Wednesday 28 September 2016

The people have spoken - it's time to scrap the water charges

Published 20/07/2015 | 02:30

Irish Water boss John Tierney. In the period January to March, 46pc of households paid water charges
Irish Water boss John Tierney. In the period January to March, 46pc of households paid water charges

Given that the majority have not paid water charges, this amounts to a de facto referendum when the majority of people have declined the proposal.

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Only 46pc of people have paid, with 54pc saying no.

It is time for the Government to accept the decision of the majority and scrap the decision to bring in water charges in a country where it rains three times a week, at least, all year round.

The majority have spoken with their decision not to pay water charges. The Government must accept this democratic decision and not force people to accept what is unacceptable.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Shanbally, Co Cork


Fixing our water infrastructure

In the letter 'Paying for water twice', (Irish Independent, June 17) John Mallon, in reference to my letter of June 16, asked if I wanted people to believe that there was a monthly whip-around in the Dáil to pay for water.

To answer that question, I want to make it clear that what I want people to believe is that the citizens of Ireland have, in fact, never properly paid for water and have instead been fooled by politicians into believing that they have, thereby causing huge damage to our country.

The point I was making was that politicians have taken advantage of a hidden tax system to swindle the citizen for political popularity by convincing them that someone else would pay for the upkeep of the infrastructure and letting the gullible citizen believe that there would be no additional cost to them.

This scam has resulted in huge additional cost to the citizen because of a neglected water infrastructure. On top of this, the citizen has lost potential exports of water services worth billions of euro each year that more modern countries like France and Germany use to prevent hospital waiting lists.

Sadly, when the Local Authorities were in charge of the water services, much of the insufficient monies collected from the citizen were redirected to other departments.

Now that the politicians are fixing this terrible system with a direct, transparent tax on the citizen, some people are out on the streets objecting to it.

They even think they are patriotic. Sadly, as I have pointed out, the opposite is the case.

Simon O'Connor

Castleisland, Kerry


Solving the post code debacle

In relation to the recent An Post postal code debacle and the previous costly Irish Water billing system, I think a simpler and money-saving solution has been missed.

There already exists a superior system within the ESB billing and fault-finding sections.

When you call the ESB, it requests your MPRN number and it can then pinpoint your exact location.

I would presume that this information or the relevant parts of it can be shared within all semi-state organisations without too much red tape, thus saving vast sums of money for future ventures.

Ray Dunne

Enfield, Co Meath


Tyranny of political correctness

As a wife, mother, grandmother and retired nurse, I look around at the world today and feel nostalgia for times past.

Not that all was good then. Or that all is bad now. But I wonder where we are going under the tyranny of a political correctness that is killing common sense, language, spontaneity and genuine humanity in our society.

Where, if you do not belong to a vociferous minority that talks incessantly about "inclusion" while practising "exclusion", you are either afraid to speak your own truth or you are persecuted and made to feel ridiculous for doing so.

This is not the world I grew up in nor the world I wish for my children and grandchildren.

On the contrary, in spite of all we are told about freedom from the oppressions of the past, it is a world where a new and arrogant form of dogma is making clones of us all.

One where children, despite all the talk about "protecting" them have, by the age of eight, lost all sense of the mystery of the world, because they know everything there is to know. A world that is turning us into robots. And at the same time, fooling us into believing we have come of age with regard to the "superstitions" and fairy tales of religious faith and the "backward" folklore culture of the past.

I feel that I am not alone in thinking and feeling this way. And I hope that if the time comes when I have to stand up publicly for what I believe in, that I will not be standing there alone.

In the meantime, I'll carry on believing that we all belong to each other in a much deeper way than our politically correct insanity could ever imagine.

Sheila Foy

Croghan Cross, Co Offaly


Lunatic spectators

I wouldn't be a huge cycling enthusiast, but at this time of year the Tour de France captures one's interest as a sporting spectacle.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the lack of control of lunatic spectators on the mountain stages. The way they charge all over the road must make them a danger not just to the cyclists but also to themselves. How lax are the authorities being here?

Don Mclean could re-issue his major hit of yesteryear and re-title it 'The Mountains of Morons'.

Good luck to all competitors.

B Grist

Dublin 8


Make cycling on paths an offence

One lunchtime last week, I witnessed an elderly couple being knocked down on a footpath by a cyclist in Cork city. The woman was thrown head long onto the roadway by the impact and would certainly have been injured or even killed but for the absence of oncoming traffic at the time.

Nevertheless, both people were extremely traumatised and frightened by the experience.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has recently introduced a series of on-the-spot fines for a number of cycling offences, but, in his wisdom, decided to omit cycling on footpaths as an offence.

This ill-conceived decision will give cyclists carte blanche in future to mount footpaths with impunity and terrorise pedestrians like the unfortunate couple last week.

For the record, on page 192 of 'The Rules of the Road' book issued by the RSA, it categorically states under a list of Don'ts: Don't ever ride on or across a footpath. On page 5, under 'Cycling Safety' it again states: Never cycle on a footpath.

If, as Mr Donohoe states, the safety of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians is his priority, then he should reverse his decision to omit cycling on footpaths as an offence, to avoid, without doubt, many similar incidents like the one I witnessed in Cork.

John Leahy

Wilton Road, Cork

Irish Independent

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