Dear Sir... Readers' Views (14/11/16)

Your letters, your views.

Dear Sir... Readers' Views (14/11/16)

Varadkar’s Clinton prediction out of touch

The prediction of Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, on RTÉ radio during the US presidential election campaign, on May 31, that he was “certain that Hillary Clinton will win the race for the White House” just goes to show how far removed he and his elite/aloof political brethren are from the grassroots voters across the various electorates (of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and now the United States of America).

Listening to the speeches made in the Dáil by Enda Kenny, Micheal Martin, Gerry Adams, et al, that same day, when they hadn’t a good word to say about US Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, I imagined a taoiseach, be it Kenny, or Martin or, indeed, Adams (as nothing seems impossible in politics these days) in the near future hypocritically presenting themselves at the gates of the White House — carrying the traditional bowl of shamrock — on a Saint Patrick’s Day, and expecting to be allowed in. This despite most Irish political leaders having threatened to cold-shoulder Trump, who would surely have been met by stiff left-wing liberal protests had he stopped off at Shannon Airport en route to visiting his Irish hotel and golf-course complex/investment at Doonbeg, in Clare, in June.

As for Paddy Power paying out on Mrs Clinton’s ‘certain election win’ several weeks ago and Paddy now having to also pay out for the Trump win, can we consider it likely that the bookmaker will also pay out on the favourite for the Aintree Grand National before it is run in April, 2017?

Tom Baldwin


Co. Cork

Too many people alienated in the US

Over 62% of those who were eligible voted in one of the most fractured elections for president of the US in my lifetime.

Donald Trump owns a luxury hotel in Doonbeg and was welcomed here to Shannon in May, 2014, with red-carpet treatment by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

President elect Trump ignited a debate, with quotes such as “drain the swamp” and “I will build a great wall on the border of Mexico and America”. He pointed the finger at what he called “crooked Hillary”.

Many people are alienated from government in many democratic societies. Why?

Staggering numbers live on the margins in the US — 42.2m live on food insecurity (statistic fromFeed America).

It will be interesting to see our head of State go to the Oval Office to drown the Shamrock on March 17.

Whatever the future brings in America, the hard facts are the polls and media commentary got it so wrong. So wrong when it came to the Senate and Congress. All three of the most powerful positions in the US will be held by the Republicans.

My fear is this will unleash right-wing views on racism and hate crimes, and will divide people.

Dermot Hayes


Co Clare

Media did not curb Trump’s excesses

Most people have an opinion as to why Donald Trump won the US presidential election. Here is my opinion.

People voted out of anger, fear, or hate of their fellow citizen because of a deluge of media coverage of Trump’s speeches. They voted for a man who was a creation of the mass media. In June, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president of the US. In the early polls, he was at 3%.

In his first speech of consequence, he said that Mexicans were rapists, drug dealers, and criminals. Immediately, the mass media gave him wall-to-wall media coverage, until his next bigoted speech. Never was he publicly held accountable for his racist/sexist remarks by any organ of the mass media. His opponents could not move further to the ‘right’ on the issues, so they remained silent. The mass media, over the next six to nine months, gave him billions of dollars worth of media coverage for free. The more he expressed racist, Islamaphobic, sexist, derogatory remarks, the more media coverage he received. At no point was he held accountable by the media. He was good for media revenue, as a result of his hateful and divisive speech.

In February, 2016, Lee Moonves, the chair of CBS. TV, the most watched network in the US, said in reference to Mr Trump’s comments: “It may not be good for America, but it is damn good for CBS. Man, who would have expected the ride we are all having right now? The money’s rolling in and this is fun. It is a terrible thing to say, but bring it on, Donald.”

The president-elect of the US resulted from the failure of the media to hold Trump to account for his comments.

Vincent J. Lavery

Irish Free Speech Movement


Co Dublin

Humans defined by hard economics

November 9, 2016, is a milestone in the history of western civilisation, with the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the US. Homo sapiens has been ‘evolving’ in the global world and Brexit has given us a first glimpse of what that might look like in practice. Our human species appears to have morphed into a new and distinct species, ‘homo economicus’.

This new hominid takes a consistent and tough stance in dealing with world issues, such as poverty, migration, and the future of the planet. Women have, once again, being relegated to second-class citizenship, either back to the kitchen, or to the upmarket designer handbag store. Who could argue with the claim that money makes the western world go around, and ‘homo economicus’ is the new god?

Gearladine Mooney Simmie

Senior lecturer in education

Faculty of Education & Health Sciences

University of Limerick

Thumbs up for US election coverage

Congratulations to the Irish Examiner on what was truly outstanding coverage of the US election, particularly in your Thursday, November 10th edition. From your choice of photographs, which told a thousand words, to your reports, analyses and editorial, you far exceeded the coverage of any other Irish daily newspaper.

Daniel McConnell’s and Alison O’Connor’s ‘opinion’ pieces were insightful, as indeed were your many reports by fine writers. If it’s easy to see why Michael Clifford won the ‘columnist of the year’ award, it is obvious that it shouldn’t be too long before Caroline O’Doherty also receives an appropriate journalistic accolade.

Ed Goggin


The Opinion Magazine

West Cork

Undemocratic abortion idea

Mike Mahon (Irish Examiner, November 2) comes up with an undemocratic and discriminatory approach to abortion in the Irish state.

In any future referendum on the issue, the right to vote should be reserved for “women only.” Hence, a democratic deficit.

Your correspondent’s suggestion has little enough to recommend it. It would be woefully unconstitutional to arbitrarily deny the right to vote to half of the electorate. This seems self-evident.

Mr Mahon’s suggestion is also wrong, in that he rationalises his idea that women alone suffer due to “outdated” abortion laws. Yet unborn innocents — male and female alike — remain the voiceless, hence vulnerable, victims.

Seán Bearnabhail

Bóthar Phádraig Naofa

Baile Átha Cliath 9

Unborn depend on mother’s love

I would like to make the following points about the abortion debate.

Each of us is unique.

Each of us is imperfect. Paradoxically, it is through our frailties, rather than through our strengths, that we learn to cultivate compassion and empathy.

Why search erroneously for a perfect world?

The unborn child, from the moment of its conception, depends totally on its mother’s love.

Who truly has the right to endanger the safety of the child who basks in the safe haven of its mother’s womb? To terminate a pregnancy goes against the natural order of things, in my view. “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb”: what a beautiful, lyrical homage to femininity and motherhood that is. Who has the right to trample on the rights of another.

To love a child, if only for a day, is a gift from God.

Despite its faults and failings, it’s still a beautiful world.

Love and compassion are needed more than ever in our society, especially with regard to ‘unwanted’ pregnancy.

True love transcends physical or mental imperfection.

A disabled person is not defined by his/her disability — consider a toothless smile, a bubble of laughter from a limbless person. Isn’t there much beauty and joy in such ‘imperfection’.

Sarah Butler



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