Taxes and charges driving our family away
Instead of enjoying our retirement with grandchildren, sons, daughters and friends, we have been left broken-hearted and despairing.
Since this lot took over, things have gone from bad to worse.
Their job may not have been easy, granted, but what they've done is a bloody disgrace.
We now have to pay property tax, water tax, septic tank tax, etc. Just where the hell are we supposed to find all the money to pay for it all? We've worked all of our lives from the age of 14 or 15, raised our families, built our own home and paid for it. We've paid all and any taxes, but for what? To watch as our sons, daughters and families had to go away.
This lot should be ashamed for collecting €1,200 just to turn up at that never Neverland they call work, keeping all those perks while cutting school funding, old people's money and help for the disabled and special needs.
They're squeezing every last penny out of ordinary folk while letting the bankers and builders away with it. "We'll burn the bondholders," they said. Burned them all right – bloody big holes in their pockets with the money you paid them.
PJ & Kate Williams
THANK GOD FOR THE DUBS
* I am so relieved that Dublin beat Mayo because it would have been galling to hear Enda Kenny taking credit for winning the Sam Maguire Cup.
He's that type of Irish redneck politician – the parochial 'hupyaboyo' cheerleader. And he's the only man in the country who believes we've "turned the corner and economic recovery has arrived".
Why do we get our politicians from a lucky bag?
Bantry, Co Cork
FF ON SEANAD IN 2011
* Here's a short quiz to while away the time.
Who said the following: "It must be stressed that during the last decade the Seanad did not play a substantive role in challenging unsustainable policies. While its debates are frequently more thoughtful than those in the Dail, this suggests the need to reform the Dail rather than the retention of the Seanad."
Was it Eamon Gilmore, Enda Kenny or Micheal Martin?
Hands up all who said Enda Kenny?
Wrong, this quotation is taken from page 30 of the Fianna Fail 2011 election manifesto so we will accept Micheal Martin as the correct answer.
Abbeybridge, Co Cork
* Angela Merkel has two motivations. The first is a strong Protestant ethic, which urges people to help others, but only on condition they make all necessary efforts to help themselves. The second is the lesson of history Germans have learnt – that a strong Germany in the middle of Europe has to be tied in to Europe to preserve peace.
Her one really bad decision, for which her motivations are really hard to grasp, was closing all German atomic energy facilities. As a result, shortages of electricity will have to be filled with purchases abroad at a higher price and the requirements will be produced in neighbouring countries with atomic facilities.
As a scientist she knew this very well. The only explanation for this crazy decision is that it undermined the Green Party by fulfilling its main demand.
Her motivations are shared by many and by remaining calm and patient she has proved trustworthy.
Herbert Park Lane, Dublin 4
* Figures released on September 9 last (http://www.fishupdate.com) stated that 162,000 tonnes of Scottish-farmed salmon had a value of £537m (€638m) and sustained a total of 1,500 direct and indirect jobs.
These figures suggest that a 15,000- tonne salmon farm as proposed by the state agency An Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) would produce farmed salmon worth €60m. Utilising the Scottish figures as a benchmark, such a farm would create 138 jobs.
At first glance this looks like a great opportunity. However, if you look at claims by BIM that a 15,000-tonne salmon farm would create 300 jobs and produce salmon to the value of €102m, it would seem that maths is not the strong point of those within that state agency.
Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd recently stated that the value of angling tourism to the Irish economy was €750m per annum, much of this attributable to fishing for wild salmon.
All this is at risk due to the negative impact that open-net cage salmon farming, as proposed by BIM, will have on our environment and wild migratory stocks. I would urge those in positions of power nationally and in Europe to look very closely at these proposals before embarking on a course that leads to disaster.
* How comforting to know that Enda is Angela's favourite puppet.
KEEP THAT PHONE BOOK
* I have just received copies of the new telephone directory for Dublin. Before people discard their previous copies, could I remind your readers that a telephone directory is one of the most valuable research tools to have at your disposal when doing local or family history research?
The continuing decline in the use and listing of landlines will make it increasingly difficult to trace the location or prevalence of family names in any given area, severely limiting any possibility of contacting those whose mobile numbers we do not already know.
How in future will we be able to find the address of those without a landline?
I am holding on to my back copies from now on.
Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
REILLY'S REPORT CARD
* I must compliment your reporter Ailish O'Hora on her piece in the Irish Independent (September 19) regarding Health Minister James Reilly and his interview with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio 1 last week.
She hits the nail on the head with almost everything after informing us that when the minister tells the nation that free GP care will soon be available to all Irish citizens and that his Government will be launching free medical care for all children almost immediately, these are utter untruths.
When this minister took office in March 2011, one of the first things he did was tell us that he was going to do all the above as well as lots more in the immediate future. The only thing that he did carry out immediately was disband the board of the HSE.
His department still requires €12bn per annum in spending alone, of which over 65pc is spent on staff wages and salaries.
In March 2011 he informed us of his plan to introduce a 'Dutch model' to Ireland. Twenty months later it has become apparent that the only thing remotely close to Holland that the minister has done is spout 'Double Dutch'.
Ms O'Hora compares the minister's public statements to a scene from 'Father Ted' involving dreams and reality with Father Dougal.
While I acknowledge this humorous line, I am afraid that I cannot agree with Ms O'Hora as this comparison is a gross insult to Fr Dougal's intelligence.
Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Roscommon