Wednesday 28 September 2016

An open letter to rape victim Niamh Ni Dhomhnaill

Published 17/07/2015 | 02:30

(picture posed)
(picture posed)

Dear Niamh,

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I am so proud that there are women like you out there - women who will do the right thing when something bad happens.

It gives me faith that at some point in time, in our little nation, there may be justice for people who have been raped and/or sexually assaulted. You have shown remarkable courage and strength, in bringing your case to court, waiving your right to anonymity and for questioning the suspended sentence the man who raped you received. Please, for all our sakes, keep going.

There are so many women like me, women who have been assaulted like you - we are silent but watching and listening and ever hopeful. Even though you cannot see us or hear us, we are applauding you, so thank you from all of us, the silent ones.

Name and address with editor

Paying for water twice

Simon O'Connor (Irish Independent Letters, June 16), tells us that we have never paid for the water piped to our homes.

If that is so, then where did the money come from all along? Does Simon want us to believe that there was a monthly whip-around in Dáil Éireann to pay for it?

The money for water was paid by central taxation in a subvention grant to local authorities annually, that is where it came from. It came from all of us who earn and buy in this economy.

The objection now is that they want us to pay twice.

If I read Simon's letter correctly, though, he seems to be saying that the subvention grants in the past were just not large enough - but then that is a separate debate, is it not?

John Mallon

Mayfield, Cork

No rhyme nor reason

According to a recent article in a Sunday newspaper, the nursery rhyme 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' has been changed to 'Baa Baa Pink Sheep' for anti-racist reasons.

This is a case of political correctness gone Baa Baa.

Martin Heneghan

Dublin 3

Throwing good money after bad

It never fails to amaze me how people always fail to see the big picture, ignore reality and pretend things are not as they really are.

We are, however, talking about politicians so normal rules don't apply.

Such a situation is illustrated by the details of the latest Greek bailout. Before this latest bailout, Greece owed €323bn. It is now getting, under strict conditions, approximately €80bn in a bailout.

The experts say Greece will need approximately €30bn to keep its banks solvent in addition to the aforementioned €80bn.

When these amounts are added to the €323bn, the Greeks will owe €433bn approximately. It was generally agreed that the €323bn was too much for them and never likely to be repaid. So how will the €433bn be repaid?

The logic of this situation belies belief. The eurozone, while vehemently decrying Greek behaviour, is actually digging a bigger financial hole for itself by loaning more money to a country that has passed the point of no financial return.

In trying to protect their already dubious reputations, the eurozone leaders, while saying they are safeguarding their countries' financial resources, are in reality throwing good money after bad.

Protection of political reputations is more important than protection of national financial resources, it seems.

Ireland falls into this questionable category. The performance of Taoiseach Enda Kenny when questioned by reporters leaves a lot to be desired. Slavishly following the EU party line, gratuitously advising Greece to follow Ireland's bailout example, bragging about our so-called recovery - which is completely dependent on favourable global economic conditions - Mr Kenny's performance was deplorable. The Irish economy is completely different to Greece's, but judging by Mr Kenny answers to reporters' questions, he didn't realise that.

Then there's the question of the money we have already loaned to Greece and the money we'll have to contribute to the latest bailout, amounting to €1bn, according to some estimates. That's lost money now.

I await Mr Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan's explanation of this loss with great interest. It should be good fun listening to them.

To the many Irish people who could do with help from the lost billion, it won't be so funny. But so what - we're in the eurozone, aren't we?

Liam Cooke

Coolock, Dublin 17

EU an obstacle to our happiness

Notwithstanding the idealism of the founders of the EU, that has evaporated leaving the union an obstacle to human happiness, security and solidarity.

Donal Kennedy

Palmers Green, London, UK

The not so glorious Twelfth

Once again this year, social media has been awash with images of Twelfth of July bonfires adorned with the flags of the Republic, Gay Pride, Palestine, etc, together with election banners of non-unionist parties - all ready for burning.

Others showed lampposts hung with Union Jacks and Nazi swastikas. Clearly written on one of the Tricolours atop a bonfire was "We're not racists - we just don't want cotton-picking n*****s around here - Keep Antrim Tidy".

Another photo depicted a Confederate flag hanging outside the home of a black family in east Belfast.

These, for the most part, were at clearly identifiable locations and many of the images were taken from British or Northern papers.

One such, taken at Belfast's Broadway Roundabout, showed a group of masked men armed with clubs in front of a wall bearing the slogan "Taigs will be crucified".

Once again this year, the southern Irish media has, with the singular exception of the Irish Independent (July 8), decided not to publish these images, or even to comment on them.

There can be no doubt in any regular readers' or viewers' minds that if the minority 'tradition' in the North were to engage in, for example, a ritualistic burning of British flags (say at Easter), our media commentators would be lining up to express their indignation and outrage, and in the strongest possible language.

There may be a word out there to describe this sort of discriminatory attitude on the part of most of the southern media. Could that word, perhaps, be "sectarian"?

Billy Fitzpatrick

Terenure, Dublin

Irish Independent

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