Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Dublin People use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We dont sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • News

COMMENT: Politicians are no superheroes

Monday, 13th November, 2017 7:59am

Story by Tony McCullagh
COMMENT: Politicians are no superheroes

ON TRACK: European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, Brian Hayes MEP and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, get a preview of the new Cross City Luas line which commences service next month. PHOTO: JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY

COMMENT: Politicians are no superheroes

ON TRACK: European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, Brian Hayes MEP and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, get a preview of the new Cross City Luas line which commences service next month. PHOTO: JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY

POOR Shane Ross must feel he is the most unfairly maligned Minister for Transport ever. Hardly a week goes by when he’s not defending himself from brickbats hurled by the media or those pesky Twitter trolls.

Minister Ross seems to be unfazed by criticism and probably accepts that it’s all part of the rough and tumble of politics. You would certainly need a hard neck to be in that game and Ross must have skin as thick as a rhino’s hide.

The news that Minister Ross and two other Independent Alliance ministers had expressed an interest in visiting North Korea on some sort of parliamentary peace mission was met with a mixture of derision and bemusement.

Valid questions were asked, such as: how on earth can Ross take on a volatile dictator and prevent World War 3 if he can’t stop a train strike from going ahead? 

Since he took office last year, public transport has been riven with industrial unrest, with Luas, bus and rail stoppages discommoding hundreds of thousands of commuters.

I’m not saying it’s all Shane’s fault, or anything like that – he just seemed notable by his absence in the midst of every crisis. Minister for Transport? Sure isn’t he mad busy with the aul’ Sport and Tourism portfolios as well?

 I’m happy to confirm there is absolutely no truth to speculation that Ross had been seeking to enhance tourism links between Ireland and Pyongyang.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our politicians are only human; they are not superheroes capable of saving us all from nuclear annihilation. Their special powers are reserved for more modest feats, like getting their local Garda station reopened or tweeting pictures of themselves taking the bus to the Dáil.

And even though the recent rail strikes have brought unwanted chaos to our congested roads, it’s important that we also look at the positives, such as the opening of the new Luas Cross City line which will see more trams gliding through our streets from December 9. It’s a great pre-Christmas boost for city businesses and another important piece of the transport infrastructure jigsaw put in place. 

All we need now is a DART underground and a metro link to Dublin Airport. Oh yeah – and no more strikes.

Now that the North Korea trip is off, perhaps Minister Ross can concentrate on matters closer to home.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here