| 12.8°C Dublin

Protect the struggling middle class and cap rent charges

Close

The Housing Agency says the bulk of people in the private rented sector are between 25 and 34 years old, two-thirds of whom are single

The Housing Agency says the bulk of people in the private rented sector are between 25 and 34 years old, two-thirds of whom are single

The Housing Agency says the bulk of people in the private rented sector are between 25 and 34 years old, two-thirds of whom are single

As a Dubliner who has lived on the continent for many years, I wonder why we don't stand up against the rising rent prices.

Rents are going through the roof. Housing is unaffordable. For every flat available, there are 20 couples queuing. There is absolutely no humanity in any of this. The Government is asleep. I pay €1,200 rent for a 1-bed, 45-metre-square place - not even in Dublin city but in Co Dublin.

Try raising the rent in France, and see what happens. Within 24 hours, you'll have 100,000 people protesting on the streets of Paris. Landlords are not even allowed to remove their tenants when they haven't paid their rent for half a year.

Why does our joke of a Government not protect the middle class and cap the rents? Is it because it has bought half of all the property through NAMA? Why do we just let this happen and suffer in silence? Is it in our blood after 800 years of foreign rule? We must break with our sad past and stand up like dignified citizens.

All I am asking is for us to demand that those who represent us actually represent us. Cap the rents - don't let us struggle while the rich get richer.

Ciaran O'Brien

Blackrock, Co Dublin

Birds and bees at the Ploughing

In beautiful autumn weather, the 2014 National Ploughing Championships took off at Ratheniska, Co Laois. The great open-air festival, believed to be the biggest in Europe, is attracted massive crowds from north, south, east and west. Past records for numbers were far exceeded on the first day increased as the event went on.

The National Ploughing Championships is where two worlds collide and city dwellers mix with the best of rural Ireland - some realising for the first time the true origin of their bread and butter, cheese, milk, burgers and omelettes.

There is something for all ages and all tastes in the 1,400 exhibits: hobbies, education, religion, sport, media, prize livestock, birds and bees. The huge modern agricultural machinery, dairy technology and the Ploughing Championships themselves naturally dominate the scene. It is where the farmers mix business with pleasure, meet new acquaintances and really enjoy the few days' break from the homestead.

Eamon Tracey, who was just back from France after being crowned World Champion Ploughman, was the big attraction in the ploughing area.

Sprightly President Michael D Higgins, with his wife Sabina, officially launched the event and said that farming was the cornerstone of Ireland's society, economy and identity, supporting 300,000 jobs in the agri-food sector. The President also urged that the fruits of agricultural development be shared around and not just divided among the richer and biggest.

The 700-acre site with 1,400 exhibits had a temporary staff of over 400 stewards, judges and managers. Catering outlets were geared up to serve 60,000 teas and coffees and provide 30,000 breakfasts daily, with the necessary carbohydrates from 14 acres of potatoes.

To crown off this day of days, you couldn't leave without hearing Richie Kavanagh's latest song, 'Water Meters'!

James Gleeson

Thurles, Co Tipperary

Obama: champ or chump?

US President Barack Obama is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar.

With the exception of Jordan, none are our friends.

None are countries in the traditional understanding of the term. They are all family-owned businesses.

None of the royals has a modicum of interest in human rights. The royal families live lavishly off the oil wealth they neither discovered nor developed.

These tribal kings have contributed nothing to the world. Now, as Isil is running rampant over Iraq and Syria, they know they are in the cross-hairs of the jihadist terrorists they have so often supported.

We now have the United States of America fighting to save the Islamic kings who have fleeced us for decades.

Is Obama the champ, or the chump, of the Middle East?

Len Bennett

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

It's all about tactics, not the score

Fred Molloy's letter (Irish Independent, September 23) in which he laments the "dull" All-Ireland football final, represents an attitude common among the public, but one that I don't understand.

When people describe a game as "boring" they really mean "low-scoring". (If you disagree with that, I challenge you to name the last evenly matched high-scoring game that was dull).

Some have suggested handicapping defences by allowing only two hand-passes before kicking, or some similar nonsense.

Why not go further and only allow one-eyed full-backs or mandate that the half-backs be over the age of 45? This would definitely make for high scoring and would liven up every game for the viewing masses.

I would urge Mr Molloy, and those who share his sentiments, to learn to appreciate the defensive art and the tactical battle that is the modern game.

John O'Donnell

Quin, Co Clare

Reverse sexism

Europcar Ireland, the car rental company, is airing a radio advertisement, which has a woman saying, "My mother said you were useless" to her husband.

I think there is mistake in there somewhere, and it is meant to be the man saying this to the woman. Or would that not be acceptable, or even viewed as verbal abuse, which could see him end up in court?

Robert Sullivan

Bantry, Co Cork

I'm a celebrity . . . solicitor

Pray tell, what is a celebrity solicitor? Is it unique to the legal profession, indeed can one get a celebrity plumber, for instance? Maybe some reader will get on the case and have the answer on tap?

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont Dublin 9

Isil's rampage must be stopped

Edward Horgan (Letters, Irish Independent, September 25) criticised Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan for his condemnation of Russia's involvement in Ukraine on one hand while supporting the US-led air strikes against Islamic State (Isil) in Syria on the other.

Mr Horgan says: "The minister failed to mention that these air strikes contravene international law, because they do not have UN Security Council approval."

It is difficult to get approval when some of the permanent members of the UN Security Council continually vote against reasonable resolutions. However, even Russia has given tacit support to US air strikes in Syria.

Surely, Mr Horgan knows that Isil is an organisation that operates outside all international laws and human decency and that its rampage through Iraq and Syria is almost universally condemned?

Perhaps he should prioritise his concerns towards the plight of those fleeing in terror from Isil and the humanitarian disaster that is taking place on Turkey's borders, instead of focusing on what he perceives as breaches of international law.

John Bellew

Dunleer, Co Louth

Irish Independent