Once upon a time there was a family.
Brian and Mary were very well off and were one of the wealthiest families in the neighbourhood.
Brian made most of his money by gambling on stocks and shares, and unfortunately he lost the lot on a very bad investment.
The family were plunged into poverty, and hovered on the brink of bankruptcy. Brian panicked, and the first thing he did was to take the children out of school. Still the money was tight, so he cut the housekeeping to a minimum, and stopped the children’s pocket money altogether. He also took his parents out of their retirement home that he had being paying for, and left them to fend for themselves.
Brian’s income was still insufficient for their needs, so he reluctantly agreed to trade in his BMW for a slightly smaller model.
Their neighbours were quite concerned at this stage. They could see that Brian’s children were suffering badly, and no one knew where his parents had ended up.
Imagine their amazement then when they heard that Brian had started construction on a very large indoor heated swimming pool.
Brian’s children naturally objected to this, saying that their education was more important that a damned swimming pool, but Brian was adamant. He said that the money was already put to one side and anyway they would save a fortune as they would no longer have to pay for the public pool.
Now what do you make of that little vignette?
Do you think Brian is being foolish? Would you say he was criminally negligent or just plain reckless?
Which should come first? His children or his swimming pool?
Of course you think it is daft little story. But is it?
Our country is in a very bad financial state. Our children and elderly are suffering due to cutbacks. Our health service is in tatters.
And the government is now about to spend billions [not millions; billions] on an underground metro service.
This metro will serve a relatively few people to the north of Dublin. It will cause complete and total disruption to the heart of our capital city for years to come. The cost to city centre businesses will be staggering at a time when they are already struggling.
Surely they can postpone construction and reallocate the funds?
What is more important? Our children or a fucking underground railway?