Monday 24 October 2016

Letters: 'Only ten days to go'

Published 09/08/2015 | 02:30

'In a slight break in the rain we headed to the beach but then the rain started again and the wind blew our only ball off towards America'
'In a slight break in the rain we headed to the beach but then the rain started again and the wind blew our only ball off towards America'

Sir - Myself, my wife and three children are holidaying in a mobile home in the west of Ireland.

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The day normally starts with a bit of heavy rain banging on the tin roof and this continues until around midnight.

We take out the ould snakes and ladders and play a marathon game.

Yesterday I tried to drive to the local village for milk but me wipers wouldn't work. I walked the six miles and found that the local mechanic was gone to Lanzarotte.

By the time I walked back I realised I had forgotten the milk. So I walked back again.

After a hearty breakfast we had another few hours of snakes and ladders.

In a slight break in the rain we headed to the beach but then the rain started again and the wind blew our only ball off towards America.

During a break in the rain last night I lit up the ould barbeque; didn't a gust of wind lift it and it came flying in the window. We fashioned an improvised window out of cling film and Sellotape.

Today looks less promising and I think we lost the dice for the snakes and ladders.

Ah sure, we have one colouring book left between the five of us.

Only ten days to go.

Xavier McCullough, Castletroy, Limerick

Gene questioned on Irish Water

Sir - As I write, the Sunday Independent remains my favourite weekend newspaper and Irish water remains my favourite drink.

Mind you I do pay a little more per week for my Sunday paper than I do for my weekly water service. Still I do consider both to be good value for money and encourage everyone to enjoy both.

Now neither are perfect - after all there is the weekly "re-elect Shane Ross" page in all its "selfie" shamelessness and in fact, I am still patiently waiting for my water meter to be fitted.

At 70 years of age, it's an evens bet as to what will be put into the ground first - me or my water meter.

I have paid my water charges to date and will continue to do so. Gene Kerrigan's declaration (Sunday Independent, 2 August) that the Eurostat ruling "tore apart the whole Irish Water project" seems to me to be just plain wishful thinking on his behalf and is as haughty as his use of the royal "we" when he dismisses and seeks to write out of the equation the near three quarters of a million households that have paid their water bills.

At this moment there is unfortunately no strong countrywide consensus on how this key water resource should be collected, treated and distributed.

In a paper that reliably gives accurate information and enjoys bursting the odd bubble, Gene Kerrigan is blowing new political bubbles and calling such myth- making "left-wing" political analysis.

Irish Water doesn't have any political bubbles Gene. I think I'll enjoy another glass of my favourite drink while I look for consensus building in my favourite newspaper.

Brian Brennan, Dublin 8

Carrick/Magaluf article was fair

Sir - Regarding the 'Magaluf' article on Carrick-on-Shannon, and the letters that followed (Sunday Independent, 2 August).

I have lived in Carrick-on-Shannon for four years and I think that the columnist wrote a very fair and balanced account of life here on a Saturday night.

Carrick has lots to do and is a lovely place to live and go out in, except on Saturday nights.

Carrick has indeed become a hotspot for hen and stag parties, which are very beneficial to the local economy. Most of the visitors come for a good fun weekend and do not cause any problems, but a minority of people adversely affect everyone else, causing mayhem which cannot be absorbed in such a small town.

Most weekends we witness parties of already inebriated people wandering around in the afternoon clutching giant blow up penises which is tacky, crass and sadly witnessed by children.

I don't live in the town centre. However lots of locals do - and they suffer noise from nightclubs and pubs into the early hours, as well as having their doorways used as toilets. Carrick is small and everything happens on the main thoroughfare so antisocial behaviour becomes concentrated there.

Carrick-on-Shannon is a lovely town, a great place to visit and visitors are very important, economically and socially. I would say to hens and stags, enjoy your visit to Carrick and have a great time but please respect yourselves, our town and the people who live here.

Roma Creamer, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim

Where is our sovereignty?

Sir - In your editorial (Sunday Independent, 2 August) you say: "Of course, having regained our economic sovereignty, the nation simply cannot be as reckless again.".

Month after month our Gross National Debt stands at over two hundred billion with the annual interest at over €10bn. It will be the same next month and on into the future until there is a downturn then it will deteriorate even further.

How on earth do you equate these figures with "economic sovereignty?" The people need to be told the truth - our debt is unsustainable. Then, at least, we will know where we stand.

Joe Brennan, Ballinspittle, Co Cork

Declan should try League of Ireland

Sir - Declan Lynch can't wait for football to return as he wrote in his article on Sunday, August 2.

I would just like to encourage Declan to attend a League of Ireland game over the summer months. He might even enjoy a game if he went to a fixture without his Barclays Premier League obsession.

Mark Keane, Dublin 15

Why no criticism of FF?

Mr. Shane Coleman in his article "How hapless Coalition has capitulated and now stares into watery grave" (Sunday Independent, 2 August) manages to excoriate the present government without once mentioning the mess it inherited.

In fact he criticizes them for blaming FF - but Shane stops short of saying the latter did all the heavy lifting. He might well of course have referred to growth, employment figures, tourism and restoration of reputation at home and abroad, but sure why bother.

Needless to say on the water matter he fails to mention this was something the previous government signed up to with the Troika in 2010.

Brendan Cafferty, Ballina, Co Mayo

Grave ceremony was 'ridiculous'

Sir - To paraphrase Scripture: In the beginning was the lie, the lie was made fact and dwells amongst us.

Surely that can be the only possible explanation for the logic underlying the repeat performance of the soap opera around the grave of O' Donovan Rossa, as painfully described by Ellis O' Hanlon and Philip Ryan (Sunday Independent, 2 August).

The point of Ellis O' Hanlon's alarm "that the education system could soon be in the hands of people who couldn't pass Junior Cert History," is well taken.

To paraphrase another pronouncement, of Biblical proportions in Irish Nationalist/Republican mythology: Ireland unfree of the lie will never be at peace.

A resounding seconder to Ms O' Hanlon's pertinent observation: "It is always someone else who pays the price for fanatics' dreams." Having experienced the poverty, misery and privations of an Irish childhood and seen and observed the depredations of Irish Nationalism/Republicanism on the lives of the exiles in Britain, over the past sixty plus years, one has no doubt as to the veracity of the latter.

William Barrett, Surrey, UK

Will anyone take up Dr Hickey?

Sir - The disgraceful treatment of eminent surgeon Dr David Hickey (Sunday Independent, 2 August) is a black stain, not only on the HSE mandarins but also on the stewardship of Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health.

That someone of David Hickey's experience and expertise can be treated so disrespectfully, is an indictment of the Health Service and those who run it.

Here is a gentleman who still has so much to offer, and is willing to postpone his retirement in order to ensure his patients receive the quality of treatment that his organ transplant skills can deliver.

I have been involved, in a modest way, in over 250 organ transplants during the last 10 years, as a driver with two well-respected private ambulance companies, so I know how dedicated these Dublin-based transplant teams are and the long journeys they undertake in their organ retrieval work, invariably during the night to places as far flung as Letterkenny and Tralee, in all kinds of weather and at very short notice.

The professionalism and humanity displayed by the coordinators, who deal with the bereaved families of organ donors in a very gentle and sympathetic manner, the excellent skills of surgeons, registrars and nurses is beyond dispute.

Dr Hickey was always the most courteous and good humoured of men, who went about his business in a very professional manner. That he should be cast aside, after so many years of sterling service just because he has reached a certain age, is ridiculous and very short sighted.

Is there no one in the HSE who can take a decision to re-employ Dr Hickey and ensure that his skills, so generously offered, will continue to be available to those patients who so desperately require them?

Eamonn Mc Donnell, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Sunday Independent

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