The misogynists are almost back in power. Éamon de Valera was the only leader in the 1916 Rising to refuse to have women under his command. Much of his legislation in the 1930s and his 1937 Constitution discriminated against women, such as the ban on divorce, contraception, their exemption from jury duty and the marriage ban in the civil service.
In the 1940s, his government turned a blind eye to the questionable practice of symphysiotomies that left so many women in permanent ill-health.
For all Fianna Fáil’s talk of equality for women, only six were returned to the Dáil in 2016. Today they have a mere five.
And Thomas Byrne has yet to apologise to the most popular female politician in the State, Mary Lou McDonald, and to the women of Ireland over his deeply offensive liking of a tweet in February referring to her as a “c***”. Would he have liked something equally disgusting of a black, FG or Labour woman?
Following the formation of this latest government one thing is sure, Fianna Fáil will lead us, as they have frequently done, to economic ruin.
May God have mercy on us!
Séamus Ó Mathúna
Baile na Rátha, An Uaimh, An Mhí
Greens have failed to ease the despair of homelessness
It is obvious from the initial notes on the agreement to form a government that the new coalition has no intention of tackling the housing crisis in the only way it can be done – the State prioritising and implementing a programme of social house-building big enough to ensure every citizen can access a secure, adequate and decent place to live (‘From transport to education – what’s in the new Programme for Government, and what now?’, Irish Independent, June 15).
It is profoundly disappointing to see the Greens prepared to sit in government for five years and become benign onlookers as the misery caused by homelessness, and the threat of it, is allowed to persist.
It seems the pursuit of high office once again trumped any ambition to act on the common good.
Wind turbines generate a different type of problem
If the Greens are to hold sway with their base as members of government, a ban on gas exploration is a win. But it is a hollow win.
They should also seek divestment from wind energy turbines. Going after fossil fuel is easy. A harder, but more environmentally conscious effort would go after wind turbines too.
Not because of visual pollution, but because of real issues with turbine recycling and a reliance on landfills (there is more and more discussion on this coming out of the US and it was recently the subject of an investigation by Bloomberg Green – see ‘Wind turbines can’t be recycled’).
The Greens’ flaw is not that they’re right-wing, a foolish charge. Nor that they expose themselves through public bickering, something all parties do. A more serious flaw is their lack of ability to address difficult but important issues around the negative environmental impacts of wind energy.
You’d be forgiven for asking: “Where’s the beef?”
Frederick Lane North, Dublin 1
End of direct provision for asylum seekers welcome
I was delighted to see one of the elements to help get an agreement for a new government formation was to begin to see the end of the dreadful direct provision system for asylum seekers in this country.
Glenties, Co Donegal
Wage scheme needs to keep flying for key aviation sector
Economic activity has significantly contracted due to the public health emergency. Many sectors have been severely impacted, not least of which is the aviation sector, not only a huge source of employment but also a significant economic driver for the open economy that is Ireland.
As an island nation, connectivity is key and therefore strong air links and strong airlines need to be maintained and supported so green shoots of recovery can emerge when conditions allow.
The requirement to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival is having a detrimental effect on recovery plans for the airlines. Once restrictions are lifted it will take some time for them to recover.
Airlines are putting entire staff on short time to retain flexibility advantage should an upswing occur when restrictions are lifted and pent-up demand can be realised.
The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will need to be extended for the sector so airlines and workers are supported at this time until recovery returns – but with the caveat that airlines do not use such schemes to caustically erode the working conditions of those workers.
Malahide Road, Dublin 17