Friday 24 May 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'If we must have more election posters, here’s a suggestion...'

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Write to Letters to the Editor, Irish Independent, 27/32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, or email them to independent.letters@independent.ie Name and address must be supplied for verification. Lengthy contributions may be edited. Stock photo
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

At a time when the world is drowning in plastic and paper waste, I believe that there are more election posters than ever. I am even confused about who is standing for local elections and who we are shipping off to Europe.

If we must have posters then why can we not have a replica of the ballot paper with all the candidates’ names and parties on it. These posters could then be strategically placed around the country.

We would end up with a fraction of the waste and ignoramuses like me might know who to vote for when we get to the polling station.

Eamon Ward

Co Wexford

There is nothing on Earth more valuable than a life

Billy Keane’s piece (‘The Tipperary trial that could have been named ‘The Field 2’’, Irish Independent, May 2) is just as pertinent to the young people of Northern Ireland who imagine continuing the mayhem of violence is worthwhile, as it is to their cohorts in the Republic.

The following three paragraphs could well be interpreted as the island of Ireland.

“Nearly every land dispute involves intimidation and threats. People take sides and communities are split. Families are torn apart.”

As with all murders, there is more than one victim – it is akin to throwing a pebble into water and seeing the ripples emanate, and not know where they end.

“There is also a sense the protagonists in these murder cases are bound not by the laws of Ireland, but by the law of the land. The green grass is green gold. This is an insatiable lust beyond ordinary madness.”

“The craze for land will diminish with the years, and will the grey-faced old man in the lifer’s cell come to say some day: ‘Was the killing [and maiming of innocent Irish people] worth all this?’” Lessons on humanity come to each of us in a different context every day. Billy Keane’s is a very important message: life is above and beyond the value of any material thing on this Earth.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

Proof that British democracy is at lowest ebb for decades

Just how low can British ‘democracy’ get? Failure to deliver Brexit is one thing, an unelected near-centenarian monarch – 67 years thus far on the throne – and a House of Lords with real power is another, but it gets worse...The UK has a failed prime minister who sacks her defence secretary for allegedly leaking secrets (yet WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains in custody under threat of extradition to the US for leaking truthful information).

The former defence secretary denies and swears on his children’s lives he was not the source of the leak – in which case he’s the fall guy for some other gutless guilty party (assuming he’s telling the truth, of course).

Then we have the sitting British prime minister dining with the wife of a Russian oligarch and former Putin minister for £135,000 (€157,000) towards Tory Party coffers.

I have previously written six times to Theresa May without a single reply. I wrote to her immediate predecessors, Cameron, Brown, Blair, Major, Thatcher, Callaghan, Wilson, and Heath – all personally responded.

British democracy, and the Tory Party is, indeed, transparent – failed, pathetic, and its PM’s time can be bought.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London, UK

Micheál is not an innocent bystander in housing crisis

It is not often that I find myself in some sort of agreement with something that Micheál Martin might have to say.

Micheál is purporting that the Government, and by this he means Fine Gael, is engaging in some kind of social experiment, moving people away from home ownership and towards a rental model. It is certainly quite alarming that there is a significant number of built-to-rent developments springing up around the capital, most notably in the Dublin Bay North constituency.

The problem is that by only having this type of housing, the housing market is bereft of supply, thus keeping house prices artificially high. Furthermore, people are left with no choice but to rent and rent prices are consequently also artificially high.

It is a shameful indictment that Fine Gael has created conditions that have allowed investment funds to come into this country and profiteer from our housing crisis. It is incumbent upon our planning authorities to ensure that permission is not given to profiteering build-to-rent schemes, but rather mixed-use developments within scale and proportion to local amenities and infrastructure. To do otherwise would render future generations to legacy issues and a housing crisis of a different kind.

As for Micheál Martin, he would do well to remember that he is not an innocent, hapless bystander to Government policy.

Killian Brennan

Malahide Road, Dublin 17

Irish Independent

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