Saturday 22 October 2016

Letters: Home loss crisis is an insult to men of 1926

Published 06/07/2014 | 02:30

Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan
Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan

Madam - I wish to refer to 
Carol Hunt (Sunday Independent, June 22, 2014) and her concern for the approx. 10,000 families who are struggling with anxiety and hopelessness and the fear of banks taking over their homes - also her reference to the two Irelands, one for the wealthy and one for the poor.

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Quite recently the 
Minister for Arts, Culture and The Gaelteacht Jimmy Deenihan told the Dail he is very pleased with the €22m 
allocation of funding in preparation for the Centenary of Celebrations for the 1916 rising.

We all cherish the memory of these great men, we will honour and remember them in our own special way. However, the activity of our government is an insult to them - Pearse, Connolly, Clarke and all the great men who gave their lives for freedom.

Betterment and equality for every man, woman and child on this island was their aim, but they would turn in their graves today at the wastage of money, mismanagement and total disregard for our citizens in the Ireland of today.

I will finish my letter with an excerpt from the late Donal Walsh's book - Donal's Mountain - the following are the words of wisdom from this 16 year old boy.

"It really does make me ashamed of my Government when they can get wages of hundreds of thousands of euro and yet one of the most important children's wards in Ireland in Our Lady's Hospital Crumlin, Dublin had to rely on charitable donations to buy a bucket of paint and a brush."

Philomena Fitzgerald,

Tralee, Co Kerry


O’Reilly plight a real eye-opener

Madam — In the course of my working life I had the good luck of meeting Tony O’Reilly once in the 1960’s. It was after he hit the headlines in the ‘Kerry Gold’ launch and before he took up a top sales position with Heinz USA. In stature, attire and general demeanour he projected burning ambition. He was a man for the ‘high road’ whose progress I followed with zest down through the years as if he were an icon. I even gambled a few ‘bob’ on shares in his companies.

Yes, Sir Anthony O’Reilly was a powerful man and a successful one in every sense of the word — in sport, business and entrepreneurship. In fact he was well up in the Forbes magazine list of top business people in the world, having headed the giant Heinz food conglomerate in America and multiplied its profits many times over — becoming one of Ireland’s elite fistful of billionaires in the process.

His success in expanding INM newspaper-empire — the golden cow that yielded him millions, his interest in Providence Oil, and the development of his ‘pet home’ 750 acre — Castlemartin Estate —were phenomenal achievements. Not to mention his desperate efforts for Waterford Wedgwood, unfortunately, pouring in hundreds of millions of good money after bad, while ignoring the red light.

Despite the stories we read of Sir Anthony’s wealth, the pressures put on him by nine top banks to sell off the treasured assets he yearned and worked for so hard, was indeed very sad and stressful. Great credit for the dignified manner in which he is dealing with this dark hour; unlike other wealthy developers and bankers who fled the scene leaving creditors to lick the dust.  O’Reilly’s prospect of a soft landing, with heiress — Lady Chryss —better than most. Nevertheless, his rapid turn in fortunes is an eye-opener to all.

James Gleeson,

Thurles, Co Tipperary


Experts should consult patients

Madam — There is much talk on suicide prevention today. This is indeed a very serious and pertinent topic. I believe there is a resource that is not being tapped into. I’m talking about “experts by experience.” Let me elaborate.

Many years ago I availed of the psychiatric services because of severe depression with suicidal thoughts. I was given a diagnosis of manic depression and told I would have to take lithium for the rest of my life, otherwise I would be at the mercy of my violent mood swings.

Around three years ago I began to speak publicly on how I overcame this diagnosis and live a fulfilling life,  medication free.

You would think that psychiatrists and experts in the field of suicide prevention would have been beating down my door wanting to know the secret of my recovery or at least wish to consult with me. Not one so called “expert” has contacted me in the last few years.

Unfortunately with people who take their lives, we will

never know the mental anguish that drove them to take this tragic step. However there is a wealth of people like myself who have been driven to the edge, “experts by experience” that isn’t being tapped into.

I challenge anyone in the field of suicide prevention to consult with real people; people who either attempted suicide or who were driven to the edge as opposed to consulting with “experts” who may be highly qualified with many letters after their names. Otherwise they are just extolling platitudes in my view, a means of exorcising their own wafer thin beliefs.

On Friday I celebrated 21 years medication free. On July 17 I celebrate half a century on the planet. No small achievement considering that when in my late teens I never thought I would make age 21.

Surely I have a voice that is worth listening to.

Tommy Roddy

Salthill, Galway


O’Carroll expert at being female

Madam — Eilis O Hanlon (Sunday Independent, June 29, 2014) suggests the Joe Duffy’s question, to Brendan O Carroll, Do they know it’s a woman?, was


Given ‘ Carroll’s genius for playing the part of a woman, it was a very sensible question.

Mattie Lennon,

Blessington, Co Wicklow


Kathleen bites Suarez!

Madam — Do you know I was sure the day of ‘Man eats Man’ and ‘Dog eats Dog’ had arrived, but I’m glad to read that Luis

Suarez didn’t mean to bite

Giorgio Chilleini and has apologised!! World’s gone mad enough, God knows, but it’s not just the day of ‘Malachi

prophecy’ yet. In the Winter of Life, I still learn.

I was 90-years-old on June 30 and for 14 years never missed a week without writing to Sindo letters page! You are my ‘life’ and when I’m in your letters page it makes my day! You’ll never know the light you put in ‘My reason for going on’!

Kathleen Corrigan,

Cootehill, Co Cavan

Letters Editor: Happy birthday Kathleen


Rejoice at access to Lissadell

Madam — It was good to read a story with a happy ending. An interview by Ciara Dwyer (Living Section Sunday Independent, June 29, 2014), entitled Constance The Great. Lissadell House had been closed for five years. Because of a legal battle over a right of way. With Sligo County Council. It’s great Lissadell House is now open to the public. Constance Cassidy her husband Edward Walsh, and a family of seven, said the future began last week when Lissadell re-opened.

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny did the honours. One sad note: Sligo County Council faces a massive legal bill.

Many people came to the re-opening wishing them well. And rejoicing in their return. Welcome back to Lissadell. Constance said “the past is the past”. Lets look to the future. So say all of us.

Bernard Rafter,

Berkshire, England


How was World Cup for you?

Madam — What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful World Cup, what a spectacle! And a lot more to come. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. The beautiful game at its best. Bill and the boys doing their best. What will we do when it’s over?  Have wonderful memories I suppose. Wonderful.

Brian McDevitt,

Glenties, Co Donegal


Advertise for public job posts

Madam — I feel it is outrageous that the Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte appointed two former political public representatives to the board of Bord Na Mona. In fact it is outrageous in my opinion to know that these individuals would have received severance pay following their rejection by Joe public.

Moreover, it proved beyond all doubt that cronyism is also alive and kicking within the realms of this government.

Isn’t it time the country rid

itself of this nod and wink brigade and the way they do business? I believe the answer is yes and I would make no apology for saying so either.

Of course, one of the problems is there isn’t any advertisements for these positions and without competition from the members of the public.

Personally I feel radical changes are urgently needed so that members of the public have an opportunity in applying for any vacancy positions on semi-state boards.

I would like to see such  appointments challenged and a rigorous enforcement of the Equal Opportunities Act being applied. Because up until now, political appointments are at the centre of a lot of controversy, just look at the recent scandals in our charity organisations.

We live in a country where political accountability for their actions is non-existent. Therefore, the ordinary working people of this country will never have a proper opportunity on an equal basis. 

Mattie Greville,


Co Westmeath


Plenty to look forward to

Madam — Let us all look to the future and see what we have to look forward to.

There’s the upcoming re-shuffle, lots of fun and games to be had there in Leinster House. Meanwhile rumours are rife that the free water for children will no longer be free. Funding is also to be removed  from the following, Irish Deaf Association, Alzheimer’s  Association and the Carers  Association.

Also announced is that three vital ex-members of CRC are unable to appear before the PAC. The economy, that’s all we’ve been hearing about. Well at last there is light at the end of the tunnel, haven’t you heard the news, it’s fantastic?

The Banking Inquiry is soon to begin, where the truth will be told by everyone and by so doing, will we (the unfortunates who for the past number of years have

bailed out Europe, the banks and others best left un-named) be assured that when this enquiry is over we will all be refunded every penny that we were levied?

Yes we’ll get back every single penny — and if you believe that why not start writing your letter to Santa today?

Ah yes my friends, lots to look forward to, so don’t be too down hearted.

Fred Molloy,

Clonsilla, Dublin 15


Honest debate on finances needed

Madam — As someone who represents one of the wealthiest parts of our country, along with the poorest, I understand the fears about uncontrolled Local Property Taxes. I also however, understand the critical need to raise taxes in order to counter that co-existing poverty. It has been extraordinary therefore, that we have had a debate on the Local Property Tax in the absence of virtually any contribution from those who actually work within the local government sector and try to make a dysfunctional system work.

Instead there have been myriad opinion pieces from academics, ill-informed commentators, vested interests and frequently the oppositionists from the Far Left who have opposed every single suggestion as to how we should finance our system fairly and with democratic accountability. Stephen Donnelly (Sunday Independent, June 29, 2014) simply continued that trend.

Too often the voice of the Constructive Left has been sidelined and the platform left to the opportunists. Across the world Socialists and Social Democrats advocate payment into a collective fund, toward the provision of collective services. All across the world, that is, except for the Trendy Left and Nationalist Left in Ireland.

Here they simply oppose, campaign and seek to instil fear and selfish individualism. I oppose their agenda just as much as I oppose those who broke this country and brought Ireland to its knees.

No Public representative particularly wants to advocate more tax. However, surely this country has had enough of those who promise without cost and who offer public services without any reference to payment or appropriate taxation.

The truth is that since the populist and cowardly abolition of Domestic Rates, Local Government has been starved of funding. The promise to reimburse councils for the rates foregone has never been honoured by Government. Since that decision, approximately €4bn has been withheld from Dublin City Council alone. That cannot be sustained.

In addition Dublin City Council effectively subsidises Ireland by a subsequent decision by a Garret FitzGerald led Government to withhold commercial rates payment on Government properties – last year alone that cost Dublin City Council approximately €30m.

We have just had Local Elections without any meaningful reform can we at least now have an honest debate on Local Government Financing? I have proposed before that a Forum on the Financing of Local Government be established. It would be comprised of the main Political Parties, the Social Partners and the Association of Irish Local Government. There would be an opportunity to contribute for the wider public and it would be given six months to report. The Forum could consider either a national and common approach to the funding issue or, as I would prefer, a range of options that could be determined, as appropriate by local elected Councils.

Dermot Lacey

Donnybrook, Dublin 4


Motor rally fears have disappeared

Madam — I don’t think Motor Rallying is helpful for road rafety. It is very disrespectful of the countryside and tears up the verges, once the abode of daisies, primroses and Wordsworth’s Daffodils. The cars are very similar to the models in the showroom, only that they look like they have been pimped in hell. It’s a template for every Turbo-charged crack head on the road, whose Fiesta only reaches its max in a vertical descent. Rallying is very dangerous for the participants, the plus side of this is, the fewer there are of them, the safer it is for the rest of us.

I have to admit being over sensitised to road safety. The carefree attitude I once had has disappeared. I got entangled with an American company that overcooked the danger bit so much that I was almost afraid to open my front door. A relative, Boomerang Bill, helped me deal with my problem; we named him Boomerang because he returned from Australia.

I have lost all fear now, and would even chance parking the car in Dun Laoghaire, despite the dangers of the parking ticket blight.

John Arthur,

Balally Close, Dublin 16


Cyclists should be insured

Madam - Today it would seem that we are having more and more bicycles on our roads. People are using bicycles for recreation and as a means of getting fit which, of course, is a very good thing.

Cycling clubs are out in strength, they travel in packs for considerable distances in all weathers. All of this, of course, is very good indeed except for one thing; the roads have never been a more dangerous place.

Many roads are too narrow for cyclists to travel in safety. Something must be done to make this much safer. Either the roads must be widened or cyclists confined to wider roads where they can travel in safety.

As a road user, the cyclist should pay a road tax like the rest of us for using the roads and should definitely have insurance. A cycling test should be organised for cyclists so that they can learn to travel in safety.

Road should be made much safer, it is ridiculous to think that speed detection vehicles should be confined to limited roads and even more so that there positions can be found on computers and other devices.

Until much more is done to improve Road Safety the number of deaths and injuries on our roads will continue to 

Michael O'Meara,

Killarney, Co Kerry

Sunday Independent

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