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Compensation for Harney sticks in throat

I am sickened to read that former Tanaiste Mary Harney is to receive more than €450,000 in compensation for a radio slur made against her.

Ms Harney is right in vindicating her character; but seeking such compensation was incredibly disproportionate.

Nobody died, was injured or otherwise disadvantaged by the untrue comments and I cannot fathom the basis on which such a large claim could be justified. The irony is that for years Ms Harney pushed the neo-liberal economic agenda and we are now paying the price. Her bankrupt ideology has bankrupted the country.

Yet the only consequence she faces as a result of her ineffectual time in office is early retirement on a fat pension. Add to this her compensation payout, which is in excess of 13 times the average industrial wage, and the gulf between the average citizen and Ms Harney becomes apparent.

It is intolerable that so many of those who ruined this country are retiring on such terms. As the country lurches toward default, a latent anger at the injustice of Irish society is building. The Government must make the golden circle swallow their share of the pain, before it is too late.

I don't know how Ms Harney plans to spend her retirement, but with her keen eye for litigation she might yet be called to the bar.

Gerard O'Donoghue

Dooradoyle, Limerick City