Tuesday 25 October 2016

Providing aid to a courageous young woman in distress

Published 20/02/2016 | 02:30

Mayo deputies such as Enda Kenny should help this woman in need. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Mayo deputies such as Enda Kenny should help this woman in need. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A courageous young single woman in Co Mayo wrote an article (Irish Independent, February 18) on what life is like for her and her young son. She lives some 15 minutes away from the Taoiseach, and moved with her son from her family home to be near a college in order to study.

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What really adds to the pressures she is experiencing is how she was refused rent supplement. 

She finds it very difficult to live as a result, which led to her breakdown and depression, for which she travels a good distance to get counselling support to help her through.

She wrote: “I will tell them [canvassing General Election TDs if they call to her home] how I have been juggling single motherhood and my education for the last seven years and how I am now qualified with a CV packed with voluntary work and community involvement... I’ll show them my awards and professional references to prove that I am not the ‘lazy, single mother’ the media paints us as, when discussing welfare.”

What I think could be worth trying again, if she has tried it already, is to contact the Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s constituency office regarding her not qualifying for rent supplement and to ask his team to help. It is deeply unfair that she can’t get the supplement in the circumstances she is currently dealing with.

Fine Gael TDs for Co Mayo need to step up to the plate for this. In Cork, sometimes the City Council has some leeway in helping to pay rent, depending on a person’s circumstances. Mayo County Council may have similar discretion. Everything is worth trying. I would like to tell her not to give up hope. I hope Enda Kenny’s constituency office would help her, if she makes contact.

Perhaps as a last option she might consider moving to Galway, where it might be a little easier for her to access rent supplement and so forth.

Name and address with editor

Moving letter shames TDs

This is my first time writing an email to a newspaper. However, I feel I had to after reading that letter by the anonymous person from Mayo in your paper (Irish Independent, February 18).

I am a professional from the west of Ireland living in the UK, doing OK for myself.

That someone from home is going through this at the moment, and that politicians from the current Government talk about recovery, is disgraceful when people have to endure this hardship.

I wonder where the communication from the local politicians really is – why they can’t reach out to those people who need support and help in life. They have, after all, been given public office for their constituents.

I really hope something changes, that the Irish public vote for change – and I really hope that family get the support that they need and deserve.

Name and address with editor

Fianna Fáil and the deficit

In 2010, Fianna Fáil left our country with an annual deficit of €18.7bn. Here we are now a week from an election and practically none of the electorate are aware of this – try asking someone.

We are in a position where a lot of voters are turning towards smaller parties because they now wrongly blame Fine Gael/Labour for the cuts and measures to reduce this deficit to just €4bn. 

This lack of understanding by the electorate, especially young voters, will result in a costly error in voting that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Simon O’Connor

Co Kerry

South American connection

The four leading Republican candidates for the United States presidency include two Cuban-Americans and one with a Mexican wife. Is it wise for a Latin American Pope to attack the other one?

Dr John Doherty

Operngasse 28/5, Vienna

Bishops can criticise parties

Your article (Irish Independent, February 18) that covered Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s advice to Catholic voters was revealing and perplexing.

The Archbishop adopted a somewhat absurd fence-sitting position with respect to his comment about bishops being unable to direct voters for or against a political party. Where would that moral timidity have served the people of Germany during the rise of the National Socialists?

Indeed the Archbishop is deeply out of step with his own tradition, as can be seen by Pope Pius XI’s searing intervention against a political party in his encyclical ‘Mit Brennender Sorge’. 

David Mullins

Knockmore, Arklow, Co Wicklow

Making the criminals pay

Here we go again. Government promises covering all the big headings – forgetting, of course, the inescapable fact that they have been in power for the last five years and made little impact on big-ticket items such as crime and health. Colour brochures and star-studded presentations are a far cry from the common sense approach the public is crying out for. The public look on in disbelief as the equivalent of a State funeral takes place in Dublin, policed by the Garda.

In modern-day Ireland, our elderly, having worked hard all their lives, need to go through an intrusive, vigorous means test to get a place in a retirement home, while criminals, with all their wealth, can enter the prison system (if caught) without being means tested and exit the other end with all that wealth intact. It beggars belief.

Criminals, as part of their sentencing, should be means tested and made pay the cost of their own incarceration, not the taxpayers.

In the event that they cannot pay, a payment order for all – or a percentage, depending on means – should be attached to that criminal until it is paid.

If an individual or business owner owes the Revenue, they pay – and these criminals should be no different.

Common sense measures like this may not turn the tide, but they will strengthen the current and hit criminals where it hurts most, in their pockets.

Eugene McGuinness

Bishop Birch Place, Kilkenny

Irish Independent

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