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silver hill

May 2017 Comment

Lately someone asked me why I had no ‘Comment’ to make on the site recently and a few things have happened, which have not ticked my boxes, and so here are my comments:

1. I am quickly losing respect for tractor and lorry drivers. Tractor drivers, many of them very young, are going about trying to get farm work done in the good weather and they give the impression that no one else is going to work or in a hurry except them. However they travel at less than 50Kmph and never consider that someone behind them in a car can and needs to go a somewhat faster for a good reason. For example – a family from Donegal travelling to a Dublin hospital to be with a dying relative; or someone travelling to catch a plane or boat; or just trying to drive at a speed, which does not make the engine of the car struggle, and having to drive in a low gear burning up three times as much fuel and producing three times as much emissions. It also causes drivers, who lose patience, to try to pass when it is not really safe to do so and to then go faster to make up time lost. However those responsible for planning roads don’t seem to consider placing the odd lay-by where tractors and lorries might pull in for a few seconds to allow a build-up of traffic to pass out. From Emyvale to Monaghan there are few places where tractors can move off road easily and stop in safety to let traffic pass. As for the lorries – apart from the hold-up I pity them going through places like Emyvale, especially on Friday evenings from lunch time till about 9pm. I have on many occasions pulled in to allow a Lorry a straight run up or down the town but the driver would seldom recognise my assistance, even by lifting a finger when passing. As well there are still too many lorries speeding through the village and one particular company seems in a greater hurry and often the driver is on the phone. It also appears to me, and another has agreed with me, – that young lady drivers are more likely to break speed limits than young men and are less courteous on the road. This observation I got by sitting in my car for 40 minutes one afternoon lately on Main Street, watching the traffic. At the moment the roadworks at the bridge is slowing everyone down.

2. Talking about roadworks – it appears that there is a new bridge going to be built on the Monaghan to Clones Road at Skeagh Bridge. The road is going to be closed for at least three weeks while this is being done. Health and Safety would likely demand it. What about emergency ambulances? What about the ambulance taking the heart attack victim from North Monaghan to Cavan. The diverted traffic will cause the road proposed to be a slow alternative and will add precious minutes (up to 30 minutes extra) and cause needless deaths. Will the authorities arrange that such emergencies will be taken to Craigavon or Enniskillen?

3. Progress comes with a price. Our old TV sets were analogue and at times the reception wasn’t great and so the Digital age introduced us to high resolution viewing. Now many would complain that RTE does not give good value for the Television Licence but I would argue that digital reception is not all it promised to be. Constant interference will pixilate the screen and spoil viewing. It costs to try to eliminate this problem and RTE does not pay the bill. Recently it seems new equipment to provide extra services for phone users were added to local masts and since then the pixilation has increased and in some cases the signal has disappeared altogether and people have been left with no Irish stations. People are blaming the Masts. Again the problem can be fixed with added equipment on your aerial but it is expensive and householders have to pay the price. We were never told officially about this change,

4. They are trying to select a new leader in Fine Gael and it is none of my business although as a citizen it is my business as whoever wins will likely be our Taoiseach for a time at least. I have never met Leo even though I requested a meeting to discuss health issues in North Monaghan. When he became Minister for Health people did believe that he would solve some of the problems but he asked for three years, scuppered plans drawn up by James Reilly, his colleague, and achieved little progress in anything. He talks well and impressively but he does not match it with actions. Simon Coveney I have met and am very impressed by his sincerity and efforts to make life better for us all, especially rural communities. If I had a vote he would get it. As for Enda – I gave up on him long ago as he did not ‘Fight, Fight, Fight for your hospital and Fine Gael will fight with you’. I do not credit him with the recovery – the Troika decided and the Irish people paid the price and are still paying to bring this country back and to afford the huge wages Enda and the other TDs receive. Enda did as he was told, despite promising us that he would get Europe to take some of the burden off us, which never happened.

5. We are going to get a New National Childrens’ Hospital on a site that is not suitable, problems with getting there, problems with parking, and problems getting in as it appears half of it will be for those with Health Insurance or plenty of money. We are also going to get a New National Maternity Hospital. This is to replace the existing three. It would need to be big to serve Dublin alone not to mention ‘National’. It is for Dublin mothers and not for Monaghan mothers. How many Monaghan mothers are going to select it for the birth of their children. It is at the far side of Dublin city and it is a long way to go when in labour. Neither of these hospitals can be described as ‘National’. These two hospitals will cost about 2 billion euro to build and take a few years which means that there is no money to solve any of all the other problems in our Health Service in the meantime. The children waiting for operations or treatment, the aged needing joint replacement, the person with symptoms of a serious problems will have to wait until it is too late, the ambulance service will continue to be run on a shoestring, and worst of all – there will be no money to make an acceptable offer of wages and conditions to attract more nurses and doctors to work in OUR Health Services instead of emigrating. Before any problem in our Health Services is solved we need more nurses, doctors and consultants and less administrators and pen pushers.