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Prudent leaders would have foreseen this crisis over accommodation in face of refugee influx

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Mary Lou McDonald’s Sinn Féin received the most first preference votes in the 2020 general election. Photo: Brian Lawless / PA

Mary Lou McDonald’s Sinn Féin received the most first preference votes in the 2020 general election. Photo: Brian Lawless / PA

Mary Lou McDonald’s Sinn Féin received the most first preference votes in the 2020 general election. Photo: Brian Lawless / PA

The Irish Independent’s editorial, ‘Sober collective analysis needed for coming hardship’ (July 15), provides food for thought.

It gently nudges Sinn Féin for its position on a storm-bound ship. Whether you are in the wheelhouse or on deck, if the ship lists, we all drown. The editorial asks for “sober collective analysis” for the coming storm.

Perhaps if the people’s vote of 2020 hadn’t been ignored we might now have the State’s largest party, Sinn Féin, inside the wheelhouse with the next two largest parties.

It would have shown the Shinners the mechanics of government and reflected their 535,000-plus first-preference votes.

Ireland has an exemplary record regarding the oppressed. However, throwing open the nation to an uncapped number of fleeing Ukrainians has had the predictable result – “Full up” signs everywhere in a country where housing was already at a premium. Prudent leaders would have foreseen this logjam. Ours chose to keep filling the lifeboat.

Let’s hope our open-hearted generosity and welcome don’t turn to midwinter anger when the proverbial hits the fan. Then it won’t matter who’s in the wheelhouse – the ship will be on the rocks.

John Cuffe, Dunboyne, Co Meath

Changing culture would mean confronting truth

I fear Christy Galligan overlooks why the Twelfth descends into a vile anti-Roman Catholic celebration in some unionist areas (‘Unionists need to condemn the hateful Twelfth cohort’, Letters, July 15).

As many have little self-respect to begin with, they will hardly respect another culture.

They cannot change their culture because it would mean facing the actual and factual truth of events leading to the Battle of the Boyne and its aftermath.

The truth, as any poet will tell you, is indeed a dangerous thing. Alas, throughout the world, distortion of the truth is far too common in every walk of life today: ergo, innumerable people choose to reside in a ghetto of the mind.

I dare say Christy’s final question will raise many hackles: “Is this the type of all-Ireland we want – where two sections of society either eulogise terrorists or burn effigies to prove their cultures?”

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Declan Foley, Melbourne, Australia

Crazy, heartbreaking and befitting of The King

I went to see the movie Elvis. Presley was so much a part of my growing up in the 1960s. I remember parties in our house in Dublin where only Elvis records were played all night. He was indeed ‘The King’.

I went to see all his movies – not that they did him justice. Maybe his first, Love Me Tender, which showed he was also a great actor.

Anyway, this new movie depicting his life is breathtaking. Austin Butler as Elvis is phenomenal. The classic hits and sexy movements come alive again through his brilliance.

We also meet a really good human being. We are reminded of the respect and love Elvis had for black culture, music and song and how they strongly influenced his career.

Meanwhile, Tom Hanks as the evil Colonel Parker was also outstanding.

The end was crazy, heartbreaking. The tears flowed, but some lovely memories. Well worth the €8.

Brian Mc Devitt, Glenties, Co Donegal

Bishop quite right to lend support to ageing priests

It is sad that it will no longer be possible to have a Sunday mass in every parish as the shortage of priests worsens (‘Bishop can no longer guarantee mass in all churches on Sundays,’ Irish Independent, July 13).

But Bishop Brendan Leahy is right to support those priests who are already working long days into their mid-70s, serving the pastoral needs of parishioners.

Hopefully, the Synodal Pathway called by Pope Francis that all parishes in Ireland contributed to might result in some positive solutions.

We already have married deacons, with numbers growing. Perhaps we may have women deacons and married priests too.

Rev Deacon Frank Browne, Ballyroan Parish, Dublin 14

Greens tying themselves in knots in flights row

The Green Party’s public justifications for Tourism Minister Catherine Martin getting to where she needs to go in luxury have been fascinating.

Of particular interest is the contribution of my local TD and junior housing minister Malcolm Noonan, who defended his colleague with the hypothesis that “there’s a necessity perhaps to be able to carry out work while travelling to events.” With the debatable exceptions of Wilbur and Orville Wright, has anybody ever sat in a plane seat that didn’t have a table on the seat in front of it? And how come the rest of the Cabinet can get their work done, even when sitting with the rest of us plebs?

This initially struck me as a pre-silly season non-story, but the longer it goes on and the more knots the Greens tie themselves in, defending each others’ indefensible hypocrisies, the more two-faced they appear and the more they hobble their already hobbled brand.

Killian Foley-Walsh, Kilkenny

Plane controversy shows hypocrisy of Green Party

Green leader Eamon Ryan said ministers should not be “climate-shamed” for flying business-class, even though they are responsible for more carbon emissions (‘Fianna Fáil ministers flew economy while Greens’ Martin travelled in business class’, Irish Independent, July 14).

His deputy leader and three staff members ran up a bill of €21,033 on long-haul flights to an expo in Dubai in February. Meanwhile, Eamon himself flew business class for his St Patrick’s Day visit to the US.

According to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), a passenger travelling business class or first class is responsible for up to four times more carbon per air miles than a traveller in economy seats.

The Green Party ministers’ actions come from a party that wanted to “climate-shame” turf-cutters for providing a source of home heating for the winter in the face of an emerging energy crisis. Hypocrisy? What hypocrisy?

This “do as I say, not as I do” policy has already done for a British prime minister and thrown his country into chaos. Now that the Green policy has been smoked out, an old saying floats in the air: “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

Tom Towey, Cloonacool, Co Sligo

It’s not so sunny in grip of cost-of-living crisis

With these few days of glorious weather, our spirits should be higher.

Unfortunately, given the cost-of-living crisis, it may take lots more sunshine to keep us from being browned off.

Leo Gormley, Dundalk, Co Louth

Breaking diplomatic ties would betray neutrality

As a neutral nation, our calling for the expulsion of an ambassador is wrong, no matter how angry we feel about the policies and actions of that representative’s state.

During World War II, Ireland had a German ambassador, representing Nazi Germany, as did many other neutral countries such as Sweden. It was part of being neutral.

The presence of an ambassador allows for diplomatic dialogue and provides options for negotiation outside of war and violence.

If we are to truly be a neutral country, we must uphold the obligations that come with it; obligations that, at the very same time, do not prevent us from the right to register our opposition to aggressive actions.

Giving in to neo-liberal pressure to join sides, to break diplomatic ties, or indeed to partake in any form of military alliance is, I believe, a betrayal of the founding principles of our state and directly undermines what many people in this country still treasure dearly – our neutrality.

Glyn Carragher, Ballygar, Co Galway


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