Letters to the Editor: Ireland is no country for young people

Appeal of the greener grass of nations that value their young looming larger
Letters to the Editor: Ireland is no country for young people

If Ireland continues in its hostility towards its future doctors, nurses, teachers, and everything in between, it will most definitely lose another generation, says our letter writer

The public health crisis we have all endured over the past 15 months has revealed a lot about us as a nation.

We may cast our minds back to the dark days of March 2020 and reminisce about the sense of community felt across the country as we put ourselves on call for Ireland and sacrificed so much without an ounce of hesitancy, all for the greater good.

However, the pandemic has also uncovered some great societal ills on this rock of ours.

The terrible treatment of our youth has truly proven that Ireland is no country for young men.

As a 22-year-old university graduate who has just finished the final chapter of “the best four years of my life” — supposedly — from behind a computer screen, bereft of any sense of celebration after four years of hard work, I can’t help but feel somewhat aggrieved by how the future of this country is being treated by those in ivory towers of power.

From being vilified by those in public office for enjoying the sweet release of an outdoor summer, only to be scolded by the pushers of that particular narrative for not conforming to their interpretation of that very line, to health officials placing the youth as a mere afterthought in the vaccination process, with us 20-somethings having the honour of being inoculated towards the twilight of 2021.

The appeal of the greener grass of nations that value their young has taken many a generation away from these shores. If Ireland continues in its hostility towards its future doctors, nurses, teachers, and everything in between, it will most definitely lose another. A plane ticket is only a few clicks away after all.

Paddy Henry

Galway City

Voting makes new policies possible

The ‘Punch and Judy’ simulated Civil War politics of the past 60 years is
dissolving.

Suddenly, Fine Gael is concerned with the rights of workers. Suddenly, the bank of mum and dad is no longer a glib riposte to the younger generation from government figures. Suddenly, the idea that public housing is what should be built on public land is a thing “we’ve all known all along”.

No longer a tenacious and irritant slogan; soon to be government policy. Stolid long-standing Constitutional obstacles and chin-stroking pseudo-intellectual tropes posited by the camp-following high priests of our Civil War parties in the Four Courts have become very politically inconvenient now. Suddenly, in the face of seismic seat-losing political change, new policies are possible.

We are waking from our sleep. In the final analysis, leaders in a democracy are led; ’twas always thus. They work for us. So if you want to see change, turn out and vote. No matter who you vote for, just make sure you vote. If you have never voted before, or think “they’re all the same” just vote. See what happens.

Michael Deasy

Carrigart

Co Donegal

God chooses life over assisted death

Joan Allenden — “Why, oh why can’t I die in peace?”( Irish Examiner, June 20) — tells us that “God gave us free will”. God also told us to choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19) and not to kill anyone (Exodus 20:13). The promise he makes is that in heaven: “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelations 21:4).

The alternative, after death, as Jesus Christ tells us is a place of pain and torment where the fire does not go out (Luke 16:23-24).

The bigger choice here is not in whether one achieves ‘dignity’ for a few fleeting moments or surpresses any ‘Catholic guilt’, but in how severe one’s pain will be after death.

Seamus O’Callaghan

Carlow

Banks at fault must face prosecution

Have the banks become untouchable from prosecution as the religious orders have been to date?

Two issues immediately jump out here: Where are the GNECB (Garda National Economic Crime Bureau)?

The bank compensation to customers is akin to a thief returning stolen goods and expecting forgiveness.

Yes, customers must be repaid, with additional costs in damages caused, but the banks must be prosecuted. The slippage in customer treatment in Ireland has become an illegal free for all without accountability. They do it because they can.

Secondly, our Protected Disclosure legislation is not fit for purpose and should have been reviewed many times over the past seven years to repair obvious failings.

Whistleblowers in the private and public sector are constantly demonised and dismissed.

Management avoids the Protected Disclosure legislation by deflection and stymieing internal processes and
investigations, which will wear down the whistleblower and ruin them financially and professionally.

This not only effectively buries the disclosures/wrongdoing in years of process or legal cases but acts as a deterrent to others to dare to speak up. Until this is properly addressed, with relevant stakeholders, we are continuing in the wrong direction.

Whistleblowers are recognised for saving the exchequer huge sums, yet we continue to attack and ruin them. On International Whistleblowers Day this Wednesday, Ireland should commit to a robust review of this legislation.

Una Dunphy

Tramore

Waterford

Leo’s eloquence masks the misery

Listening to Leo Varadkar over the weekend — if one was “innocent” or “naive” perhaps one would be taken in by his “eloquence” in explaining what he and Fine Gael have down for the people of Ireland.

Many would say that Leo and his party have made the “rich” richer, the “poor” poorer, and contributed to a new middle-class poverty in Ireland.

They continue to “load” taxes on the “working class” — while the “privileged” classes and “vested interests” become richer.

Michael A Moriarty

Rochestown

Cork

Continuing care for young refugees

As communities across Ireland celebrated World Refugee Day on Sunday, I would like to bring attention to the experience of young refugees seeking protection in Europe, including in Ireland.

While for many teenagers turning 18 is a milestone — a moment of joy and celebration — our recent research finds that for an unaccompanied young person in the asylum process, it is a time of massive anxiety, as turning 18 symbolises losing support due to the sharp nosedive in protective legal frameworks.

One of the key tenets of EU law is protecting minors regardless of their legal status.

This protection helps shield them from further risk, but the protection they receive dramatically shifts upon their 18th birthday, even though the risks don’t necessarily disappear.

No longer considered children in the eyes of the law, unaccompanied young people can find themselves displaced for a second time.

In many cases in Ireland, young people are removed from foster or residential care and are sent to direct provision — where they find themselves living in the same room as adult strangers, quite often in a different region to where they were first accommodated.

The young people involved in the research said that being allowed to stay in foster or residential care after 18 would be good for their mental health and would encourage them to move forward.

Stating that the current situation is very stressful and “a very dark time in their life”, as the sense of security they were first afforded is suddenly toppled.

Oxfam has written to the Minister for Children, the Ombudsman for Children and the Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Children seeking meetings to discuss the findings of the report and to explore how the issues raised can be addressed.

Surely we can find a better way for refugee youth who have lost, or been separated from, their families.

One that better reflects the theme of this year’s World Refugee Day — to heal, learn and shine together.

Jim Clarken

Chief executive of Oxfam Ireland

Ringsend

Dublin 4

Poots in, Poots out

Poots who led the push against Arlene is now himself the victim of a push. We’re told it was the Acht na Gaeilge that did it for him. It looks like a case of ‘filleann an feall ar an bhfeallaire’ (what goes around comes around).

John Glennon

Co Wicklow

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