What a performance by the Queen and Queen at the Platinum Jubilee concert. Between them they stole the show.
When it comes to pop and pomp and ceremony, you’ve got to hand it to our closest neighbours.
The past week saw European defence continue to evolve at pace. Denmark has now ended, by way of a referendum, its ‘opt out’ from EU security co-operation.
This, along with Sweden and Finland’s decision to join Nato, is indicative of how Vladimir Putin has provoked a recalibration of Europe’s security architecture in a way he would not have wished.
Denmark will now increase its defence budget from 1.4pc to 2pc of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2033. Ireland’s spend is currently 0.3pc of GDP. This leaves us way behind once like-minded European partners in terms of expenditure, but even more so on a collegial and collaborative basis.
The speed of how these three countries adapted their defence policies is remarkable. All the while, we trundle along under the cover of ‘considerations being given’ to the Commission on the Defence Forces, which was published in February. That was the month before Denmark started its now-completed referendum process.
Against this backdrop, An Taoiseach and the Defence Minister spurned a gifted opportunity while visiting our troops in Lebanon last week. Here was a chance to start creating a defence and security vision beyond well-rehearsed words such as those spoken by An Taoiseach, who talked of our “need” to increase resources towards our defence forces.
On the same visit, speaking to reporters at Defence Forces UN Post 2-45, the man with the operational responsibility for the forces, Lt Gen Clancy, was calling for military spending to be increased by as much as
€500 million per year. He contended there has been “no real change” over the last decade. Plus ca change, mon General.
Michael Gannon (retired colonel)
Russia has already stated that it is prepared to use nuclear weapons in the event of an existential threat. That is understandable.
Does Russia comprehend that other countries might react similarly if their existence is being threatened?
Ukraine, which no longer has nuclear missiles but has the largest nuclear power station in Europe, surely still has considerable knowledge and expertise in the field. What have you to lose when threatened with extinction?
The blame game over the airport debacle (‘Airport debacle sparks fury among TDs at civil servants as Coalition gets the blame’, Irish independent, June 3), is a diversion from the responsibility of the Cabinet, Government ministers, boards of state and semi-state, and other public bodies to manage their affairs in the best interests of the people of this country.
Blaming the Coalition is justified. It is grandstanding for Higher Education Minister Simon Harris to state that people were “getting fed up of senior management hiding behind politicians when it comes to actually doing their jobs”.
He should know that the fury of TDs ought to be reflected on themselves and boards stuffed with political appointees. Minister and TD interference in public bodies and services has brought us to where we are.
Ministers and TDs are more interested in promoting their interests at the expense of citizens struggling from the cost-of-living crisis and poor public services. The cracks are opening up as to the management void within Government and our public service.
Whilst much could be hidden up to now, it is clear that a disunited government and a bloated public sector with a dearth of responsibility is failing a population which is struggling to survive.
Dromahair, Co Leitrim
Mike Geraghty is of the opinion Derry Girls is funny (‘With humour and insight, Derry Girls was a big hit’, Letters, June 4). Apart from requiring an interpreter, this so-called comedy makes Killinaskully seem hilarious.
Both series were aimed at those with a culchie sense of humour and neither will stand the test of time, no matter how often RTÉ show them as time-fillers.