Minister Phil Hogan, what in the name of God have you started?
The deadline of September 30th 2014, given to County Councils by the Revenue Commissioners to vary property tax charges by 15%, at the behest of the Revenue Commissioners, has given the search for ‘Urban/Rural Funding Equalisation Debate’ a now much more added urgency.
Publicity shy Dublin Labour TD Kevin Humphreys; yes him who recently confronted that unfortunate rat, as it scurrying across the polished floors of Leinster House, warns he will become ‘rebellious’ (God forbid Kevin, control yourself, you will have us all protesting) if central funds for local authorities are diverted from councils in his thriving Capital City of Dublin, to be spent in “Hillbilly Country”, latter also referred to in EU dispatches, (strictly in the interest of political correctness you understand) as “Rural Ireland.”
Mr Humphreys is seriously losing sleep about critically important local issues in Dublin, now much in need of urgent funding. It appears from press reports that the government could redirect funds to rural, less well populated areas in our State; due to the excessive property tax yields in Dublin. This government decision could see Mr Humphreys turn savage, especially since these rural voters have been less than sympathetic to Labour Party policies, in recent local elections.
Dublin’s Moving Statues
I myself, a well known rural Co Tipperary blow-in, can partially understand where Humphreys ( Latter no relation to character in satirical British sitcom “Yes Minister”) is coming from, particularly in relation to the necessary funding of items like the “Moving Statues” of Dublin. Please allow me to further elaborate.
I believe it was Jury’s Hotel, Dublin that financed the statue of the fictional 17th century, third generation, double jobbing, fishmonger (by day) and part-time prostitute (by night) “Molly Malone.” Molly Malone, of that well-known ballad of the same name has become the most recent of Dublin’s moving statue; “shifted” (Please interpret latter word using a biblical understanding) from the bottom of Grafton Street to be possibly relocated temporarily on Andrew Street.
The statue affectionately known by Dublin natives as “The Tart with the Cart”, “The Dish with the Fish”, “The Trollop with the Scallops” and “The Dolly with the Trolley”, has just cost the Irish tax payer €50,000 for its recent removal, it’s cleaning, repairs etc.. Happily the €50,000 spent should see visitors not noticing any change in her newly welded appearance when she once again appears back ‘on the town’ at her new temporary location outside the tourist office now established in the former St Andrew’s Church on nearby Suffolk Street.
This statue will of course incur further costs later, pending the end of Luas works in 2017, when she will be again relocated to her former ‘beat’ on Grafton Street, slightly north of her more recent location.
The repairs to the Molly Malone statue were necessary, because of cracks brought about by tourists sitting on her. How do I know this? Take a look at the tourism facts & figures for the Top Ten free attractions in Ireland for 2013.
Note that No 1. on the list of Tourism attractions was The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (641,572), followed by No 2. The National Botanic Gardens, Dublin (550,000), No 3. Farmleigh House, Dublin (435,476), No 4. National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin (404,230), No 5. Newbridge Silverware, Kildare (350,000), No 6. Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin (339,264), No 7. National Museum of Ireland, Natural History, Dublin (284,323), No 8. The National Library of Ireland, Dublin (260,152), No 9. National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin (251,226) and finally No 10. Chester Beatty Library Dublin (250,659) and all but one have got the same thing in common.
It is also interesting to note the tourism facts & figures for five of the top ten paid-for attractions in 2013, namely:- The Guinness, Storehouse, Dublin (1,157,090), National Aquatic Centre, Dublin (858,031), Book of Kells, Dublin, (588,723), St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin (410,000) and Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin (326,207) have also all got one thing in common.
So have you spotted how Molly got cracked? Yes correct, fourteen out of the fifteen top Irish Tourist attractions hold a Dublin City address. These over abundant tourists now visiting Dublin are no better than street vandals; sitting as they do under Molly’s ample semi-bared blossoms, to have their photographs taken. These unprofitable tourists have being encouraged to visit Dublin, through the spending of millions of Euro by Fáilte Ireland, attracting them only to Dublin city over the last five years, to the detriment of unfunded rural Ireland and Co Tipperary in particular.
Moving Dublin street art of course is expensive. In 2001 the Anna Livia figure known by Dublin residents as; “The Floozie in the Jacuzzi”, “The Bitch in the Ditch”, “The Hoor in the Sewer”, together with her fountain, were removed from their original site on O’Connell Street and placed in storage. Nine years later, this same sculpture was restored and installed at Croppies Acre Memorial Park, suitable modified and refurbished of course at great expense to suit her newer location.
Then there was the ‘Auld Bitch,’ that lovely statue of Her Majesty Queen Victoria removed in 1947; given away courtesy of the Irish people, to the city of Sydney in Australia. Later the William of Orange statue in College Green and the King George II statue in St Stephen’s Green were also moved, blown up in both cases by uncultured IRA vandals, whose membership somehow have since elevated themselves to sit in a rat infested Dáil Éireann, enjoying the Dáil Bar, large pensions and even larger expenses.
Of course my own favourite of Dublin’s moving statues was that of Viscount George Gough first unveiled in the Phoenix Park in 1880. His statue was beheaded in 1944, then someone attempted to blow him up in 1956, damaging his horse and finally in July 1957, his entire monument was blown up. This action of course led to another little known bawdy ballad, which is unlikely to appear on any future Irish Leaving Cert English Paper and which is requires to be recited in a native Dublin accent to obtain best effect. (It may also be necessary for some of our more cultured readers to add the letter i, to some of the words hereunder, thus gravitating themselves to the true derivation of certain slang English rhyming vocabulary, used herewith in this fine piece of Dublin prose.)
The Statue of Gough.
“There are strange things done from Twelve to One, in that Hollow in the ‘Phaynix’ Park,
There’s maidens mobbed and gentlemen robbed in those bushes after dark.
But the strangest of all, within human recall, concerns that statue of Gough,
‘Twas a terrible fact and a most wicked act, for his boll-x they tried to blow off.
‘Neath that horse’s big pr-ck a dynamite stick some gallant ‘hayro’ did place,
For the cause of our land, with a match in his hand, bravely our foe he did face.
Then without showing fear and standing well clear, he expected to blow up the pair,
But he nearly went crackers, all he got was the knackers and he made that poor stallion a mare.
For his tactics were wrong and the pr-ck was too long; the horse being more than a foal.
It would have answered him better, this dynamite setter, the stick to shove up his own hole.
For this is the way our ‘haroes’ today are challenging England’s might.
With a stab in the back and a midnight attack on a statue that can’t even sh-te.”
This same Viscount George Gough statue, by the Dublin-born sculptor John Henry Foley, is now presently to be found repaired and grazing peacefully in the grounds of Chillingham Castle in Northumberland, England.
So how can we here in rural Ireland now assist Dublin city with its Tourist vandals, its Upward Only Rents, House Prices & Property Tax problems?
Sure all these problem are easy enough to fix without turning rebellious Minister Kevin; just return the numerous artefacts stolen and pillaged from rural counties, which your government currently are using to the free benefit of Dublin’s over priced economy. Reduce the number of tourists planting their behinds on Molly’s cart and let them freely move down through our rural Ireland, instead of holding them at the ‘Gateways to Ireland.’
In the case of Thurles and to begin this redirection of tourists send back to Tipperary; (A) The historical Faddan More Psalter, a book of psalms possibly as old as the Book of Kells, dated around 800AD and found by turf cutters in 2006 in a Tipperary bog. (B) The Derrynaflan Hoard, found four miles from Thurles, Co Tipperary. (C) The Book of Dimma, latter a copy of the four Gospels written in old Latin discovered in 1789, in a small cave near the Devil’s Bit, Thurles, Co.Tipperary. (D) The more recently discovered Viking Silver Hoard of coins, found close to the village of Two Mile Borris, Thurles, Co Tipperary, during road works and kept secret from our people.
Oh yes and while you are packing these ‘tourist drawing artefacts’ stolen from Tipperary, latter which are causing all of Dublin’s financial problems, insist they be delivered via the IDA, with accompanying instruction to identify and establish some sort of employment in this, our rural locality.
Share all of our country’s financial resources fairly Mr Kevin Humphreys TD, after all financial greed got us to where we currently reside as a nation today.
Anyway sure are not the Labour Party sworn to take care of the less well-heeled in our society, or so they promised prior to the last General Election.