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Trump is fortunate to have shortsighted political enemies

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Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's travel ban at Atlanta International Airport, USA Photo: Reuters

Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's travel ban at Atlanta International Airport, USA Photo: Reuters

Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's travel ban at Atlanta International Airport, USA Photo: Reuters

It is doubtful if Donald Trump's strategists could have planned a more successful beginning to his reign as US president than the liberally obsessed judicial system has gifted to him.

They have, in three weeks, turned him into a martyr.

If ever there was an overkill, this is it.

By thwarting what appears a very emotive homeland protection measure, they reinforce his supporters and more than likely add substantially to their number.

If any terrorist action takes place in the US which can be blamed on insufficient border controls, the judiciary will be looked on as having aided terrorists and betrayed the US public.

Frenzied rejection of the democratic system by liberal opponents is extraordinarily dangerous, stupid and shortsighted.

Instead of weakening Mr Trump they strengthen him, and if anything should go wrong on the terrorist front they could alienate the vast majority of US citizens from the left and even from the rule of law and drive US politics to much further extremes.

Mr Trump appears to be very fortunate in his political enemies; he must be toasting their glorious ineptitude in the Oval Office.

Padraic Neary

Tubbercurry, Co Sligo

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Prescription to fix health service

In light of the ongoing crisis in our healthcare system, I wish to venture a range of pragmatic, potential actions that may address some of the key issues of concern within our hospitals and the HSE.

We need to move the focus of our healthcare system from fixing people when they are ill to enabling people to stay healthy and out of hospital.

The lack of nurses and midwives has been constantly mooted as a contributing factor to the ongoing crisis in hospital care.

We need to increase the supply of nurses and midwives by increasing the number of third-level training places for both professions.

Nurses and midwives' pay and conditions need to be radically reformed. The creation of a Dublin weighting allowance would go some way to help with the financial burden of capital-city life for all healthcare staff.

Healthcare providers need to consider creating affordable living spaces for healthcare staff as part of the overall employment packages - this was commonplace within healthcare establishments in the past.

The creation of a situation whereby all health professionals trained in Ireland have to complete their first year after qualification in the Irish healthcare system with a statutory mentorship programme would help with retention.

Managerial processes within the HSE have been heavily criticised - it's time to create management accountability procedures within the healthcare sector with the teeth to address incompetence and inefficiencies and apply sanctions if necessary.

Finally, we need a simple action- outcome-focused five-year plan to reform and improve our healthcare system. Once created, such a plan should have sturdy legal underpinnings which are sacrosanct and above party politics and political tampering.

In conclusion, we need to take the politics and bureaucracy out of healthcare and put the care back into our healthcare system.

Paul Horan

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin

Dublin 2

'EU partnership' laughable

It always amuses me when I hear Irish politicians refer to our "EU partners" because "partnership" implies some measure of equality and mutual respect, which is clearly not the scenario in Ireland's case.

A very "limited partner" perhaps?

Peter Keating

Charleville, Co Cork

Only fascists applauded 'protocol'

Tom Cooper (Irish Independent, Letters, February 10) sees Éamon de Valera's response to the death of Adolf Hitler as a matter of protocol.

Although begged not to do so by the Department of External Affairs, Mr de Valera insisted on conveying his condolences to the German ambassador in person. He was alone in the democratic world in doing so. Every other political leader put principle before protocol.

Though the 'Washington Post' castigated him for "moral myopia", Mr de Valera was not without support. The British Union of Fascists expressed deep appreciation at the visit and conveyed "its gratitude to the government of Éire for thus honouring the memory of the greatest German in history".

Dr John Doherty

Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal

FF's stubborn stance

In view of the dogged refusal of Fianna Fáil to insist on the Garda Commissioner standing aside while an inquiry is held into an alleged smear campaign against a Garda whistleblower, is it time for Stephen Donnelly TD to resign from the party?

Gerry O'Donnell

Dublin 15

Syrian army and Turkey face off

As the forces of the Syrian government reach the outskirts of Tedef, what the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights calls the last remaining "southern gate" to al-Bab, the threat of armed confrontation between these forces and Turkish-backed rebels (code-named as part of Operation Euphrates Shield) has become a reality.

Videos from pro-rebel Twitter accounts show their technical vehicles and infantry firing allegedly at government forces in the outskirts of al-Bab. One video shows rebels capturing a BMP (infantry fighting vehicle) and stepping on the Syrian flag into the dirt.

The danger of this fighting escalating is evident with the accidental Russian air strike on Turkish forces near al-Bab (Irish Independent, February 10), which led to three Turkish soldiers dying and 11 wounded, prompting President Vladimir Putin to quickly apologise to his counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a phone call.

Despite continuing Turkish efforts against Isil, it has been unsuccessful in capturing the city. The question remains if Bashar al-Assad's Syrian forces, backed by Hezbollah and Russian firepower, can take the city and if so, will they be allowed to hold it in the face of hostile rebels?

Stephen Oliver Murray

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4


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