ON a morning when the Government can cut special teaching posts to support up to 900 students with disabilities (none of whom, I am sure even Brian Lenihan would agree, were responsible for the present financial catastrophe), isn't it ironic that the same Government can dispense the largess of the taxpayer to Mr Patrick Neary, the retired Financial Regulator, to the tune of a €142,000 pension for life and a €630,000 "secret" pay-off?
Most independent commentators would agree that Mr Neary must have been asleep at the wheel, yet there is no question of any punitive action being taken against him.
Yet the Government can, by introducing a pension levy, unilaterally alter the contracts, pay and conditions of work of thousands of public servants, the vast majority of whom are modestly paid and have served the State and the public.
With such massive power to alter negatively the life chances of those with disabilities and the terms and conditions of innocent workers, then why can't they make the effort to ensure that the people who were negligent or culpable should pay up?
We are probably naive to ask, when the answer is all too clear!
Claremorris, Co Mayo
THIS is the last straw. The former Financial Regulator, Patrick Neary, is walking away with huge sums for being negligent in his job, but still has a contract to fulfil.
We have a Taoiseach drawing more money than the British Prime Minister and President of the United States, and TDs on huge salaries and "expenses", all in a country with a population smaller that Greater Manchester.
It would be laughable if it were not so serious. And the rest of the world is probably laughing at us. The great Republic, in which all people count, is a joke.
Politicians care nothing for the average man losing his job, taking a pay cut or having to work reduced hours, or homes being lost, price rises and all the rest.
While the man in the street is suffering, the politicians get back into the trough and stuff themselves.
It has not changed since Haughey's time.
"We must tighten our belts", indeed.
Rooskey, Co Roscommon