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Our leaders fail again to practise what they preach

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'Our leaders are above the advice and rules for mere mortals.' (stock photo)

'Our leaders are above the advice and rules for mere mortals.' (stock photo)

'Our leaders are above the advice and rules for mere mortals.' (stock photo)

As with most advice to the ordinary citizens from our Government and its agency leaders (‘Tourism chief on holidays in Italy’, Irish Independent, August 15), it’s a case of do as I say, not as I do.

Our leaders are above the advice and rules for mere mortals.

Hugh McDermott

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

 

Israel is not a democracy but an apartheid state

I find it strange Christy Galligan in his letter (‘Democracies need to unite against dictators’, August 15) fails to mention Israel.

It claims to be, or Netanyahu would have us believe that it is, a democratic country but it can’t be as a quarter of its population are Arabs and do not have the same rights as Jewish people.

Also, Israel has long opposed the establishment of a truly sovereign Palestinian state in the occupied territories. The governing Likud party supports only limited autonomy for the Palestinians or at best half a state on half of the West Bank.

In fact, for the Palestinians, Israel is neither democratic, Jewish, nor a normal state. It is a colonial occupation, a garrison state, always at war, expanding its frontiers and deepening its domination of Palestine.

It is really an apartheid state.

Gemma Hensey

Westport

 

There are lessons to be learnt from exams confusion in UK

What a fine mess they’ve made of it! It would be laughable if it hadn’t such serious consequences for emotionally drained candidates. Despite assurances that standardisation, moderation and algorithms would sort out the estimated exam results, the British government is engaging in a damage limitation exercise days after defending the indefensible.

Scottish exam results were published on August 4. About 25pc of grades submitted by Scottish teachers were decreased. A-Level grades were issued to candidates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on August 13. About 37.5pc were downgraded.

Candidates from schools in the most deprived areas suffered grade reductions far in excess of candidates from upper income families. This has led to allegations the school, not the candidate, was assessed and teachers’ professional judgment was treated with contempt.

After a bitter backlash, the Scottish government quickly scrapped the moderated grades and accepted the grades submitted by teachers.

Anticipating a similar backlash to A-Level results, the London government conceded  mock results could be used in England as the basis for an appeal. Candidates in Wales and Northern Ireland were informed they can use last year’s AS results if they wish to appeal. Candidates are angry, confused and bamboozled by the appeal processes.

Irish Leaving Cert results won’t be available until September 7 which is far too late for candidates, many of whom have serious decisions to make.

If the Irish results are “standardised” like the British ones, there’ll be all hell to pay.

In addition, Irish candidates have no entitlement this year to appeal the calculated grade awarded, only the paper trail leading to that grade. This is a fundamental denial of a candidate’s right to due process.

Ireland must learn from the British mistakes. Forget about pulverising marks into conformity with the normal curve in an abnormal year. Have confidence in the teachers’ calculations. Allow a grade appeal process and publish the Leaving Cert results ASAP so young people don’t miss out on college places.

Billy Ryle

Tralee, Co Kerry

 

Gaelic football should go fishing for talent abroad

I was watching the RTÉ Six One News (August 15) and was gobsmacked at 8.55 minutes into the programme seeing some Ghanaian fishermen in lockdown at Ardglass in Co Down displaying more innate Gaelic footballing talent in a kickabout than some native footballers have shown during their entire inter-county careers.

I am left wondering how we get them to stay permanently to further their potential Gaelic football careers.

Liam Power

Blackrock, Dundalk, Co Louth

 

Community fundraising would be a Tidy effort

The Tidy Towns committees throughout the country are to be highly commended for their Trojan voluntary work.

I am told they could do a lot more good work if they had more funding. So I propose a national fundraising day be declared. The Tidy Town volunteers doing the hard work should not have to fundraise. The residential areas in cities, towns and villages who benefit from their great work should do it.

Richard Whitty

Gorey, Co. Wexford

Irish Independent