Thursday 21 November 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Health more important than TDs voting for each other'

'Let’s improve the mental health service, the spinal units, let’s put more beds into the National Rehabilitation Hospital.' Stock image
'Let’s improve the mental health service, the spinal units, let’s put more beds into the National Rehabilitation Hospital.' Stock image
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Winter is officially weeks away, and instead of hearing about how the Government is going to deal with the serious issues of housing, and the contingency plans for the health service when the winter vomiting bug kicks in, the biggest controversy we have heard in the past few days is who pressed the bleedin’ button.

I’m not condoning the behaviour of any TD or senator who has pressed more than their own button, but let’s face the facts: it is not the most serious issue facing our country today. Even if it was, here is something to consider. Like them, hate them, agree with them all of the time, some of the time or none of the time, each and every single deputy has been elected to sit in Dáil Éireann.

By being elected by the people, the members vote in the chamber on behalf of their constituents and deliver the voice of their constituents to motions put forward in the interest of the country.

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Should the voice of the people go unheard because the deputy is on a telephone, or caught in traffic, or even because they were caught short? Absolutely not. Let them vote. If 158 TDs voted at every opportunity would it be a massive difference? No.

So instead of having a dragged out pointless squabble over who hit a button for a motion that was going to pass or fail with a 50 vote majority, let’s improve the mental health service, the spinal units, let’s put more beds into the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

Sean McNicholas

Lucan, Co Dublin

The Dáil cheats should lose their salaries and pensions

As always, we have an innocuous phrase for the criminal actions of people in power: voting irregularities. Certain members of the Dáil repeatedly cheated when they were supposed to conduct the people’s business. It was accepted procedure, at worst a peccadillo. Well, to ordinary people, cheating is not a peccadillo. It is a crime.

The spin started immediately; it was nothing, just a few bad apples. Every other Dáil member is upright and honest. Shades of the Church child sex abuse scandal and Garda corruption. Now we have some really important people standing up, making public declarations, bleating their mea culpas.

There is an election coming soon. Of all the countries in the western world, Ireland has an incredible number of honest, capable, highly intelligent people who could represent our voters with honour and care; members who would actually work for the people.

Right now, there seems to be a pervasive belief in the Dáil that members are entitled to do as they wish, not the work they were elected to do.

Those members who cheated should be expelled from the Dáil. No more salary; no pensions – just go.

Patricia Moynihan

Castaheany, Co Dublin

Voting practices raise one more question for Varadkar

When Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s spoke of a “litany of failures” and apologised “for the humiliation, disrespect and deceit”, was he referring to the voting practices of TDs?

Blair Noonan

Rathgar Road, Dublin 6

London dragging two nations out of EU against their will

Again I have to ask Robert Frazer, an Englishman, why English people think Ireland should be part of the UK? Not sure how our independent sovereignty would be enhanced – just ask Scotland and NI about being dragged out of the EU and their influence over the “London” government.

Alan Fairbrother

Knocklyon, Dublin 16

Gentle greyhounds deserve life, not a bullet in the head 

If you had a dog would you risk their life for a wager at a track? To most people their animals are their greatest companions. They are there for them when humans fail them.

Since the start of 2019, 228 greyhounds have suffered injuries and 73 killed at greyhound tracks around Ireland.

Greyhounds are special not for their running ability, but for their gentleness and their affectionate nature.

Any dog being used as a money-making machine is at grave risk of death, their lives in the racing arena are disposable.

Shelbourne has generally fewer than 40 people paying in on a night’s racing, and the only thing keeping this track of suffering alive is €16.8m given by our Government.

What point has this industry, built on animal suffering and gambling, not forgetting the children allowed at the races to keep them quiet as their parents gamble for hours? Beautiful dogs are in kennels 23 hours a day; broken bones or slower runners are disposed of by shooting, drowning, drugs or abandonment.

Greyhounds deserve life, not a black sack in the racing track freezer.

Bernie Wright

The Ward, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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