Dear Sir... Readers' Views (13/01/17)

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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (13/01/17)

Please stop using this pejorative term

It is very disquieting to learn that Ms Justice Laffoy will continue to use the term “fatal foetal abnormality” even though this term has been discredited by sections of the medical profession as being misleading and inaccurate. (Irish Examiner, January 7).

When such an important matter as the continued constitutional protection of unborn life is under review by the citizens assembly, it is vital that truthful and precise terms are used to ensure clarity among its representative members.

As a supreme court judge, Ms Laffoy should know well the harmful consequences of pejorative and discriminatory terms formerly used to describe various categories of people which have now disappeared from usage due to a more enlightened insight within society.

While it is true that most of the children born with such life limiting conditions do not have a life expectancy beyond a few weeks or months, some can live for several years.

Nobody can predict with certainty the span of any human life.

A “www.yes to” information leaflet circulated to households throughout Ireland cites an instance of one girl, Kathleen Rose Harkin, who was diagnosed with Trisomy 13, still living at the age of 10 years.

This child is fully entitled to the same constitutional protection as every other Irish citizen.

Ms Laffoy is therefore obliged to use the appropriate language that accords all unborn children this right.

James Hogan


Co Tipperary

Please deliver post office to Clonard

Can Donald Trump, and Brexit, deliver a post office for Clonard, Wexford?

Many of our young people are away, at the moment.

Many, also, didn’t make it home for Christmas, clinging, instead, to a card, a letter, a parcel, for some connection with home.

There are three post offices in the North/South Main St area, but, amazingly, none in Clonard.

That means also a long walk, there and back, and uphill, for the elderly, the disabled, and mothers with young children, for pensions, welfare payments, and to pay bills.

The Lidl shopping complex has a Paddy Power betting shop. Shouldn’t we have had a post office, instead? Anger is growing daily....

Daithí Ó Frithile



Co Wexford

Don’t rush to condemn Trump

Perhaps the pronouncements of John Maynard Keynes regarding “the need to change opinions when facts change” are applicable to our attitudes towards Donal Trump.

During the last couple of days, several journalists such as Michael Clifford, Toby Harnden, and John Looby, have written about certain effective strategies used by the new president-elect.

For instance, his hard-hitting tweets threatening to impose ‘big border tax’ on companies migrating down south to Mexico prompted swift corrective responses, which, in turn, may help to “make America great again”.

Furthermore, John Looby states that Donald Trump’s type of direct, aggressive, approach has had a positive effect on stock prices, bond yields and the value of the dollar.

In his article titled “Donald doesn’t duck. He gets it done”, the award winning journalist Michael Clifford contrasts the political stratagems of the president-elect with those of our Irish politicians who consistently fail to tackle urgent issues in an efficient manner.

He goes on to outline the layers of bureaucratic obstacles such as reviews, commissions of enquires, committees and assemblies which are put in place to examine, re-examine, and compile reports on pressing concerns such as inadequate health services, lack of housing, etc etc.

Interestingly, Barack Obama has also acknowledged that Donald Trump favours a “fresh perspective” when speaking or tweeting about important topics.

The president maintains, however, that “it could catch him out as he spends little time sweating on details”.

Undoubtedly, some of the declarations made by Donald Trump are extremely offensive, misogynistic and imprudent.

The use of decisive language tempered with sensitivity and consideration might be more appropriate. Perhaps some tutelage from the mentors of our Irish politicians would not come amiss.

On the other hand, it would be a pity if he lost his authoritativeness and spontaneity and subjected the people of America to the streams of meaningless rhetoric delivered to Irish people.

Perhaps we are too biased or subjective when accessing this president-elect at the moment. He has undeniably delivered some outrageous clangers and has also reneged on election promises.

Let’s give him an opportunity to prove his competence. As the old saying goes ‘it is early days yet’. We should wait and see if facts change sufficiently to warrant changing our opinions.

Margaret Humphreys



Co Cork

Slow to respond

What does it tell you when drivers have to be warned to slow down when the arctic weather hits?

John Williams



Co Tipperary

North’s politicians are like spoilt brats

Saying there is a crisis in the North has become as newsworthy as saying a priest was found in the Vatican.

Not a week goes by without comment about another crisis, or crisis in being, and when there isn’t a crisis, commenting about what crisis might arise.

Northern politicians are just attention seeking two year olds. For years they used the “Peace Process” to get the attention that many other troubled areas can only dream of. And whenever the limelight is taken off them they throw a tantrum to get attention.

We would better off if our media and political leaders stopped mollycoddling these toddlers.

Can I appeal to you to stop humiliating yourself and this country by constantly crawling to Washington and Brussels looking for special consideration? The North doesn’t need it and it doesn’t deserve it.

The solution for the North is the same as for any spoilt brat, ignore them. Let them scream and scream until they’re sick, because we are already sick of them and their incessant drama.

Jason Fitzharris



Co Dublin

History will not judge Obama well

America prepares to bid goodbye to possibly the worst president in its history. Not only the worst, but judging from his latest remarks, the most delusional. Describing the US as strong and united. Phew!!

The reality of course is that his regime has presided over an economic meltdown allied to an increase in racial divisions.

However, due to a totally supine and compliant media, his disastrous presidency hasn’t been held accountable. A kind of inverse racism has left him unaccountable.

Hopefully history will reveal how bad his presidency was.

Eric Conway


Co Meath

Ballaghaderreen’s warm welcome

Last Monday night, I attended a heart warming and very positive meeting organised by a small group of Ballaghaderreen people to welcome the 200 Syrian refugees, 80 initially, to the town.

It was such an uplifting experience to witness around 90 people crammed into an upstairs room over a local pub voice their support for this initiative with many of them offering their services free of charge.

People offered tai chi, face painting for the kids, and befriending, to name just three of the suggestions.

These people are fully committed to make these refugees feel welcome.

Much has been written and said in recent days regarding the resources in the town and its ability to provide the necessary support services.

However, the question of bringing in this amount of people, roughly 10% of the population, to a small rural town with its own share of socio economic problems, should not be dismissed.

Initially 80 people will be accommodated we are told, half of them children.

The Abbeyfield Hotel will be an integration and processing venue.

These people will stay four to six months before being housed in different parts of Ireland.

Some weeks later, another 80 people will be admitted, then 40, until capacity is reached.

The hotel will accommodate 200 people on a rolling basis, each individual person staying no more than four to six months.

This presents obvious problems for a group like Ballaghaderreen Welcomes Refugees which organised the meeting.

Relationships are built up over time and no sooner will one group of people begin to get used to their new surroundings and begin to trust the local people, and just as importantly the local people trust them, than they will have to move on and be replaced.

Like Brexit and Trumpit, no one really knows how this will work out. It is essentially a gamble with the residents of a “forgotten town.”

The people of Ballaghaderreen have to be admired in how they have responded to this situation in extending the hand of friendship. If things don’t work out, it will be no reflection on them and unfortunately may set back nationally the whole system of accommodating these unfortunate people

Tommy Roddy

Lower Salthill


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