Coun­try hun­gry for a fresh start ahead of coali­tion talks


TO­DAY, THE peo­ple have spo­ken and with the sim­ple stroke of the hum­ble pen­cil made clear their hope for the fu­ture of Ire­land. There is a def­i­nite at­mos­phere of fresh­ness and of a new start ahead with re­ports al­ready of con­tact hav­ing been made be­tween Fine Gael and Labour re­gard­ing coali­tion talks.

As ex­pected Fianna Fáil was all but an­ni­hi­lated at the polls and while we place trust in the new breed the months ahead will tell of their abil­i­ties. It might have taken a while for the full vol­ume of our anger to be acted upon due to never end­ing hold ups on Brian Cowen's part but now that our votes have been cast the coun­try ap­pears sat­is­fied and hun­gry for a fresh start.

Let's be re­al­is­tic, our wounds won't heal overnight and we are not naive enough to think that new Gov­ern­ment equals the ero­sion of all the bad that came be­fore but what we des­per­ately want and need is sim­ple sta­bil­ity.

The Celtic Tiger awoke some­thing sick­en­ing amongst our peo­ple, a grubby greed which gob­bled up our sense of hu­mil­ity and feasted on the ‘Keep­ing up with the Jones' tra­di­tion.

Now that we have all been brought back down to earth with a firm bang we have started look­ing at what is re­ally im­por­tant, fam­ily, health and be­ing able to plan for the fu­ture.

In times past we cast our votes and drove off into the sun­set con­tent to let the politi­cians take over and do what they were very well paid to do. This time, it feels dif­fer­ent. Yes we voted and made our feel­ings clear. Yes we de­cided to give Enda Kenny a chance to prove him­self but never again will we sit back and let them get on with it.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity now lies with the elec­torate to de­mand that prom­ises are ful­filled and if not to hold our politi­cians to ac­count. We should be ques­tion­ing them on is­sues that concern us and keep­ing in­formed dur­ing the life­span of the next Gov­ern­ment and not just at elec­tion time.

The wealth of our boom years was vastly squan­dered and should we be for­tu­nate enough to make it back to a com­fort­able po­si­tion it is im­per­a­tive that good for­tune never goes to our heads again. How long it will take for any im­prove­ment to show is any­one's guess but one thing is cer­tain-it will take a very long time for peo­ple to for­get the pain they are suf­fer­ing at present and the dam­age that has been done.

A new Gov­ern­ment in iso­la­tion won't right ev­ery wrong but by lis­ten­ing to what the peo­ple want and need it can be guided in the right direc­tion. Now is a time that we, as we should make clear our opin­ions on the per­for­mance of the new cabi­net which, if not up to our stan­dards must be told such. If we take noth­ing else from this re­ces­sion we will know how to stand up and be counted.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity lies with the peo­ple to de­mand that prom­ises are ful­filled.

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