Wednesday 7 December 2016

Editorial: There's still fight in rural Ireland

Published 17/08/2014 | 02:30

Rural co-ops have banded together effectively to supply milk to food processing firms
Rural co-ops have banded together effectively to supply milk to food processing firms

The radical maverick John Mc Guinness has correctly claimed the great failure of Ireland's political and administrative elites is one of failing to keep the people safe. Over the summer, this failure has secured a visible symbol courtesy of the people's revolt in Roscrea.

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Theirs is a tale that begs the question as to whether anything has changed in Irish public governance since 1968, when John Healy wrote his seminal No One Shouted Stop about the death of a small Mayo town. It is a wretched indictment of the inertia and careless indifference of our rulers who, after decades of non-accountability, have become utterly fearless about displaying their utter indifference over the lives of the citizens, that so little appears to have changed, except perhaps that radicalism now appears to be the sole preserve of mavericks. 

Lest the claim of deterioration be thought unfair, it should be noted 1968 was a year of hope. By contrast, in recent years, indifferent centralising forces have ripped the heart out of rural Ireland. First, they came for the post offices; then they came for the rural pub; they then came for the garda station. Then the self-same central government abandoned these communities when the recession came for the building workers, the factories, the retail workers and the high streets.

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