Ahern's pay rise

Letter in today’s Irish Times



It is widely recognised that Fianna Fáil TD Martin Mansergh is a man of high intellectual abilities.

His significant role in the successful Northern Ireland peace process is also an indication that he is a man of exceptional political and diplomatic intelligence.

It is therefore reasonable to assume he is fully aware that his claim that Bertie Ahern should be the highest-paid individual in the State, on the basis that he has more responsibilities than anyone else, is puerile nonsense (November 22nd).

The fact that a man of Dr Mansergh’s high reputation is reduced to mouthing such a ridiculous defence is itself confirmation that the pay rise was totally unjustified.

If this ludicrous logic was extended to the United States, for example, President Bush would be in receipt of an income greater than Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates, who has a net worth of $53 billion.

Sadly it seems that Dr Mansergh, for all his abilities, is motivated by nothing more than the traditional Fianna Fáil backwoodsman mentality of defending the party and its leader above all other considerations.

He cannot be unaware of the damage such an attitude does to the interests of the Irish people.

Yours, etc,