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We don't need a Minister for Inaction

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Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey has managed to bring the political abuse of the Irish people to a new low with his remarks, that if he were present, instead of tanning himself in Malta, he wouldn't have been able to prevent the weather. The obvious response to this contemptuous remark is: "What on earth do we need ministers for then?"

For the minister to so publicly acknowledge that he would be of no use is a thundering disgrace. There is, in fact, plenty he could have done.

He could have arranged for the drivers of all public transport vehicles to stay in hotel accommodation near their depot, to prevent them making a hazardous journey to work.

The case of the Dart driver who walked for three miles, in the snow and ice, so that he could perform his public duty, throws into sharp focus the difference between a low-paid worker, who quietly goes about his duty, and a Minister for Transport, his boss, who wouldn't understand the concept of public duty if it drove a DART train over him.

He could have called for every tractor in the country be utilised for clearing the local road networks.

Country people are not second-class citizens, but some have had to suffer being cut off from civilisation during this crisis.

Most of all, he could at least try to pretend that he gives a damn. The idea of going on your holidays when the very reason you are in office, the maintenance of a viable transport network, is under severe threat, is a demonstration of contempt, and demands that he resigns.

Declan Doyle
Lisdowney, Co Kilkenny

I cannot understand why the Irish people don't get more active in getting the snow and ice cleared.

Always blaming the Government or the local authority is not the way to go.

Take the example of the US, where residents get their shovels out and clear at least the front of their own houses.

It is the same in many other European countries.

It may be the case here that claims can be made if you clear the snow and still someone slips -- that is, you didn't do a good enough job! What kind of law is this?

Dave Coyle
Limerick

Irish Independent