The Author,and his wife are resident in Gran Canaria,Spain.He originally worked as a linesman for the engineering section of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs,and shortly after becoming an established Civil Servant,left to try his hand as a professional photographer.Discovering that "moonlighting" as a cab driver was more lucrative,he went into the business full time(almost!).In later years he attempted,with little success, to set up a radio controlled cab service,in Dublin West.
The near permanent moratorium on new taxi medallions however,resulted in a switch to Hackney Cabs,which were becoming numerous and availible.
Recruitment of Hackney drivers,in the- then flourishing- competing hackney industry, was also brought to a standstill by political intrigue(see article "Taxi! Taxi!)
Eventually internecine political feuding between the Coalition partners led to complete deregulation of Taxis;the virtual abolition of the Hackney sector;and,ironically, a new Monoply created where there had once been two competing service sectors.The Pharmacy industry deregulation is a similiar disaster.Today the Pharmacists have a greater monopoly than heretofore. British trained staff are not allowed practice here and avail of the massive salaries.The government have made millionaires of every Pharmacist at the expense of the taxpayer.The cost of medications is still the highest in Europe.
Both deregulations were Mary Harney inspired.One awaits her interference in the Health industry with dread and foreboding.
After many years of fruitlessly lobbying government departments for necessary reforms within the industry,he fortuitously sold the fledgling business, a year before it was completely crippled ,by deregulation.His Taxi Medallions,valued at 200,000 Euros,were rendered worthless overnight.He also made a settlement after a Revenue audit for 200,000 Euros; which included penalties for arrears of taxes ,on his weekly earnings, and savings(in an onshore account) for the previous 20 years!
In total,a contribution of some 400,000 Euros towards the Civil Servants national retirement pension fund and government policy to take over the highly lucrative,bulk selling of Taxi Plates, for 6000 Euros apiece! Tough shit.
.Virtually penniless now, facing an uphill struggle of long hours behind the wheel once more, among the multiplicity of youthful new taxidrivers entering the industry weekly,- all seemed lost...
The darkest hour is just before the dawn.Gracias a Dios,a fortuitous lottery bonanza of over 1 million Euros,led to a happy outcome and early retirement at 54 years young.!
He has lived abroad for the past 5 years and is currently writing a brief autobiography of his chequered career.His hobbies are tennis, swimming,reading and studying Spanish! He is not a lobbyist for any alternative political parties.
Fianna Fail do not have a monopoly on strokes and incompetence.They have,however, brought the skill to a fine art