Monday 26 September 2016

'The utter gall' of our public servants' sense of entitlement

Published 17/09/2016 | 02:30

Serving the people: Michelle Mulherin. Pic: Tom Burke
Serving the people: Michelle Mulherin. Pic: Tom Burke

Senator Michelle Mulherin's accusation of bias in failing to get an All-Ireland ticket from the GAA has set me to reflect. I know very little about Ms Mulherin, so if she trains her Junior B team or washes the jerseys for the Under-12s weekly, or follows Mayo around the land through thick and thin or, indeed, sells her quota of club lotto tickets weekly, then I apologise in advance.

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If, on the other hand, like many public representatives, her most regular attendance at matters GAA is to smile and accept the accolades for having 'secured' some grant or other - one to which they were more than entitled anyway - then I am reminded of a favoured phrase of Micheál Ó hEithir when he would speak of "the utter gall" of some player who had just performed an outrageous, stupendous sleight of hand on the field of play.

Disgruntlement at not securing an All-Ireland ticket is not the most noteworthy thing; but it does smack of something more serious. Why, in all that's holy, do some of our public representatives, be they Dáil or Seanad, feel when they have reached the higher echelons of 'serving the people' it puts them in a position of entitlement above and beyond the ordinary man/woman?

Tom Bulfin
Bruff, Co Limerick

Discrimination against senators

Senator Michelle Mulherin wonders why "senators are treated differently to TDs" by the GAA in the allocation of All-Ireland tickets (Irish Independent, Sept 15th). I fail to see the good senator's problem.

After all, did her party not encourage us, the voters, to abolish that "wasteful and undemocratic" institution in that ill-advised referendum some years ago?

Many TDs, when they were subjected to the displeasure of the electorate in the recent election, suddenly experienced a Pauline conversion in their views on how worthwhile Seanad Éireann really is. People like David Norris, Michael McDowell and Ronan Mullen (among others) who worked might and main to save the Senate can speak with some credibility about "clear discrimination" against that august institution. I do not extend the same right to those who wanted rid of it.

Fr Iggy O'Donovan
Limerick

I read with near-incredulity about Senator Michelle Mulherin's letter to the Director General of the GAA, regarding the distribution of All-Ireland final tickets to TDs only and not Senators.

I find it astonishing that Senator Mulherin feels entitled to the option of purchasing tickets, when so many supporters are looking for tickets.

Indeed, the GAA ticket distribution policy should be looked at as a whole, as it feels unfair that such a limited number of tickets are made available to the competing counties every year. The question of TDs being entitled to the option of purchasing tickets should, of course, also come scrutiny.

Richard Holden
Kilmacow, Kilkenny

 

Dundalk to the rescue

Reading that the Dundalk team bus stopped en route to Dublin Airport to 'rescue' some fans after their own bus broke down brought visions of manager Stephen Kenny calling out to the stranded: "And bring yer boots." Given the result in Holland, clearly no 'tulips' were taken.

Tom Gilsenan
Beaumont D9

Courage of our Coast Guard

I was so moved watching images of the Coast Guard helicopter hovering over Caitriona Lucas's grave on 'Nuacht TG4'.

It was a beautiful gesture in the face of tragedy. People like Caitriona are very special, they are courageous, selfless and risk their lives every time they go on a mission. I live on the west coast but I will never be in the Coast Guard or RNLI, simply because I am not brave enough. All of us should be so proud of them as the majority of them are not paid for their dangerous work.

Mary Conroy
Co Galway

Pardon for Snowden

Whistleblower Edward Snowden, who revealed information about the illegal Bush/Obama NSA spying programme, is a national hero and should be pardoned.

Yes, what he did was illegal. The NSA had been lying to Congress about what it was doing and that it was illegally spying on every single person in America. We only know that because of Snowden.

Since Snowden's revelation, Congress has changed several laws to help put a stop to the conduct that Snowden revealed. This, to me, indicates that Snowden did America a national service and that his actions to stop illegal government spying was justified. I therefore join in the call to pardon Edward Snowden.

Marc Perkel
Gilroy, CA, USA

Let the Army serve the public

Why are the Army lorries not already on the streets and easing the hardship suffered by the communities in Dublin who have the misfortune to depend on public transport? Serving abroad in great numbers may be laudable, but is it not time for the Defence Forces to earn its keep at home?

Peadar Kelly
Ballymun, Dublin 11

Our forgotten emigrants

Reading in the papers, listening on local radio and watching on national television the build-up to the All-Ireland hurling and football finals and the messages of goodwill from Irish emigrants to the counties contesting the finals, one was reminded, once again, of the tens of thousands who have left our shores during the lean years of the recent recession. It was very disappointing to note that during the February General Election campaign, none of the main political parties produced a comprehensive diaspora policy to attract some of these well-educated people back again to live and work in the land of their birth, where they would have much to offer Ireland in a recovering economy.

The small number that have returned have found the cost of motor insurance, health insurance, etc has skyrocketed. Perhaps there will be good news for this section of Irish society in the up-coming Budget in October, otherwise it may seem that the old adage 'Out of sight, out of mind' applies to our forgotten emigrant.

Tom Towey
Cloonacool, Co Sligo

'Reckless decisions' and bailout

Stan McCormack tells us: "The EC contributed very much to driving Ireland's recession by making us bail out the banks and shareholders." (Letters, September 16).

The real story is that a small number of our most powerful citizens in charge of government, financial institutions etc during the pre-2009 boom made reckless decisions which resulted in the EU, the ECB and the IMF bailing us out.

The alternative was default.

A Leavy
Sutton, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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