Adoption legislation is a step in the right direction
Published 03/08/2015 | 02:30
John B Reid (Letters, Irish Independent, July 31) may well be justified in being “staggered” by the lack of vision on a broad range of matters by the current Government.
However, legislation to make it easier for adopted children to discover their birth families is recognition of a much needed and desired change and has been painstakingly lobbied for by adopted people for many years.
The rights of the birth families to privacy is also being taken into consideration in the legislation.
Adoption may offer a double blessing but it has been well documented that most adopted people, at some point in their lives, make a search for birth information or at least consider doing so, even if only to obtain medical history.
How can it be fair or ethical to withhold basic information from someone as to their identity and blood connection?
Knowledge of one’s roots and origins is a primal need and thanks to pre and post-adoption training and enlightened attitudes, most adoptive parents these days are aware of this reality. Rather than being “ill-considered” as described by Mr Reid, the planned legislation on adoption is an ethical step in the right direction.
Newbridge, Co Kildare
Legacy of Pearse’s oration Dermot Meleady’s article, ‘Lethal legacy of Pearse’s oration at the graveside of O’Donovan Rossa’, (Irish Independent, July 30, 2015) shows up the shallowness of contemporary Redmondism. Arguing that conditions in 1915 were not propitious for an insurrection, he writes: “The Home Rule Act, the fruit of the efforts of the elected Irish Party, had been signed into law a year earlier by King George, to be implemented at the end of the war.”
This completely misses the most important political development of 1915: the installation in May of that year of a new all-party government at Westminster without an electoral mandate that included leading opponents of Home Rule like Sir Edward Carson and Andrew Bonar Law. From that point on, most informed Irish nationalists recognised that the prospects of the Act being enforced were non-existent.
The realisation that John Redmond’s strategy had come undone created an urgent need to stem the flow of Irish nationalist cannon fodder to the Western front. In the circumstances, conditions were ripe for a rising and Tom Clarke and Padraig Pearse were justified in preparing for it.
The legacy of Pearse’s oration, of Clarke’s initiative in choosing Pearse, and of O’Donovan Rossa’s Fenianism is the independent Irish state.
Dalkey, Co Dublin
Coalition’s false dawn
Liz O’Donnell says the rise of Independents “is a mystery” to her (Irish Independent, August 1). She adds that Independents are “unreliable” and that their priority is “invariably their own constituency, to the detriment of the national interest”.
Where, one might ask, was the “national interest” when this present Government, barely in the door, broke its self-imposed pay guidelines of €92,000 for its own ‘special’ advisers?
Or how was the national interest served by the then Health Minister James Reilly saying “he had done nothing wrong” and “he would do it again” when his own constituency was inexplicably bumped up the list on primary care centres? How was the national interest served by the abuse of the penalty point scheme and the appalling treatment of the Garda whistleblowers? Or what price the national interest when Phil Hogan, the minister responsible for setting up Irish Water, the most hated and divisive quango of all time, was nominated for his efforts for a plum, pensionable five-year job in Brussels?
The Eurostat decision on Irish Water is proof, if it is needed, that self interest and self preservation rather than the national interest permeates through this Coalition.
Irish voters are no fools; they were promised a new dawn with transformative and transparent politics and they now realise they have been taken for a ride. The real mystery, then, is not the rise of Independents but that they are not even higher in the opinion polls.
Listowel, Co Kerry
For mainland Europeans and in particular those from Poland, a 45-square-metre apartment is considered quite normal, yet your article ‘Apartments to be downsized to speed up home building’ (Irish Independent, July 27) mentioned that this new minimum size is to be allowed for only a small fraction of new developments, and even then only for rental.
Dublin City Council should focus on ensuring apartment quality and leave the minimum quantity of square metres to the discretion of the people taking out loans to pay for them.
Don’t ditch the Angelus
Fair play to RTÉ, which appears to be following the Irish Water model.
It will pay thousands of euro to a PR company to change something that the vast majority of people don’t want changed (the Angelus).
The Angelus, intoned by the ringing of a bell, is meant to be a one-minute reflection, whereby people of any religion can pay tribute to whatever God they believe in. I am sure even atheists can use the minute to thank someone/something that there is no God.
The vast majority of people in this country believe in a God and I have never heard any objections from people of any religious persuasion to the Angelus. Why all the fuss – just because a tiny but a very vocal minority have a problem with a bell ringing is no reason to waste thousands of euro pandering to their objections.
Maybe if we had a minute’s silence one evening a week, this might get rid of their objections.
But how would you inform people that we are starting a minute’s silence, since a bell ringing would cause offence?
Perhaps a bash on a Lambeg drum would suffice or perhaps, like Irish Water, RTÉ could pay a €100 noise conservation grant?
I might then be persuaded to turn down the volume on the TV.
Clones, Co Monaghan
I see Ibec wants to subsidise wages by tax, taking pressure off employers for pay rises.
We seem to be involved in Houdini mathematics – there’s the Budget, but hold on, we also owe billions on behalf of the developers and the banks. It really doesn’t add up.
A J Quinn
Caherdavin, Co Limerick