On Fermanagh courts

I tweeted flippantly earlier, in response to the article here from Fermanagh Sinn Fein (http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/33138#.VMpY79Pvm1A.twitter), that they should refuse to recognise the removal of the court. Maybe they could stand outside, or run a People’s Court, or return to the CRJ schemes. All very flippant indeed.

I actually agree with their point – to close an entire courthouse to save £92K is basically pointless in the scheme of things, especially if the figures have been provided by the Civil Service, because the estimate will be wrong. If the employees can’t move with their role, then  that’s probably a cost too.

All that aside though I do object. I object because I dislike the idea that we are depriving a county of a courthouse, an entirely arbitrary area (and population) to define it by. I want distances, populations and comparisons. I want to be told where the nearest court service will be. More than that, I’ve argued before that SF need to be preparing the way for a United Ireland. I’ve argued that from a negative point of view – that they need to prepare the public for the fact that a duplication of services won’t be able to carry on and that it will necessitate job losses(in the north).

In this case however SF should be pointing out (if it exists) where a nearby 26 County court is. How that (or a new one) could serve the community in the event of a United Ireland. How actually those border areas would be best served in such a way. That’s what the future looks like. A real vision may be to say that that’s what the present could look like.

Lastly, SF agreed the budget. We can discuss whether it was what they wanted, but we won’t. They agreed. They can’t now complain when it impacts, they need to show some collective responsibility.

The politics of the begging bowl won’t work when the British subsidy (or if you prefer that “the solution to years of chronic underinvestment” , or the “money required to deal with legacy issues) s withdrawn. They need to outline, at every opportunity, a better way


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