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Deer dying is no reason to sneer

Your columnist Kevin Myers recently wrote in support of the Ward Union carted deer hunt and sneeringly questioned if frightening them was "bad for their lickle-ickle hearts".

The answer to that is yes -- the stress of the chase can affect their hearts and, over the last few years, there have been two deer fatalities as a result of aneurysms.

Mr Myers may be interested to know about the fate of other unfortunate deer used for recreational purposes by the Ward Union hunt and their followers, as revealed to ICABS, under the Freedom of Information Act; a deer drowned in a quarry; a deer hanging by its front leg on barbed wire during a hunt; a deer choked while being re-captured by the hunt; and a deer which died as a result of fractured ribs.

Mr Myers then raises the legal possibility that the Ward Union might not need a licence because they don't "hunt", only "chase" their own deer.

Perhaps he is not aware that we have a law in this country prohibiting causing unnecessary suffering to animals -- the 1911 Protection of Animals Act.

The Ward Union, who hunt farmed deer, have been flouting this Act since its inception, while successive governments and law enforcers turned a blind eye.

She makes him wanna shout!

There has been much hullabaloo and speculation about the 'Professor Crown Affair' and whether he was dumped off the 'Late Late Show' by our political masters.

However, one thing is certain, Bertie Ahern certainly had no part to play in any political interference, because there was another, even more prominent guest who Bertie had much more reason to have removed from the show.

Lulu was the brazen and shameless hussy who Bertie had much more to reason to fear.

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During the summer, Bertie cycled down to his socialist penitential retreat cell in Kerry, known as Parknasilla. Like all socialists seeking privacy and solitude, he gave a front page interview to the 'Sunday Indo'.

Showing signs of stress, he revealed that he had received anonymous threats to his personal safety. He was worried and couldn't relax.

All he wanted to do was stroll around the gardens reciting Marx and Engels, but it couldn't be done, he was too worried that Lulu would jump out of the bushes, and attack him.

The man must be a saint; here in his living room, on his TV, was his worst nightmare, the hussy that had ruined his summer, sitting bold as brass, staring out at him.

But did he lift the phone and complain?

No way, and if he could live with Lulu in the living room, I'm sure Professor Crown would have been a doddle.

England's pain is not sporting gain

Oh the joy we had when England were defeated by Croatia on Wednesday.

Oh how smug we were that England wouldn't qualify.

Oh how we gloated when we saw David Beckham interviewed with the frown of a man who thought he had left the gas on.

Oh how our joy became delirium the next day when they sacked their manager to boot.

As an Irish man living in England, it was an added bonus. Then... we stopped, and thought about it. Next year's Euro championships -- a great football fiesta and no household names will be on show for us. Apart from the odd premiership player playing for his country, we will be lost.

How we will wish England were there so we could laugh at John Motson reminiscing about 1966. How we would wish that England would be beaten in the last minute of the final by France... on penalties... with Rooney missing.

Now, all we have to look forward to will be the skills of a foreign player whose name ends in "ischovich".

It is reminiscent of the story of the man and the fish. Each day he lived in his log cabin alone and tried daily to catch the salmon. His life became a challenge and he lived for the dream of catching the fish.

Then, one day, he caught it. For the rest of his life he just went back to his cabin.

The moral of the story -- what you wish for may not always be best.

Come on Croatia.

Homer's take on global warming

THE "save the planet from the Philistines" squadron, peopled by soldiers like Gary Byrne (Letters, November 23) seem to believe that theirs is the only truth.

They quote scientific opinion, but only from sources with which they agree, ignoring opposing scientific findings.

The scientists who say climate change is as natural as the sun rising in the morning don't get a look-in.

One man's seeker of truth, is another man's Homer Simpson. That great man, when asked his opinion on global warming, said: "Well, the scientific facts were that the world would turn to mush because of the Millennium Bug and they were right, and now the same science tells us that the farting cows of the world will destroy the ozone layer, but I'm scared that if they slaughter all the cows to protect us, where will we get our hamburgers from?"

It'll be fine. Don't worry your heads about it. Tsk.

Mr Myers is the lazy, pathetic one

I was initially surprised at the absenteeism rate of staff at Tallaght Hospital, as reported in Kevin Myers' column (Irish Independent, November 22).

However, Mr Myers' analysis of these figures amounted to nothing more than a rant, blaming the high rate on "lazy, incompetent, pathetic, tiresome and useless" staff, who, with the full support of their unions, sit at home masturbating while recovering from hangovers.

Although I have no vested interest in the matter, I decided to invest five minutes of my time to see if such high levels of absenteeism are unique to Tallaght Hospital.

A number of internet searches later and I had found dozens of scientific articles and newspaper reports discussing absenteeism in healthcare workers in the US, UK and Scandinavia.

Reports on the issue highlight the fact that high absenteeism is expected in nursing staff, due to the intense emotional and physical demands made on nurses and the low morale they can experience working in a badly run hospital.

If anyone deserves the label "lazy, incompetent, pathetic, tiresome and useless", it is a journalist who can't be bothered to spend five minutes researching an article before attacking people who do a more demanding job for substantially less pay.

Our diplomatic excuses disgust

Writing about the 19-year-old woman victim of gang rape being sentenced to the further degradation of 200 lashes by Saudi Arabian authorities, Kevin Myers rightfully concludes that Ireland has diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia because we want their oil and markets (Irish Independent, November 22).

This policy was openly justified by members of a trade delegation to Saudi Arabia last January.

The head of that delegation, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said: "They're not the same kind of open society as we are, they haven't got the same parliamentary democratic process as us and we have to understand those sensitivities. It would be very wrong of us other than to understand and doesn't take away from the fact we pointed out areas where there is concern internationally." (RTE 'Six One News', January 18, 2007).

Minister for Enterprise and Employment Michael Martin said: "It is also the case that we have to have respect for other cultures and societies in a world of difference. It is all a bit more complex than saying this is just a simple matter of human rights." (Irish Independent, January 18, 2007).

Frank Ryan, chief executive of Enterprise Ireland said: "On what basis would we not talk to them? We can't go around the world judging people."(Irish Independent, January 18, 2007).

The brutal reality is that there are some humans who think that profit and trade have a higher priority than human rights. That reality will continue for so long as the majority remains quiet.

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