Saturday 18 January 2020

Off the shelf

• So the fat tax appears to have been shelved? Let's hope it's shelved on the highest shelf, right next to the cookies and other sugary delights, where this portly chap can't reach them.

Lee Moore
Raheny, Dublin 5

• Andrew Kealy (Irish Independent, November 13) writes about the Irish desire to celebrate and make light of our national disasters, such as singing while our football team was going down in flames in Poland, and the staging of 'Anglo the Musical' in response to the banking disaster.

While we do have a tendency to make light of our misfortunes, we're not the only ones to do so. During the Great War of 1914-1918, in the music halls of England, they sang 'Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-bag and Smile, Smile, Smile'. This song was dedicated to their sons in uniform who were being slaughtered in their tens of thousands on the western front in France – thanks, in large part, to an incompetent military.

There – as here with the bankers – the incompetents were never held to account, it was the little people who suffered and picked up the tab as usual.

Paddy O'Brien
Balbriggan, Co Dublin

• The Tanaiste's support of marriage equality is most welcome. However, the difficulty with the proposal to hold a referendum is, firstly, that the Constitution does not need to change, as it does not prohibit marriage equality.

Secondly, the right to marry is a human right. Human rights are not created by the Constitution, they are protected by it.

Any amendment that has the potential effect of directly or indirectly determining who has human rights and who has not, or who can exercise them and who cannot, must run contrary to the very principles of equality on which the document was founded. It sets a dangerous precedent in any context of human rights and must contradict the actual definition and purpose of human rights.

It would seem it is the Oireachtas doing the postponing by not dealing with the legislative prohibition contained within the Civil Registration Act 2004. It is for the Oireachtas to exercise a power it has. It is not for the people to exercise a power they don't have.

Robyn Harper
Castleknock, Dublin 15

Irish Independent

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