Sunday 19 November 2017

We're all in the horrors as we cower from the axe

If whoever shouts loudest can avoid the worst Government cuts, then we're in for a lot of noise, writes Colum Kenny

THEY are closing the garda college and opening a casino in Co Tipperary. "What the Government is doing is gambling," says one critic. But it's not gambling on horses. It is, as Damien McCarthy of the Garda Representative Association, puts it, "gambling on the fact that if they reduce garda numbers they'll save money".

You could not buy the kind of sympathetic publicity that Templemore got on RTE's Morning Ireland last week. If every place and group threatened by Government cutbacks had as many minutes of prime radio time to plead their case, they would be doing well. And if whoever shouts loudest has the best chance of changing the Government's mind, we are in for a lot of noise.

Every group and county in Ireland has some special case to plead. Not this airport but that should be Government-funded. Not this hospital but that should be closed. And, in a world of multi-seat constituencies, few backbenchers are eager to defend the public purse or national objectives in the teeth of local opposition.

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