Letters to the editor: Protecting rights of the wealthy during pandemic

Letters to the editor: Protecting rights of the wealthy during pandemic

A passenger is escorted to a coach for quarantine by a member of the defence forces after arriving at Dublin Airport last week.

It’s laughable that the Attorney General is now concerned about human rights and treaty rights over mandatory hotel quarantine — ‘Attorney General writes to Minister with concerns over extending hotel quarantine list’ (Irish Examiner, online, April 1).

If you’re going to pick and choose rights to protect, it’s telling that you choose to protect the right of wealthy countries to travel internationally. Perhaps take a look around you. None of us can travel further than 5km. We’ve had to do that, because of a failure to control importation of new Covid-19 variants.

If the Irish people had a choice, I think they would prioritise domestic travel over foreign travel. We have also suppressed the right to socialise, because in today’s context, it is a selfish act. Non-essential foreign travel is a selfish act, including business travel.

Fergal O’Brien from the Irish Business and Employers Confederation thinks this is “hurting Irish business”. Maybe he has forgotten the thousands of shuttered Irish business, and the reason why they are shuttered.

Again, it’s telling that he chooses to value business from America and other places over small Irish businesses. He mentions “necessary travel” for business, and I don’t think he’s talking about blue collar migrants. If the US president uses Zoom, so can Mr O’Brien.

It’s frustrating to come back to the same giant hole in the government’s strategy. The people can’t do any more. It’s up to the Government to stop future waves and future variants. Mandatory hotel quarantine for all countries now.

Jack Desmond


Co Cork

Young people left behind by State again

In light of the easing of restrictions and changes to the vaccine rollout, it’s hard to not feel like young people are being left behind by the State, again.

I understand that many different professions and age groups are clamouring to be pushed up the list. Organising who will be at the top and bottom of the lists will always cause problems but the root of the issue is speed at which vaccines are being administered. On the current timeline of vaccinations (if it doesn’t change) it’s likely that most people under 30 won’t be vaccinated until the end of the summer at the earliest.

In the meantime, high proportions of us are expected to work on the frontlines in retail, hospitality, healthcare, education, construction, policing, etc, while still facing no substantial changes in ongoing issues like the housing crisis, increasing cost of living, poor wages, poor job security, and the mental health crisis.

In the recent Behaviour and Attitudes ‘Sign of the Times’ survey, 64% of 25 to 34-year-olds and 69% of 16 to 24-year-olds said Covid-19 had a profound impact on their lives.

Some 70% of 16 to 24-year-olds said Covid has worsened their mental health and only 21% said they had extra money because of Covid, despite Pandemic Unemployment Payments.

It’s no wonder young people are starting to have house parties and flaunt restriction rules.

If I was locked down for most of the last year, paying €450-700 a month in rent in substandard accommodation and only brought up in discussions to be bashed, I’d disregard those in positions of authority also.

I wouldn’t be surprised if many young people emigrate after being vaccinated.

The “all stick, no carrot” approach stopped working about nine months ago.

Why should they care about others is nobody seems to care about them?

Ben Ryan


Co Waterford

Vaccinate teachers for summer schooling

I will be 70 later this year, I spend a large proportion of my time helping to care for my grandson. This workload increases significantly when he is not at school. However, I would be happy for teachers to be vaccinated ahead of me if they agree to use the summer months to make up for the lost school hours.

Joe Mason

Merrion Court


Wave goodbye

The next wave won’t be the fourth one, it will be goodbye Government and goodbye Nphet.

Roll out the vaccines and open our hairdressers, retail shops, restaurants etc, with reduced capacity, let us get back to normality.

Susan Burke



Social differences in sporting codes

It seems bureaucrats everywhere are getting crazier and crazier.

On the news during the week one item told us how a man in the GAA had been severely punished for allowing some of his players to practise together.

The next item was enthusing about a rugby match in the evening.

Do the bureaucrats believe that rugby mauls can take place with (anti-)social distancing?

Richard Barton


Co Kildare

Constitution is like a politicians’ plaything

Clodagh Finn — ‘State morphs from Jekyll to Hyde when facing opposition’ (Irish Examiner, March 31) — reminds us it is only through expensive, risky, legal action “to force the Department of Health to provide basic services for their [autistic] children”, can parents hope to get their constitutional rights. Of course these rights imply obligations on others.

As matters stand, the Constitution allows for lengthy court proceedings, unjustly depriving parents of justice during the school-life of their child. If we had a general amendment to the Constitution which asserted that every constitutional right and every constitutional obligation which is denied, delayed unduly, or not implemented, shall be treated as a crime, subject to the prosecution of An Garda Síochána, the document would have real meaning.

Without such a powerful provision, the Constitution has tended to become a plaything of politicians appearing to be useful. What, for example, has been the benefit of according new unspecified rights to children, as we did in the referendum of 2012, which had the lowest turnout of any for years?

John Colgan


Co Kildare

Spreading hope and joy of Easter

It is nice to receive a charming surprise. Some of us were recent recipients of one from an unknown person or group. 

A lovely hand-made Easter card was put in some of our doors. Some received a card; some a tiny bag with card.

It was entitled ‘The Essential Little Gift Bag’ naming its tiny contents, some of which were also hand-made and their meaning: ‘A coin (1 cent) — so you’ll never be completely broke; an eraser — to wipe out your mistakes; an elastic band — so you’ll never be overstretched; a button —to press in times of panic; a marble — in case you lose one; a piece of string — to keep it all together; a pearl — reminding you the world is your oyster; a heart — to know you’re always loved, and a piece of wisdom — for something to ponder on.

It was very kind from the person or persons who took the time and care to deliver a unique way of wishing us a happy Easter at a time when we are enduring this very long level 5 and third lockdown. .

Thank you to the person(s) who put the hope and joy of Easter in my door for Easter 2021.

Mary Sullivan

College Road


Le Carre Irish enough to warrant a passport

Despite all the fake news nowadays, the Irish Examiner not only tells the truth but is first to do so.

I refer in particular to John le Carre. About 18 months ago in a letter to the Irish Examiner I mentioned that he “is actually Irish enough to get an Irish passport if he wanted one”.

Now it turns out he actually did die an Irishman because he hated Brexit so much.

Frank Desmond

Evergreen Road

Cork City

Enjoying ‘Examiner’ online in Argentina

Every day I have the possibility to read the main news from Ireland through the Irish Examiner.

It is a pleasure for me, the son of an Irishman. I visit Ireland repeatedly; the last time was in 2018 where I spent a week enjoying Cork city.

I am very interested in the historical articles you have published; they enrich my knowledge about the history of the Ireland of my ancestors.

Thank you for giving me this possibility. From Argentina, with my 79 years in tow, I greet you with affection and I hope to be there again if life gives me a few more years after enduring this pandemic. Best wishes and happy Easter.

José Brendan Wallace

Santa Fe


IDA seeking investors from apartheid Israel

On March 16 the IDA announced it was opening an office in Israel in order to “identify Israeli-headquartered target companies with potential for investing in Ireland....”

Israel’s leading human rights NGO, B’Tselem, published a report in January which described the regime of systematic discrimination imposed by Israel on Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, as well as in Israel, as a regime of apartheid.

This follows the January 2020 Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which called on Israel to eradicate its policies and practices of racial segregation and apartheid that affect the Palestinian population in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Also in recent weeks the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has begun a formal investigation into possible war crimes committed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

This is hardly the time to seek investment into Ireland from Israeli enterprises which collaborate in subjecting millions of Palestinians to a regime of brutal occupation and denial of their fundamental right to self-determination, a right to which Ireland pays lip-service almost on a weekly basis

The decision has about as much merit as if the IDA had opened such an office in South Africa at the height of its apartheid era.

Éamonn Meehan


Co Dublin

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