News Letters

Saturday 20 September 2014

Brooks concerts should never have been stopped

Published 28/07/2014 | 02:30

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Country music star Garth Brooks. AP
Country music star Garth Brooks. AP
Garth Brooks: cancelled shows

After the weekend that wasn't I just felt that I had to write on what has happened in this country with Garth Brooks.

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A country on its knees crying out for work, our young people leaving by the day, an opportunity for over €50m, not to mention the extra work for workers who cannot find full-time employment, I just cannot understand how we can shut down the city for days on end and restrict and disrupt people going to work at a massive expense, for a visit from Queen Elizabeth and also for US President Barack Obama.

This costs money we can not afford, and they could bring in emergency legislation to bail out the bondholders and could not do this to save something that was going to be good for our economy.

I am not a Garth Brooks fan, but could see in the city on the days of the One Direction concerts the shops were packed.

It was like Christmas Eve – how could they let an opportunity like this go?

Legislation could have been changed afterwards to ensure that it could not happen again for the residents.

DEIRDRE SCHLINDWEIN, QUAY ST, BALBRIGGAN, CO DUBLIN

 

OUR NATIVE LANGUAGE IS DEAD

Language by its very nature is for communicating, speaking and hearing. Academic study of the rules of language is a totally different matter.

Down the years, the Irish education system has killed our language by putting the cart before the horse. I got a degree in Irish but could not speak it until I went abroad. I was shamed into it; I wanted the Filipinos and the Chinese and the Spaniards to know that I was not English. You can learn to speak any language in a matter of weeks, if you have to, or starve.

The plain fact is that Irish does not belong in school at all, certainly not in an Irish school. For example, children should be hearing people talking Irish in the playground from the first day. Connacht Irish is the easiest to pick up and the most natural. But what is the use talking to people who think they know better?

Will it ever change? You must be joking. And it doesn't matter now anyway because these geniuses buried it long ago. Ta an teanga marbh le fada an la.

SEAN MCELGUNN, ADDRESS WITH EDITOR

 

FEAR ISRAELI STRIFE WILL NEVER END

A deep pain and fear is embedded in the mental and physical make-up of many Israelis.

The terrible scars of the past may never be healed. The atrocities witnessed have broken the spirits of the strongest, leading people to repeat dreadful crimes. The death of so many innocent women and children in Gaza. The innocent, as always, offered up as a sacrifice to those who pretend to have their best interests at heart.

There are two deeply rooted arguments in this horrendous conflict of which neither side comes out smelling of roses. But it is ironic that a race of people who were systematically tortured and killed in the biggest ethnic cleansing horror of our history have not learnt the lessons of the past. A similar torture is being inflicted on the Palestinians. People who have a right to live life with some kind of dignity.

Weak, poor, living in awful conditions in such a small compressed area. Does this ring a bell? Reminiscent of the Jewish ghettos in World War II. Inflicting through the blockade an impossible situation for the Palestinians to live in.

Now the killing ratio is overwhelming in its systematic forcefulness.

BARRY MULLIGAN, CO SLIGO

 

EUROPE CREATED MID-EAST WOES

The debate on the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict is totally lacking in historical perspective. The reason Israel exists at all is that Europeans set up a frighteningly efficient set of factories in order to exterminate a whole race of people – the Jews. It is even more frightening that they nearly succeeded.

When the present-day politicians talk about their 'outrage' at what is happening near the shores of the eastern Mediterranean, they are ignoring the fact that both the Israelis and the Palestinians are fighting for survival. They are in that position because they are the victims of the extreme abuse of power by Europeans.

Both are condemned to fight it out on the ground for control of a small area of the Middle East because European powers in two world wars ordained it so. Europeans, should, therefore, display bit more introspection in this debate.

A LEAVY, SUTTON, DUBLIN 13

 

WE'RE \NOT POOR ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Recently, there have been newspaper headlines to the effect that the UN has criticised the state of human rights in Ireland, especially in relation to issues such as abortion. Of course, those like the women who suffered symphysiotomy, or those who suffered under state care should be given the care, respect and compensation that they deserve.

However, is it really the place of the UN to advise Ireland to legalise abortion, even though the pro-life provision in our Constitution was enshrined in a binding referendum?

As far as I know, Malta, a fellow EU member, hasn't being dragged over the coals over its abortion regime, even though abortion in Malta is banned under all circumstances – unlike in Ireland, where abortion, (the Halappanavar case notwithstanding) is clearly legal in the case where it's required to save the life of the mother.

Also, is Ireland really unique when it came to its record on women's rights? Illegitimacy was considered taboo in most countries until the late 20th Century, not just Ireland. The UK also kept unmarried mothers in institutions like the Magdalene laundries until the 1960s, and Sweden not only serialised single mothers, but also performed forced abortions, sometimes up to the 1970s.

And that is only in Europe – need I mention China's one-child policy and all that comes with it, or India's particularly dreadful record on women's rights? Unless abortion is the only indication of progress on human rights, it's hard to argue that Ireland's record on Human Rights, let alone on women's rights, merited the dressing-down we got from the UN rights committee.

TOMAS M CREAMER, BALLINAMORE, CO LEITRIM

 

DOCTORS DON'T DESERVE BAD PRESS

For some reason, doctors have become the baddies in the healthcare debate – we are greedy and lazy and we will do anything if you pay us enough. It saddens me.

I don't know any doctors who went into medicine purely for the money. I know many who are working long hours, trying to provide the best care possible for their patients, which is becoming increasingly difficult when you can't get tests or appointments for them outside the private sector.

There are doctors on the media highlighting the issues their patients are facing. Some politicians are listening, others aren't. Loading extra work and even more bureaucracy on to an already struggling system is not the answer, however politically popular it may be. We need proper debate that crosses party politics and properly planned, resourced change.

DR ELUNED LAWLOR, LOUGHBOY MEDICAL CENTRE, KILKENNY

 

A NIGGLE OF ROLE CONFUSION

I have always felt sure that no matter how dominant women become, there will be a role for men because women and girls are afraid of spiders. Yesterday my four-year-old granddaughter summoned me to the garden because there was a "baby spider" on her dress.

I donned my cape and rushed to her rescue, thinking that she would remember my heroism as I sink into doddering incoherence, only to be ordered in her best princess voice: "Don't touch it, it's cute."

Finally, at 63, I am beginning to feel a niggle of the role confusion so dear to a certain element of the chattering classes.

TOM FARRELL, SWORDS, CO DUBLIN

Irish Independent

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