| 3.3°C Dublin

We are driving straight for another economic crash


Traffic on the M50

Traffic on the M50

Traffic on the M50

This foolish country is making the same economic mistake all over again.

The Fiscal Council has warned against repeating the same pattern that got us into severe difficulty but, as usual, nothing will be done until the bottom falls out of it.

The next time, of course, it will be different because the EU/IMF will not come running with very strong opposition to a second bailout, especially in light of the current trouble with Greece.

Housing development buried this country in a mountain of debt before the crash in 2008.

It is now expected and being pushed for that the Government wants the country to return itself to a boom situation with almost full employment on a debt curve? It is widely reported that the banks are back lending again, and again the warnings of overheating have come, but are largely ignored.

Vehicle financing is also something that should be kept an eye on, with every second car financed. Our rolling economy is massive with vehicle ownership at an all-time high, subject to finance - which in many cases is falling through or getting into difficulty. Car financing has as much potential to bring down the banks as the housing market but remains unlimited.

It is very true to say that, as a country, we are not out of the woods. We may never get out if current warnings from those responsible for keeping an eye on things, such as the Fiscal Council, are not heeded in time.

Many of our indifferent and reckless will say: Ah shur things are grand ... drive on and tally ho!

Maurice Fitzgerald

Shanbally, Co Cork

Left must unite for election

Within the next 12 months there will be a general election here in Ireland, but I am sorry to say that the left-wing parties and socialist politicians are divided on many minor issues that are petty compared to the main problems that the poor and unemployed working class have to endure under the right-wing economic policies of the present Government.

The people who voted for the left now demand that the leadership of the left put aside their differences and get their act together for the sake of the people suffering under the hard-hitting austerity policies that we are compelled to live under because of what the bankers, developers and politicians did to the country. Our right-wing leaders make us pay the rich man's bill and let those responsible off the hook. We are being made to pick up the tab for the economic misrule of the past.

There is no good in there being a general election if we only replace one right-wing party in government for another, as happened in 2011 when Fine Gael took over from Fianna Fáil, as we continued to suffer.

So it must not be the same next time round. The left must close ranks and unite collectively against the common enemies on the right, who have made the lives of ordinary people hell in the last seven years.

There is a political battle the left must win in order to get our country back from native and foreign speculators who have made beggars of us and taken the last few euros from our pockets, made many homeless, and driven the young out of the country.

The only answer, in my opinion, is for the Irish voters to elect enough left-wing people so that there would be a new socialist government in power in Ireland, like they have in Greece, and end the revolving door of civil war politics.

We must start a new era of class politics in Ireland that will bring back dignity and respect that has been stolen from us.

Martin Forde


Amnesty failing human rights

The Amnesty International report, which calls for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution (which recognises the equal right to life of mother and baby) and for the decriminalisation of abortion, is further proof that the organisation is no longer a human rights defender.

Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

Abortion is a violation of human rights because it involves the direct and deliberate taking of an innocent human life.

The right to life is the most basic and important human right, without it all other rights are meaningless.

Amnesty International would better serve humanity in general, and women's rights in particular, if they worked to ensure that the right to life of all human beings, both born and unborn, is upheld under national and international law.

Mary O'Byrne


Pay up or be poisoned

On reading your paper and from listening to media coverage concerning lead in our water pipes, I have to say that I am not only shocked and appalled that this has gone on unchecked for decades.

I am also furious that now, we, the so-called 'middle earners' in the country who have been squeezed beyond what is tolerable, and who are now, as my young family are, unlucky enough to have a lead pipe somewhere in our garden feeding us liquid poison, being asked yet again to foot the bill for a mess that we did not create.

This problem must be dealt with, but not by again squeezing the life out of already struggling families, who are apparently being given the simple choice: pay for the repair or you and your children will be poisoned.

Charles Ó Duibhir

Drogheda, Co Louth

The Government has finally opened up its eyes to the serious legacy issue of domestic lead pipes and has announced a grant scheme but only to a limited number of households.

Either the health and safety of all citizens matters or it doesn't.

The Government has sent a clear message that the health and safety of men, women, expectant mothers and children with a household income of more than €75,000 is not their concern.

My home has lead pipes and my water is unsafe to drink. I have paid my LPT and water charges and for what? Unsafe drinking water that the Government says I can afford to fix without the aid of a grant.

The squeezed middle continues to be squeezed. Everyone in this country should have the right to safe drinking water. I will remember this when Government TDs knock on my door next year looking for my vote.

Siobhán McDermott

Killester, Dublin 5

What's he harping on about?

Is Grahame Morris the first person ever to describe a musical instrument as "a mutant lawn weed"?

Mattie Lennon

Blessington, Co Wicklow

Irish Independent