Sunday 17 November 2019

Why is nobody getting worked up about the Banking Inquiry?

Ciarán Lynch is the chairman of the Banking Inquiry
Ciarán Lynch is the chairman of the Banking Inquiry
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

I welcome this new era in our country and the positive attention generated by our momentous decision and the attitudes celebrated this weekend. It proves that, when they feel strongly, the Irish people can speak up and take the necessary action.

I do wonder if this is a blip in our robust attitudes. While we all celebrated over the weekend, the change in Constitution by majority vote and witnessed unparalleled scenes of devotion by those who live and work across the Irish Sea to travel home to vote, are we to assume that this show of solidarity will now be a constant for all the major issues in our fair shores? I, for one, doubt it. What bothers me is there is so much more in this country that needs addressing, and it needs these monumental outpourings of numbers and strength to transpire.

We have much more pressing issues in our healthcare system, water charges and homelessness. But the issue we seem to have overlooked and which doesn't appear to resonate is the one that gave the majority of those who travelled home no choice but to emigrate in the first place.

We are in the process of a Banking Inquiry in this country to examine why our debt as a percentage of our GDP went from a low of 24.9pc to a high of 123.7pc. We now have debt of almost €183bn - in 2009 it was €65bn.

We have a banking inquiry established to "inquire into the reasons Ireland experienced a systemic banking crisis, including the political, economic, social, cultural, financial and behavioural factors and policies which impacted on or contributed to the crisis and the preventative reforms implemented in the wake of the crisis."

I think this is a progressive move by the Government because you can't measure what you can't see. But now we get to the crux of the issue - the so-called bankers, who were paid enormous bonuses of up to €2m a year on top of their astronomical wages, higher than the President of the United States.

When the dust has settled - and we have already seen that they are sheepish in their apologies as they recall their bank balances - the people of Ireland are being taken for fools.

We are still paying out huge amounts to them as part of their pension contracts - for bringing our country to its knees, for the greed and selfishness of a few.

It is and will be the hard-working middle and low-income classes that foot the bill for what they did, and - worst of all - pay them their pensions.

John Whelan

Portarlington, Co Laois

 

Sexual morality and the Church

Colette Browne complains about the Catholic "church's obsession with issues of sexual morality". There is no such obsession as any fair-minded monitoring of the affairs of the Church today would demonstrate.

In over 40 years' regular attendance at my parish church I do not recall a single homily on an issue of sexual morality (there were a few on the protection of the life of the unborn child, which I would not classify as an issue of sexual morality).

Rather it is those like Ms Browne in the media who are obsessed with the Church's teaching on such issues to the exclusion of almost any serious coverage of Church teaching on anything else.

Ciarán Connolly

Raheny, Dublin 5

 

I, for one, am not proud to be Irish. The Yes vote is the last straw in the ruination of what was a lovely country. Sadly, that has all gone now forever, I am 78 and celebrated our 56th wedding anniversary just recently to the same lovable woman. I am not a practising Catholic - the last time I was in church was when we got married,

So I have no religious views on this horrible thing that has happened to our country. All our moral standards have gone. Two men or two women in sexual relations is immoral and should never be accepted as normal - and to give them children is beyond belief. In fact, it is horrific.

If you think corrupt politicians was a crisis over the last decade, this latest fiasco is going to have worse consequences than you can even imagine.

William Mooney

Ballyteigue, Co Wexford

 

The Greek problem

Could it be said that the Greek finance minister's urgent request to the European Central Bank to release Greece's Bailout loans to repay its debts to the IMF, represents a case of borrowing off Petros to pay Paulos?

Tom Brace

Dublin 8

 

Politicians lack courage

The criticisms levelled by Senator Averil Power against Fianna Fáil in her resignation speech could equally be applied to the other political parties. When campaigning for a ban on hare coursing over the years I've seen proof of this. For example, when a TD I called to told me, in a calm, friendly tone, after much waffling and batting the breeze: "I'm against hare coursing and all that but, you know, I'm not going to lose my seat over a bloody hare."

OK, so politics is deemed to be a blood sport, a dog-eat-dog affair in which you've got to be thick-skinned. But would a little honesty, integrity, and good old-fashioned courage not actually enhance the political process? Or are we doomed to an endless helping of the nod-and-wink, stand-for-nothing attitude that has been served up to us for decades?

Averil Power has, incidentally, spoken out against hare coursing in the Senate, unlike a single one of her Fianna Fáil parliamentary party colleagues. We need more people like her in Irish politics.

John Fitzgerald

Callan, Co Kilkenny

 

Eurovision failure

I write as others have about our recent Eurovision failure. I feel like the boy who said "The king has no clothes." Our entry this year, like the past few, was instantly forgettable. And very few people if pressed could hum a bar from any of our recent entries.

Mediocre is no longer good enough and musical purity is not required to produce a catchy popular song.

Sitting back harrumphing and complaining of the lack of musical understanding of the foreigners who cannot appreciate our musical genius will leave us where we deserve to be - coming last .

Ray Dunne

Enfield, Co Meath

 

Think of the children

As we read the shocking Hiqa report on its grave concerns about the welfare of the 1,600 children living in direct provision in this state, one wonders where is the outrage from the Iona Institute and all those who spent the marriage referendum campaign telling us how much they care about children.

The children living in direct provision are nine times more likely to be the subject of a referral relating to child welfare or safety issues than children in the wider community. This is so wrong and cannot be allowed to continue.

Zoe Lawlor

South Circular Road, Limerick

Irish Independent

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