Monday 24 October 2016

Some modern Republicans are an insult to 1916 Rising heroes

Published 15/01/2016 | 02:30

A 1916 hero: Padraig Pearse
A 1916 hero: Padraig Pearse

A century ago, great men such as James Connolly, Pádraig Pearse and many others fought and died for Ireland.

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These exceptional leaders would turn in their graves if they knew the kind of Republicans that are around today.

Let's start with Pearse McAuley, who killed a garda and, in more recent times, attacked his partner in Co Cavan.

And what about the thugs who murdered Paul Quinn in a hay shed in Co Monaghan? In my own Co Fermanagh, what about the Republicans who murdered 11 people at Enniskillen in an atrocity known as the Poppy Day Murders?

Then there are the parts of South Armagh and Louth where the self-styled 'oil barons' or fuel smugglers live. Gerry Adams said Thomas 'Slab' Murphy was a good Republican. God help us all if his like were running the country.

My message to the Irish people is simple: if Sinn Féin become part of any government, we had better all be wary.

People of Ireland, please do not insult the heroic men and women of 1916 by voting for sham republicans.

Name and address with Editor

Where have manners gone?

As we begin the commemorations of 2016, I wonder what we have learned in the past 100 years? Not good manners, if the attitude of some shop staff and many personnel in front-desk positions in public life is anything to go by.

Dealings over the telephone are no better, the conversation punctuated with comments such as "no problem" and "see you later".

The days of greeting people and common courtesy seem to be over. You are more likely to be asked "Are you all right?" or "Are you okay?" when you enter a shop - as I have been asked recently - than at the front desk of an accident and emergency department in a hospital.

I left school at 15, which was normal enough for someone my age, but we were taught then that good manners will get you anywhere. What beggars belief is that today, in this so-called highly educated society, you probably need a Master's degree in business or management to hire staff to serve people, in both the public and private sectors.

Alive and well, and gone unchecked, are the self-embracing Irish with their over-developed sense of their own charm and obliviousness to common mankind.

Bring on the party.

James McConnell

Churchtown, Navan, Co Meath

Screening needed for refugees

The impression I got from reading Glyn Carragher's letter (Irish Independent, January 13) was that he is against the screening of refugees and that new rules and security screening and other such measures to try to stop terrorists are eroding "basic freedoms and human rights".

I don't agree. Surely the attacks in Paris last January and November, Tunisia in April and July, Yemen in July, California in December and Turkey twice recently represent an attack on basic freedom and the rights of citizens of those countries and cities to travel and exercise their right to that freedom without fear of injury or death?

These acts of terrorism must deem the screening of refugees mandatory, as must the physical and sexual attacks on women in a number of German cities and elsewhere in Europe by large groups of men reportedly of Middle Eastern origin, some of whom, as reported by the media and the police, were recently-arrived migrants.

I fully accept that the majority of refugees are decent and law-abiding, but terrorist groups and criminal elements will infiltrate refugee groups, especially where there is an open-door policy as advocated by Germany's Mrs Merkel.

The objective of screening is to try to stop these groups from coming in and allow access to refugees fleeing war. I am sure the families and friends of all those killed and injured in the terrorist attacks - and those victims who were physically and sexually assaulted - would strongly support a screening programme.

Perhaps if one had been in place, some of their loved ones may still be alive.

E O'Doherty

Tralee, Co Kerry

We'll vote when we have facts

John Downing (Irish Independent, January 11) assumes that the 15pc in opinion polls who "don't know" how they will vote in the forthcoming election are irresponsibly apathetic and should "equip themselves" with facts in order to arrive at a sensible decision on polling day.

Many of us, in fact, are pro-life, family values voters who are waiting to hear from the individual candidates before casting our votes.

Not so long ago, voters like me had two Christian Democrat parties (Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael) from which to choose. Now that we are getting confused messages from the leaders of both of these parties, we have to wait to see how the individual candidates from these parties compare with independent candidates on issues such as the Eighth Amendment.

When we have this information we will make our decisions.

Jim Stack

Lismore, Co Waterford

Pension increase? Not really

In real terms, the state pension was reduced by €9 a week over the past five years. It increased by €25 a week over the previous five years under a different administration. Calling the recent €3 a week adjustment an increase is rather disingenuous.

Voters should bear this in mind when marking their paper at the next election. Their ballot is transparent, unlike the Taoiseach's ministerial annual scorecards or his party's 2011 pre-election funding.

This patronising politics must be marked. People should vote only for non-party and first-time candidates at the next election to give us the Republic our 1916 leaders dreamt of and died for.

Michael Terry

Castleknock, Dublin 15

It's 'not all men', Colette

In her article (January 12), Colette Browne made reference to regular harassment and assaults against women on public transport systems across Europe (presumably by Europeans).

The impression given was that this behaviour is endemic. Although I am not a regular user of public transport - I do occasionally avail of it - I have never witnessed a single incident of harassment against women. Colette also referred to a "belligerent cohort of 'meninists', whose relentless mantra is 'not all men'".

Perhaps the reason that this mantra needs to be repeated is to keep reminding certain people that it is "not all men", which is more or less the same point that Colette was making in defence of the overwhelming majority of refugees.

John Bellew

Dunleer, Co Louth

Irish Independent

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