What's in a name? Quite a lot, actually
We seem to have a soft spot for bad boys. Can you imagine a visitor to Israel coming across such place names as Himmler's Way, or maybe Eichmann's Cove?
It's shameful that a country that calls itself independent should still have places named after those pack of robbers who lived in luxury on the blood, sweat and tears of the peasants that they exploited and dominated in those dark, distant days.
Balbriggan, Co Dublin
UPPER CHAMBER POT
* Our poor, beleaguered Taoiseach is under pressure from the church and the Seanad, with one elected representative accusing him of "urinating" on the upper chamber (pot). Yes indeed, senators. Some days you are top-dog and some days you are the lamp-post!
Tramore, Co Waterford
MAGIC JFK MEMORIES
* The supplement with Saturday's Irish Independent, besides being a fantastic read and pleasing to look at, took me back 50 years.
On that Wednesday evening as my brother and I made our way down the NCR on a Honda 50cc, reaching the junction of Dorset Street, we were stopped by the traffic policeman on duty. Within a minute or so came the cavalcade: first there was the press followed by the large black shiny American car. Standing in it was JFK.
He was dressed in a dark blue mohair suit, and with his tanned face, copper-coloured hair and magic smile he had all who stood to wave in the palm of his hands.
He made everyone feel that the world was a good place to be in; and it matters not a whit, to me anyhow, what has been written about him since his tragic death.
Congratulations on a wonderful supplement, it made a 70-year-old feel young again.
Clonsilla, Dublin 15
* Thanks to the Irish Independent for the JFK magazine included in the paper on Saturday. It brought me back to very happy sunshine days when life meant so much. I remember as a schoolgirl from Dominican College Eccles Street waving my flag as this very handsome American president passed by me in Dublin.
Although only a child, I could feel the aura of the man, the friendliness and the massive personality. I'll never forget his petrol blue suit -- as in those days Irish men only wore dark suits -- his beautiful tanned face and flashing, winning smile. He seemed to have it all. When he said "I'll be back in the spring", our Irish hearts were dancing and all aglow. Happy days!
Kill, Co Kildare
ENDA THE COPYCAT?
"(I am) a Taoiseach who happens to be Catholic but not a Catholic Taoiseach." -- Enda Kenny.
Just what I suspected, you could never trust Jack Kennedy, caught copying Enda's speeches, again.
VOTE OF CONSCIENCE
* If a vote of conscience is not permitted in a matter of the life and death of children, then how can the Taoiseach or Tanaiste argue that they respect conscience per se?
If not now, when?
Ballina, Co Mayo
* We are repeatedly told that the so-called Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill does nothing more than protect women's lives. But that is simply false.
It authorises medical experts to permit abortions based on speculative judgments wholly unmoored from medical evidence.
In 1992, the Supreme Court decided, in the absence of any relevant psychiatric evidence, that in some cases abortion could constitute necessary treatment for suicidal ideation.
In recent months, expert Oireachtas hearings have not produced a shred of evidence that abortion could reliably treat suicidality.
Yet Fine Gael and Labour, led by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, have seen fit to "look the other way", ignoring the findings of their own expert hearings and pressing ahead with legislation based on a medical fiction.
The bill as it stands is nothing less than a licence for abortion to be granted on the say-so of medical experts, based on suppositions that are wholly unsupported by medical evidence.
Dr David Thunder
Institute for Culture and Society, University of Navarra, Pamplona
LIONS ARE DELUDED
* Irish rugby union players should stop deluding themselves. The British and Irish Lions is, in hard reality, the British Lions, as in British Empire, mother lion and all that.
The Lions were created to go off and show the colonial chaps the glory and superiority of Mother England's games.
Rugby union is simply a typical elite, English public school game, and in fact a sporting version of Waterloo and Trafalgar.
Do wake up, chaps.
Wilsden, West Yorkshire
IN DART WE TRUST
* As I exited Connolly Station in Dublin this morning I noticed that the DART had achieved 100pc for reliability in the most recent performance review.
Well done to all concerned. You should be choo . . . choo . . . chuffed with yourselves.
SAFETY AT SEA
* There are very few words that can console the families of the three Wexford fishermen killed last week and they all have my sympathies.
However, there are words to be said to avoid other tragedies like this.
The men all wore life jackets and their boat had an Epirb, a self-activating satellite beacon that sends a distress call and position to the Coast Guard when a boat is submerged.
Unfortunately, it appears that the beacon did not activate as the boat did not fully sink.
There is an equivalent personal satellite beacon that is worn by sailors and is activated manually when someone is in the water and it sends a distress call to the Coast Guard along with the person's position.
One of these devices saved the entire crew of 22 on the Rambler 100 yacht when it went down in the Fastnet race.
Why can't the Government insist that at least one person on a fishing vessel have one of these on their person at all times at sea?
The saddest part is that they only cost about €150 and would save many lives at sea in the future.
We have so much regulation now, this small cost per fishing boat would prevent future tragedies and heartache.
Dr Jonathon Roth
Clancy's Strand, Limerick