Thursday 20 October 2016

Voters said Yes to marriage equality – but No to age equality

Published 29/05/2015 | 02:30

Michael Collins became Chairman of the Provisional Government in his early thirties
Michael Collins became Chairman of the Provisional Government in his early thirties

Last Friday, I had the privilege of participating for the first time in the democratic process.

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Imagine my utter disappointment, then, when on Saturday evening it was announced that the Irish people had decided to deny the right to participate further to a substantial share of the Irish adult, voting electorate.

To add insult to injury, people such as Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly have the bald-faced audacity to declare Referendum 35, on lowering the minimum age for presidential candidates, a waste of money. Apparently, to some people, democracy is an extravagance.

The people of Ireland have been inconsistent - giving one segment of society equality, snatching it away from another, and simultaneously restricting the choice of future Irish voters. Did anyone feel a sense of irony supporting marriage equality but not age equality?

No voters may have heard of Michael Collins, Chairman of the Provisional Government, who died at the age of 31 - yet today he would be ineligible to stand for election as president.

Democracy has been well served indeed. They ask how to attract our young emigrants back home. Perhaps start by treating them with an ounce of respect.

Cian Desmond (age 18)

Timoleague, Co Cork


When a man loves a woman

I have just been listening to an Irish Tenors CD featuring great Irish love songs celebrating the love between a man and a woman. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Then it dawned on me that such songs, and that love, are now politically incorrect in post-referendum Ireland.

After all, all "love" is now equal. I wondered if there now will be moves afoot to ban such sentiments.

I can already hear some people saying such thoughts are absurd, but are they any more absurd than the clause that has gone into our beloved Constitution with the aid of millions of foreign euro, and propaganda and emotional blackmail?

Eilis McNamara

Glin, Co Limerick


Fifa controversy

The shenanigans in Switzerland and the arrest of several Fifa representatives must highlight to even the most loyal follower of our illustrious leader Sepp Blatter that things do not seem to going well.

The alleged dodgy dealing and the questions over the awarding of the tournaments to Russia and Qatar are apparently coming to a head with the FBI requesting the arrest of above mentioned representatives.

How can anyone believe that the outstanding Russia, a shinning light of democracy, truth and defiantly not at all tarnished by corruption, would countenance dodgy dealing is beyond me.

And Qatar, known worldwide for its excellent reputation in football, is the natural choice of any free-thinking member of Fifa.

The questions of 'slave' labour to build the stadiums and where the fans will stay is a red herring and, of course, must be ignored.

To all and sundry it must be obvious that Fifa is a shining light of truth and decency in the shady word of sporting politics.

Mike Burke

Sixmilebridge, Co Clare


Is the US investigation into corruption in Fifa genuine or is it about trying to prevent Russia from holding the World Cup in 2018 as a continuation of the new Cold War?

I am not aware of any concern from the US government about the 2,000 workers who have died building the Qatar football stadiums, or any unease from them about the on-going working conditions there.

Simon O'Donnell

Rathmines, Dublin 6


I can't believe it's not Blatter!

Dr John Doherty

Vienna, Austria


Irony of Aer Lingus takeover

By selling its stake in Aer Lingus, the State will get a one-off payment of about €340m to reduce competition in a strategic area.

Meanwhile, the same politicians are willing, every year, to borrow €250m (plus knock-on costs regarding the effects on pensions, overtime etc, and the interest cost of the extra borrowing) to further increase the pay and benefits gap between the public and private sectors.

Am I the only one who despairs about this?

Frank Devine

Kenilworth, UK


Privatisation targets?

Irish Shipping 1984, Aer Lingus 2015, Irish Water?

Peter Mulvany

Clontarf, Dublin 3


The Republic of England

Now that the royals have departed and left us to get on with our common- or-garden lives perhaps we should examine some of our childlike attitudes?

Royalty is based on a primitive idea that people who are born into a particular family are somehow better than everyone else.

Millions of hard-working English families are obliged to pay tax every year to maintain this. The antics of some of the Windsors have embarrassed the English nation. The so-called tourist money that the royals attract to the English economy is a myth - all the tourists ever see are castles and palaces, which would exist with or without the Windsor's. In France, thousands go to visit Versailles every year, although I'm told Louie does not live there anymore.

So, citizens of the Republic of England perhaps it is time for you to stand up and revise your Magna Carta?

Tom Leonard

Spideal, Galway


Hair-raising cost of Mozart's lock

A lock of Mozart's hair was auctioned for ten grand - not exactly 'going for a song', by any means?

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9


Act now on climate change

Thank you for reporting on the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon's call for a stronger role for Ireland in the effort to stop further global warming (Irish Independent, May 26).

Mr Ban made his plea as part of an address in which he outlined what he saw as the biggest global problems of our day - as well as what the international community can do about them. He said that Ireland's role in many of these international initiatives has been "huge and historic, well out of proportion to the country's size and your population", and singled out our peacekeepers and aid workers for particular praise. At the same time, he warned us that "one cannot be a leader on hunger without also being a leader in climate change."

Our country is a bigger than average per capita contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

It is time to consider new ways of reducing those emissions while at the same time contemplating how changing weather patterns are going to affect farmers at home and abroad. It is time for Ireland's aid agencies to join Irish farmers' organisations in an effort to protect vulnerable food producers from external shocks and make agricultural systems more resilient and future-proof.

Mr Ban's remarks should inspire all of us to engage with this search for "climate smart agriculture" now, before it is too late.

Hans Zomer


Irish Independent

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