9 April 2009 Edition
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An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. No attachments please
TWO points really stood out for me in last night’s budget. The first was the implications for those of us living in, or waiting for social housing. The budget will cut €200 million from the social housing fund just days after Dublin City Council cut the housing budget, including maintenance and renovation of existing homes by €7.6 million.
Despite the disasters in St Michael's and Devanney Gardens here in Dublin and despite reports from the Comptroller and Auditor-General that Public Private Partnerships are more expensive in the long-term, the Government has renewed its commitment to this backhander for builders to deliver houses. One of the definitions of a psychotic is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
The second point is one that might be ignored. The reduction in jobseeker’s and supplementary welfare allowance to €100 a week for people under the age of 20 will hit working class young people extremely hard. The state feels that it can ignore them because none of the official youth organisations will raise too much of a fuss. But while student organisations are happy, and right by the way, to go to the streets to protect free fees for college students, who is standing up for unemployed young people?
I hope this is something Ógra Shinn Féin will focus on because if they don’t, no-one else will.
I’M writing this letter 24 hours after the Fianna Fáil/Green Party Government’s Emergency Budget and I’ve yet to hear let alone see a Green Party minister (or Senator Deirdre de Búrca) stand up and defend the cuts across everyone’s incomes.
Whatever happened to collective Cabinet responsibility? Or that much-vaunted courage of the Greens they seemed to have when in Opposition?
WHY will the Irish Government not set up a state bank to concentrate capital to begin the necessary reorientation of national development towards an economy centred on the needs of the people . It is very simple, people will bank with a new state bank when it is seen to be working for the people and not the massive shareholders and speculators have have ruined this country.
Grave matters in Glasnevin
As part of the ten-year restoration programme, the Glasnevin Cemetery Committee is giving people the opportunity to avail of a series of free walking tours this Easter.
Visitors will get to enter the crypt of Daniel O’Connell, hear about the bodysnatchers and their gruesome trade, and catch a glimpse of life and death in Victorian Ireland, as well as take in the graves of some of the men and women who helped shape Ireland’s past and present including Eamonn DeValera, Constance Markievicz, Michael Collins, Maude Gonne McBride, Charles Stewart Parnell, Brendan Behan and many more.
The hour-long tours will be given by historian Shane Mac Thomais, official tour guide to the cemetery for over 10 years and will commence at the main entrance to Glasnevin Cemetery. The free tours will take place on Easter Sunday, April 12, and Easter Monday, April 13, at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. A series of free tours were offered in October and proved to be hugely successful, with people travelling from all over the country to take part.
No prior booking is needed to take part in the tours and further information is available on the cemetery’s website.