When I was writing my blogs Dereliction of Duty on17 January and Small Town Ireland on 7 January 2010 I thought I was the only wronged person in Ireland, now after the article on page 16 of the Independent 23 January 2010 and the Pat Kenny show, The Frontline, on 25 January 2010, both regarding modern estates being left with poor infrastructure by indolent and grasping builders, I now realize I am one of many thousands. Probably anyone who has bought a new house in the last 15 years qualifies for my status. We all paid over the top prices for sub-standard goods that we understood the Government, the Local Authorities, the professions and the manufacturer, who because of his need to ensure his abidance by the rules and laws set out by the first three institutions, would produce reasonably perfect specimens of their type. All fit for purpose, all ready to last well into the years to come. Alas and alack.
These sub-standard goods or modern houses, as we tend to call them are littering Ireland and will cause grief to owner and a financial burden for the taxpayers of Ireland for generations to come. Surely if you buy say a refrigerator from a showroom and it does not work properly, under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 you can ask the manufacturer to repair the faults immediately or make the retailer replace it with a similar or a different model of choice to the same financial level. Why cannot we do this with builders? Why?, because if we did this there would be no builders left. So before we waste time and money on builders, let the Banks quickly call in the loans that most of them seem to have, thus ridding this country of “this vile pestilence” and then we can attack the Local Authorities and their financial stewards, the Government, who will at the end of the day have to pick up the tab for this shoddy workmanship. Another catastrophe for Ireland, another 5 cents in the euro rise in income tax, which as the taxpayer is at this moment bailing out the Banks, he will not shirk at putting the builder’s work to rights. What a superbly fit, flexible and workmanlike person is the taxpayer. On top of all this there should be a national award given to any builder, engineer and local authority who can prove that they have either built, managed or overseen a modern housing estate to the regulations laid down and with no faults in its infrastructure. Hens teeth come to mind.
The Pat Kenny show picked up this really massive problem and gathered together a very angry but eloquent audience who were too much for Mr. Finneran, the Fianna Fail, centre half, who it seems, although he was Minister for Housing, had not, in true Fianna Fail style, prepared himself fully for a subject which must be on the lips of 50% of the country. In fact he did not seem to think there was a problem and did not really help the discussion. While I am on about Pat Kenny’s show can I ask why is it when given such a pertinent subject and have assembled for him such an able audience, does he not let each contributor make their point properly? He is forever cutting people off in mid sentence or sniggering down the microphone to drown them out, presumably it is because he likes the sound of his own voice better. To the viewer it is infuriating and it turns the show into a farce.
Hold on a minute! A change of tack. The postman has just arrived delivering one type written letter, the solitary prize for my endeavours. It is not addressed or signed, my fan remains anonymous. I will give it you verbatim:-
Dear Mr. Malpas,
Reading your writings daily leads one to believe you are not happy in yourself and certainly not happy in the town you now live in.
Were you made to live in Boyle? If not, go back to where you come from and stop slagging off the local builders, solicitors, newspapers, church and the way the Irish live their lifes (sic). You are not Irish – you’re what we referred to years ago as a “Plastic Paddy”.
Also if you are so upset by the catholic church why are you such a hypocrite and parade to 11.30 mass each Sunday?
People like you are no addition to Boyle or indeed any town in Ireland.
Do us and yourself a favour – Go Home.
The anonymity is a shame because I would like whoever to know that my mass of choice was 9.30am and that I have not attended since driven to write the piece Once a Catholic on 7 December 2009 in the wake of the Murphy Report where the Institution of the Church was held up for what it is, a protectionist of perverted morals and I would never ever demote the Catholic Church to lower case like the writer has done.
Is it not obvious that with a mentality and intelligence that this writer undoubtedly lacks that there are troubles brewing in Ireland, troubles that possibly cannot be controlled.
I would have had a far more rounded view of this fan mail if they had just quoted S. G. Tallentyre’s words which were wrongly attributed to Voltaire. “I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. Then we would know that this writer had metal.
Keep up the love and support you have for us afflicted ones, and while we are on the subject of Voltaire, this is what he says in Candide,
Si nous ne trouvens pas des choses agreable, nous trouverons du moins des choses nouvelles. Which admirably and hopefully translates as “If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new”.
And on the subject of nationality, let us all remind ourselves less we forget of that old Irish saying:-
If a cat had kittens in a pigsty they would not be called bonhams