Blarney festivities - Holding to account

The controversy over the St Patrick’s Day festivities in Blarney has the makings of old-style dispute between the people and the local landlord. Of course, in reality it is not nearly so simple.

At the heart of this controversy is not an issue of a landlord denying anybody’s rights, but a demonstration of the need for people to recognise that the current compo culture which has been allowed to run rampant is a real threat to everybody’s freedom.

Public festivities are in trouble because of public liability insurance. Everybody knows of claims by people who stepped into a pothole or walked into a door because they were not looking where they are going. They sue the local council or the owner of the property for negligence. What they are saying, in effect, is that it is your fault. This clearly perverts any sense of justice.

It seems anybody can blame everybody for his or her own stupidity or negligence. Personal responsibility is being abandoned in favour of what we now call public liability.

It is not small minded of Sir Charles Colthurst to insist that if he makes his land available to others he should not be held responsible for the behaviour of the people using his property. He is insisting the events have “sufficient cover” so he would not be held responsible.

Sufficient cover for frivolous and vexatious claims will ultimately become prohibitive, unless and until society demands that individuals be held accountable for their own behaviour.


Frits Potgieter is General Manager with Muckross Park Hotel and Spa.You've Been Served: Frits Potgieter, Muckross Park Hotel and Spa

More From The Irish Examiner