Letters: No police and thieves in the street in the Netherlands

Cycles of all types parked in a public bicycle parking area in Amsterdam, Netherlands© Getty Images

Letters to the Editor

While working in the Netherlands recently I had occasion to stay in the town of Almelo – which is centrally placed geographically about two hours from Amsterdam.

It’s an unremarkable town if truth be told, clean and tidy with a gentle air of quiet contentment.

But for me, the most remarkable thing about this town was the apparent lack of security in terms of policing. I struggled to see more than a couple of police officers during my stay there.

More remarkable still was the lack of need for security.

Outside my hotel was situated a large area for parking bicycles, about 200 in total. Not a single bicycle was locked. These all just waited patiently for their owners to return, secure in the knowledge that they were indeed quite secure.

I’m sad to say that I know of nowhere in Ireland where one could park 200 bicycles unlocked, and have even a faint hope that they would be present on one’s return. Almelo is just about 90 minutes flight time from Dublin, yet a world away. Where did we go wrong?

Eamon Kearney, Ayrfield Road, Dublin

I’m no fan of the monarchy, but we should show respect

I live in rural Canada. I have long been campaigning against the local adulation for the monarchy.

Over the years, I have made significant progress in that regard.

However, when I read about the behaviour and immaturity of the likes of Matthew Barrett at the coronation of King Charles III it goes beyond belief. It’s appalling to watch this from afar.

Full disclosure: I am a long-standing supporter of Fine Gael going back to my university days in the 1970s.

Gerard Walsh, Port Elgin, Ontario

Take it as read, our young will prosper from reading

There is much to celebrate in reading ‘Ireland’s 10 and 11-year-olds among top in world for reading, study reveals’, (Irish Independent, May 17).

These reading results show that positive and affirming parenting took place during the pandemic despite the stressful circumstances of that time.

Perhaps continuing to give space and time to reading as a worthwhile family activity would be a good outcome of the pandemic. This is especially true now that so many other activities are again competing for all-too-precious family time.

Finally, schools must prioritise their library spaces and ensure that students of all ages, stages, backgrounds and abilities continue to have the opportunity to enjoy the experience of reading in a safe environment.

Stephen O’Hara, school chaplain, Carrowmore, Sligo

Allez les Bleus Irlandais for European Champions Cup

Leinster and La Rochelle will contend for European rugby bragging rights tomorrow.

Will it be Leo Cullen or Ronan O’Gara smiling at the final whistle? My heart is with the boys in blue.

But fair play to all.

M O’Brien, Dalkey, Co Dublin

​Yes, minister, but if no one drives then we get nowhere

“If everyone drives, no one gets anywhere quickly,” Eamon Ryan Minister for Transport says. If I don’t drive, I don’t get anywhere.

Seamus McLoughlin, Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim

Late Late Show is hardly a shift at the coalface, lads

Prior to the Late Latehot seat being vacated, I don’t believe I’d ever seen a newspaper article about a chat show being so hard a gig that it should be avoided. But now I’m besieged by such articles.

Ryan Tubridy’s replacement will not be asked to work 18-hour shifts down a coal mine. Some perspective, please.

Alan Murphy, Delaford Lawn, Dublin 16

​Claire was smart to avoid the most poisoned chalice on TV

Claire Byrne’s decision to pull out of the running for the Late Late job may well show that she, indeed, is Ireland’s smartest.

Noel Kelly, Doonbeg, Co Clare

​In further praise of beards and men’s bald heads

I got a lovely surprise yesterday reading Tom Farrell’s letter ‘Beards and bald heads are a sign of human intelligence’ (Irish Independent). Wow, that’s me. Made my day.

Brian McDevitt, Glenties, Co Donegal