Let's give new Government a chance - it won't be easy for them
Published 14/05/2016 | 02:30
At last we have a government - though personally I did not have any problem with the delay, if we needed the time to get to the solution we have now reached. I wish this Government every success over the next five (or even three) years. Let us all be patient and understanding as they go about their duties. I would ask the following people in particular to fulfil the following functions.
Alan Kelly: Much as you want to be the future leader of the Labour Party, don't destroy the good work of the last government just to score points now. That's not leadership in my opinion.
Shane Ross: After 35 years, you have a Cabinet seat, so now you have got to put into practice what you have lectured us over the years through TV, radio and newspapers. It will not be as easy as it seemed.
Finally, Finian Mc Grath: Firstly, congratulations on your promotion. Do not make the non-payment of your water charges an issue so you have to resign. You have a chance to do so much good work in the area of disability. Don't lose this opportunity, parents all over Ireland with special needs children/adults must have celebrated your appointment knowing your own experience and knowledge in this area. And, I intend to continue to pay my water charges as long as it's law.
Donough O' Reilly
Kilmacud, Co Dublin
Nothing 'unjust' about Eurovision
While it is understandable that we wanted to be supportive of the efforts of Nicky Byrne in the Eurovision, it is risible to suggest that there was an "injustice" done on Thursday. Nicky Byrne simply wasn't good enough, and the sooner we admit that, the better.
Ireland has failed consistently over the last 20-odd years, not because of poor continental musical taste, or because "The East bloc all vote for each other", but because our acts have not been good enough. None of our entries in recent times could ever have realistically held a candle to the ones that eventually won out.
If, despite the fact that seven out of the last 10 Eurovisions were won by Western countries, and despite the fact that several of the semi-final entries (such as Ukraine and Australia) were undeniably superior to our own, some still think that there was an injustice done this year, then those people are part of the problem.
Tomás M Creame
Ballinamore, Co Leitrim
Gender balance a two-way street
Your correspondent Mike Geraghty (Letters, Thursday May 14) advises us to "think outside the box" when it comes to gender balance, but then singularly fails to do so himself.
Gender balance is a two-way street, and it's important to recognise that according to CSO statistics there are many areas where the balance does not favour men. Men are overwhelmingly more likely to be victims of homicide, or of a workplace fatality or suicide, or to be unemployed or homeless.
The teaching profession has a bigger gender imbalance than the Dáil, but then our education system fails to turn out an equal number of qualified males.
The only crisis is in government
The news is full of people saying we have a housing crisis. We do not. We have a housing problem but a government crisis, just as we have had in flooding, health, water taxation and the environment.
Some people are saying that the free market cannot handle the housing crisis.
Certainly the free market would now have a serious problem saving us from the ludicrous artificial market that our disorganised governments have created.
Nobody else has brought us to the position where hundreds of people have no roof or food and many are not even able to get into hospital this year. And, I might add, the situation would be far worse except for various charities.
Tinahely, Co Wicklow
Sabina Higgins controversy
David Quinn is right (Irish Independent, May 13) that Sabina Higgins has politicised the Office of the President by dragging it into the divisive public controversy on abortion. Of course she is not a private citizen when she speaks as the wife of the President, when there is all the usual protocol and security attaching to her attendance at public events.
The evidence of her status was clear from the statement issued by the Áras an Uachtaráin press office to Newstalk radio station on May 11 clarifying her participation in the student midwives' event.
The President's Office has more protocol attached to it than any other public office in Ireland. That protocol is not, nor does it need to be, grounded in constitutional law. Rather it is grounded in custom, convention and protocol that are respected. These, along with the constitutional limitations on the President's role, are what give the office its prestige and keep it outside political controversy. Mrs Higgins is pushing the independence of the office beyond the limits with her personal view, with which an awful lot of citizens do not agree.
Quinn is right in suggesting that this behaviour will have major implications for future presidential election campaigns. Did we not learn anything from the last campaign? Do we want the presidency to be in constant controversy? Will the views of candidates' spouses have to be scrutinised in future campaigns?
The remarks on abortion made by the President's wife's, Sabina, are very sad. A study of the suitability of the term 'fatal foetal abnormality' was dealt with in the 'British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology' in 2012. A list of 26 distinct disorders commonly termed 'fatal' resulted in conclusions that "none of the malformations commonly described as being lethal are in fact lethal in the strict sense".
Prolonged survival has been described in all of the conditions listed.
The damning conclusion of the study is that apart from cases of misdiagnosis, such terminology is often used to make it easier for women to come to terms with the termination of pregnancy and, shockingly, where "practitioners are aware that death is not inevitable but believe that the survivors will not have a life worth living".
In other words, a condition is referred to as 'fatal foetal abnormality' to make abortion more palatable to parents who find themselves in this heart-breaking situation. Ireland entered into an international agreement in 1992, when the United Nations Convention on the rights of a child was ratified.
The preamble states, among other things, that the "child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth."
Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin