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Government knows no shame in claiming fishermen’s win on Russian war games

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Defence Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Defence Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Defence Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Clearly the decision of the fishermen, to sail into the area of the Russian theatre of operations and withstand the threat of the Russian fleet by fishing as they normally would on February 1, won the game of chicken.

Many will claim it was a master stroke by the Russians to bring attention to flexing their military muscle in Nato’s back yard, and thus winning the propaganda war by graciously relocating at the request of defenceless little old Ireland.

Even with Russia relocating its fleet, it has not lost face in this development. They are still holding their manoeuvres and poking Nato in the eye.

I can’t help but think that there is a Russian strategist, now somewhere in Siberia, who overlooked the fact the timing of these military operations coincided with the Irish fleets allotted period under EU fishing regulations to fish this area for a limited period.

Knowing Russia, they had no intention of backing down until they realised a fleet of fishing vessels from this tiny neutral country was going to defy the threat to life and limb and would haphazardly be criss-crossing their theatre of operations.

The Russians may not care what other countries think of them but even they could not risk international outrage if any Irish fishing boat was accidentally fired upon, rammed by a battle ship or dragged under by a nuclear submarine entangled in its nets.

Also, is there no shame in how far our Government is prepared to go to try and win votes? The sheer audacity of it to claim it was foreign affairs diplomacy that persuaded the Russian fleet to relocate the war games is jaw-dropping.

The only reason I can come up with to explain this outrageous claim was for an excuse to have yet another Champagne knees-up in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Anthony McGeough

Dublin 24

 

Calls to join Nato are lost on a disenfranchised public

As tensions mount between Russia and the West, there are calls for Ireland to join Nato or become part of an EU defence order.

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For what reason? As it stands, following the financial crash in 2008, young people in Ireland are guaranteeing the wealth of European bondholders, property investors and pension funds to the extent that they cannot afford a home in their own country.

Is it conceivable that people think it is fair for these same disenfranchised people to put their lives on the line in order to sustain the lifestyles of European industrialists along with the aforementioned monied classes?

Perhaps a battalion called “The Hibernian Helots”?

Eugene Tannam

Dublin 24

 

Russians not welcome but EU trawlers can do as they like

“Is this a Russian sub which I see before me” could well become the catchcry of the Irish fishing fleet as it sallies forth out of Bantry Bay for the foreseeable future. There’ll be nowhere left for the Russians to hide, but the EU trawlers can strip our fishing grounds of every herring which shows his face.

Robert Sullivan

Bantry, Co Cork

 

Nothing civil about sky-high salary for secretary-general

With ministers and others approving the €295,000 salary of Department of Health secretary-general Robert Watt (‘McGrath faces questions over Watt’s €81,000 salary increase’, Irish Independent, Saturday, January 29), it is time to rectify the myth, particularly in the public service, that bloated salaries are the route to finding the best people for the role.

It is difficult to justify Mr Watt’s enormous salary and determine any benefit he will bring. His salary represents 22 times the full state pension, 15 times an annual full-time minimum wage and 12 times the annual living wage proposed by Living Wage Ireland and supported by many other charities and organisations. It is time the people of Ireland recognised the duplicity being perpetrated within our society.

Hugh McDermott

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

 

Marcus Rashford has already condemned anti-Semitism

Evenn before the publication of Ian O’Doherty’s comments on Marcus Rashford (‘What will Rashford’s Jewish fans think of his photo with rapper Wiley?’, Review, January 29), Rashford had taken to social media to condemn anti-Semitism and acknowledge tackling anti-Semitism should be very much part of soccer’s anti-racism stance. It is unfortunate O’Doherty’s article did not include Rashford’s admirable response.

Teresa Trainor

Dublin 16


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