Caring Dolores Keane personifies all that’s good about people

Dolores Keane's humanity shone through on her appearance on 'The Tommy Tiernan Show'

Letters to the Editor

I watched singer Dolores Keane chatting to Tommy Tiernan on RTÉ One last Saturday and the tears flowed. What a lovely person – she personifies the word “empathy”.

Dolores spoke about her demons and her dreadful loneliness. Then this caring woman turned to the audience and said: “I hope your troubles are few and that whatever you are going through, ye will be better. Believe me. Ye’ll be better.”

Brian McDevitt, Glenties, Co Donegal

Mary Kenny got McQuaid judgment terribly wrong

Your columnist Mary Kenny is a respected judge of character, but I am afraid she has got it terribly wrong about John Charles McQuaid (‘Dragon, autocrat, sometimes a bigot: yet ‘ruler of Catholic Ireland’ had redeeming side’ – Irish Independent, March 29).

This “gentleman of the cloth” was, almost single-handedly, to blame for this country being so backward looking and old-fashioned for over 40 years . His greatest ‘aide’ in this was, of course, that other paragon of virtue, Éamon de Valera.

Despite Ms Kenny’s plea for some clemency, in my belief McQuaid was a disaster for Ireland, and we are still trying to come to terms with his legacy.

David Ryan, Co Meath

Ahern governments laid out the road to our housing mess

Hugh Duffy is correct in observing that the State “knew how to house its citizens” (‘State washed its hands of homebuyers in the 1960s’ – Letters, March 30), but the decision to stop providing finance for citizens to buy a house was not the main cause of the current housing debacle.

The destruction of the system of state provision of social housing is the elephant in the room in this regard, and this happened much more recently under the governments led by Bertie Ahern.

Policies pursued under those governments led to the total withdrawal of state provision of social housing, and it was this policy that lies at the centre of the current housing crisis.

The solution is for the State to go back to that policy and immediately restart building social housing to meet the forecast need.

Jim O’Sullivan, Rathedmond, Co Sligo

​​The eviction ban should be deferred until summer

I strongly recommend to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that after having consulted with backbenchers, he postpone the lifting of the eviction ban until at least July 1.

This would allow people to source alternative accommodation over the summer.

They would be helped by the Government dedicating a period, between July 1 and the August bank holiday, for those who choose to relocate to other areas where they have existing connections (and local knowledge) just as the summer season comes to an end and, more importantly, during the academic summer holidays.

Canvass Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) recipients in Dublin and other urban centres about alternative counties where they’d like to transfer their HAP to and facilitate those who choose to move to another county where perhaps they have family who can help with childcare.

This is a system that happens in Quebec on July 1 (Canada Day). We should do something similar to help the thousands of people who are left pondering their situation before the school term ends.

By September, let’s have a scheme in place to train individuals in construction, retrofitting and so on, on multi-annual contracts, to build the home so desperately needed.

Fiachra Ó Luain, address with editor

In ‘woke’ debate, is it possible to appropriate Irish culture?

Decrying the use of the term “woke” by “white people” (‘Staying ‘woke’ was a force for good among black people – but then it was weaponised’ – Irish Independent, March 28), your columnist Joy-Tendai Kangere writes: “The term ‘cultural appropriation’ applies when a person from one culture adopts aspects of another culture that are not their own.

“Some of the most hurtful examples of this occur when the culture being appropriated is one of a historically oppressed group.”

Not too long ago, the English suppressed Gaelic games, Irish dancing and the Irish language. In the time since their departure from most of the island, these elements of Irish culture have flourished.

Does Ms Kangere think it is possible to “appropriate” Irish culture, or would “cultural assimilation” be a more appropriate term?

Killian Foley-Walsh, Kilkenny