Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thing 15: Write a Letter to The Times

I love the “Letters to the Editor” page of the Irish Times. I like to call it the “Crank File”. Everyday I sit down to read it with my coffee, just before I do the crossword (what, I’m an old man, don’t you judge me), and I imagine what scathing and witty comments I’d put in if I wrote a letter.

Mostly I get bogged down trying to think of ways to sneak curse words into the letters without being noticed… I know, it takes a special kind of juvenile mind.

I like to thing that it represents a kind of written vox-pop of people’s thoughts, though too often The Times remains an Ivory Tower establishment with concurrent Ivory Tower sentiments. Not terribly practical, and almost no swear words at all.

Nonetheless I find it engaging and I always wanted to get one published. The tricky thing about getting one published is that you have to write one first. Seriously. It’s only logical. If you don’t write it, they can’t publish it… I should have thought of this before.

In the last three months or so, I’ve thought of about fifteen things that I would actually settle down to write my own crank mail about, but I’ve restrained myself.

Today, I could contain myself no longer… There it was, live on Lunchtime on Newstalk with Eamonn Keane. Dr Jim McDaid, a Fianna Fail (shudder) TD who’s earning TD wages, and also drawing a ministerial pension. That’s two wages. TWO. There are thousands of people up and down the country who can’t get one wage, and this man has two. But here’s where it gets extra good: Despite the fact that every other politician (bar three Fianna Fail, again, shudder), has returned their pension, Dr McDaid will not.


Because he thinks it will damage democracy. Yep. Democracy will be hurt if he gives back the twenty two thousand extra euro of taxpayers money that he draws down on top of his already ludicrous TD wages. Good Lord what a shocking load of utter shite.

That’s a picture of the offensive tool at the top of your screen there…

So I sat down, and I sharpened my mind. And I got the claws out, and I wrote a long ass stinker of a letter which I promptly deleted by accident…


But it’s okay, because they wont print the really long ones anyway, especially not when it’s strewn with swear words. So I re-wrote it in a shorter, cattier, bitchier, sarcastic-ier version. I hope you like it. Pick up tomorrow’s Irish Times to see if it gets printed… fingers crossed….


Let me be among the first to applaud Dr Jim McDaid for his devotion to democracy. In the face of overwhelming numbers of other TDs giving up their additional pensions, it must have been difficult for him to hang on to the additional twenty two thousand euro of taxpayers’ money. It takes a brave and noble politician to hang on to twenty two thousand euro entirely for democracy’s sake, and without a single thought for himself or his own bank balance. It must also have been difficult for TD Bertie Ahern to return his money, as far as I know, he doesn’t have a bank account. Once again our politicians feed us their lines, and just as pathetically, we gobble them up.

Yours etc.,

Dan Mooney


  1. Nice one Danman, great letter!

    I thank God for men as brave as Dr. McDaid. Shur didn't we fight the English for eight hundred long years for the right to hold on to twenty two thousand euro of the taxpayer's money? Men died in battle, all for the right to hold on to twenty two thousand euro of the taxpayer's money!

    I can sleep easily tonight, knowing that, even in the midst of these terrible economic times, when we struggle with the very essence of what it is to be at Irish, when the future of our nation is uncertain, that at least one lone soldier is out there, holding onto twenty two thousand euro of the taxpayer's money, on my behalf.

  2. PS Geraldine Kennedy is TERRIFYING.

  3. ah poor oul Jim, sure life is tough on him surviving on the TD wage, pension and his doctors salary as well (he still works as a doctor in Letterkenny!)
    For the entertainment value of the stupid things he does, leave Jim have his pension :p

  4. Well, most of it. They took out the Bertie bit.

  5. Disgusted they edited it. The original was perfect.

  6. Disgusted they edited it. The original was perfect.