Kevin Myers: Arts centres serve as subsidised cafeterias and a source of trade-union protected employment
Published 21/05/2010 | 05:00
Whenever Official Ireland, especially in its Montrose manifestation, needs to hear some sanctimonious moralising over The Really Bleeding Obvious, it usually employs the voice of 'Irish Times' columnist Fintan O'Toole.
On Wednesday, the lunchtime RTE radio news had an item about homelessness -- and who was interviewed on this subject, but none other than Fintan O'Toole. Well, of course he is against homelessness, whereas the rest of us are solidly for it -- just as we enthusiastically support frostbite, rickets, napalm, ethnic cleansing and famine. Moreover, he roundly declared that it was now surely time that we abolished the Celtic Tiger perception that a home was merely an investment opportunity. A home was a socially necessary thing in which to raise families, he revealed to an amazed world. And what else is he now going to tell us? If there's no oxygen in the air, that we die? And if we are immersed for any length of time in water without breathing apparatus, we could well drown? Christ Almighty, why does no one else ever tell us these vital things?
Anyway, the Moral Avatar of the 'Irish Times' was adding his voice to those of leading members of Focus Ireland, who wondered how it was possible that we had so many homeless while there were around 250,000 empty houses across the Republic. Well, one of these 'empty houses' (part of the time, anyway) is Fintan O'Toole's holiday home on the Burren. I, for one, am always happy to hear someone with two homes denouncing the immorality of a system in which some individuals have no home at all. No doubt Two Homes O'Toole will soon make one of his houses available to Ireland's needy.