Saturday 23 November 2019

Call off this Anglo Tapes witch-hunt now

* IT was deeply demoralising to hear government ministers expressing displeasure at the leaking of the Anglo Tapes, and their intention to go after the person who passed on their explosive contents to your paper.

One recalls Jack Nicholson's disdainful courtroom dismissal in the film 'A Few Good Men': "The truth? You can't handle the truth."

We are not respected enough to be trusted with the dark secrets that lay behind our downfall, yet we have been made to pay for the consequences.

This is the lesson of the past few years, and it belies a contemptuous and utterly dismissive attitude to the ordinary people of this country who got burned by the vainglorious bankers, even as the bondholders sailed away into the sunset for drinks.

There is a precedent for shooting the messenger: one recalls the prosecution of a journalist for lifting the lid on the Beef Tribunal, another dark stain on our public "conscience".

Might I remind our leaders that "integrity is telling myself the truth, and honesty is telling the truth to other people".

Now is the time to show some true courage and character. Give us the full facts on the financial disaster, however tawdry and shameful.

The Anglo Tapes needed to be aired to release the first noxious vapours of the greed that ruined our country. We are living the truism that if you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.

Call off this witch-hunt now and let the authorities go after the real culprits.

TG Gavin

Dalkey, Co Dublin

YES WE CAN'T

* Is it not concerning that, in so-called times of transparency, we have the governments in America and Ireland concentrating all their efforts on capturing whistle-blowers who have highlighted the truth of what has been going on behind the scenes instead of dealing with the issues involved head on?

While they may say "Is feidir linn", we now know it is just all Blarney.

Nick Crawford

Newcastle, Co Wicklow

LUCINDA'S LAW

* Lucinda Creighton is fast becoming a Thomas More for our time.

Rather than bend her convictions and principles to suit what are essentially her best political interests and those of others, she seems to be standing firm, trying instead to bend her politics to suit her convictions and principles – something all politicians should do as a matter of basic conscientiousness. And all this in the face of the extreme pressure being exerted on her to simply "go with the flow".

Lucinda should know that, after this abortion legislation has passed – which it will, even with a free vote for the members of the main government party – she will be able to hold her head high, having not sold herself out for some cheap political points.

Killian Foley-Walsh

Kilkenny

WHY THE UNHOLY HASTE?

* The speed with which the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill is being propelled through the Dail is in sharp contrast to the snail's pace at which legislation normally proceeds through the Oireachtas.

The Legal Services Regulation Bill was introduced by Justice Minister Alan Shatter in October 2011.

It reached committee stage on March 21, 2012, wherein it languishes.

No such fate, however, for a bill that may condemn countless unborn infants to death. Why such unholy haste to condemn voiceless innocents?

A Kehoe

Castleknock, Dublin

FRIGHTENING FIGURES

* UK statistics for 2011 inform us that there were 189,931 abortions in England and Wales, of which 185,973 (96.44pc) had the cited reason "Risk to maternal or mental health" Ground 'C'.

Given that Ground 'A' cited "Risk to maternal life" and Ground 'B' is "Grave maternal risk", the conclusion is that the cited reason for the 96.44pc of abortions is the mental health 'handle'.

The Irish proposal, according to the UK experience, is frightening.

TW Kilgarriff

Galway

GO PARK ELSEWHERE

* In reference to the letter from Manus O'Toole (Irish Independent, July 4), maybe the magpies and squirrels would prefer it if you were culled as your leafy Herbert Park was theirs before you and the rest of the humans arrived.

Manus, go eat your sandwich somewhere else – swiftly.

R Boyle

Dublin 4

BACK TO BARRACKS

* The Egyptian army has overthrown a leader elected in a democratic vote, but who then clamped down on the democratic process and ignored election promises. Now I finally understand why our Government has closed so many garda and army barracks.

Conan Doyle

Kilkenny

* Does the Egyptian army do nixers?

Robert Sullivan

Bantry, Co Cork

ASHAMED TO PROTEST

* In his article, 'History will ask how we could be so docile in face of such betrayal' (Irish Independent, July 1), Prof Diarmaid Ferriter wonders how the Irish, faced with the contemptible actions of bankers and the related loss of sovereignty, could be so docile and compliant, in contrast to mass protests in other countries.

Many Irish people are too embarrassed and ashamed of their own decisions during the boom to contemplate protest. Very many borrowed too much money, either to build or buy oversized dwellings, or to buy investment properties. A significant number voted Fianna Fail again and again, despite the party's very obvious record of corruption.

It is hard for the average Irish person to condemn bankers for lending too much when that person was often content to borrow too much, and for the same person to condemn Fianna Fail for being corrupt when it was long known that they were little else, while voting for them anyway.

Thomas Ryan

Thurles, Co Tipperary

ONE BIG HALTING SITE

* Diarmaid Ferriter notes that the 'New York Times' once declared that the "light hand" of corporate regulation made Dublin "the Wild West of European finance".

The Wild West not only has a whiff of sulphur about it, but also of freedom and fantasy. I feel we need a more apt metaphor.

Wikipedia describes a halting site as ". . . a facility for the accommodation of nomadic groups. They are maintained by local authorities, and include spaces to park vehicles. Halting sites are often controversial due to opposition from local residents and a belief that such settlements will harbour anti-social activity such as inter-clan violence, illegal dumping and general crime".

Given that the masterplan of Irish governments has been to attract and seek to accommodate nomadic companies, which are then maintained by the local authorities and given plenty of space to park their (special-purpose) vehicles, and given that such settlements have been shown to engender anti-social activity and inter-clan disagreements with our European partners, would it also be fair to say that Ireland is "the halting site of the corporate world"?

Rob Sadlier

Rathfarnham, Dublin

Irish Independent

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