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Overcome urban-rural divide to tap our full potential

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'To put it bluntly: Dublin-based people generally fail to appreciate the importance of farming to our economy and culture, and the innovative nature of farmers in general'

'To put it bluntly: Dublin-based people generally fail to appreciate the importance of farming to our economy and culture, and the innovative nature of farmers in general'

'To put it bluntly: Dublin-based people generally fail to appreciate the importance of farming to our economy and culture, and the innovative nature of farmers in general'

I continue to be amazed that this paper, and Irish media more broadly, continues to repeat Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael claims that the Green Party is out to destroy farming (‘Farming “must not be sacrificial lamb” in Greens coalition talks’, May 12).

There is nothing in the Green Party platform which says “the Green Party will reduce carbon emissions through severe cuts to our herd” any more than there is something saying “everybody will have to become vegan and walk or cycle everywhere”.

The Greens have a very aggressive stance towards mitigating climate change, in line with EU targets, which will definitely involve collaboration with and innovation within a large number of carbon-intensive sectors. There are massive opportunities for Ireland to take a world leadership – our position as a small island gives us a great environment in which to incubate innovation.

It is also important to note the Green Party reflects the Dublin-rural divide we have. To put it bluntly: Dublin-based people generally fail to appreciate the importance of farming to our economy and culture, and the innovative nature of farmers in general. They also tend to fail to appreciate public transportation only works with dense populations, and things like rural broadband infrastructure are woefully lacking.

Journalists need to get out of Dublin and start paying closer attention to the news and views of those of us who do not live in Dublin. This is particularly true in coverage of climate change politics, where regurgitating partisan tripe does nothing but divide our nation further and hinder us from tapping into our full innovative potential.

Phil Miesle

Ennis, Co Clare

Johnson is out of touch to urge people back to work

Boris Johnson et al are living on a different planet. More than 30,000 people have died in the UK due to the coronavirus. Hundreds of thousands of people are infected, almost all countries are in lockdown and entire businesses are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy – and they ask people to go back to work as if nothing happened.

After two months of lockdown, the elderly, infirm, homeless and vulnerable will live a life of constant anguish, psychological torment and distortion. Our governments cannot continue to live in a cocoon spun around them with lies and deception.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob

London, UK

Lesser-spotted aeroplane trumps our local wildlife

About six weeks ago a nice lady we meet on our early morning walks told us to look out for a beautiful red squirrel which she had spotted outside her house. A very rare occurrence indeed.

So my wife and I have been on the look-out for our friend since. Then, last Monday, my wife suddenly exclaimed, “Look Brian!” She was looking upwards where a jet aeroplane was flying above us making a white mark right across the clear beautiful sky.

No red squirrel yet, but strange to think we probably witnessed an even rarer occurrence in these present strange times.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Expert view – our expert is more expert than your expert

Confined as I am due to movement restrictions placed on all of us, I spend a lot more time listening to the radio and I am very conscious of the following.

The various radio programmes, vying with each other to convince listeners that they have something new to say, have adopted the tactic of bringing on a newer and more impressively titled medical expert than others. Consequently, on the introduction of yet another expert from another university, I find myself saying: “I didn’t even know they had a university there.”

Who next?” I ask. Archimedes Glockenspiel, senior fellow in non-specific medicine at the university of Terra Del Fuego?

Brendan Casserly

Bishopstown, Co Cork

Continuous assessment has its place in education system

In the broadest sense, the Leaving Cert exam has never been fair, as the outcome is dependent on a range of variables, but it has stood the test of time.

Big schools can provide quality teachers for as many as three top classes. High-profile schools attract the brightest students.

The school and home environment is hugely important and money counts when it comes to grind schools and grinds. Following this wake-up call, we should look at how the UK system provides a more embracing continuous assessment which incorporates some of these variables. There are risks, however, particularly if too much weight is given to environmental factors and with the caveat – never forget they voted for Brexit!

Dr Michael Foley

Rathmines, Dublin 6

Irish Independent