Tuesday 22 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Babies are better off being cared for by their mothers'

'Like it or not, babies are best cared for by their mothers rather than an industry staffed by people on the minimum wage, who come and go with alarming frequency' (stock photo)
'Like it or not, babies are best cared for by their mothers rather than an industry staffed by people on the minimum wage, who come and go with alarming frequency' (stock photo)
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

In Ireland, most of the debate about crèches usually involves the cost or lack of availability, rather than the wisdom of placing babies under 12 months in childcare. Why have Irish universities or the HSE not researched the psychological issues of childcare?

Like it or not, babies are best cared for by their mothers rather than an industry staffed by people on the minimum wage, who come and go with alarming frequency.

My experience of crèches was that babies spent large amounts of time watching TV, while staff spent a lot of time playing on their phones. A leading psychologist, Dr Aric Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, claims that sending babies to daycare could do damage to the development of their brains and their future health. Dr Sigman also found that children deprived of their mother’s attention during the early years in which the brain grows rapidly, may find it harder to form relationships as adults.

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Before we give any more money to the childcare industry, the Government needs to research the wisdom of placing young babies in childcare.

John Devlin

Erne Terrace, Dublin 2

Use of medicinal cannabis should be decided by experts

The use of medicinal cannabis under strict regulation should be allowed but only in very limited and extenuating circumstances.

We don’t know how the use of medicinal cannabis in the long term will affect the person taking it, as each individual is unique in their make-up.

The populist rhetoric and downright dismissal by People Before Profit TD

Gino Kenny shows how someone with no medical background can submit a bill to Government on a drug in order to pursue an agenda for a very small cohort of people, but leave doctors and front-line responders to pick up the pieces when those who self-medicate start showing symptoms of psychosis or other forms of mental illness or self-harm.

There is a big difference in medicinal cannabis and cannabis which is used for recreational purposes.

The 20 qualified medical professionals who put pen to paper and wrote of their concerns should not be “dismissed” in such an unsavoury way by a non-medical person whose only purpose is self-gratification.

When we allow those in the political sphere, with a self-centred and populist agenda, to use parliamentary time to further their own aims in order to boost their chances of re-election, then we’ve lost the argument to what they were proposing.

There are more important things that should concern us.

These include the lack of investment in mental health, the increased use of opioids and other drugs, and the list goes on.

Christy Galligan

Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Two different questions but only one vote in referendum

Why must citizens vote yes or no collectively to two quite different propositions concerning two separate parts of the Constitution, Articles 41.2.2 and 41.2.3, in this week’s divorce referendum?

One abolishes the period that is required to live apart before couples may qualify to divorce, leaving any such provision to the Oireachtas.

The second proposition recognises foreign divorces.

The Referendum Commission tells callers including myself its function is to inform of the Government’s proposal, not to reason why.

For reasoning, it refers questioners to the Government.

The Taoiseach’s Office in turn refers questioners back to the Referendum Commission. The media have not asked the question either of the Government or the Referendum Commission chair, Ms Justice Tara Burns, who has been appearing in the media in recent days.

Most likely, the Government’s proposal is made for administrative convenience, but if so, should that be the criterion?

One can think of reasons why citizens might wish to distinguish between the two propositions and vote accordingly.

In this case they are being deprived of the right to do so.

It seems nobody cares.

Declan O’Donovan

Nerano Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin

We need to do justice to the use of hysterical reactions

Judge Kevin Cross recently described doctors’ reactions to his statement of “absolute confidence” as “hysterical”.

However, I find that actions such as filibustering and other tactics by some learned members in the Seanad to obstruct the passing of the Judicial Appointments Bill to be far more worthy of the description hysterical.

Pat Breen

Burrin Road, Carlow

Irish Independent

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