Friday 21 October 2016

Time is of the essence if we are to protect the heritage of 1916

Published 05/07/2016 | 02:30

Minister Heather Humphreys: appealing judgment Picture: Tom Burke
Minister Heather Humphreys: appealing judgment Picture: Tom Burke

The 1916 Relatives Centenary Initiative fully supports the welcome call by Trinity College Dublin assistant professor Paul Horan to mark all 1916 battlefields, or what is left of them (Letters, July 2). Moore Street has been described as a "theatre of conflict and the most important historic site in modern Irish history" by the National Museum of Ireland.

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The response of the minister charged with the protection and preservation of our heritage and history is to appeal the recent decision of the High Court that fully supports that position. Under the ownership and control of development company Chartered Land, this historic heart of Dublin had descended into decay and dereliction for over a decade, to such an extent that the State was compelled to purchase four of its buildings for €4m (and counting) in order to protect and preserve them.

In the High Court, Mr Justice Max Barrett, having heard all the evidence in a three-week hearing, held that the entire area in and around Moore Street "so patently comprises a battle site that in truth, even the shortest of visits suffices before manifest disbelief arises that anyone would suggest otherwise".

Minister Heather Humphreys informs us that she is advised that she must appeal the judgment in its entirety since it will have a knock on effect on other planning matters. This begs the question - what aspects of the judgment does the minister agree with?

We are assured that she is to set up a 'Moore Street preservation forum' in an attempt to reach consensus as to the best way forward. Relatives have long called for State intervention in the national interest to secure and protect Moore Street, the last extant 1916 battlefield, from further deterioration and disgraceful neglect. The proposed forum must meet immediately to end the continuing uncertainty concerning the future of this sacred ground.

There's no more fitting a test for a viewing of 'the new political landscape' than this.

James Connolly Heron, Proinsias O Rathaille, David Ceannt

1916 Relatives Centenary Initiative, Ranelagh, Dublin

Fighting another nation's war

I'm sick to death listening to Irish TV and radio commentators, and self-appointed spokespeople, rattle on and on about the Battle of the Somme and about how many Irish soldiers took part in it.

The facts are that not one Irish soldier took part in the murderous campaign. Yes, there were Irishmen through their own choosing who donned British uniforms, becoming employees of the British government to fight for king and country under a British flag which, quite rightfully, made them British soldiers.

They were not fighting on behalf of an Irish government, because we were involved in the process of fighting for our own independence, which was gained in the following years by the bomb and the bullet supplied by non other than the Germans.

Why not have a yearly protest about the British and German royalty who set the seeds of war in order to hold onto their diminishing powers?

Why not have a yearly name-and-shame list of the armchair generals who ordered innocent, gullible young men to march into machine-gun fire in a move that could have only one outcome?

Most, if not all, illiterate Irishmen who joined up did so due to the use of propaganda and all other devious means employed by the colonial occupiers of our land.

Why is there such a need within certain sections of Irish society today, to glorify such wanton slaughter as if it was our patriotic duty to do so?

We were slaves to colonialism and it looks like things haven't moved forward, judging by the recent commemorations of the 1916 Rising on O'Connell Street in Dublin, where many pretenders were seated outside the GPO.

Here we are a few weeks later rubbing shoulders and sharing podiums with people who inherited titles from descendants who used and abused their powers to order our fellow Irishmen to their deaths.

The imbecile lieutenant general Sir Douglas Haig, who was responsible for the slaughter at the Somme in which 60,000 thousand were killed on the first day, received £100,000 on his retirement in 1921, while many of those Irish who returned home maimed or shell-shocked by the horrors of an avoidable war were shunned because they accepted the king's shilling and fought for British royalty.

But many like Dan Breen and Tom Barry are venerated to this day as heroes for the roles they played in the War of Independence.

Don't get dragged along in someone's else's dubious whirlwind - create or follow your own.

James Woods

Gort an Choirce, Dún na nGall

Brexit leaves unfinished business

John Leahy (Letters, July 1) said that EU leaders should respect the UK's decision to leave the EU and pointed out that 17.5 million Britons voted to leave. He left out the fact that more than 16 million Britons voted to remain in the EU. The 52-48 percentage win for the Brexit side is marginal to say the least, particularly when you consider that there were a number of 'protest voters'.

In May, Nigel Farage, whose Ukip party instigated the call for a referendum, said the following: "In a 52-48 referendum, this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the Remain campaign wins by two-thirds to one-third, that ends it."

John Bellew

Dunleer, Co Louth

Johnson sits on the fence

Boris Johnson, like the 'Leavers' he represents, is like the proverbial dog in the manger - he won't eat the hay and he won't let the donkey eat it either.

Typical of the type of politicians who prefer to sit on the fence and let other, more courageous people, make the hard decisions.

Walter Naughton

Maynooth, Co Kildare

Stop this insurance rip-off

People have taken too much theft and exploitation from insurance companies. As many claims end up with the Injuries Board, this costs insurance companies nothing. Fraud is also a weak defence, as very few perpetrate it.

To add to this hypocrisy, the Central Bank then encourages insurance companies to increase premiums. The Central Bank is the very institution which could not even properly supervise banks. I wouldn't put any of them in charge of an empty box!

No mere mortal can understand insurance and the basis of its twisted, punitive, self-serving rules. On the basis of this immorality, a mature woman driver of is now created equal to a much younger male driver. There's nothing like equality when it's profitable!

Neither insurance brokers nor providers care about increasing claims. If the Central Bank wants to be more useful than it actually is, it should control the legal 'profession' which also profits from abusing gombeen claims.

Drivers of Ireland, you have nothing to lose but the claims of others. Rise up for a change!

Florence Craven

Maynooth, Co Kildare

Irish Independent

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