Broadband issue in rural Ireland is shamefully ignored by politicians
Published 17/02/2016 | 02:30
People living at some remove from "the Pale" had understandable feelings of detachment as they watched the big funerals of Dublin gangland figures.
Sure, all human life is precious. But we are also entitled to reflect that those who choose to deal in lethal drugs, which ruin young lives, and then engage in murder, may on occasion reap what they sow.
So this week's Dublin funerals, which soaked up huge garda resources, can seem rather like a reality television version of the crime series, Love/Hate.
But these two gangland killings inside four days did also have another unexpected spin-off: they put crime on the political agenda in the teeth of a surprisingly lifeless general election campaign.
Yes, all the main parties knew they had to speak about crime. The series of meetings around the country, attended by hundreds of people frustrated and fed up with crime, told all mainstream politicians that they had to at least pay lip-service to the issue.
But it was in there among a range of secondary, or even tertiary issues, and far behind the perceived key issue of jobs and incomes.
Crime also ranked behind the serious problems afflicting housing, health services, the lack of fairness in spreading recovery benefits to remoter regions and poorer people, and perhaps was only trailed by disappointment sluggishness of real political reform.
Now suddenly, the sheer effrontery and clinical brutality of the incident at the Regency Hotel, in Dublin 11 days ago bumped crime up the agenda.