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Zappone commands the moral high ground, unlike so many ministers


Taking action: Katherine Zappone announces her decisions over Tuam. Photo: Collins

Taking action: Katherine Zappone announces her decisions over Tuam. Photo: Collins

Taking action: Katherine Zappone announces her decisions over Tuam. Photo: Collins

It was surprising to hear Children's Minister Katherine Zappone say that she was doing what she was doing with regard to the Tuam babies scandal, because it was right.

This seems almost unprecedented for a politician in Ireland. Ms Zappone did likewise with regard to problems with Scouting Ireland; she did what was clearly right. We owe her a sincere thanks for doing the right thing in such matters, rather than opting for the "pragmatic" or typical "cute hoor" option many of our politicians opt for.

In our recent Budget it was clear climate change needed to be seriously addressed, yet the Cabinet opted for doing virtually nothing significant due to lobbying by vested interests.

The greatest environmental scandal in Ireland over the past century has been the peat industry, burning the land from beneath our feet, releasing huge amounts of damaging CO2, destroying valuable carbon storage capacity and our precious environmental wealth. This will be allowed to continue until 2030.

Bridget McCole was treated appallingly by the State for "pragmatic" reasons and she was just one of many such persons treated with such contempt.

Since 2001 our foreign policy ministers and officials have been behaving "pragmatically" with regard to Irish neutrality and complicity in war crimes in the Middle East.

If we had the likes of Katherine Zappone as Minister for Foreign Affairs then our foreign policy might also be directed to doing what is right because it is right.

Thank you, Katherine Zappone, for doing what is right.

Edward Horgan

Castletroy, Co Limerick


Brave men who risked their lives to bring peace

Retired Detective Garda Tom Peters was laid to rest in Portlaoise on Tuesday. He was one of five gardaí lured to investigate suspicious activity at Garryhinch, near Portarlington, Co Laois, in October, 1976. The anonymous phone message from a female was bogus.

The group were blown up at the scene by a booby-trap bomb in a deserted farm building. Michael Clerkin, a 24-year-old garda, was killed in the explosion and his comrades were all injured. Tom Peters was blinded and almost deafened.

The IRA cowards who planted the bomb were never brought to justice due to insufficient evidence and the usual denial of involvement came from that group. It marked a change in targeting members of the 26-county security services.

However, as the Garda chief superintendent stated at the graveside, An Garda Síochána continued to hunt down the subversives and succeeded in playing their part in bringing peace to our country.

May God be good to the family members of the late Tom Peters and those of his colleagues, whose lives were changed forever on that October night.

Tony Fagan

Enniscorthy, Co Wexford


Rivals aren't fit to tie Michael D's shoelaces

After being bored rigid by [Tuesday's] presidential debate, I got to thinking we need a radical change to the present system.

I'm no fan of Michael D Higgins but he has been a good President apart from a few hiccups. As for the others, they are not good enough to tie his laces, never mind polishing or standing in his shoes. The President won by a mile and the other candidates will be lucky to save their deposits.

A constitutional change should be considered. Instead of having two possible terms of office, perhaps one eight- to 10-year term would be more appropriate. We will have a better calibre of candidates than the present ones. At least all political parties would be obliged to nominate their best candidates and in doing so give the voters a better choice.

Jim Yates

Dublin 24


These throwbacks will make us look ridiculous

One candidate had to take a break from his campaign work due to an old, recurring injury. Another made offensive remarks about an ethnic minority which are just not acceptable.

When asked about the duties associated with being "first lady" the candidate's wife said she entertains a lot. Yet another candidate admitted he should not have been driving the day he crashed into a female motorcyclist.

With their inappropriate, old fashioned attitudes and unreliable records these people are not fit to represent us. The role of president epitomises the best of Ireland on an international stage. Can you imagine how ridiculous we will look if one of these throwbacks is elected?

Eve Parnell

Dublin 8


Nothing will be gained by disinterring Tuam babies

I am at a loss as to why the decision to disinter the bodies of so many infants at Tuam has been made. I feel no Christian purpose will be served by this action.

By all means do the surveys and conclude the scale of the horrors. The grounds can then be consecrated and made a Christian centre for the repose of all lost souls interred. The erection of a monument would complete the saga and hopefully remind the future populations of how easily these events can take place.

Taking the date of the closure in 1961, the age of the last women to go through this home will be 75 to 80. What will it serve to remind these women in their final years of the past horrors they were involved in, either voluntarily or enforced? As to the DNA tests, in the past most communities were small and close-knit, most of the townspeople would be related and their DNA so similar as to be indistinguishable.

The chances are the interred children will be related generally to a large number of the aged residents of the town. Again, most of the mothers and fathers will be long dead at this date .

If the point of these actions is shaming the perpetrators, consider that the real victims are the interred babies.

Ray Dunne

Enfield, Co Meath

Irish Independent