Letters: Left close to tears as our main parties continue with their 'gift to the nation'
The "contented and suckling agreement" shook on between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in recent weeks surely must be our politicians' greatest Christmas gift to the nation.
Imagine the days and nights of anxiety endured by these chaps before a decision was made. A decision which would guarantee everyone a pension and a peaceful Christmas.
We were told that we needed stability during the Brexit crisis, across the water. Strangely, Britain, the chief player in the Brexit drama, forged ahead with no-confidence motions and threats to collapse the government. How noble of our chaps to agree to holding out for another year or so. A decision in no way related to pension entitlements, but purely an act of heartfelt patriotism on the part of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. I'm not a man given to shows of tearful sentimentality, however this Christmas I will dab a tear from the eye as I raise a festive toast to the enduring "contented and suckling agreement". Merry Christmas.
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Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Revisiting adoption could help with difficult choices
Can we really put ourselves in the other person's shoes? It is hard to debate a subject mindfully when no matter what the stance there will always be someone hurt on the other side.
Like the sensitivity of a balanced discussion on abortion, when it is likely someone knows someone who has had one. The same conversation might be equally incredulous for one who has recently undergone fertility treatment and waited hopefully for the cells to divide each day, potentially bringing the joy they wish for. Non-judgmentally, one person's non-viable foetus is another person's potential person.
For those who need to have an abortion to save their lives I wish you health; for those who choose the same as they absolutely cannot mentally live, I wish you comfort; for those who reluctantly go ahead with birth I wish you much support.
For those who wish to give birth but decide to put their child up for adoption, as they know they are not ready, I applaud the joy you will give to yourself, your child and its new parents. I for one will never say 'how could you give up your child'? This may be the right thing for you and all.
While being sensitive to the relationship of the child and their new parents, should we revisit the option of adoption in another light? In an era when we often choose our life partner with the swipe of a dating screen, could we choose the new parents of our child? Maybe we could negotiate being 'auntie Mary', who arrives annually for the birthday celebration?
An open-minded approach to give options to those who simply do not want to abort, but want to live their lives after birth, is crying out for a tolerant debate.
Name and address with editor
Holding our ground in the battle of the backstop
The front pages of the Irish Independent for three days, Wednesday to Friday, had the following headlines: 'Troops put on standby in no-deal Brexit plan', 'Hard Border and medical shortages in Brexit chaos' and 'Hard Border looms as Leo warns of 'real difficulties''. Brexit and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit is indeed very big news here in Ireland at the moment.
Last Wednesday after 'stupidgate', when Jeremy Corbyn allegedly called British Prime Minister Theresa May a "stupid woman", a photograph was shown on British TV of him in a room adjacent to the debating chamber watching proceedings on TV. Also in the room was a newspaper stand and the Irish Independent could clearly be seen along with the English dailies.
A hard Border would have very serious consequences for this country. However, we must not back down from the deal that is presently on the table in the form of relaxing the so-called backstop. The backstop is a necessity to ensure there is no return to a hard Border in Ireland and the possibility that a hard Border could be the spark to re-ignite sectarian violence in the North.
If the UK crashes out of the EU, a hard Border may result but we cannot be complicit in this. While English MPs may only now be beginning to grasp the effects of Brexit on Ireland, they must also come to their senses and realise it is their decision alone if they leave without a deal. Whatever effects this has on Ireland and the EU in general, we are unfortunately just passive observers in all of this.
Keeping up to date on the length of prison sentences
The item regarding politicians and calendars ('Day to forget for Healy-Rae: TD's 2019 calendar is riddled with errors', December 21) reminded me of the two men caught stealing a calendar. They got six months each.
Beaumont, Dublin 9
Time to educate people on the dangers of alcohol
If car drivers, having consumed two units of alcohol, are breathalysed and found to be over the new limits they are put off the road for three months. This law arises from the belief that even small amounts of alcohol can impair driving ability and lead to road accidents.
There have been several reports in your paper of people brought to court for assaulting security people and gardaí, and causing substantial damage to both people and property. In many of these cases we were told the accused people had been so drunk they had no memory of their actions the following day. The fines were unlikely to cover a fraction of the expenses created by their drunken activity.
Why aren't such people required to attend courses to make them confront the dangers of alcohol and to show them the social, economic and health implications of excessive alcohol? They should be required to pay the full cost of such courses as a further deterrent.
Tuam, Co Galway
We cannot stand by amid threat of horror in Syria
Turkey has said it will invade and destroy the quasi-independent Kurdish enclave of Rojava in northern Syria, and the Kurds "will be buried in their ditches". The world can't just stand by and watch this happen.