Letters to the Editor: 'The people of Ireland know nurses are striking to achieve a better health service for everyone'
I'm a nurse 'recovering' from a week of night duty. I'm a member of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and totally support the strike. I think the people of Ireland, deep down, know the nurses had no choice but to call a halt.
We're sorry for your cancelled operations, dressing changes, outpatient appointments and investigations. The Irish health system is falling apart and the dogs on the street know this. Patients are getting appointment dates for investigation for two and three years' time.
This is not good enough.
Wake up, Simon Harris, and Paschal Donohoe with you. You talk of not stepping away from the public service pay agreement. Nursing is in crisis. There are no nurses to step in. The Army and teachers are not in crisis to the same extent.
I marched this week for the elderly who dread getting sick and having to go to an A&E department. I marched for junior, disheartened nurses who work in such unsafe environments. I marched for the sick who need help when lying in bed and all they see is the back of their nurse's head as he or she scurries away from them to do something else.
And all the while it seems the Government is not very good at maths - look at the National Children's Hospital costs fiasco.
Other countries are delighted with our blind Government. It costs Ireland thousands to train a nurse and then it gifts them to the likes of Australia, where that government gets rewarded twice - a ready-made nurse and tax returns from their salary. Wake up Simon, it's time to face up to your people and provide what you signed up for as a minister - a health service that works.
Listowel, Co Kerry
Our TDs are nowhere to be seen on the picket lines
What a strange little country we live in. Our nurses go on strike and the only TD who actively shows them any support, Michael Healy-Rae, says he was on his way to meet them on the picket line when he was photographed driving in a bus lane.
Where are all our supposed socialists and champions of the working class? They all seem to be running for cover.
It's easy to see why our President ditched the Labour Party when he wanted a second term.
When farmers decide to clog up the centre of Dublin with tractors, all our rural TDs are falling over themselves to be associated with them. Do the nurses not deserve the same support?
Nurses, their families and their supporters also vote.
Navan, Co Meath
Financial penalties? That might just work, Simon...
Health Minister Simon Harris recently mooted the idea of imposing "financial penalties" on the striking nurses as a measure to resolve the current crisis.
Perhaps he has struck on a productive idea. I feel that we should further explore legislation which would allow the people of Ireland to impose financial penalties on those in Government who consistently fail to deliver.
My supposition is that if Mr Harris, his Cabinet colleagues and those providing 'Confidence and Supply' had their generous wages docked, we would soon find a solution to our current dilemmas.
Ballygar, Co Galway
Don't drop the backstop, drop the Brexiteer mob
Why should Ireland or any EU member do anything other than send the primarily English project that is Brexit packing?
Britain joined the EU for primarily economic reasons and has never really been a committed participant in the European project. Unlike Ireland.
So often when there was a step forward in that project, Britain asked for some form of opt-out from responsibility and/or contribution, while retaining most of the benefits.
Britain asked for its cheap and small-minded rebate and got it.
Now Britain wants to do Brexit in a way that lets it, once again, access many of the economic benefits of the EU while stepping aside from the responsibility and contribution associated with being a member.
The Withdrawal Agreement is effectively yet another 'yes' to these kind of tiresome British 'have my cake and eat it' demands.
It is like working with a teenager.
I'm fed up with it.
Now the particularly unpleasant wing of the Brexiteer mob wants Ireland and the EU to drop the backstop. That is, to undermine the Good Friday Agreement and the common market foundations of the EU.
At what point do we in the EU finally tell the British, and in particular English Toryism and more extreme Ulster Unionism, to get lost?
Do we in the EU really want to facilitate as nasty and self-centred an outlook as is that of those extreme Brexiteers?
Don't drop the backstop, drop the British. Let them go off and figure out their folly on their own.
Adam O hAodha
Sutton, Dublin 13
Temperature in hell has not cooled in 150 years
On February 17, 1867, Bishop David Moriarty of Kerry stated in a sermon that "eternity is not long enough nor hell hot enough for such miscreants", referring to the Fenians of that time. His remarks were cited at least twice in the House of Commons the following week, once by the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Lord Naas, who indicated that nobody left the church and that the audience was attentive. It would appear that the honourable members of the House took no offence to the remarks.
Roll on almost 152 years and Donald Tusk has put the boot on the other foot.
Kildalkey, Co Meath
Leo is backing wrong horse in Donald Tusk
Shame on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for cosying up to self-serving Eurocrat Donald Tusk, adding injury to insult by laughing and agreeing with Mr Tusk's outrageous remark that a special place in hell should be reserved for those who promoted Brexit without any plan.
How embarrassing for the Irish to stoop so low with their incessant stereotyping of Brexiteers. The British should be admired for standing up to the bureaucrats.
We have so much in common with the British people, who I have always found very courteous. There is hardly a family in Ireland that doesn't know of someone benefiting from living and working in Britain.
Sovereignty and independence are important factors for a nation - an ever-integrated united states of Europe with a European army encroaches on national identity. We are rapidly losing ours.
Mr Varadkar is backing the wrong horse.
Blackrock, Co Dublin
The road to invasion of Venezuela is being paved
Last Sunday, an RTÉ News camera showed the front door of the Department of Foreign Affairs in St Stephen's Green, Dublin. This was the second time in about a week.
The reporting journalist said that the department had given the Venezuelan government eight days to have an election.
But there was an election only about four months ago and the current incumbent won, having received about 60pc of the vote.
I am old enough to detect the slow, drop-by-drop, preparations for outside interference, and maybe war.
Because I remember Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, all now maimed for 100 years.
In US President Donald Trump's weekend interview on CBS's 'Face the Nation', he said that America's decision to invade Iraq was one of greatest mistakes ever made by his country.
And he said: "What we're doing has to stop." He was also referring to the 19-year conflict in Afghanistan.
Sutton Park, Dublin 13
How could abortion ever be called a human right?
I note that the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has stated that it '"will act in whatever capacity is available to it to support women and girls to vindicate their rights" in relation to abortion.
How ironic that equality is mentioned when, in fact, there is no equality for the baby about to be killed through abortion, and, to compound matters, 50pc of these babies will be girls. We really have come to a right pass when abortion can be described as a human right when it results in the death of a human baby.
With the censorship which was present during the abortion referendum campaign, surely the Irish Independent is not going to add to this by curtailing our opinions through its reduced letters page?
Donegal Town, Co Donegal