Monday, 20th August 2018
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Time for a break

Just as the height of Summer begins it seems that it is also the time when our politicians begin their yearly departure from Dail Eireann. While not many professions get as much holiday time as politicians do you have to ask the question whether they merit such long breaks?

There are many who would immediately answer that they don't really deserve such long holidays, that they barely seem to spend any time in the Dail at all and after all they are well remunerated for the long hours that they do already.

While it has to be said that politicians in Ireland are financially well rewarded it has to be remembered that there are a number of issues regarding their positions that make them unique amongst workers in the country.

Their tenure in office is not that secure, they could be in one day and out the next and also they work very long hours and very few even have weekends off. This might seem similar to a lot of contracts that are part of the new economy in Ireland it doesn't have to mean that they should be the standard.

Politics play a large part in the cultural life of this country as indeed it should be. It is perhaps an example of how large a part that it plays that there always seems to be an outcry whenever the issue of Dail holidays comes up.

You could even argue that politicians bring it on themselves. They are the ones that put themselves up for election and it is kind of a Faustian bargain that they get into when and if they become members of the Dail that they begin to realize just how much their work will overtake their lives.

Often their home lives suffer as a result and the pressures of living in Dublin during the week and then having to come home on the weekend and work in clinics can sometimes be too much.

From the outside it might look that they have a great life but often the reality is far from that. Of course they are well paid and their expenses and these must be the envy of many politicians in other countries but you have to ask are we getting the right service for what we pay them. More than often we do because as everyone knows politics is a cut throat game and if you are not serving your constituents well then you will find out about it at the ballot box come the next election.

So, as the Dail begins to wind down for the Summer don't get overly heated by their supposed long holidays, they will still be working at clinics at the very least, working for the people that put them into the Dail in the first place. And that should be the measure of a politician, whether they work hard for the people that put their faith in them in the first place.


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