Friday 19 January 2018

Shane Coleman: Why it's still all hands to the parish pumps during national crisis

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny may have promised his ministers would focus on national issues, but today's investigation by this newspaper shows nothing has changed.

The State is in the thick of its greatest ever crisis and yet cabinet ministers are concerning themselves with their constituents' front doors, showers and cases of insect infestation. If it wasn't so serious, it would be funny. No country does parish-pump politics – or 'clientelism' – like we do here in Ireland. It was Tipp O'Neill who coined the saying that "all politics is local".

But even the legendary US congressman surely didn't envisage members of the executive of government getting involved in street lighting, as routinely still happens here.

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