Dear Sir... Readers' Views (05/01/17)

Your letters, your views...
Dear Sir... Readers' Views (05/01/17)

Authorities should take heed on cannabis

I am writing in relations to Dr Bobby Smyth’s article, ‘It’s time to smoke out the lies about cannabis’ (Irish Examiner analysis page, Monday, December 19).

The Irish Government and Oireachtas in general must heed the advice of Dr Smyth, who is an expert in the treatment of addiction among our adolescent population, our greatest asset and the most vulnerable to the lure of mood altering substances.

An Taoiseach Mr Kenny, Health Minister Simon Harris and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald must be careful what they wish for to stay in government. Well intentioned responses to uninformed raised voices cannot be acceptable.

Getting elected to office may not be the best choice if it is at the risk of the mental health and added addiction problems to our young people. Responsibility stops at the door of the government.

Who will take the ultimate responsibility if cannabis becomes normalised through medical licence? Our politicians or the medics who prescribe this damaging drug?

A statement from an Taoiseach outlining his disregard for the UN Conventions on narcotic and other drugs including the Rights of the Child (art 33) is long overdue.

With thanks to Dr Bobby Smyth for his timely warning.

Grainne Kenny

Hon President EURAD

Rage at decision by bureaucrats

On Sunday December 11, I had the privilege with my fellow members of the Killorglin Mens choir to sing at a Mass for the residents, their parents and staff at St Mary of the Angel’s, Beaufort. The love and happiness in the Hall and the obvious devotion to the young adults by all was truly humbling.

On arrival at home I cried with rage to think that a committee of faceless nameless bureaucrats would devise and implement a “decongregation policy”, whereby severally disabled children are put out of their homes into the larger community.

This policy was ill-conceived and illogical. This is part of the “Time to move on” policy.

This policy is wrong and has caused huge stress and anxiety to the parents and families of the children.

The Irish Constitution “Poblacht na hÉireann” states “The Republic guarantees equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens” and also states of “cherishing all the children of the Nation equally”.

I believe the actions of the above bureaucrats is contrary to our Constitution. I regret I do not have the funds to prove my case in a court of law to stop this nonsense presently being imposed by the health authorities whose mission should be to provide the best care for these young adults in the only home they know.

John Healy



Co-op movement offers solution

RTÉ 1 radio aired a four-part series entitled The Ties That Bind, after Christmas. Excellently narrated by Brian O’Connell, a journalist who works for RTÉ and native of Clare,

it’s based around the works of two anthropologists Arensberg and Kimball from Harvard University. They came and lived in Kilbnaboy, Corofin, Co Clare for several years lived among the people of the area in the 1930s, producing a highly respected works ’Families and Communities in Ireland, which has been used as reference around the world in universities.

As a community activist for over 45 years now, I was born not far from area mentioned, I do understand how roles have changed and with it expectation. Over the last 90 years, life has changed in the country side radically. Family members have emigrated or flocked into towns and cities. Global urbanisation sapped people from rural area in search for a better life.

Losing services has been devastating for rural communities.

Hard question have to ask with in communities. What did we do to stop it.? Did we use these services? Take the shop on the corner how often do we use it, local post offices and so on. Many of these arguments are based on profit, not wellbeing of the community.

Is this a good thing we should ask ourselves? Brian O’Connell explored a number of themes like emigration, while exploring the love of places and family.

With the growing numbers of immigrants from over dozens of nations coming to live in Ireland, we will be changed despite ourselves over the next 90 years.

Human endeavour has brought positive tools like electricity, cars, technology, and good quality housing. We have to work hard and maintaining communities and neighbourless in rural Ireland. The co-operative movement is one a solution could bring equality, participation, wellbeing, and provide services again in rural Ireland. It worked with the late Fr McDyer in Innisowen, Co Donegal.

Dermot Hayes


Co Clare

Testimony from survivors is what matters

Having read Eddie Naughton’s letter (Irish Examiner, Dec 28) trying to excuse and dismiss the many crimes against Irish children by the Irish State and Churches, I’m sorry to say that Mr Naughton like many people who still insist on burying their heads in the sand, still has a lot to learn.

It may take another 20 years and more to get to the truth as it seems to be very hard for some Irish people to accept it.

Mr Naughton’s letter offers excuses and tries desperately to blame others.

Truth is always the first causality of war and there was criminality and evil on both sides over the years. No side had or has a monopoly on violence and both sides have blood on their hands.

We Irish have to face up to that if we going to move on and learn how to live and let live in the future.

We should be mature enough as a nation to place the blame where it should be and be far more grown up about it.

We need to get up to speed on these matters in 2016 and we all should demand a more honest and open Ireland and not try to blame others, but to put the blame where it should be in modern Ireland — the Irish Governments and Churches who have abandoned hundreds and thousands of Irish women and children; they sacrificed them and left them to rot in Institutions back in the good old days and now they try to isolate us in modern Ireland and point blank refuse to act with compassion, decency and good faith towards survivors whether they are Catholic or Protestant.

Today’s Government and Churches are still treating the survivors of the notorious Protestant Bethany Home differently to this day. The discrimination never ended; it is still alive and well, albeit better hidden.

Sorry but it does not help to have people like Mr Naughton shooting from the hip at my recent letter in the Examiner. I am Derek Linster and I am a survivor; I have lived and suffered a life time of discrimination and wilful neglect. I have lived the last 23 years of rejection from all officialdom while the Irish State and the Protestant Church’s looked the other way.

Mr. Naughton, it would help Ireland and her people greatly if you were to stop shooting from the hip and possibly cut down on reading the dreamers books written by clever academics and historians high up in their Ivory Towers.

I know that it is very hard for some Irish people to accept the truth but as I said in my original letter, they should go to Mount Jerome and see the Bethany Home Memorial. They should take a break from their lofty pedestals and come down to earth, and pause and read the names of the 227 innocent babies and children who lost their lives and their innocence in Bethany.

I am very ashamed that as a proud Irishman, I cannot blame anyone for this crime other than our own State and Church’s.

And it is the same for the Catholic survivors — witness the 800 innocent babies who lost their lives in Tuam in Co Galway, or Castlepollard, or Bessboro, or Sean Ross Abbey or Saint Patrick’s and many more Mother and Baby homes in Ireland. Protestants and Catholics suffered alike and there is not nor can there be a hierarchy of suffering. The survivor community — Protestant and Catholic — stood united in solidarity when we unveiled our Memorial in April 2014. Many in Ireland today do accept the truth of what happened at the notorious Bethany Home and the extra layer of sly discrimination against Protestant survivors up to the present day.

Sorry Mr Naughton but you have a lot of catching up to do yet. If you were to come back in 20 years you would still be a long way of the mark but good luck to you any way.

But remember this, living witness testimony from survivors will always be the only truth that matters.

Derek Linster,

Founder and Chairperson of the Bethany Home Survivors Group ‘98



Do it all Donald

Let’s see now: Knows more about defeating ISIS yet nominates four retired generals for his cabinet. Mistrusts the FBI and CIA. Knows a lot about hacking that nobody else knows. Hey, we can save tonnes of money by doing away with Homeland security, the FBI, the CIA and any other agency that’s supposed to be protecting this great nation. Just leave everything to “Know it all, Do it all Donald”. My take on this? God help us all!!

Herb Stark

Carriage Club Dr



More in this section


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

Execution Time: 0.22 s