Showing up the political paucity and hypocrisy of Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fail's Éamon Ó Cuív

Letters to the Editor

By any standards, the indignant rant by Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív expressed prior to the state commemoration of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa exposes in equal measure the political paucity and hypocrisy of Fianna Fáil.

Mr Ó Cuív said the Fianna Fáil party was organising centenary commemoration events for 1916 but, unlike Sinn Féin, they were not running parallel or as alternatives to the state programme, and added that Fianna Fáil intends to play a full part in the 40 state events scheduled over the next year.

In 1991, on the 75th anniversary of the Easter Rising, the FF/PD coalition government bowed to pressure from unrepresentative groups who were ideologically opposed to Irish separatism and shamefully ignored the anniversary.

The reason given for ignoring this historically seismic event was that to do so showed disregard for the sanctity of human life, yet as we have witnessed during this centenary of commemorations, those who opposed commemorating the Easter Rising had no problem commemorating the unparalleled slaughter of millions during the Great War.

In saving Ireland's soul, the artist Robert Ballagh organised a citizens' initiative to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, and the people responded magnificently in their thousands. Citizens from every corner of the country converged on Dublin to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.

The idealism and bravery of those women and men who punctured the colonial bubble and paved the way for an independent, sovereign, democratic Irish Republic was not forgotten outside Dáil Éireann.

Tom Cooper

Templeogue, Dublin

Take a bow, Fermanagh

Having watched Sunday's match between Fermanagh and Dublin, I as a Dubliner had to bow to the honesty and brilliant effort of the Fermanagh team, some of whose scores were simply remarkable.

This morning I read of some soccer player I've never heard of being signed for Paris Saint-Germain for a reputed €44m. I doubt if either Dublin or Fermanagh would have any interest, even on a free transfer.

Ireland stands head and shoulders above all other sporting nations when you consider that the players who participate in the GAA do it for the love of the jersey and their respective counties.

Well done, Fermanagh, and I hope the Dubs bring Sam home next month.

Fred Molloy

Glenville, Dublin 15

Sad history of adoption

John B Reid has his opinion that the adoption legislation in Ireland was doing a really good job for all involved up to now. He misses the point that a large number of adoptions were illegal and the legislation shielded anyone involved from being exposed.

Mother and baby homes sold children to unfit families in the US, forged documents to get passports for the children and received ongoing payments.

Parish priests, doctors, solicitors and even judges were used to pressurise mothers who had been raped, abused and used before they were handed over to a system that was supposed to care for them.

It has been shown that a large number did not know they had given up their children for adoption. Papers were signed months after the child had been taken without the consent of the mother, who was still locked away in a mother and baby home, working off the debt owed for their maternity care.

A "few" hard cases Mr Reid speaks of are more in the region of 50,000, but no one knows exactly as so many have died, many in the homes paying off their debt to society.

Most European countries and even the United States have seen the need for people to know who they are and have for years helped them to get their birth certificates.

The secrecy built in to the old adoption acts were to protect the people who were involved in adoptions, not for any reason of good for the child or natural mother but for the system so it could never be challenged, and for the wealthy and landed to make sure no one popped up and claimed their birthrights and made them feel uneasy.

Joseph Ennis

Broadford, Co Kildare

True heroes of our time

Forgive me if I strike a cautious and cautionary note on the self-congratulatory letter published by you on August 1 under the heading "True heroes of our time are those helping migrants".

It reminds me of my Uncle Merv who left money to the RSPCA in England for cats and dogs on the assumption that his mother (who had the money for this act of largesse) would predecease him. Well, she didn't, and his will imperilled the home of his widow, Auntie Vera.

Mr Kilkenny will need to explain where Ireland gets the money from for 600 migrants when we have bankrupted ourselves by giving most of our taxes to dud bankers and by servicing their debts - money that could be used alike for the Irish poor (our own true heroes) and a reasonable number of migrants within our capacity to afford and assimilate them at a time of considerable emigration on our own account.

The true heroes of our time, in my opinion, are:

1. Those refusing to pay water rates disingenuously imposed on poor people by an uncaring and incompetent government.

2. Survivors of the Bethany Home, Rathgar, who are still seeking justice from an uncaring government and largely acquiescent media.

3. The hard-pressed and tolerant Irish poor.

4. The Ballyhea Says No campaign.

May I suggest a whip-round or dig-out in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann for migrants from those with inflated salaries and pensions. Bertie Ahern (Fianna Fáil) might lead the public appeal.

Dr Gerald Morgan

The Chaucer Hub, Trinity College

Nice work if you can get it

I see that a lawyer has been paid €18,000 for seven days' work at the Banking Inquiry. The same report also quoted rates of €264 an hour after VAT. I look forward to something meaningful coming out of this inquiry. It is truly a golden opportunity.

T Toal