Sunday 23 October 2016

Dáil to play for if the two big parties face off in the octagon

Published 23/04/2016 | 02:30

MMA fighter Jose Aldo could show our TDs how to settle old scores. Photo: Getty
MMA fighter Jose Aldo could show our TDs how to settle old scores. Photo: Getty

Before a ban or regulation of MMA is introduced in Ireland, given the lack of progress on the formation of a government, might it be an idea for representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to resolve the matter not in the Dáil, but in the octagon? Then we'd see some genuine engagement. Instead of a guarantee of three to five budgets, there would be a guarantee of three five-minute rounds - much more efficient.

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I see both sides trying to occupy the middle ground. It's quite likely that there would be liberal use of the guillotine, not to mention the whip (which might breach even MMA rules), but on the other hand, we might see a few submissions. Fianna Fáil would of course be awarded the interim title (now that it can't have the real one). They might be short on numbers, but Fine Gael could second some of its TDs to Fianna Fáil to even things up (everyone knows the difference between them is akin to the difference between the violin and the fiddle anyway).

Of course, MMA terminology would have to be explained to any would-be protagonists. For example, it would have to be clarified that 'striking' has nothing to do with Luas workers and that a 'tap-out' has nothing to do with the Dáil bar. Finally, I suggest both sides are denied use of any private health insurance until the crisis in the health service is addressed, and all fluids until they agree on a plan for Irish Water.

Rob Sadlier

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

System is fine - for politicians

As we enter the ninth week of political squabbling, the only options for government are one led by Fine Gael (which was soundly rejected in the last election) or by Fianna Fáil (which was soundly rejected in the previous election).

Apparently, the major stumbling block to agreement is water charges (imposed by Fine Gael and originally promised by Fianna Fáil). Whilst these facts may suggest that our system is somewhat bizarre, nothing could be further from the truth - the system is well designed to serve politicians rather then the people. Anyone for a directly-elected executive?

Norman FitzGerald

Taylors Hill, Galway

Littering is a capital crime

I visited Howth summit in Dublin last week for the first time in maybe 20 years and I was just appalled by the litter scattered everywhere. The sun was warm, the furze was glowing, the view was spectacular - but oh, the litter.

There were no bins as far as I could see and no signs telling people to take their litter home. Business in Howth benefits greatly from visitors. We had a fantastic lunch, and surely three or four people could take it in turn to go up there each week and clean the place up. Litter is a problem for all of us.

Contrast this with Baltimore, Co Cork, and the surrounding area, where in a week we have seen no litter and where one is very aware that littering is not acceptable.

Our seas and oceans are choking with litter, especially plastic. Our poor old planet is groaning under the weight of it and we must not add to it.

Maura Richards

Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England

Kenny's words were last straw

I see that Fine Gael (and their fellow travellers Fianna Fáil) are continuing to treat the electorate with utter contempt. I seem to recall that they categorically stated that "Europe" insisted that Irish Water be a private company. Now it seems that this rule can be ignored to put these devious, corrupt megalomaniacs back in place to pander further to their financiers. Although I expect to hear that 'the Troika' will have told them to form a government at any expense, and will have permitted this stroke.

My eyes well up when I remember my father and his brothers, Fine Gael to the end. One of them as a boy fought the Black and Tans, and because of Enda Kenny's clownish assertion that we are all too stupid to understand "economic jargon... which people don't understand", I for the first time in my life gave no vote to any Fine Gael candidate. Enough is enough.

James O'Brien

Shannon, Co Clare

Create jobs and build homes

We are coming out of the worst recession in decades. The building industry was destroyed. I would have thought the Government would do all in its power to employ as many builders, electricians, plumbers and other trades-people as possible to kick-start the economy, and at the same time provide homes for the thousands who desperately need one.

Anything would be better than the millions being squandered having families staying in hotels.

Aine O'Duinneacha

Address with editor

We need an end to 'Enda-isms'

I see the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) complaints committee has ruled that Toyota should stop using its 'Best Built Cars in the World' slogan.

What we need is a watchdog to keep us safe from political slogans and 'Enda-isms' such as "Let's keep the recovery going" and "Paddy likes to know what the story is".

Damien Carroll

Kingswood Dublin 24

Treat all cancer patients fairly

Reading Eilish O'Regan's piece on the surge in delays for vital bowel cancer testing (Irish Independent, April 16), figures from the Irish Cancer Society revealed that the number of public patients waiting over three months for a colonoscopy has reached a record high of 4,343 on the last day of March. These people are in danger of delayed diagnosis and are missing immediate life-saving treatments.

Private patients can have this test done in 12 days.

This imbalance must be addressed by the incoming government in the 2016-2025 cancer strategy, to ensure all cancer patients get equal access to treatment.

Tom Towey,

Cloonacool, Co Sligo.

From Civil War to water war

The Civil War was caused by failure to agree with an English directive on partition and affected our rights as a nation to freedom in the 20th century. After much fighting amongst ourselves, we eventually agreed to a watered down variation of that ultimatum.

The divisive results of that conflict are still with us today.

Comparably, the Irish Water war was caused by a failure to agree with an EU directive/regulation on extra water charges and our rights to life-essential water.

Again, after in-fighting, will we agree to a 'watered down' variation of another ultimatum?

And will the divisive results of the water charges conflict still be with us in 22nd century ?

Canice Smyth

Harristown, Navan, Co Meath

Irish Independent

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