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Wednesday, July 04, 2012
So — after almost ten years and the wastage of over €55m of public monies — a curtain finally draws on the E voting machines fiasco (Irish Examiner, Jun 29).
These machines, which former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern defended on the basis that we couldn’t "move into the 21st century being a laughing stock with our stupid old pencils", and which the minister "responsible" for the costly farce, Martin Cullen, claimed had "at all stages been tested and re tested by independent experts" and deemed "the most secure system that exists in the world", are now to be sold for just over €70,000 as scrap metal.
Of course, the most galling injustice about this — as with so much else that happens in relation to governance and public administration — is that "responsibility" for this is notional and the individuals just mentioned who oversaw the mess will suffer no erosion of their massive, publicly-funded pensions.
According to recent media reports Cullen is currently enjoying art gallery owner status in sunny Florida and Ahern would, no doubt glibly claim, as has become his default mantra, that he was acting in good faith and on the best advice available to him at the time.
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