Talk is cheap, action is what we want

Jimmy Monahan will be supporting James Morgan in the by-election. Photo: Michelle Ghee.
There’s a saying all politics is local.

There’s a saying all politics is local.

Be it the state of our local road network, housing waiting lists or water supplies, it’s a byword which has largely dictated who or what party we vote for.

Yet for the random sample of houses this newspaper knocked at over the past seven days, a very different story began to emerge.

And it was one chiefly associated with the issues currently being felt at national level.

“First it was the household charge, now it’s water charges, where’s it all going to end?” Deirdre Carr asked from her doorstep.

Her attitude seemed to cool even further when pressed about who she intended supporting on polling day.

“I’ll vote anyway, but it doesn’t really matter,” she said, arms folded.

Little did we know then, it was a viewpoint which time and again kept repeating itself.

A few doors down, Sinn Féin voter Niall Farrell told of what he wants to see the next batch of local representatives address over the next five years.

“I’m not working at the minute and while a lot of them (candidates) would say things are improving, it’s not really.

“I was on CE (community employment) schemes which, don’t get me wrong, is great, but there is nothing at the end of it.”

Besides his desire to get off the Live Register, Niall hopes the next council administration will end his long wait to secure permanent accommodation.

“I was in a house in Farnagh, but I’ve not been able to get a council house and I’m on the waiting list for the last three years,” he said.

His obvious disinterest in the current political system was more cutting. A keen guitar player, Niall said he had done his best to avoid canvassers.

“I was upstairs when you knocked, but no I don’t really answer the door (to candidates). Not one of them will give you a straight answer. They’ll just stand there and give you all these statistics, it’s just very frustrating,” he sharply put it.

There were sharp words too from Longford man Jimmy Monahan. Clutching a paintbrush in his left hand, he left the Leader in no doubt as to where his grievances lay.

“It’s a living disgrace what’s going on,” he snapped, before revealing his support for James Morgan in the Longford-Westmeath by-election. “I’m on €230 a week. How are you supposed to live on that. And this water thing (charges), is a pure disaster. They’re all liars as far as I can see.”

Strong words they may have been, but they were ones which were shared by local woman, Jean Dowler.

“None of them are any addition,” she remarked, rubbing her head in irritation. “I’ll be giving Gerry Warnock my number one though.”

Her friend and neighbour, Mary Daly directed her anger at the apparent lack of grant aid that’s available for home improvement purposes. “I’m living in a cold house and I can’t even get that,” she said, pressing her thumb and index finger together in disgruntlement.

Whether those criticisms transfer to the ballot boxes this weekend, only time will tell.