Letters to the editor: State must stop funding greyhound industry

Letters to the editor: State must stop funding greyhound industry

State funds "are being tipped into a fiscal black hole just to appease a powerful interest group".

On Wednesday, the Dáil will consider a motion from the Social Democrats calling for an end to State funding of the greyhound industry. I hope it passes. The industry is a loss-making one, despite having received more than a quarter of a billion euro of taxpayers’ money since 2001. The allocation was increased this year.

Attendances at tracks have been steadily falling and sponsorship dwindling since an RTÉ Investigates documentary exposed horrific animal cruelty and malpractice.

Massive over-breeding has resulted in unwanted dogs being dispatched: Many are shot but only the lucky ones get lethal injections.

In recent years the shallow graves of greyhounds have been unearthed all over Ireland.

Even the TDs who approve of it should, I suggest, consider the fact that State funds are being tipped into a fiscal black hole just to appease a powerful interest group.

John Fitzgerald,

Callan, Co Kilkenny

NPHET blunders while Ireland burns

Level 3 brought us to 270 cases a day in five weeks, while NPHET’s level 5 brought us back to 400 cases a day in just four weeks. It’s becoming clear the most optimistic daily cases by
December 1 is 200 but more realisticly 250. That’s 5.0-2.5 times Nphet’s
predicted 50-100.

Meanwhile, as we hear daily distracted predictions of gloom and doom from individual Npheteers, and all their advices have proved wildely wrong and even counterproductive, to coin a phrase, Nphet blunders while Ireland burns, rings true. The result, they have lost Joe and Jane citizen, thus undermining that most precious commodity, national solidarity.

Ye’re a bit late coming to the conclusion lads, Holy-han loves the limelight, as does Mr-Conkey and Ryan-zero.

Nphet has outlived its usefulness for erroneous predictions; any 2020 Leaving Cert student would gladly
do that for them.

It’s time for a much more nuanced opening up of all controlled and controllable enterprises, before confidence in the Government is lost and chaos becomes the new virus.

Kevin T Finn,

Mitchelstown, Co Cork

Talking heads without masks

Talking heads without masks. If they all get infected, who will tell us how to behave? Judge Woulfe of Golfgate.

Kevin Devitte,

Westport, Co Mayo

RTÉ ‘breachers’ should also resign

Should those RTÉ employees who were shown to be contravening social distancing also resign?

Politicians have resigned, a judge has been told he should resign, so why shouldn’t people who are paid by the public not also do the decent thing and resign?

Ger Brennan, 

Mitchelstown, Co Cork

What about some grilling for errants?

A number of RTÉ presenters have
expressed their ‘deep regret’ at getting caught out doing what they draw big salaries lecturing other people not to do. They have a publicly funded national platform with which to explain themselves.

It can be safely assumed this breach of Covid protocol will be fully explored and dealt with on forthcoming episodes of Prime Time, Claire Byrne Live, and The Late Late Show, and those involved will be subjected to lengthy professional grilling, calls for public penance and resignations normally reserved for the population beyond the walls of Montrose.

Nick Folley



Justice was doneat Nuremberg

I would like to commend Professor Geoffrey Roberts and the Irish Examiner for commemorating the beginning, in November 1945 of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany (Irish Examiner, November 20, 2020) for an informative article.

Indeed, that was a momentous event, which put a definitive and appropriate end to the saga of the Second World War. By way of Nuremberg conclusions military victory over Nazism was complete with political condemnation, judicial judgement, and moral denunciation.

The Soviet people that endured the most powerful attacks and followed the great sacrificial path to the victory, had its own charge presented at the Tribunal – for all those 26.5m killed in the battlefield and during mass civilian killings, for countless wounded and crippled, for the thousands cities
ruined and villages burned.

Against that background, it seems that any notion that the trial “was not as righteous as hoped” — as your headline suggests — is ethically wrong. Not only justice was done at Nuremberg — fundamental principles and values of the post-war world order were born. We have to be careful to preserve them for generations to come.

Yuriy Filatov,

Ambassador of Russia to Ireland, 184-186 Orwell Rd, Dublin 14

Press delete on Trump’ s @POTUS

Most people have accepted that Joe Biden is America’s president-elect, from the majority of citizens, political representatives, courts, TV commentators and finally a source of true authority, Twitter.

On January 20, 2021, President-elect Biden gets the keys to the White House, which are unnecessary as someone opens every door for him; he gets the red phone, except that it doesn’t really exist; he gets the nuclear button except that it’s actually just a set of codes. but he does get the highly regarded @POTUS Twitter account. Twitter declared they will save all the Trump messages and then reset the count to zero.

Will there be much difference when the new president uses the account, apart from the frequency, the misspellings, the incorrect grammar, the fake news, the complaints about fake news and the overuse of the word ‘Great’? We hope and assume so.

What will historians make of the Trump Twitter messages? Hopefully, they can just use the delete button by then.

Dennis Fitzgerald,

Vic Melbourne, Australia

Time for adult conversation

Should the National Children’s Hospital (NCH) construction continue on the St James’s hospital site in Dublin 8? Should it be used instead for adult patients? Such a question arises given current realities (Elaine Loughlin,Irish Examiner, November 18). In RTÉ Investigates (RTÉ One, July 22), a clinical director describes St James’s Adult Hospital as needing to “lose 100-200” of its current acute beds to meet Covid control standards.

The emergency department (ED), a department that last winter saw “days with more than 100 patients in the ED”, is “pretty hairy” and “physically can’t take more than 45 [patients] now safely”.The Draft Site Capacity Plan presented, in the absence of a masterplan, to An Bord Pleanála as part of the planning application for the new Children’s Hospital (NCH) at St James’s in 2015 states: “As a minimum, a new Emergency Department and 100-bed Critical Care Unit as well as an FM [Facilities Management] hub for the Adult hospital should be included in Phase 1 new build” (of the adult hospital after completion of the NCH).

This construction would be part of a new 67,700sqm development — to also include the maternity hospital transferred from the Coombe. It would be deep in the campus at the entrances to both the current adult ED and what will be the sole Children’s ED for the whole of the Greater Dublin Area (Crumlin, Temple St and Tallaght EDs by then being closed). This campus has only one narrow through-road. Misery for local residents and an access nightmare scenario lie ahead for decades — for patients, staff, ambulances, buses, visitors, car park entry/exit and future construction.

Sensible medical pandemic readiness planning for the future and a cost-effective decision would be for the adult hospital to be given the children’s building immediately — with its 320 single inpatient rooms, its 60 critical care beds and its emergency department. Fast track its completion. The Government, BAM and An Bord Pleanála must step forward to facilitate this in the country’s hour of need. Use the new Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) buildings at Connolly hospital (currently under-utilised) and Tallaght (opening in 2022?) effectively for new diagnostic and clinic facilities for our children. It is specialist staff the children need immediately — appoint them now. Then let us have an urgent, honest, informed decision as to where our National Children’s Hospital, with its essential co-built Maternity and Major Adult Hospital (and future Major Trauma Centre) should be located. It could be built and opened on a greenfield site within five years. ‘Insiders’ tell us that the St James’s site opening is at least that long away.

Dr Róisín Healy,

Paediatric Emergency Consultant,

CHI Crumlin (Ret’d)

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