Firstly, our condolence to the wife and family of Stefan on their tragic loss, may he rest in peace.
I was driving on Wednesday when this shocking story hit the news on Live Line; I had a lump in my troath for several hours thinking about it.
How can an ordinary decent man who came here to earn money to help sustain his family end up like this? Who will account for the inhuman treatment he received? A man is dead, a family broken; someone should be called to account. Stefan’s friends have asked that none of the social welfare officers, the ESB, the Post Office or Gardaí be blamed, so who then allowed the situation develop where this man and his wife were left for days with no food, heat or light, and with no hope?
Stefan’s story is a tragic one: avoiding medical treatment due to fear of authorities knowing he had been doing casual work. His leg being amputated when infection had taken hold due to delayed treatment – his non use of electricity due to fear of outstanding bills and avoiding trouble – his disability money being cut off, perhaps because he couldn’t read English or was simply too depressed in his situation – and finally taking his own life in desperation.
Someone MUST be asked to account for this tragedy; it is not in the character of Irish people to allow this to happen – what has failed? Stefan’s friends did point out the gross waste of funds that takes place in political circles, on things like food, drink, and makeup etc., a tiny fraction of which would have been a luxury for the Adamis who lived by candle light.
If it is the system that failed, rather than some individuals, then whoever runs this system must be asked to account. This might be several government departments or agencies, or it might be the government itself which presides over the provision of all the relevant services that might have taken better care of Stefan.
There is a big contrast
Why was Stefan in Ireland? He came here to work; he wasn’t looking for a free run off anyone. He came to earn what were very small amounts of cash for his family, to sustain them.
Contrast this with the barons of Foreign Direct Investment who have the red carpets rolled out for them – THEYcome here to rob us of our resources and the fruits of our labour – they receive huge handouts, they lord it over us, and then disappear when a new subject nation offers them a higher return.
Did this tragedy happen because our systems are not designed to serve people? Are we all just numbers in a faceless machine that follows rules regardless of what they mean and regardless of what is needed by people?