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Let's have an 'Anglo Day' national holiday - so we never forget


The site of Anglo Irish Bank’s planned new HQ at North Wall Quay, Dublin, pictured in 2013. The project had been proposed before the bank’s collapse

The site of Anglo Irish Bank’s planned new HQ at North Wall Quay, Dublin, pictured in 2013. The project had been proposed before the bank’s collapse

The site of Anglo Irish Bank’s planned new HQ at North Wall Quay, Dublin, pictured in 2013. The project had been proposed before the bank’s collapse

Ireland has had a turbulent history but there are some events that run deep in our psyche, such as Cromwell's campaign, the Great Famine and TB.

I believe we now have a new candidate: Anglo Irish Bank. Even in death, Anglo (new name IBRC) continues to haunt us, with daily rows over its carcass. The media, the courts and the Dáil are still enthralled by a tale that seems to have no ending.

In view of this, I think it fitting that Ireland should have its own annual 'Anglo Day'. It should be declared a bank holiday. It deserves its own unique day, up there with Saint Patrick as regards importance.

I'd suggest the day begin with people gathering at former Anglo branches. There should be poetry readings and street entertainment with songs such as 'Money, Money, Money', 'Money for Nothing' and 'Take the Money and Run'. There should be vox pops on the streets with the question:"What were you doing the night of the Guarantee?"

Throughout the day, people should eat, drink and be merry in order to imitate life during Anglo. As night falls, once everyone has had their fill, there should be a fireworks display and a symbolic bursting of four million balloons to signify the crash of Anglo.

I believe the new national holiday should be on a Friday, so that Saturday can be used to nurse the hangover, again to be in close keeping with the aftermath of the Anglo collapse.

Some lawyers, accountants and liquidators could continue partying indefinitely but, of course, that would be an exclusive, ticket-only event.

I think that such an annual Anglo Day would serve as a reminder to Ireland and its future generations of the folly of unregulated free market capitalism.

Arthur's Day failed to take off but Anglo Day would have far more significance. After all, it takes some effort to reduce a nation to penury, and it needs to be marked.

Joseph Kiely

Donegal town, Co Donegal

Gender quotas don't work

With reference to A Leavy's letter (Irish Independent, June 3), there is a simple but very pertinent question that he and other supporters of the gender quota for female candidates for Dáil elections fail to address: how will voters be able to tell which female candidates have been chosen primarily for their ability and which primarily to fill the quota? The truth is that it will be impossible to know.

The experience of the UK under its last Labour government (1997 to 2010) does not support the view that the use of gender quotas, whether official or unofficial, in the selection of candidates for parliamentary elections leads to an improvement in the quality of national governance.

What would be far more useful than a gender quota would be some form of 'expertise quota' system aimed at improving the quality and diversity of expertise in the Dáil, whereby certain professions such as teaching - which, incidentally, is 74pc female - have long been over-represented.

While it's all too obvious that ability and expertise, irrespective of gender, were not given the priority they should have been when candidates were being selected for Dáil elections in the past, it would be irrational to argue that this justifies not giving these qualities priority over non-merit-related factors such as gender in the future. In fact, our recent economic woes make the case for giving them top priority.

What also seems to be needed to improve the quality of our national governance is a reform of the way in which our political system works - which, hopefully, would encourage those with the requisite ability and expertise, regardless of gender, to put themselves forward for selection as Dáil candidates.

Hugh Gibney

Athboy, Co Meath

Don't knock the conformists

David McWilliams correctly observes that the professions in Ireland are dominated by a certain type of systematic, conservative male who is predictable and conformist (Irish Independent, June 3).

However, there is a second, commonly found male type that exists in Ireland and beyond. This male is a reckless non-conformist. This male can be as equally intelligent as the conformist but is entirely unpredictable and his motivations are opaque when scrutinised.

When we consider men for recruitment into various positions we have to ask ourselves, "What will this person do in the job?"

The conformist will do what they are told, run a steady ship and if they hit turbulent waters, will seek guidance from colleagues within the organisation or profession.

The non-conformist will behave differently. They are as likely to man the pumps as they are to be first to make off in a lifeboat.

We all know examples of these two types of men. We may criticise the old boys' club which propagates itself according to its own traditions but ultimately, for the sake of stability, we have to ask who do we want in charge of our institutions?

The Irish banking crisis was a result of the non-conformists fooling the conformists into thinking the Irish economy was on a sound trajectory.

The money is gone, the non-conformists are gone, and one is left in little doubt as to who won out on the day.

Tom O'Brien

Dungannon, Co Tyrone

Russia's hilarious Fifa response

If 'Game of Thrones' has taught us anything, it is that politics can be the most interesting and potent force in life.

It can start and end wars, cause and extinguish great dynasties, change cultures forever and provide endless gossip about the antics of politicians in their personal lives.

But who knew that it could also be incredibly funny?

And who knew that this humour would come from the leaders of a pseudo-Stalinist dictatorship in the form of the Russian government and its response to the Fifa corruption crisis?

Well, they are experts on corruption, aren't they?

They call the arrests and indictments of senior Fifa officials an illegal attempt by the United States to impose its laws on foreign states.

They are, of course, well practiced in such bullying tactics themselves, what with their machinations against such weaker states as Georgia and Ukraine. Perhaps they simply wanted to corner the market on such behaviour. After all, it has been a key part of their foreign policy for years now.

"Once again, we urge Washington to stop trying to set itself up as a judge far outside its borders and to follow the generally accepted international legal procedures," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Really? Bullying, imperialist behaviour is wrong. Physician, heal thyself.

Russia hasn't been this funny since pro-Putin bikers seriously inferred that they carried make-up supplies with them everywhere.

Colin Smith

Clara, Co Offaly

Irish Independent