Summer school season is talk of chattering classes


THIS WEEK:THE DÁIL has broken up for the summer recess and the silly season is upon us, which can mean only one thing – it’s time for the chattering classes to head off to summer school.

This week, the great and the good will venture outside the Pale for their annual jaunt to the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal.

Considered by some (ie the organisers) to be one of the most important forums in Ireland for the analysis of social, economic and political issues, those of a cynical disposition are more likely to describe it as a talking shop where navel-gazing represents the chief activity.

Either way, one thing is for certain. It will be hard to avoid coverage of the event over the days ahead.

The glittering line-up includes the usual members of the intelligentsia, as well as politicians such as Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.

We can only hope Cabinet members who plan to attend this year’s bash learn from the mistakes of their predecessor Noel Dempsey, who spent €13,000 of taxpayers’ money (and not a little of his own political capital) on a jaunt in the Government jet to Derry, followed by a chauffeur-driven spin to Glenties, in order to make an address at the summer school.

However valuable these political contributions are, we doubt they’re worth five figures – especially not if it’s on us.