The ability to end racism once and for all is in our own hands

We must stand with all those who are persecuted here. Stock photo

Letters to the Editor

Sir — Over the years, I have travelled around our world and our country quite a lot. In that time I have seen and heard of many acts of racism committed against people, especially black and brown, from children to adults.

Now I have to ask myself a question: as a dad of two amazing beautiful children of colour, why haven’t I done more to try to end this, especially when we, as a family, have experienced it for ourselves first-hand?

We must all stand up for those who are persecuted in our country and in our world. We must listen to those who are harmed and stand with them and protect them. I am moved to hear so many speak of how they need to be more than not racist, but to be actively anti-racist.

In a world battling war, hate and ugliness, we have all realised how much stronger we are when we work together. The senseless acts of racial and ethnic violence in word and deed should have no place in our country and world.

We should all join in this race for racial justice, to do our part, so that together we can create a new country and new world. The society we live in is the result of human choices and decisions. We, the members of humanity, created racism and only we can defeat racism.

That time has come. Racism has no place here in Ireland, it has no place anywhere. Sometimes people can unintentionally make comments that appear racist. Standing up to these comments can be a great way for people to learn about the negative impact they’re having.

Let us all take on this work today, every day, always.

Ronan Scully, Knocknacarra, Galway

Attitude to ecosystem would drive you wild

Sir — With Easter soon upon us and the real growth of spring stretching out thereafter, I expect and hope that we will soon be reminded about the many threats to our ecosystem. For instance, the destruction of wildflowers and vegetation and the threat this poses to bees and to the other organisms critical to human existence.

With this in mind, I am exasperated, year after year, by the “lazy man’s attitude” of the local organisations and authorities responsible for keeping grass and vegetation trimmed during the mowing season.

It continues to be obvious that toxic weed killer is still being extensively used along grass verges, at the base of posts, pillars and buttresses that support road-traffic directional and warning signs and along strips contiguous with safety crash barriers on our road network.

Primarily and most harmfully this attacks our ecosystem and savagely challenges our biodiversity but it also defeats its prime purpose by leaving ugly swathes of brown, dead scrub which will then sprout hardy, unsightly weeds.

All this ruin and damage could be avoided if grass and local vegetation were allowed to thrive where appropriate, especially with safety in mind, or otherwise if time were taken to properly clip warranted overgrowth in an eco-friendly fashion.

Michael Gannon, St Thomas Square, Kilkenny

​Our hearts go out to Joanne over injustice

Sir — The mental and physical torture and barbaric injustice suffered by Joanne Hayes almost 40 years is almost unbelievable.

All the gold in Ford Knox, all the tea in China, all the world’s priceless paintings would never be enough to repair, undo, or compensate Joanne for the horror inflicted on her and on her family.

Margaret Walshe, Clonsilla Road, Dublin 15

​Irresponsible TV ads are a beaten docket

Sir — There are far too many ads from bookmakers on television these days, with countless vulnerable people being put at risk. Also, the National Lottery ads are on too much, with many at risk of spending more than they can afford in the hope of becoming millionaires.

During the TV coverage of the Cheltenham Festival, it was irritating to hear a betting pundit glorifying the placing of six-figure-sum wagers on horses. That, surely, is irresponsible broadcasting and should be stopped.

Willie Wilson, Waterford city

​ESB way out of line in reservoir ownership

Sir — Is it constitutional for a company like the ESB to own the water in Poulaphouca reservoir and use it as it pleases, provided the water is above the specified “low water level”?

Dublin City Council/Irish Water must pay the ESB significant compensation for loss of generation capacity for the 318 million litres of water (40pc of the River Liffey flow volume) they abstract from Poulaphouca reservoir for the drinking water supply to one million customers in Dublin.

The drinking water is treated at the largest treatment plant in Ireland at Ballymore Eustace. The discharge from that plant into the River Liffey results in pollution.

Recent independent surveys report no juvenile salmon or trout upstream of Ballymore Eustace Bridge and the flocculation/coagulation chemicals in the discharge to the Liffey results in the horrible growth of filamentous algae in the Liffey that impairs both angling and the aesthetic/recreational value of the Liffey as an amenity.

We are waiting a long time for someone to shout “stop”.

Thomas Deegan, Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association, Co Kildare

​Balance of blame lies with anti-Treaty side

Sir — Much attention has been given in this year of commemoration to the totally unjustified Ballyseedy and Countess Bridge killings by the then fledgling anti-Treaty forces.

Surely 100 years after those events it should be possible to take another look at all the relevant matters.

Memorials abound to the anti-Treatyites, but there is hardly anything at all to those who defended the State at its inception. An intriguing situation where the losers and rejectionists are honoured.

It’s time to grow up and give the full picture. As Seán Lemass said, terrible things were done on both sides, but I feel the balance of blame lies with those who rejected the will of the people and caused Civil War.

Brendan Cafferty, Ballina, Co Mayo

​Varadkar too often placed in firing line

Sir — When will your columnist Gene Kerrigan stop having a snipe at Leo Varadkar? He hasn’t a good word to say — ever — about him. Why? Is Mr Kerrigan whiter than white? His comments are savage.

Let’s put Mr Kerrigan in charge of the country and see how he gets on.

Nuala Corcoran, Crossmolina, Co Mayo

​Leo left in a spin as negativity takes toll

Sir — Eoin O’Malley is right when he says (March 19) in relation to Leo Varadkar that “no matter what he does, if there is a negative spin that can be put on it, it’ll be put on it”.

That is not confined to the Irish media, but is also common in the London media. The following example is a quote from The Sun newspaper when Varadkar was Taoiseach and negotiating for Ireland in relation to Brexit: “The Sun has some advice for Ireland’s naive, young prime minister: shut your gob and grow up.”

The newspaper actually wrote that in an editorial.

Anthony Leavy, Sutton, Dublin 13

​Forgotten story of Keogh’s last stand

Sir — Watching the welcome home to Leighlinbridge for the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs reminded me of a famous human native of the town.

Captain Myles Keogh perished serving under General Custer in the ill-fated Battle of Little Big Horn 1876. Myles was only 36 years old when he died.

His horse, Commanche, actually survived the horrific ordeal. About two years ago, I fulfilled a long-held ambition and visited the (alas somewhat hidden away) memorial plaque to Myles in Leighlinbridge, and offered up a little prayer for him. Lonely are the brave.

Tom Gilsenan, Beaumont, Dublin 9

​Plan for peace must be clearly outlined

Sir — In a number of newspapers, including yours, I’ve read letters from a variety of people calling for peace talks to end the war in Ukraine. I would like to ask these letter writers to be specific in how peace can be achieved, other than Russia withdrawing its army and returning home.

To make a call for peace without specifying how that peace is to happen seems somewhat thoughtless. It suggests Ukraine should surrender to a bullying oppressor who needs to be stopped.

Mari Gallagher, Newbridge, Co Kildare

​Russia should hang its head in shame

Sir — As a father of young children, I am appalled at the state-sponsored theft of young Ukrainian children by Russia.

They say you judge a nation by how it cherishes their children. May Russia always hang its head in shame for the crimes against humanity that they commit on a daily basis in Ukraine.

Eoin O’Dubh, Delgany, Co Wicklow

​Kingdom is reborn as clocks go forward

Sir — Summer time began at 1am today, when the clocks went forward by one hour. It heralds a season of rebirth, fertility, brightness and the anticipation of good weather in the months ahead.

The extra daylight certainly puts a spring in our steps and joy in our hearts. The trees are sweetly blooming, while warmth, growth and greenery are returning. Birds are singing and building nests, bees are buzzing, while animals are mating and producing offspring.

The arrival of summertime boosts our energy levels after the dark, cold winter. We appreciate how good it is to be alive and living in a country of rare scenic beauty.

Summertime whets the appetite for exercise, sport and outdoor living. Alfred Lord Tennyson maintains that in spring a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. Mine turns to sea swimming in Fenit, walking and cycling on the spectacular new Tralee-Fenit Greenway and the mouth-watering anticipation of a feast of Gaelic football.

The sun will shine all the brighter over Kerry if Jack and the lads retain the All-Ireland senior football title!

Billy Ryle, Spa, Tralee, Co Kerry

Banking sector is up to its old tricks

Sir — Waves of fear are spreading throughout the banking sector. Why does this happen when the so-called regulatory bodies are set up to prevent such happenings? Of course there will always be ducking and diving as to whose responsibility it was.

Ask yourself: when it last happened, who was held responsible? Perhaps, like me, you are having some difficulty as I cannot remember anyone.

Michael O’Meara, Faha, Killarney, Co Kerry

Ryan Tubridy will be a hard act to follow

Sir — I find myself in disagreement with the sentiment of Patrick O’Brien’s letter in last week’s Sunday Independent.

I am going to miss Ryan Tubridy so much from the Late Late. I found him to be the most empathetic, interested and engaging of all the former presenters of this great programme.

His questioning style was always searching and pertinent to each particular guest, but if they took him on an unexpected journey he was the perfect passenger and encouraged the driver.

What he did during the pandemic without a live audience was so important and so helpful to us in our isolation. It was a highlight during a period of lowlights.

Ryan Tubridy is too young to be a national treasure yet but he is up there with the best chat-show hosts anywhere in the world. Male or female, the new host of the Late Late will have very big shoes to fill.

Pat Burke Walsh, Gorey, Co Wexford

​Let’s call time on ‘The Late Late Show’

Sir — The race is on to succeed Ryan Tubridy as the host of The Late Late Show. Personally, I haven’t watched this load of tripe since halfway through Pat Kenny’s tenure. You could see the trend starting to take shape: nondescript guests, a mix of boring soap stars, dodgy entrepreneurs and authors of mediocre books.

Gaybo’s guests included Peter Ustinov, David Attenborough, Billy Connolly and a vast array of Hollywood stars. Now it may be too late for this show.

Mike Burke, Sixmilebridge, Co Clare

​Celebrate mothers throughout the year

Sir — I was deeply moved by Steve Dempsey’s article (People & Culture, last week) about losing his wife to cancer. It made me think of all the mothers who have left behind a partner and children in an unexpected way.

Although we all celebrate Mother’s Day, which is such a commercial event for retailers, we must remember the vast amount of unpaid work a mother devotes to her family through the years and remember those mothers taken too soon.

Patricia McMonagle, Co Donegal

Scrapping bedsits was a big mistake

Sir — For more than 50 years, many young people on securing their first jobs moved to Dublin or other major centres. They searched the evening papers for a bedsit near their new employment. These flats, often shared by two people, were plentiful and affordable.

With so many single people living in “bedsit land”, there were more houses available for families to rent in other parts of the city. With the arrival of the Celtic Tiger, bedsitters were encouraged by the banks to buy overpriced apartments, even when they could not afford them. After the crash, many found themselves in negative equity or lost their properties.

The Government, after banning bedsits (making it unaffordable for some people to live in Dublin), is offering a tax incentive to homeowners (€14,000 per year) to rent a room in their house to people who were much happier living in their bedsits.

Brian Lube, Co Meath

King Charles could learn from Harry

Sir — The honesty at the core of Prince Harry’s book, Spare, strikes resoundingly.

The kindness and maturity he shows in expressing the dysfunctionality of his family could turn the tide for his father King Charles if only the man could embrace his son’s humanity.

Bernardine Cantwell, Rathmines, Dublin 6

The eyes have it for Dr Ciara’s kindness

Sir — If mothers do indeed know everything and if Paulo Coelho is correct that “your eyes show the strength of your soul”, then Ciara Kelly (Life, March 19), is, as I suspected, a very kind person.

Mattie Lennon, Blessington, Co Wicklow

​Ireland v England? Please get over it

Sir — It was most disappointing to read Eamonn Sweeney’s triumphalist report in the Sunday Independent after last Saturday’s Ireland v England game.

Surely he has learned over the years of reporting that belittling one’s opponent is not sporting behaviour. We can do without this kind of journalism.

P Colligan, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin

​This is not the kind of Player we need

Sir — Ireland’s match against Latvia was a trial run for the big one tomorrow night against France. The preparations were all good. Everything was in place and all set to go. And then it started. And buffered, and started, and buffered until it soon became unwatchable. Not a chance will I risk the French game on the RTÉ Player. Not on your nelly.

B Gilmore, Ballymun, Dublin 11

​State should leave Burke family alone

Sir — The sacking of Enoch Burke from his teaching job was unjust. The State is trying to destroy the Burke family by bankrupting them. Justice is supposed to be for those we dislike as well as those we like.

John F Hyland, Killiney, Co Dublin