Compare Hickey's treatment to that of those who bankrupted us
Pity Pat Hickey, languishing in a top security Brazilian jail. Quite rightly, he must be feeling sorely aggrieved and wondering how on Earth and why he received such summary and harsh treatment at the hands of the Brazilian authorities.
No doubt he is reflecting on the contrasting treatment experienced by those in our own country who were responsible for the greatest political and financial crime ever committed on the Irish people in recent times.
Mr Hickey will have time to reflect that even today, after all the personal and national trauma and destruction, after all the financial ruin and the resulting thousands of suicides, An Garda Siochána is poorly resourced.
He will surely not be amused as he reflects on a media convulsed with delight at the goings-on in Brazil, but which, on the other hand, has failed miserably to seriously and consistently challenge the current Government and establishment view that we should all move on and forget their complicity in the unprecedented carnage and austerity imposed on the most vulnerable by so few.
John Leahy, Wilton Road, Cork
Hope and glory ruined by scandal
I was thrilled by the splendour of the opening ceremonies and beyond impressed by the spectacular closing ceremonies of the games.
And in between, we saw more than 11,000 young people put heart and soul into disciplines they spent years perfecting. We cheered with the winners and wept with those disappointed on the day. All were magnificent.
But our hope and glory were overshadowed by yet more Irish scandal.
First we had the boxer who denied, denied, admitted, then excused his failed drug test. Then we had the stench of suspicion surround the Olympic Council of Ireland. The very people who rule our Olympic waves are suspected of corruption. Some people are facing criminal charges. Naturally, any wrongdoing has been denied. We expect nothing less.
In the meantime, we are to have an inquiry which will sort everything out. Inquiries, commissions and 14-year long tribunals are, after all, Irish specialties. This particular inquiry will be chaired by an anonymous, retired judge and will be non-statutory. It cannot compel witnesses, so we are absolutely not going to get the whole picture. We probably would not get the whole picture anyway, but non-statutory status ensures that this will be the case.
The inquiry will have a three-month deadline for producing a report. Oh joy! Oh bliss! A three-month deadline!
But wait! This is Ireland. Does the three-month deadline run from the appointment of the anonymous, retired judge? Or does the three-month deadline run from the moment the anonymous, retired judge receives the last scrap of paper upon which he is to ground his report? We already know the answer to that question. The deadline runs from the receipt of the last scrap of paper. And, of course, there will be an extension of the deadline.
This is Ireland, after all.
Patricia R. Moynihan, Castaheany, Co Dublin
So with the Olympics done and dusted, can we assume all will now be ticketyboo..?
Tom Gilsenan, Beaumont D9
Economic tools to quieten dissent
When the majority of a society is ruled by a minority, changes tend to take a more abrupt course, taking society into entirely new directions.
Have citizens of our land been satisfied with the way our country has been governed by a succession of governments over the last few decades or so? I suspect that answer is most likely to be a definite no! Rich have become richer, poor have become poorer, as the gap widens and widens. We no longer have a middle class. That has been wiped out through debt. We just have rich and poor, full stop.
Economically, it is a debt-ridden society. Ironically, to have access to loans you must have a credit rating. Meaning? You must have a good history of borrowed money to be considered trustworthy to have access to loans. If you have never been in debt, you are considered a loan risk. How daft is that?
Government here is motivated by the desire of a party to gain or remain in power and not by what might be the best for the country and its population. Needing to be in the position of power overrides any other considerations.
So they can borrow as much money as they like, and get us to pay for it. They call this Fiscal Space. Or, Quantitative Easing. Quaint buzz words for more debt. Thus, economic lies become normal political tools in the evolution of putting down dissent.
Anthony Woods, Ennis, Co Clare
Sneering at Knock pilgrims
I find the sneering tone of Kim Bielenberg's article (Review, Irish Independent, August 20) offensive.
Language is revelatory and Bielenberg's words reveal his belittling attitude towards the believers attending the Marian shrine at Knock.
He refers to them as "dressed up to the nines" looking for "holy love". He speaks of "devotees" going into rapture and "worshipping in a trance". He tells us that apparitions frequently happen "in the middle of nowhere" (ie. Mayo). He mentions "mysterious glimmerings in the sky".
He goes on to suggest that the apparition of Our Lady at Knock may have been a hoax, "created by using a magic lantern" or that it was perhaps a psychological delusion.
What he failed to notice was those people were not deluded devotees but pilgrims, doing what pilgrims have been doing for centuries, ie. visiting a holy shrine, paying respects to Our Lady and seeking spiritual uplifting.
To me, the images accompanying the piece show people who are not ashamed of their Irish Catholic heritage. Your reporter obviously sees only what he wants to see. So much for 'equality of esteem' in our secular state!
James M Bourke, Terenure Road East, Dublin 6
Fine Gael and Griffith
Hugh Duffy (Letters, Irish Independent August 24) suggested Minister Leo Varadkar should read a biography on Arthur Griffith, as well as his two important publications. Whilst FG members may well have read the many good publications on Collins and Griffith, I sincerely doubt they have perused them.
I for one sincerely wish that I could invoke the spirits of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins to haunt the living daylights out the entire FG Cabinet, who have deliberately, turned every policy of Griffith and Collins on their heads.
A sad day when the Minister for Finance (Noonan the Gall) takes great joy in selling Irish assets for buttons to strangers, whilst the entire FG party looks on, without one trace of ignominy, let alone one word of objection, on behalf of their fellow Irish men and women.
Declan Foley, Berwick, Victoria