Wednesday 17 July 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Government needs to ease the red line on Brexit backstop'

'Hopefully someone in Government is grown up enough to acknowledge that the facts have changed and with that, a change in attitude towards the backstop is necessary to ensure that as little damage as possible is done to the Irish economy by the impending departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.' Photo: PA
'Hopefully someone in Government is grown up enough to acknowledge that the facts have changed and with that, a change in attitude towards the backstop is necessary to ensure that as little damage as possible is done to the Irish economy by the impending departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.' Photo: PA
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

It's not that long ago that it was a universally accepted truth amongst the Irish political and media establishments that the property bubble would end with a soft landing.

A similar irrational belief seems to be attached to the merits of the backstop, although it is now obvious that the insistence on retention is going to lead to precisely that which it was intended to avoid, ie a hard Border.

While the lack of any proper debate on the merits or otherwise of amending or dropping the backstop is worrying, it is even more worrying that the refusal by practically all sectors of Irish society to properly discuss the issue seems to be motivated by an old-fashioned “bash the Brits” mentality which we had thought we had moved on from.

Given the seriousness of the situation, hopefully someone in Government is grown up enough to acknowledge that the facts have changed and with that, a change in attitude towards the backstop is necessary to ensure that as little damage as possible is done to the Irish economy by the impending departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Vincent McMahon

Ennis, Co Clare

It would have been good news to spend €1.4m on RTÉ debt

RTÉ spent €1.4m on refurbishing the broadcaster’s news studio. Surely the organisation would have been wiser to hang on to that money and put it towards the €13m deficit in its overall budget?

Maybe then station bosses would be able to show less re-runs and repeats, and then people might be willing to consider an increase in the licence fee.

Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

Sinéad Foley-Coleman

Co Sligo

Traditions can change if we keep the right priorities

I READ that families are spending up to €929 on average on Communion on the day (‘Spending on Communion has hit an eight-year high’, Irish Independent, June 24) and there has been a rise in the cash gifts given to boys and girls to mark the ceremony.

Haven’t we come a long way from the time your mother brought you to the church for the ceremony on the back of a bicycle? Then home for breakfast, probably of porridge, a boiled egg, plus tea and toast.

The reception of the Sacrament was the most important part of the day. The communion dress was taken off immediately and would then serve the other girls in the family.

The boys’ suits would not be so easily recycled, unlike the dress which could be shortened or lengthened as required.

Lucky was the boy or girl who got a half-crown from some relative, and the Brownie camera took the pictures at home. Wasn’t life very simple in those days?

Of course, every age and generation makes changes to suit the times and that is as it should be so long as we get our priorities right.

Úna Ní Roibeáird-Conaire

Portlaoise, Co Laois

A search for memories and tales of Seán Mac Mathúna

SEÁN MAC MATHÚNA (1876-1949), of Luogh, Doolin, Co Clare, collected folklore during the 1930s and 1940s.

Seán was also known as Johnny (Mháirtín) McMahon to his neighbours and friends. He was a meticulous collector who assembled one of the finest regional archives held in the National Folklore Collection.

I hope to publish a selection of the folklore Seán collected from and about women in north-west Clare.

I am editing this for publication online at www.duchas.ie. I am a PhD student in the School of Irish, Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge (FSG) at Dublin City University (DCU).

Dr Úna Bhreathnach (FSG, DCU) and Dr Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh (National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin) are supervising the research.

I am writing to you to introduce my research project to your readers in the hope they may be able to assist me.

I am conducting interviews with people who knew Seán or who grew up in the 1930s and the 1940s in north-west Co Clare. I had the opportunity to meet with some local people recently and it was wonderful to hear the stories and memories of the period they shared with me.

I would like to speak to more women, however, who can tell me what life was like for them and/or their mothers or grandmothers during those decades.

Anyone who is willing to be interviewed or who might recommend other people interested in participating can contact me at michelle.dunne@dcu.ie or at the postal address below.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries regarding the interview process.

Le gach dea-ghuí,

Michelle Dunne MA

DCU All Hallows Campus, Drumcondra, Dublin

Irish Independent

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