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My son paid a very high price for cheap alcohol





It would be very easy for me not to bother writing this letter but even though I know I am in the minority when it comes to voicing my opinion on alcohol abuse, I feel a certain obligation to say my piece.

I suppose I would be looked on by some as a killjoy but nothing could be further from the truth.

It is my opinion that alcohol is too cheap and too available in this country. I have no wish to spoil anyone's fun but I hope that by increasing the price of dirt-cheap alcohol that young people will not be exposed to unregulated amounts of alcohol and the dangers that result from that.

I don't have all the answers to the problem, I don't think anyone has, but we have to start somewhere.

In his article (Irish Independent, June 24) Liam Collins wrote: "The real problem with alcohol is that some people, particularly the young and the yobs, can't handle it. So now the rest of us have to suffer."

I suppose when Mr Collins talks of 'suffering', he is referring to the price of alcohol.

There are many people in this country who suffer because of alcohol abuse and the last thing on their minds is the price. I have in my possession a death certificate which was issued for our son David. It states that David died by suicide, that the cause of death was drowning and that alcohol was a contributing factor.

He took his life after attending a house party which, in the words of the coroner, was drink-fuelled and irresponsible. David paid a very high price for cheap alcohol. As I said, it would be easier to say nothing.

John Higgins

Ballina, Co Mayo


Let us make our own choices

Does Jerry Buttimer not feel even the slightest bit of a hypocrite? The man who campaigned so passionately for his and others' right to marry whoever they wished, regardless of anyone else's opinion on their relationship, now feels he has the right to lecture me and everyone else about our relationship with drink.

Jerry, as long as I'm not hurting anyone other than myself, what business is it of yours how much or how often I drink? Give adults the information, by all means give your opinion, but then keep your nose out and let grown-ups make their own choices, good, bad or indifferent.

As usual our politicians want to go the easy, cowardly route and apply their coercive measures on everyone, instead of addressing the minority who are causing the problems in the first place.

Without our pubs and pub culture, Ireland and the Irish would be dull, morose, and tedious.

Terry McLaughlin

Enniscorthy, Co Wexford


Name and shame banks

It was pathetic to listen to Leaders' Questions Wednesday, June 24, when the Taoiseach was asked to comment on the banks who have breached the code of conduct in relation to distressed borrowers who borrowed mainly to purchase their homes.

The Taoiseach replied that it was the duty of the Central Bank to name the seven lenders who are abusing those who have borrowed from them.

Surely anyone who has made a reasonable offer regarding outstanding payments due on their mortgage is entitled to better treatment from these seven banks, and the banks should be named and shamed.

Whoever the liquidator is that brings proceedings for eviction or otherwise, they must state who they act for. It is then up to each borrower to make public the name of the bank that is forcing them out of their home.

Our Government seems to kick for touch whenever it is asked to stand up for those in trouble.

Fred Molloy

Glenville, Dublin 15


Poignant homecoming

This September, God willing, I will drive to the airport to collect my son, who will be returning from America after his J1 working holiday.

He hopefully will have dollars in his pocket and will be safe in the knowledge that he has passed his end-of-year exams .

This is a journey that is undertaken by thousands of parents every September.

Yet, after the tragedy in Berkeley, California, in which six students lost their lives, there will be a poignancy and special meaning to the trip this year for all of us parents, with a strong embrace and possibly a tear of remembrance at the reunion.

Aidan Hampson

Artane, Dublin


Open letter to An Taoiseach

We are writing to call on you and EU leaders to use the meeting of EU heads of state to recognise and address conflict and displacement that forces hundreds of thousands of people to flee for safety.

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has just released its 'Global Trends' study indicating that one in every 122 people in the world is now displaced by war, violence and persecution.

The number of people displaced in the world has tipped 60 million as a result of poverty, climate change, and conflict.

We welcome Ireland's humanitarian response with the deployment of LÉ Eithne to the Mediterranean.

In addition, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald's commitment to participate in the resettlement plan of the European Commission and increase the number of places available for refugees from outside the EU is also very welcome.

These are clearly essential emergency steps and a greater commitment is required by the Irish Government and EU nations to uphold and implement International law.

Taoiseach, we ask you to confirm Ireland's commitment to the resettlement of refugees.

As Ireland is a member of the UN Human Rights Council, your leadership is crucial at this time.

We call on you and the Irish Government to commit to participating in the relocation of asylum seekers arriving in Italy and Greece; to resist the call to increase the return or removal of migrants not in need of protection; and to promote safe and regular channels of migration as a matter of urgency.

We urge you to commit to addressing the causes of this crisis by ensuring that Ireland and other European nations live up to their promises to provide 0.7pc of GNI towards overseas development assistance, to protect human rights.

We ask that you push for urgent political solutions to conflict and inclusive socio-economic development across Africa and the Middle East.

EU member states must take a strong and united stand on solidarity, protection and human dignity of refugees and migrants.

Action Aid Ireland


Conference of Religious of Ireland

Crosscare Migrant and Refugee Project, Dochas

European Network Against Racism

Mercy International Association

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland

Irish Refugee Council

Immigrant Council of Ireland

Oxfam Ireland, Trocaire

Irish Independent