Summer time arrived early yesterday morning and while the living is uneasy with the coronavirus pandemic rampant, the extra hour of daylight put a spring in my step. Indeed, a number of events during the past week gave me a huge morale boost.
The fundraising campaign ‘Feed The Heroes’, founded by businessman Cian O’Flaherty to feed hospital and emergency workers, should by now have surpassed €500,000 even though the GoFundMe page was only set up on March 15. It was a bright idea by a caring young man that mushroomed into a national campaign to deliver food to those at the coalface. Cian said it was the most humbling experience of his life. In truth, he is a national hero, representing all that is good about young people.
The generous round of applause that rang out across the nation on Thursday night in appreciation of the selfless commitment of frontline healthcare staff was thoroughly deserved. Their dedication is an inspiration to all of us to be brave in adversity and to comply with the public health guidelines.
The third event of the week that brought a tear to my eye was the sight of the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Eamon Martin, sprinkling holy water as he traversed the empty streets of Armagh. It was a huge gesture of spiritual solidarity with the people of Ireland, of all faiths and none.
Thousands of altruistic volunteers are contributing to the ongoing battle against Covid-19. These unsung heroes can be proud of their efforts at a time when our country was never as united. Stay safe and well.
Tralee, Co Kerry
Green Party must have the courage to represent its voters
I gave my first preference vote to the Green Party in the February General Election. I did this in the hope that the party would win enough seats to form part of the new incoming government and have a material input to the programme for government.
The context here is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that the planet has until 2030 to cut our carbon emissions in half if we are to have any hope of limiting the global increases in temperature to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. We need this to happen if we aspire to have a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren.
A critical backdrop to our situation is that Ireland has an abysmal record on legislating and acting to limit our carbon emissions.
The verbal platitudes of the outgoing Fine Gael-led government have been just that and its MEPs’ voting record in the European Parliament on climate-related issues has been dismal.
It now transpires that the Green Party is indicating that it will abstain from participating in government formation. Reasons given are that it would prefer a government of national unity and/or a more left-leaning government. In the words of Greta Thunberg “our house is on fire”. We do not have the luxury of time to indulge the Green Party’s wish-lists for what sort of government it would prefer. Abstention from government by the Green Party at this time would be an unforgivable abdication of the mandate it has been given and the responsibility that accompanies this mandate.
Greystones, Co Wicklow
Eamon and Catherine need to show real leadership
They say you can’t teach a new dog old tricks, well that is certainly true of the Green Party.
At a time when their country needs them, the Greens won’t go into government. They want their policies implemented but the only way that is going to happen is in government. Some of their new TDs are showing a high level of naivety in terms of how successful governments work through compromise.
This is where Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin need to lead from the front.
Their policies are right for this country in a balanced way. The late Seamus Brennan called it ‘senior hurling’, it’s not too late to do right for the country and themselves. Eamon, talk to Leo and Micheál. Don’t let us be dependent for stable government on a conglomeration of Independents.
The country will not forgive you at the next election if you don’t.
Kilmacud, Co Dublin
We should be applauding the World Health Organisation
The World Health Organisation should not be forgotten as we applaud our local frontline medical staff.
Without it we would not have been made aware of the initial breakout of Covid-19 in China which gave time to other countries to prepare for its onslaught. This UN agency should be recognised as an essential element of preserving global human life and be provided with the international financial support necessary for its future survival.
Malahide, Co Dublin