We may have lost out, but World Cup bid was great collaboration
The understandable disappointment of failing to win the right to host RWC 2023 runs the risk of overlooking a very important fact.
The actual compilation of the bid itself was a hugely significant achievement. It brought together all Irish people from north, south, east and west; it brought together the politicians from all parties, two governments and the Northern Assembly; and it brought together the IRFU and the GAA into a unique joint effort. This combined effort once again highlighted the ability of Irish sport to transcend all differences.
We must also remember that the bid was sufficiently impressive to convince World Rugby that Ireland is actually capable of hosting such a global event. That was some achievement in its own right and one which is fully appreciated by Irish people all over the world.
Therefore, congratulations are in order for all concerned, namely Dick Spring, Philip Browne, Paraic Duffy, etc etc, for crossing divides and for building bridges. It was an exemplary display of collaboration in doing "what is best for Ireland" which we should never forget and for which we should all be very grateful. Thank you one and all.
Ireland could end up on fringes
The sombre trumpet blast of the editorial (Irish Independent, November 18), on the effects of the impending economic rupture between Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, is a rude, but timely, awakening call to the Irish political and economic establishments. The insouciant phoney war period is rapidly drawing to a close. The essential facts are nicely laid down in the editorial - phase one, the Border with the UK/Northern Ireland (and UK monies owing to the EU and citizenship rights) and phase two, the UK's post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU, including Ireland.
The UK wishes to kick the UK/Ireland issue, in phase one, down the road; the Irish (and EU) want the matter dealt with before there is any proceeding to phase two. However, if the UK succeeds in coming to an agreement with the EU on monies owed to the latter and mutual citizenship rights, it is difficult to envisage the EU holding the line on the Irish/UK, including Northern Ireland, issue.
It may be a big issue for Ireland, but for Europe, in general, it is quite insignificant. Ireland should be gearing up to a post-Brexit hard Border and obtaining solid assurances of economic assistance to deal with the Brexit fallout - the alternative is that Ireland could find itself lumped in with the UK, post-Brexit, and, at best, become a sort of fringe member of the EU. It's decision time.
Theresa May and especially Boris Johnson must thank their lucky stars for Leo Varadkar and the Irish Government. Nothing on Earth is more likely to strengthen the hand of a weak British government than an all-out attack from Europe assisted by those once regarded as friendly neighbours.
Tubbercurry, Co Sligo
Taxis bane of commuters' lives
I hope there is a taxi ban in College Green when the Luas is up and running and I hope they extend the ban to all bus lanes.
As someone who uses a bus every day to get to and from work I am fed up being on it with potentially 90 passengers stuck behind a line of taxis and a lot of them with no passengers.
If I remember correctly, when taxis were first allowed to use the bus lanes they could only use them if they had passengers.
Shout out loud on homelessness
In recent weeks there has been much outcry from businesses and from State agencies like Waterways Ireland on the impact that rough sleeping is having on their activities.
While these businesses, etc have been well able to bemoan their lot, not one of these affected has called upon our Government to properly tackle the problem of homelessness, as is the primary duty of any government.
So today I would like to call upon all businesses and organisations to demand the Government do its duty, and to make those demands loud and clear each and every day their businesses are affected.
Because, according to Fine Gael, there is no problem, really.
The problems businesses are facing with homelessness will only get worse until we all stand up and demand Government do its job.
Killurin, Co Offaly
Winds of change in Africa
I fondly recollect my business visit to Zimbabwe in mid-1994 where I managed to get some time to see the spectacular Victoria Falls and take a safari across the lush green Hwange National Park. I was awed in admiring the magnificent wildlife and marvelling at the thunderous herds of elephants flouting their prowess. However, the best part of this trip was the friendliness and the warmth of the Zimbabweans I met and came across, that was the time this beautiful country was endowed with abundant natural resources.
Appallingly, after 37 long years of despotic rule by its own founding President Robert Mugabe, who refused to budge from power, the country plunged into an abyss of worst economic nightmares. A virtually non-existent economy ridden with acute food scarcity, lack of water and sanitation and a dysfunctional health and hospital system made it an epicentre of deadly communicable diseases.
Appallingly, Mr Mugabe inflicted untold sufferings on his own countrymen while he continued to live a life of opulence and luxury without any remorse or accountability. It is heartening to see the empowered people of Zimbabwe are on the streets supporting the army for deposing Mr Mugabe's autocratic regime by unshackling them from years of tyranny, hunger, disease and hopelessness.
I hope the Zimbabwe people's uprising sends a clear message to other despotic regimes of African countries that the winds of democracy and change have started blowing from Zimbabwe and are poised to sweep the continent and move on further!
Atul M Karnik
New York, USA
Something to tell us, Gerry?
Now that Gerry Adams will not stand in elections again can he admit to having been in the IRA?
Clonmel, Co Tipperary