In a week when Nicola Sturgeon flagged another referendum for Scotland’s independence, we read that Tánaiste Leo Varadkar spoke against any haste in a border poll on the island of Ireland. Who exactly is Mr Varadkar speaking for? Fine Gael, of course – the party that accepted partition. But is he speaking on behalf of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin or the nationalist people of the entire island, particularly the almost 50pc of republicans in Ulster? I don’t think so.
We need to separate out old Cumann na nGaedheal ideals from modern Irish aspirations. Additionally Varadkar cites his “respect” for Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP, a party hell-bent on dragging the entire island back to post-partition anger with his goal of ensuring the crown trumps the harp every single time, that every post box remains red and all shades of green are bleached.
If Mr Varadkar truly believes he can deal with Mr Donaldson, he’s either naive or complicit in Donaldson’s endgame. When the House of Lords rubber-stamp the protocol-breaking alterations, does Mr Varadkar believe that the nationalist people of this island will accept London’s writ?
Dunboyne, Co Meath
While the better team won in New Zealand, all is not yet lost.
Ireland coughed up three easy, converted tries and no team can afford such profligacy.
We also had two, correctly judged, near tries when the ball was dislodged over the try line and several other decent attacks.
Add in the usual All Black tactics of always trying to block would-be tacklers, offsides and slowing their opponents’ ball, and the next Test should be closer. No other team gets away with such behaviour.
Also, in the 21st century how are they still allowed the haka? This “war dance” should be seen for what it is... a throwback to colonial times when it was seen to be a quaint ritual.
Has anyone noticed the reduction in ingredients and size in consumer goods since the magic word “inflation” was let out of the bottle? Take the fruit scone, where you can now count the sultanas on one hand. Or the fruit loaf that must be cut length-ways to reveal a bashful currant. Then there is the “hand-carved” ham slices, (as opposed to foot-carved?) which would float out the window if left unattended.
Then we have cheese, which, although produced in Ireland, is sold in expensive and reducing slivers that would barely cover a modest cracker. Perhaps the producers are aiming at the Lilliputian market.
With due respect to Christy Galligan (‘How can we stand back as Taliban represses women?’, Irish Independent, Letters, July 2), since 1979 the people of Afghanistan have fought off a Russian incursion, followed by a US-led coalition including UK, Australia and other nations’ soldiers.
It is estimated it has cost $300m per day since 2001. In total, $2.3trillion – and this is only what we are permitted to know.
The number of casualties is shocking. The level of post-traumatic stress disorder in returning soldiers is profound as are the suicides of these men and women.
The mountainous landscape of Afghanistan makes it a death trap for any invader.
The only realisable way to give the people of Afghanistan relief and hope, is to permit those who want to leave entry to Western nations. Think how less costly that would be, than filling the coffers of a handful of munitions manufacturers.
Last Monday my wife and I set off to lovely Westport for a few days. So maybe you would allow me to share our joy with your readers?
Here goes: A tasty scone or toastie in Gavin’s. Magic walks on the greenway to the quay with a brilliant small bookshop called ‘Tertulia – A Bookshop Like No Other’ (really lives up to its name). Lovely evening meals in O’Malleys, Coveys, and the West Bar. A few drinks with brilliant talent performing in the Porter House bar. A trip around Westport House and grounds. A short walk up Croagh Patrick. A pleasant drive to Newport and Achill Island. And just sitting in the middle of this lively town observing life around us and people-watching.
But most important of all, we even got many spells of sunshine. I kid you not. Now that’s what I call a holiday.
Thank God for it.
Brian Mc Devitt
Glenties, Co Donegal