview had been unsuccessful. I felt foolish for saying that I would happily take out my piercing while in the interview. My tongue piercing is on my face, 80% of people I meet don’t even know that I have my tongue pierced. I don’t feel that it should be an issue. I know so many of my friends who feel prejudice against because they have a small tattoo on their forearm or their eyebrow pierced. If I could I would change this discrimination as it’s hard enough to get a job without worrying about an asinine piercing or tattoo.


The lack of decent Irish young adult magazines- This is the last need for change on my list. When you compare the Irish to English magazine sisterhood, England comes out trumps every time. As a magazine junkie when I walk into my local Tesco and make a right towards the magazine stand I’m bi-monthly left disappointed by the lack of Irish talent on the shelves. As a 21 year old woman the only reference I have for my latest fashion and celebrity news is Stellar and Tattler. I still give in to my magazine vices and splurge all my money on Cosmo, Company, More and Glamour but I’d much rather be supporting my own Irish glossy mags especially in these money conscious times. I think there’s a market for an Irish Cosmo; I know me and all my like minded females friends would definitely buy it religiously every month.

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