The question for Wallace
Sir, – I went on hunger strike during Lent to highlight the lack of justice in the sentencing of people for offences from abuse to manslaughter, to avoiding paying the right VAT rate on produce imported into this country.
Nothing has changed regarding the way sentences are handed down to offenders, but I have noticed that people are looking and comparing sentences for various breaches of the law and many people are both unhappy about the situation and in some cases making their feelings known to the media.
I was delighted to see the election of Mick Wallace to the Dáil at the last election because I have seen what he has done for Wexford over the years – including bringing League of Ireland football to the county.
I was therefore very shocked to hear him admit on national radio to the non-payment of VAT. It would appear that this money will never be paid, as his company is in receivership. I thought that his attitude to his actions was shocking as he appeared to be under the illusion that he had done nothing wrong and there was no reason for him to resign as a TD. I cannot let this pass without writing to you.
There are many people living on the breadline in this country because they cannot pay their mortgages, or who have to cut back on food and other essentials while they pay money to keep a roof over their heads. Some of these people live in apartments bought from Mr Wallace – who paid no VAT on same.
It seems that despite the wasted millions spent on tribunals that it is not possible to expel a member of the Dáil for admitting on the national airwaves that they committed a criminal act. The taxpayers of this country, many living in properties bought from Mr Wallace, are expected to pay his wages. This is wrong, it is unfair and it brings yet more shame on the Dáil at a time when people are trying to save the country from economic ruin by accepting austerity and when many see their children (my own daughter included) leave the country possibly never to return.
Mr Wallace should not have to think about resigning his seat: he should be the man that those who elected him thought him to be, and resign at once, making a statement to the Dáil saying how sorry he is to have let so many people who trusted in him down. By doing so he would gain back some of the respect that I, among many others, had for him.
He would have the opportunity to rebuild his reputation and would not be remembered as the man who entered the Dáil on the basis that the country needed honest hard-working people like him there to represent all that is good about Irish people and then revealed that he was no more than a common criminal.