Author of three collections published by Doire Press, in 2016 - 2018 Susan's poems have appeared, among elsewhere, in: The Cafe Review, Oregan, USA - Gather In, in a Special Irish Edition; Bosom Pals,Ed Marie Cadden (Doire Press, 2017) an anthology entirely in aid of Breast Cancer Research in the National UniveristyHospital, Galway and When They've Grown Another Me in Poetry Ireland Review, Dec 2018. January 2018 has seen her poems Commended in the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Competition.

She has been an invited reader of her poems at local readings in Galway, Cork and Dublin and at festivals, including the Belfast Book Festival, Cuirt International Festival of Literature and Clifden Arts Festival. Her poems have been read on radio.

Susan completed her degree in social science and qualified as a professional social worker in Trinity College, Dublin 1975. She was a psychotherapist, trainer, facilitator and occasional consultant to organisations for over thirty years until her retirement in 2012. Drawing together her writing with her earlier skills she has written interviews and facilitated conversations mediated by poetry. She continues to work on a manuscript relating the story of starting out in poetry and a mid-life move West along with occasional other creative non-fiction pieces.

Her workshop Having a New Conversation: About Dreaming was listed on the The Cuirt International Festival of Literature Programme (2015) and she facilitates similar workshops on a variety of themes, discussed through the medium of poetry, regularly and occasionally in local community settings.

While a founding editor of Skylight 47 Susan interviewed: then Ireland Professor of Poetry, Harry Clifton; Kay Ryan, former US Poet Laureate invited to Ireland by Dromineer Literature Festival and Dani Gill who talks about curating The Cuirt International Literature Festival. Her most recent interview, of Maeve O'Sullivan, appears in The Honest Ulsterman February, 2018.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Trust Trumped, Democracy is at Stake.

     Continue to believe that rhetoric, promises and arguments elect leaders and keep them in office and you have the lost the ultimate key to the doors to power. Hit by a ball on the head it dawned on me Donald Trump’s views have become irrelevant.   He has gained the trust of a significantly large number of the electorate who will vote for the next President of the United States of America.
    On Irish radio the woman defending Trump said that without his golf club at Doonbeg, Co. Clare, there’d be no jobs, butcher or other shops nearby. That’s important but not critical. He has earned her trust. No matter what he has said on anything her vote is now for him. She doesn’t care what views he expresses -about Muslims, Mexicans or anyone in the United States of America. It’s not new but her point struck home.
     The hole-in-one was the realisation that the most important thing is: he has earned her trust. In her case it may indeed be he has earned it by seriously contributing to the local economy. Having earned that trust she will leave the best approach on other issues up to him. If he thinks a wall should be built – in Ireland or on the Mexican border – then either it should be built or he has his reasons for saying so. The rhetoric of politicians, commentators, friends, neighbours - even the hurler on the ditch, become irrelevant once allegiance has been won.
     Lose the trust of the electorate however, or anyone significant and you are on marshy ground. Gain that trust, however you do, and you have gained significant advantage. Of course arguments, promises proffered and delivered play their part but ultimately the voter is deciding on who they can trust.
     Once won trust can be lost. It takes quite a lot to lose but lost it is much harder to win back than it was to gain in the first instance. Hilary Clinton has ground to win back. Church leaders might take note. Brexit campaigners, beware. Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin should be learning that lesson. They lost the trust and allegiance they’d long had. A new again politics– we’ve had similar in the past - ensuring Government is kept accountable to the Dail is the result. The Dail must honour that trust.
     False promise will eventually come home to haunt you. To those of you trusted for the first time and now elected to office don’t think that you, either, will be forgiven if you don’t keep your eye on the ball of honouring and keeping whatever trust you’ve won.

     Donald Trump may be winning now but he has set himself up. He’d better deliver or expect a great fall from grace. Much more importantly: every time trust is betrayed it becomes harder to trust again. Trust in politics and democracy itself is at stake. Already a lot of ground has been lost. Tread with great care.

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