The New Brooms

While it is only fair that the new Fine Gael /Labour Coalition Government be given a chance to prove their worth and fulfil the promises they made coming up to the election, at the same time there are some high expectations from those who elected them. Both these parties promised change so naturally we all hope that what they meant was change for the better. Already Enda Kenny has gone to Europe to try and re-negotiate the terms of the loans that this country had to borrow.  While it is early days yet it is to be hoped that his efforts will be successful.

Naturally, considering the state that the country is in, people must resign themselves to the fact that the new Government cannot perform miracles, but what they can do and should do, is to get their priorities right from the very beginning. There are certain categories in various positions throughout the State who are getting salaries out of all proportion to their worth or value. It is nothing short of obscene that there are some getting annual salaries of €600,000, while at the same time hard-working student nurses are expected to work during part of their training period without getting paid at all.

Is this right or is it complete exploitation and what is the Government prepared to do in correcting this blatant injustice?

From my own experience it is quite obvious that such a thing is not happening in England and that it has not happened there even in the darkest days of the Thatcher regime. Is it any wonder then that well educated and ambitious young girls and indeed boys as well are heading off to England to take up Nurse- training where they are in much demand as they always were and where there is a welcome for them. Cherishing all the children and indeed all the adults and old retired people of the nation equally should be the main objective of our new Government. The ball is in their court now and there is no point in re-tracing former years and blaming Fianna Fáil, their political partners and the Banks for the present condition that the country is now in. It is up to the Government with its huge majority to start fixing things and see to it that everybody, particularly the well-heeled and wealthy, are made to contribute their share to the financial recovery of the nation.

Another question that needs to be asked is how were the British able to afford to give a Christmas bonus to those of us on English retirement pensions. How will they be able to give the promised rise in our pensions from next month onwards. Surely these are items that our new Minister for Social Welfare would need to ponder on and put right when the time comes around again to do so. Most of the new Ministers both Senior and Junior appear to be able people who will be well capable of doing a good job in restoring Ireland’s shattered economy and in their difficult task it is the duty of all of us to wish them well. They are the democratically elected representatives of the people and deserve our respect and goodwill.

But so too do all the diverse elements who make up the Opposition. Somebody recently remarked that this will be the best opposition ever seen in Leinster House. There is no doubt that in its scattered ranks there are some very able and dedicated people whose names it would not be appropriate to go into at present, at least not until we see how they will perform.


A Welcome Decision

The decision by the National Roads Authority to cancel the construction of the proposed motorway between Abbeyfeale and Adare has been widely welcomed by farmers and other local residents along the route as well as by many elected local Council representatives throughout West Limerick. Since its proposal first came into the public domain it has widely disrupted the lives of many people whose farms and small holdings it would divide and maybe even in some places might even necessitate the demolition and re-location of a dwelling house.  The reason that was given for the abrupt cancellation of the project was apparently lack of funding , but according to media reports there are few who would  believe that story, and that the more logical reason were the many objections which were in evidence by those concerned , in other words a demonstration of people power. Already, by all accounts, a senseless amount of money has been spent on the planning and preparation of this project, all for nothing seeing that it has now come apart and has been put on an indefinite long finger.

One wonders what was the idea in the first place of all these super speedways in a country of this size.  It would have been much better in the first place if the upkeep of existing roads had been more a priority of the various County Councils, but unfortunately the big brother culture has been evident to a far too much degree during the past couple of decades.

The Irish tax-payers, which include all of us, are now paying the price of all this nonsense, but sure then we deserve what we are getting because we allowed it to happen. It ought to be for all of us a lesson to be learned in the future.


Ceol Luimnigh

Ceol Luimnigh traditional group held an enjoyable concert for the residents and staff of Beechwood House Nursing Home, Newcastle West on Sunday March 6th . As usual it was sponsored by Newcastle West Red Cross Branch who supplied the confectionery and the refreshments. Pat Dalton, Chairman, Josie O’Keeffe and Nora Dooley represented the Red Cross and the Ceol Luimnigh entertainers including 8 musicians, singers, reciters and story tellers were: Martin Keyes, Paddy Daly, Tom O’Donoghue, Lisa Shine, Pat Sheehan, John Hughes, Dan Shine, Con Herbert, Pat Dalton, Martin Enright, Irene Quaid, Daithi O’ Riordan, John O’Riordan, Tommy O’Riordan, John Hayes, Mary O’ Keeffe, Noel Smith, Jimmy Lyons, Patsy Noonan, Ita McQuinn and Jimmy Brinn. M.C.: Pat Brosnan. After the concert the staff treated the Ceol Luimnigh performers and the Red Cross representatives to a lovely meal in the dining room which was much appreciated.