JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has said that under the new Personal Insolvency Bill there will be no exemptions for items such as wedding and engagement rings.
He is “mindful of the sentimental, as much as actual, value of items such as engagement rings” he said, but nonetheless if you owe money, they’ll have to be sold to repay debts.
Really, I think there’s only one response to that: Me hoop, Minister. Me hoop.
Talk about kicking somebody when they’re down. It’s almost as if Minister Shatter believes people should be punished for getting into debt. Punished for mistakes they made and even punished for losing their jobs.
Strip them of everything they have, including their dignity, eh Minister? That’ll teach them.
A wedding ring isn’t just a piece of jewellery; it’s not something you pick up on a Saturday afternoon on a whim to wear to a party that night. It is not simply an asset.
It’s a symbol of unity and marriage and love. It’s a future heirloom, something people intend to hand on to their children and their grandchildren. It means something and it stands for something.
Have we really come so far that it’s acceptable to ask an ordinary person who perhaps has already lost their job and their home to hock their wedding ring to satisfy the banks?
For me my wedding ring is so incredibly precious because it was blessed during our ceremony, something that means so much to me.
If I was forced to sell my wedding ring and then our fortunes changed, I could of course buy another piece of bling – but I could never replicate the blessing the ring received on our wedding day, that would be gone forever.
Likewise for those wearing an engagement ring that has been in their family for 50 years – it’s irreplaceable.
Let me be entirely clear: if you have a safe full of jewels worth €50,000 and you owe money to a creditor then you need to sell those jewels, absolutely. If you have a luxury vehicle in your driveway, you need to downsize. Debt needs to be repaid and nobody knows this more than somebody applying for insolvency.
But asking an ordinary couple to part with their much loved, treasured wedding and engagement rings is just plain wrong; everything else is fair game, but that’s just plain wrong.