Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Removal of Occupy Galway

Dear Galway City Councillors,

I am writing as a citizen of Galway to voice my disappointment and anger at the decision by Galway City Council to remove the Occupy Galway camp.  I have paid my household charge and this is what I get.  Eyre Square belongs to me and the rest of the citizens of this city.  In whose name was the camp removed?

I welcome the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway.  I, like many Galwegians, had a ball the last time the race was here and I am not blind to the fact that the race brings in much revenue to the city.  And I sail and enjoy the water.

I also welcomed Occupy Galway to Eyre Square.  I helped erect a tent when they relocated the camp to facilitate the Christmas market.  I am not a member of the Occupy group but I recognise their aims.

Nobody in their right mind would deny that the world is riven with inequality.  It is obvious that the vast majority of the world's wealth is still in the hands of the tiny minority.  The Occupy Galway camp was a protest against this injustice.  By removing the camp, you councillors have taken a stand for inequality, injustice and greed.

Galway is an awesome city.  It is the sort of place where the radical and the corporate meet.  It is a city of culture and arts yet is the party town for stags, hens and the Galway Races.  Occupy Galway and the Volvo Ocean Race are not mutually exclusive; there is room in the civic space for the campaign for social justice and the enterprise of business men and women of Galway to make a living.  Yet by removing the camp, the voices for equality are again sacrificed on the altar of profit.  The people are silenced while all the concerns of business are met.  This slew in favour of one side of the civic equation only results in the alienation of the responsible citizen.  One can't help but wonder what President Higgins thinks.

"The eyes of the world will be on Galway", say you councillors.  Never mind the eyes of the world, I truly doubt that they would have cared about, or even noticed, the Occupy Galway camp.  But you should mind the eyes, hearts and minds of the people of your own city.  You further drive us into the arms of the far left with every conservative decision you make.

I now ask each of you councillors to reply to my email and explain why this decision was taken and what your position is.

John Rogers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

'King Alfred: A Mystery Play'

Side-Show Productions present

King Alfred: A Mystery Play

March 14th-16th
Studio THT Galway

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A kiss without a moustache...

... is like an egg without salt.

It's November and I'm growing a mo. It's Movember and you can join in by sponsoring me. Go to to donate, keep up to date on what's going on on my upper lip and find out more about this annual drive to fight the good fight and to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crisis in the Horn of Africa, petition


Below is a petition to put pressure on World Leaders to act on famine in Somalia.  Please sign.  And spread the word.

We now have a date and venue for our fund-/awareness-raiser for the Horn of Africa -- ARTS FOR AFRICA, Saturday 20th August at Nuns Island Theatre, Galway.  Details as we get them.


Phone: 00353-87-287-9131

sent from my Samsung Galaxy S II

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Dau&apos;ud Ali," <>
Date: Jul 28, 2011 3:46 p.m.
Subject: Crisis
To: "John Rogers" <>

Dear John,

I am currently in Somalia with a relief organisation called Hijra, a partner of Oxfam, witnessing firsthand the heart breaking situation faced by nearly 12 million people, as the region suffers the consequences of one of the worst droughts in 60 years. Oxfam is doing all it can to provide clean lifesaving water to over 1.1 million people so far across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. But we are facing huge challenges and massive needs. We need to reach more people and can't do it alone.

Last week, the United Nations declared famine in two regions here in Somalia. The UN have said if we don't act now famine could spread to the whole of southern Somalia within two months. It is vital that world leaders take action to ensure all immediate needs are met and long term solutions delivered. Yet despite the urgency of the situation, many governments are responding too slowly with funds to meet the needs of people affected.  

You are one of more than 40,000 people who have signed ONE's petition calling on governments to do more. Thank you. But we now need your help again to spread the campaign to as many people as possible.

Please forward this petition on to people you know:

While there is an immediate need for emergency aid, leaders cannot drop the ball on long term solutions as has too often happened in the past. This is why we need your help to spread the petition far and wide - to put pressure on governments to ease the crisis now and to get back on track with their promises to make long term investments in food and farming in Africa. Please share the petition right now:

If enough of us speak out, we can help put pressure on leaders to act decisively – to stop starvation and its causes.

Thank you

Dau'ud Ali
Hijra  (partner organisation of Oxfam)


Thursday, March 10, 2011

'The Very Best of John Lennon' at the Town Hall Studio

I'm delighted to say that The Very Best of John Lennon has been accepted onto the inaugural Town Hall Studio Project in May 2011. We'll be in the Studio from May 10th to 14th. This is part of an exciting new project at the Studio that will see a different show for each week in May and will include post show discussions, upcoming show trailers and weekly wrap parties at the Town Hall Bar...

Read full post here.

My letter to the Irish Times editor

A chara,

Brian Cowen's mantra must surely be, Fianna Fáil before country always. In a report in yesterday's paper (Friday 4th March 2011) he was asked about the timing of the release of the the independent review of the Department of Finance’s performance form 1999 to 2008 and why it was only published after the election. He said, "it is a question of dealing with the general election and not allowing a manipulative approach be taken towards it." In other words, the review was withheld until after the election so as to save Fianna Fail from further damage. Such irony in his use of the phrase...

Read full post here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To govern

To govern is to choose between disadvantages. So read yesterday's Salthill Seapoint casino's quote-of-the-day. It's an apt quote (the internet attributes it to Charles De Gaulle) considering Friday's impending general election. Perhaps today's quote might read something like – “to vote is to choose between bad and worse.”

For the past few weeks, I've been hurling abuse at Fianna Fáil via Twitter, Facebook and the radio (I don't just scream at the wireless, sometimes I text in as well). Now I might have a higher than normal sense of self-importance (I actually expect someone might even be reading this blog) but I doubt my FF-abuse has done or will do much damage to the soldiers of destiny. Really I've been just venting. But I will get the opportunity come Friday to inflict some harm, however slight, by not giving Fianna Fáil a single preference.

Here's another quote-of-the-day – a wise man hates no-one – I read it once on a calendar. Hatred is stupid, dangerous and destructive. Most times it's the hater who gets hurt the most. Yet hate is also easy, seductive and (to me anyway) addictive. Boy do I love to hate. And man do I loathe Fianna Fáil. I hate them.

I blame Fianna Fáil for the mess we're currently in as a nation. They lost us our economic sovereignty. They have left us in an almost comical position – we the taxpayers have bailed out the banks and yet many of us same taxpayers are still in debt to those same banks. As far as I can tell, there really is no immediate alternative to our deal with the ECB/IMF. Therefore we will have to accept severe cutbacks as well as higher taxes in order to receive the ECB/IMF funding. I wish Sinn Féin and others were correct in their assertions that we can go it alone and tell the ECB/IMF to sod-off but Gerry Adams can't seem to tell us where the money will then come from to pay nurses, light streets, run buses and pay the countless other bills a nation has to pay. So it looks like we have no choice but to accept the harsh medicine that's coming our way. And that's what angers me the most – Fianna Fáil have left us with the choice between something bad and something worse.

Another reason I despise Fianna Fáil is their ongoing refusal to truly accept their responsibility for this disaster. Cowen (remember him? He's our Taoiseach still) when he was ever asked about his party's unpopularity would answer that any party would be unpopular if they had to make the difficult choices his government were forced to make in order to save our economy from total annihilation. Martin as Fianna Fáil leader has continued this line since taking over. It galls me to hear it. It entirely misses the vital, salient and simple point that it was Fianna Fáil who caused the financial mess in the first place. Theirs is the party who were in power for almost fifteen years and it was Fianna Fáil ministers for finance and taoisigh who had political control of and responsibility for our economic policy. It was Fianna Fáil who slept while our regulators slept while the banks ran out of control. It was Fianna Fáil who allowed our economy to become almost entirely dependent on construction. It was Fianna Fáil who ignored the voices who called out, stop the madness. Were Fianna Fáil the only ones to make mistakes? No. Were Fianna Fáil the only party to be in power throughout all of this recklessness and waste? Yes. Have Fianna Fáil accepted the blame? Never. Whenever a Fianna Fáil member or spokesperson is actually forced to acknowledge these causes of our economic ruin, he or she invariably cites the downturn in the world economy and nimbly sidesteps Fianna Fáil culpability.

A paraphrased quote – I'm trying real hard Ringo not to hate.

I hate Fianna Fáil but it is not good to hate. It's bad for my soul. So I will try not to hate. I will try to tolerate. I will try and acknowledge that not all of Fianna Fáil is to blame and Fianna Fáil is not to blame for all. Finally I will try and not get angry with those fellow citizens who will, despite all that's happened, vote Fianna Fáil come Friday.

But I will not be one of them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dreams of Love

This week I'm stage managing Side-Show Productions's Dreams of Love. I recommend you check it out.

Side-Show Productions presents

Dreams of Love

Town Hall Studio, Galway; 8:30pm, Thur 24 to Sat 26 Feb;

Tickets €10/8


The Very Best of John Lennon was very, very good

I was delighted at the response we got to The Very Best of John Lennon. Thank you everyone who came along to support us at the Project, all at TheatreClub and the Project for giving us the opportunity to perform and a big thanks from me to Waterdonkey for inviting me along in the first place.

Fingers crossed that TVBOJL will return soon to a stage near you so if you missed out last week... watch this space.