Sligo Today Editorial

By Eugene McGloin

THE SLIGO bye-election of 1929 tells you something about where Fine Gael could be heading.

The message then from the party was highly successful and it helped to win the day.

The message was that their opponents were wreckers, wreckers, wreckers.

Opponents who couldn't be trusted not to destroy the infant State and its fragile economy.

Blah blah. And 'blah blah' had an added smear of poison which branded the new Fianna Fáil party as Communists.

Wink, Wink

Some of the Catholic Church in this area enjoined in supporting that line, to no great surprise.

Platform parties for Fine Gael (Cumann na nGaedhael) public meetings in that election were sometimes chaired by priests!

Fianna Fáil in Sligo and Leitrim in that election had ''imported'' its candidate from across the border. Familiar?

Anyway, the new tar-brushing will be called a fact, not a smear at all, even whenever it looks like Sligo 1929.

For 'Sinn Fein' read 'Syriza,' Greece 2015, Communist -- whatever you want all or any of that to mean, wink wink.

It was there in bald black and white in the editorial in yesterday's Irish edition of The Sunday Times.

''Sinn Fein's Greek tragedy is a win for Fine Gael.'' Could it be any clearer?

Well yes it could, the text of that editorial equated Syriza with Sinn Fein in each individual argument. No equivocation.

The argument is not exclusive to one newspaper, or to just one media either.

The Taoiseach preferred to use the word 'wreckers' in his main conference speech in Castlebar on Saturday night. He shone the word like a two-way mirror.

One, to cut the eyes of Fianna Fáil as past ''wreckers'' and, two, to cut the eyes of Sinn Fein (and Left independents) as future ''wreckers.''

Meat to Bone

A two-way mirror maybe but it also runs the risk of looking to others more like a three-card trick.....unless Fine Gael can add meat to the bone.

The ''meat'' to the bone offered at the weekend was that we will now recruit 500 nurses -- please come home, they all pleaded -- and, secondly, the cuts are over and finished.

The cuts are NOT over: Cuts have not been reversed. The litany has 100 tentacles.

-- Pensioners' phone bills have risen by €160 per year;
-- Annual support to carers looking after older people was slashed by 20%.

That in a country, from a Government, which then proposes to give every millionaire a €100 gift in 2015 if they sign up to Irish Water.

Not rights-based and not means-tested, just €100. They only have to ask for the gift.

That in a country, from a Government, which plans free medical care to the young children of the same multi millionaires and to the wealthy. Not rights-based and not means-tested.

The cuts which are NOT 'over' pay for that type of stuff. Cuts which hurt 100% remain in place 100%.

National Amnesia

The 500 news nurses: The Government cut salaries and allowances AND tried to impose a l''yellow pack'' lower-pay grade for new nurse graduates and now says ''come home, forgive and forget.''

That type of collective national amnesia is not in the gift of this or any Government.

Speaking of amnesia: One of those 2015 Oscar busts with brass neck should surely have gone to our friend, John Perry.

Last Saturday night, the Taoiseach had concluded his party address and turned to accept the 'congrats' of his Cabinet colleagues.

Step forward on live TV to shower his congrats, the backbencher from Ballymote, the same one who so publicly knifed the previous leader, Michael Noonan.

Deputy Perry, clearly, sought to make eye contact as the Main Man moved about the platform in Castlebar.

This is the same Mister Perry who made us all laugh with his recent public tale of a derring-do 'Dear Enda' letter.

In it he pleaded for the return of cancer services to Sligo Regional Hospital....or else.

Or else what? How many times will Minister Perry treat (treat?) us to personal silly stunts on the cancer services in Sligo?

The cancer services? As Basil Fawlty might say: 'Dont mention the war.'

Well, do actually mention it. We are still curious and waiting to read the response received. Or else.

Any of us who had and/or have to deal with cancer prognoses find Perry's prolonged prancing on this subject 100% distasteful.

The Taoiseach needs to sit down soon and write Mr Perry a 'Dear John' letter on the subject.

Meanwhile, the rest of us can read the exchanges in the Freedom of Information Act.

Posted on 23/02/15 : 06:37:38