Every Monday morning I head out to East Coast Radio in Bray to take part in a panel discussion on events in the news. Regular readers will know that I love radio – and would love to do more.I generally tend to steer clear of heavy political or economics topics as I have no expertise in either. But sometimes something comes to my attention that causes me to lose it – or become a “bit shouty” as producer of East Coast FM’s Morning Show, Claire Darmody would say!

Yesterday’s Sunday Independent published an article entitled ‘TDs and Senators hand us a bill of €14m for their golden handshakes’ by Daniel McConnell. This article listed in detail the kind of payments our elected representatives are being paid as they retired from public office. And yes many of them are the very ones who sat watch over the financial meltdown of this country.

The actual amounts beggar belief. 40 TD will receive over €200,000 with Batt O Keeffe topping this particular poll with a total payout of €266,228. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE HIS ANNUAL PENSION.

This is not just insane in any economic climate, but with the country on its knees financially, it is also absolutely amoral. It is proof that our politicians have no principles and are an unscrupulous lot who clearly are in politics for personal political gain. And weren’t they dead right.

So while Leo Varadker might shout up and down (correctly) about the bonus the DAA tried to award to Declan Collier but what is he and his Government doing about puitting an end immediately to this national disgrace.

I challenge any of these TDs but particularly those who have received over €200,000 to lead by example and return these ridiculous payouts. We have a health service on its knees, children with special needs being denied their special needs assistants, and ordinary working people who have taken huge hits financially. How many SNA’s could be employed for the cost of Mary Harney’s lump sum of €158,730 (and remember this is just her lump sum).

I just hope that these ‘retired’ politicians can sleep easy at night. They are a national disgrace. And boy do they illustrate more than the vast majority of people in this country the greed of the Celtic Tiger era. May history record as much.