Wednesday 13 December 2017

Who is taking care of the country as FG try to spin their way out of crisis?

Editorial Comment

We have seen many a political scandal in Ireland but few match the current cataclysm that has engulfed the Government.

It will be months, or possibly years, before we get some semblance of truth about what happened and who was involved in the grotesque series of events surrounding the smearing of Maurice McCabe.

The controversy enveloping the Gardaí, Tusla, the HSE and the Government has frequently been compared to the GUBU saga in the 1980s.

In reality it is far more serious involving, as it does, allegations that agents of three powerful State bodies may have been involved in a deliberate attempt to destroy the reputation of a citizen.

As such it has the potential to put the MacArthur case in the shade and paint Haughey's notorious 'GUBU' administration as models of efficient government by comparison with Mr Kenny's current cabinet.

Given all that, it is entirely understandable that the McCabe scandal is at the forefront of people's minds - politicians and the press - in Leinster House this week.

However, amid all the justified outrage we have to remember that there is much more going on in Ireland right now than just the Garda/Tusla scandal.

Within weeks some 30,000 nurses and possibly 10,000 of their support staff are likely to go on strike, launching a work to rule that will add enormous pressure to an already overwhelmed health service.

In addition, it remains a distinct possibility that teachers in the ASTI will return to the picket line, potentially forcing thousands of schools to shut their doors for a second time in 12 months.

Further to this there is the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis; the looming Brexit talks; political uncertainty in Northern Ireland; the decimation of rural societies and the surge in serious crime in our cities.

With most senior politicians focussed on the fallout from the McCabe smear campaign - and the potential for a snap election - how much attention is being paid to these critical issues?

As well as reassuring the people that the gardaí, the HSE and Tusla can be trusted, the government needs to let people know that there is a steady hand at the tiller in these deeply uncertain times.

The people need and deserve answers about the Garda scandal and Maurice McCabe and his family - who have endured a decade long nightmare - deserve justice.

At the same time, the people of Ireland also need and deserve to know that they have a fully functioning Government, something that has seemed lacking in recent days.

The McCabe scandal has rocked public confidence in the State and its agencies to the core. Confidence has to be restored and it has to be restored quickly.

A motion of no confidence in a government is one thing. A public with no confidence in their country is quite another.

Wexford People

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