How Ireland can play its part in bringing an end to the murderous belligerence of tyrants


In militarised nations, war as a public project devours the most funding. Stock photo: Getty Images

Letters to the Editor

As a neutral country, promoting international peace and justice should be Ireland’s top priority. These can only be achieved by peaceful means – even if unfortunately running counter to recent acts of belligerence by world powers, who are now publicly readying nuclear weaponry.

Although military authorities increasingly try to categorise armaments containing depleted uranium as conventional, despite an epidemic of cancers and genetic mutations following their use in Iraq, there is evidence cited by the European Committee on Radiation Risk that nuclear weapons of one type or another may have already been deployed in Ukraine since the start of the war last February.

It said: “Results from 9 High Volume Air Samplers (HVAS) deployed onsite and offsite by Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, England, showed that there were significantly increased levels of uranium in all 9 HVAS samplers beginning in February 2022 when the war began.”

As any such result would also have significant public health implications for the UK and Europe, including Ireland, similar data from the radiation department of the Environmental Protection Agency and any other body that gathers such data is urgently required.

Despite war being a major contributor to environmental destruction, it is least touched by laws and regulations.

War as a public project in militarised nations currently devours the most funding, resources that could easily be redirected into services for Earth and life care.

The enterprise of war is the greatest impediment to urgently needed international co-operation on climate and resource crises.

War is increasingly the most likely way all life on Earth will end.

Since the first Gulf war in 1991, up to five million people have died across the wider Middle East, including one million children for war-related reasons, to vastly benefit western economic interests.

War crimes are unavoidable. Why does an imperial culture prefer war to ceasefire and negotiated settlement?

For those sharing these concerns, will decision-making leaders listen? Or will committed warmongers succeed in their opposition to a desire of the Irish people not to die in a nuclear war?

Caroline Hurley, Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary

Geography has little to do with ideology, minister

In the process of having a go at the Labour Party, a member of the Government reminded the party that one of James Connolly’s parents was from her constituency.

The minister concerned was Heather Humphreys.

Ms Humphreys must also be aware that one of the founders of her party was also from her constituency – Eoin O’Duffy.

The ideologies of both men would be millions of miles apart.

Tom Mitchell, Loughrea, Co Galway

A culture in opposition of playing to the gallery

I am not sure if many people noted the disgraceful behaviour of the parties of opposition in the last period of this parliamentary term.

They behaved like unruly children with their heckling and shouting. They made an absolute joke of our national parliament.

I felt sympathy for the Ceann Comhairle as at one stage it looked like he was having to deal with a group of kids in a small assembly hall.

There seems to be a competition in theatrics on the opposition benches.

Little wonder younger people become cynical about the whole political process.

There seems to be a culture of playing to the galleries and the cameras and turning sensitive issues into political footballs. It has gone too far.

Tom Garvey, Claremorris, Co Mayo

Time for British public to learn truth about Brexit

It would be an understatement to say Brexit has fundamentally changed Britain. It was a seismic transformation, bringing rapid and potentially irrevocable economic and political shifts in the tectonic plates of the UK. However, despite the radical and often adverse impact of these changes, the UK government has failed to hold a public inquiry into the impact of Brexit.

The electorate has a right to know the truth regarding how Britain has been changed and how their lives have been affected. The government cannot continue to hide behind the referendum result. They can’t claim Britain is regaining its “sovereignty” while simultaneously refusing a full disclosure of the facts.

Therefore, it is to be welcomed that the London parliament plans to debate the matter. Ironically, it could be argued that part of the reason the UK is in its current state of chaos is that in “regaining control” under the Brexit mantra it seems to have lost control of the facts. Britain is seemingly doomed to fall down the same bureaucratic rabbit holes.

How many incarnations of the Irish Sea border trading arrangements, from the backstop/Northern Ireland Protocol/Westminster Framework, must we endure “to get Brexit done”? Will Britain renegotiate and re-litigate Brexit for ever?

Much of the post-Brexit landscape in unknown. Are Britain’s excellent centres of higher education now being excluded from the pan-European Horizon scientific programme? Can the City of London still provide its financial services throughout the EU? Will British agriculture be able to compete with low-cost, low-quality imports from countries outside Europe without EU subsidies? The British government urgently requires objective, reliable, non-partisan information to enhance decision-making regarding future trade deals and international collaboration.

This would provide a firm foundation based on current reality – not the false promises and delusional fantasies of the arrogant, entitled schoolboy Boris Johnson and his dwindling band of ERG chums. For example, where is the £350m (€398m) a week for the NHS promised on the Brexit bus?

It is time for the public to be given full access to the facts. This is real “sovereignty”.

Hopefully, it can lead to the adoption of the only sensible policy for Britain – closer realignment with the EU.

George Workman, Donabate, Co Dublin

A gigantic leap forward for our entire planet

Lawyers should fight for the inalienable rights of people afflicted by the threat of environmental nihilism across the world. The grandeur and splendour of Mother Nature are being eroded by the nefarious activities of multinational corporations and the illegal extraction of natural resources.

People continue to suffer from cancers and respiratory, cardiovascular and dermatological illnesses. It is encouraging, therefore, that the European Parliament is taking the crime of ecocide seriously, on a par with genocides and crimes against humanity. This is a gigantic leap forward for humans and non-humans alike and is bound to extract us from the ravages of man-made natural calamities.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob, London

Fallout of survivors not being given justice

It is shocking to read about the abuse that took place in our Defence Forces.

I can appreciate how awful it must be to fear going to work each day, and to each night be afraid in your bedroom.

As I understand it, no one is above the law, so anybody who perpetrated and anybody who covered up such crimes must now be made to face the law.

There are allegations that women and men were sexually assaulted. The gardaí and the courts must examine each and every one of these cases.

It demeans us all if survivors are not given justice.

Beth Doran, Raheen, Co Limerick

A most heartfelt message on a very serious topic

I would like to say a special hello to my fellow fools on this our special day.

Ed Toal, Galway city