Wednesday, 18th October 2017
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Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

There are indeed mysterious forces at work!

No sooner had we just started to get over our team’s, oh so close All-Ireland hurling final exploits, when along comes another magnificent sporting success. Waterford FC, are promoted back to their rightful place in the Irish Premier League - a very significant achievement in the Blues chequered history, all the more remarkable when you consider that the team have had to drag themselves from the gutter of the lower echelons of first division football.

The new owner and assembled backroom team, have undoubtedly worked miracles, in an incredibly short period of time. Akin, perhaps, to seeing a Leprechaun’s Pot of Gold!

To take the disaster left by the previous manager, turning this around into a championship winning team, is nothing short of miraculous. Yes, significant money was injected into the club, but that’s precisely what was needed, to be fair. That speculation has now paid off handsomely. We can expectantly assume that additional investment will be forthcoming to get Waterford back to competing in some form of European football. Despite some social media soccer lovies criticising said spend, just how else was this Waterford club to climb the league ladder?

For those, such as John O’Sullivan and Paul Cleary, who have had to endure the toughest of times, may they and many others enjoy the celebrations. Then start looking forward to top flight football next season.

I have said for many years that for Waterford to succeed commercially, we would also need sporting success, running in tandem. It would appear that we have reached a turning point in Waterford’s hurling and soccer stories. There is no mystery as to why this corner has been turned. The hard, hard graft endured during cold Winter’s nights of training under floodlights, is finally beginning to reap suitable rewards.

“You can’t beat live football", local pundit Matt Keane often reminds us and next year we should have an abundance of top soccer coming to the Regional Sports Centre.

All too often, just as you reach for the summit, you can come back down to earth with an almighty bump. Something that we here in Waterford seem to experience far, far too regularly.

“We giveth in one hand and we taketh away in another!" could easily be the calling card of our current Government, when talking about all things Waterfordian.

Our sporting highs have been overshadowed by what would appear to be yet more bad news looming, in relation to University Hospital Waterford. At the time of writing, according to unsubstantiated reports, our Tipp neighbours may be annexed from our hospital grouping, by those masters of preposterous-piss-poor-planning – the HSE. It looks like mysterious forces have been covertly working away behind closed, barricaded doors in Dublin. One would assume in consultation with Government and appropriate Ministers. Nothing happens in the civil service, without the odd compliant TD here and there, agreeing to “Changes in principle".

If we are to believe that these changes are afoot, then yet more services will bleed from University Hospital Waterford, leaving us with a hospital that has no regional bias whatsoever. As more and more capacity is removed from UHW, we have to ask ourselves just when is enough ENOUGH?

Waterford has a Minister and one, almost impossible to spot TD in Government. We have people at the top table and yet we constantly have to climb up Mount Everest unsupported, without crampons or oxygen!!!

Are our Government colleagues prepared to say that they know nothing, nil, faic, zilch of the proposal from the HSE, in relation to Tipp? If they are going to adopt this proposal then we have to ask “Should they not make it their business to know?" Rest assured Teflon TD Lowry will know exactly what is on the table for his beloved, demanding, adoring constituents.

So once again, according to our pair of, “In power TDs", there are mysterious forces at work. Prepared to drive yet another nail into our coffin lid. But wait, hold the hammer, did not the South East FG regional Councillors write a letter to “Dear Leo"? Yes, they did and of course that will make all the difference. I think we have more chance of seeing John’s aliens!

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