Dear Sir... Readers' Views (21/10/16)

Your letters, your views...
Dear Sir... Readers' Views (21/10/16)

Nursing home price rises hit most vulnerable

Can the Minister for Health do anything to regulate increases in costs by nursing homes? Like the private rented sector in the housing market, the homes should be allowed to apply increases by only certain amounts.

At present, they effectively operate in a free market where they can raise prices as much as they wish.

The nursing home subvention scheme could consume a lot of money and much of it could be directed to the private nursing homes rather than improving service. The minister must address that.

While there is a need for a continuum of services in the community, there is also a need for long-term beds. As people live longer, a greater need arises. It is scandalous that families are put in a position where they cannot afford long-term care for their elderly and where the elderly are pressurised because they know that family members have to try to scrape the money together.

The minister must address this very serious issue, especially in view of demographic changes, where there will be 50% increase in the number of people over the age of 66 by 2020.

The people we deal with in relation to nursing home subvention are perhaps the most vulnerable in our society. Normally they are very frail people unable to look after themselves. They often do not have families to care for them. If ever there were a group of persons who should receive generosity of the State, particularly in time of plenty, these are surely the people. May the Minister for Health open his heart and purse strings to help them. They deserve this recognition!

Cllr Noel Collins

St Jude’s


Co Cork

Versed in all the issues of Eighth

Oh Mammy please! I need some advice

‘What is it dear, no need to ask twice’

I’m four weeks pregnant and it wasn’t our plan

‘It’s OK dear, we’ll help if we can

Oh I’ve just been informed there’s a problem dear,

Because of our laws you can’t abort here

The law of the eighth is no help to you or to me

So you’ll have to look elsewhere in another country.’

So it’s off to the UK, my partner and I

Because here we’re excluded and I don’t know why

That journey to London and back the next day

It’s just nor fair, we must find a new way.

Repeal of the eighth must happen tomorrow

We must stop these journeys and our private sorrow

We deserve the right to make our own choice

We are Irish women and we have a voice

Damien Carroll


Dublin 24

Suffering babies melt the heart of all

Saturday’s insightful feature which presented two very different journeys taken by mothers of babies Aishling and John Paul — each with profound life-shortening handicaps — exemplifies the essence of the debate about the Protection of life, (Debate over the Eighth, Irish Examiner, 15th Oct. 2016).

Annie Roche’s story of how she “choose to withdraw Aishling’s care”, terminating the life of her baby girl, filled me with sadness. It was the story of a mother who gave up on her baby’s life. Something about this course of action always prolongs and intensifies the grief. Such mothers are so often stuck at that moment when they make “the most difficult decision” of their lives. It really comes across as the most devastating decision of their lives.

It is heart-wrenching to hear such experiences, particularly when they are set alongside the stories of those who loved their child to the natural conclusion of the child’s life, as was Cliona Johnson’s experience. Such parents are “free to remember”, grow in empathy, and become less of a perfectionist, as their priorities in life are changed completely.

In some peculiar way, although the child may live for only a few minutes after birth (as happened in the case of baby John Paul), they melt the hearts of all who knew them. They bring us in touch with our humanity.

We can’t shut ourselves off from the pain which comes our way in life, but we can choose to embrace those around us and make of it a positive transformative experience. Society can help through offering support and perinatal hospice care to ease the shock, to welcome the baby unreservedly and so allow everyone to find meaning and be enriched in their humanity. Everyone benefits.

Gearóid Duffy

Lee Rd


How can assembly be impartial?

Why have we not been informed about how the Citizens’ Forum was chosen. The only clue is that the work was done by Red C Poll; the Red C Poll that has done loads of polling work for Amnesty International; that pro-choice group that should be out saving babies instead of trying to kill them.

I apologise if this sounds too strong, but life is life and we must stand up for it if we are to be a civilised society.

Amnesty International and Red C are too cosy to give Red C the impartiality to choose a Citizens’ Forum on the issue of abortion, possibly the most important assembly the State has ever experienced.

The media should be looking into this:

  • Why was Red C chosen?
  • How many people were interviewed?
  • What was the geographical spread?
  • What questions were asked?
  • How were the participants chosen?
  • Who is overseeing it?
  • What are its terms of reference?

The media should be looking into this in the name of democracy, which is a precious jewel, which needs to be protected, defended, and strengthened.

Declan Gould



Mosul endgame will tell us a lot

Turkish forces ‘have skin in the game’ at the assault on Mosul, as being ‘embedded with Peshmerga’. A sort of latter-day take on the wars of the Spanish succession: “So, who are we with before breakfast?” Jihadists have, with proliferations of groupings, been toing and froing across Turkey’s border with Syria.

Many thousands of people on tourist visas have somehow found themselves in combat zones of Syria. It was alleged that ten thousand did so on the eve of a battle in northern Syria. And, according to the US government, Turkey isn’t one of the coalition partners fighting to retake the city of Mosul, they are with one of the partners, dizzingly, the Kurds, with whom Turkey is in conflict in Northern Syria where the Kurds are fighting Daesh and jihadist groups, besides Turkey.

We who are onlookers concerned for civilians have to hope that forces ranged against Daesh will soon bring relief to a million or more people caught in Mosul. And hopefully Iraqi forces will help establish normal governance inside Mosul. All the rest of the coalition should help by agreeably disengaging in order to further good governance and humane governance.

There must be a reversal of the disgraceful abandonment of civilians as Daesh rose. Let us sincerely hope civilians are more swiftly relieved of suffering than in Aleppo.

Globally: Arms, hydrocarbon mining industry, banking, the likes of big pharma, agrichem, digital giants, automotive and aircraft producers influence the lives of billions, as do groupings controlling access to water supply. These forces hold an immense influence over all of humanity but all are overshadowed by changing climatic conditions.

Can we turn from armed and violent aggrandising? Can we achieve humane social existence globally? The test is how those now powerful treat the poor and impoverished and whether efforts to save our planet are geared to assist the few or the most. Will those after us grow up in a humane home or one ruled by thugs?

Tom Ryan


Dún Bleisc

Co Limerick

Better a womaniser than a warmonger

I don’t agree with everything Mr Trump says and I am not at all sure I would even like to have a drink with him but he at least seems to be honest. Yes, he likes women and, judging by how long it takes them to ask him to stop, or decide to complain about it, a lot of them like him.

Mrs Clinton, on the other hand, I saw only three days ago on TV commenting on the murder of Gaddafi, an African leader who tried to stand up against the might of the USA.

“We came, we saw, we killed him,” she laughed. Happy murderer or happy womaniser? I know which I would prefer to be in power.

Richard Barton


Co Wicklow

Action on rents

The renting crisis is one element of the housing crisis. We all know prices are being jacked up by two thirds and how renters are being squeezed out of accommodation where they have lived, for over 30 years in some cases, and there’s absolutely nothing in the budget for the protection of tenants who are now forced to pay exorbitant rents to landlords. This needs to stop. It kills the ability to save effectively. This is the dilemma this Government has left our people in.

Noel Harrington



Co Cork

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

Execution Time: 0.254 s