A FORMER resident of St Joseph's Orphanage in Kilkenny city is to run as a candidate in the upcoming general election. Noel G Walsh of Rioch's Street in the city spent his childhood in the notorious institution where a number of paedophiles preyed on young children with devastating consequences.
One of a family of 13, he overcame the physical an d sexual abuse there and is now a community activist, helping people with their problems they may have with the HSE and/or various government departments and agencies of the State. He has called for an independent enquiry into the running of the home which was the location for some of the worst incidents of sexual abuse in the history of the State.
"Of course people knew what was going on and did nothing," he claimed, backing up allegations made by others. He has been involved in around
25 victim's cases for compensation for the abuse suffered by them in St Joseph's. "It's simple, the judicial system failed them; the health board failed them the Department of Education failed them and the Department of Justice them," he claimed. "And tp those who know they let down his children by staying silent, denial is not a defence," he added.
Noel who is 47 years of age decided to contest the general election a years ago after becoming completely disenchanted with all the boloney and bull from Fianna Fail, Labour and "the rest of them".
The family lived with their mother, Dolly (Furlong) in Newpark Close and having taken the opinions of those in the city he feels politicians have no idea of the level of anger out there among the public at having to bail out the banks. "I Don't see why we should have to do it. These are the same banks throwing people out on the street. If I had my way, I would put all the bank chiefs, Fianna Fail and the developers-bankers on a boat and let it out to sea, never to set foot out shores again," he said.
Asked what he can achieve he said: "If enough people vote independent we can break the stranglehold of these jaded political parties. A government made up of independents, a national government which will take the proper choices for the right reasons, to help us out of this mess and not to keep the German banks and all these famous bond holders happy," he said.
And he is not worried about poll topper, John McGuinness TD. "What annoys me about John McGuinness is that he had an opportunity to stand as an independent when he got shafted by Brian Cowen when they took away his ministerial car.
"That was the time for him to walk, stand up and be counted and he chose not to do it. So, he lost his ministerial post and did nothing. Now he wants to start tidying up the parish when it's far too late," he added.
He said that he is getting a great reaction on the doors. "People have it in for three groups basically, Fianna Fail, the builders and the bankers. We had a regulator who was not regulating and the same regulator was paid over 600,000 euro to go instead of being investigated for his part in the debacle.
He would like the welfare system to be more user friendly and to be less bureaucratic. He is trying to reflect the philosophy of the late Tony Gregory. "I'm looking out for the people who are unemployed, disadvantaged, people on low wages, the elderly and those on disability. We're 495 billion euro in debt and its going to cost us 14 billion in interest alone next year. That's a staggering amount of money.
"It's unreal. The budget hit the unemployed, low paid and carers. You have 165,000 carers in this country looking after their own family members or relatives or neighbours and if they were to put all those people into care each would cost E1,000 a week and this is something that Mary Harney has not grasped.
"These carers are saving the State huge amounts of money and what did they do, cut their money.
"It costs an average of 500,000 euro a year to have a minister on the go when you take all the expenses and perks into account and we are still providing a free car for the rest of their lives to former Taoisigh, Bertie Ahern, Liam Cosgrave snr, Garret Fitzgerald, Albert Reynolds and John Bruton because they were once leaders of our bankrupt country. And when Brian Cowen steps down at the end of January, he will get a State car paid for by the Irish taxpayer for the rest of his life. That has to stop. It's just not on. Why should the Irish taxpayer have to fund the transport for the well heeled," he asked.