Seems everything I do brings me closer to an untimely death
Published 30/10/2015 | 02:30
In the midst of the yet another fear-inducing study from the World Health Organisation, I've arrived at the conclusion that absolutely everything I do on a daily basis is ultimately contributing to my untimely, painful death.
The leading body in world health emerged this morning with the quite shocking results from new research which is branding the consumption of red meat - primarily the processed kind - as a leading factor in the cause of bowl cancer, the fourth most common type in Ireland.
It seems a day cannot pass us by without being bombarded with similar revelations which leave most us feeling afraid for the future and guilty about some of our most simple consumptions.
Last night, as I cut carefully into a succulent 10oz steak which I had treated myself to after a tedious weekend's work, I had no idea that it would be myself who would be waking up overcome by an immense fear for the future of my health and not my friends, whose invitation to a hard night out on the town I had gratefully declined.
In fact, I even found myself in all my naivety boasting to my girlfriend about the nutritional benefits I thought I was reaping from my 'dangerous' meal of choice.
As I was met by the startling revelations this morning detailing how "eating just a steak or two a week could give you cancer", I almost wished to be suffering slowly from the toxic hangover I knew my friends were enduring.
The labeling of the likes of smoking, alcohol, drugs, asbestos and the exposure to toxic fumes as detrimental to human health in the past few decades has been somewhat easier to take than the results of more recent studies. In no shape or form would I consider criticising the work these experts are doing for world health, but one can't help but wonder if it's a case of running out of causes to investigate and moving from one item to then next, until before we know it everything around us is a legitimate cause of cancer.
Using mouthwash, eating too much vegetables, resting laptops on your knee and wearing bras and tight underwear are among some of the factors leading to the killer disease which have been highlighted in recent times, leaving me personally, wondering which should be taken seriously.
Sitting here now - craving a cigarette, replying to various messages about an upcoming night on the beer, resting my laptop on my legs while my mother cooks some beef lasagna - I glance around the room pondering what else could be unknowingly contributing to what now unfortunately seems to be the inevitable.
Enda and the hole in the wall
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has admitted that he did not receive a "specific" briefing from the governor of the Central Bank that the army would have to surround ATMs after he took office.
Central Bank sources have said they were "confused" by Mr Kenny's comments in Madrid.
What Mr Kenny meant by his statement in Madrid, was that with him in charge of the country there was no need for the Army!
Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim
In defence of rent controls
It is rare that I find myself flying to the defence of Minister Alan Kelly. However, in relation to your article on the Government's proposal for rent certainty, applicable only in relation to tenants in receipt of rent supplement and Housing Assistance Payment, I find myself agreeing with Mr Kelly.
Once lease agreements roll over, those on benefits will find their lease discontinued and once again searching for accommodation. Ultimately, nobody on housing assistance of any kind would have any chance of competing for private rented accommodation. What landlord is stupid enough to put up with rent control in relation to one group of people if they can just get another group to pay way more?
A version of this has already been tried by intervening in the rental market by cutting/freezing rent supplement ceilings which has had disastrous results for individuals and families who are now homeless.
Index-linked rent certainty, as practised in Germany and parts of Canada, applicable across the board, is the only way to go.
Stacking up the numbers
Frank O'Connor (Irish Independent, October 27) opines that "only 36pc of the total electorate voted Yes" in the recent marriage equality referendum in an obvious attempt at sophistry.
Considering voting in Ireland is not compulsory, we can only ever count the votes cast on the day - which, as it happened, consisted of a massive turnout of 61pc of the total electorate, the second-highest turnout for a referendum in the state's history.
Moreover, 65,911 people were added to the electorate in the months prior to the referendum due to the very successful Yes campaign; and thousands of Irish citizens actually travelled home to vote Yes documenting their various trips via social media.
If Mr O'Connor really wishes to argue from a perspective of numbers, it pays to ensure he actually has them on his side.
Gary J Byrne
IFSC, Dublin 1
Poor Yorick, we know him well
Bye, bye Billy Walsh. But, sure, isn't that how we do things in Ireland.
The last five years have been like watching a Shakespearean tragedy. Enda as Macbeth, Eamon Gilmore plays Lady Macbeth - this role was later given to another.
The Irish people were Hamlet, knocking their head against a wall trying to make sense of the hubris and malfeasance that is everywhere in the kingdom.
Occasionally Morgan Kelly would wander across a newspaper article like Banqou, but our Macbeth had good council and they told him 'keep thy tongue'. The Irish bankers and their council were Iago, spinning a tale that everything was Hamlet's fault.
Ophelia, played by Phil Hogan, fell into the water and drowned.
Meanwhile, poor Billy Walsh was stealing all the spotlight and was first pricked by the poisoned foil before being swallowed whole by the green-eyed monster.
And the rest was silence.