Monday 26 September 2016

Letters: Noonan's 'snide' remarks

Published 10/05/2015 | 02:30

Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan

Sir - Michael Noonan is a dab hand at the snide remark, which teachers of a bygone day used to great effect when putting down the undeserving of any praise.

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I remember the tone of voice he uses very well, and was never more shocked at this man's attitude than when he verbally openly attacked a dying woman, Bridget McCole.

She was suffering from hepatitis C when his then government declared war on her claims for proper recognition by his Health Department.

He did this in the parliament of the people, in Dail Eireann. She was dead within weeks. I heard him shouting about her in a most shameful way on RTE's Oireachtas Report.

Never forgot it - never will.

Mr Noonan now decides, in the same smirky voice, that some people "are allergic to work". He thinks this is clever stuff, but I can assure him that there are many folk, like me, who became allergic to Mr Noonan on the day he decided to act so cowardly towards Bridget McCole.

And he lives off the State, just like those he call shirkers.

Robert Sullivan,

Bantry, Co Cork

Think about the non-believers

Sir - I just can't envisage a president, comfortably clad in jeans and sneakers, greeting a new ambassador or sitting down with the Council of State to discuss the chances of an Act awaiting her or his signature being unconstitutional.

The Council are elderly because they are mature and usually the wiser for it; that's what we need from a president.

Whatever about changing the Constitution to give youth its head, I am truly puzzled as to why the Government did not allow us to include an affirmation - a secular oath - to accompany the Godly one that our presidents and judges must take at present.

It's puzzling because it's not that they did not know of it; the UN Human Rights Committee has repeatedly pressed them to make this change.

At least this would allow mature folk and young folk who were not believers but persons of integrity to take up the office. The Census of 2011 showed nearly 100,000 persons between 18 and 34 as having ticked the 'no religion' box. We can only have pious judges now; it would be refreshing to have a few openly sceptical ones.

John Colgan,

Leixlip. Co Kildare

Sunday Independent

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