Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox
During the 1987 General Election campaign, Fianna Fáil ran advertising on billboards, bus stops, and in newspapers, commenting that ‘Health cuts hurt the old, the sick and the handicapped’.
I always enjoy the guilt-free recess that a snowstorm presents.
The whole idea of a shutdown from the madness of modern living allows calm to fill the void, and batteries to be renewed.
Most importantly it brings out the best in people - people i.e. human beings - being way down the list of importance in this country.
Top of my list for those deserving of the highest acclaim are those in the caring profession - hospital staff and home help practitioners who never fail to show dedication even in the hardest circumstances. Their dedication to their work is humbling.
Number two must go to the farmers who have no choice but to look after their livestock through all kinds of storms and dangers and without whom there would be no basic foods on the shelves - bread, milk, flour, porridge, vegetables, etc.
In third place comes the army and emergency services of which there are many, who, again put themselves on the front line to alleviate the problems that the storm brought.
Including thuggery in Tallaght.
The meteorological service excelled in their interpretation of the signs and dangers they forecast, with many helpers in broadcasting their advice, getting the message out clearly and informatively.
In that there’s no doubt but that An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar showed great example, as did Minister Eoghan Murphy.
In both cases they came across as genuine and sincere.
Personally I saw no adverse reason not to have them accompanied by the Gardaí and others. Nobody should complain about that.
This was a time for Ireland to stand tall, and almost to a person they did.
One can’t say anything meaningful to those whose recklessness hindered the works of the services trying to clear the roads.
There’s always a clown somewhere, even when no circus involved.