Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dempsey snubs public.

Weather is a funny old beast no doubt about it. While we have always had more than our fair share of water in this land generally its been to our advantage as Brendan Behan noted. However more recently its been kicking the crap out of us. In late 2009 we had the floodings where unfortunately half of the country was inundated under water. And of course if we want to go back a few years more we can think back to Galway - the modern European city, investment hub etc. etc. where people could not drink water from a tap because of its was contaminated with shite, to be frank.

At the time of the November flood we highlighted that the OECD had published a report only a week before saying that while progress was being made the Govt. had a lot more to do to ensure an adequate water management system was in place. Now waiting for the govt. to do something adequate is waiting for Godot. Small chance of it happening.

So when the snow started to fall over Christmas it was a sense of déjà vu. How would the state handle water when it was frozen? We all expected the govt. to be confused by this change but we didn’t expect the confusion to last so long. Road after road was left impassable as rock salt ran out. Some counties, Clare If I recall correctly, ran out of salt faster than other counties. Effectively mismanagement, slow reaction, whatever meant that if you lived in Clare your were at greater risk than your friends elsewhere in the state. Nice thought that but then where you live has always been a factor in how you are treated.

But back to water. Now that the ice is going to melt its expected that there is going to some fairly significant damage to pipes and so on. The Irish times does a run down of the mess: A spike in demand in Dublin saw water pressure lowered to conserve supply and several areas are without water as highlighted by Mary Lou. In Cork the same story but there even places like the Mercy hospital have a compromised supply.
Leitrim householders have been experiencing disruption to their supply since before Christmas.
Reservoirs in Galway are very low with cuts in supply reported in Loughrea, Rosmuc, Moycullen and Gort. Galway County Council has provided tankers for emergency supplies. If there is one city that needs someone to take the finger out its Galway. They are having a miserable time of it and they deserve some leadership.

So what type of leadership did they get. Well notes that the Mediterranean playboy Noel Dempsey certainly has no regrets about lying on a beach while the country’s transport system collapsed. If he could walk to the beach then we could walk to work.

Noel said it was never a bad decision to go on holiday and he did not accept people needed to “see and hear” from him when the conditions were most severe.
“Ministers for Transport don’t actually go out and grit the roads,” he said.

Sounds like he is giving the public a Gogarty there. And as Caoimhin pointed out if there is no more salt then use sand . Why did common sense not prevail? Maybe because with the top man tanning in the sun the Transport dept. went into dull bureaucrat mode because nobody was ultimately in charge. But in reality he knows he can get away with it because unfortunately in Irish govt. structures the higher up you go the less responsibility you have.
If anyone lives near Noel Dempsey can they please buy him a shovel and a bag of grit because he needs to learn that if required even a minister must get out and grit the roads.

The lazy sod!

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