Monday, August 24, 2020

It’s the Netflix series where an average family relocate from Chicago to the deep south, all to start a new life – all because the father, Marty (played by Jason Bateman) is a money launderer who works for a Mexican drug cartel.

Ozark, named after the area straddling Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas where the series is set, has become a huge cult hit and in the words of one of Ireland’s foremost economists, Roscommon could be Ireland’s Ozark!

Speaking on his new podcast episode, the 15 minute city, David McWilliams cites Roscommon as a land of opportunity for someone who needs a more rural setting for certain white collar crime.

“If there was a really brilliant Dublin counterfeiter, and he had to get out of dodge, he should go to Roscommon. Set up a big casino on the water, bribe a couple of local politicians, get in with the local families, there you go!” McWilliams says.

McWilliams was responding to a very real issue raised by his co-host, John Davis. Davis spoke of a recent holiday in north Roscommon where he saw first hand how Covid has ripped the verve and life out of the area.

“We were near Boyle, in Knockvicar, and it was fantastic” said Davis.

“Lovely walks, great to relax by the river. But when I was walking around Boyle and Carrick-on-Shannon, these are lovely, lively market towns. But Covid has really hit them hard”.

The podcast (here) speaks of some of the possible measures that could be taken to address the imbalance in the country, mainly focusing on internet connectivity.

“Connectivity, whether it’s broadband or wifi, is the railroads of the 21st century” says McWilliams, who argues for Ireland’s broadband roll out scheme to be accelerated.

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