Thursday 14 November 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Tribute to Gay gave lovely insights into a special man'

The late Gay Byrne. Photo:
The late Gay Byrne. Photo:
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

I am astounded to read Tony Diamond in today’s letters page (Irish Independent, November 7) describing the RTÉ tribute to Gay Byrne as “random and clumsy”.

I sat through the show from beginning to end and thought it was very professionally guided throughout by Ryan Tubridy, and above all the love that everyone had for Gay shone through from beginning to end.

Some of his lifelong friends and colleagues gave some lovely insights into the man that he was, and to say that they “had no understanding of the man” makes no sense.

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The unbelievable musical tributes, the incredibly poignant interview with the woman who was blinded in the Omagh Bombings, and so much more made for such enjoyable viewing.

I am quite sure his wife Kathleen and daughters will be incredibly proud watching it.

A special tribute for a very special man.

Mary Quinn

Dún Laoghaire, Dublin


How Gaybo hammered home the message he was one of us

Many years ago on his radio programme, I heard Gay Byrne comment that when it came to DIY, he “couldn’t drive a nail”.

I was ‘delira’ and ‘excira’ even way back then to have something in common with the great man.

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9


Taxing times for those who think water comes at no cost

Kevin Byrne (Letters, Irish Independent, November 7) writes of the difficulties facing Irish Water in providing potable water, in Ireland today, against his personal experience in Ethiopia, often described as a Third World country.

He writes: “It begs the question: which of our great nations is truly in the so-called developed world?”

It is time the people of Ireland realise the difficulty funding Irish Water (as with many rural roads, in atrocious conditions) began with the removal of domestic rates and private vehicle road tax, as of July 1, 1977.

This inane (political) decision continues to leave a trail of damage across the land.

The early colonists of the US demanded “no taxation without representation” – whereas in Ireland, it appears to be: “No taxation.”

Whilst water does indeed fall freely from the heavens, it costs money to lay pipes and maintain them, as it does with the required treatment plants.

Ergo, the choice is health or wealth.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia


Licence link with community radio and TV could aid RTÉ

As reported in yesterday’s Irish Independent, (‘RTÉ to slash 200 jobs next year and cut top stars’ salaries by 15pc’), our national broadcaster is facing difficult times.

Also, I was watching the Gay Byrne ‘Late Late’ tribute, at which the point was made that Gay Byrne supported public service broadcasting.

RTÉ claims to be a public service broadcaster, but it pursues commercial advertising as well as a share of the television licence – and it is still looking for more funding to run the service.

Writing as one of the founders 18 years ago of Liffey Sound Community Radio in Lucan, Co Dublin, I have no problem with it getting a percentage of the TV licence.

But it should drop all commercial advertising and become a truly public service broadcaster, like its cousins are across the water.

I know by doing this it will have to reduce some services and let staff go.

But all is not lost, there is a way that might be of benefit to RTÉ to bring on board another public service broadcaster such as community radio and television, which produce content to the community through 21 fully licensed stations around Ireland, with 3,000 volunteers and some staff paid through Pobal CSP.

We could share the TV licence between us to cover costs of running the services with the possibility that RTÉ staff who are about to be let go could work in community radio and TV.

Community radio is expanding in Ireland. The reason for this is it reaches everybody in the community, irrespective of class, colour or creed.

We have been noted as the third media force in Ireland, behind RTÉ and the independent sector.

But are the general public aware that there is such a thing called community radio and television?

Funding is a big issue for the community radio sector.

Perhaps if we were to get a proportion of the TV licence this would help to keep our stations running, or maybe the idea I have suggested above would help RTÉ and ourselves to have a bright future.

Pat Quinn

Lucan, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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