Wednesday, February 04, 2009
A Thundering Disgrace
The Irish government will nationalise a corrupt and inefficient Anglo-Irish Bank (on behalf of its Fianna Fail cronies who all have dibs in it, not to mention its former Chairman who should be in jail) but not a national treasure like Waterford Crystal. It's heart-breaking that the workers are occupying the Kilbarry plant to keep the furnaces going because once they are turned off, all is lost; it would cost millions to turn them back on again. These men are fighting for their jobs, their livelihoods, and a big part of our heritage. Waterford Crystal is known the world over as a true Irish brand. It's an utter disgrace that it is being left to die. Ach, couldn't some Ireland-loving billionaire give them a hand? Michael Flatley, maybe? If I had a magic wand and lots of capital ... I would buy the company, pay off its debt, meet the workers to form a co-op, hear their ideas for running the place economically and efficiently, set up an apprentice programme, offer an annual prize to art college students for once-off designs, get more young designers involved ... Alas, I am rich in ideas but poor in cash.