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Moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips

• Your report and photographs relating to a union official who was less than rigorous in his management of funds (Irish independent, April 30) provided me with further evidence of a theory I have held for years about the relationship between girth preference and a predisposition to self-indulgence at public expense.

The spiritual equivalent shows itself amongst the bishops and cardinals of the church.

The closer a cleric moves towards the centre of power, the more likely he is to tend towards increased rotundity, misconstruing the papal injunction to go global. Some suggest it arises from the Gospel encouragement to over-eat with sinners.

It is good to see that the selection of the new Irish rugby coach, Joe Schmidt, was based mostly on waist measurement.

He has the well-trimmed body of a Bertie Ahern when he was at his fittest. Bertie showed little evidence of self-indulgence, leading a junket-free, simple lifestyle.

Had the Mahon Tribunal taken one look at him they would have seen that he had none of the marks of a dishonest man.

This would have saved the country the unnecessary expense of a lengthy interrogation.

The waist of our time must surely be that of our leader, Enda. He has little unethically acquired weight to throw about.

It seems absurd that politicians and bankers are not fully held to account. Many continue to be 'on the make' when a simple check on unaccountable weight increase would provide a clear indication of the level of probity in the conduct of their affairs. Those calling on the Irish people to tighten their belts seem to be loosening theirs.

It has been suggested that my theory does not carry much weight in the scientific community. The fact that it does not carry much weight is a clear indication of its validity.

Philip O'Neill

Edith Road, Oxford

Yabble origins

• Has our former beloved leader created a new word when suggesting that his detractors can 'yabble' away? Remember this is the politician who informed us that the boom got boomier and if so, the opposite is like the lady who got implants – the bust got bustier. However the 'yabble' is another addition to Bertieisms. Or could it mean: Youse-Are-Bleedin'- Brutal-Like-Enda?

Sean Kelly

Tramore, Waterford

United, not conquered

• When we are divided we are well on the way to being conquered.

Is it not time for all of us – be you man or woman, god-fearing or atheist, public servant, unemployed, private sector, self-employed, farmer or pensioner – to unite as Irish citizens?

Is it not time that a message was delivered loud and clear that you and your neighbours and friends are no longer prepared to accept the condescension of "maith an buachaill" from our unelected EU dictators, whilst faceless German, French and other bailed-out bondholders quaff champagne with our money.

A retired Irish pensioner lost his entire pension overnight. Our Government said: "So what? Let him have cake instead."

Maybe a national rally will remind us that we are on the same side. We are all citizens of Ireland. We all breathe the same air. When my three young children grow up and ask: "Dad, did you ever do anything about it?" I might be able to say to them that I drove to Dublin one day and the traffic was crazy but it was a joy to see. They think we are divided but are they right? We can tell them.

Denis Kelleher

Midleton, Co Cork

History lessons

• Kim Bielenberg had an article in your edition of May 1 on the importance of history as a school subject (with which I completely agree). He poses the question of whether future students would be able to pick out Eamon de Valera in a photo. Your own newspaper published a photo of de Valera around the time of the 75th anniversary of our 1937 Constitution. The caption then referred to de Valera looking on as a woman casted her vote in that referendum.

There were two problems with that caption. The woman was not just any citizen. It was de Valera's wife, Sile. And anyone familiar with Dev would know that the photo dates from much later than 1937.

Yes, even the Irish Independent staff need a better knowledge of history!

John F Jordan

Killiney, Co Dublin

Austerity must go on

• In her letter (Irish Independent, May 1), Dr Margaret O'Keeffe makes a number of observations about what she calls 'austerity fatigue'.

She is right when she says austerity fatigue is growing and that cuts in the public sector cause losses in purchasing power across the economy. Given the increased stridency of the public debate, however, I have doubts about another of her assertions that "there is increasing awareness that the well-being and prosperity of us all . . . is inextricably linked".

What I have I hold and the devil take the hindmost seems more and more to be the motto. That is so even among those prominent people who were part of the decisions, taken during the Celtic Tiger period, which bankrupted the country.

Similarly, her repeating of the mantra, being proclaimed by many in the media, that austerity is bad for us is open to challenge. The problem with this diagnosis is that government departments are spending billions more than is being collected in taxes, a fact that is being ignored. The truth is, austerity fatigue and damage to purchasing power notwithstanding, austerity is unavoidable as a consequence of past recklessness by our most powerful citizens.

A Leavy

Sutton, Dublin 13

Making a bomb in bust

• A man accused of fraud in England gets 10 years for selling devices that he claimed could detect bombs and explosives, but was actually a machine for finding lost golf balls.

Here in Ireland we have dozens of professional people who sold devices that they claimed could make the buyer a bomb, but instead exploded killing thousands of pensions and savings schemes. These men and women get financially rewarded and spend their days playing golf.

It seems fraud is a very fluid term.

Darren Williams

Sandyford, Dublin 18

Once bitten

• Recently dismissed 'biting' allegations in Ballybofey . . . or Ballybuffet?

Tom Gilsenan


Choice on how we leave

• In the 1950s my late father, who worked as a pharmacist in a hospital, told me there were times he would hear terminally ill patients screaming in agony and asking distressed nurses to help them because the dosage of painkillers was no longer sufficient to ease their suffering.

On such occasions he would pray for the arrival of a liberal doctor to come on duty knowing he would increase the dosage. Today the situation has greatly improved due to palliative care.

However, there are still tragic cases, such as Marie Fleming, whose wish for an end to her suffering has been denied. We have no say how we come into this world but surely we should have a choice as to how we leave it. I can only hope the day will come when people who are terminally ill can avail of euthanasia.

Tony Moriarty

Dublin 6

Irish Independent