Special Features

Integrated ticketing long overdue

In 2002 the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA) was given the responsibility of overseeing an integrated ticketing system for Dublin. This would allow customers to carry one ticket that would work on all public transport in the Greater Dublin area.

Election scandals: the Dublin Port Tunnel

The Dublin port tunnel cost three times its original estimate and was three years behind schedule when it finally opened last December. The port tunnel was first mooted as far back as 1991 when it was proposed to the Department of the Environment. It was originally one of four options put forward to solve the problem of port traffic in Dublin city centre. When the port tunnel route was announced in 1993 the estimated cost was put at £100 million. It was approved by government in 1999 and already the cost had doubled to £204 million.

Election Gimmicks in week one

Echoing the Little Red Book of the Great Helmsman, this week saw the launch of the “Little Green Book”, the PD's plan for “driving a clean economy”, delivered by Michael McDowell from the back of biofuel truck in Merrion Square.

The dog, six seconds of silence and the Browne inquisition

Opposition parties could not have hoped for a better start to the election campaign. An Irish Times opinion poll published two days before the election was called by Bertie Ahern last Sunday showed a dramatic increase in Fine Gael's approval rating to 31 per cent from 26 per cent in January. The increase came largely at the expense of Fianna Fail who slid three points to 34 per cent, bringing the Fine Gael-Labour alternative four points ahead of the incumbent coalition.

Failure to address the issue of child sexual abuse

According to the SAVI report: Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland one in five women (20.4 per cent) reported experiencing contact sexual abuse in childhood. One in six men reported experiencing contact sexual abuse in childhood. The government has done little to address this problem of child sexual abuse.

The PPARS Debacle

The payroll computer system for the health service was originally estimated to cost €9.1 million and was meant to be implemented in a two year time frame. Eight years on from that the project has cost €220 million so far. The system was plagued by technical faults during the roll-out phase. Famously one health service employee was paid €1 million in error by the system. As well as this, the computer system cannot handle sick pay, annual leave, bank holidays or sick leave for 70,000 Health Service staff. The system's roll-out was halted in October 2005 as of escalating costs.