Letters to the Editor: Students are not the problem — fix the rental issue

The needs of students and residents will never be compatible with each other and we need to face that reality
Letters to the Editor: Students are not the problem — fix the rental issue

Members of Magazine Road & Surrounding Area Residents Association, Cork, observing social distancing as they highlighted concerns about Covid-19 regulations being breached in the area by young people. Picture: Denis Minihane

I refer to article of March 3 last by your correspondent Eoin English Residents near UCC fear summer of Magaluf-style parties which outlined the stark reality of life for the residents of Magazine Road and the surrounding areas adjacent to UCC.

Both UCC and MTU (formerly CIT) expanded significantly over the years, but little or no provision was made for the additional accommodation requirements of students. 

This need was met by gradual encroachment into fine old residential housing in the vicinity of UCC and then on to the newer housing estates in the wider Bishopstown area. 

Many fine residential properties in the Western Rd and College Rd areas are used by UCC for educational purposes, which is an appalling situation in the midst of a housing crisis in the city.

All residential (family) property in the streets and housing estates adjacent to universities should have a special designation and property rights and market values would emanate from this designation. 

No property in the designated areas could be used as houses of multiple occupancy (HMO). 

This would protect the character of these areas and residents could have the peaceful enjoyment of their homes which they are entitled to.

If the planning system can be used to achieve or partially achieve these aims, as set out in the report, then it should be set in motion. 

It is probable that an amendment to the Constitution may be needed to redefine residential property rights on the basis of purpose first (family) and market second.

A totally separate market for HMO property would then emerge and there would be a much greater need for bespoke accommodation for students and workers which should be met by apartment construction within reasonable distance of both Institutions. 

There would have to be an acceptance of this by residents as they could not have it both ways. Currently individuals and residents bodies tend to object to apartment construction in the western suburbs, which is counter productive as it prevents the emergence of the solution to the encroachment mentioned above.

Many students are away from home for extended periods and relish their newfound freedom and it cannot be a surprise to anybody that they party. We were all there once, maybe we have forgotten.

Youth is fleeting and gone all too quickly, so let them have their fun. They are not the problem. 

The planning system (City Hall) and the educational institutions based in the western suburbs have never addressed this accommodation issue properly and maybe they should now be forced to do so by constant and unrelenting pressure.

One thing is certain, the needs of students and residents will never be compatible with each other and it is better to face this reality and deal with it than to continue (and fail) to find solutions via law and order, marking students with criminal records (for being young) and pursuing landlords through the courts (a waste of time and money).

Tony Long

Model Farm Rd


A reminder to be ‘mouth proud’

The current pandemic has brought an awareness to the mouth like never before, and the importance of its role in helping to reduce the risk of Covid-19 by wearing a face covering.

Let’s not forget the role of the mouth and good oral hygiene have in reducing the risk of oral diseases such as gum disease and tooth decay. These are linked to the four most prominent non-communicable diseases — cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases through risk factors such as diet, poor oral hygiene, smoking and alcohol.

A landmark resolution on oral health was recently passed by the World Health Organization which recognises the importance of oral health for global health.

World Oral Health Day is on March 20 and the theme is ‘Mouth Proud’, and it is an opportunity to remind people to make their oral health a priority.

The Dental Health Foundation is encouraging everyone to celebrate and be ‘Mouth Proud’ by brushing their teeth twice a day, flossing daily, eating more fruit and veg and less sugar, avoid smoking and reducing alcohol. 

Remember, there is no good general health and wellbeing without good oral health.

Etain Kett

Public Affairs & Communications Manager

Dental Health Foundation Ireland

Irish horse racing bounces back

A little under two weeks have elapsed since the Irish Horse Racing Regulatory Board handed Gordon Elliot what was effectively a six month ban.

The incident itself was under intensive glare and of broad discussion, with the conversation being hijacked by a preemptive and damaging public trial within the social media spectrum.

That time was somewhat hastened by the imminent commencement of the Cheltenham festival and the efficient manner in which the IHRB conducted their investigation and determined an appropriate sanction.

Both the impressive success of Elliot’s racing operation, only eclipsed by the revered Willie Mullins, and the attached universal praise of his care to horses and his deep and meaningful apology for what in the absence of any contrasting evidence must be viewed as a single mistake and not a systemic issue, has made his return to the elite level of racing and the rebuilding of the vital relationship with prominent owners, firmly viable and realistic. 

For decades, despite Ireland being a comparatively small player on a global field, it has set the highest standards for flat and jump racing breeding and regularly out performed expectations at the major festivals.

Even after what was only the first day of the 2021 Cheltenham festival, that sentiment was indisputably reestablished. 

One of the highlights of the festival was the dominant performance of his unbeaten Honeysuckle ridden by Rachael Blackmore, winning the Champion Hurdle. 

In the 94 years since the inaugural running of this race, it is the first time a woman jockey has won it, securing its prominent place in Irish sporting history, even without the famous roar.

The Irish horse racing industry reaches far beyond a cultural or historic importance. 

That alongside the consistently exceptional performances of the Irish contingent at major festivals, should close the door on an uncharacteristically shaky number of weeks and should cement our confidence in the importance and significance of the industry

Cillian Boggan

St Peters College, Wexford

The phallic fallacy of the Celtic Tiger

Michael Clifford’s article in ‘Neither shame nor fear for the money men’ is as usual informative, concise and entertaining.

Michael correctly states that “machismo and thinly disguised sexism was the cocktail that spurned the Money Men onto greater things in a country coming of age”.

Surely an appropriate monument should be erected to remember these great men lest we forget their great deeds.

In the light of the current controversy over the future of the twin Poolbeg chimneys in Dublin, maybe a suitable compromise would be to demolish one and preserve the other as a permanent phallic symbol, celebrating the extraordinary prowess of the bankers, stockbrokers and financiers of today and the Celtic Tiger era.

John Leahy

Wilton Road, Cork

Local post office is a social service

Every time I visit my local post office I see it as both a business and a social service. 

All very well for those of us who can carry out all their banking etc online but there are still many who can’t. Every week they go to their local post office, where they are greeted in a most friendly and helpful way, to collect their old age pension. 

I see the local post office as not just a business but also as a social service and, as a tax payer, I think the support should stay.

Brendan Casserly

Bishopstown, Cork

Brexit aid package, hands off France

Simon Coveney is a wonderful politician, who shows enormous restraint dealing with Boris Johnson. Hopefully he will also stop the French from taking our share of Brexit aid package, as Ireland is the hardest hit country because of Brexit.

Breda Fitzgerald

Drumcondra, Dublin

Copy that Tusla?

I’m a low-tech animal. Just past the stage of putting Tippex on the screen. Yet, my copy-and-paste skill is far superior to that of Tusla.

Mattie Lennon

Blessington, Co Wicklow

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