‘I ain’t really with it, I’m gettin’ off at Tara’ – True story

Friend told me a story over IM yesterday evening. I asked could I blog it and he gave me permission. I never ever email friends things and ask them to email it on but if you could, maybe copy and paste this story and share it with your friends? This is how Ireland works right now. That child has no rights under the constitution but the mother does and despite an Oireachtas committee suggesting changes, it was shot down by Bertie. It is very very difficult for the State to take this poor child of his junkie mother because of the current way things stand. I’m sure there are dozens or hundreds more stories like this one too.

You can choose your friends

A woman got on Dart in Bray before I had time to properly go to sleep. Rather ok looking pram with child in it. On closer inspection, said child had Downs Syndrome. Downs Syndrome children are really affectionate, attentive and loving. The mother had pushed the pram half way up the carriage. Not ideal for ease of access or exit.

She proceeded to try to give the child its bottle of orange juice. On noticing that she had no bib, she asked two of our local Dart passengers, if they had some tissues. Kind passengers give woman tissues. It became obvious when the woman jumped up twice for the wrong stop, once at Glasthule and once at Dun Laoghaire that she was stoned.

I hadn’t judged her for her accent. I hadn’t judged her for looks. I hadn’t judged her for neglecting to carry a bib. I hadn’t judged her for rather roughly inserting the childs bottle. At the Dun Laoghaire effort to get off the train, she said ‘I ain’t really with it, Im gettin’ off at Tara’. My heart sank.

She then proceeded to meticulously arrange and fold two fifty Euro notes, that were in the end of her handbag. She wrapped the notes in an old train ticket. I could only think she was destined to ‘score a fix’. My heart sank more. Young Downs Baby, no more that one and a half, looks at me and waves. I felt SICK.

14 Responses to “‘I ain’t really with it, I’m gettin’ off at Tara’ – True story”

  1. Ken says:

    Now I feel sick.

  2. Sinéad says:

    Oh God, that’s made me really sad. Looking after a baby is hard enough without being totally out of it.

    Someone I know fosters four children, two of whom are siblings. What they didn’t know before they began the process was that both are the children of an alcoholic junkie. One has severe foetal alcohol syndrome and the other has massive developmental problems. Said “mother” also has children that she kept and is attempting to raise. It’s heart-breaking, but as you say, the law is on her side.

  3. […] Damn Via Damien Mulley […]

  4. Junkie Story

    This is via Damien Mulley, one of his friends was on the Dart and this is what happened;

    You can choose your friends
    A woman got on Dart in Bray before I had time to properly go to sleep. Rather ok looking pram with child in it. On closer inspection,…

  5. Branedy says:

    What’s worse, the junkie, the poor care the child receives from the junkie, the ready availability of drugs on the street, the lack of drug programs to rehabilitate the junkie or the lack of resources for special needs children?

    or as usual, all of the above.

  6. […] As usual Damien is highlighting Bertie’s government failings with this ‘I ain’t really with it, I’m gettin’ off at Tara’ story. […]

  7. Mr T says:

    What do you want doing?
    Maybe I missed the point, but this is really usless information for anyone to act on.
    Like someone ringing a socal worker after hearing a story on the radio….
    For anything to be done a name is at the very least piece, and/or an address, before child welfare can even make a routine investigation.
    With out details this is wasting the time of a social worker that could be helping in a case with adequate information.

  8. Omaniblog says:

    Lovely to see you write again. I’ve been wondering when your’s is due, or has it happened already?
    Mr T: it’s life, isn’t it? Warts and all… I don’t think the point is action. I can’t think Damian expected any action. I suspect the story is all about reminding us that life can be very rough. I know some will say that they know that already, but knowledge isn’t the same as awareness…
    This post may help increase the public awareness of the need for a good review of how children are treated in Irish society, especially in the context of the promised referendum.
    What happened to that promise?

  9. Fergal says:

    “That child has no rights under the constitution but the mother does”

    Absolutely not true Damien. I’ve written about it here: http://tinyurl.com/2vx7ak

    Yes it’s a dreadful story, but I’m with Mr. T on this. This is Joe Duffy style, “isn’t-it-awful” stuff. I see junkies with prams almost every day. Does the child have to be disabled before it’s sufficiently dreadful to blog about it?

  10. Jonesy says:

    Yeah maybe it is a Duffy-esque style post.

    You’ll notice the title, “You can choose you friends”

    The story to me is a the disjoin between the love expressed by people who are born with Downs, and the circumstances into which they may be born.

    Sometimes emotion is just lost on some people.

  11. Simian says:

    A good mate of mine works in a methadone clinic, he has worked Darndale and the city clinic and TBH if you think that is shocking behaviour for a mother, you spend 5 minutes chatting to him about an average day and the above would sound positively delightful.

    Yeah not sure I have a point, things are shite like in so many places and so many instances it is just wrong but it is very hard to see what can be done. I’m pretty sure this has been highlighted before, and am sure it will be again but our society doesn’t seem to roll that way.

    Without trying to be smart; we do only seem to get worked up when these issues make appearances on the Dart.

  12. The woman across the row from me on the DART today carried on a perfectly coherent conversation with herself for the entire journey (about the civil service, at first; then she started giving herself directions to somewhere), then got off, still talking merrily away to herself. At first I suspected a mobile phone handsfree unit, but she wasn’t wearing one.

  13. Tom Young says:

    If she got on in Dalkey I know who she is. Awfully intelligent chat, but going into mid-air. 🙂

  14. Alan says:

    I see and hear stuff like this every day of the week. Sadly, nothing shocks me any more.