Sunday 20 October 2019

Letters: 'For the good of our country we need more - not fewer - civil servants'

Hard work: Hospital staff work in some of toughest conditions in the country. Photo: PA Wire
Hard work: Hospital staff work in some of toughest conditions in the country. Photo: PA Wire
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

I think Richard Barton ('Public sector like broken gun - they can't be fired', Letters, December 6) should do a little more research before writing. His rant on public service workers was so full of inaccuracies, personal opinion masquerading as fact and calculated insults that I have to set the record straight.

We do not have, as he suggests, "far too many" public servants in Ireland. The reality is that OECD statistics for 2017 show that just 14pc of the Irish workforce is employed in the public service. This is lower than almost all other European countries.

In comparison the figure for Denmark is 29pc, Sweden 28pc, France 22pc, Belgium 19pc and Britain 17pc. In fact to bring Ireland's public services into line with other countries we would have to increase our spending substantially and employ far more nurses, teachers and council workers. Naturally our health, education and local authority services would be far better for this.

His comment that public servants "do not really achieve much for the good of the country" is outrageous and laughable. This is grossly insulting to our doctors and nurses working flat out in our hospitals, our gardaí who protect us 24/7 and our teachers who work in some of the most overcrowded and underfunded classrooms in Europe.

The quality and efficiency of our public services is very highly regarded internationally. Figures published by the Institute of Public Administration in 2017 show the Irish public service is seen as the most professional and least politicised in Europe and one of the least bureaucratic and least corrupt.

More than 60pc of the public and half of business users surveyed see the civil service as efficient; business executives rate the quality of public administration as sixth in the EU28.

By all means let's have a debate on public service numbers, efficiency and spending but let this debate be informed by facts and evidence and not by uninformed personal opinion.

Kevin P McCarthy
Killarney, Co Kerry

UN master plan to make Europe pay for migration

No doubt with respect to signing the UN migration pact, Leo Varadkar has already done so. True to form he pays more interest to matters of UN interest than to matters of Irish interest.

As for Colette Brown's article (Comment, Irish Independent, December 5), she will have to add Croatia, Italy, Lithuania and Switzerland to the list of European non-signatories of the pact.

Not everyone thinks this pact is a good idea, not just right-wing parties. 'Die Welt' newspaper in Germany thinks the migration pact being pushed through the Bundestag with no debate was a "disastrous approach".

In Belgium, a vote on this issue almost brought down the government. What Colette Brown and other liberal know-it-alls do not realise is migration into Europe is a very, very divisive issue and it is getting more so every day. Liberals think labelling people as racist will make these problems go away; they won't.

The problem with the UN is it has a preferential interest in the poor of African and Asian countries and wants to import them into Europe, to be supported by western taxpayers' money.

Managing "borders in an integrated, secure and co-ordinated manner"sounds an awful lot like getting rid of borders. That is one of the aims of the UN, to get rid of international borders, to allow the masses from the Third World to enter Europe and live there at our expense.

The UN pact, while not legally binding now, will be; mark my words, it is all part of the UN master plan.

Desmond Nugent
Ballybane, Co Galway

Leo will have no problem getting 'no border' border

As brexit madness plays across the water, we remember all the other times Britain went a bit mad and Ireland suffered. The Tudor sociopaths? The Cromwell years? The WWI mincing machine?

Given the chaos that is a no-deal Brexit, I doubt they will have the people to man the Northern Irish Border.

I am sure Leo can get Europe's blessing for a "no border" border between here and Northern Ireland and if Irish goods flow over it from Belfast to Stranraer and down to the UK, it's a little enough problem for the EU. The backstop backstop solution.

You have to say, it's nice to be independent.

Pauline Bleach
NSW, Australia

Keep abortion away from GP and hospital services

Locating Termination of Pregnancies (life) Clinics in hospitals, particularly maternity hospitals, is totally inappropriate and unacceptable.

Additionally, no consideration is demonstrated to hospital staff, doctors and nurses many of whom are being frogmarched into performing procedures that are offensive to their conscience and professional ethics.

Likewise, GPs not prepared to offer abortion services are - under threat - being ordered to refer persons seeking abortion to other professional colleagues who are prepared to offer such services.

Simon Harris, you surely must understand this form of action makes them accomplices in the procedure?

Yet we are told nine persons travel abroad every day to have an abortion, whilst at home another three persons take pills to induce an abortion. That provides an unverifiable number of 4,380 abortions each year.

What is the solution to this difficulty? Simple. Immediately rent, or buy/build, suitable properties for establishing termination clinics - one in each of the four provinces. Fit them out with the appropriate equipment/materials to provide an efficient and safe environment for those persons seeking termination services.

Then engage properly qualified staff, doctors and nurses who are devoid of any guilt complexes regarding the work that is expected to be executed. Advertise the locations of the termination clinics and those seeking such services will find their way to them without the need to trouble their local GPs or hospitals.

This would be a totally new service and since it is going to be in existence for the long-term it is important not to act in haste but take time and ensure it is fit for purpose and run in parallel with the health service, but in no way physically connected with same.

Patrick Murray
Dundrum, Dublin 14

Irish Independent

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