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Opinion: Some councillors ignore life and death

by Jimmy Rhatigan

It makes my blood boil.
That a majority of those we elect to take cognizance of the wants and needs of our community appear to be working against us is despicable and one of the great contradictions, crimes of so-called modern politics.
Local councillors, those who will scramble for our votes in the New Year, will converse about potholes, missing cats and dogs, everything, anything except ‘extra deaths’ in Kilkenny City and County.
When they bang on our doors asking for support they promise us the sun, moon and stars but when the chips are down they won’t even pass us the vinegar.
The savage irony is that most county councillors are giving us the two fingers at what is arguably the most dangerous time of our lives as funeral directors are busy as bees burying our kith and kin.
And how did most politicians react when they were notified by email of the ‘extra deaths’ following the Covid Pandemic?
They looked away, some promising to revert but never doing so, and others continue to ignore what is potentially the greatest ever collective threat to young and young at heart.
Numbers of ‘extra deaths’ are regularly dug out by Thomastown, Kilkenny accountant Patrick E Walsh and to his credit the figures are substantiated by the statistics of our country’s Central Statistics Office (CSO).
A tried and trusted arm of Government highlights our crazy mortality rate into which an investigation was promised but never delivered by Tanaiste Leo Varadkar.
A majority of our so-called local councillors went one better, or rather worse. Not only have they turned their backs on those who elected them but most didn’t even consider it worthwhile to engage in discussion about what amounts to an emergency in our greater community.
Bluntly, they are cruelly dismissing those who fret and worry as the death toll continues to rocket and those who have already lost loved ones are also being given a wide berth.
All this is happening as local and national media is accepting a North Korea-like censorship that means what amounts to the story of the century doesn’t warrant even a mention on our national broadcaster RTE and other Radio and TV stations and not a column inch either in local newspapers or on are the words ‘extra deaths’ even uttered on local radio.
That is criminal in itself but councillors complying with what in some cases are suspected to be instructions from their Party HQs has to be the local scandal of our times.
Those with blood on their hands may rue their mind shattering attitude towards our citizens who after all are their paymasters when the manure hits the fan.
Their arrogance, bad manners and show of disrespect for our people is impossible to understand as the men and women of the lower tier of local politics dismiss calls for help.
What is behind their deceit, what do they have to hide, what do they fear and from where is what appears to be a co-ordinated campaign of ignorance being organized?
The hope is that a proper independent investigation into the ‘extra deaths’ may serve to temper the worry and fear that so many people may be experiencing, come up with a reason or reasons for the disaster and plan emergency care and support for a community that deserves more respect and certainly protection from whatever is the possible killer or killers as so many are dying suddenly.
So why is there bloody hesitancy by most councillors to at least co-operate and garner support?
It is sinister and scandalous.
For the record councillors who at least replied to emails from Patrick E Walsh asking them to raise the matter in the corridors of power include Andrew McGuinness, Mary Hilda Cavanagh, David Fitzgerald and Deirdre Cullen.
Kilkenny Press plea to all 24 councillors is: For God’s sake raise the alarm; this is a matter of life and death.
In the event of any councillor claiming to have made contact and who may have been omitted from or ‘contact’ list , please get in touch and we will be glad to put the record straight.

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