THE existence of both an independent Ireland and Israel are both the products of historic oppression and discrimination.
Due to centuries of pogroms and systematic expulsion by Muslims and Christians as well as an attempt at their entire destruction at the hands of Europeans, many Jews moved to the new world, America.
Due to poverty and famine, many Irish people moved there also.
Subsequently, both groups relied on the political support and remittances of their diasporas to fund their attempt to found an independent homeland.
Both groups sustained and won a degree of autonomy, thanks to the political power of Irish and Jewish settlers in the US.
The cost of this was the considerable loss of life, resources and independence of the American natives.
Just as the actions of the IRA, Sinn Féin, the DUP and the British government delayed a harmoniously united Ireland, the existence of Hamas, Hezbolla and the extreme right-wing parties in Israel only prolong the wait for the people suffering in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
Does Israel remind us of ourselves too much?
Firhouse, Dublin 24
THE frequent discussions, debates and press articles regarding the Defence Forces’s difficulties with poor pay and conditions, the retention of critical expertise, toxic relationships with civil servants, naval ships lacking the resources to go to sea, the can-kicking effect of Government commissions, habitually elicited a personal ‘plus ça change’ response based on my lifetime of service – well perhaps not always.
Congratulations Major General Maureen O’Brien on breaking through one of our few remaining national glass ceilings, a double-glazed one I would suggest in this case.
Michael Gannon (Colonel, retired)
Thomas’ Square, Co Kilkenny
AS WE look forward to a further easing of Covid restrictions in the coming months, the significant contribution of healthcare workers who have come from poorer countries around the world to work in Ireland must be especially acknowledged.
We simply could not have managed without them. Working alongside such wonderful colleagues, we know only too well how very worried many remain about loved ones far from here who do not have the same access to life-saving vaccines.
Now is the time for Ireland to step up to the plate and give something back – by supporting the roll-out of vaccination in poorer countries. When it comes to a global pandemic, it’s only fair.
Terenure, Dublin 6
IF ONLY 10pc of what Dominic Cummings claims can stand independent scrutiny, then Boris ‘Bumbler’ Johnson is in serious trouble. In reality, his whole front bench, and possibly others (including ‘advisors’) could face a short walk along a thin plank.
Cummings, in declaring that the Bumbler “is unfit for office”, merely states the obvious but it is somehow gratifying to hear it said in that most public of public fora, a select committee hearing. Labour, which to date has been very slow to react, should now have a field day and if Sir Keir Starmer is as good as he thinks he is, he should be able to pin Bumbling Boris down at prime minister’s questions. Maybe we do have a summer to look forward to, in the absence of comedic politics in the US, which has gone from hilarious to sonorous in just a few short months.
IN RESPONSE to Christy Galligan, who says, regarding gardaí, “those in the hierarchy and in Government are more concerned with micromanaging and constantly holding frontline members to account as if there were widespread deficiencies and corruption within the organisation” (‘Thank you to the guards who risk their lives for the public’ Letters, May 27).
It is right any corruption in the Garda Síochána is dealt with. The presence of brave gardaí who put their lives on the line in service does not excuse corruption by others.
They are two different scenarios and while the brave should be applauded, any deficiencies should also be dealt with. Like a saw, it cuts both ways.
Clonmel, Co Tipperary