Sunday 26 May 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Terrorists must be crushed'

Murdered journalist Lyra McKee . Photo: PSNI/PA
Murdered journalist Lyra McKee . Photo: PSNI/PA

Letters to the Editor:

Sir - The only reason the Good Friday Agreement exists is because the IRA of that time were soundly defeated and had nowhere to go except to the rescue of imposed decisions of constitutional politics

The latest affiliate of that IRA, calling itself the ''inspired'' "new IRA", has begun its "campaign" by murdering a journalist.

Such disgusting and shameful behaviour deserves to be once again crushed.

Robert Sullivan,

Bantry,

Co Cork

'

The energy that drives our world

Sir - I refer to the prize-winning letter from Derry Ann Morgan (Sunday Independent, April 14) with particular attention to the sentence "the energy must be greater than men". This is not the only example of greater energy. Something makes them do it.

Salmon, who have spent their lives growing up in the sea, return to their native rivers to spawn. They wait in the estuaries until the floods come and then they ascend the river to the uppermost limits to lay their eggs.

Something tells them to go as far up into the clean gravel as possible so that the eggs are not eaten by predators further downstream. The females are followed by the males to fertilise the eggs. They do this in one night and return to the sea as quickly as possible. Some make it back, other don't.

Flocks of birds twisting and turning in the sky never collide with each other.

The most mysterious of all is the behaviour of our honey bees. There is only one true female bee in every hive. That is the queen. She is the only one that can lay eggs. All the other inhabitants are stunted females. There are no males until they are needed. They do one job only.

When the hive gets too crowded, the bees decide to swarm - this means that the queen will leave with about half the bees to set up a new home elsewhere.

They will not do this without making sure there are virgin queens behind.

Before the queen leaves, she will lay unfertilised eggs which will turn into male bees. The new virgin queens will not mate with their brothers in the hive but will fly away to a drone congregation area to be mated by strange drones.

They return full of eggs and sperm but do not fertilise the eggs until they are ready.

Something tells them what to do.

These are just a few examples of what is happening around without our knowledge.

Something tells them what to do and you may if you wish call that something God.

Michael Kiely,

Ovens,

Co Cork

 

Remember Ireland’s mandate to be free

Sir — Is Ruth Dudley Edwards serious (Sunday Independent, April 14)? If she wants to make a comparison with Britain leaving Europe maybe she should go back 30 years from 1949 — when we left the Commonwealth — and look at the British response to an overwhelming mandate from the island of Ireland for an independent parliament and see the response from the British government then.

This after a war purportedly fought to defend the right of small nations to exist in which thousands of Irishmen died believing their fight was for a new and better world.

The interest in the Commonwealth in the UK is virtually zero. Were it not for the sterling work and support by the Queen over many decades, I don’t believe it would still be functioning.

Given the British government’s attitude to the Windrush scandal and this being the centenary of the Amritsar massacre in India, to cite just two examples of British concern for its Commonwealth citizens past and present, maybe it’s time to take the blinkers off. I’m not anti-British, just anti-Empire, be it British, French, German or whoever.

Part of the Brexit manifesto was that Britain would resurrect its Commonwealth relations and secure huge trade deals from its historic past. Scant evidence for that.

Finally,  I’im not sure what exalted circles she lives in, but I can tell you as a resident of one of the safest Conservative constituencies (occupied by a thoroughly decent Remain Tory MP) which voted heavily to leave the EU, I can tell you that immigration was the deciding factor in this referendum.

Since the vote in 2016, the underlying racism in certain sectors of society in this country is more and more evident.

I’d suggest Ruth Dudley Edwards would find it hard to sell the Commonwealth to many British people — never mind the Irish — if it meant an increase in immigration to the UK.

Tim McSweeney,

Evesham, UK

 

Small nations need to form allegiances

Sir — The idea of Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth would fill most Irish people with horror.

This despite the fact 26 counties became independent from Britain nearly 100 years ago and these same 26 counties became a republic 70 years ago.

The memories of learning about 800 years of British rule beaten into us in national school are hard to shake off, even for people in their twilight years.

However, in her article, Ruth Dudley Edwards (Sunday Independent, April 14) makes some interesting arguments in support of Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth.

Most would agree that membership of the European Union has been hugely beneficial to this country.

A small country like ours on the edge of Europe with so few natural resources  besides our educated people and our agricultural industry simply needs to form allegiances with other countries. It is one of our strengths to be open to new ideas and be outward looking.

I believe we should have a discussion on rejoining the Commonwealth. A citizens’ assembly would be a good start. This would encourage debate and force people to look at their hang-ups over the past. Sometimes the unthinkable can seem less repulsive when people analyse an issue and are guided more by logic than base emotions.

Tommy Roddy,

Galway

 

Be thankful for our UK bolthole

Sir — The fact modern England is experiencing the sins of the fathers being visited on the new generations is no reason we should be jumping on that bandwagon.

I have been in the UK long enough to remember stupefied countrymen in Kilburn and Cricklewood bars lustily singing rebel songs, seemingly oblivious of their geographical surroundings and conveniently ignoring the fact that, were it not for the boltholes of America and England, for over 150 years, Ireland would have imploded, so incapable were successive administrations of providing for burgeoning populations. How many ‘surplus population’ have emigrated since the 1920s? Does anybody know? Does anybody care?

It is slowly dawning on most thinking Leavers that the head of steam built up by the Farages and Johnsons and Rees-Moggs of the world is dissipating, and good riddance. Now is not the time to be plotting the disintegration of the EU. Time will tell if it is fit for purpose, and how it will reform itself. It needs the UK to do that.

Of one thing we can be sure... if it does fail, it will need to be replaced in some form, for those who most zealously wish to see its demise are Russia, China and Mr Trump. In the meantime, re-joining the Commonwealth would be a mature gesture on Ireland’s part, one both of vision and of great healing.

Paddy McEvoy,

March, UK

 

Co-Op Books well worthy of mention

Sir — I read with interest Deirdre Raftery’s review (Living, Sunday Independent, April 14) of Tony Farmer’s The History of Irish Publishing (The History Press). Ms Raftery makes no mention in her review of the seminal Irish Writers’ Co-operative and Co-Op Books, which I trust does not indicate Mr Farmer’s book, which she describes as “the definitive study of Irish book publishing”, also makes this omission.

Co-Op Books, which published Neil Jordan, the late Leland Bardwell, Desmond Hogan and others, opened the door to home-grown publishing of new work at a time when the only reasonable possibility for an unknown Irish writer was publication in England.

We tend, alas, to forget this.

 After the Co-Op came Raven Arts Press and others.

The Irish Writers’ Cooperative was set up in the mid-1970s by myself, Neil Jordan and Peter Sheridan at a lunchtime meeting in Captain America’s restaurant in Dublin’s Grafton Street. The first novel we published was Desmond Hogan’s The Ikon Maker.

Young Irish novelists and short story writers could now submit their work to a dedicated Irish fiction publisher at home and were independent at last of the frustrating dominance of the big UK houses.

Times have changed and the publishing worlds on both sides of the Irish Sea have changed, too, and, of course, Irish writers have done very well from having their work published in the UK.

But the Irish Writers’ Co-operative and Co-Op Books kick-started a renaissance in Irish writing and publishing without which, I would argue, many of our younger writers making names for themselves today would remain unknown.

Fred Johnston,

Galway

 

Praise for Conlon

Sir — I wish to express my admiration for the outstanding quality of journalism displayed by Tommy Conlon in his article ‘Writing on the stonewall for man who played dumb’ (Sport, Sunday Independent, April 14).

Conlon’s piercing insight and clear thinking exposes the corporate mess of Delaney and the overall FAI.

It is reassuring to see Conlon reveal everything about this distasteful saga. The public owes him a debt of gratitude.

Maureen 0’Driscoll,

Swords, Co Dublin

 

Little change in 70 years of housing

Sir — Mr Murphy said “he was satisfied that the traditional type of housing in this country would not supply the housing needs for a long time and it was possible that the erection of pre-fabricated houses might be undertaken to a limited extend in order to cope with the most pressing requirements”.

It wasn’t the current Minister for Housing, also called Murphy — Eoghan — it was Mr TJ Murphy, Minister for Local Government, speaking in Dublin Aairport on his return from London in 1948 and reported in the Sunday Independent, September 5, 1948, and reproduced in your supplement celebrating 70 years of the Republic (Sunday Independent, April 14).

So what has changed since that time over 70 years ago? Have we learned anything in the intervening years? From what we read about housing in today’s papers — no. I suggest the only change is the price of the paper, then two pence!

Alice Leahy

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust, Dublin 8

 

Nostalgic glimpses

Sir — Many congratulations on your wonderful nostalgic glimpses of the Sunday Independent from the 1940s.

I was struck by the piece where Mr de Valera said no to the invitation to attend the celebrations to mark the Republic of Ireland Act. In Carlow the celebrations were led by a Fr Shinnors.

Fianna Fail was not happy with a 26-county republic but the Shinnors were. How times change.

Pat Burke Walsh,

Ballymoney,

Gorey

 

Casey’s face values

Sir — Gene Kerrigan (Soapbox, Sunday Independent, April 14) is beside himself at the state of our wee isle. Housing crisis, HSE debacle, FAI failure to account for itself in a meaningful way, and, to top it all, Peter Casey’s “ingratiating face”.

Steady on! Mr Casey cannot be held accountable for the woes of the country despite Gene’s obvious desire to lump him with same. Ironic that Mr Kerrigan finished his tirade with “And, God help us, a Peter”. Jesus would appear to have been of the same mind when he said: “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.”

Aileen Hooper,

Charleville,

Co Cork

 

Priority is needed for older patients

Sir — Recently my father attended an emergency department for a suspected clot. He arrived at 11.30am and was not seen until 6.30pm. The doctor who examined him said that he should return on Monday morning for a scan. We checked with administration and, yes, he was booked in for 9am but if he was earlier he would get out quicker.

We presented ourselves at 8.30am and my father was called for his scan at 2.20pm. At 5.20pm I told the staff that my father had had enough and that I was bringing him home. Two minutes later, a doctor appeared and told us that his scan was clear and he could go home.

My father was born in November 1915, and had clerical or medical staff actually read his file they could have said that this patient should have priority because of his age, but he is just another number to them.

While I accept that they are chronically short of funds, staff and facilities, surely someone older than the State they work for should get better treatment.

When these people are old and in need of care, I hope they get better care than that meted out to my father.

Name and address

with the Editor

 

Don’t forget the true facts about Brexit

Sir — In her article (Sunday Independent, April 14), Eilis O’Hanlon describes Irish contributions to the debate on Brexit as ‘‘rancour and indignation’’ and says that they ‘‘may have made us look silly’’.

That raises the question as to whether this attitude ignores the fact that Brexit is one of the most significant political declarations made in Europe since World War II. One of the members of the EU, which is also one of the most powerful and richest countries in the world, has declared economic war on nearly 30 other European democracies with which it had signed a treaty to cooperate.

From an Irish point of view, Brexit is significant since, in addition to its economic costs, it virtually tore up an international agreement — the Good Friday Agreement — the UK signed to draw a line under the colonial past. When Ireland states these facts it gets the repost from political and media circles in London that Paddy should know his place and should shut his gob. Given the significance of Brexit in European and Irish terms, the answer to that has to be NO. Continuing to state the facts in relation to the consequences of Brexit on all concerned is important.

A Leavy,

Sutton,

Dublin 13

 

A happy return

Sir — Like other readers, I love to see the blessings of swallows and other birds returning to Ireland, now warmer and more inviting. As our country has become more prosperous, too, I’d like it if more of our emigrants came home.

We particularly need the skilled Irish nurses and doctors who emigrated to return.

Incentives may be necessary and would be well justified.

So many family members and friends now living abroad should all be given “a cead mile failte”, with special welcoming events in the Convention Centre and other places. We need them also to help make this the real “best little country in the world”.

Sean Quinn,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin

 

Casey’s face values

Sir — Gene Kerrigan (Soapbox, Sunday Independent, April 14) is beside himself at the state of our wee isle. Housing crisis, HSE debacle, FAI failure to account for itself in a meaningful way, and, to top it all, Peter Casey’s “ingratiating face”.

Steady on! Mr Casey cannot be held accountable for the woes of the country despite Gene’s obvious desire to lump him with same. Ironic that Mr Kerrigan finished his tirade with “And, God help us, a Peter”. Jesus would appear to have been of the same mind when he said: “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.”

Aileen Hooper,

Charleville,

Co Cork

 

Priority is needed for older patients

Sir — Recently my father attended an emergency department for a suspected clot. He arrived at 11.30am and was not seen until 6.30pm. The doctor who examined him said that he should return on Monday morning for a scan. We checked with administration and, yes, he was booked in for 9am but if he was earlier he would get out quicker.

We presented ourselves at 8.30am and my father was called for his scan at 2.20pm. At 5.20pm I told the staff that my father had had enough and that I was bringing him home. Two minutes later, a doctor appeared and told us that his scan was clear and he could go home.

My father was born in November 1915, and had clerical or medical staff actually read his file they could have said that this patient should have priority because of his age, but he is just another number to them.

While I accept that they are chronically short of funds, staff and facilities, surely someone older than the State they work for should get better treatment.

When these people are old and in need of care, I hope they get better care than that meted out to my father.

Name and address

with the Editor

 

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