Letter in today’s Irish Times
REASONS TO BE ANGRY
In February 2002 my father reluctantly applied to Galway County Council for a disability grant to have a stair-lift fitted. On October 27th, 2007 – more than five years later, and with no communication in the interim – Galway County Council sent the following reply:
“I refer to your application for a disabled persons grant received in February 2002. I regret to inform you that your application has now expired. If you wish to reapply please contact this office in order to get an application form.”
Has a more pointless and bureaucratic letter ever been written? I laughed out loud when I read it. Then I got angry. I thought of my father who reared us and who expected so little from the State. I thought of the grotesque pay increases granted to our betters in politics, law and and the civil service. And to a Taoiseach who leads (I use the word loosely) a population of 4.2 million people and now gets €310,000 a year.
I thought of the widespread anger at the shambolic health system and poor education facilities and of Susie Long and her needless death for the magnificent might of her principles. I raged at the moral bankruptcy of our leaders who think “vision” is a new PR company. I raged at incompetent Ministers, at the wasted millions on computers, voting machines and infrastructure and the overbearing laws and bureaucrats confusing and inhibiting our daily lives, instead of assisting us. I ranted at the fantastic, preening selfishness of tax exiles who willingly accepted this country’s nurture then fled with the loot.
Then, like everybody else I got over it, and accepted that that is just the way it is. Sure what else is to be done? There was one consolation, though. My father didn’t live long enough to be humiliated. He died on June 22nd, 2003.
I remember a retiring former US ambassador to Ireland saying that the thing he most noticed about the Irish was that we had no sense of outrage. He was wrong. We have just forgotten what to do with it. Or am I just another gormless eejit for thinking it should be different? – Yours, etc,
TOMAS FINN, Cappataggle, Ballinasloe, Co Galway.