Still in school, but already deep in debt – another perspective

In this week’s blog we invited Megan Ryan, a transition year student from Holy Family Community School, Rathcoole, County Dublin, to reflect on the February 9th demo, austerity and the nation’s bank debt. The bank guarantee was signed off when Megan and her school mates were still in primary school. The reality now is that when they begin their working lives, the banking debt will affect them too. If they work in Ireland, their taxes will be used to pay down more debt. If they cannot find work here, their generation could be once again forced to emigrate because of this unfair and outrageous debt burden.

Irish Elementary School 
“It’s ridiculous that we haven’t even started our working lives yet, but we’re already €9,000 in debt!!” – Megan Ryan

INITIALLY, most young people wouldn’t have heard about “austerity”. They probably haven’t even heard about the rally. But when my friends and I found out about how a €9,000 debt is hanging over every Irish person’s head, and not just the adults but us young people too who haven’t even started working yet, we were as shocked and outraged as any Irish employee. We say it’s ridiculous!

I spoke to some of my friends about this, and told them about our debt and how much of a difference there is between us and the rest of Europe

My friend Shauna asked, “What’s the point of us being in debt when it’s other people’s problems? It’s the people who caused this who should have their wages cut. It’s their fault.” 

Another close friend, Jade, agreed.“It’s unfair for the people of Ireland who’ve done nothing wrong to pay for other people’s mistakes. It’d be like a random person crashing their car in Dublin and then some other random person in Wicklow having to pay for the damage.”

As a young person, I completely agree. This is how we see this crisis. Even though it may or may not be directly affecting us now, we know and understand that there are people our age feeling the effects of this debt because of cuts to their family income. 

We have a strong objection to the crazy task of paying off the banks’ and EU’s debts. We’ll be supporting the rallies on February 9th, and we’ll be making sure that all of our friends gain an understanding what this debt means for our generation.

Megan Ryan

For a quick guide on the Irish bank debt, please watch this short video presentation – Three minutes and thirty three seconds