Dublin's 'rare ould times' finally vanished with Clerys closure
I watched the documentary on the closure of Clerys on RTÉ on Monday. To see the pain and upset of the workers, who had spent several decades working there and building up goodwill for the department store, was terribly sad.
Of course, time does not wait for anyone and any business does not have the right to survive.
But it seemed so very unfair that the shutters could have been pulled down and that the staff were thrown out so unceremoniously. You could see that they were traumatised by their experience. No laws were broken; just the hearts and spirits of the workers. But it seems compassion and humanity are scarce commodities in the marketplace and the decency and charm which the store once epitomised have vanished along with Dublin's 'rare ould times'.
People are not commodities that can be either left on the shelf or thrown in a skip. The treatment of the staff at Clerys would make you wonder.
T G Gavin
Killiney, Co Dublin
Enough talk on floods - let's act
My aunt's home was flooded in Cumbria, England, on December 6 as a result of Storm Desmond.
Damage was assessed by the insurance company and they were relocated to another house. The clean-up was well under way just three days later.
The town was also flooded back in 2009 and flood defences were built in 2010 (unfortunately, these were breached, but they prevented the flooding from being worse).
So why is it in Ireland no one who can make a decision or take action is seen until after they have enjoyed their Christmas dinner in their warm and dry houses?
Then, the only 'help' is for committees to be set up to determine what might be done. Four weeks and another three storms later and still there is only talk and very little action. Six years on since the last major flood (2009) and still they are only talking about flood defences.
How many storms and floods are required before someone realises that there has been enough talking and decide it's time to act?
Kenny's remarks insensitive
I have never written to a newspaper, but I felt I had to put pen to paper to express my horror on hearing the comment made by Taoiseach Enda Kenny while visiting the people of flood-hit areas of our country recently.
Rather than saying some words of comfort for the unfortunate homeowners, who were standing knee deep in floods, Mr Kenny suggested that people might move to higher ground.
I feel Mr Kenny owes these people an apology for his insensitive comment.
Eilis Ni Neill
Newbridge, Co Kildare
Relax ban on bedsits
I would like to inform Alan Kelly, our Environment Minister, that the most likely outcome of rent certainty is that when a tenant's entitlement to the four-year security of tenure expires, the tenant will not have his agreement renewed.
Why would he? The landlord will then issue notice of eviction and re-let the accommodation at the market rates.
This will mean that on average, one-quarter of all tenants can expect a notice to leave every year, adding to the present chronic situation.
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan if the present ban on the non-compliant bedsits - those without bathrooms en-suite, for example - were to be relaxed until supply issues have been dealt with?
Address with editor
Case for 'parking by phone'
The economic case for 'parking by phone' is compelling. The system is in widespread use elsewhere in Europe, indeed we have a similar system in Northern Ireland.
As always, however, there is the issue of how to make the system user-friendly for visitors.
There is a heavy reliance on tourism in Ireland, and a little joined-up thinking would repay itself both in additional income and improved customer relations.
Since there is also the question of road tolls to consider, perhaps a single registration of a credit card linked to a vehicle registration number might be worth considering?
It would certainly make my life a great deal easier.
Greyabbey, Co Down
Let's put taxes into 'river banks'
It would appear that our Government, instead of rushing to shore up the "pillar banks" with our taxes would have achieved better results by spending our money propping up the river banks.
None of the bankers and speculators have had to suffer like the small people who are losing their homes and businesses.
Saudi Arabia a 'superpower'?
During the Cold War, the term "satellite state" was employed as one of derision in reference to those eastern European states that were under Moscow's thumb.
Personally, it had never occurred to me that such a scenario could prevail these days, least of all in the Middle East, where the various royal families/hereditary dictatorships seem to vie with each other almost as much as they do with so many of their own people.
In recent days, however, Saudi Arabia has unmasked itself as being more than the tyrannical country it is, setting a definite tone for 2016 in doing so.
By apparently strong-arming its own, newly unveiled satellite states in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (so far) into backing it in its row with Iran, it has shown itself to be not just a domestic bully, but a regional and potentially global one.
Once, we called them 'superpowers'.