Sunday 25 September 2016

Election slogans nothing more than empty promises

Published 15/03/2016 | 02:30

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the launch of the party’s General Election campaign. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the launch of the party’s General Election campaign. Photo: Steve Humphreys

It has been almost three weeks since the election, and in that period we have been subjected to a prolonged theatrical circus of game-playing, shadow-boxing shenanigans by our politicians, with many of them acting like spoiled, overgrown school children to gain political advantage at our expense.

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Based on media reports, Fine Gael appears to be more amenable to a coalition with Fianna Fáil than Fianna Fáil is.

Despite the diversionary avoidance tactics being staged by Fianna Fáil in particular, unfortunately such an arrangement is the only combination to command a majority with similar policies and political ethos.

The people voted for an overwhelming majority of TDs from those parties to represent them and it ought to be incumbent on those parties to honour the people's choice and form a government together.

Over the last five years, the outgoing government implemented the austerity template of inequality that was put in place by Fianna Fáil.

Of course, the parties' main concern is not the formation of government, but their future electoral prospects if they fail to deliver on their election promises.

If these two parties were confident in delivering on their election slogans of 'Keep the Recovery Going' and 'A Fairer Ireland', why are they now apparently reluctant to do just that? After all, it is what the people expected from them three weeks ago.

Christy Kelly

Templeglantine, Co Limerick

 

Elderly deserve to keep homes

The elderly of today undertook that mission to provide a 'family nest' some 46 years ago.

In a climate of austerity, they endeavoured to provide a home for their families; a place to rear and educate them and space for their offspring's regular return, maybe with their grandchildren, as the years passed on. And, above all else, it was where they selected to establish themselves in a new community, to leave their mark and cultivate lifelong interests and friendships.

Pay was very low then and jobs hard to come by. If one managed to get a mortgage to build or buy a home, interest rates varied between 8 and 18pc. A minimum deposit of 10pc was absolutely essential - albeit loans may not have been as large as now, but neither were the means there of servicing them.

Ireland, today, as part of the giant EU, is richer and more progressive than ever before. Yet, there comes the suggestion that for young people to acquire homes the unfortunate elderly should "down-grade to smaller accommodation".

Older people love their local community and relish the homes they built up. To suggest they move elsewhere, other than of necessity to a hospital or institution, is an insult; it would be disorientating and a belittlement of their life's efforts.

James Gleeson

Thurles, Co Tipperary

 

Hung Dáil and a fine mess

To quote Laurel and Hardy - another fine mess they've got us into. A hung Dáil and recalcitrant leaders all refusing to enter discussion for a realistic coalition despite the prating about "the national interest". On top of that, the political parties all claim to know what the electorate meant by their vote. And in each case it is surprisingly different.

I have news for them. There is no mass Irish psyche that goes into a polling booth and decides to vote for a hung Dáil. Each individual voter has his or her political agenda in terms of parties and candidates.

Now there's the prospect of another immediate election. This means that we could face into the first Seanad election just as the Dáil starts on its second.

This is a farcical waste of money. It's okay for the parties whose elections are financed by the taxpayer but what of the Independents who have to carry the entire cost themselves.

All of this, of course, comes in the middle of the 1916 'celebrations'. What exactly are we celebrating?

A country bankrupted to the tune of €200bn, soup kitchens all over the island, evictions everywhere and the people financially enslaved to pay off the gambling debts of the German and French banks.

Mother Ireland, you're rarin' them yet!

Senator David Norris

Leinster House, Dublin

 

Men-only golf clubs

David Quinn, in his eulogy to Adrian Hardiman, writes he "was one of the judges who found in favour of the men-only membership rule of Portmarnock Golf Club", going on to highlight that "the Irish Constitution protects freedom of association, that is the right of like-minded people to set up organisations to pursue common aims and with agreed rules".

Firstly, the Portmarnock Golf Club was not publicly funded, so there was no State sponsorship of discrimination. Secondly, men-only clubs did not monopolise the golf club system by as much as 96pc.

Thirdly, there was no publicly funded monopoly by men-only golf clubs which allowed them to discriminate against women and admit men from other areas before women from Portmarnock. Fourthly, male beliefs unrelated to golf could not permeate the entire golfing day. Fifthly, there were no reports of women pretending to be men to access their local golf club.

Rob Sadlier

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

 

Christianity and Irishness

What we celebrate on St Patrick's Day is the fact that St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. There are some people who think it is a celebration of our Irishness. There are some in the media who engage the use of the Irish language on St Patrick's Day. St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, not the Irish language.

Aidan McMeel

Glaslough, Co Monaghan

Irish Independent

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