Away for St Patrick’s Day

Mon, Mar 18, 2013, 06:00

Sir, – On behalf of all those who find it hard to make both ends meet, may I say that while the electorate doesn’t mind paying for Ministers in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and other such bodies going abroad on St Patrick’s Day to promote Ireland, contrary to your Editorial (“Flying the flag pays dividends”, March 15th) there is dismay that county councillors; mayors, deputy mayors and county managers are included in the entourage.

Your introduction: “When times are tough there is a tendency to whinge about the cost of ministerial travel,” makes no reference to the latter cortege, nor does it reference costs incurred for sending council representatives versus cost benefits; this equation remains unsolved.

Perhaps you might consider that the public isn’t, as you suggest, whingeing; nor using the media (ie your paper) as a conduit for complaints in relation to foreign travel on St Patrick’s Day. People are merely asking why the trips are extended to so many county councillors, often three to four trips per council. The result is as undocumented as those they purport to support in far off fields.

Flying the flag may pay dividends as you say; alas poverty pays few. – Yours, etc,

JACQUI BYRNE,

Gortlee,

Letterkenny,

Co Donegal.