Ireland's Eye – A roundup of top Irish news stories


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.

Donegal Democrat

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 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, 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.

Limerick Leader
Pro-Life Protest
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.