Thursday, 2 October 2014

STRAIGHT TALKING with ‘The Duke’


Get a prison cell ready, Phil – because this charge won’t be paid!


An Open Letter to Minister Phil Hogan


Dear Phil, 

Hope that you are all well in Leinster House. This Saturday is the closing date for the payment of the household charge and I just want you to understand why I won’t be paying. I can afford to pay but this is my way of protesting at what you and your uncaring government have done to the people of the country since you have come in to office, not to mind the people of Roscommon on their own. 

  You say that it is “only” two euro a week to pay this tax and that may be true, but add that to the four ruro a week extra for car tax, ten euro a week extra for the USC, at least twenty euro a week in extra charges for petrol and diesel, the extra twenty euro a week in registration charges for third level colleges – to name just a few of your extra taxes and levies. There have been more increases in everything else as well so it may be only two euro for this tax, but what about all the other increases? 

  There is an easier way of fixing the economy than crucifying the people of the country and putting tens of thousands of young people on planes and boats, and closing down small businesses. Tell your paymasters that we will pay back our debts. But that we will pay them back over twenty years – and not five. We cannot afford it.

  I am not in any political party. I did not attend any protest or public meeting on this issue. I am not following any politician or public representative. I took this stance a long time before any of them made their feeling known publicly. There have been too many tax increases and too many cuts. This tax is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Send the council workers around to the house if you like Phil. I’ll make them a cup of tea and we will have a chat. I know them all. But I won’t pay the tax. 

  You say that this is for the provision of local services, which is a total and utter fallacy – and you know that too Phil. All we hear from the local councils are cutbacks in almost every area of activity. Except expenses, pensions, bonuses and salaries of course! Get a cell ready in Castlerea or Portlaoise if you want to Phil because I am not paying your tax.

  The day your party leader stood in The Square and promised that the A&E Unit at Roscommon County Hospital would be retained was the day that you lost my €100 

Cheers Phil, 

SD


Why spend €20m on this project in Roscommon? 


Dear Seamus,

With all the controversy over they household charge, etc. I am amused to hear that government ministers are going on and on about local services. Consider this – here in Roscommon we are about to spend €20 million on a new headquarters for Roscommon County Council. 

  The newly-built Government building on the Golf Links Road is half-empty, and at the last count there were over 70 vacant business premises in Roscommon town alone. 

  To my mind this new building is a scandalous waste of public money. Is this where the money from the household charge is going to go?

Yours sincerely, 

(Full name and address with Editor) 


Note: I have to agree with our letter writer. It is not something I have thought of, but I agree. The new building is not needed – it’s a complete waste of public money. With the country on its knees financially the expense cannot be justified. There is still time to shout stop – SD


Mick Mulry will be great missed 


I never realised that there were so many strings to the late Mick Mulry’s bow until Monsignor Travers paid tribute to him at his funeral mass last Sunday. I knew Mick well from his involvement in the GAA. 

  He was secretary of the Hyde Park Committee and a life-long member of Roscommon Gaels and he loved to come to the meetings and have the craic afterwards. He also loved to play cards, and did so until very close to his death last week.

  He was also a very prominent member of the local St Vincent de Paul Society. He was a member of the local choir for many decades and was also a life-long member of the PTAA. 

  He was also a former Captain and President of Roscommon Golf Club and he loved a game of golf and the social aspect of being in the club. He also worked in Roscommon County Hospital and it was fitting that he spent his final days there in the care of the staff. 

  He was a great family man and a lovely man to meet. He was very proud of his Four Roads roots but was one of the old stock of the town and environs. 

  To his wife Eileen, sons Peter and David, daughters Paula and Anne Marie, sons-in-law Michael, daughters-in-law Denise and Edel, Anne Marie’s fiancée Ger, grandchildren, brother John, sister Mary, other family members and a huge circle of friends I want to wish my deepest sympathy. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.


Bertie – and the way he might look at you! 


The fall-out from the Mahon Tribunal was the major story last week and I want to share one little story with readers this week. At the time of the 2007 general election campaign Bertie Ahern appeared at a meeting in the Royal Hotel. It was upstairs in the (at the time) new ballroom. 

  Afterwards he held an impromptu press conference. I remember asking him was he worried about the evidence that was coming up at the Mahon Tribunal about his finances. His smile disappeared and he looked at me with a face like thunder, as if he wanted to take out a gun and shoot me. He stared at me for a few seconds and went on to another question. 

  After it was over a prominent local Fianna Fail person (who is still a prominent member of the party) came to me and told me that I ‘should be ashamed of myself’ for asking Bertie a question like that. I wonder who is ashamed now?  

  The people who have been found guilty of wrongdoing, and especially people like the arrogant, pompous Padraig Flynn, should be brought before the courts. According to the Mahon Report Flynn “misappropriated” funds. It’s another word for stealing.   

  The arrogance with which these people treated the people of the country was breathtaking. I read this morning where Bertie was out in Nigeria this week telling the poor unfortunate people out there at some conference about how he led Ireland to huge economic growth. By the way he was paid about €30,000 for appearing out there for three days! If it wasn’t so serious it would be a mighty laugh.


Good news stories 


It would be wrong this week not to report on two positive pieces of news that are emerging this morning (Wednesday). It looks like a deal will be done so we do not have to shell out €3.1 billion on behalf of Anglo Irish at the end of this month. It will not make much of a difference to our debt overall, but at least it is something, and credit where it’s due. 

  It would also appear that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has tied up some sort of a deal with the Chinese government so that they will invest in this country. I am extremely annoyed and frustrated at the way the country has been dragged into the gutter in recent years but anything that might stop our young people having to emigrate has to be welcomed. Let’s hoe this Chinese story bears fruit in the next few years.


A minority of people who are unaffected by the recession 


Last weekend I was out socially and inevitably the conversation turned to the economy, and during that conversation I realised that there is a significant minority of people who are totally unaffected by the recession. 

  I should have known that already, but it was last weekend that really brought it home to me. There are people who have their family reared, who have no mortgage and who are living on handsome pensions, and the recession has not impacted on them at all. In fact they cannot understand what the fuss is about at all. 

  In fact there are a lot of people who have so much money coming in every week and every month that they don’t know what to do with it – and the best of luck to them too. I wish I was in that minority!

Issue dated: 30th March 2012
© Roscommon People