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Something has gone seriously wrong in our fair city


The Custom House in Dublin is being used as a haven for junkies

The Custom House in Dublin is being used as a haven for junkies

The Custom House in Dublin is being used as a haven for junkies

MY stomach turned as I read for the third time in three weeks about an attack on an innocent citizen going about their business in our fair city. I understand how I may be coming across to hardcore city-slickers as an innocent Kerry girl who never adapted to city living, but perhaps I can chronicle some of my experiences from living in Dublin for the past five years.

Last October, I was walking between Camden Street and Harcourt Street at 11pm with my friend when a heroin addict set upon me to take my bag. His weapon of choice - an umbrella.

This poor misfortunate was not having a good day, as he committed his crime in front of an undercover garda car, occupied by four undercover gardai, who luckily jumped to the rescue of me and my handbag. I was shaken, but not deterred from enjoying the rest of my night out.

A phone call the next morning told me that the guy had a string of previous convictions, that he would be locked up for what he did and they would call me later for a statement. Two months later I was informed that the case would be brought no further, as he was murdered by another drug addict for sleeping in the wrong bed.

My walk to work each morning frequently brings me past the Custom House on the quays, which I think is one of the most beautiful buildings in Dublin, perfectly situated along the quays, whose bold pillars represent its strength and resilience in our city. These pillars are now used to shield the drug addicts as they inject their heroin every morning, usually around 8.45am. Many now just place a sleeping bag over their head and turn their backs to the road in their attempt to find a vein. Once finished, the needles are just thrown on to the street, as I frequently need to step over them on my walk to work.

The shame that is O'Connell Street, Abbey Street, Westmoreland Street, Rathmines, Dame Street and College Green - all of which are the epicentre of our beautiful city - are riddled with drug addicts, drunks and violent criminals, who lie in wait for the next innocent to come along and take their opportunity, with no deterrent. Why not?

Now, I took a few sociology classes in university but not enough to come up with solutions to our social problems. Neither did I study enough criminal law to analyse the ridiculously light-touch sentencing that is being applied. I want to highlight the unease, safety concerns and disgust that I experience on a daily basis walking around this city. Enda, Joan and friends, I dare you, just for giggles, to come up with a solution.

Name and address with editor


Defending Armagh’s record

I take issue with Martin Breheny’s column (August 7). He states that Armagh are maintaining a media ban to “settle a few perceived old scores with people who don’t know what it’s all about”.

The reason that Armagh have not spoken to journalists is because of their biased and sensationalised reporting of the incidents during the Cavan and Tyrone games. The blame for each incident was laid squarely on Armagh’s shoulders. The media did not point out the fact that in the Cavan incident it was the Cavan players who charged Armagh, and that the Cavan player broke his hand hitting an Armagh player.

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In the Tyrone game the two Armagh midfielders were knocked down as soon as the ball was thrown in. While I do not condone violence, when faced with incidents like this do you expect players, who have given up their free time to train hard all year in all weathers, to stand by and not react? The strange thing is when Dublin are involved in an incident and accused of biting, not the first such incident, there is virtually no mention in the media or blame apportioned.

Armagh’s brand is not damaged by the media ban. Their supporters would love to see them speak to the media but understand completely why they do not do so and admire them for their stance. The more you have reporters taking cheap shots at amateur players without trying to understand the problem, the longer the problem will continue.

Armagh are not throwing a “sulk” as Mr Breheny believes, but are simply choosing not speak to a media who seem unwilling to print a simple and unbiased version of incidents but chooses to apportion ALL the blame on to one team. After all, it takes two to create a row.

Perhaps, in wondering if Armagh will speak to the media in the near future, the media should reflect on and consider their own part in the ‘ban’.

M Russell

Co Monaghan


Kick out Israeli ambassador

There are many who would gladly see the Israeli ambassador kicked out of the country but if he is legally here, what purpose would it serve? On the other hand, what country is he the ambassador of? Is he the ambassador of a country whose borders are defined by UN agreement? Is he the ambassador of a country which has expansionary goals in contravention of the UN? We, as citizens of this country, are entitled to know which it is. If it is the latter, he should not be in our country in the first place.

Hugh Doyle

Lagore Road


Co Meath


In praise of Pat Rabbitte

The commentary about Pat Rabbitte this summer is a little ungenerous. His parliamentary leadership during the 26th Dail on practices within the Goodman companies, which affected ordinary workers and ordinary farmers, was a singular contribution to Irish society.

For that alone we should graciously applaud this pre-eminent Teachta as he retreats from ministerial office.

Paul Hickey




Make more rapists public

I see Anthony Lyons is in the news again over his sexual assault, but why is he so regularly in the news when other attackers get very little or no publicity? For instance; the rapist who got a suspended sentence for breaking into a woman’s house at night and raping her while she was asleep with her small children. There was no publicity at all regarding the handicapped girl who was raped by a non-Irish person — are these victims somehow less worthy of mention?

David Kelly


Dublin 12


Obama cheer turns to discontent

I must admit that over the past few weeks and months, I have become increasingly dissatisfied with the foreign policy of Barack Obama. Inaction over Syria and Ukraine, his recent bullying of Ireland for its low corporation tax and now his ridiculous assertions about bombing Iraq – but no “troops on the ground” – leave me wondering why I was so happy to see him get elected.

I think it shows a very bad side to an American liberal icon that he will push around small states, but his response to Putin’s modern expansionist ideas is toothless appeasement.

I admit it. When Obama was first elected, I cheered. I was swept up in “Yes we can”, a statement that we can do great things and the future can be better if we try. But now I am disillusioned with him. Now, I think: “Yes we can? Can what, Mr President?”

Colin Smith


Co Offaly


More advice with a tooth in it

The ‘words of advice’ letter from Brian Mc Devitt (Aug 6) reminded me of the fella who considered getting all his teeth out, and sought the advice of a friend who had undergone the same procedure. His friend replied: “Yes, I had them all out. . . never again!”

Tom Gilsenan


Dublin 9

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