Letter in today’s Irish Independent.
Tuesday November 13 2007
It was reported on the RTE current affairs programme ‘Drivetime‘ (3rd item, 2nd report) last Wednesday that Mary O’Rourke TD, finding herself bored during ministerial question time, decided to take a walk down to Brown Thomas. We were told how she met 11 women all with horror stories about friends and relations affected by cancer.
Nothing better illustrates the yawning gap between the comfortable world of our politicians and the brutal reality of many ordinary citizens.
Here’s a politician who has held several senior positions in government, who is a member of a party that has held power for more years than any other party, but who has become so removed from the lives of ordinary people that she only encounters reality when she wanders out of the rarefied world of our useless and “boring” parliament.
Her contribution during the special Dail debate on the latest cancer treatment scandal only served to confirm her ignorance of what is happening in the real world.
She started by congratulating Minister for Health, Mary Harney, for apologising to the women who were misdiagnosed, as if this empty gesture had any meaning.
This was followed by high praise for all politicians who put themselves out by agreeing actually to meet and discuss the scandal.
She then viciously attacked Prof Drumm as if it was he and not incompetent politicians who landed us with a Third World health service.
After telling the nation that she didn’t think we would ever have a proper health service, Mrs O’Rourke apologised in advance for her absence from the next day’s briefing of politicians by Prof Drumm.
Apparently she had a more pressing engagement — another trip to Brown Thomas, perhaps?
COBH, CO CORK