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As Enda Kenny will become the first sitting Taoiseach to give the address at Béal na Bláth tomorrow, it is worth asking if he is a suitable person to do so.
What would Mr Collins have made of Mr Kenny, who in 40 years in politics has failed to achieve what Mr Collins did in one year? What would Mr Collins make of the wealth accumulated at the public expense by people like Mr Kenny, or by his tax free expense claims, making him far richer than what Mr Kenny’s limited talents would have earned him in the real world?
Mr Kenny became Taoiseach of a bankrupt country in Mar 2011 and his very first act was to double his salary and that of everyone he appointed to government. Is that what Mr Collins would have done in the same circumstances? The more likely outcome is that Mr Collins would have been glad to retain a TD’s salary and leave the pay rise until he had proven he deserved it.
When he speaks, no doubt Mr Kenny will be flanked by Mr Collins’ successor to him as Minister for Justice, his own grand-niece Ms Nora Owen. She is one of the many politicians who retired with an obscene taxpayer funded pension, while she embarks on a second career as the very well paid host of Mastermind.
I suppose it’s too much to think that if Ms Owen wants to pursue a new career she uses her new found income to lessen the burden she places on the taxpayer funding her lavish pension, or at the very least donates either her pension or her Mastermind earnings to any of the wonderful community groups and charities in Dublin North who would benefit from some extra funding.
Mr Kenny proves day in day out he is unfit to be the person who stands up to speak about the legacy and life of someone like Michael Collins, and those who extended the invitation should think long and hard about their motives for doing so.
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