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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (04/09/16)

Your letters, your views...

Fog of uncertainty led to bill of €13bn

Somewhere, it appears, during the conversation between Irish officials and Apple in 1991, Apple asked if they could pay the tax on their profits in Europe rather than the US.

It appears, that someone said, no problem leave that with us.

A fog was created, it appears, and 25 years later those same officials were “caught out” and sent a bill for €13bn.

I wonder if the official ever got a bonus for his clever arrangement back in 1991?

Damien Carroll
Kingswood
Dublin 24

 

Give US and Russia €6.5bn each

Why not divide the €13bn Apple tax windfall equally between America and Russia, thereby striking a dramatic blow for the brotherhood of Man and world peace.

That peace seems more fragile now than at any time since the last world war.

If a third world war were to break out we stand to lose the quantum of the windfall many times over.

There are reportedly 19,000 warheads ready to launch, targeted at the cities of the world, each of them many times more powerful than Hiroshima.

It was never ours anyway.

Brian Flanagan
Shore Front
Buncrana
Co Donegal

 

My wife has always drunk Barry’s Tea

Even when living abroad, more than 30 years, she always kept a supply of Barry’s Tea.

Our home became ‘famous’ for serving Barry’s Irish Tea.

In her case it is always drunk from a china cup. Milk in cup before tea.

One particular political chief of mission, a US diplomat, would visit my office daily for his ‘Barry’s Irish tea’.

Now retired, I understand he is still a daily drinker of Barry’s Tea.

Congratulations to the Barrys for providing excellent ‘Irish’ tea.

Michael A Moriarty
Rochestown
Cork

 

No argument for tax rate of 0.00.5%

The decision by the Government to appeal the European Commission ruling that a tax avoider pay back €13bn to the taxpayer beggars belief.

The justification for the appeal is that the Government needs to defend Ireland’s reputation.

We have no credibility regarding our corporation tax regime.

The US government, the European Commission and major European countries rarely unite on anything, but on their dislike of our corporation tax regime, they stand united and we stand isolated.

If it is hard to argue in favour of a 12.5% corporate rate, imagine how hard it will be to argue in favour of a 0.005% effective rate.

If the Government had competent political advisers and ministers were capable of listening, they would have argued that, while disappointed with the European Commission’s judgement, it represented a past Ireland.

An Ireland ruled by a different political culture, and cute-hoor sweetheart deals like this were no longer represented or tolerated in today’s Ireland.

Jason Fitzharris
Rivervalley
Swords
Co Dublin

 

‘Paddy’ makes a great little country

Aren’t we the great little country?

Just as we were nominated some years ago to sort out the European banking system, the European Commission, no less, unable to sort out the effects of globalisation on corporate tax practices, now calls Paddy to the vanguard!

They want us to collect an international tax liability.

When collected it must be held in a separate account. Why separatet?

Because the commission has indicated there could be tax claims from other countries where Apple has operations.

We must hold the money, then agree tax liabilities with those other countries and dole the money out accordingly.

Consequently, it is very probable that little or none of this money would come to Ireland because Apple has already paid tax on its Irish operations.

To suggest otherwise is speculative and mischievous.

Maurice Curtin
Marble Hall Gardens
Ballinlough Road
Cork

 

Address African gender inequality

A new report published by the United Nations Development Programme claims that gender inequality in sub-Saharan Africa is costing the region on average almost €90bn a year.

It is a shocking figure, and all the more so because there are a range of low-cost, low-tech actions which would greatly diminish its impact.

The UN annual conference on African Development heard last weekend that legislation and social conventions were reinforcing the gender gap, obstructing economic growth in the poorest region on earth.

The report claimed that up to 540 million African women under the age of 60 had died prematurely in the last 20 years, and that African women in paid jobs were earning on average 70% less than their male counterparts.

African women do up to 70% of the work on small farms, but receive a small fraction of the available benefits.

Activities that target women-headed households in rural development projects, that provide training to women, improve access to credit, and seek to organise women into producer groups co-operatives all help to change this.

Ray Jordan
CEO, Gorta-Self Help Africa
Parkgate St
Dublin

 

Please don’t forget Aylan Kurdi

A year ago the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi from Syria washed up on a Turkish beach.

The three-year-old drowned in the Mediterranean Sea as his family attempted to reach Europe.

Aylan’s death should have resulted in immediate action to protect refugees. Tragically, one year on, the opposite has happened.

So far this year, 268,602 people have entered Europe by sea, with 3,166 dead or missing, including children.

Behind these statistics are innocent people with broken hearts whose lives have been irrevocably changed.

The Irish Navy should be commended for making an heroic contribution to the search and rescue operation.

One year on, it is imperative that the EU, including Ireland, accelerates the pace of relocation for refugees and upholds basic humanitarian values that protect unaccompanied minors and reunite loved ones.

Eamonn Meehan
executive director
Trócaire
Maynooth
Co Kildare

 

Study of ‘spies’ is whitewash

The study of alleged ‘spies’ killed by the Cork IRA. (‘Getting to the heart of a county’s killing fields’ Irish Examiner August 29, 2016) is both revisionist and biased by omission.

Revisionist because it seeks to dispel the dark cloud that rightly hangs over the Cork IRA since the revelation that Martin Corry ran a torture and murder chamber.

Biased by omission because it omits any mention of Corry or his victims.

Accordingly, I question the motives of this study which smacks more of whitewash than history.

Eddie Naughton
Weaver’s Street
The Coombe
Dublin 8

 

Solution to Fota Island traffic

In the light of congestion on the Fota road in Co Cork may I suggest a link be made between Great Island and Little Island, running via the redundant NET site directly to Little Island?

This would shorten the distance between Cobh and Cork and avoid the daily problems with road access to Fota as vehicles enter and leave the estate.

The cost would be well compensated in time and fuel saved.

Michael Leahy
Ballynoe House
Cobh
Co Cork

 

Fine Gael again ignoring electorate

I am surprised Fine Gael has not adverted to the probability that its referendum on gay marriage cost it many votes in the general election.

Though it was a Labour Party initiative it was Fine Gael that departed from its traditional base of conservation rather than revolution.

Over 700,000 people voted ‘No’ despite the massive media campaign to vote ‘Yes’.

Now Fine Gael is gearing up for a vote on the 8th Amendment, again ignoring the will of its traditional electorate.

Tony Jordan
Gilford Road
Dublin 4


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