I am writing in response to your article (Meet the human faces of the housing crisis, Irish Examiner, May 15).
All this anger at Government policy. Relevant, of course, but the aim is too narrow. Such it is that the voting population (or a majority of them) have hamstrung the generations beneath them.
Parents and grandparents should hang their heads in shame for foisting this broken mess upon us.
The social contract is broken — by society at large as well as government. I suggest we young people break it back.
Unless and until the Government makes radical changes to housing policy — up to and including restrictions on property rights (for nothing else will do at this late stage) — then all young people should stop funding pensions, social services, and any other State functions, the generations who damned those below them (with regard to housing, cost of living etc) currently use.
The social contract is a two-way street and enough is enough!
We are all in this together — or not at all.
The populist political opposition and media have succeeded in embarrassing the Government on the role of cuckoo funds. “You can take your cuckoo billions and shove ’em” could summarise the attitude.
Unfortunately for renters, who desperately need the supply of cuckoo rental housing, our heavily indebted Government and weakly capitalised banks couldn’t replace the cuckoo money that could directly finance new housing.
I welcome Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney’s declaration that the deaths of 32 children by Israeli fire last week “cannot be acceptable to the international community”.
However, Mr Coveney’s call for the UN Security Council to “hold those responsible to account” will serve as a test case for his professed belief that multilateral diplomacy is the most effective means by which Ireland can meet its moral obligation to protect Palestinian human rights.
At the risk of appearing pessimistic, I predict that there will be no decisive action at UN level, due to America’s consistent use of its Security Council veto to shield its regional ally from accountability.
The EU, in turn, has proven unwilling even to suspend the Israel state from the Euro-Med Trade Agreement, despite consistent and flagrant violations of the human rights protocols which form the basis of the agreement.
On this basis, it falls to Dáil Éireann to legislate to end Ireland’s complicity in the relentless colonial expansionism that sparked the current conflagration. The Occupied Territories Bill has
passed both Houses of the Oireachtas, and was due for examination at committee stage when it was controversially excluded from the Programme for Government at Mir Coveney’s point-blank insistence.
By enacting this bill, we can end our incentivisation of state-sponsored illegal settlement enterprises worldwide; we can show our solidarity with long-oppressed people in Palestine, Western Sahara and elsewhere; and we can prove that Ireland is a nation of principle, truly deserving of a place on the global stage.
Brian Ó Éigeartaigh
Shocking footage from the Gaza Strip has shown the Israeli military’s intentional demolition of at least three multi-storey tower blocks, destroying the offices of local and international media outlets, and leaving many families homeless.
Claims by Israeli military spokespeople that these tower blocks were bombed due to the presence of what they believe to be legitimate targets are difficult to credit.
Surely the Israeli military’s warning to residents to evacuate their apartments would also serve as an evacuation warning to any ‘legitimate targets’ allegedly present, defeating the ostensible purpose of annihilating the homes.
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Israeli military’s destruction of these tower blocks is an intentional attack on the civilian infrastructure of the Gaza Strip, a collective punishment of an imprisoned population, and yet another war crime against the Palestinian people.
This country has been destroyed by these two main political parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, over the last 100 years.
Complacency and inability to do the right things has sickened me for donkey’s years.
As a pensioner, I say enough is enough; change is badly needed.
Sinn Féin, I feel, regardless of their history, need to come into power to level this playing field.
I wish Edwin Poots well in his leadership of the DUP in the coming years. I say years because his party needs an anchor that will arrest it from being blown hither and thither in the slipstream of Boris Johnson’s U-turns and the jet stream of English nationalism — concerns that totally distract from the DUP’s task of safeguarding its community’s rightful and enduring place on this island.
There is much about Mr Poots’ views that disquiets me. Nevertheless, his reputation as a pragmatist is encouraging.
Hopefully, he establishes a working rapport with Sinn Féin for the good of all citizens on this island.
Sinn Féin, no doubt, will test every aspect of his being and stretch his pragmatic patience, but he could perhaps steal an early march by not resorting to the gratuitous one-upmanship and juvenile point-scoring that has incessantly marked how the DUP and Sinn Féin have conducted business.
St Thomas’ Sq
Kerry is blooming since the restrictions were relaxed. The vaccine is working. We all have more freedom to meet and greet. Kerry is open for business and eagerly awaiting the staycationers, who are assured of a warm welcome and great value for money.
Kerry has never looked so beautiful or so inviting.
But what really has us in a euphoric state of giddy anticipation is the news from the Kerry football camp. Our boys weren’t involved in any furtive training during the lockdown, unlike the cultured city boys. The training is up and running. The county panel is in flying form and looking forward to a successful season. Pods of 15 are popping up on GAA pitches throughout the county. Balls are being hopped in every school and village in Kerry. Yes indeed, the Kingdom is back to normal!
Peter Keane, our trusted manager, has forgiven himself and his team for conceding the late goal against Cork last year.
He gave out about those breaking the rules, but he is now at peace with himself and focusing on the new campaign. By all accounts, he’s a new man with his mojo back. The rejuvenated manager is talking up attacking football. Why wouldn’t he, when he has the best set of forwards in the country at his disposal, as Galway discovered on Saturday?
Irish people have a special attraction to sea creatures. There was almost
a national day of mourning when Fungie the dolphin took his leave, and whale watching has become a fashionable marine activity off our coasts.
An exotic addition to the list of must-see mammals around our island has been the basking shark, the world’s second-largest fish. At any given time an estimated 10%-20% of the world’s basking sharks can be found in Irish waters, especially in the north-east Atlantic. Spotting them has become an obsession with thousands of amateur seafarers.
Unfortunately, this creature is not protected under Irish law, despite the fact that it is now an endangered species. This is a major oversight in our wildlife legislation because it enables unscrupulous hunters to catch them.
The failure of our legislators to safeguard the basking shark from exploitation is a shameful anomaly.
Thankfully, Social Democrat TD Jennifer Whitmore has introduced a bill to the Dáil that, if passed, would offer full protection to this treasured mammal.
I hope TDs of all parties will put political differences aside and give their full backing to this measure. Apart from a striking a blow for marine biodiversity, they’ll be acting in the best interests of our Covid-ravaged tourist industry. We’ll do better economically from keeping the basking sharks alive than by allowing a heartless minority to kill them.