I wish to echo the sentiment in Paddy Henry’s letter “Ireland is no country for young people” (June 22). The Covid-19 pandemic and its effects have exposed the awful conditions people, particularly young people and those on low incomes, put up with.
Many of us live in over-priced, over-crowded and sub-standard accommodation. While this has been well known for many years, it was thrown into sharp focus by the various lockdowns and lack of available space for many.
Our so-called outdoor summer has kicked off in a very haphazard fashion. Despite the Government telling us for months to prepare for the summer, when young people emerged to see our friends in outdoor spaces, we are vilified, baton-charged and locked out of public spaces.
With hospitality partially re-opened and further lessening of restrictions coming, young people are told to get back to work because the hospitality “industry will collapse unless we stop PUP”.
An industry largely reliant on low wages, poor working conditions and no security needs young people to be kept in precarious positions so we accept this is normal. This is an example of just one thing which should not “go back to normal” once vaccinations are complete.
We work on the frontlines in healthcare, hospitality, and other industries, and have done so throughout the pandemic. We already tolerate poor standards of living, poor working conditions and lack of opportunities.
Now we’re being told that shortfalls in vaccine supply could mean we might not receive a second dose until November. Yet we expect young people to go back to work, serving the masses, not knowing who’s vaccinated or not but knowing for a fact that we will be last on the list.
Does the Government expect colleges to re-open in September without the majority of students being vaccinated?
The whole Irish system seems to be hostile toward the needs and wishes of young people. Young people took the brunt of the negative effects of this pandemic due to the systemic problems many of us already suffer. If we continue to drive our young people out of this country, how can we ever expect it to change for the better.
The Lough, Cork
Dr Don O’Leary writes (June 23), that there is a wide spread public concern that a “Catholic ethos” will influence governance at the new National Maternity Hospital.
But Dr O’Leary does not define what a Catholic ethos means.
My understanding is that for practicing Catholics, this means following the teaching of Christ and this is interpreted as loving God and your neighbour.
Despite the well reported failings of the Catholic Church, the responsibility of such a faith is to care for the most vulnerable.
I hope all health services will always strive to care for the most vulnerable, no matter what their ethos is.
Templeogue, Dublin 16
In his opinion piece of June 23, June Dr Don O’Leary worries that a Catholic ethical ethos will prevail in the planned new National Maternity Hospital.
However, Dr O’Leary can relax because the one certain outcome in the case of the new hospital is that a Catholic ethos will not operate there.
I suggest, if Dr O’Leary wishes to concern himself further with the new National Maternity Hospital, that he concentrates on real problems such as the ballooning estimated cost of building this facility, now standing at €800m of taxpayers’ money. Or, casting his net wider he might analyse our incoherent and inefficient general two-tier health system.
Of course, it may be difficult to implicate the Catholic Church in these problems.
Waterfall, Co Cork
Tom Curran (Exit International) shares this about his MS-suffering partner “You would suffer what they are going through if it meant taking their pain away, but there isn’t anything you can do.” Dying in peace (June 20).
I can see two life viewpoints: one that sees suffering as part of life (albeit making use of medication to alleviate it) until natural death, and the other who wants to have pain alleviated to the point of medicated death. Joan Allenden (MS sufferer) for example wants to end her life and wants legislation for assisted dying.
The issue with the second view point is that life then becomes subject to human decisions (as in the case of abortion). Who can decide when to medicate death to stop someone suffering? How far a law can go?
The fact is, in any country where euthanasia has been introduced, we see a ‘slippery slope’ develop where the legislation first aims to help the ‘extreme cases’ (even hard to determine these), but soon expands to cover others and death becomes a solution to more and more of life’s problems.
Do doctors, hospitals, psychologists, etc never make mistakes?
The saying “When there is life there is always hope” is not old fashioned.
Conchita L Serra
Dalkey, Co Dublin
In interviews given by Taoiseach Micheál Martin the idea that elderly people should be given an incentive to leave their family home as a way of dealing with the housing crisis was again mooted.
Aside from this proposal smacking of again casting blame on the elderly for another social ill, lack of houses — remember the “bed-blockers” tag that was frequently used whenever the numbers on trolleys increased in our A&Es — it is very hard to envisage what level of incentive would be needed to entice elderly parents to abandon the place where they have lived their lives, raised a family and where memories of that life lived are fixed deeply into the fabric of the place.
One has to wonder if this proposal is a case of keen, caring minds working to solve problems in the common good or is it what many suspect, further evidence that we are currently governed by people who know the price of everything, the value of nothing and who excel at blaming others for their failures.
Ireland has joined 12 other other states in condemning Hungary for “flagrant discrimination” Hungary’s treatment of LGBT+ people criticised, 23 June).
Hungary’s parliament has voted overwhelmingly to ban the targeting of school children with materials promoting homosexuality or the idea that one can change your biological sex.
Newly-minted liberal Official Ireland is clearly vexed at Hungary for doing so.
Yet Irish ministers and officials have no problem hobnobbing with oppressive regimes that severely oppress women and girls, gays and religious minorities.
Ireland was elected to the UN Security Council in 2020 thanks to votes from some of the most repressive regimes in the world.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Dublin, Nail al-Jubeir, said in 2019 that Ireland “definitely has our vote” because Irish diplomats “don’t lecture”. Iran, a country that hangs homosexuals from cranes, also supported Ireland.
Bayside, Dublin 13
It seems impossible to conceive of but is Philippines President Duterte actually right for once? He raised the possibility of jailing people who refuse to have a vaccination. It would seem to be a human rights violation but that’s something that he has been accused of before.
The carrot approach of scholarships, large lotto prizes and even food vouchers being given as incentives for getting vaccinated has helped but it looks like the numbers being done have started to stagnate and we are well below the herd immunity levels that we want.
Maybe it ‘s time to use a stick approach. The idea of jailing people is unrealistic for a large number of reasons and yet they are endangering people so what other options are there?
They could be denied access to some transport means such as planes, effectively locking them in their own country. They could be denied access to sporting events or even restaurants if they cannot prove their vaccination status.
Most restaurants and many other venues have a sign that says we can deny you service for any reason we want although it is usually no shirt, no service. If they have a medical exception, that can be shown.
We must all get vaccinated.
Vic Melbourne, Australia