Friday 30 September 2016

Gaelic football is not fit to tie the boot laces of soccer

Published 06/08/2015 | 02:30

Angel Di Maria
Angel Di Maria

If I may reply to Fred Molloy (Letters, August 5), he somewhat condescendingly, and you have to say unbelievably, talks of a soccer player being transferred from Manchester United to PSG for an estimated €44m.

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The player is the 27-year-old Argentinian Angel Di Maria. Mr Molloy's letter is typical of the staunch tunnel-vision GAA supporter. I just wonder would he be so complimentary to Fermanagh if the impossible had happened and they had beaten Dublin.

I must be up front and say that as an Englishman my first love is soccer, and in particular the Premier League. I am of an age now where other sports can't hold my attention and this sport, Gaelic football, that Mr Molloy obviously loves so dearly, to me is a nothing but a mixture of two or three other sports.

Its undefined rules on tackling especially, and the one-sided nature of most of the fixtures, especially this year, make it a nonsense.

Only very rarely does it throw up a mouth-watering contest, like the anticipated All-Ireland between the Dubs and Kerry.

If Mr Molloy's beloved football is such a thrill, why then is it not played in many more countries?

One last thing about the soccer player that went to PSG.

I think Mr Molloy might be a small bit out on the price due to the currency conversion. The €44m is in fact £44m (sterling), so its more like €62m.

Manchester United will loose £15m on the deal and what must seem like an absolute abomination to Mr Molloy, the player himself will earn around €11m a year with PSG.

Mike Burke

Sixmilebridge, Co Clare

Prostitution and slavery

Ian O'Doherty's opinion piece (Irish Independent, August 4) praised Amnesty International's "refreshing libertarian spirit" for considering a proposal for the legalisation of prostitution. It is hardly refreshing that an organisation established to champion the rights of the powerless should consider such a harmful policy.

The US State Department has estimated that 27 million women and children are living in sexual slavery as part of the global prostitution industry. That number is more than double the total of Africans transported to the Americas during the entire period of the North Atlantic slave trade (1525-1866).

A study of 116 nations in 2012 demonstrated clearly that countries with legalised prostitution are associated with higher human traffic in-flows than countries where prostitution is prohibited. This effect is markedly increased for democratic countries with higher average incomes. However, Sweden's 'Nordic Model' of criminalising the purchase of sex (rather than targeting the prostitutes themselves) has resulted in a decline in the number of human trafficking in-flows there.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has included the Nordic Model in the proposed Criminal Law Sexual Offences Bill. It is ironic, while our government is acting to reduce the scourge of human trafficking, that Amnesty International should be considering calling for an approach that would serve to increase the numbers of people being trafficked.

Nick Park

Evangelical Alliance Ireland, Dublin 1

Mugabe trumps Cecil killer

While one regrets the pointless killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, perhaps news outlets would better utilise their resources by focusing on the true national tragedy of Zimbabwe, the continuing stranglehold on the country by President Robert Mugabe.

Daniel Griffin

Dunboyne, Co Meath

Thank you, Special Olympians

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa died on June 29, 1915 in New York and was buried on August 1 in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, where Pádraig Pearse gave the famous oration.

One hundred years later, he was remembered with pomp and pageantry and the oration was again delivered. Many people attended, including President Michael D Higgins

Last Tuesday, some real live heroes arrived at Dublin Airport after competing against all the odds and winning a sackful of medals from gold to silver to bronze. No congratulations can be loud or high enough for these wonderful Special Olympics athletes. Anyone who took part deserves more than a medal - you lifted the spirits of a people who have endured misery and bad news for the past few years.

With that in mind, I was surprised at the president's non-attendance at the athletes' homecoming.

Paddy Kavanagh titled one of his poems Thank You, Thank You. I want to simply add my thanks to a group of wonderful people, to their parents and their mentors.

Fred Molloy

Glenville, Dublin 15

Hell's bells and atheists

Thanks to Gary J Byrne (Letters, July 30) for clarifying the real intentions of those campaigning against the Angelus bells. The proposed bell vandalism is an act of cultural nihilism. I am puzzled, though, given that many of the objectors are atheists, that "hell's bells" are on their hit list. Do atheists believe in hell (and presumably its opposite, heaven)?

Eric Conway

Navan, Co Meath

Problem of policing cyclists

When the Transport Minister introduced laws for cyclists breaking red lights etc, I wonder did he give any thought to how they are going to be enforced - short of having a garda standing at every traffic light?

Perhaps a solution would be to register all cyclists, so that before a bicycle can be used on a public road it must have a number plate so it can be traced.

We already have too many laws and not enough enforcement.

Noel Skinner

Santry, Dublin 9

Enda's batteries run and run

I read with some bemusement that our Taoiseach may be harbouring notions of hanging on for another few terms in office.

Fair play to him too. After all, when you have a good man at the top, you'd be daft to change the winning formula.

Never mind that his party has taken a buffeting in the opinion polls. These, as sage politicians will tell you, are merely a snapshot.

No, if Enda wants to run and run, just like the Duracel bunny, I say good on you man.

Though I do suggest that he consults the electorate first.

Ed Toal

Galway City

Irish Independent

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