Re: Re: A Nation at War with its Capital City?

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Cute Panda,

I would have disagreed with your post until the last line which, in fairness, goes on the make the point completely missed by McWilliams. He kept talking about investing in our cities, citing the success of Switzerland, Germany et al but then completely missed the point about their multi-city approach by seemingly advocating investment in Dublin and to hell with the rest of the country (the other cities to boot).

I agree that too much money is wasted in this country by “looking after” every village from Malin to Mizen. The point I would make however is that the real loser in this approach is not Dublin, but the other main cities of Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Cork which fall between the two stools. Our government believes in urban investment (which it defines essentially as Dublin) and rural investment (everywhere else with the funds spread thinly between them, Galway city treated the same as Tuam, etc).

The decentralisation fiasco is a classic symtom of that. Whereas decentralisation would, in another country, consist of moving civil servants voluntarily to the other urban centres, here it consists of sending them to the most rural areas of the country, the very areas most unlike Dublin and thus least appealing to prospective movers. In fact decentralisation Irish style actually included moving civil servants out of Dublin AND Cork notwithstanding that there are few enough civil servants in Cork and, one would have imagined, decentralisation would accordingly have involved transferring many more civil servants into Cork – which, being at least in some respects (obviously much smaller) a city like Dublin might have proved a more attractive location for prospective movers.

I no longer live in Dublin but appreciate the many headaches involved in public transport there. Dublin’s transport problems have to be fixed but simultaneous, I would have thought, to looking after public transport in the other urban areas. I know the lack of metro to Dublin airport, the non-connection of the Luas, the delayed port tunnel etc are head wrecking for Dubliners but try being in an urban area where your buses (basically the only form of public transport) are usually cast offs from Dublin bus – as is the case in the other Urban areas – and you would appreciate that Dublin is certainly not the only or biggest casualty of our government’s attempts to please every constituency in the country with vanity projects and the like.

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