Friday 21 October 2016

Hypocrisy and learning 100-year-old lessons on on war

Published 06/08/2014 | 02:30

Crosses are seen at the cemetery outside the WWI Douaumont ossuary near Verdun, northeastern France. Reuters
Crosses are seen at the cemetery outside the WWI Douaumont ossuary near Verdun, northeastern France. Reuters

The band played Waltzing Matilda, and I'm sure there will be many more poignant pieces of music played with moments of silence observed in remembrance of the men women and children who died.

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Some gave their lives fighting for what they thought was right, while the others were casualties of this senseless battle.

This all may have happened 100 years ago, so are we any the better off as a result of it?

While it is right and proper to remember the dead there is somehow a sense of hypocrisy felt when we watch the various dignitaries bow their heads in memory of those who gave their lives in this game called war.

While at the same time they stand silently day by day witnessing the butchery between Israel and Palestine.

Will all those who have fallen in this terrible conflict will they also be remembered in 100 years time?

If so, I'm sure it will bring a lot of comfort to those who have lost loved ones in this war of hatred.

The world we now live in is governed by money. Humans do not count anymore. The world's leaders are mere puppets who dance to the tune of the power lords of finance.

Yes, indeed, let us bow our heads today while the butchery continues between two neighbouring countries, while the silence throughout the rest of the world is deafening.

Fred Molloy


Dublin 15

Recalling Irish soldiers

Lest we forget, many Irishmen who were working in England at the outbreak of World War I enlisted in English regiments there.

One such was Thomas Kedian of Moneymore, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, my grand-uncle. He was a lance corporal with the Lancashire Fusiliers and was killed at the Somme on 7 July, 1916. His body was never recovered and is commemorated on the Ulster Tower at Thiepval.

Anthony J Jordan


Dublin 4

The hottest parts of hell

The words of Dante come to mind when I think of Enda Kenny and Charlie Flanagan's decision to abstain on a vote establishing a commission of inquiry into 'Operation Protective Edge' at the UN Human Rights Council and I quote: "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality."

John McDonagh


Co Mayo

Self-defence in Gaza

I read David Quinn's piece on the rise of anti-semitism sentiment in Europe, although I would say it's more like almost world-wide.

With the strongest condemnation of the anti-semitism, I am disgusted that you blame it on defenceless people of Gaza and Hamas.

You, without any shame, give absolute right of defence to Israel without any consideration of innocent lives.

Are you calling the shelling of UN schools self-defence?

Are you calling bombing of hospitals self-defence? Are you calling the shooting of children playing on the beach self-defence?

Are you calling the genocide carried out by second-largest army in the occupied land self-defence?

All the above are, in any book, war crimes. On the other hand, you might need lessons in English or humanity.

When you lock 1.8 million people into one area, how can you distinguish between military and civilian zones?

You have no idea how it is living in those conditions and - although Israel uses the rockets as an excuse for the killing of close to 2,000 people, of whom 30pc are children, in the last three weeks - it is shameful that you use your Israeli media as your reference. Shame on you.

Mahmoud Zahedi

Trauma and my tooth

Getting my tooth out recently was a piece of cake. It was with some trepidation I approached the dentist's surgery, as it was the first time in over a quarter of a century that I had undergone this procedure.

Initially, the dentist put me at my ease by engaging in some light-hearted banter. He explained the procedure to me by saying I would hear certain sounds much louder than I would expect, as well as informing me that if there were problems he would have to carry out a different procedure.

He did all of this in a calm and confident voice. He talked to me throughout the procedure and, while the whole operation took around a half an hour, my tooth was out before I realised it.

A couple of follow-up phone calls in the days after the operation put my mind at ease regarding the dangers of getting a "dry socket," a particularly painful condition that affects a small minority of people who get teeth out. Thankfully, that never happened to me.

The whole procedure put me thinking of how adversity affects us in our lives. Many of us experience trauma and often the trauma isn't even acknowledged by the person themselves or those around them. The person is left to just get on with things. All of this just adds to the original trauma.

Getting a tooth out is traumatic. The dentist informed me that it is the only such operation where the person remains completely conscious throughout.

Appropriate attention during the procedure and follow-up after-care promoted healing both physically and mentally.

Now I'll have to cut down on the cake to ensure I don't have to go through this again!

Tommy Roddy


Ivan Yates and loyalty

Ivan Yates in a previous role as a Fine Gael TD talked about loyalty when there was a heave against his then leader John Bruton.

He thought it was disloyal that four members of the frontbench - Jim Higgins, Jim O'Keeffe, Alan Shatter and Charles Flanagan - would try and oust his leader. As things turned out - thanks to Michael Ring, Mayo West, and Eric Byrne, Dublin South Central (winning seats in by-elections), - Mr Bruton did become Taoiseach and Mr Yates' loyalty was repaid by being appointed Minister for Agriculture.

When, out of choice, Mr Yates left the political stage in 2002, he departed after 21 years of Dail service with a ministerial pension and a Dail deputy's pension payable at a certain time.

It might not be any harm if Ivan Yates in his writing showed a little bit of loyalty to this party that saw him elected a county counsellor at 19 and a TD at 21 and a senior government minister at 34.

I don't know anybody in the public sector that acquired incremental payment at such a youthful age and retired at such a young age and then acquired more work.

So Ivan, show a bit more loyalty to the party that gave you such great opportunities at a young age and spare a thought for the poor struggling public sector workers like teachers, gardai and the nurses who the country can't be run without.

Thomas Garvey


Co Mayo

Unique advice

Just recently I read two brilliant quotes which I would like to share with your readers. "Each of us is unique, we all have something that only we can offer the people in our lives and even the world at large."

"Be yourself - everyone else is already taken."

Brian Mc Devitt

Co Donegal

Irish Independent

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