Letters: Horse and greyhound racing industries have influential backers in the Dáil

Stock image of greyhound racing. Photo: Action Plus© Getty Images

Letters to the Editor

Recent calls by the FAI for a review of the funding model which each year sees circa €100m in state funding handed over to the horse and greyhound racing industries will be welcomed by all who take an interest in how taxpayers’ money is used, or indeed misused in this country.

One of the many interesting facts contained in the KHSK Economic Report, prepared for the FAI on this subject, is that over 60pc of the money allocated to these two industries is given out in prize money.

What many people may not know is that members of the Dáil who own, or part-own, a racehorse or racing greyhound, are not obliged to declare same in the Register of Members’ Interests. Direct involvement in horse and greyhound racing seems to have been a popular sideline for many TDs over the years, and this continues to be so in the current Dáil.

When such TDs vote in favour of government proposals to fund the horse and greyhound industry, it is entirely possible that they will benefit personally from this funding if their canine or equine charges are successful on the racetrack. If this doesn’t represent a clear conflict of interest, I don’t know what does. Surely the Irish taxpayer deserves to know if the words or actions of their elected representatives in Dáil Eireann are influenced by anything other than the public good.

Nuala Donlon

Spokesperson, Greyhound Action Ireland

Why justice on the cheap will be more costly in the long run

I am a criminal defence barrister practising mainly in the District Court for as little as €25.20 under the criminal legal aid scheme.

Putting it simply, the criminal justice system is broken. Silence is no longer an option. People must put aside their personal comfort and do the right thing.

I want a justice system that functions – not one that merely survives on hope and goodwill.

Victims of crime and wrongly accused persons deserve better. Justice on the cheap will cost more in the long run.

God is good – the due administration of justice must be perfect. I pray I am closer to one and can only hope for the other.

Ireland is fast becoming the jukebox of failure, rapidly filling with broken records. We have only scratched the surface in the criminal justice system.

Darren Lalor

Law Library, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8

AI threats bring to mind a wise old neighbour’s words

During my youth I remember a neighbour who was considered as something of a sage, expressing the opinion that the brains of man had destroyed the hands of man.

I assumed that he meant that advances in the manufacture of tools and gadgetry had led to the demise of traditional craftsmen.

Moving forward half a century or so, and having read James Titcomb’s article (‘Why everyone from Joe Biden to Elon Musk is terrified by AI’, Irish Independent, May 6) in respect of the threats posed by the adoption of AI technology, I cannot help but recall my now-deceased neighbour’s pronouncement.

Has the intellect of the human species only succeeded in releasing an untameable genie and what ultimately are its consequences?

Gerard Cassidy

Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh

Russia’s World War II efforts also relied on support of US

Hugh Duffy (‘Zelensky should recall Russia’s role in history’, Irish Independent, Letters, May 6) correctly reminds us of the huge contribution Russia made in World War II and that President Volodymyr Zelensky, Europe and the US should acknowledge this fact. However, he fails to state that Russia’s efforts largely depended on American support.

Massive amounts of American armaments were shipped across the Atlantic during the winter in bitter subzero temperatures and ferocious gales into Murmansk and Archangel. The secondary route was through Iran. I don’t think Russia has ever acknowledged this American support.

Zelensky, like Russia in World War II, is resisting the invader with the support of democratic countries.

Leonard Hurley

Cahersiveen, Co Kerry

A genuine Springsteen fan who knows who’s The Boss

What a lovely article by Ralph Riegel (‘The greatest events of my life have played out to a Springsteen backing track’, Irish Independent, May 6).

There will have been a lot of “newbie” fans in the good seats in the RDS who don’t know Bruce Springsteen’s music at all really. But Ralph (and his uncle) will be there with genuine true fans. Hopefully he can write an equally entertaining article on the Tuesday night concert.

Donough O Reilly

Stillorgan, Dublin