Mary Walsh – a victim of austerity

Austerity, the buzzword for the times we live in, as the rich and powerful unleash their recovery plan through this Fine Gael/Labour coalition. 

Much the same as the last right wing administration but in greater numbers and more prepared to cut the flesh closer from the heart of our people with the sharpened scalpels of their masters; the new-age Shylocks, the IMF and ECB.

This brief story is about the consequences of this misguided procedure and how it has affected the lives of Mary Walsh and her partner Willie Phelan in Laois/Offaly. Both Mary and Willie spoke to The Socialist recently just at the time when “our new government” was committing another €24 billion to our bankrupt banks.

Mary suffers from two debilitating diseases, Crohn’s (CD) and Rod Cone Dystrophy (RCD), RCD is an incurable aggressive eye disease and leads to complete blindness. Mary and Willie had come to Dublin to protest against Minister Joan Burton’s refusal to rescind the FF/Green cuts on the blind, which the now Minister for Social Protection had attacked during the budget debate only months earlier.

“We can only conclude”, said Willie, “this was an opportunistic and cynical attack because Joan Burton as the Minister is reneging on her stated position to reverse that atrocious decision.”

Mary has been waiting since early January to have a biopsy on her larynx and was booked into Tullamore Hospital a number of weeks ago. Two days earlier, both Mary and Willie had travelled to Tullamore for a pre-op assessment. Mary spent the day in a theatre gown on a trolley only to have an apologetic nurse tell them late in the afternoon it was cancelled. They have also seen over €40pw disappear since 2009 with various cuts. This is the human cost of squandering our money on billionaires. So why do we stand idly by; as they carve into our flesh spilling our blood while robbing our blind?

It is time to get organised – stand up and fight back alongside people like Mary and Willie who have the right to a decent and dignified life.