€30m for GAA but poor suffer

Recently Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore visited Cork. He met with GAA representatives at Pairc Uí Chaoimh where he promised to make representations on their behalf to acquire State funding. Which is the only success story of the Labour party . He got it, all of €30m.

€30m for GAA but poor suffer

It beggars belief that in the wake of a savage successive budgets, which were presided over by Mr Gilmore, that he would seek to acquire taxpayers money on behalf of the GAA, for what is essence a recreational activity as distinct from, our older and disabled residents surviving the winter, in food poverty, and fuel poverty. Over a third of our young population live in poverty. Grieving families have lost the bereavement grant, sick and dying children have had their medical cards stripped, the elderly are shivering in their homes or on hospital trolleys and Mr Gilmore et al are funding a private stadium which has already been gifted public land at a cost of €16m.

First we bail out the banks now we divert money to sports stadiums from the pockets of the poor, the elderly and the squeezed middle income earners .

More than 155,000 people are at risk of losing their full medical cards amid warnings that 2014 could be the toughest yet for the health sector Health Minister James Reilly is targeting a €20m saving this year. This means that up to 18,000 more people will have their cards taken away, based on the current average yearly cost of a medical card of €1,099.

We have one of the highest winter mortality rates in Europe for our elderly. Unemployed young people find themselves in a situation where jobs are almost non-existent and their only available source of income, job-seekers allowance, was cut. This has left many young people questioning if they have a future in Ireland.

It seems clear to me that many of Mr Gilmore’s colleagues in the Labour Party feel the same way we do, especially in light of recent defections, 26 and rising . Surely this should be a wake up call to Mr Gilmore to get his priorities in order.

Gifting €30,000,000 to any sports organisation in the middle of the worst recession the country has ever faced beggars belief and is a stark reminder of the message that Ireland Inc is driven by such a critical symbiotic and costly relationship between powerful vested interests and the political classes or official government.

This government is not offering any fair or equitable alternatives and is shielding its vested interests from the worst excesses of the recession, while abandoning and ignoring the most vulnerable within society.

I believe that it is time people begin to start looking for an alternative. The various political parties have shown that their allegiance is not to the people they represent, but their respective vested interests who line their party coffers. Our choice is simple: either we break the alliances, or they will break us. Time to ask the PAC to find out where did this money come from as we have been berated by every minister with every cut they made there was no more money in the budget . €30m deserves the same scrutiny and investigation as given to hospitals, Rehab and CRC.

Pat Mulley

Chairperson

Ballintemple Area Residents Association

Ballintemple

Cork

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