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Laurel & Hardy Refugee Emergency

by Opinion: By Jimmy Rhatigan

WHEN it comes to planning or vision our Government is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.

The same could be said of past Governments.

And surprise, surprise practically all Governments since the beginning of the State have been spearheaded by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or in more recent times a toxic mix of both, with a withered Green prop.

If planning were high on the agenda of successive Governments we would not now find ourselves in chronic crises in housing, medical care and the climate, pardon the pun, a hot topic that has consistently been given the cold shoulder.

We could not be blamed for dubbing our present lot a Laurel & Hardy Government that is slowly but surely grinding us into another fine mess.

The ‘fine mess’ phrase was coined by Ollie, aka Oliver Hardy when addressing his buddy Stan Laurel way back in 1933 in a film called Sons of the Desert.

Wasn’t the film name so apt, Desert, aka home of emptiness?

Obviously, not too many, if any, of our public representatives got to see that black and white movie or else they would surely have learned to avoid messes, on rare occasions even.

With Ukranian refugees pouring into Ireland on a daily basis, we are quickly running out of beds for those fleeing from a monstrous war.


In the case of housing and homelessness, hospitals and health services and that bloody old climate thing that simply wouldn’t go away, the trick was, or more accurately, Government took stupid decisions to kick the can down the road.

Problem now is that there is a mountain of cans to be dealt with and no one has a clue what to do as politicians’ kicking boots must surely be worn out.

Now, to add to Government woes, we are quickly getting to the stage where there is no room in the inn for our Ukranian friends.

The planning department seems to be just as incompetent as our vision wing and the result could be chaotic for our country’s reputation as an island of a hundred thousand céad mile fáiltes.

Horribly, it could leave our guests where our homeless have been lying for decades, on the side of the road without pillows to rest their weary heads and struggling for a bite to eat.

Our country is akin to a drunk searching his way home after drinking his bellyful in a local pub.

Nothing is planned, to hell with taxis and buses, take a chance and end up in Accident & Emergency after falling into a hole that wasn’t there when the then sober drunk was walking to the watering hole.

Part of the problem is that people like Tánaiste Varadkar, Taoiseach Martin and, to a lesser extent, Minister Ryan are pushing every Tom, Dick and Harry out of the way to be first to a microphone to tell the world and its mother that we will look after countless refugees.

Bring ‘em on, Ireland is open for business.

Or is it?


No planning, no counting of possible venues, no idea how many caring householders will come up with spare rooms.

The grapevine tells us that there will be a heavy reliance on booking hotels for long periods and also erecting temporary accommodation, tents, a la circuses, would you believe?

Our politicians go gung ho, with gobs blazing but without a smidgen of homework done and now an entire nation is part of the Laurel & Hardy mess as rooms are as scarce as hens’ teeth.

One would imagine that Minister Ryan should have been prepared for this international emergency.

After all he has two highly paid departmental chiefs and six advisors.

He has to be The Three Stooges wrapped in one, spending hundreds of thousands of Euros on ‘bright brains’ to keep him and us on the straight and narrow.

Imagine the chaos if our building workers had to have advisors to show them how to swing a pick or shovel.

Or if doctors needed advisors standing beside them to show them what part of a man or woman’s arse to inject.

The train that is Mother Ireland is travelling to somewhere, anywhere, possibly nowhere, and it is a good bet that Ryan, Martin and Varadkar will not have appointed a driver.

Where our country is sleep-walking to, we simply don’t know.

It certainly won’t be to beds as there are not enough for us all.

Perhaps Government should consider running a piss-up in a brewery.

On second thoughts forget it.

The tale of the pub with no beer comes to mind.

Please share, if only to let all of our people know the type of clowns we have running down our country.

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