Letters to the Editor: 'This European election lark is really only for the birds'
The petrel, one of Ireland’s rarest birds, was once thought to be extinct. It’s a bit like that with European election candidates, rarely seen and hard to spot.
As a man of middle age, I can happily say I’ve never seen or met one of these rare birds. Never at a bus stop, a supermarket checkout, on a trip to the post office or in my local pub. No, not a gander, the rarest of the rare.
Of course, I’ve seen them on wildlife documentaries like ‘Prime Time’ and such. Alas, never in the flesh.
I’m told one of the species has a nest in my home town, so perhaps I’ll unwittingly stumble across it one day.
Ornithologists have written extensively on this rarest of species.
I quote: “Unlike most bird species, this one differs in that it spends four years on the European continent only then returning to Ireland. While resident in Europe, it begins a four-year feeding frenzy. After four years it returns around late April, beginning an extraordinary ritual where it seeks the company of all other species.
“The birds which make the most ‘friends’ return to their European home to begin another feeding frenzy. Those who fail remain in Ireland.”
Dear readers, if perhaps you encounter one of these rare birds which are a lot less rare than your local birds, please don’t frighten it away, they are the rarest of rare.
All experts say they are only seen once every four years.
Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Easy broadband fix would free up money for housing
The electrification of Ireland provided electricity to all homes so the infrastructure for fibre on poles is in place. Outsourcing fibre broadband when urban housing is a constitutional imperative seems suspiciously unnecessary.
Is it not obvious that urban housing is of more urgent need of capital investment by the Government and does it not seem that arbitrarily favouring the wealthier in society in such a way is unconstitutional and therefore unlawful?
When satellite broadband is available from many ISPs at similar costs to Eir, Vodafone, Virgin Media and Three, all of whom also offer fibre, where is the necessity of spending €3bn of taxpayers’ money on duplicating infrastructure and technology that’s already available?
Is there a house in Ireland that’s not already supplied with electricity, and does the ESB not have the infrastructure to carry fibre on poles, to every rural area needing it, already in place?
Letters show newspapers need to be more appealing to women
On Tuesday, May 14, the ‘Irish Times’ had 13 letters printed, all from men. The ‘Irish Examiner’ had seven letters printed, one from a woman. The Irish Independent had three letters printed, all from men.
If the majority of readers are men, then newspapers need to change their content. By excluding women, they’re missing out on a whole load of sales.
We should beware what could transpire after divorce poll
John Meagher in his feature on the cost of divorce in Ireland (‘It’s so expensive, even when you are in agreement’, Irish Independent, May 11) blithely states, referring to the referendum on May 24, “could result in the wait-time for divorce here being reduced from four years to two”.
This is a classic case of nudging the electorate in a particular direction. The referendum merely proposes to delete the paragraph which states that couples must live apart for four of the previous five years when initiating divorce proceedings; it does not replace it with any time period, or indeed with any text whatsoever.
At the Government’s and legislators’ whim, the wait-time ‘could’ equally be reduced to one day. Voters beware.
Ennis, Co Clare
We can criticise politicians if we can’t vote for any of them
Donough O’Reilly (Letters, Irish Independent, May 14) says that if I do not vote I lose the right to criticise any politician. My problem is a very simple one – there is now not a single party or Independent in Dáil Éireann who believes the country should live within its means. If I stick with my beliefs – that countries, like families, must live within their means – then who should I vote for?
And if I decide I cannot in good conscience vote for any, why should that prevent me from criticising our politicians and our political system?
Rathgar, Dublin 6