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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (26/10/16)

Your letters, your views...

Alcohol Bill will reduce consumption and save lives

In the coming week the Public Health (Alcohol Bill) will go to committee stage in the Seanad. After the decision by the Court of Session in Scotland to clear the way for Minimum Unit pricing to be introduced in Scotland there is now a very distinct possibility that Minimum Unit pricing may well become a reality in Ireland.

There is still a chance that the alcohol industry will challenge this ruling in the UK Supreme Court.

No doubt the lobbying to minimise the effect that the Public Health Alcohol Bill would have on the the price, availability and promotion of alcohol in Ireland has gone to another level, if that is possible, seen as it has been unrelenting since the early days of the birth of this Bill.

We read of IBEC and the Alcohol industry submitting amendments to the bill.

They say structural separation of alcohol in retail outlets would be costly and unmanageable and that as a result jobs could be lost, they also say that minimum unit pricing won’t work, they also believe advertising restrictions are too strict.

The purpose of this bill, in its entirety, should not be lost to the pressure of lobbying and perhaps threats of job losses and closures. This Bill will save lives, it will reduce consumption, it will help to minimise the continuous bombardment of our children and grandchildren by alcohol companies advertising their product. We can attribute three deaths per day to alcohol abuse, 547,500 hospital bed nights every year are occupied by people suffering from alcohol related illnesses, and alcohol is a contributing factor in at least 50% of suicides.

Our 19-year-old son David died by suicide in March 2011.

It states on his death certificate that alcohol was a contributing factor in his death, that information is there for a reason. I write this letter for that reason.

John Higgins

West View
Shanaghy Heights
Ballina
Co Mayo

A fine tribute to Anthony Foley

It can be very true we don’t fully appreciate something or someone until they are gone like the sudden death of Munster coach, Anthony Foley, aged 42. Those who knew him well were very shocked at his death. Tributes from the world of rugby and other sports continued for days.

A thousand fans greeted his remains from France at the home of Munster rugby at Thomond Park in Limerick on a dark evening with lit candles and respectful silence; the Shannon RFC song ‘There is an Isle’ and warm applause.

20,000 people went to his removal to the church in Killaloe in Co Clare from his nearby home from 1pm to 8.30pm. Strong men from rugby shed tears at the death of a man they knew and liked. Someone observed it was like a State funeral.

Thousands again went to his funeral where they heard of a loving husband and dad.

His wife, Olive, gave a lovely eulogy where she spoke too of the very tough times for him as coach when Munster were not playing well.

Munster are showing signs of playing better and the experienced Rassie Erasmus was engaged to help share the management. Anthony Foley went to the 50th birthday party of his friend, and fellow rugby great, Mick Galwey. They said he was happier and relaxed. He died a week later in his sleep the night before Munster were to play their opening European Cup Championship game in France against Racing 92 which was then cancelled.

He was first to those who loved him; a husband, dad, son, brother and good friend. He played on two Munster teams who won their first European Cups in 2006 and 2008 coached by Declan Kidney. I remember those years and they were magic. He won Triple Crowns with Ireland and played in the Lions. He liked helping children and young people to be in sports and was an umpire at a hurling match for the under-11s shortly before he died.

A day after his funeral the Munster players who were pall bearers at his funeral beat the well regarded Glasgow Warriors 38-17.

He would have been proud of them after an emotional week. People who paid their respects to him or read of this sad event won’t forget.

Thomond Park had never seen anything like the respect shown on Saturday with his and his two boys, Tony and Dan, warmly included by the team.

I think it was a credit to everyone who organised the tributes. It was sad and nice at the same time.

For non-Munster team aficionados the Munster rugby song ‘Stand up and Fight’ is sung to the Toreador tune from Carmen. May he rest in peace.

Mary Sullivan

College Road
Cork

Amazon could put drone to better use

Amazon has filed a patent for a drone that can help find your car.

Blankety blank that. What we need is a drone that can help find a parking space.

Brendan Casserly

Benvoirlich
Bishopstown
Cork

‘Jungle’ in Calais is not like Dachau

Although the plight of refugees, especially that of children and teens shines a critical spotlight on the West’s oftentimes indifference to the human suffering created by its ineffectual meddling in the Middle East and Asia, the so-called ‘Jungle’ refugee camp at Calais is not Dachau.

Clare Moseley’s facile analogy between the refugees admittedly harsh and callous treatment and the persecution and eventual extermination of Jews by Nazi germany is completely without empirical foundation (Irish Examiner, World News, 24 October).

Ms Moseley criticises the ‘Jungle’ as being “a production line of sleep here, get food there — but no thought for the social side” of refugee life, sad and all as this lifestyle is, it is still far superior to life in Aleppo or Mosul.

Moreover, none of these refugees are systematically humiliated by being forced for example, as the Jews of Germany were, to scrub streets with toothbrushes as their jeering fellow citizens gloated at their predicament.

Ms Moseley’s point would carry far more import if she focused on the indifferent global political and social response to the Jewish refugees of the thirties which has far more in common with today’s rejection of refugees.

This reveals that the nationalist xenophobia of the western Christian countries which rejected the Jews in the thirties is now focused on Muslims. However, this macro political (Germany apart) rejection does not translate into micro abuse of the refugees who make it to Western Europe, where there is an attempt, ineffectual as it might very well be, to provide them with basic necessities.

Kevin McCarthy

Kinsale
Co Cork

Politicians’ salaries fairly negotiated

Tom McElligott says that politicians should not be getting a salary comparable to public servants but ‘should be paid the average industrial wage’ (Irish Examiner, Letters, October 24).

The decision to tie politicians salaries to public service salaries was made by national agreement.

As your editorial and the letter by Desmond FitzGerald on the same day, giving opposite opinions to one another, show there are differing views on that topic.

But we should remember that the agreement giving politicians a salary comparable to public servants was negotiated and agreed by a forum representing all sections of society at the time.

That included those who are members of the gardaí and the teaching professions that are now complaining.

A Leavy

Shielmartin Drive
Sutton
Dublin 13

Childish behaviour by teachers’ union

This dispute is all about time, whether teachers will all be on the same pay sooner or later. Like a bold child, ASTI members want their lolly(pop) NOW, when we are still borrowing billions each year to keep the country afloat.

In 2010 ASTI members voted to keep their existing pay rather than take a reduction like everyone else in the country and share the pain with new teachers so all teachers could be on the same pay scale.

Now ASTI has the cheek to complain about the structure that its members voted for in 2010.

High time the Government faced down ASTI, two of whose companion Unions have already accepted the Lansdown Road Agreement due to be replaced after next year.

This parent will be protesting outside his local school on 27th October against ASTI’s actions which are totally unjustified and will adversely affect thousands of school children and their parents.

I would encourage like-minded parents to do the same throughout the country and put an end to this nonsense ASTIi is engaged in.

Kevin T Finn

Kingston Close
Mitchelstown
Co Cork

Disheartening budget

Concerning the recent budget...it has no heart. Everybody gets a little but no one gets what they need…confidence.

Kevin Devitte

Mill Street
Westport
Co Mayo


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