The news yesterday of the closure of the 'frozen goods' section of Gallagher's Bakery in Ardara in southwest Donegal was a huge blow to the area. It is thought that 124 jobs will go immediately as the company that now owns Gallaghers (originally a family business) has been subsumed into another yet bigger company and globalisation means amalgamating certain functions in certain areas and blah blah blah. Some actuary with a spreadsheet in a skyscraper within a Financial Centre in Hong Kong or New York or Berlin produces a flow chart and 'bam' a little town in a corner of a small island is crippled.
What this closure means, in terms of people's lives, is catastrophe. Ardara is a small vibrant little village, local people worked in the factory - whole families of them. In many houses three or more pay packets now cease to come home. The knock on effect for local shops, tradesmen and small businesses cannot yet be measured. The factory has been one of the main employers in the area for almost twenty years. For younger employees, not yet settled and rearing families the option of emigration is there. Again. Nothing personal, you were doing a good job, it's just business. Aging parents may be left isolated and lonely. Nothing personal,we don't dislike you but your job is no longer viable on our balance sheet.Again.
And so lumbering corporate giants roll on and on and on, crushing lives, extinguishing hope in individuals and families and killing off communities. Surely they (whoever 'they' are) must see that eventually they will kill off all the very consumers they need to fund their profit accounts.And the world will consist of one company, one big brother, one god - and his name is money. And he'll have no friends or family, no one to have a laugh with to lighten the gloom of a January afternoon. There will just be money, all on his lonesome.
All anyone wants is the chance to do a day's work for a reasonable wage. Somehow, somewhere, someone has to say 'halt' - people have to come before profit or at least have equal footing. I have no idea who this someone will be. But I think I'll recognise them when they start to speak. And I don't think I hear that voice in the clamour of idiocies I hear from Leinster House. I cringed when I saw Mr Bertie Aherne's latest sound byte. How on earth can that man say that the only thing he regrets as his political life ends is the fact that he didn't get a world class national stadium built in Ireland. Bertie is definitely a Martian, and he may go back to Mars and take the rest of the sons of destiny with him.
I think I think too much.