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Excitement ahead of Celtic Tiger theme park

• I was delighted to read about the Government's intention to develop a Celtic Tiger memorial theme park, to be known as Chancer's World ('The Irish Fantasist', April 32).

The centrepiece will be 'The Bertie Ride to Oblivion', the world's longest rollercoaster.

A large bouncy castle, 'The Seanad', will enliven those who have difficulty finding a productive outlet for their lives, other than jumping up and down. Here the judiciary can recover from their Shattered hopes of endless idle days.

A terrifying experience will be offered by the Priory House of Horrors. You will be taken into a world where health and safety inhibitions are out the window; though it might cost you an arm and a leg.

The Squanderer will offer an imaginative adventure through a series of bank loans and mortgages where you will experience the thrill of saying goodbye to your life's savings.

The Developer, sponsored by the DBA (Dodgy Builders' Association), will send you hurtling through a collection of unfinished properties, incorporating a water feature created by the imaginative use of faulty plumbing.

The Ciara Cake, sponsored by Sean Quinn, will be the largest wedding cake ever baked. Participants in this attraction will be taken on a miniature railway through this obscenely large confection and allowed to eat as much as they wish as they travel through.

The politics experience, The Junket, will take you on a meaningless long trip with all the family. A special prize will be given to the participant who returns with a single useful idea.

The Run Away Gravy Train is expected to be the most popular attraction, especially in government circles, for whom it is a most enriching experience.

The Guess the Weight of the Banker's Bonus competition will provide a light-hearted ending to the day.

The attraction will be opened by Cardinal Sean Brady as the church is sponsoring the death-defying Leap of Faith.

Philip O'Neill

Edith Road, Oxford

Rubbish food

• Why is it that the food in many of our restaurants is still so poor?

Like many other people these days, my partner and I rarely go out to dinner any more – we just can't afford it. So when we do, it's a pretty big deal and we go with high hopes, yet invariably we're disappointed.

Last Wednesday evening, we decided to try a recently opened restaurant. Firstly, we had to wait at least 45 minutes for our meals to arrive – despite the fact that the restaurant wasn't overly busy.

Secondly, by the time our food arrived we were starving, but the portions were mean to say the least.

My partner's salmon and mash was only slightly more generous than mine, but my vegetarian lasagne was a sad sight on the plate with some green leaves and, somewhat bizarrely, miniature slices of brown bread.

It took me all of six mouthfuls to finish the lasagne. After complaining about the portion, I was offered more – which arrived 15 minutes later, and could not be finished because, having apparently been reheated from frozen, it was still freezing cold in the middle.

Thirdly, the meals themselves were edible but a long way from delicious.

I just can't understand it – why does this keep happening? And why, in particular, is the quality of the vegetarian meals on menus always so poor? Is it too much to expect to get value for money and enjoyable food?

We both left feeling really hard done by. We want to support local restaurants but don't serve us rubbish and don't make us feel like we have just thrown away our hard-earned, ever-scarce money.

G Williamson


School of terror

• Kathleen Ryan writes that many people today in their 50s and 60s can't read or write because they were labelled dunces and left at the back of the class (Letters, May 10).

This is partly true – the reason that most of these people are illiterate is because of the terror they faced on a daily basis. In those days school masters/mistresses/brothers assaulted children who weren't able to keep up with lessons by slapping them on the hands with a cane, supplied by the State. They would get smacked without warning in the face, they'd have their hair pulled and ears twisted, and some had their heads banged against the wall panelling.

This savagery was allowed take place right up until 1982, but why the parents of Ireland allowed their kids to suffer at the hands of these brutes remains a mystery. There were some good teachers who never laid a finger on a child, but some of those savages who were let loose on the kids in those days were sadists.

Paddy O'Brien

Balbriggan, Co Dublin

Nature's choice

• Surely David Quinn's defence of fee-paying schools is contradictory to the constitutional ethic, demanding that the children of the nation be treated equally. Surely also it is plain common sense that nature does not, of itself breed intelligence according to economic circumstances. A potential talented doctor, engineer or artist can issue from any womb, regardless of address or parents' salary.

One must ask what, therefore, is Mr Quinn's underlying intent? The status quo is helping the would-be economy to stagnate, through a lack of creative genius. In the end, nature decides who the Flemings, Stephensons, Mozarts, and Einsteins will come from. Not your parents' salary.

Victor Feldman

Ringsend, Dublin 4

Clouded memories

• A very nice letter from Mark Lawler on Monday – lots of nostalgia. However, Mark's memory must have become a little clouded, because the 1999 European Cup final didn't go to extra-time (injury time, maybe) and Peter Schmeichel remained on his goalline. I wonder did Mark forget that Peter saved a penalty?

What a game. What a manager. And a supporter from Kilmainham.

RJ Hanly

Screen, Co Wexford

Suicide prevention

• The recent runs and walks all over Ireland on Saturday for Pieta House to raise awareness of suicide and self-harm are touching, but the Government is still failing to act on one of the biggest issues facing this country.

So many people are taking their own lives – and these are just the ones we know about, so many others are not recorded. It is time for the State to take this issue more seriously and to create an authority that will work to prevent suicide. I would suggest a statutory body based along the lines of the Road Safety Authority.

Actions and not words are called for NOW.

Paul Doran

Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Failed experiment

• I would like to compliment your journalists, Fergus Black and Fionnan Sheahan, on their pieces in the newspaper (May 13) regarding Roscommon TD Luke Flanagan.

Mr Sheahan makes the very valid point that Mr Flanagan considers himself, and indeed promoted himself to be 'Anti-Establishment', making what we know now to be false promises that he would "not do this . . . nor that . . ." but that he would change politics completely! I would like to add that Mr Flanagan was an 'experiment' by the people of Roscommon, and this experiment has failed, miserably.

The honest people of Roscommon deserve much better than this.

James Campbell

Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Roscommon

Irish Independent