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Letters: Donegal footballers did the county proud


Donegal's Rory Kavanagh gets away from David Moran of Kerry during the All-Ireland football final. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Donegal's Rory Kavanagh gets away from David Moran of Kerry during the All-Ireland football final. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE


Donegal's Rory Kavanagh gets away from David Moran of Kerry during the All-Ireland football final. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

I have to say that Donegal's minor and senior football teams deserve the utmost respect for the performance in Pairc an Crocaigh on Sunday last.

Sometimes things do not go according to plan and it's not anyone's fault, it doesn't matter how much time is spent on the drawing board, and for us, Sunday was one of those unfortunate days when the target seemed to be a little further away than normal. Playing Kerry was never going to be a walk in the park, and fair dues to them, they've collected the title 37 times since 1903.

To get to Croke Park in the first place is an achievement not to be sniffed at. For anyone who complains about how our players performed or underperformed, one has to remember that there are 30 other counties that would have loved to have had the opportunity to play in an All Ireland final, some will in the future while others may only ever get to dream about it.

Thanks to all the players for taking us on a great journey - the flags and posters lifted everyone's spirits for months.

Go raibh mile maith ag na lads alig ar an dha foireann.

James Woods, Gort an Choirce, Dun na nGall


Media played its part in the crash

In her letter Mary Sullivan (Irish Independent, September 24)highlights the importance of media in a democracy. What she says reminds us all that media is more than just another vested interest. The power of media in opinion forming and holding the great and the good to account cannot be overstated.

She refers to the Watergate case in the US, the 40th anniversary of which happened recently, which caused a president to resign. She also points out that here in Ireland the media exposed wrongdoings by church and State and is "an important watchdog in protecting our democracy".

What Ms Sullivan does not mention, however, is that media, like all human institutions, has its own failings. One of the reasons this country became bankrupt is that the members of governments, bank boards, etc were not sufficiently held to account by the Irish media during the boom.

At the moment, far too much of media coverage of current affairs is little more than gossip and personalised abuse, missing the main issues. As a result, it is repeating the mistakes of the boom period, when the single biggest calamity to hit this country - the bankrupting of the State - came on with little or no media warning.

A Leavy, Sutton, Dublin 13


Welcome to quangohood

Let me see if I understand this correctly?

Fine Gael's Deirdre Clune wins a seat in the European Parliament and according to what is considered normal in the la la land of Irish politics, her Seanad seat 'must' be filled by someone from Fine Gael, and for whatever reason Fine Gael has decided that person will be Mr John McNulty.

The vacancy he is filling is on the Cultural Panel, and to qualify Mr McNulty must be a part of the Cultural Panel so he can be 'elected' by his peers. And, to allow him to join the quangohood, it just so happens by a happy stroke of luck there's a vacancy on the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).

What are the chances? The new Arts Minister, Heather Humphreys, immediately used the typical blanket defence of her department (so much for change) and justified her actions by claiming she had no involvement in picking the Fine Gael candidate for the Seanad, which may be true. But she is the minister who signed off on the appointment of a Fine Gael Seanad candidate to a vacancy at the IMMA, that in turn assists that Fine Gael candidate's 'election' to the Seanad.

Someone in Fine Gael put Mr McNulty's name forward for the IMMA appointment. It is a tall order to try and argue that it was a coincidence that the department chose to offer the appointment to Mr McNulty, who didn't even apply for it, and that there was no interference from Fine Gael in the appointment process. If there was ever any doubt about whether Fine Gael is the new Fianna Fail, Ms Humphreys has removed all doubt.

Desmond FitzGerald, Commercial Road, London E14, UK


Of course we sell newspapers

When my late uncle opened an early version of a supermarket on a new housing estate in Drogheda in the mid-1950s, he lost out to the shop next door in the winning of the sole licence to sell newspapers in that catchment area.

Arising from this serious competitive disadvantage, I, as a lad, had the daily task of flying down on my bike to the different newsagents (Schwer's, Madame Le Worthy's, Bateson's, et al) in the centre of the town and buying up evening papers in ones, twos or sometimes threes to minimise suspicious looks. Then, with my booty tied firmly to my bike's carrier, I hightailed it back to my uncle's and stuffed each copy into the display board at the entrance to his premises.

Of course Mr Grogan sold newspapers!

Oliver McGrane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16


Dinner at 11am

David McWilliams rightly recognises the substantial contribution agriculture makes to the Irish economy (Irish Independent September 24). However his implied reference to farmers being "people who have their dinner in the middle of the day" is clearly from the mouth of a white-collar man.

With all respect Mr McWilliams, it may be the middle of your day. Indeed, I know many a farmer who would be aghast if dinner were any later than 11am, given the productivity achieved before many others turn on their computers.

Happy ploughing!

Deirdre Lusby, Galway


Flanagan's double standards

On September 1, 2014, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said "the invasion of Ukraine is against international law and must stop" (RTE News). He made no reference to the role of NATO as one of the root causes of the Ukraine conflict.

On September 22, the United States and its allies launched air strikes in Syria using warplanes, armed drones and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

On September 23, Mr Flanagan stated on RTE News regarding the bombing in Syria that, "people will not be surprised. With regard to the air attacks, targets need to be particularly precise, and of course innocent civilians need to be spared."

In contrast with his statement on Ukraine, the minister failed to mention that these air strikes contravene international law, because they do not have UN Security Council approval. His statement that "the air attacks targets need to be particularly precise" suggests that the Irish Government approves of such air strikes as long as they are "particularly precise", regardless of breaches of international laws.

Edward Horgan, Casteltroy, Limerick


Repeating past mistakes

It seems that governments do not learn from history, and often repeat mistakes. This Friday, David Cameron is planning on recalling the UK parliament, and pushing for a vote to authorise Britain's military involvement in Syria and Iraq. In doing so, it will join the US who are already at it.

Many of those militants in the so-called Islamic State were trained by UK armed forces last year, to overthrow the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Much of the weaponry in this now destabilised region was supplied by British and American companies. And if you go back a bit further, those two countries' forces killed around a million Iraqis following the 2003 illegal invasion.

Name and address with editor

Irish Independent