Sunday 23 October 2016

Debacle of fire-trap buildings must not be let happen again

Published 05/10/2015 | 02:30

Longboat Quay complex
Longboat Quay complex

Trust, like fine china, once broken can be repaired, but it is never quite the same. Similarly with the current costly flaws in construction that were the inevitable outcome of the flamboyant, unregulated mad boom years of the Celtic Tiger, reputations of developers or builders are not easily restored.

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We already had the Tom McFeely Priory Hall fire-hazard scandal in north Dublin being repaired at a cost of €27m. Meath County Council recently made headlines on discovering that a 26-unit development, Riverwalk Court in Ratoath, had a number of serious structural problems.

However, the most worrying to date are the 300 apartments involving 900 people in Dublin's Longboat Quay complex, who are facing evacuation unless around €4m is found to make structural repairs. This is a real confidence-shatterer, since these were constructed for Bernard McNamara, one of the most prolific low-profile developers of the Celtic Tiger era.

Of course, all of this springs from an insatiable greed as irresponsible banks opened the sluice gates that led Government, developers, planners and even the public to lose the plot.

Numbers completed took precedence over standards and quality. Craziest of all, despite the hard-earned experience, the same exercise is destined to happen all over again.

James Gleeson

Thurles, Co Tipperary


A disservice to RTÉ's viewers

Liz O'Donnell's thoughtful piece mirrored my views on recent political interviews, particularly on RTÉ. I expect interviewers to be neutral, courteous and professional.

Their aim must be to seek the maximum information for listeners, rather than to upstage their guests through ill-mannered interruptions.

On the other hand, it seems that most interviewers give their more frequent left-wing/Sinn Féin/water protester guests a free run with no 'hard' questions.

Michael Bradley

Co Meath


Throw away the keys on thugs

A 102-year sentence would have been appropriate if it had been 102 years for each of those miscreants. The monetary damages may be recoverable, but the emotional scars will be with the Corcoran family for years.

Those thugs showed no remorse and Judge Teehan would have better served the community with much longer sentences and no suspensions.

Mary Gottschalk

Morse Street,

San Jose, California


The true cost of violent crime

So most of us right-thinking people are outraged at the criminal attack on the Corcoran family in Tipperary. Perhaps those who perpetrated the attack and those now planning similar attacks are less outraged.

It seems that this is a case where we cannot blame newcomers, these are our own home-grown boyos.

In considering the overall state response to this and other such crimes, surely some of the following questions should be asked:

1. What is the detail and the cost of the State supports provided for these individuals since birth, including health, education, social services, legal aid, social welfare?

2. What is the monetary cost, so far, in processing this crime?

3. In any referendum, what portion of the Irish population would support the provision of legal aid to a criminal who has 119 previous convictions?

Noel Huston

Athlone, Co Westmeath


Teach us to speak our language

The foreigners did their damnedest. The hierarchy aided and abetted. The Department of Education delivered the coup de grace. They tortured our ears with grammar, instead of teaching us to speak. And they still have not copped on that 'teanga' means tongue. Now Irish is a sad joke, good for nothing any more except as a technical defence in a road-traffic prosecution.

Seán McElgunn

Address with editor


The drugs don't work

I find myself writing again on the subject of yet another unnecessary and tragic school shooting. My message hasn't changed but the death toll has.

The thoughts of people around the world will lie with the families affected by the latest tragedy at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. And as the search for answers begins, the cause of violent behaviour is once again under the spotlight, along with gun laws in the United States.

While there is never one simple explanation for what drives a human being to commit such unspeakable acts, all too often one common denominator has surfaced in hundreds of cases - prescribed psychiatric drugs, which are documented to cause mania, psychosis, violence, suicide and in some cases, homicidal ideation. It is vital that the general public are informed about the well-documented links between psychiatric drugs and violence.

At least 35 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, resulting in 169 wounded and 79 killed.

In other school shootings, information about drug use was never made public, neither confirming nor refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs.

The correlation between psychiatric drugs and acts of violence and homicide is well documented, both by international drug-regulatory warnings and studies, as well as by hundreds of cases where high-profile acts of violence/mass murder were committed by individuals under the influence of psychiatric drugs.

Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between the drugs and senseless violence.

Brian Daniels

National spokesperson,

Citizens' Commission on Human Rights,

East Grinstead,



We must be weaned off diesel

We now know that diesel generates much more local pollution than it was supposed to and far more than petrol does. This is evident in the air quality of our cities and towns.

Action needs to be taken immediately to reduce the number of diesel cars sold in 2016.

A simple solution would be to add 30pc to the CO2/km number for all diesel vehicles and use this to set the taxation band.

James Mahon

St Mobhi Road


Dublin 9

Irish Independent

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