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24 June 2010

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Harrison Ford and saving Seán Mac Dermott Street Swimming Pool – The Mary Lou McDonald Column

THINGS got controversial at the Save Our Swimming Pool campaign fund-raising quiz the other night. It was the picture round. No one could figure out who the angry-looking man in the grainy photograph was. One person – who I will not name (yet) – swore that it was Harrison Ford. It wasn’t.

It was Ivor Callely.

Fianna Fáil Senator Callely is one of the politicians in the headlines for his imaginative use of the expenses system. He likes to travel. He takes the long road to work – Killester (Dublin) via west Cork to Kildare Street (Dublin).

Ivor may not be Harrison Ford but he has become a pin-up boy for the cronyism and double standards in the political establishment.

He’s not alone. His friends in government have targeted workers, families and those on social welfare. They claim all of this is to get us through the tough times. They claim their expenses and carry on with no real understanding of life outside their political bubble.

In Dublin City, Labour and Fine Gael run the show. They are just as ruthless as the Government. They have introduced cuts that hurt children, the old and the poor. They want to close Seán MacDermott Street , Crumlin and Coolock swimming pools. They also use the ‘tough times’ as cover for their actions.

So when Enda Kenny and his sidekick, Eamon Gilmore, attack the Government, they are just doing what some politicians do: having a go for the sake of it.  Neither of them or their parties would do things differently – Dublin City Council proves the point.

It’s no surprise that people are sick of politics and politicians.  The pain of the ‘tough times’ doesn’t reach into the political class.

Three public swimming pools in Dublin are targeted for closure. They are all in proud working-class areas.  The people have come out fighting. ‘Save Our Swimming Pools’, that’s the rallying cry.

Facilities for our children, investment in our communities and new, decent politics. . That’s the stuff to get us through the tough times. Up the Dubs!

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