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Window of opportunity to improve education system

Letters to the Editor


'Many of our learning centres are poorly designed and overcrowded' (stock picture)

'Many of our learning centres are poorly designed and overcrowded' (stock picture)

'Many of our learning centres are poorly designed and overcrowded' (stock picture)

As a course is set on reshaping a new economic model that can provide employment and a stable social structure for all our citizens post-Covid, why don’t we begin with the knotty question of the reopening of our schools and colleges.

Many of our learning centres are poorly designed and overcrowded.

As an economy, we can embark on a new project that provides extra permanent, well-lit, ventilated and resourced multi-purpose classrooms wherever needed, reduces the student-teacher ratio in all educational settings, creates employment in the building, design, pedagogical and service sectors, and produces an educational system fit for future generations. A system that will pay for itself in the long term. That’s a lot of people back at work. We can imagine it. Why not?

Colin Quigley

Trim, Co Meath


GAA needs to rethink policies around the Covid pandemic

The GAA sent out an email in recent days, to all club secretaries, county PROs and chairpersons, asking them to effectively ‘snitch’ on their own players if a club has a grievance in relation to the availability of their county players, or if they feel county teams are holding collective training sessions before the appointed date of September 14.

This comes in the wake of club players being asked to effectively become ‘guinea pigs’ in competitive contact games. This gives the club player the dilemma of whether to play for their team and risk taking the virus home to their family, or opting out to keep them safe from infection.

Former Meath star Bernard Flynn said he was fearful after watching two challenge games in the last week. He said the risk is huge for players and one of his big worries is club players are being asked to do something that is against all the Covid-19 protocols.

The GAA needs to look again at both of these directives.

Tom Towey

Cloonacool, Co Sligo


Whoever leaked Cowen’s conviction cannot be trusted

Whilst your political correspondents have properly – and correctly – reported on the past driving conviction of Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen, there are two serious outcomes that need to be examined.

Firstly, why did Taoiseach Micheál Martin, as leader of the Fianna Fáil party, fail to do due diligence on Barry Cowen prior to appointing him to Cabinet?

Second is the fact some anonymous person leaked the details of Mr Cowen’s conviction. If the person in question held a position in the civil service, then they have committed a grave breach of the rules that bind them to treat all citizens with respect and to protect their privacy in matters between the State and the citizen. The question I would be asking is: “How can the person who leaked this information be trusted?”

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia


Dublin Greens out of loop about rural broadband

The recent story about Eamon Ryan stating that ‘broadband plan gives rural homes unfair advantage’ has exposed the reality many of us have felt in recent times. The leadership of the Green Party is totally out of the loop when it comes to issues that people outside of the Greater Dublin Area experience, especially young people.

I’ve spent the vast majority of my life in Monaghan, and at times I, along with many others, have faced the struggles of being unable to find suitable broadband. Therefore the statements made by the Greens’ leader are not only insulting but unfair to the people living outside the Greater Dublin Area.

In this day and age, you would be forgiven for assuming a connection to the internet is something that comes as standard along with running water and electricity. Yet many people in Monaghan and the Border region aren’t as fortunate to have such a reality.

I have high hopes for the coalition, but the Greens need to adjust their stance.

Niko Kawonczyk

Co Monaghan


Supermarket staff need to copy customers’ use of masks

When are the supermarkets and other large shops in Ireland going to be mandated by the Government to have all of their staff wearing face masks?

For the first time in months, I ventured into a supermarket in Dublin only to discover that while many of the customers wore masks, the staff – most of whom were going about their work flitting in and out between customers (and not bothering with social distancing) – were, bar one, not wearing masks.

We need to follow Scotland, which has now made the wearing of masks in all shops absolutely mandatory, allowing exemptions only in exceptional circumstances.

Ivor Shorts

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

Irish Independent