Skip to main content

Dublin City Council: Are they all insane? – Clontarf Sea Wall

There are (too many!!) times when you have to question the sanity of the people that run Dublin City. Last week I wrote about the mess regarding College Green Plaza. Dublin City is definitely involved in that, but An Bord Pleanala was also a significant contributor to that mess.

This week it is getting worse. Much worse!

You might remember a big fight between Dublin City and locals in Clontarf about the flood protection wall that was built last year. The locals wanted to have a low walls so that their pretty views of the sea will not be disturbed and Dublin City banged their fist on the table and said: NO! The “No” was based on the expected flood levels and the Clontarf locals were the ones that appeared narrow minded and short sighted in that conflict. Dublin City went ahead and got the wall built and the locals had to accept.

Fast forward just little while to last Monday: In their January meeting, the Dublin City Councillors decided to LOWER the sea wall now by just 30cm for a cost of EUR 230k below the level that is the national flood level standard to …wait for it…. “improve the view for motorists”. Have you heard anything more bonkers from the shower of City Councillors? But that’s not all! After that it will cost another EUR 300k to beautify the shortened wall. And it is also expected that the wall will have to be raised again in a few years time.

The interesting thing is that Labour, the Green Party, some from Fine Gael and some from AAA-PBP were against the shortening of the wall, but the decision was 34 in favour and 21 against, 3 abstained. In the Council with 63 councillors there are 8 from Fine Gael, 8 from Labour, 6 from AAA-PBP and 3 from the Green party. That’s 25 who should have been against it (obviously the parties weren’t able to convince their own councillors).
And what parties are on the INSANE side of the house? It is Sinn Fein (16), Independents (11), Fianna Fail (9), Social Democrats (1) and Workers Party (1). Remember them when the next election comes along in 2019!

At the time of writing this, the minutes were not yet published. so a list of names who voted for and who against is not known and the above paragraph is a guess from the above referred to article in If you want to watch the webcast, you can find it here and look for Topic No. 6.

80st Birthday!! Ignore it or celebrate it?

Imagine your granddad or grandma had their 80st Birthday today! What would you do? Would you ignore it or celebrate? Would you at least ring them? Buy them (or make them) a cake? Or get a Birthday Card for them?

Interestingly, this week as Ireland’s 80st birthday and it was duly IGNORED! :-O That’s odd isn’t it? Maybe we will have to wait another 20 years until it is worth celebrating? Or maybe what happened 80 years ago wasn’t …..hmmmm…. “juicy” enough to talk about it today?

On 29 December 1937, the Irish Free State became “Ireland” or “Eire” and the Irish constitution from 1922 was replaced by a brand new constitution. There was a referendum about that new constitution on 01 July 1937 and after a majority voted in favour of it, the new constitution came into effect on 29 December.

This means that formally, the Ireland we live in today was born on 29 December 1937 and consequently celebrates its 80st birthday this year. But who is celebrating?

If you want to find out what celebrations there are, you ring some family members, right? Well, I did that! On 29 December, I rang Dail Eireann, but they seemingly weren’t even aware of the birthday and the PR person had left already and won’t be back until next year. Then I rang the Fianna Fail Headquarter and they are all on holidays until 02 January. Then I tried to reach Fine Gael and they are also on holidays until 03 January. I also couldn’t find a newspaper that wrote about this birthday. :-O

So, I guess grandma/grandpa is just unlucky to have a birthday at the wrong time of the year!?

Or could this birthday “ignorance” have something to do with the fact that the current government is from Fine Gael and Fine Gael was the party that campaigned for a NO at the 1937 referendum? They were totally opposed to the new constitution, which was promoted by Fianna Fail??

Let’s ignore any possible reasons and wish: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ireland! ;-)

Minister of Finance’s “Me Me Me Me!” at Budget Speech

On Tuesday the Budget 2018 was announced by the Minister of Finance Paschal Donohoe. He was talking for about 1 hour about the state of the country, the future of the economy and about all the changes that 2018 will bring regarding taxes, charges, social welfare, minimum salary, subsidies etc.

It wasn’t an exciting speech and it is certainly not an exciting budget and since most aspects were already “leaked” beforehand, there were very very few surprises. As it seems, everybody will get a bit more money, but it is a tiny amount of money so no big parties!

Richard Boyd Barrett from People Before Profit is not someone I usually agree with, but in this case he was spot on. He said “This is a budget of crumbs.”

The only thing that got my blood boiling, but I will write about that another time, is the nonsensical sugar tax that will be introduced in April 2018.

Today, though, I want to point out another odd thing. Why is it that all Finance Ministers suffer from an ego-syndrome when they announce the budget. The current minister is not the first one that constantly talked about “I will….”, “I have decided…”, “I am increasing…”, “I am allocating….”, “I am providing….”. What is this nonsense?

No Minister of Finance makes these decisions on his own. He needs to agree them with the Taoiseach, other ministers, coalition partners and in the current government even with the Fianna Fail opposition and before all that, the whole work was done not by the Minister but the employees in his department. So would a “we” not be more appropriate than the constant “I, i, i,….” or “me, me, me, me” focus?

Politicians are odd animals anyway and nearly all are power hungry beasts, but the budget speech is a special ego trip every year, it seems.

I know you will not click on this link. ;-) But in case you want to read the whole speech, you will find it here.


That’s not democratic! – Fine Gael Leadership Competition

After Enda Kenny stepped down (and he was nearly FORCED to step down because he made some nonsensical promises about his longevity in the role of party leader and Taoiseach), the leadership battle between Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar commenced and on Friday was decision day. 10,000 party members, the 223 Fine Gael councillors and 73 senators and PDs (the Parliamentary Party) had an opportunity to vote.

Before the vote already 46 of the 73 members of the Parliamentary Party had declared their support for Leo Varadkar and only 21 for Simon Coveney, but among the 10,000 party members the preferences looked different! About 65% of the party members were supporting Coveney and only 35% were on Varadkar’s side.

But now the odd thing: This is a party in a Western country where you would expect the highest level of democracy and fairness. Right? Not so!!

Oddly, the 10,000 party members only have 25% of “weight” in the final decision, the FG councillors have 10% “weight”, which means that 73 men and women control 65% of the party. You could say that these 73 were elected by the members (and by non-members) and therefore have a double legitimisation. But it is still odd that ONE member of the Parliamentary Party has close to the same weight as nearly 400 party members.

Doesn’t sound very democratic, does it!?

In the end Leo Varadkar won just 35% of the party member votes, but he won 55% of the councillor votes and 70% of the votes from TDs and senators. In total he got 60% of the votes and therefore won.

Taoiseach puts himself on ejection seat, but stop talking about it!

There is a time in our lives when we all have to leave. I am not talking about that final leave, that will put us 6ft under, but I am talking about leaving a job, leaving a hobby, leaving a group of friends, leaving a football/chess/car racing/knitting/etc club. It is usually best if YOU can choose when you depart and also it is best to keep it a bit as a surprise just because it should ideally be on your terms not on other people’s terms.

The current Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, wasn’t clever enough to ensure that he was in charge of his future, but stupidly he indicated to the nation that he might not lead his party into the next election. Maybe he wanted to get some positive gain from this statement, but it certainly has back fired as his party and in fact the political landscape in Ireland seems to be mesmerised by the question WHEN will he step down. It totally distract from the real issues and it must interfere with the ability of the current government to do the best job they are capable of.

I have to admit that I am not a big fan of the current Taoiseach, but at the same time I do think that day to day politics is a lot more relevant than the discussion about who will be the next leader of Fine Gael and the “peacocking” of his possible successors is really putting me off all of them. Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney or Frances Fitzgerald? Neither of them has been elected, so I don’t really care about them.

At the moment, there is one guy in charge. He is telling us about how Ireland will deal with a Brexit….and seems to talk more nonsense than sense. He is going to bring a silly bowl of shamrock to Donald Trump, a move that certainly doesn’t find support everywhere because of the person the American president is. And he didn’t impress with his handling of the recent whistleblower affair in the police force.

So no “Well done! Great job!”, but because I don’t think the discussion about him stepping down (when, how, where?) will bring Ireland forward in a positive way, I would prefer if the speculation about the date of stepping down and about the successor would not take up newspaper headline after newspaper headline.

As long as the man is in his current job, don’t distract him all the time! If he doesn’t give his job full attention, it might turn out even worse than now.


Malcare WordPress Security