Willy Nilly, or why the political establishment couldn’t care less..

Posted: June 22, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


In case you hadn’t noticed; the world is in the middle of a economic recession.

Also if you hadn’t noticed: Ireland is being hit worse by our over reliance on the property industry.

Lastly if you hadn’t noticed: our politicians across the board are being quoted left right and centre on how they want to combat the recession and create new employment.

So being the kind of person that I am I decided in January to do my bit and open a start up incubator called “The GreenHouse“. Great initiative aimed at actually creating employment through the establishment of new companies. The project has come ahead in leaps and bounds and has received lots of support from the private sector. But interest or support from the public sector has been close to zero in spite of all the talking heads on TV and in the paper saying how “something needs to be done”.

So 11 days ago today I sent an email to all Limerick County Councillors, Limerick based TD’s and other local politicians. The email went as follows:


I’ve read your recent comments on the growing unemployment in Limerick and I agree that it’s time that something is done.

Unfortunately there are is too much talking going on and not enough action.

The assigned task force is only due to release its first report over the next few weeks and Tus Nua and other so-called work groups have not progressed beyond discussions and information sharing.

It seems that the Greenhouse Incubator that I have set up is the only initiative that has taken any concrete steps towards creating actual employment.

I’ve started the Greenhouse initiative in January after Dell announced its first redundancies.

The aim is to put people with a business idea through a 6-month incubation cycle. The Greenhouse will develop their idea into a fully formed business with all the “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed, looking after incorporation, finances, patents & intellectual property, R&D, marketing etc.

At the end of this 6-month cycle the start up will be ready for further investment and expansion and we will assist them with this also.

And now for the real “surprise”: the Greenhouse does NOT charge for this! Instead of this we take a small equity stake in the start up (typically between 2 -10 %). This also ensures our continued commitment as we will only be viable if our “graduates” are successful in the long term.

We can accommodate 20 people in every 6-month cycle which basically means that twice a year we will take 20 people of welfare and help them to create jobs for themselves and others. Rough indications are that this will result in 100 new jobs every year at a minimum!

Our progress has been nothing but stunning as we are run on no-budget at the moment, just myself, my time and all the moral & material support I can get.

I think that it’s now time for Limerick County Council, it’s councillors, TD’s and business community to actively support the Greenhouse.

It is time for action not words!

I therefore suggest that we meet to discuss how you can support us helping the people of Limerick.

Regards, Evert Bopp.

Founder, The GreenHouse”

Number of emails sent: 38 Total feedback so far: 3 emails.


Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael Enterprise Spokesman) who could recently be seen on Oireachtas report questioning the head of Enterprise Ireland on how much they had really done to create jobs replied by telling me: “my best advice would be contact the Limerick-based TDs and Senators“. Well Leo, your “best advice” sucks, stop passing the buck and actually do something yourself.

peter power

Peter Power replied advising me that: “The Minister apologises that he was unable to attend your recent Public Meeting due to Official Department commitments but would be most anxious to meet with you at a convenient time. We will be in touch with you shortly to arrange a time that is suitable.”” Interesting point is that we did not have a public meeting recently. Also they have not been in touch since that email so obviously the ministers anxiousness is relative…


But the real price goes to Willie O’Dea. Willie who cancelled a previously arranged meeting at the last moment several months ago. He had his office contact me last Monday to arrange a meeting. Where did he want to meet me? In a pub! Only in Ireland.

Anyway I was told to make myself available at the Windmill bar on Henry street in Limerick at 5 pm on Friday. So of I went and took my place at the bar at 5 o’clock on the dot. Did Willie O’Dea show up? Did he hell! I sat there, like the gobshite that the collective Irish population gets treated as, for two hours without a sign or a word from the minister or his office.

Two hours wasted! Two hours that I could have been working trying to create jobs or that I could have spent with my family. Two hours that I could have spent in a multitude of ways without being made to feel like an ass!


Besides the personal insult in being stood up like this it just again clearly indicates the total disregard for public opinion amongst the political establishment. They feel that they’re untouchable, do not have to consider the needs and wishes of the electorate and have obviously completely forgotten who pays their wages and what the definition of “civil servant” is.

On my return I tried contacting the minister on a few of the numbers on his website to leave a “friendly message”. The 061/454488 number just rings out and hasn’t even got a voicemail facility. And the “lo-call” number listed rings straight into the Department of Defence. Obviously only to be used to report an invasion.

So there you go people of Ireland: the political establishment couldn’t care less!

You’re buggered, but we’re fine so please leave us alone.

gravy train

But don’t get me wrong, the Greenhouse is going full steam ahead and will open it’s doors next month. The political establishment has however (again) missed the boat…

  1. The performance of politicians before and after the recent elections reminded me of this quote from Braveheart

    William Wallace: “There’s a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.”

    Possibly exchange the word freedom for jobs, but it appears to me that little else has changed since that time till now when it comes to the conduct of the ruling classes.

  2. Raul says:

    Sorry to say that but this always happens if you send this emails….after the elections. Bad timing I’d say…why would they care for the next while ? I can bet thou they’ll remember you just before the next one…:)

  3. Nick McGivney says:

    Ring-fenced from reality. But meanwhile, out in the real world, the very best of good luck, and if we can push any more specifically, get in touch. Fair fucks to ya.

  4. David Quaid says:

    Very sad to see the politicians can’t get behind the Greenhouse with a bit more effort. They all campaigned on creating more jobs and sustainability in the jobs sector – but here is a brilliant effort that tehy just can’t be arsed getting out of bed for. Really dissappointed in them – you’ve presented them with a ready made solution – all they had to do was get in behind you and try to make things happen quicker….but no,…

  5. jbkenn says:


    The only suprise about this, is that you are surprised.. what did yo expect?

    County Councillors
    First off contacting Limerick County Councillors is a waste of time, why? because as far as they are concerned Limerick City is the “Great Satan” for trying to get a boundary extension to the Limerick City Burough to allow Limerick to grow to its full potential, remember, large parts of what people regard as Limerick City, Castletroy, Dooradoyle, Raheen, Corbally (in Clare) are in actual fact in County Limerick, with the exception of Caherdavin which was handed over to the City to placate the fuckwits in the Regeneration Office.

    Leo Varadkar
    His constituency is in Dublin, would’nt give a flying fuck about Limerick, his position as an opposition spokesman simply increases his profile among his own constituency

    Peter Power
    Known locally as the “Invisible Man” , Minister for Overseas Developement, we believe, as his constituents we believe he exists, we have seen pictures of him in the press, we have seen him on television, but, we have yet to actually see him in the flesh.

    Willie O’Dea
    Minister for Defence, “Barrack O’Dea” primary responsibilty, getting rural roads tarred, and obtaining medical cards for people who are entitled to them anyway, without his intervention, runs a mean political machine, there are enough of his constituents out there who “owe” him, to ensure his constant re-election, best place to meet Willie is outside the Topaz petrol station on the Dock Road, at the Dock entrance, any Saturday morning about 9:40 as he takes his morning walk.

    Kieran O’ Donnell T.D. Fine Gael
    What can one say about Kieran, he is a plank, met him once, clueless

    Michael Noonan T.D. Fine Gael
    “The jumped up County Councillor from Gouldavoher”
    Long serving T.D. former Leader of Fine Gael, you think Enda Kenny is bad.. when Michael was Leader he ran Fine Gael into the ground.
    Michael is a School Teacher and former Minister, on top of all his T.D. perks, he has the T.D. “long service” payment, and also trousers a Ministerial Pension of €32,000 p.a., for a Ministry he last held in 1997, nice work if you can get it

    You can take that lot off your Christmas card list, because after what you have written in this blog post, you will definitely be gone off theirs, they wont read it, but their minions will.

    I have told you before, forget about,
    Public Representatives
    Public Servants
    State Developement Agencies
    Enterprise Boards
    “Warts on the arse of progress”

    If you want to achieve anything, do it yourself, and forget about these dimwits, consumed by their own importance.

    Best of luck

    John K

  6. evertb says:

    John, I *am* doing it myself and certainly didn’t go begging for their support. What I did do was offer them a “ready made” opportunity to “walk the walk” instead of just “talk the talk”.
    By doing this they can’t turn around at some point in the future and say that they were never offered an opportunity to help the Greenhouse.
    It also takes away the opportunity to claim some of the success of the Greenhouse once we have created the first companies. If any of the of them try that trick I will pull the pin on this blog-post and throw it out there.

    Point is that I will work with everyone (and will give everyone the chance to work with me) if it will create jobs. Everyone is very welcome to assist. This is not about egos but about results.
    Unfortunately it looks like, in most cases, you and I were right in what could be expected…


  7. evertb says:

    UPDATE: I received a call from minister O’Dea’s office today proposing that we meet today at 5 pm in the Windmill Bar (again). If I couldn’t make it today the next available date would June 29th.
    I suggested a phone-call first followed if needed by a meeting. They agreed and promised I would receive a call today.
    Fingers crossed…

  8. A recent piece in the times described our elected officials as people with no discernible skill apart from persuading people to vote for them, and after reading this blog post I’d have to agree. I think the greenhouse is an absolutely fantastic idea that is going to create real value and jobs. Don’t let the b******s grind you down.

  9. evertb says:

    OK, it’s now 5 pm. After office hours in most people’s books.
    And oh wonder, no call from minister O’Dea…

  10. evertb says:

    Both Willie O’Dea & Peter Power contacted me withing a few days of this blogpost going up.
    I have since met with both of them and they have pledged their (active) support to the Greenhouse.
    I am pleased to receive their support and will post updates on this blog shortly.

  11. Irish Mammy says:

    Hi Evert

    Good luck with the project – good to see positivity and creation in this climate you should be supported and not ignored. It’s amazing our government can “afford” to take a (3 month) holiday from this recession while the rest of us worry about getting the snip. See http://www.childbenefit.info for the save child benefit campaign.


  12. […] Minister of Defence Willie O’Dea, who has featured on my blog before, has recently been asked why the Irish army did not provide assistance during the floods in Ireland […]

  13. […] Willy Nilly, or why the political establishment couldn’t care less.. June 2009 12 comments 4 […]

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