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Letters to the Editor: 'Fitting tributes to Luke Kelly, one of our greatest traditional musicians'

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Honour: President Michael D Higgins, his wife Sabina with Dubliners legend John Sheahan at the unveiling of the second Luke Kelly sculpture at Guild Street. Photo: Maxwells

Honour: President Michael D Higgins, his wife Sabina with Dubliners legend John Sheahan at the unveiling of the second Luke Kelly sculpture at Guild Street. Photo: Maxwells

Honour: President Michael D Higgins, his wife Sabina with Dubliners legend John Sheahan at the unveiling of the second Luke Kelly sculpture at Guild Street. Photo: Maxwells

Luke Kelly was one of our greatest traditional singers as both a member of the legendary Dubliners and a solo performer.

He was mourned not just across Ireland but around the world when he died at the age of 43 after suffering a brain tumour on stage in Cork, and was operated on that night.

I first met him in the Grafton Health Studio in Dublin in the 70s where we struck up a great relationship with chats about my home town in Kinsale and afterwards a bevvy in Grogan's on South William Street, where we were entertained by the late Paddy O Brien and Sean Carney from behind the bar with a bit of banter.

Efforts to commemorate him through a statue in his native city were surrounded by a number of delays down the years and did not come to fruition until the 35th anniversary of his passing.

Two different sculptures of this iconic figure were unveiled in the course of the day by the President Michael D Higgins - one in South King Street in the city centre and the other close to his place of birth at Sheriff Street, which was a fitting tribute to a true Dubliner. I was glad I made his funeral to pay my respects 35 years ago, as I did with his brother Jimmy a few months ago.

May they both RIP with the other members of that great group now in heaven.

Noel Harrington

Kinsale, Co Cork

President Trump took the wrong nuclear option

It is most irresponsible for US President Trump to unilaterally withdraw his country from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty (Irish Independent, February 2).

More than 30 years ago, largely due to the moral pressure from people campaigning throughout the world for an end to the nuclear arms race, this treaty was eventually signed.

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Now, through one stroke of his pen, Donald Trump has suspended his country's compliance with the terms of this vital treaty and restarted the madness of this nuclear race which has the inherent dynamic of mutual self-destruction.

The justification that the possession of more destructive nuclear weapons will act as a deterrent against the possibility of attack by another nuclear armed country is a fallacy. The world is fortunate Japan did not possess nuclear weapons to retaliate against the atomic attack by the US in 1945.

The world's civilian population must once again muster to prevent not alone the development of the further destructive power of nuclear weaponry but also their inevitable proliferation.

Equally, the US Congress has a moral duty to rein in their irresponsible president who is threatening not alone his country but the entire world with mass destruction by his crazy repudiation of this nuclear arms treaty.

Brendan Butler

Malahide, Co Dublin

Leo has to play nice with the petulant British

It is apparent Britain and its inhabitants remain largely ignorant of Ireland and Northern Ireland: both their common history and basis of their existing relationship.

Their whole approach to Brexit is same old Britain not realising they no longer hold the cards they used to play. One cannot begrudge Leo Varadkar and Ireland enjoying their position of power over the flailing British. But humiliating or scolding a screaming child does not necessarily help to stop a tantrum.

It is apparent who is the adult in the room here. I wonder whether, had Mr Varadkar sat the British down in the kitchen with a bowl of ice cream, the British may have been too distracted to notice he was confiscating all of their toys from their bedroom?

Irish success could have been a greater one if they could have delayed rubbing their victory in the noses of Westminster until after the withdrawal agreement had been done and dusted.

Mark Warren

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Britain should pay up to be rid of Northern Ireland

I am English born, now living in the Republic having studied at third level in Northern Ireland during the early years of the 'Troubles'. The 'Irish Question' has been a thorn in the side of the British for centuries.

The decision to hang on to the strategically situated six counties in the early 20th century, when the rest of Ireland became independent, has now come back to haunt them. Then, as now, the Unionists were calling the tune.

If Britain wants to be truly free of Europe it needs to free itself of Northern Ireland first.

Britain could make a commitment to support it financially for a generation and the Republic could do the same during the transition stage of its incorporation into a united Ireland.

Gabrielle Jordan

Greystones, Co Wicklow

Joe's smart plan to win the Rugby World Cup

A piece of genius from Joe Schmidt. His plan? Simple. Play poorly in the Six Nations and then arrive at the World Cup as underdogs, and walk away with The Webb Ellis Cup.

Damien Carroll

Dublin 24

At least we Irish can say we're gracious in defeat

At least we got that monkey off our back and we are not only seen as human again but also gracious in defeat.

Over to you now, Mrs May. Unfortunately your encounter will require infinitely more guile than brawn.

Aidan Hampson

Artane, Dublin 5

Keep politics out of our TV weather forecasts

It is disappointing to see Met Éireann falling into the same trap as the BBC has been in for a number of years. Weather knows no political boundaries and should be forecast on a geographic basis.

Indeed, in the case of the BBC TV and radio forecasts the majority of severe weather arrives from the West or the South-west, so it makes no sense to ignore the South of Ireland.

Things are already bad enough without bringing political boundaries into weather!

Mark Connolly

Portmarnock, Co Dublin

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