Letters to the Editor: Isolate the country, imprison rulebreakers

In order to fight this insidious pandemic draconian measures are called for
Letters to the Editor: Isolate the country, imprison rulebreakers

Gardaí conduct a Covid-19 checkpoint on the N1 road coming from Dublin Airport during the 5km travel restrictions measures. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Without prejudice to the eminent work being undertaken by all those involved with Covid-19 mitigation/control nationwide, we are unfortunately not achieving the desired result of essentially getting the virus reproductive rate (R) to below 1. Until such time as that value is reached, the virus will continue to rage rampant amongst the population, with catastrophic mortality consequences.

For effective Covid-19 containment controls, we need to adopt procedures that are in place, for example, in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand — otherwise we will just continue to firefight.

Current control measures in Ireland are inadequate. 

We need to totally isolate the country, shut down sea and air travel in/out of the country, widescale quarantine measures, no inter-county travel, stricter enforcement of Covid control measures in public places and social distancing. Non-compliance with these measures should include, in addition to hefty fines, a term of imprisonment.

In order to fight this insidious pandemic draconian measures are called for and far more potent than what is currently in place.

Patrick L O’Brien MSc (NUI)

Kerry Pike

Co Cork

Pandemic scientific brand has backfired

“Zero Covid strategy” is the right strategy — but it needs a more accurate and compelling name. Every time the strategy is put up for discussion the name sets the strategy back. Lobbyists, “pragmatists” and “impossibilists” have a field day.

The scientists proposing a “zero Covid strategy” know far better than us that the name is an approximation for public consumption. They are preoccupied with the business of being right. This scientific brand has, in my opinion, backfired.

Maybe it should be “Close to zero Covid strategy?” This title incorporates the idea of effort over outcome. It has the resonance of achievability. Because it is achievable. The proponents of this strategy don’t do spin. They are scientists. A thing is right or a thing is wrong. And they have been right all along.

Michael Deasy


Co Donegal

Pharmacy Ireland waits to be rescued

We will wait, locked down and in prayer, for the time when our country will be rescued by the EU’s vaccination distribution. 

But in the meantime, Ireland is the leading destination for pharmaceutical activity, 85+ biopharmaceutical companies call Ireland home, Ireland is the third largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally and 50 FDA-approved manufacturing plants are located here.

But we will wait for the EU to rescue us. We will wait while our local pharmaceutical companies export to other countries but cannot help the country in which they produce their profits. Some would be laughing at our leadership as well as our citizens.

This does not make common sense in any world.

Joyce Anderson


Co Cork

What about letting us self inject?

Should they send us all a vial of vaccine and let us inject it ourselves?

John Williams


Let’s manage our seas responsibly

It was reported that large quantities of sardines and anchovies were being caught off the South West coast (‘Something in the water: Third warm-water species pops up off Kerry coast’, Irish Examiner, Jan 12). 

This is attributed to global warming and because the markets have not yet been developed in Ireland the anchovies were sent for fishmeal. Is this responsible management of a fishery — the practice of taking everything today, because you can, without thinking ahead.

Stripping an area clean of all marine life and then moaning about it has been a pattern among commercial fishermen for years. 

In order to get even with the EU, the Navy needs to tool up, pay the servicemen and women an attractive salary, and start policing our seas to make life very difficult for visiting fishermen who are often using illegal methods, but including the rampant illegal poaching of salmon in our own estuaries by our paid off inshore fishermen; this year’s salmon runs in southern rivers have been greater than ever coinciding with the collapse of the hotel and restaurant demand for salmon.

Michael Foley


Dublin 6

Welcome voice of moderation, respect

On January 20, 1961, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was inaugurated as 35th President of the USA. At 43, JFK became the youngest man to hold that office and his motto. “Ask not what your country can do for you. Rather ask what you can do for your country,” has inspired people all over the world ever since.

JFK was the first Irish-American Roman Catholic to occupy the presidency. He had very strong Irish roots of which he was immensely proud. Not only was he a breath of social democratic fresh air in the USA but he also lifted the spirits of the Irish. He became “our man” in the White House and he represented values that Ireland could identify with.

On November 22, 1963, JFK was assassinated in Dallas, Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald. Irish people were shocked and saddened by the untimely loss of “one of our own”, who had made a spectacularly successful visit to Ireland in June 1963. JFK described his visit to Ireland as four of the best days of his life.

On January 20, 2021, 60 years after JFK’s inauguration, 78-year-old Joe Biden was inaugurated as 46th president of the USA. President Biden is an Irish-American Roman Catholic with a strong love of Ireland. The Irish people have a reciprocal affection for Joe Biden, who shares many of the core values of JFK. 

He is a welcome voice of moderation, respect and compassion after four toxic years of the divisive and extreme policies of Donald Trump. Biden radiates warmth, humanity, hope and positivity. He will be a great Irish-American President in the mould of JFK. May God grant him good health and keep him safe in his challenging task and on his visit home to Ireland.

Billy Ryle


Co Kerry

Look at the ‘kid’ in the White House

On January 20, history was made.A 78-year-old man became president of the USA, and going by previous presidents he will more than likely do a second term, which will mean he will be 86 years young when he completes his presidency. It is an amazing feat. Last Wednesday will change forever the way we look and treat people over 60. 

I’m hitting the big six O shortly so I couldn’t be happier seeing Joe Biden putting in a day like he did. If people come up to me and give that little sarcastic dig that you are getting on now, I’ll just say “look at the kid in the White House”.

David Hennessy

Dawson St

Dublin 2

Minister, leave the ideology at the door

In reference to our housing minister’s piece, (‘Darragh O’Brien: Ambitious aims and imaginative solutions can solve housing woes’, Irish Examiner, January 25), he claims to be “committed to pragmatism over ideology”. We have heard him present this Leaving Cert understanding of ideology before.

O’Brien and his predecessors have regularly pointed at those on the left of the political spectrum and accused us of “having a problem of ideology”, as if those determined to give public lands away for free exist in some kind of an ideological vacuum.

O’Brien’s “pragmatism” is his and the dominant neoliberal ideology at work. If we are all to leave our ideology at the door then I invite him and this Government to make this first move.

Glenn Fitzpatrick


Co Wicklow

Homeless: What of familial role?

Noel Harrington (Irish Examiner letters, January 23) finds “it unacceptable of the Government that homeless people are being forced to sleep rough in freezing conditions”. 

Surely homelessness is a societal issue and not just the responsibility of the government alone? Do families not have a duty of care?

If history has taught us anything, it should be that we shouldn’t delegate our familial responsibilities to the State or the Church.

Time to step up to the plate for once.

Aileen Hooper


Dublin 7

Number of people? They’re women!

A recent article details how the “Number of people screened for cervical cancer fell by one third in 2020”. Surely the first step in combating this fall in screening is to accurately refer to those to who it applies to as “women”?

Aisling Considine


Squeaky clean and Shakin’ all over

Daly’s suspension bridge over the Lee has undergone an exquisite repair. It still retains its shake but the squeak is no longer there.

Michael Henchion



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