If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

‘Pitiful’ O Cuiv wants to use unemployed people as cheap labour

TO say Social Protection Minister Eamon O Cuiv’s’ performance on RTÉ’s Prime Time (September 7) was pitiful would be excessive praise.

He is proof that ministers do not need any acumen for their portfolios. On Prime Time he hid his intention to recruit the unemployed as cheap labour behind a whinge about welfare fraud. He did nothing to clarify that highly qualified people would be placed in schemes reflecting their skills – not of course that good skills should be cheaply bought. A qualified teacher, for example, should never have to work involuntarily in a cafe. Not even a young school-leaver should have to sweep streets when a prisoner should be doing it. In short, no unemployed person should be sweeping streets just to make their inept Government look proactive.

O Cuiv’s declaration that non-availability for welfare interviews would suggest fraud is utterly stupid. Attendance at a few interviews a year would not deter the real, and few, fraudsters from breaking the law.

What O Cuiv envisages for earnest welfare claimants is a future filled with fear, debt, instability and mental stress. The life they worked for will slip further away with every passing hour. For God’s sake, when did community employment schemes ever lead to any worthwhile jobs? People who are perhaps more skilled than those with jobs will become an underclass providing cheap/free childcare for those who will always have work. O Cuiv’s lack of vision resonates an Orwellian nightmare in which this skilled underclass will clean streets – something highly-paid council workers should be doing. There may even be gulags and food kitchens in which demoralised slaves may only get one crust a day in return for building miles of road going nowhere.

If highly qualified unemployed people are facing the prospect of humiliation in return for a pittance, there should be a class action against the state and its universities. When are people going to stop being bled to death for what they did not do? When will we have politicians who are not brainless and don’t destroy people’s lives?

Dr Florence Craven


Co Kildare


About 70% of our planet is covered in water, in one form or another and it is vital to our survival.Appliance of science: Where does water come from?

Touched by the last rays of the sun, the grey mud of the estuary is dimpled with silver pools. Above them, rooks fly in their thousands, rooks uncountable, on different levels of the air.Interplay of rooks above Cillmanister a lovely mystery

A NEW survey confirms the presence of at least six rare spiders in Killarney National Park.Six rare spiders found in Killarney National Park

IT WAS written about an old ruin in Co Wexford but it may as well have been written for any other place.Islands of Ireland: Cows come home to Inishbarra

More From The Irish Examiner