Who Needs Money?
THE Donegal man who lived without money for three years is planning to expand his project and live with others in a money-free community.
Mark Boyle, from Ballyshannon, lived in a caravan on an English farm as part of an experiment to be self-sustaining and became known as the Moneyless Man.
He grew and foraged his own food and regenerated his own electricity by burning wood in an old gas cylinder.
The 34-year-old has now returned to using money as he plans to expand the project and live collectively with others.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Boyle, a business and economics graduate, said that he had never been happier, healthier and fitter after living without money.
“I am looking at scaling up of what I was doing to a bigger level. To show something working not just with one guy in the woods, but with people who are doing it collectively,” he said.
He gave up bank accounts altogether during his period living without money so that he had no back up.
“It was really important for me to give up bank accounts. I closed my bank accounts so there was no safety net. I think that’s the key,” he said.
“I think if I had a safety net I would not have got the benefits that I got from it. It was the fact that I knew I was living moment to moment, day to day.”
Boyle said the hardest part was the first three months of living without money.
“I come from a very conventional background. I was used to meeting my needs through money, like everyone else is. I did not have all the skills I needed at the start, so it took me a while to establish new things,” he said.
The media attention around the project meant it was not as lonely an experience as he thought it might be.
“I was wishing it was going to be lonelier than it was sometimes. I was wishing for some space,” Boyle added.
Seeking Sugar Daddies
NEARLY 500 female students across a number of Limerick colleges have allegedly signed up with a website to find a “sugar daddy” to help fund their studies, those behind a global site have claimed.
Figures released by those behind www.seekingarrangement.com claimed that 30 students at the Catholic-ethos based Mary Immaculate College have signed up in recent years, in addition to 153 students based in Limerick Institute of Technology and 301 students in the University of Limerick.
Representatives of the students’ unions in all three Limerick colleges expressed disbelief when confronted with the figures, and struggled to accept that the financial situation of their students has become so dire that they feel compelled to meet an older, rich man to fund their studies. None of them were prepared to comment at this time regarding the statistics.
Figures appear to show that 70 students in UL signed up in 2012, 21 signed up from LIT and five students from MIC signed up with the website.
In total, 4,464 students in Ireland are said to be using SeekingArrangement.com, which is 19 percent of the overall membership population in Ireland, amounting to some 23,500, according to those behind the site.
University College Dublin has the highest number of students signed up, at 399, closely followed by Trinity College Dublin.
The U.S.-based online-dating website pairs off young women with wealthy – and usually much older – international businessmen.
Spokeswoman Angela Jacob said they have seen a spike in Irish students signing up since the recession deepened, and while there are critics of the site she said it is a “lifeline for many students” and “could mean the difference between them finishing college or being forced to drop out.”
She insisted the site helps create relationships which are “mutually beneficial” and which give female students the financial means, often through a monthly allowance, to complete college courses.
Membership from Ireland is the seventh-largest in the world, behind the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, France and Germany.
PRO-life campaigners have begun a series of weekly protests outside South Kildare Fine Gael TD (member of Parliament) Martin Heydon’s office in Newbridge to urge the deputy to oppose any legislation that would introduce abortion into Ireland.
About 40 protestors from Newbridge, Naas, Sallins and Athy turned up in Newbridge to get signatures for their campaign.
The campaigners said they have begun the weekly gathering at the Moorefield Road offices by way of silent protest. However, they also plan to protest outside North Kildare Fine Gael TD Anthony Lawlor’s office in Naas.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Marion Murphy from Sallins claimed the legislation contradicted all the psychiatric evidence available “prescribing abortion as a treatment for suicidal ideation.”
“We will be here every Friday at noon until Fine Gael get this message. We also intend on targeting various other politicians in the coming weeks,” she said.
“We were out on the street receiving pledges recently when a 20-year-old girl approached us and said that her father was a rapist and that she had been conceived through rape. Then she signed the form.”
Heydon said he met with the protestors outside his office, but he is not sure why his office is being targeted.
He said the purpose of the bill is to provide a legal clarity and to give doctors certainty when it comes to saving a life in a medical emergency.
“The purpose is not to bring in any new law in the area of abortion but to put a structure around existing law,” he said.
A FARMER who was convicted of drunk driving has had his disqualification postponed to allow him to finish his summer's work.
Timothy O'Riordan, 61, of Shanballyshane, Kilnamartyra was charged with drunk driving arising from an incident at Sleveen East last June 23.
The court heard that O'Riordan failed a roadside breath test, and a subsequent urine test showed he was more than twice the legal limit.
O'Riordan had no previous convictions, the court heard. He was fined €150 and disqualified from driving for two years.
Gardai (police) no objection to postponing the disqualification until October to allow O'Riordan drive his tractor for the summer.
MOTHER of two Mary Boyle claims she had no choice but to borrow €500 from a money lender to pay a fine for having no dog license –- when she didn't even have a dog.
The Drogheda woman said that after Gardai called to arrest her earlier this month, she was so scared she borrowed the money, even though she doesn't know how she will pay it back.
“It would almost be funny if it wasn't so serious,” said the 51-year-old single mum to Ciara, 18, and Darragh, 10.
“This started almost three years ago when the dog warden sent me a €30 fine for not having a dog license in July 2010 but I told them I didn't have a dog at the time,” she said.
“The more letters they sent me, the more I contacted to tell them I didn't have a dog, so I wasn't paying anything.”
Boyle said she never received a visit from the dog warden, but the letters kept coming from the council and eventually from solicitors too.
“I was told there was a court case in 2011, and myself and my sister went down to the courthouse to explain I had no dog at the time of the fine but we got the date wrong and it went ahead without us,” she said.
The three-year saga came to a head earlier this month when Boyle said Gardai called to her house and said she would be going to Mountjoy Prison.
“I was standing in my pajamas at the door, with my little son beside me, and when the Garda said I would be spending 10 days in jail, that just broke me,” she said.
“I live on a lone parent's allowance to support my two children and if I go to prison, my children will go into foster care. I couldn't do that to them – dog or no dog.”
Louth County Council dog warden Padraig McKeown responded by saying anyone in a similar situation would have ample opportunity to prove a dog spotted on their property didn't belong to them.