Friday 18 January 2019

Spending €689k on Mansion House is an insult to all Dubliners

In a report published this week, the Dublin Simon Community revealed that 1,400 people are seeking shelter each night in Dublin.

This statistic beggars belief when one considers how we continue to waste public monies.

By, for example, decorating the Lord Mayor's home.

With remarkable timing, the Lord Mayor himself, Christy 'Man of the People' Burke, was in the news this week, not just defending the planned expenditure on his second home, but mocking those who objected.

Homelessness is at an all-time high in Dublin and our Lord Mayor has stated that his central concern is to deal with this exact problem.


Yet, when presented with this huge expense, he said the following: "I don't have a problem with the Mansion House being done up, whether I'm in it or out of it. It is the home of the first citizen and a part of our history."

And pointing out, albeit correctly, that the Mansion House was not having €500k spent on new rugs, Burke went further and mocked the critics as "whingers".

So what exactly is the money being spent on? Well, €600k is being allocated to structural work, a fresh coat of paint, dressing up the Mayor's office, and replacing all the carpets.

Not forgetting two hand-knotted, oriental style rugs, of course.

A further €89k, will be spent on promoting the house's 300th anniversary, via a book and brochures.

Much of this expense, one would have thought, would have Burke raging about waste of taxpayers' money on a palace for one person, while hundreds are sleeping rough within a mile radius of it.

The Lord Mayor, however, seems to have a new-found appreciation for well-stored art collections and intricate oriental motifs underfoot.


Could Christy do anything about all this? Well, for one thing, he could publicly object to the expenditure, pointing out the more worthy projects that merit such funding.

Sure, it may be an empty gesture since the can't veto the spend, but at least it's better than the gesture he made this week, which is to stick two fingers up to his critics.

Because Christy Burke seems content to have a hand-knotted, oriental style carpet under his feet, while 1,400 people remain homeless in Dublin.

For a long time, the job of Lord Mayor, with its ridiculous chain, gilded carriage, and luxurious Dublin 2 residence, was little more than a powerless, ceremonial waste of money.

This week, however, it became something new. An insult to Dubliners.

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