Thursday 19 October 2017

Pity the hapless, misunderstood Taoiseach

Under pressure over homelessness, Varadkar had to lash out at the weakest in society

Illustration by Tom Halliday
Illustration by Tom Halliday
Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

In May 1921, with the State not yet formed, WT Cosgrave, Minister for Local Government, 1916 veteran, future head of Government and one of the founders of Fine Gael, wrote about the poorest of our nation: "They have no ideas whatsoever of civic responsibilities. As a rule their highest aim is to live at the expense of the ratepayers. Consequently, it would be a decided gain if they all took it into their heads to emigrate."

Down through the decades, some mourned the loss of our emigrants. To others, emigration wasn't a problem, it was a solution.

Cosgrave wasn't a singularly cruel man, his views were very common then and are still common today.

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