Save lives by making swimming safe
Published 24/07/2013 | 05:00
* Twelve people have drowned whilst swimming in Ireland this past month – about as many as die on our roads in an average month. Telling people not to swim on our rare days of hot summer weather is akin to telling them not to use the roads. It might save some lives, but it is hardly realistic or practical advice.
So what is to be done? Ireland is almost alone in the world in not designating certain areas in every county as safe swimming areas and not employing lifeguards to help assure their safety.
Let's stop wringing our hands about the drownings and start doing something practical to prevent even more.
Let's designate safe swimming areas in every county and employ lifeguards to make them even safer.
Blessington, Co Wicklow
WE'D EXCEL AT DIVING
* It struck me during the current good weather that we in Ireland could be quite good at competitive diving if we bothered to put the formal structures in place to develop and produce internationally competitive diving teams.
It doesn't seem to take much for Irish youngsters (and the young at heart) to spontaneously try their hand at it.
John B Reid
Monkstown, Co Dublin
* I would like to disagree with Robert Sullivan on the issue of gender quotas (Letters, July 22).
He says the "notion of a gender quota" in our voting system is "laughable, undemocratic, nonsense and an absurdity".
In saying so, he is effectively arguing that the talents, interests and perspectives of the half of the electorate that are women should continue to be marginalised.
That is neither just nor efficient in a democracy that is supposed to be representative.
Mr Sullivan says it is "cockeyed" to vote for a woman instead of "a capable man". It is no more cockeyed than voting for a candidate because they belong to a particular political party, social class or come from a particular area.
As for the capable man moniker, this country was bankrupted by a Dail that was nearly 90pc full of capable men.
Sutton, Dublin 13
SO MUCH FOR PRIVACY
* It seems we can all learn an important lesson from the woman at the centre of the rugby scandal.
In fairness, it's not much of a scandal, three adults indulging in private consensual activity.
Nothing posted in Facebook is private. Let the buyer beware, especially of free lunches.
Wolli Creek, NSW, Australia
NOT OUR ROYAL BABY
* I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was pleasantly surprised that the birth of a privileged baby in London did not make the main news on Monday evening and featured instead as normal news.
While the addition of a new link to the British line of succession certainly is newsworthy, Ireland de facto revoked its duty to fawn over the future king 90 years ago and de jure did so 63 years ago.
We'd do well to remember that.
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FF AND FG MISLED US
* It is astonishing how Micheal Martin feels justified in claiming that Enda Kenny misled the Dail on the Anglo issue.
After all, was it not Mr Martin's party that totally misled this country for very many years and betrayed the Irish people by making the original arrangement for €30bn of taxpayers' money to be eventually pumped into this defunct bank in the first place?
Whether Mr Kenny misled the Dail or not is practically irrelevant at this stage. What is more relevant is that, like his predecessors, he misled the Irish people, who believed in him and his false promises.
Templeglantine, Co Limerick
FINE THE ERRANT CYCLISTS
* I was astounded when I read Barry Mahady's criticism of the proposed penalties for cyclists breaking the law (Letters, July 20).
It is about time the authorities put measures in place to deter people like himself, a self-confessed law-breaker, from cycling on footpaths. Footpaths are for pedestrians.
Cycling through pedestrian crossings. Non-compliance at traffic lights. Cycling up one-way streets.
It beggars belief that pedestrians should have to jump out of the way of errant cyclists, courtesy not being a virtue that permeates through the two-wheeled brigade.
Even a spokesman for cyclists has agreed that a change in practice has to take place. Fines seem to be the only way this will be made to happen.
So roll on the fines.
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* I am amazed at the decision to divert scarce policing resources to Leo Varadkar's much-publicised 'crackdown on cyclists'.
Perhaps the minister would be good enough, in the light of statistics on deaths or injuries caused by cyclists, to explain to the taxpayer where the benefit lies in this use of scarce resources.
I would suggest that he would be better off focusing on motorists who drive their vehicles on footpaths and then park there, forcing pedestrians, wheelchair users and people pushing prams onto the road.
Rathgar, Dublin 6
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