Citizens and an adversarial State

What happened to transparency, openness and honesty?

Sir, – What a week it has been. It started with news of overcharging medical card holders in private nursing homes, followed by the stopping of disability payments to people entering institutions and finally the ESB overcharging on electricity bills for over a decade.

Why is it so hard for the Government, State bodies and institutions to admit that they got it wrong without resorting to legal strategies that drag victims through a long drawn-out legal process that costs everyone – primarily the vulnerable and sick – physical, mental and financial hardship?

What has happened to transparency, openness and honesty?

How much more is hidden from public view? – Yours, etc,




Co Donegal.

Sir, – William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Mr Fixit to Queen Elizabeth I, postponed indefinitely pensions and other compensation payments due to seamen wounded in the fight against the Spanish Armada. He reckoned, astutely, that many of them would succumb to their injuries before payment became unavoidable. He saw his duty as being in service to his queen and protection of the public purse.

Many of the poor divils hadn’t a leg to stand on anyway. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Regarding “Care home legal strategy continued after review by Ministers” (News, February 3rd), the policies of successive Irish governments to seek to deny payments for nursing home charges and for disability payments to eligible vulnerable individuals is a level of callousness usually associated with a British Tory government. – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.