Monday 19 February 2018

Death and bereavement not just a family issue when it comes to our civil servants

Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell
Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell

Mary Louise O'Donnell

There are almost 30,000 civil servants in Ireland today. They represent a cross section of Irish society. They are the wheels of government. A silent people who do their best to ensure the workings of State.

Civil servants are quiet and low-profile, partly because of the rules that govern the way they talk to the public. It is very rare that they get to speak outside the remit of their departmental structure and work, and they don't get a chance to interact with the public in an emotional way.

They get a negative press. We hear about "permanent, secure jobs", increments, and the scrutiny of the structure. But we rarely hear about how the individual human being interacts inside and outside that structure. We forget they have the same problems as everyone else.

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