Letters to the Editor: 'We need politicians with vision and integrity to avoid mistakes of the past'
Political leaders come and go, but unfortunately the decisions that they make affect this country for generations.
Our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arrived with much fanfare and promise, but has failed to deliver.
It is said, "Cometh the hour, cometh the man", and indeed some of us did believe.
But we are now left to ponder if this is indeed the man.
His unrivalled grasp of spin politics, delivered through the conduit of social media, has fooled many.
But the cracks are beginning to show.
His latest unsustainable giveaway Budget does little to address Ireland's 'Achilles heel' of our huge national debt, preferring to squander hard-earned taxpayers' money on buying votes in order to satisfy his newly acquired appetite for power.
In my opinion, he is now engaging in the tried and trusted system of political horse-trading.
This is something he promised he wouldn't do.
Unless Ireland can find a politician with real vision, bravery and integrity, then we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, facing yet another devastating recession with our begging bowl full of spent dockets.
Bishop Birch Place, Kilkenny
Has Casey opened stable door on Travellers issue?
Tim Buckley is only partly right regarding unemployment ('Casey's attack on welfare recipients is wrong', Letters, October 31).
Everyone does not want work. Some do and cannot get it. Some want to but are sick, and some plain don't want to work.
Casey has a point regarding Travellers, too. The Tipperary Council website says settled people in council houses can only have "one or two domestic pets, under control and well maintained". Travellers allowed horses are getting special treatment, with or without stables.
Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Compensation culture is shame on our legal system
The young lady who received a large settlement recently for 'tram surfing' is clearly the beneficiary but also the victim of the dysfunctional compensation culture, uniquely prevalent in Ireland.
As a result of the inevitable outrage, she has been unfairly vilified on social media and elsewhere, despite the legality of her settlement through mediation.
The main beneficiary and culprit in my opinion is the legal profession, aided by a judiciary out of touch with the value of people's and companies' hard-earned money.
Despite exhortations by the Troika to tackle the worst excesses of the profession, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour strongly resisted but had no difficulty in simultaneously imposing brutal life-threatening and unnecessary austerity on the poorest and most vulnerable in Irish society.
The reluctance by the main parties was and is clearly the result of the incestuous and cosy link between lawyers, politicians and political parties, none wanting to bite the hand that feeds, and each supporting the other.
It is a glaring indictment of the political system that only the very wealthy or the financially naive can access justice in this so-called democratic republic.
Legal fees as well as court settlements continue to be multiples of those in other European countries.
For instance, the ubiquitous whiplash compensation here is more than five times that in Britain. In France and Spain, common sense and the principle of personal responsibility prevail, and a culture of easy compensation is non-existent.
It is a truism that the law is an ass, but a well-heeled and cosseted one at that, thanks to blatant and perfidious political patronage across the board.
Wilton Road, Cork
Herbaceous border might solve our thorny problem
We seem to have reached an impasse as to what kind of Border we'll have post-Brexit. Hard or soft? Who knows?
Well, I've discovered a solution to this present woe and it comes from a book written in 1453, by the Irish monk Aloysius the Agitator, called 'Impractical Solutions to Intractable Problems'. Its prescription for situations where "…neither rational agreement, nor compromised acquiescence, to a synthetic accordance of both parties to which, in deference to God's will, might cease rancorous dispute, and discord, is not forthcoming, nor is likely to be so forthcoming, the felicitous opinion, for the man of God, is to go the way of the ass".
Therefore, with regards to the question do you want a hard or soft Border, might I suggest Aloysius' felicitous option of a "herbaceous" one: after all, it's both hardy and perennial.
It ought to be noted that Aloysius was burned alive at the stake in 1462 for suggesting similar over a disputed boundary of the Pale.
Clane, Co Kildare
Joint approach to finally get back to winning ways
I would like to suggest that we pick the next Irish soccer team from a Cork City/Dundalk FC selection, and it be jointly managed by John Caulfield and Stephen Kenny.
They are two men of integrity who will put the interests of our country before that of their respective clubs' players.
Nevertheless, John and Stephen should each be confined to picking players from their opposite clubs.
In the event of doubt between the prowess of certain players, each player/players should be allowed to play a different half of the game.
The players from both sides play wholeheartedly.
They are highly talented, and in the present non-successful run of Irish team results, they are deserving of an opportunity to represent us.
One other thing: 'motivator' Roy Keane and Martin O' Neill - particularly the former - should not be allowed to attend training sessions.
Nor on the day of the game should they be allowed to enter the team's dressing room.
By the way, I am a Shamrock Rovers fan.
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