Elaine Byrne: Public deserves more than a pantomime of politician heroes and civil service villains

The vilification of civil servants – as exemplified by an offensive post retweeted by Fianna Fáil’s John McGuinness – needs to be challenged

John McGuinness: the Fianna Fáil TD is encouraging unfair perceptions of civil servants being overpaid and entitled. Picture: Collins

Last month, John McGuinness, the Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Kilkenny, wrote a column in the Irish Examiner on the civil service.

In the piece, headlined ‘Who is really in charge of running the country?’, McGuinness referred to “highly paid and pensioned civil and public servants [who] are unlike anyone else in employment in our country – they are faceless and blameless”.

The culture in the service, he wrote, is “arrogant and unaccountable”. Its “ruling ...