Outgoing Government salvaged an economic train wreck
Published 18/02/2016 | 02:30
I was working in Nigeria in 2010 and 2011.
There was a large expatriate group from many countries around the world. Sky News was the most popular channel on TVs in the accommodation areas and it was almost totally dominated by reports on the Irish economic situation.
Every day, my Irish colleagues and I were being offered sympathy by colleagues from other countries. They were fascinated by the Irish collapse - in same manner that we were by the Greek situation in more recent times.
When we got back to Ireland, we were bombarded with media commentary from the economic Cassandras who all seemed to agree that it would take us two or three electoral cycles or even two or three generations to make any sort of economic recovery.
Now, thanks in no small measure to the leadership and sound economic management of the outgoing Government, the economic climate is totally transformed.
In the lead up to the General Election we are, quite rightly, debating how the fruits of economic recovery may best be used to benefit the maximum number of people.
Housing and health are certainly major issues confronting the country, but Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin's continual questioning as to why the outgoing Government hasn't solved them in the past five years is surely easily answered - they were salvaging the economic train wreck left by Mr Martin and his colleagues.
The economy is now moving into a recovery phase, which has confounded the prophets of doom and won the admiration of political and business leaders around the world.
When I look out my front window I see every day the work being carried out by Siro installing fast broadband infrastructure for Carrigaline.
I see the thriving factories of four major multinational companies and the construction work on the new waste water treatment plant, which will put an end to the discharge of raw sewage from 50,000 houses into Cork Harbour.
I don't suppose this utterly transformed economic situation is being featured much on Sky News in Nigeria but I do think we should recognise it and celebrate it here and do everything we can to ensure it continues.
The first step must surely be to return this Government on February 26.
Carrigaline, Co Cork
SF's attitude to judiciary
We are in the middle of the General Election in the Republic and as someone who lost my dear sister and indeed family life as it was during the Troubles, I find Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin's attitude towards the judiciary an insult.
They question the judiciary's integrity when they sit on the bench in the Special Criminal Court, a difficult job that could put their own lives at risk.
I know this only too well because, in 1984, the IRA attempted to murder my father and mother in Belfast because my dad was a member of the judiciary - and they succeeded in taking my sister Mary's life.
They murdered members of the judiciary as they left Mass, dropped children to school, answered their front door and drove their car home from holiday.
Sinn Féin supported these murders and cited as justification the Diplock court system, so their attitude towards the Special Criminal Court is disgusting. It's needed because of the thugs in the IRA, which is still in existence today.
I hope the electorate open their eyes and remember the controlling and manipulative nature of Sinn Féin when they go to vote.
Address with Editor
Praise for hospital's staff
A perfunctory glance at your coverage of the Hiqa findings on the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) by your Health Correspondent, Eilish O'Regan (Irish Independent, February 16) could discourage any mothers to be from setting foot in that hospital.
As a father of four and grandfather of six, all of whom were born in the NMH, I can say, unequivocally, that it was the happiest experience of our lives. This was due solely to the extraordinary dedication, attention and professional care that we experienced in the NMH.
By highlighting all of the negative findings by Hiqa with no reference whatsoever to perinatal outcomes, which, incidentally, are comparable to the best in Europe, Ms O'Regan, is, inadvertently, casting a shadow over the clinical competence of the staff.
This must be very demoralising for all concerned. NMH staff should be receiving awards for producing world-class outcomes working in third-world conditions.
After all, a happy, healthy baby is all that matters!
Raheny, Dublin 5
Electorate won't be fooled
I have been closely observing the 'phoney war' election campaign, and then, since the election has been called, the real campaign. In January, I spent a week in Ireland, which confirmed my observations.
Labour and Fine Gael appear to have learnt nothing whatsoever from the phoney war campaign, which is why they are heading in the direction they are.
My advice to the incoming government, whatever its make-up might be, is to be aware of the sleeping giant you have awoken in the people of Ireland.
The electorate has discovered its power, and they will not be fooled, nor will they accept lies, damn lies and statistics any more.
The time has come for all Irish political parties to begin a period of deep introspection.
Ceding our sovereignty to EU
As the parties fight for our votes, I have to ask: Who will fight for the return of control over Ireland's territorial fishing waters?
And why do we cede more and more of our hard-won sovereignty to the oppressive European Union?
And why do our main political parties ignore the will of the people and insist on re-running referendums when they do not get the answer they are seeking? I refer, of course, to Nice and Lisbon - two of the most blatant examples of anti-democracy, where fear was the weapon the Government deployed against the nation.