Intermediate inspections are crucial
The article by Michael Clifford [Irish Examiner, 1st August] regarding the regulation or lack of same in the matter of house building highlights the root cause of the many inadequately built houses and estates in the country. There is no guarantee that the newly introduced changes under S19 will eliminate similar defects in the future.
As local authorities are the bodies charged with the granting of planning permissions and the attachment of appropriate conditions to each authorisation then surely the responsibility for ensuring compliance should rest with those authorities. Placing that responsibility on outside agents of the applicant is, in my opinion, not the best course of action.
It is for the above reasons that I have on numerous occasions called on the relevant Minister to mandate local authorities to carry out intermediate stage inspections of each development. Such a process would allow the inspectorate to satisfy itself that all was thus far in full compliance.
Had some Minister listened to my request it is quite certain that much of the heartbreak and of the dereliction would have been avoided.
Don’t go seeking Dory for a pet
Finding Dory, the sequel to the smash hit Finding Nemo, may leave viewers tempted to purchase a “Dory” (ie, a blue tang fish) for themselves – but these fish belong in the ocean, not in a tank.
The novelty of a fish bought on a whim fades quickly, and many parents learned their lesson after the first film, when the goldfish they rushed out to buy to satisfy their kids’ pleas ended up flushed down the loo or abandoned at a shelter. (The RSPCA reportedly had to deal with almost 10,000 surrendered fish in the months following the Nemo craze.) Fish aren’t “low maintenance”. They need far more than just a few millimetres of water. Bowls have to be routinely cleaned – a chore most children dodge very quickly – and the water’s temperature needs to be carefully monitored. Fish also need sunlight, and like Dory and Nemo, they need the company of other fish, too. Cared for properly, blue tang fish can live for more than 20 years – long after the kids have moved out.
Go enjoy Finding Dory. But leave fish in the oceans, where they belong.
All squawk and no sense to cabinet
Enda Kenny had his cabinet meeting in Government buildings disrupted by squawking seagulls. Ministers complained they could not hear their beloved leader. Luckily enough Enda understands pigeon English so was able to translate to the cabinet what the seagulls were trying to impart to the debate. Enda said the seagulls were saying. ““When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” How profound. Next time it would be better if the seagulls chaired the cabinet meeting.
Shout at those with fingers in our purse
May I take the headline of your editorial of Monday August first “ WHY IS NO TD SHOUTING ABOUT THIS?” and apply it to a different but very important question?
If the workforce must fall into two categories, private sector and public sector, then why does public sector not include everybody, without exception, who is paid out of the public purse including not just Gardai, teachers and nurses but all members of the oireachtas, special advisers, department secretary generals, judges, Garda Commissioners, etc.
Why are Brendan Howlin and Paschal Donoghue given such an easy ride when they claim that FEMPI measures were necessary in the interest of the public purse and the taxpayer.
How can you justify paying a Senator, most of whom are part time, a salary of €65,000 ,which is double the average industrial wage, when a secondary teacher, having spent four years in university starts of at €33,000 and, even after 25 years on an incremental scale will still be earning less than the Senator’s €65,000. If that were not bad enough Senators get average expenses of €25,000. Furthermore they may opt to have personal assistant at a cost to the taxpayer of over €20,000 per annum. Is any TD going shout about this? People Before Profit? The Independent Alliance? Yeah, right which makes it all the more important that national newspapers, amongst others, shout about it. And remember, like the Skibbereen Eagle, I have my eye on you!
Most historic site under threat with state complicity
The decisión by Dublín City Council officials to extend the Chartered Land planning application to destroy the last extant 1916 Battlefield simply beggars belief.
Under the control and ownership of Chartered Land for over a decade the Moore Street área has been allowed deteriorate into a shocking state of decay and dereliction to such an extent that the State finally intervened as a result of campaign pressure to secure the derelict buildings at 14 to 17 that comprise the National Monument. Their purchase and restoration will cost taxpayers an estmated €10 million. It is our understanding that extensions can be granted on condition that substantial development has commenced. In this case this has not happened and the recent High Court Judgment confirms this in the most withering terms. The work to date, was dismissed by Judge Max Barrett as akin to what one would achieve pottering around one’s garden on a hot summer’s day.
One can only asume that our publicly paid City Officials are blissfully unaware of the Judgment or feel that it is of no consequence.
Either way this extension tells us that little has changed in official circles since the infamous loss of Wood Quay.
An área described by The National Museum of Ireland as “the most important historic site in modern irish history” remains under threat of demolition with the complicity of the State itself.
Extraordinary to put it mildly in the era of the new politics we were promised.
Fr Jacques a martyr
That unspeakable atrocity in France called to mind for me stories I heard in primary school years ago: of priests who risked all in the dark days of Irish history, knowing there was a price on their heads... that they faced the ultimate penalty for upholding the deep religious faith that meant so much to them. Looking back on those Penal Days, no reasonable person would take the side of the tyrants who persecuted people for their religious beliefs or practises in those times. The ultimate effect of the persecution was to blacken the persecutors and elevate those unjustly persecuted.
Likewise with the cold-blooded murder of Fr Jacques Hamel as he celebrated mass for his parishioners. His killers achieved nothing. They represent a vile perversion of everything that is positive and truly decent in all the great religions, an ideology that seeks to bring despair where there is hope, death where there is life, and hatred where there is peaceful inter-ethnic co-existence.
The best response to their attack on a defenceless, inoffensive man of faith is NOT to turn in hatred against any other religion, but to embrace all faiths as essentially manifestations of goodness and a search for meaning in a troubled world.
People of all faiths and none can salute Fr Jacques Hamel as a martyr for the cause of religious tolerance worldwide.
While bankers have been jailed it seems auditors once again walk away “completely free and untarnished”.
So much for accountability.
What a joke!!!!
Your editorial of July 30 tells us in relation to the jailing of three men that ‘it is important that these senior bankers will be deprived of their liberty’. There is no mention now that these men had the ‘green jersey’ support of the establishment at the time.
It is a sobering thought that many of the then establishment have, as your editorial says, ‘faced few, if any, consequences’ but are still part of the present establishment and are still pontificating away in our media. Some of the then political establishment are even being applauded as they are being groomed for a return to government.
Whether this is part of the new politics or just a continuation of the old green jersey politics, only time will tell.