Friday 20 September 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Brother Kevin is always there, unlike our TDs'

Magic: It’s the time of year where dreams come true for little ones who believe
Magic: It’s the time of year where dreams come true for little ones who believe
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

We must thank Brother Kevin and all his helpers and benefactors at the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People.

The Centre opened this morning Friday, December 21, at 8am.

There was a long queue waiting for the opening.

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It was certainly the only opening in the country at which 5,000 people were anxiously waiting - and that was not attended by at least one Government minister.

Maybe it is because people in these circumstances do not exercise their franchise.

Hugh Duffy

Cleggan, Co Galway


Seasonal tips for magic, wonderful Christmas

I would like to share a few thoughts this Christmas:

1. For other people: try a smile - it will make them feel good;

2. For the mind: try to read more;

3. For the soul: try to pray more, for nothing is impossible to God;

4. For peace of mind: try to ignore bullies, they're just very sad people;

5. For the future: try to leave the past behind, and live and enjoy, as the song says, "one day at a time".

Wishing everyone a wonderful, magic Christmas!

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal


Enough of Brexit - let's just call it 'Wrexit'

I have come to the conclusion, with 100 days left until the UK crashes out from the EU, we should rename it "Wrexit".

Because what I have seen in Westminster from politicians on all sides is anything but an orderly Brexit.

It seems there are those who wish to push the button on the doomsday clock without considering the ramifications of what the outcomes could be.

To start talking about putting 3,500 troops on standby, reducing net migration from the EU by 80pc with a cap of £30,000 (€33,000) on those with necessary skill sets, and booking places on boats to have adequate food and medicine supplies to hand, shows that since the very start of this process no one in high office ever predicted or planned that a crash-out would happen.

The loss to the British economy is in the region of €26bn (€29bn) or £500m (€555m) weekly, with the economy shrinking by 2.6pc and the prospect of major unemployment looming.

The people of the UK have been sold a pig in a poke and unless they agree on what's on offer or have another referendum then they will suffer "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" for generations to come.

Christy Galligan

Letterkenny, Co Donegal


Red alert for Rudolph and his very shiny nose

Will Rudolph get Body Dysmorphic Disorder from continued reference to his red nose?

John Williams

Clonmel, Co Tipperary


We want gender balance, so allow us to vote for it

I agree with Patricia Casey - the concept of female only professorships (as proposed by Mary Mitchell O'Connor) is insulting to women, discriminatory towards men, and will not eliminate gender imbalance in senior staff employed by universities.

However, I don't agree with her analysis that the problem will be solved by women competing and winning the professorships on merit, as she did.

Yes, some women will break through the glass ceiling erected by men.

I don't seek equality for men and women - I don't believe we are equal. We have a different set of drivers in our emotional, social and physical core. But we should have equal opportunity.

I know a golf club in the west of Ireland where it has made an extraordinary effort to give men and women equal power. For election to their council there is a separate list for female and male candidates with the same number of places on council available for each gender. Thus their whole council is always comprised of 50pc women and 50pc men - and this club has far fewer female members than men!

Has our male-dominated parliament the courage to take this on, to legislate to ensure gender balance after the next election? If a golf club can do it, the Dáil can, 100 years after women won the vote.

In every constituency, create two electoral lists: one for men and one for women candidates. Ensure an even number of seats in the constituency. Everyone voting is allowed to vote (or abstain) for their preferences on both lists. The candidates getting the highest votes (including transfers, etc) on each list are elected. For example in a four-seat constituency, the top two men and top two women would be elected. In a stroke this would create gender balance.

Once it is normalised for women to have political power alongside men, then all the other things - sitting on boards, professorships, CEO selection, leadership positions - will start to be the norm too for women.

For musicians in orchestras there are often blind interviews (candidates perform behind a screen) with the result that more women are successful in being appointed. The universities could look into ways of adopting gender-blind short-listing for professorships.

Many men claim they are gender blind. If the imbalance of power had lain with women for a couple of thousand years; if women were at the top of every industry and held senior roles in every sector; if women formed 80pc of the Dáil, and there had only ever been female Taoisigh; if men wanted to change the status quo but women wanted to hang onto their power, I have no doubt women would argue they too were gender blind. I doubt the men would agree.

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin


UK uses its power to wage economic war on the EU

Maurice O'Callaghan tells us in his letter of December 20 that Brexit is about "the British regaining sovereignty" and compares Brexit to this country achieving independence. Is that not ironical?

Less than a century ago, the UK governed an empire with nearly a quarter of the world population and was on the winning side in two world wars.

The UK is a nuclear power and member of Nato, a permanent member of the security council of the UN and has one of the largest and most developed economies in the world.

Why should such a powerful country be worried about its sovereignty when all it is doing is co-operating with nearly 30 other European democracies, most of which were former colonies?

The UK is using its powerful position to declare economic war on the countries of the EU, including this democratic republic and former colony, with a view to increasing its power.

The fact it is doing major economic damage through voting for Brexit is neither here nor there to the Brexiteers.

A Leavy

Sutton, Dublin 13


In the wavering candle flame

It's the story of this night. And in the kiss of a snowflake

Upon the windowpane

Someone's "hello",

Coming home from long ago.

Vigilia di Natale:

There's a stillness and peace;

And Heaven's descending, and a star

Shines in the east.

Vigilia di Natale:

Golden feelings to keep;

And folk are all kindly, and a star

Shines in the east.

Vigilia di Natale:

Father Time is asleep;

And Jack Frost steals moments, and a star

Shines in the east.

Hush! Hush! Is that a sleigh?

It's near! It's far away!

In Fairy Flax? A jingle?

He's here! Kris Kringle!

And, soon, the Sandman takes all:

Now, Saint Nicholas calls.

And the morn finds a wonder

Lasting longer than life;

For, born in a manger

Is our Saviour,

On this Night

Declan Comer

Portmarnock, Dublin

Irish Independent

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