Friday 28 October 2016

Shouting down our democracy

Published 08/02/2013 | 04:00

Enda Kenny speaking during the Dail session on the IBRC bill
Enda Kenny speaking during the Dail session on the IBRC bill

l I didn't know whether to laugh or cry whilst watching the 'debate' on the IBRC Resolution Bill on TV3. If this was democracy at work, then God help democracy.

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Evidently, a key requirement (maybe the only requirement) to be a government minister is the ability to heckle and shout down one's opponents, rather than being able to conduct a sensible debate and respond to opposition questions and concerns on what is a crucial piece of legislation.

At least the opposition had tried to read and comprehend the draft legislation in the short time allowed.

Credit to TV3 for rescheduling their evening schedule around the breaking news, which is more than could be said for RTE. Or am I missing something? After all, the film showing on RTE 1 whilst the news was unfolding was 'Dinner for Schmucks', which translates as an 'obnoxious, contemptible or detestable person, or one who is stupid or foolish'.

Roger A Blackburn

Damastown, Co Dublin

Rise and say 'No'

• "Emergency legislation" – Brian Lenihan 2008 . . . Michael Noonan 2013.

Another debacle. We're good at this, but it's a pity the only ones to suffer are Irish citizens, not bondholders and assorted carpetbaggers.

Is the only solution another revolution, or would Germany veto that also? We are not a republic, let alone an independent state. Off your knees, people of Ireland – the more we kiss their whip, the more they beat us. Begin by saying 'NO' to the destruction of our lives by greedy fat cat rulers and unelected bankers who have ruined this country.

Stop the peasant mindset which dictates that if we behave we'll eventually get a few crumbs from the master's table.

There is no pride left as we hang on every word uttered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her yes-man French President Francois Hollande. They are laughing at us.

"We all went mad economically," Enda Kenny said on a trip to Europe to meet our overlords shortly after becoming Taoiseach.

No, we didn't all go mad. The wretched people were the greedy chancers we are now shovelling money to. Learn something, and be heard.

Robert Sullivan

Bantry, Co Cork

Deal is encrypted

• Turning two rogue bank debts into a sovereign debt, and issuing bonds that will tie our nation and its citizens to 35 years of interest, will turn out to be the Irish version of the infamous Treaty of Versailles.

It will allow certain unsavoury political forces and groups to take full advantage of this situation to the long-term detriment of traditional Irish democracy.

K Nolan

Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim

• It would appear that the "Irish operation", as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi put it, is still very much in the hands of the Irish Government.

Even allowing for coded, diplomatic language, the news on Ireland was not good. In non-diplomatic language, our private gripe has been duly "noted by all".I get the uneasy feeling that something very important has been lost in translation.

Niall Ginty

Killester, Dublin 5

Farm to fork tests

• The Agri and Food Industry is one of our largest employers and exporters.

Farmers put in a mighty effort to have top quality produce and livestock.

A food chain is delicately linked between producers, manufacturers and traders. There are contracts for hundreds of million of euro between the various sectors.

What amazes me is that Agricultural Minister Simon Coveney and the Food and Safety Authority (FSA) wasted almost a month before calling in gardai and a special investigation unit over the horse meat scandal.

The first DNA test at the Silvercrest plant in Monaghan showed horse meat in beef burgers in early January. It wasn't until this month when Rangeland Foods, 10km away, was found to have 75pc equine DNA in imported meat products. Silvercrest, alone, imported 20 tonnes of meat a month from Poland over a two-year period. This could not be '100pc Irish'.

Henceforth, only rigorous independent testing all along the line can restore customer confidence.

James Gleeson

Thurles, Co Tipperary

'Gathering' rates

• I just completed my reservations for my July trip to Ireland.

As one who has been coming annually for over 15 years, I have long surpassed my financial "limit". This year's plane ticket, including luggage charges, will be $1,433 (€1,070).

In 2009, my ticket cost $705 (€527).

This year, my rental car is $996 (€744). In 2009, it cost $833 (€622).

Hotels, B&B's, food and all other costs have risen each year as well.

At this "rate" Ireland does not have to be worried about being overwhelmed with American visitors this year. "The Gathering" could be held in the snug of a small pub.

Joseph Connell

N Ocean, Pompano Beach, FL, USA

Clear road to unity

• This letter is a reply to K Nolan (Letters, February 7) on Irish unity, or his preferred partitionist stance.

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, the British government removed the Government of Ireland Act 1920, under which it claimed sovereignty over the occupied six counties, laying a clear path to Irish unity.

The Good Friday Agreement also provides for a border poll.

Polls by the likes of BBC 'Spotlight' which he alludes to mean nothing; it's now time for the Irish people to debate the topic of Irish unity and demand a referendum.

Rob Fletcher

Balla, Co Mayo

Face behind story

• While reading your article 'Model Hits Out At Celebrity Adoptions', (Irish Independent, February 7) I was surprised to find the picture accompanying it was not of Tasha de Vasconcelos (pictured), the model at the centre of the story, but of Angelina Jolie.

One doesn't see a lot of African models, and I believe many other readers would prefer her picture to that of the ever-present Jolie.

Tanya Popov


Healy-Rae motion

• The news that an Italian lecturer from York University will conduct a survey of Irish pubs for the VFI (Irish Independent, February 6) must be music to Danny Healy-Rae's ears.

Ferrari sponsorship for his drink-and-drive scheme, perhaps.

Mark Lawler

Kilmainham, Dublin 8

Irish Independent

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