It seems inconceivable that just a few years after every politician in the country was lepping up onto the bandwagon that was the success of the Special Olympics, that the parents of those heroes and thousands like them are this evening in tears at the prospect of having vital services taken away from them. Surely with all of the money being wasted in the HSE every week, there is no need to hit those who cannot talk for themselves, or walk for themselves. Those who depend on the love of their family and the lover of their carers to survive. Yesterday afternoon in Galway, as the protest snaked its way from the city to the HSE offices at Shantalla, people were at breaking point; grown people were in tears at the thought that the little bit of State support they were getting to care for their relatives was to be taken away from them. Life was just about bearable as it is. Life without that funding and those services, would be nightmarish and throw Ireland back into the days of Peig Sayers and Dancing at Lughnasa.
The people I met were stressed, practically tearing their hair out. Hands shaking with anger and frustration that these cuts could even be contemplated at the same time that the Government is pouring billions down the black hole of the terminally ill banks.
With vast figures of billions being bandied about, and with NAMA loans underperforming having being bought at what were probably inflated prices, has this country come to the stage where we are to attack the most vulnerable, to break the hearts of the people who because they had to care for loved ones, did not play any part in inflating the Celtic Tiger bubble? These were not people who were buying apartments in Dubai or outer Bratislava, or who were flying around in state of the art 4 X 4s. These are not the tacky nouveau riche who golf with Tiger or who even though are bailed out by NAMA and the taxpayer, still incredibly expect to be treated like Gods as they saunter around the streets of their hometowns, thinking themselves as some sort of patriots.
If these cuts are to go ahead, they will literally push families over the edge. Were it not for the valiant efforts of the familes who act as carers, the Government’s bill would be much higher.
Up and down this country, honest hardworking men and women whose remit each week is to pay for the roof over their heads and to feed their families are being pushed to the edge by the mess that this Government has made of the economy. We have come to the stage that we have listened to enough shite from politicians, and don’t be fooled into thinking that those who replace them will be any better.
And so it was that parents and sisters and brothers and care workers took to the streets yesterday. They have been pushed to the brink of their sanity by the drip drip and the lies of this Government. People don’t know who to trust, who to lead them, and bereft of any inspiration, they take to the streets in the forlorn hope that somebody will take notice.
These cuts must not take place. Hit something else. Give the banks one billion less. Make NAMA more efficient. Something. Anything. You have all failed miserably, merely by putting fear into people like that. Make amends and find the cuts elsewhere.