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What do I get for property tax?

Sir -- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the property tax is being introduced to pay for public services.

As I live in a rural area I have never witnessed any public services apart from the secondary road outside my property getting a new surface once in the past 31 years.

I paid for my own well, my own septic tank, my own refuse collection, and so on. The road has never been gritted, so what am I actually getting for this tax?

George Coe,

Gowran, Co Kilkenny

No red carpet for papal visit

Sir -- It was widely anticipated that the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 2012 would result in the welcome visit to our shores of Pope Benedict.

Pope Benedict is usually accompanied on his travels by his private secretary, the easy on the eye (from a female perspective, I hasten to add ) Mons Georg Ganswein -- dubbed by the Italian press as 'Gorgeous George'.

Indeed for this very reason (in addition to the obvious spiritual dimension) my wife has ensured that we have booked as early as possible for this eventuality.

Alas it now appears that, thanks to the crude, vulgar approach of the politicians who now run the show here, all such bets are off.

While the vast majority of the Roman Catholic community welcomed the visit of Queen Elizabeth to our country, it does seem a shame that the same courtesy was not extended by the political elite to Pope Benedict. Quite the contrary.

Eric Conway

Navan, Co Meath

Sunday Independent