In the eye of the storm of the national economic crisis, a Cabinet Minister attends routine Residents Meeting. What a mad political system!

The North Road in Finglas is a peaceful oasis cut off from the hustle and bustle of traffic laden roads as a result of being bye-passed by the new N2. It is now a cul-de-sac and includes the infill development of Brookville. The Finglas Village end houses the now vacant Garda Station. This week the local residents association called a meeting in the Shamrock Lodge pub. There was nothing remarkable on the agenda and twenty plus residents attended. They were greeted by three community gardai – none was the garda for that road but never mind because the relevant garda was off duty. He is recognised as a very good Garda using common sense instead of the big stick in his initial dealings with local youths.

As well as the gardai, ALL the constituency politicians were present. There were three TDs, one of whom Pat Carey is a Cabinet Minister. The other two were Roisin Shortall (Labour) and Noel Ahern (FF), the brother of the captain of the economic titanic.

Is Irish politics not mad, where a Minister is attending a small meeting which discusses the traffic and pedestrian facilities at a roundabout at Lidl in Finglas, the state of a linear park at a stream along the main road, whether there will be any work done on potholes and footpaths this year given the city budget, the possibility of development in Finglas Village and the reducing crime rate? Sadly, one councillor could not distinguish the difference between a reducing overall crime rate and the problem in a particular hot spot. Such is life!

My conclusion is that most TDs should be elected on a list system which might improve the quality. Here we are in an economic battle for survival and a cabinet member feels obliged to go to a routine residents meeting. Fortunately, the residents involved are pleasant and reasonable people who are some way away from having the local area plan for their roads carried out. It is clear that the state of the country has hit home with everyone.