Tuesday 27 September 2016

Letters - Our hope is just love

Published 05/04/2015 | 02:30

The referendum on gay marriage is set to take place in May
The referendum on gay marriage is set to take place in May

Sir - This September, my long-suffering wife and myself will hopefully celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary.

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Our son has just celebrated the fifth anniversary of his civil partnership to his wonderful Brazilian husband. Both unions are equally and reciprocally enhanced by the other.

As parents, I believe that our hope is that our sons and daughters will find love and end up in a loving, stable and permanent relationship. These relationships are not diminished by being gay. Love is love and it has always been thus.

So let's be brave as an Irish nation known far and wide for our care and humanity.

Allow our gay sons and daughters access to the wonderful institution that is marriage with all its trials and tribulations but with a wealth of so many other good things that only the married among us are party to.

Pat Burke Walsh,

Gorey,

County Wexford

 

Irish know where bread is buttered

 Sir - With reference to the  amusing article by Brendan O'Connor -  "Give us an election ….or else" (Sunday Independent, 29 March), we should have a look at the quality of the party leaders we have now. First, Gerry Adams of  Sinn Fein:  I can do no better than quote  Leo Varadaker's description of him "a self serving phoney." Micheal Martin of Fianna Fail: let's be kind, let's not go there.  Joan Burton, Labour: every inch a professional politician - that poor woman, inherited a disastrous portfolio from her predecessor.  Look at the rest, a bunch of "Lefty" independents without a scintilla of cohesion or economic ability  between them.

I have always voted Fianna Fail but in the last election I went for Fine Gael, partly to teach Fianna Fail a lesson, and I was pleasantly surprised at the way in which they set about rectifying an appalling legacy from Fianna Fail. Enda Kenny has turned out to be the one man on the island that that term statesman fits. Now the one great danger that Ireland faces is if Sinn Fein got into power. But the Irish are no fools and at the end of the day they know where their bread is buttered.

Dan Mulcahy,

Cork City

 

FF must take their heads out of sand

Sir- With a General Election a distinct possibility in 2015, Eamon O Cuiv's warning that Fianna Fail is in danger of becoming a "small niche party" due to its poor popularity polls can best be described as being economical with the truth. The Fianna Fail spin doctors have to take their heads out of the sand and realise that their party's part in the 2008 recession will never be forgotten among the mid fifty year olds who lost their jobs and were forced into early retirement through no fault of their own. Fianna Fail, your time has come to an end.

Michael Browne,

Wicklow

Greeks must share the blame

Sir- Robert Sullivan tells us that "the noble Greeks" should not be criticised for the fact that they have problems with austerity

(Sunday Independent, 29 March). He ignores the fact that Greek austerity is the result of decisions made by the most powerful of these noble Greeks over many years.

Most EU countries did not suffer bankruptcy at the hands of their own most powerful citizens and then proceed to blame everyone else.

A. Leavy,

Sutton,

Dublin 13

Pensioners feel hard done by

Last Sunday, the president of SIPTU, Jack O'Connor, defended his union's role in the pension situation at Dublin Airport Authority and Aer Lingus in response to an article by Shane Ross the previous week (Sunday Independent, 22 March).

It is disappointing he chose to parrot the rhetoric of the employers and the Trustee rather than defend his erstwhile members. There is nothing equal about the settlement of the IASS restructuring.

The companies and Trustee were fortunate to have legislators willing to amend legislation to remove deferred pensioners' rights previously enshrined in law and in the rules of the Scheme. This facilitates a claim that active and deferred members suffered equal cuts of 20 per cent, but ignores the fact that deferred members took two additional cuts, so losing 40 - 60 per cent of entitlements.

A typical pension for our members went from €26,000 to just about €13,000, and a spouse will get about €6,500 in the event of the death of a member.

Further inequality was created by dividing a compensatory lump sum in a ratio of 78 to 22 in favour of active members. All this was at a time when senior union officials sat on the boards of both DAA and Aer Lingus. Mr. O'Connor would have been better served appealing to politicians to restore to former members their rightful pensions.

Vincent Lynch,

Deferred IASS Pensioners Action Group

 

I'll celebrate 1916 - with all it's faults

Sir - It was sad to read that John Waters will choose not to celebrate the centenary of the Rising next year particularly as he, as I do, regards 1916 as the pivotal moment in the whole of Irish history of which there has been a lot.

I am sure that the official celebrations will be boring but that does not mean individuals cannot remember "our patriot dead" in some reflective way and thank them for creating our country.

Perhaps John's view of Ireland today is based on familiarity. Up until 1976 I spent a lot of time in Ireland and just as John fondly recalls his parents' Ireland, I too remember the Ireland of a decade and a half before then. My grandparents were linked directly with 1916 and the period that led up to it.

Since 2003 I have been home several times a year and I can still find that Ireland if I look for it. It is not to be found amongst, to quote John, " gougers in track suits arsing around Dublin," but in the country.

I am proud to be Irish and I love my country in a way that is neither hollow nor sentimental and I shall be in Dublin next Easter to celebrate and commemorate in my own way.

Sean Barrow,

Newtown High Peak,

UK

Time for Sinn Fein to apologise

Sir - I am neither pro nor anti Sinn Fein. I support some of the party's policies and would be apprehensive about others. I could say the same about all the other political parties. But I can't bring myself to vote Sinn Fein for as long it stands over the almost three decades of murder and destruction in Northern Ireland that is still held in so-called republican circles to have constituted a "just war." Occasionally I find myself in sympathy with Sinn Fein politicians of a younger generation who had nothing to do the nightmare years. An example was Lynn Boylan MEP who told Vincent Browne that she wasn't even born at the time a particular IRA murder of an alleged "informer" occurred. But isn't it time Sinn Fein formally apologised on behalf of the IRA and republicans in general for three decades of cruel, deliberately planned killing and maiming of people on this island, and the organised intimidation of entire communities that refused to accept the IRA's ethos or legitimacy? No more expressions of regret or statements acknowledging that the IRA made "mistakes" along the way, but a straightforward admission that the entire armed campaign was simply wrong and indefensible, and should never have happened.

This would help heal the grief and trauma of the many people who lost loved ones to the terror campaign and formally sever Sinn Fein's connection with activities and crimes that shame true republicanism.

Patrick Fitzgerald,

Kilkenny

One voter who hasn't gone away

 

Sir - Your contributor John Leahy (Sunday Independent, 22 February) makes a reasonable call for impartial coverage of past and recent events, from Civil War atrocities, to economic mis-management and exorbitant pay outs to senior civil servants.

Like him, I claim no political affiliations, but his final sentence saying that Sinn Fein 'had nothing to do with the crushing and seismic societal abyss that pervades our entire country today" is anything but impartial. In 1989, I joined an ICTU organised train rally from Connolly Station to Dundalk to protest against the campaign of bombing the rail line that was endangering the lives of workers and the travelling public. This was part of an economic strategy that included attacking North/South electricity connectors,. The cost at the time to the Irish exchequer for border protection alone was in the order of £500 million per annum. Those years were marked by high unemployment and mass emigration. The cumulative effect of these destructive economic policies impacted negatively on employment creation and development of services.

Many thousands of Irish people left Ireland during the 1980's and 1990's in search of employment, and are no longer here to have a say in who gets democratically elected into positions of power and responsibility..

I am always grateful at every election to be able to say that I am one of those who hasn't gone away.

Breandán Ó Conchúbhair,
Ceapach Choinn, Co. Phort Láirge

 

Sir - Your contributor John Leahy (Sunday Independent, 22 February) makes a reasonable call for impartial coverage of past and recent events, from Civil War atrocities, to economic mis-management and exorbitant pay outs to senior civil servants.

Like him, I claim no political affiliations either, but his final sentence saying that Sinn Fein 'had nothing to do with the crushing and seismic societal abyss that pervades our entire country today" is anything but impartial. In 1989, I joined an ICTU organised train rally from Connolly Station to Dundalk to protest against the campaign of bombing the rail line that was endangering the lives of workers and the travelling public. This bombing campaign was part of an economic strategy that included attacking North/South electricity connectors, all with the intention of stifling economic development.

The cost at the time to the Irish exchequer for border protection alone was in the order of £500 million per annum. Those years were marked by high unemployment and mass emigration. It all may seem a long time ago, but in my view, the cumulative effect of these destructive economic policies did impact negatively on employment creation and development of services.

Many thousands of Irish people left Ireland during the 1980's and 1990's in search of employment, and are no longer here to have a say in who gets democratically elected into positions of power and responsibility..

I am always grateful at every election to be able to say that I am one of those who hasn't gone away.

Breandán Ó Conchúbhair

- Buaile Uí Cadhla,

Ceapach Choinn,

Co. Phort Láirge.

Sunday Independent

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