Wednesday 23 January 2019

Workers who 'get up early' losing patience with public transport

Transport Minister Shane Ross
Transport Minister Shane Ross
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

I seem to recall Leo Varadkar mentioning he was an admirer of people who "get up early" and go to work. Well, I wonder if he is aware that there are about 150,000 of those workers who are quickly losing any admiration they may have had for him and his Transport Minister, Shane Ross.

These are the workers who rely on public transport to reach their jobs early in the morning.

Many of these workers are commuters because they cannot afford to live close to where they work due to the lack of affordable housing, even for those who work long hours. Many rely on public transport because the cost of running a car is too high, even for those who work hard.

Any modern economy depends on public transport to get its workers to and from their jobs in an efficient and cost-effective way. In Ireland, we have a State-controlled public transport system that is suffering the effects of years of neglect and underfunding. In the face of increasing disruption and chaos on the rail system, we have a Transport Minister who seems to think he really doesn't need to do anything much to solve the problem, despite Irish Rail being a State monopoly. He seems to be able to come up with creative ideas for bringing us world peace, but when it comes to innovative ideas for developing and expanding the public transport system he is sadly lacking in ideas.

Regrettably, the current strike will do little for the future of Irish Rail and its workers.

Passenger numbers and revenues have been rising recently but if its customers lose confidence in Irish Rail to provide a service that they can rely on, they will vote with their feet. Many of those customers are now very close to that point.

The only winners will be the private bus operators and the car salesmen.

David Orford

Portarlington, Co Laois

Resigning only option for Halligan

I walk into the library or my local shop. I ask the lady at the desk if she is married. Either I am socially inadequate, trying a crude chat-up line, or sexist. I would expect to find myself outside the door a minute later.

The Government has issued a flurry of missives telling us, in particular, women will no longer be objects of sexism or bullying in the workplace.

As fate would decree, an opportunity arrived to test its bona fides in the guise of a government minister.

Either John Halligan was chatting up the lady, which is wrong, or else he was discriminating against her because she is a mother, also wrong - therefore he must resign. His excuse, putting her at ease, doesn't augur well for his trip to North Korea. Mr Halligan holds the key to keeping Fine Gael in power. Time to see if Leo Varadkar matches actions with PR spin. Time to go, John.

John Cuffe

Dunboyne, Co Meath

Three one-way tickets, please

I fully approve of the intentions of our three Government ministers to visit North Korea - on the condition they travel on one-way tickets.

Richard Burke

Hollywood, Co Wicklow

Actions speak louder than poppies

I write to you out of a sense of sheer disgust on seeing the Taoiseach wearing a 'shamrock poppy' in the Dáil. For me, the poppy represents war, slaughter and imperialism.

Today, one cannot appear on British television without the wearing of a poppy. If Leo Varadkar is really serious in remembering the people killed in all wars, I would respectfully suggest that he seeks out among his new friends, world leaders such as French president Emmanuel Macron, et al, and try to stop more wars, by trying to understand the reasons why there is so much war in the world presently.

In doing so he could be a great statesman and people of all creeds could respect him, including myself - instead of going for the soundbite or photo opportunity.

Paul Doran

Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Leo's latest publicity stunt

Leo Varadkar's decision to wear the so-called 'shamrock poppy' in the Dáil chamber has provided us with another distraction from the main event. Was it a necessary thing to do?

The Irish people who did fight with the British did so for a myriad of reasons from principled ideals about freedom to raising money for their impoverished families back home.

They are part of our narrative. Laying a wreath at Islandbridge War Memorial would be appropriate, and the remit of our President. But this publicity stunt is nothing short of attention-seeking and diversionary - something for which our unelected Taoiseach is well famed!

Killian Brennan

Clare Village, Dublin 17

Stop hassling poor Thomas

In response to the letter from Alison Hackett (Irish Independent, November 8), entitled "Full steam ahead to a brave new world of gender equality", she should be more careful before hassling poor Thomas the Tank Engine.

The show is a particular favourite of my autistic six-year-old Ethan, who insisted I, with great pleasure on my behalf in fact, recite every one of the female Thomas trains he has in his toy box.

These include the lovely green engine Emily, our own Irish-voiced Caitlin, the Japanese Ashima, and, my particular favourite, the pink engine Rosie - all this without forgetting Thomas's own two carriages, Annie and Clarabel.

Name and address with editor

Replenish social housing stock

It is abundantly clear from the past decade that in modern Ireland there are a cohort of citizens who are simply unable to house themselves in a modern housing market.

We are a society and therefore we must not subscribe to survival of the fittest, but rather provide for those who cannot provide for themselves.

This government needs to stop messing around and start properly replenishing the social housing stock.

Those who are well able to house themselves in a functioning housing market will do so once this supply issue is addressed. Those who can't will be housed.

It really can't be much more complicated than this.

JP McCarthy

Annascaul, Co Kerry

Bono's mysterious ways

Bono is "extremely distressed" to discover that he has bought into a shopping centre in Lithuania and an office building in Germany through offshore entities.

He's not the only one.

Dr John Doherty

Gaoth Dobhair, Co Dhún na nGall

Clock ticking for Trump

US President Donald Trump's Twitter account was deleted for 11 minutes.

It's a start!

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

Irish Independent

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