McElduff's insult to memory of innocent men is unforgivable
As I lie here in bed in Letterkenny General Hospital reading the Irish Independent, it sickens me to the core when I look at the photograph of Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head.
How this MP (mouthpiece) could insult the memory of those innocent men doing a day's work is unforgivable - no apology is accepted and it never can be.
This clown has just taken Sinn Féin down the ranking in the estimation of so many people. There were a lot of people on the ward and when it was mentioned, the disgust was palpable.
I'm not affiliated to any political party and never have been, but living close to the Derry border I always had great respect for the late Martin McGuinness because of the fact he had made a complete U-turn to find a lasting peace. I also respected Mary Lou McDonald as an astute politician who could hold her own with anyone, but that respect is gone.
A "proportionate" response, as she put it, was in my estimation nearly as big an insult as McElduff's actions were to the families of the Kingsmill massacre victims.
With Gerry Adams stepping down and McDonald the most likely candidate to fill his shoes, I feel her popularity has been given a devastating blow.
In my opinion, she should have 'bit the bullet' and called for McElduff to stand down.
If this is supposed to be the beginning of a new era in politics for Sinn Féin, I feel the party should farm out the clown to the circus. He will forever be remembered for this insult of insults to those innocent men and their families.
As a floating voter, I would consider anyone on polling day if I felt they may do something positive, but that Sinn Féin square is forever gone. This time the party has 'shot itself' in the foot.
Seamus Mc Bride
Letterkenny, Co Donegal
One move to save lives on roads
Having read Cal Hyland's exceptional observations regarding road safety (Letters, January 10), let me add one point - the state of the roads.
Why do the so-called authorities insist on placing electricity posts and telephone posts on the road edge of footpaths, where cars can crash head-on into them, rather than the wall side of the footpath, where the car would only glance off the pole? This would surely save lives.
Goatstown, Dublin 14
Nationalise private hospitals
There is a radical solution to the healthcare crisis in Ireland. But it is radical. I doubt any politician has the guts to do the following.
Nationalise the private hospitals. Everything would be sorted in one fell swoop, from capacity to staffing, and the iniquitous two-tier system that has embedded itself in our national psyche would be no more.
I can hear the shrieks from all quarters: "No, we can't!"
I say: "Yes, we can."
Private hospitals are first and foremost businesses, developed as such with incentives from the Government. They cherry-pick cases (easy, low-risk ones) to keep costs down.
When things go badly wrong, it is a public hospital that steps in, providing a 24-hour service and sorting out complications. (Haven't you heard the radio adverts saying in a soft voice 'our clinic is here for you, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm'?)
Bless their commitment (and pray you don't get sick on Sunday morning at 3am), because even if you have double the money they couldn't care less. It costs them too much to pay their professional healthcare staff in the middle of the night.
If these private hospitals, and I mean all of them - St Vincent's, the Mater, Blackrock Clinic, Beacon Hospital, Bon Secours, the Hermitage, Barrington's, etc - were to be nationalised, all their staff would be in the public sector and working for the HSE. All the beds would be HSE beds.
The owners of these hospitals would probably be aggrieved. As with compulsory purchase orders for land when building roads and railways, they would need to be compensated.
Health insurance companies would probably panic, so let's ask them to come up with a decent proposal for a universal health insurance scheme to run the new single-tier system.
If we can nationalise a bank without any fuss, why on Earth can't we nationalise our hospitals?
I can't think of a better way for the State to spend my tax.
Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
The unborn child has no choice
Alex Jackson, with an address in London, wrote in the context of repealing the Eighth Amendment (Letters, January 8): "Thankfully, I will never have to walk in the shoes of the 10 Irish women who are still forced to travel abroad each day to access healthcare."
Could I please inform him through the Irish Independent that the women in question and to whom healthcare is equally available here, travel abroad of their own volition?
It is their unborn children who have no say in the decision to go, and whose lives are forcefully ended before they ever see the light of day.
It's amazing what can be classed as healthcare, but as comedian George Carlin once put it: "By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth."
How right he was.
Lisgoold, Co Cork
O'Neill needs to sign or go
What is the problem with Martin O'Neill and his contract, which has been waiting for his signature for at least four months now?
He is making a laughing stock of John Delaney and the FAI with his delay in signing it.
Martin, it's very simple. If you want to be Republic of Ireland manager, then sign the contract. If you don't want to manage the team, then take one of the jobs you have supposedly been offered by clubs in England.
If you have verbally agreed to take the job, then what is the issue with just asking John Delaney to send it to you in the post (I will pay for the stamp if you want), sign the bottom of the last page and post it back to Abbotstown?
Then you can get on with the job of preparing the team for the future. You have always set professional standards in your job, but this behaviour is questionable to say the least.
John, set him a deadline to sign and if not forthcoming, then get someone else to do the job.
Kilmacud, Co Dublin
Where have all the men gone?
I wonder have we gone totally over the top in relation to gender, as during the last few days I have only seen female presenters on RTÉ 'Six One' news.
While these presenters are excellent, are men now becoming redundant in the TV news world?