Monday 25 March 2019

Saving rural Ireland

Letter of the week

Alison De Vere Hunt
Alison De Vere Hunt

Madam – May I congratulate Lucinda O’Sullivan on her interview with Alison de Vere Hunt of Cashel Mart (Sunday Independent, 14 September). She articulated the intolerable pressures experienced by the farming community in rural Ireland today, some, unfortunately, even leading to loss of life, as happened in Alison’s family.

At last year’s Agricultural Science Association conference in Waterford, I asked the Government to

introduce a “yellow card” system for farm inspections for this very reason. The recent response to me was: “We would have to get EU permission.”      

Since then I was told it is operating in France. Why not here?

Politicians have abandoned rural Ireland and are now carrying out the suggestions raised in Huxley’s “Brave New World” to take people out of rural Ireland.

Their tactics of extra charges, reduced or no public services, encouraging rural crime and using fear for our property and even our lives to drive us out, are just a few of their conceived methods.

The commission for the development of rural areas chaired by Pat Spillane have reported on “34 ways to improve Irish country life” but have omitted to include the number one priority – remove the fear factor which is a priority issue for families and the elderly.

May I call on our law makers, our public representatives and all politicians to read Lucinda’s article  on Alison’s experiences and act immediately on the issues raised.

Save rural Ireland where the very roots of our great image of beautiful countryside , natural health-giving food production and Irish friendliness is born. It’s intentional destruction experienced today will ruin Ireland as a nation.

David Thompson, B Agr Sc,

Cappamore,  Co Limerick

 

Are there no Irish Navvies?

Madam – Recently on the return leg of a 40 km journey along the scenic Wicklow Way with my son,   water and supplies were running low. We decided to make a slight change to our pre-planned route in order to take respite at a well known traditional Irish pub. This was located near the small village of Glencullen.

Enjoying the weather, flora and fauna we descended from Glencullen Mountain onto the R116 when. Then, upon rounding a bend a few hundred meters from the pub, we stumbled upon a rare sight indeed.

No, it wasn’t the red deer we had seen in the hills, nor was it the elusive red grouse, but to our surprise a large fleet of  UK- registered  vehicles and  machinery together with with several dozen men, all busy laying tarmacadam and chippings along the road.

I consulted my OS maps  - sheets 56 & 50  - and no,  I hadn’t made a map reading error, we had not strayed into the UK and were in fact still in the Republic.

While sitting down outside the pub enjoying our well earned refreshments, perusing our maps and planning route home, a few questions sprang to mind.

How was it viable for a UK company to undertake such road works in the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains; and  given that wages here in Ireland have been driven to a record low since the end of the Celtic Tiger era, and that we still have record numbers here in Ireland unemployed, why can we not compete with these companies for such contracts?

 Have all of our own home-grown road maintenance technicians emigrated to the four corners of the world?

Noel Tuohy,

Drogheda, Co.Meath

 

First, face up to past mistakes

Madam - Jody Corcoran’s article (Sunday Independent, 14 September) about celebrating the lives of public figures like Bertie Ahern before they die, misses the point.

He doesn’t seem to understand that the reason there was a genuine response to the death of Albert Reynolds is not because people glossed over his mistakes, nor even that people had ever supported Fianna Fáil. It was because on his death, the mistakes he made became part of history to be debated at another time and place.  The public’s compassion came from the recognition that he didn’t pretend he was something he was not. Also, his funeral was not about what political offices he held but was about his wife, his children and his grandchildren.  There were no political speeches, no line of old time party hacks.  Just his family whose clear warmth touched an emotional chord within people. They empathised when they saw Kathleen Reynolds and her children quite clearly distraught at their loss on their journey through this life, with all its ups and downs. In a nutshell, you get the sense that if the Reynolds family invited you into their home for dinner, you’d feel welcome and you’d enjoy the meal.

But when it comes to people like Bertie Ahern, or Gerry Adams for that matter, the fact is they continue to wallow in denial about their past and their contribution to the damage caused to our country and the impact their mistakes had on all our lives.  Until they face up to their past and admit it, there can be no forgiveness for what they did or the mistakes they made.

You cannot draw a line unless you know what it is you’re drawing a line under and the permission to draw such a line must come from their victims, not in Mr Adams’ case some squalid secret deal with the British government. In Mr Ahern’s case it must come from the Irish people whose lives he destroyed, the hundreds of thousands of emigrants, the people who lost jobs or homes or businesses.

 Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf, London

 

‘Scurrilous’ article on John Paul II

Madam - I was astonished to read the scurrilous attack on St John Paul 11 by John Boyne in the Sunday Independent last week. For someone who said he didn’t want to be hard on the Church, he seemed to operate on the principle that you can’t libel the dead, when he accused him of criminal behaviour.      As the world and his wife know, the process of canonisation involves a rigorous examination of the deceased’s actions, writings, speeches, etc. I doubt very much if John Boyne applied the same rigour to his judgement of John Paul, a man who fought the evils of Nazism, Communism, capitalism and secularism.

Sean Ryan,

Dundrum, Dublin 16

 

Water supply now has to be asked for

Madam - Irish Water are sending out to every household, what they are calling an “application form” for supply and billing.

This must in fact mean the life-giving liquid can only

be obtained if we are asking for it to be provided by Irish Water.

“Application Form” implies we have a choice in whether we drink and wash with ‘their’ water, or if we decide to paddle our own canoe, without he benefit of a flow from the only supplier.

In the midst of the destruction of so many lives in this cruel country through existing taxes and levies, to think people have the added fear of not being able to afford water in their  homes, is the last straw. We are merely taxable units now, and not citizens with valid rights and concerns.

If and when there comes a widespread demand for water barrels with which to catch rain water in the future, be assured there will also be some other tax imposed through a follow-up lie.

Robert Sullivan,

Bantry, Co.Cork

 

Kealy’s piece on socialism ‘spot on’

Madam - I wish to defend Willie Kealy’s article (Sunday Independent, 7 September) -  “Socialist Ireland pushes capitalism to the margins, “ after the response it received from Vincent Kennedy who was “aghast” last week.

Mr Kealy was spot on, when he wrote that those who work for the State “do not produce anything which can be sold for real money”.     It is of huge importance that we all grasp this fact.  The private sector which is the wealth- producing part of the economy,  pays the taxes that support public and civil servants.

As well, the government continues to borrow €800 million per month of “consumptive debt”  to service, completely unaffordable salaries, golden handshakes and pensions to those embedded in the top tier of the public service system as well as politicians and those on extremely lucrative state contracts, namely  legal, accountancy and managment consultant firms. These people  have been  protected  to the core, at huge cost to the private sector and the economy in general since  2008.  We can therefore safely say,  we have a new form of neo-capitalism, where the Irish state has become the economy; capitalism has been turned on its ear, and the private sector is subservient to the State.

If we do not put a stop to this, the parasites at the top will bring the entire system crashing down upon us.

Olivia Hazell,

Clane, Co Kildare

 

First class flights damaged Ferris

Madam - I find the revelation in the Sunday Independent that Martin Ferris TD flew business class on a 27 hour plane trip to Melborne both astonishing and disappointing, given his numerous calls on this and previous governments to quit reckless expenditure on junkets or unnecessary travel around the world.

His party paid for his luxury flight. How must all those people who contributed money to it feel? The many dedicated men and women who organized fund-raisers, large and small,  across the country must feel like twats after hearing about this.

His credibility as a defender of the poor and underprivileged is in ruins. The precious party funds spent on that trip down under could have put food on the table for hundreds of Irish people whose lives have been ravaged by the recession and cruel austerity regime. And to think his supporters have frequently asserted that he walks in the footsteps of the great Connolly!

Sinn Fein must as a priority expel Martin Ferris and he should also resign his Dail Seat for the sake of the very cause he claims to hold dear: a political system under which all are equal, where wealth is distributed fairly and that is purged of the cute-hoorism that has bedeviled Irish politics. If James Connolly, a true socialist, had foreseen Ferris’s pathetic party-financed luxury jaunt he might well have stayed at home in Easter Week…or maybe just called to the GPO to buy a stamp.

John Fitzgerald ,

Callan, Co. Kilkenny

 

Only one way to clear Ragworth

Madam – Approximately 30 years ago while living up the Dublin mountains, I was approached by a local farmer to give him a hand for two days removing Ragworth weed from his field. We agreed on a fee for the work and to my astonishment he wanted each one hand-pulled and piled  into large haycock-type stacks. It was a three acre field and needless to say my back ached for weeks after. About a fortnight later he doused the stacks with diesel and lit them; a week after that he put ten goats on the field.

I passed that same field a month ago and its smooth clean weedless surface resembles a snooker table. Clearly removing this pesky weed by hand followed by the goats is the only permanent solution.

Proinsias O Rathaille,

Killiney, Co Dublin

 

Giving and sharing is the true path

Madam - Some very good points were raised in Colum Kenny’s article concerning the Irish bishops. I concur with most of what he had to say in his article; and, in particular, the need for embracing women completely into the ‘priestly role.’ 

God treats all of us equally and with the same love. When mankind can learn to love as Christ taught in a total giving/sharing way for the good of all, only then will our pilgrim journey on earth be completed.  

Our  sin is in not recognising the beauty of Christ in our

Lives, and our inability to

forgive our enemies their

worst acts against us.  

Thomas O’Reilly

Monasterevin, Kildare

 

Sharia Law is not for Irish women

Madam - Claire Mc Cormack’s article ‘Rows erupts over wearing hijabs …’ (Sunday Independent, 14 September) prompts me to think there are some people out there who have but a single agenda: that of softening up their audiences into thinking Sharia Law is the best thing that has ever happened to humanity. Well, it is not.

 Having lived for six years in countries ruled by Sharia Law, and having studied it, I have a fair idea of what I am talking about. A Rubik’s Cube is still a Rubik’s Cube ever which way you turn it. However eloquently and scholarly Sharia Law is presented it still remains a means of repressing women.

David Quinn of the Iona Institute is on the right track when he says he has “issues” with what he is hearing. The only inclusiveness that Sharia Law unabashedly upholds is that of the subjugation of women.

Women of Ireland - this is a major attack on your dignity, and ultimately a destroyer of our nonpareil Irish culture. Let your hair blow freely in the wind; your eyes be glistened by the sun, and your lips by the rain sweetly kissed.

Richard Mc Sweeney,

Tallow, Co. Waterford

 

Penal law memory puts us off Sharia

Madam - Having read Carol Hunt’s article (Sunday Independent, 7 September) and Adrian Burke’s letter (Sunday Independent 14 September) regarding the views of Dr. Ali Selim, I feel compelled to say I could not agree more with the sentiments of both. 

 It seem extraordinary that Dr. Selim should lecture this country on our educational obligations knowing full well that the system we in Ireland have enjoyed since independence has served the nation very well indeed.  

I would be able to take and digest his suggestions about removing school emblems depicting Christian beliefs seriously if I could travel to his country wearing a crucifix or other such Christian emblem and be certain that I was not subject to Sharia Law or that my wife could accompany me and not be required to wear the Burka.      

Perhaps Dr Selim is familiar with our history in penal times when the Irish were forced to express their Christian beliefs in secret in fear of being caught by the imperial masters of that time.   This generation is more enlightened and Dr. Selim should be so aware.

Tom Butler, Co. Dublin.

 

We need a new  plan for Palestine

Madam - I am so disappointed in your publishing such a tendentious letter as that from W. Dunphy (“Writers ‘were wrong’ about Israel/Gaza , Sunday Independent, 14 September) in which he had the chutzpah to claim not to be “anti-Jewish or anti-Zionist” while referring to “the murderous, land-grabbing Israelis”.

The claim that “the people of Gaza are living in a virtual concentration camp”, let alone the allegation of “the destruction of a people”, is ludicrous and shows how easily one can be misled by mendacious Palestinian propaganda.

As it happens, the population density of the Gaza strip is lower than, for example, that of Singapore and Hong Kong, both highly successful economically. There is no reason why Gaza should not be equally so if only it could be rid of Hamas’s stifling crypto-theocratic control or, what would be almost equally disastrous, its replacement by Abbas’s Fatah kleptocracy.

The first step for its rehabilitation must be the abolition of UNRWA which encourages a perpetual dependency culture by its definition of Palestinian refugee as anyone with an ancestor who was displaced as a result of the invasion of Palestine in 1948. Its place should be taken by the UNHCR whose definition should be implemented whereby only those actually displaced would qualify, and then only where nothing else can be done to help them rebuild their lives, as was the case with all other refugees elsewhere in the world.

  I find the writer’s comment on “the indifference of you and some of your columnists to the plight of these poor people” utterly appalling and implore you not to be bullied into taking a partisan line on this complex international problem.

Martin D. Stern,

Salford,  England

 

Penal law memory puts us off Sharia

Madam - Having read Carol Hunt’s article (Sunday Independent, 7 September) and Adrian Burke’s letter (Sunday Independent 14 September) regarding the views of Dr. Ali Selim, I feel compelled to say I could not agree more with the sentiments of both.   It seem extraordinary that Dr. Selim should lecture this country on our educational obligations knowing full well that the system we in Ireland have enjoyed since independence has served the nation very well indeed.      I would be able to take and digest his suggestions about removing school emblems depicting Christian beliefs seriously if I could travel to his country wearing a crucifix or other such Christian emblem and be certain that I was not subject to Sharia Law or that my wife could accompany me and not be required to wear the Burka.    Perhaps Dr Selim is familiar with our history in penal times when the Irish were forced to express their Christian beliefs in secret in fear of being caught by the imperial masters of that time.   This generation is more enlightened and Dr. Selim should be so aware.

Tom Butler, Co. Dublin.

 

We need a new plan for Palestine

Madam - I am so disappointed in your publishing such a tendentious and bigoted letter as that from W. Dunphy (“Writers ‘were wrong’ about Israel/Gaza , Sunday Independent, 14 September) in which he had the chutzpah to claim not to be “anti-Jewish or anti-Zionist” while referring to “the murderous, land-grabbing Israelis”.

The claim that “the people of Gaza are living in a virtual concentration camp”, let alone the allegation of “the destruction of a people”, is ludicrous and shows how easily one can be misled by mendacious Palestinian propaganda.

As it happens, the population density of the Gaza strip is lower than, for example, that of Singapore and Hong Kong, both highly successful economically. There is no reason why Gaza should not be equally so if only it could be rid of Hamas’s stifling crypto-theocratic control or, what would be almost equally disastrous, its replacement by Abbas’s Fatah kleptocracy.

The first step for its rehabilitation must be the abolition of UNRWA which encourages a perpetual dependency culture by its definition of Palestinian refugee as anyone with an ancestor who was displaced as a result of the invasion of Palestine in 1948. Its place should be taken by the UNHCR whose definition should be implemented whereby only those actually displaced would qualify, and then only where nothing else can be done to help them rebuild their lives, as was the case with all other refugees elsewhere in the world.

I find the writer’s comment on “the indifference of you and some of your columnists to the plight of these poor people” utterly appalling and implore you not to be bullied into taking a partisan line on this complex international problem.

Martin D. Stern,

Salford, England

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss