There is no reason or rationality to terror groups
Victoria White presents a well-researched review of her view of the background to the present violence by “fundamentalist” groups.
Having first-hand experience of many of those groups, ie Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt/Syria), Revolutionary Guards (Iran), Taliban (Afghanistan), Al Qaeda (Pakistan), I would state from my experience most of those I met had little or no knowledge of the events portrayed in the article.
These people were totally indoctrinated in their own religious beliefs. Many believed those who refused to convert to their beliefs deserved to die.There was no respect for any other religious belief.
This is the mentality we are faced with from the so-called Islamic State and their “fundamentalist” supporters.
Reason or rationale does not exist in the minds of these individuals. They are ready and willing to die for their beliefs.
This presents a serious problem for any democracy.
Are some of us more democratic?
In the aftermath of the Istanbul ‘coup’, Donald Tusk tells us there is no alternative to democracy. Does this mean that the British referendum is acceptable? Or, ‘Ireland’s Nice I’ was correct and he is sincerely sorry, on behalf of his predecessors, for the humiliation of ‘Nice II’? Or, to paraphrase George Orwell ‘Some are more democratic than others”?
Not all of the fallen are remembered
The President has honoured the fallen Irish in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. To honour Ireland’s fallen heroes personally, I visited the war memorial in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, with the secretary of the Bethany Home Survivors group, Dr Niall Meehan, a few years ago.
I never met or knew any of these true heroes but they were all assembled at Stretton on Fosse near Rugby where I live to be inspected by King George V before marching to catch their trains to the front lines in France.
Most of them were blown to bits, but being near their Irish memorial had a great effect on me.
We can and should be so proud of our finest young men, all cut down in their prime.
Now that the President and his office have shown their moral compass correctly, they can continue to do so if President Higgins does a 180-degree turn and finally calls for justice for the handful of elderly survivors from the notorious Protestant Bethany Home, starting with a public call for immediate justice for the Bethany Home survivors.
Twenty-three years is along time to be wronged by your State.
That is how long we in the Bethany Home Survivors Group have been fighting for truth and justice while we passed away one by one as the Irish State lied and denied and stalled.
There are 227 babies and children in Mount Jerome cemetery in Dublin, innocent victims of a cruel and heartless regime.
Those innocents are named on our memorial and those of us who survived are joining our fallen brothers and sisters one by one.
Two memorials to the fallen.
Some remembered, others forgotten. We few who are left are still fighting for justice.
Save the respect for terrorists’ feelings
Many in the media refer to atrocities like the one committed in France as a tragedy — a word that can be defined as misfortune / bad luck.
Similar phraseology is also used in relation to the murders committed by the IRA and loyalists in The Troubles. Surely this is carrying politically correctness too far — why should the feelings of terrorists be respected?
Who was really behind the coup?
Wouldn’t it be interesting if it turned out that the recent attempted coup in Turkey was somehow initiated by members of Isis?
New v old politics
The recent media eulogies on Micheál Martin brought me back to the heady days of the Celtic Tiger when the then government was basking in the approval of the media and the then opposition was being denounced as incompetent or worse.
That did not end too well, with the country going broke, losing its sovereignty and needing to be bailed out.
As the recent coverage of our political affairs demonstrates, the headlines and editorials today are carrying on in the same vein as the celtic tiger version. The media is full of calls for Enda Kenny to resign. The subliminal message being for Micheál Martin to assume power. Why is that?
Enda Kenny was not a member of a government which bankrupt the country. Micheál Martin was. Is what they call ‘new politics’ just a return to the old politics of the celtic tiger era?
Multilingual a must
If we are to make a go of our EU membership post Brexit, we must endeavour to be less British and more European. This is very much the case in respect of language teaching and learning. English has become a basic skill for the professional classes in many EU member states. Multilingualism is the key to developing our trade and diplomatic links now that Mother England has gone her own way.
Ireland needs to market herself as having a multilingual workforce and the Department of Education needs to step up to the plate to make that a reality.
Blood sports’ days are numbered
Perhaps you would allow me to respond to a number of misleading and inaccurate references made to my position on hare coursing in your letters page of July 14th (Accept coursing is here to stay).
In his letter, Michael Barrett suggests that the recent defeat of a bill to ban hare coursing in Dail Eireann has put paid to the campaign to end this medieval barbarism, and that as a result I, and others who campaign against blood sports, will abandon the persecuted hare to its bloody fate.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Maureen O Sullivan’s recent bill was defeated because the three main parties refused to allow a free vote on this issue — pure and simple. There can be little doubt that if TDs were allowed to vote according to conscience, the practice of hare coursing would be banned forthwith.
Instead, the three main parties steadfastly pander to those rural TDs (it should be pointed out not all rural TDs support hare coursing), who fear losing their seats if they do anything to upset that minority of people who frighten and kill animals for fun. In so doing, they clearly dishonour the wishes of the great majority Irish people who, in every measure of opinion carried out on the issue, have expressed their desire to see an end to hare coursing and fox hunting.
The promise of new politics, in which a less strict whip system would enable the passage of legislation more reflective of the views of the majority of the people, may still be a way off. But when it does materialise, the days of blood sports will be severely numbered. In the meantime, can I assure Mr Barrett I will continue to campaign to put an end to this cruel practice.
Turkey’s violations go unchecked
Are we learning from history? Is it now too late to curb the further erosion of civil and human rights in Turkey? Before the outbreak of the Second World War, members of the military in Germany struggled for peace and foresaw the havoc their political representatives were planning and enacting. With support from international governments in 1944 the July 20th Plot to end World War II could have saved millions of lives.
The great charity rip-off continues
How removed senior officials are from reality on the Console issue, saying no public money was wasted. Of course it was. As a collector for a lot of charities, I know the feeling of being let down when the monies collected from the public are not getting through to the proper destination. And that monies are wasted on lavish lifestyles and should have been regulated a long time back. We saw the same with Rehab, with their salaries more than the president of this country. People who rip off charities should be locked up for a long time.