Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Saying no never gets old...

This story really cracked me up.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that The Irish government has been accused by Jeffrey Donaldson of fostering a political agenda - for promising a substantial cash boost for senior citizens in NI who reach 100. (Hat tip Slugger)

Yes the attack from the DUP MP came after it was confirmed senior citizens from the North who reach 100 are in line for a £1,700 payment courtesy of the Irish government.

Pensioners in NI will have to apply for the cash, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The 'centenarian's bounty' - worth €2,500 - is paid automatically to senior citizens in the Republic on their 100th birthday and was recently extended to people born in the Irish state but now living elsewhere.

And today it was confirmed those born "on the island of Ireland" before the creation of either the Irish state or the six-county Northern Ireland will qualify for the dividend.

Jeffrey Donaldson's not too happy though and has claimed the Irish government is being insensitive in offering the cash:

"Obviously anyone born 100 years ago on the island of Ireland was when it was under British rule. For unionists the undoubted position is that the Republic has no jurisdiction over Northern Ireland.

"I think the Irish government should be more sensitive about unionist feelings on this. Certainly there has been no consultation with us about this.

"There is a political agenda here, it does fit with the Irish government's concept of the Irish nation, that the island is the nation and it should be a nation state, which of course unionists oppose.

"I think it is part of the Irish government's political agenda to endear themselves to people living in Northern Ireland."

'I say give the old geezers nothing!'

I must say this is ridiculously petty and childish, even for the DUP. What exactly is the problem? That the Irish government has acknowledged history and that these centenarians were born when there was one island entity?

This line in particular from the Belfast Telegraph made me laugh out loud:

"DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he had no doubt Dublin was "attempting to endear itself" - and that many unionists would snub the money on principle."

Snub the money on principle?! How fragile must your beliefs be that accepting a generous cash award from the Irish government is seen as unprincipled? Farcical stuff.

If anything I think we should give centenarians from the North a little bit extra for managing to make it to the age of a hundred - look at the politicians they have to deal with. I salute them


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