Monday 16 September 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Even our greatest absurdist couldn't make this one up'

Stock photo: AFP/Getty Images
Stock photo: AFP/Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The satirist Flann O’Brien was born in Strabane, on the Border between Tyrone and Donegal.

Master of absurdity though he was, even Flann would have struggled to concoct the current imbroglio: the EU’s insistence on retaining the backstop (intended to ensure there will not be a hard Border) will precipitate a no-deal Brexit and a self-imposed EU hard Border.

John Doherty

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Gaoth Dobhair, Co Dhún na nGall


Johnson’s letter to Tusk was sarcastic and inelegant

Ugly sarcasm surfaces in Boris Johnson’s letter to Donald Tusk from the get-go. 

First he uses the qualifier “so-called” to describe the backstop. Then he goes on to repeatedly mention the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. He doesn’t write about the Belfast Agreement (as it is only the unionists who would know what he was talking about).  And clearly he can’t bring himself to call it just the Good Friday Agreement like the rest of the world including all Irish newspapers, the ‘New York Times’, the ‘Washington Post’, the ‘Times’, the ‘Sun’, the ‘Guardian’, ‘Financial Times’ and, his own mouthpiece, the ‘Telegraph’. My guess is that this inelegant letter to Donald Tusk was put together by Dominic Cummings and Arlene Foster with the help of Wikipedia.

I doubt anyone in Westminster bothered to get it translated into Polish for the president of the European Council to read as they knew he’d understand the spirit and letter of everything Johnson wanted to say in English. 

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin


Brexit has taught us much about English attitudes to us

Brexit will be a great learning experience for all us Irish. I am reminded of St Patrick’s Day in 1971 when I was working on a job in the Cromwell Road in west London.

We were putting some houses together with underpinning and other works to produce a basement and extra floors for what is today the Majestic Hotel.

There was a young fellow from Northern Ireland on the job. I heard a pompous Englishman say to him, “Where’s your shamrock today, Patrick?” I did not hear what the young fellow said but the Englishman said, “So, you are one of those kind of Paddies, an Englishman in disguise!”

The English have a meaningless word to describe those not of their ‘ilk’, it’s ‘British’. You don’t have a British cricket, rugby or soccer team, they are always English teams. You also have the Bank of England and the English pound!

Isaac Connolly

Gorey, Co Wexford


Sinn Féin’s voters know well they won’t take London seats

Brian O’Keeffe (‘Sinn Féin can change history – so what is the hold-up then?’, Letters, August 21) might have no problem swearing an oath of allegiance to a foreign head of state and most probably votes for a party that had no problem in doing so when partitioning this island. On the other hand, I and thousands of others do and vote for Sinn Féin with the full knowledge they will not now or ever take their seats in Westminster.

Robert Fletcher

Balla, Co Mayo


Four-day week might prove a very slippery slope indeed

Lorraine Courtney’s article (‘Secret to a happy work/life balance? The four-day week’, Irish Independent, August 17) reminds me of a story told about an employee who was not ‘in love’ with his job, to put it mildly.

He demanded of his union rep to seek a three-day working week instead of the current six-day one. Some time later his rep reported back that not only had he succeeded in getting a three-day working week but the employee would only have to work one-day a week from now on! The employee retorted: “Does that mean every week?”

Leo Gormley

Dundalk, Co Louth


Well done to Tipp – but it’s hardly an ‘All-Ireland’ title

One must congratulate Tipperary on a hard-won All-Ireland – but remember that of the 32 counties of Ireland (and also not forgetting London, Warwickshire and New York) only 12 actually contested the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

So how can the GAA call it an All-Ireland?

It surely must be time to really start promoting the better of the two Gaelic games and paying less time to the other shambles.

David Ryan  

Co Meath


A pensioner walks into a bar...or maybe they don’t

We see now that the extra fiver on the pension may not be a runner.

Hold that pint, bartender!

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

Irish Independent

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