Friday 31 October 2014

A quiet revolution is occurring in healthcare issues

Letters to the Editor

Published 05/05/2014 | 02:30

Chief Justice Susan Denham
Chief Justice Susan Denham

* Kudos for Susan Denham, the Chief Justice of Ireland, for illuminating the roles and responsibilities of inclusive, pluralistic and independent media, not only in ensuring accountability, transparency and the supremacy of law but also in shaping public opinion and advancing public policy agendas.

Such a role could not be more prominent than the role of media in facilitating the exchange of ideas and intermingling of critical thoughts for the betterment and advancement of the human race.

In summary, it is all about humanity's progress and consciousness to tame disappointments, failures and change course.

The latest World Health Organisation report on maternity and children's health has alluded to the fact that social media has revolutionised our practices and democratised policy debates through the dissemination of health information across the entire populace to unprecedented levels of accessibility which was unknown in the past.

The contagious power of media has given hope for a more meaningful data-sharing and far-reaching translation of research innovations and knowledge regarding public health issues such as infections, vaccinations, immunisation and other vital health information.

This is the quiet revolution happening in deliberative democracies where the multiplicity of voices, views, pictures, facts, experts, researchers, citizens and policy- makers that pluralistic societies encompass, become not only fairly represented but genuinely engaged in the ongoing debates/discussions of the day.

DR MUNJED FARID AL QUTOB

LONDON NW2

CREATING FALSE DIVIDE

* In his letter ('Learn Private Sector Lesson', April 30 ) Paul O'Sullivan launches a tirade against teachers. In comparison to them, he states that he has less than two weeks holidays a year, no pension and no guaranteed employment.

While he has no empathy with teachers, I would be worried if 70pc of the workforce were subject to the draconian conditions of employment he describes.

Rather than attacking other workers who have better terms and conditions of employment, his time might be better spent organising his fellow workers into a trade union.

His letter highlights the harsh reality for many Irish workers. It would be interesting and useful if the Irish Independent concentrated a bit more on how badly many private-sector workers are treated, rather than trying to create a false divide between private and public sector workers.

GERARD O'DONOGHUE

LIMERICK CITY

HALCYON DAYS OF 1971

* How right Peter Howick is when he states in Irish independent's 'Weekend Review' of how great a year 1971 was for classic rock music. To me, it seemed the stars were perfectly aligned and even the single 45s were exceptional.

'Who Will Stop The Rain' by Creedence Clearwater Revival and 'He's Gonna Step on You Again' by John Kongos were only two of hundreds of brilliant 45s released in 1971.

What are the chances of those halcyon days for rock music ever returning in my lifetime?

Don't bet on it!

STEPHEN GRIFFIN

GREYSTONES CO WICKLOW

YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE

* Did God make man or man make God it is often asked. But I think it is both. God allows man to make God and to fill God up with the good or bad desires in man's heart. If man fills God up with love, kindness and self- control, then people will have a long lasting reward.

But if people choosing power, money or high status seek to put into God, then these things will eventually run out and leave people empty- handed. So, God exists in so far as what you put into him.

SEAN O BRIEN

CLONLIFFE ROAD, DUBLIN 3

FAILURE OF TRADE UNIONS

* As a former trade union member I wonder whatever happened to the trade union movement. It seems to have lost all mobility, whether in advancing the rights of workers or defending the living standards of its members. I recently passed Liberty Hall and hanging from the building is a poster of Emer Costello MEP that covers at least one-third of the building.

Now, I ponder the question, is SIPTU now acting as an agent for the Labour Party or does it have any interest in the hardship being enforced on ordinary people, such as property taxes and water charges?

It is sad to see trade union involvement in political circles that undermines the living standards of those they are paid to protect. I really don't think collusion in politics is a formula that enhances their so-called ideals.

Just this year the pension age was increased to 66 and the transition pension of 65 abolished and not a murmur from the trade union establishment.

I think most reasonable-minded people want to see their living standards protected. This should be the reward of trade union membership.

To date, I believe they have failed and it is inevitable their demise will come at their own hand.

FRANK CUMMINS

CLONDALKIN, DUBLIN 22

FINE GAEL OUTNUMBERED

* I note with interest that the number of non-aligned candidates contesting the local elections now exceeds the number of Fine Gael candidates.

GALEN MAC CABA

VICTORIA STREET, DUBLIN 8

AN INTOLERANT REACTION

* P McDonagh and Killian Foley-Walsh seem to have taken issue with Paddy O'Brien's "God-slamming" letter and the "typical self-assuredness" with which he expressed his atheistic views.

Is this not the same self-assuredness that is so admired when someone is described as being a person of great faith?

Paddy was simply expressing his opinion in an intelligent and articulate manner; he was not slamming God or being disrespectful in any way. This indignant and intolerant reaction to Paddy's opinion has no place in this increasingly secular society. I would suggest those upset would do well to re-read Paddy O'Brien's letter and take a lesson on how to make a point without being disrespectful.

SEAN SMITH

NAVAN, CO MEATH

GET CREATIVE HONOHAN

* "Honohan warns on deflation risk" proclaims a bold headline in the Irish Independent's Business Section (May 1). Quantitative easing is one policy option cited that may be employed to reduce the risk of deflation.

If quantitative easing (in layman's terms, printing money) becomes a policy choice, I suggest that tearing up that infamous promissory note that Mr Honohan is nursing in his Central Bank vault will do nicely for Ireland's share in printing money.

By my calculation, retiring the note would raise the money supply (M3) of the eurozone by a mere 0.00025pc, a figure that will be lost in the rounding up. Subtract the few billion Sean Citizen has already scrimped and saved to pay off unknown bondholders, and the effect on M3 is even less.

Let's be creative Mr Honohan and in the process give the long-suffering Irish citizens a break.

NAME AND ADDRESS WITH EDITOR

Irish Independent

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