Politicians betray ideals of 1916
Sir - The season of goodwill is upon us in this historical year of 2016, but I firmly feel it's somewhat inappropriate to extend any such Christian values towards many of those within our political establishment.
I say this because I am fed up of listening to their unforgivable engagement in hypocrisy, but also of their disgraceful failures in protecting many vulnerable citizens of this seemingly corrupted country.
In all honesty, nothing has really changed, even though this was supposed to be a historical year of a nation's achievements.
Why should we be proud of having such a large number of homeless people and tens of thousands in extreme poverty? Family evictions as we commemorated the sacrifice made by those men and women who fought and died in the Easter Rising of 1916? It was an excuse to engage in the hypocrisy of the hypocrite.
Yes, the Irish people did hear the Army officer reading aloud the noble visionaries, enshrined in the Proclamation by those signatures, who were executed as they wanted a better and more equal Ireland for all the nation's citizens alike.
The reading happened while Enda Kenny was boasting about keeping the recovery going.
However, it never materialised as their despicable order of self- importance took pride of place when ordinary, hard-working, honest Irish quickly learned the reality of austerity measures and its effects on their life on a daily basis. This is the Irish Republic of 2016 wherein exists an ever-growing distance between the daily struggle of ordinary people and the protection of the wealthiest in a secluded circle by the entrusted for their cronies among the elitists in this two-tiered society.
That, in my opinion, has become extremely obvious when one looks at those in society who have become homeless over the last eight years since the crash of this economy.
I strongly doubt their plight was envisioned by James Connolly, Padraig Pearse or any of the other signatories.
Matthew Joseph Greville,
Sir - In a tribute to the late Gillian Bowler (Sunday Independent, December 18), Liam Collins included a quote from her from 2004: "Time is the most precious thing we have and yet we don't realise it."
Although Ms Bowler died at a relatively young age, she could never be described as wasting time. She achieved enormously in her life.
She never let her health problems in her early life, or the fact she didn't finish her education, hold her back. She is an example of someone who took life by the scruff of the neck and lived it. On Sunday, I watched that excellent film The Way on that soon-to-cease channel UTV Ireland.
The film tells the story of an American ophthalmologist who travels to Europe to recover the body of his dead son, who had dropped out of college to travel the world and died on the Camino. In the film, Martin Sheen played the father, who sadly said to his colleague after learning of his son's death: "He wanted to see the world." His colleague replied: "He did."
None of us knows how long we have on this planet. Both of these examples show the importance of living our lives as fully as we can. Tommy Tiernan said recently: "It's better to be half dead on the side of a mountain than half alive on the edge of the sofa."
Gillian Bowler discovered her niche and lived a full life. As we all approach a new year, it's a good time for us all to realise the life in our years is more important than the years in our life.