Never Forget

I am the first artist-in-residence at the Doucet-Hennessy house in Bathurst, New Brunswick. My new exhibit opens to the public on Wednesday, July 3

By the way, I strongly identify as Irish. Yes, technically I am Canadian and one might suppose that today I would be celebrating Canada Day. However, for reasons I’ll not go into at present, I prefer to celebrate the Heritage passed down to by my ancestors, the Hennessys and O’Tooles among others.

The Don’t Forget You’re Irish art exhibit opens to the public July 3. Drop by Tuesday to Saturday for a cup of tea and a chat at the historic Doucet-Hennessy House in Bathurst, New Brunswick. If you play Celtic or Acadian music or any sort of traditional folk music, we hope to have informal music sessions on Saturdays from 2-4. Bring along your acoustic instrument and join us. Music workshops are in the planning for September.

This exhibit is open to the public from July 3 – 28 in Bathurst, New Brunswick. More about the exhibit in this press release:”>Irish Canadian family settled on Bay of Chaleur in Canada.



As someone who was so often reminded never to forget about being Irish … Even these several generation later, I look across and wonder what it might have been like had my ancesters stayed in Ireland and not made a new life in Canada.

Would I even exist and if so what would my life be like in Ireland.

Today I think I found a little glimmer …

This might be a good model for New Brunswick, perhaps even all of Canada.


Yes … We know …
New Brunswick is bankrupt
Or so they say
No way no way
Naught left to pay
Shall we then move
To the UK

My take on this is …
What take might that be
Well now I admit
There are doubts within
Where is your solidarity
Have you no pride
Sink you so low

The bridges we built
Have fallen away
Our generation is lost
Have we nothing to say
Nothing resounding
Except to demand
A fair chance to all

Scrap that old system
Scrap it I say
What’s fair about it
When some have free dental
And others must pay
When jobs are dependent
Upon who you know
When some work their ass off
While others take dole
If the system you have
Is so perfect, so good
I’m sure you’ll agree
Then spread it out Further
Apply it to all
Giving basic income a chance
Let everyone in
Her him you and me.

The truth they say will set you free
Was it truth from my Nanny
My Irish-Scots Nanny who said to me
Never want to be an artist
An artist’s life
Is much too hard
After years of struggle
… Yes Nanny … I agree

Click to access Senior_Artists_full_report.pdf

Same Old What?

No … No luck yet …

Same old …
What exactly do you mean,George?
Same old what?
Oh, I see. Same old story. Women in North America need not apply huh?

Well … I get it …

The same old story … The one about our streets being paved with gold … This being the land of opportunity … All that sort of foolishness …
Only in the movies, George.

The movies are mostly illusions to keep us too terrified to complain or insanely laughing under difficult situations …
Only in America … Did you not know, George? Canada is considered part of America too. Remember all that swamp land that used to be in Florida? Guess who they sold it to?

Now … As Americans … we are the ones who are expected to not complain when the …n

Oh forget it, George.

About this empowerment thing … How is a woman … Or man … supposed to feel empowered when they are excluded every time the treat bags are handed out?

Answer that one for me, will you, George?

By the way … Who decides which countries get the treat bags?

Imaginary line? What imaginary line?

You know the old saying, George … Borders will be borders … Errrrrrrr …. Hmmm would that be boarders will be boarders … Boys … boys?

Click to access FHSkonier.pdf

What’s that you said, George?
“mysterious, inconsistently applied methodology, a raft of unverified assumptions and multiple, critical errors of fact and logic. Even the basic unit of meas … ” oh … I see … Something you read …
In reference to Statistics Canada?

Oh, I see

Oh yes … St Patrick’s Day …


Well in the tradition of a long line of venerable Irish Fore-mothers …
Women who taught their childten and grand-children … Who believed in justice and fairness and …

What soapbox, George … Ok then forget about St Patrick’s day … No I don’t like green beer …

I was going to tell you that the Irish great-grand-nannies would be so proud to know that the Irishmen and Irishwomen of the world would stand up today and speak out about … Well there is plenty to speak out about …

Lack of Jobs, George … Good jobs
JOBS JOBS JOBS … Not just in America, George … All across the world … People need jobs …
Well OK … Some of us think that providing people with basic income is an answer to poverty … Some say no … Get off yer arse … Find a job …

No jobs at home … Well then travel they say

Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Mithi, Kohlu, Balakot, Karachi, Lahore,

International Development … Blood Bricks!

What do you know about Blood Bricks, George?
A poem … You think it sounds like a poem …

What about looking into how money Is tied to bricks and Brick-making and indentured labour in places like Nepal.

But there are laws against child labour!

What about child labour legislation?

According to Afke de Groot in a report for the Institute for Research on Working Children (IREWOC) July 2010

(IREWOC, the Amsterdam-based Foundation for International Research on Working Children)

“One of the current problems with child labour legislation is that there is a lack of awareness about existing laws and rights. Especially in the villages, there is no awareness about Child Rights or any government legislation on child labour. People are aware that child labour is undesirable, but they are unaware that it is illegal. There is an urgent need for child rights awareness among communities in the village [See also: Pathak 1998; Acharya et al. 2000], because the village is from where most working children are pushed and pulled towards a work setting. The explanations for children working are found here, and not at the workplace. It is thus important that, in addition to supporting families by increasing economic opportunities, people have access to honest information about the realities of working children, so people in remote rural areas will be able to make better choices. NGOs and CBOs (community based organisations) can play an important role in developing this public awareness. An information campaign on the harsh realities in the city might help to convince children and parents not to give in to high expectations and hopes about life and work in the city.”


Trade unions should be active on a practical and policy level. We can pressure the government and advise them in how to change policies. But the problem remains that the government only makes policies. Ministries then do not allocate the resources needed to implement these policies. The policies of the government, for example the Child Labour Act, are in fact very nice. But they don’t reflect reality, because of the lack of resources implementing institutes have. People in the government office dealing with child labour cannot do anything, because of the lack of resources!
There is a general feeling that the government should take on more responsibility, and take over many undertakings currently run by NGOs and other agents. According to an official at ILO Nepal, the right approach to child labour would be to rescue children from working in the worst forms, and to put them into government-run rehabilitation centres. “Nowadays you see a mushrooming of rehabilitation centres run by NGOs, but not all are benevolent”, he argued.

Let Them Eat

Let Them Eat

Hello hello

Let Them Eat

What is your
Ethnic origin
Shhh don’t ask
Not polite
Too great a task
To mend wrongs past
Don’t let them even
Sing their songs
Lest they not
Forget those roots
Religion no
Not that either
Privacy you know
Lest they fight
For freedom
Rules the day
Or if they’d rather
Take the night
That Irish Canadian
People gather
With their own March 17
Green beer be dam—
There was nonesuch
In their youth
Or so they say
Why do they need
Their own special Day
Sense of entitlement
What’s that mean
Dunno but you must agree
Although it does sound
A bit of a bore
Maybe too important
To ignore
As it stands
Let them blend in
No more March 17
Let them not realize
Let them not prioritize
Nor eulogise
Speakers from the dock
Let them forget
About their past
Let them eat Christmas cake instead.