Workers’ Party Cork city councillor Ted Tynan has compared Transport Minister Shane Ross’s refusal to ensure the survival of Bus Éireann with the historical Emperor Nero who famously fiddled while Rome burned.
Cllr. Tynan said that Minister Ross was acting as if the current crisis in the state owned bus company had nothing to do with him even though the minister is the sole shareholder of the company on behalf of the Irish taxpayers.
He said, “The future of Bus Éireann and of public transport in this country is more important than Minister Ross’s pride or anything else sitting on his desk right now. Public transport is a vital service in this country. It is one of the vital arteries that keep the life blood of our economy pumping and is also an important factor in the social life of the country.”
“It is clear”, said Cllr. Tynan, “that the management of Bus Éireann is more interested in scoring a victory over the trade union movement and imposing draconian cuts to wages, workers rights and bus services. The company has made an utter mess of things to date and I am calling on the minister to wake up and take personal charge of the situation or resign from his position”.
The Workers’ Party Cork councillor said that senior management in Bus Éireann seem to be intent on handing the company over to private operators lock, stock and barrel while the minister was also known for being pro-privatisation. “It can only be wondered if some of these managers have their own interests at heart rather than those of the company they are supposed to be running in the public interest”.
Cllr. Tynan said, “The CIÉ group has been 72 years in existence. The government needs to remember why CIÉ was established – it was set up because the private sector had failed utterly to provide proper public transport services and had no interest whatsoever in providing a social service for schoolchildren, pensioners or others entitled to social welfare bus passes. This is the history and it would be well for Shane Ross and the mandarins in his department to acquaint themselves with it lest they repeat the mistakes of the past”.