ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER STRIKES IRELAND.
Tourist evacuation scare.!
(But,thankfully,it was only the ‘Soldiers of Destiny, beavering away ,at what they do best.Pillage and destruction.)
This is a short semi- fictional story I wrote to amuse myself, in the aftermath of the Tsunami in Thailand in 2005.Ireland's own Tsunami was just under way at that time-the construction bubble was about to burst.. I hope it is not too boring.
" Thousands of foreign tourists sleeping in their hotel beds awoke,in coastal regions of the Republic of Ireland, to find that much of the environment had been totally and irrevocably devastated.
Scenic coastal counties such as Kerry,Wicklow and the autonomous/self governing Republic of Donegal,-where Bertie’s writ barely runs-are worst affected,but the damage is widespread throughout the State.
Planning officials declared this morning that they had been warning the government (Fianna Fail) for many years that disaster was imminent. All of the tourists are safe, and will be airlifted out of the country.
“We will never come back here again”declared one distraught couple as they boarded a plane in Shannon yesterday,to return to the U.S.
Hank from Boston remarked:
“At times we have a catastrophe in America- like President Bush being re-elected ’he added “but I have never encountered anything like this, it was a dreadful experience.”
He continued, "when we arrived here we had heard foreboding sounds, unusual banging, and rumbling noises all day ,every day since our arrival. It was like the sound of heavy machinery moving around ,from early morning until late at night.Sometimes there was loud explosions, and the ground shook beneath us,but the hotel manager assured us it was just some illegal quarrying going on nearby, and there was nothing to worry about as it was commonplace nowadays.
The rubbish which we observed strewn alongside the adjoining golf course was removed soon after our arrival. It seems there was illegal dumping going on all over the country. ‘Fianna Fail have made the illegal rubbish business- big business.!",the manager continued, "The stealth taxes on all types of refuse has exacerbated the problem".
It was very misty on the golf course and we could not see beyond the perimiter fence,but on the third morning of our stay the soft Atlantic haze finally cleared, and then we saw the full extent of the widespread damage,from our bedroom window.
It was ghastly.”
“The hillsides and mountains,as far as the eye could see,from Kenmare to the Magillacuddy Reeks, were littered with construction debris.There were ugly, garish mansions and vulgarly ostentatious bungalows in different stages of completion, astride every hillock. Timber,and blocks etc. were scattered everywhere.”
“They told us in the hotel that the Irish ‘Taoiseach’ one Bertie Ahern, had declared that every Irish citizen should own a second holiday home in the country,and refrain from dispersing all of his new found wealth in foreign lands. There were tax incentives for both builders to build- and buyers to buy! It was a win win situation for all.
. There followed his edict,a building boom,the likes of which was never seen before and all the decentralized civil servants were also looking to buy or build new residences.
Apparently the prosperous farmers had all been buying property in Poland and Spain, while the Jackeens preferred more exotic locations such as the sunny, Canary Islands.
This new‘Bungalow Blitz Campaign’was spearheaded by patriotic Fianna Fail councillors and estate agents countrywide,to stem the flight of the common man's cash to foreign jurisdictions.
It was also to benefit poorer farmers,who were selling sites almost everywhere,and particularly big speculators, who were buying up all the land they could get their hands on.
Bertie had fast tracked the planning process by abolishing planning departments, and there was a new office in Dublin, where you got the e-mail application rubber stamped in 24 hours,they told us”
“We were shocked,I need not tell you.I had to sit down and ask for a glass of water.
Then the waiter told us they had just run out of bottled water, and the water from the hotel tap ,like that in most towns and villages, was undrinkable;due to the proliferation of ‘McMansions’, unserviced septic tanks, and rivers polluted with cattle slurry.!”
“I said to Martha, ‘lets go home for pete’s sake,this place stinks’,because there was a smell of shite coming in the hotel bedroom window every time we opened it.
The porter told us it was necessary, routine dispersal of bovine effluent.”
‘He said that the farmers had built huge earthen mounds all over the country in a desperate last ditch attempt to try and contain the stuff,and that one had burst it’s banks a few weeks earlier.The whole thing had poured down the hillside, and engulfed the local villagers in slurry.!”
“ I asked him if it was safe to go out for a walk in the countryside,but he warned me that the local farmers were a mean bunch,and told me not to stray off the main road as a hill walker had been shot for trespassing the previous week.He said this was part of a campaign to get a ‘Tourist Subsidy’from the government or better still the E.E.C. It seems that the landowners wanted 100 euros yearly for every kilometre of mountainy bogland they made availible to walkers.They wanted a lump sum of 2000 Euros annually, for cutting the hedgerows and keeping their place tidy etc in case any walkers came along.
I asked him ‘What can we do then,- What’s safe?’.
‘Best to just go back and play some more golf’ he replied,
"Look I am tired playing golf, everywhere I go there is nothing but golf courses and new hotels,besides one would have to be a millionaire to pay the exorbitant fees demanded by these greedy rascals who get big tax breaks from the state to build all these new courses. I would like to do something else.How about some salmon fishing,could you arrange that for us?"I asked him.
"I could" he replied, "but you would be wasting your money and your time.There has not been a salmon in Irish rivers for years-some 900 part time drift net fishermen in Kerry and other places hoover up everything that swims into the coastal river estuaries before it gets near an inland stream.Not a tadpole or a sardine gets by them.These FiannaFailers have a monopoly on catching the few salmon left, that even try to return to their unfortunate birthplace."
We had had enough.We packed our things and left.
We won’t be back.
PLEASE COME BACK-AT ANY PRICE.!(200 million euros?)
January 2005: A Fianna Fail press release,indicated that Bord Failte (Tourism Ireland) a government sponsored entity, set up by the state and manned and managed by wealthy hoteliers-mostly cronies of Fianna Fail-,is to spend a whopping 200 million Euros of taxpayers money in 2005/6/7/8/9 etc, advertising the merits of Irelands golf courses and Dublin's temple bar pubs, where cross channel visitors from John Bull's country have popularised drunken stag party weekends to the enrichment of both the publicans and the exchequer.. so much so that even billionaire cement manufacturers like Sean Quinn have bought loads of pubs in Dublin city.
This 200 million publicity money is part of the booty that is painfully extracted from citizens of Ireland, in the multiplicity of stealth taxes.rubbish bin taxes etc, which are descending upon the population to compensate the state for their new largesse to multinational( and also now Irish)companies, due to the E.E.C. insisting on a single tax structure for all companies operating in the country.
It was stated in the government press release, that "the exchequer will benefit by 650 million Euros this year as a result of tourism" Bullshit.!
If golf course fees and publicans profits on drink actually bring in this bonanza to the government, does it really justify this massive waste of ordinary taxpayers money to enrich fatcat hoteliers.? Why do they not pay their own advertising bills after all such expenses would presumably be tax deductible from their annual profits and tax liability.
The truth -if it be known-is that Bertie gets nothing like this money from taxing hoteliers. If the subsidies they receive for building swimming pools and gymnasiums and new hotels, and hig rise car parks,etc.were taken into account:-the reality is that the ordinary citizen is being fleeced here,as in so many other sectors of our fat-cat profiteer orientated economy.
If Bertie Ahern is a socialist,then Mary Harney must be a Marxist-Leninist and I am probably Santa Claus.!