Tuesday 19 September 2017

We've forgotten how to take blame for our actions

Our flight from personal responsibility has become a stampede to self-exculpation. (Stock picture)
Our flight from personal responsibility has become a stampede to self-exculpation. (Stock picture)

Lorraine Courtney

A Wicklow walker was recently awarded €40,000. Teresa Wall had injured her knee after taking a tumble on a rotting boardwalk. In a judgment that will have very worrying repercussions for all of our national parks, Judge Jacqueline Linnane said that Wall had been directed by signs to use the boardwalk and so the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), and not Wall, were to blame.

It is a depressing sign of the times. Misfortune and compensation and utter lack of personal responsibility, all wrapped up together, as if obeying some ancient natural law.

Perhaps if the NPWS had dug a hole and lined it with spikes, then Teresa Wall would have had a point. But they didn't. Boardwalks are slippery. Our rainy Irish winters cause them to rot and we live in dark times for personal responsibility.

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