Letters to the Editor: Fears over extended powers for gardaí

Letters to the Editor: Fears over extended powers for gardaí

Safeguards are necessary and imperative if individuals are to be protected from any abuse or bullying from the gardaí, according to Irish Examiner reader Joy Fouzai.

Thank you for your article regarding the extended powers afforded to the gardaí by the recent legislation (‘Very concerning’: Experts worry over new powers for gardaí, Irish Examiner, June 15).

I agree with the two professors cited in the article and worry, as an individual, if these new powers will exacerbate the problem of police corruption and prejudice seen in many occasions.

Safeguards are necessary and imperative if individuals are to be protected from any abuse or bullying from the gardaí. They are human and liable to powers going to their heads. Something needs to be done to counteract these new laws in order to protect our basic human rights.

Joy Fouzai

Maple Avenue


New powers affect rights of citizens

The extended powers to gardaí is a significant move to relinquish citizens rights by the Department of Justice. Any excuse of an update for modernisation is complete deflection from what is a truly right-wing step towards an American style force.

It is completely out of sync with Irish needs, either law enforcement or socially appropriate lawmaking.

Una Dunphy


Maternity hospital ownership debate

The debate about ownership and governance of our new National Maternity Hospital continues, while complicated corporate structures compete with obscure small print in legal arrangements. For me, the issue is clear: the National Maternity Hospital, which is expected to cost in excess of €0.5bn in public funds, must be publicly owned and wholly secular. There is no place for religion, of any denomination, in the provision of 21st century reproductive healthcare. That’s why I will be joining the #MakeNMHOurs Rally at the Dáil on Saturday June 26 at 1pm.

Bernie Linnane


Co Leitrim

Travellers’ refusal of housing offers

I write in relation to the article “Travellers on ‘unsafe’ Cork halting site accept two of 20 housing offers” ( Irish Examiner, June 15).

Spring Lane site, Blackpool, Cork City.
Spring Lane site, Blackpool, Cork City.

Anyone, Travellers or anybody else, who refuses an offer of accommodation by the council, should be put at the back of the queue on the council list. If they refuse a second offer, they should be taken off the council waiting list permanently.

I am curious as to why the Travelling community get preferential treatment because other citizens do not get treated the same.

You will recall that Tipperary Council built six houses especially for Travellers, which eventually cost €2.3m and which the Travellers refused because there was no accommodation for their horses.

The Tipperary Council should have been sacked for their extravagance in paying so much for six houses.

John Fair


Co Mayo

Proper facilities are needed, not houses

I think the point of the ombudsman report has been missed. It is the condition and lack of proper resources that are missing, not the offer of housing. Travellers don’t always want to live in housing and, no matter how many people would give their all for some of the offers, this may not be what is required.

Proper facilities need to be provided, such as shower and washroom facilities, laundry rooms and weekly rubbish collections to prevent the build-up of rubbish or dumping.

Facilities in keeping with their culture is what is important.

Pauline Long


Co Wicklow

Councillor’s remarks ‘insulting’

Councillor Ken O’Flynn’s comments about the refusal of offers of rehousing on the Cork halting site are self-serving. Why is there no analysis of the reasons for refusal or of the nature of the offers of housing made?

The councillor says: “If the accommodation on this halting site is as bad as it’s meant to be, according to the Children’s Ombudsman, people would accept the offers of housing.” This is as insulting as it is patronising. Does the councillor think that people should be grateful for whatever they get? Does he believe he has superior insight into the welfare of children over the Children’s Ombudsman?

People should be entitled to refuse a number of offers, and offers should be demonstrably appropriate to the needs of the applicants.

Instead of rejecting the ombudsman’s findings, the councillor would do better to work towards a resolution of the situation.

Maggie Moore


Co Cork

Lack of awareness of human trafficking

The first conviction in the history of the State, just last week, for human trafficking demonstrated the challenging nature of the crime here in Ireland (Two women running prostitution ring in Westmeath found guilty of human trafficking, Irish Examiner, June 11).

Trafficking is not an immigration issue; it is a human rights issue.
Trafficking is not an immigration issue; it is a human rights issue.

Proving that Ireland is not immune to the crime has been an ongoing challenge for many organisations, groups and individuals over the past decades.

We need to draw attention to the low level of identification in the country each year and the nationwide lack of awareness on the subject. The growing nature of this national (and international) crisis is demonstrated in numerous reports and research pieces undertaken in Ireland and internationally, with a stark silence in particular around child trafficking.

Children and adults who are victims of this crime remain hidden in plain sight.

Trafficking is not an immigration issue; it is a human rights issue.

JP O’ Sullivan



The trouble with bins on beaches

I am writing in regard to the litter piled up near a bin in Myrtleville. One evening at the beach during the bank holiday, I noticed people trying to put litter in the bin. Two ladies stood patiently while tearing up a pizza box to get it in the bin. Then they walked up the main hill. We can’t expect people either walking or going on a bus to carry litter home after a day at beach, as well as bags of wet towels and clothes.

The problem is the hole in the bin barely takes coffee cups so, after the pizza box pieces were stuffed in, others had problems getting litter in.

We need more bins and bigger ones please, ASAP.

Helen Harrington


Co cork

LPT should be for ‘real’ homeowners

For some years now media commentators in Ireland have expressed surprise that the political left have not supported our property tax arrangements, as it is supposed to be a tax on wealth that would be supported by other left-wing parties across Europe.

I would contend that the majority of mortgage holders in this country do not own their property in real terms. They may have a legal ownership to it but, in actuality, their rights are not much more than those of renters.

The following example will clarify this. In years gone by, a lot of people bought their cars and/or TV sets through a hire purchase system — ie they paid monthly instalments until the full, agreed payment was arrived at. However, if they failed to keep up with the payments, the car or TV was

immediately taken off them. In other words, a person did not fully own the car or the TV until the full amount was paid.

The same principle applies to house purchases.

The point is that most mortgage holders earn average incomes, so by no stretch of the imagination could they be classed as wealthy.

I would recommend that only householders who have fully paid their mortgage, and therefore fully own their property, should be eligible to pay the local property tax.

Martin Owens




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