Letters to the Editor: To whom it concerns, a Late, Late candidate for the job

Ryan Tubridy announced in March that he is leaving 'The Late Late Show'. Photo: Andres Poveda

Letters to the Editor

Television and radio presenters are stampeding away from even the slightest risk of hosting The Late Late Show. Nobody should panic – I’m willing to take up the role.

This has not been an easy decision. I have minimal enthusiasm, less interest and zero experience. I come without an agenda, without a bias, without a clue.

However, there are moments in history when a nation holds its breath and one person must step into the abyss of uncertainty. That moment is now, that abyss is this abyss, that person is me.

The road will be long, the journey fraught, the voyage lonesome, but I’m ready.

Breandán Ó Ceallaigh, Droichead na hInse, Baile Átha Cliath

What price neutrality? What price security and prosperity?

I am always a little sceptical of our use of the N-word – neutrality. I cannot help wondering, if the Russians did decide to snatch our dear (as in extortionate) land from our German and French colonisers, what exactly would we do to defend our neutrality? Protest to the UN? Good luck with that.

I was reminded of this on hearing that Micheál Martin intends keeping an eye on the Russian ships off our southern coast, with movements being “monitored” (ie, watched) by the Irish Defence Forces.

That Micheál’s eye is our last line of defence fills me with reassurance. And if you believe that, I have a bridge for sale. It crosses the Liffey at the end of O’Connell Street and has one careful owner, is deceptively spacious and offers all mod cons.

On a more serious note, if the Russians were to destroy the cable linking the US with western Europe, the economic consequences would be disastrous, not just for Ireland but for the world. Why are Mick Wallace and Clare Daly not protesting?

John O’Reilly, Swords, Co Dublin

How official bodies can clean up act on pollution study

Last October, a survey of air quality across Cork city called Clean Air Together was conducted by volunteer citizen scientists under the auspices of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit and Cork City Council.

The agreed quality guidelines for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) adopted, however, were those of the outdated 2008 EU annual average guidelines of 40 micrograms per cubic metre, which resulted in just a few city centre streets showing high levels of NO2 pollution.

It is unclear why the more stringent 2021 World Health Organisation (WHO) agreed quality guidelines of 10 micrograms per cubic metre were not adopted, which would have demonstrated a different picture and would have indicated that most traffic-bearing streets throughout the city are heavily polluted with NO2.

There was also a serious problem with the methodology used, in that the NO2 test units were placed on the front walls of houses and buildings – in many cases as much as 20 metres from the roadside and polluting traffic, resulting in reduced and totally inaccurate measurements.

When questioned about this problem, a spokesman for the EPA said this method had been adopted because of fears of damage to the units by vandalism. It resulted, however, in compromised final results.

The EPA and Cork City Council, despite the incorrect methodology, could recover some credibility by simply reissuing the results based on WHO guidelines, followed by urgent action to mitigate the pollution.

John Leahy, Wilton Road, Cork

Raise wages to counter the effects of cost-of-living crisis

If food prices and the cost of living can’t come down, let’s ask the Government to demand an increase in our wages. I think that’s fair.

Eve Parnell, Dublin 8

Hate speech law and danger of a culture of censorship

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the new Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 – or Hate Speech Law – that is going through the Seanad.

While I understand the importance of preventing hate speech and promoting equality, I believe this new law goes too far in restricting freedom of expression and risks creating a culture of censorship in our society.

One of my main concerns with the new law is the vague and ambiguous language it uses to define hate speech. This could potentially lead to situations where individuals are punished for expressing legitimate opinions.

Elizabeth Moran, address with editor