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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (07/12/16)

Your letters, your views...

Prosecutions would see hunters stay clear of land

Last Thursday night, December 1, a meeting was held in the Parochial Hall, Charleville, to address the issue of foxhunting clubs causing a nuisance to farmers, namely the Duhallow and Limerick hunts.

The meeting was organised by Sinn Féin and chaired by Martin Ferris.

On contacting Martin Ferris to pass on information about state laws, i.e. the Control of Dogs Act and the 1976 Wildlife Act, which landowners may have recourse to in the event of trespass or worrying of livestock by dogs, we were told that Sinn Féin supports foxhunting and their advice to farmers and landowners would be to “negotiate” with the hunt.

All well and good, but what is there to negotiate? The bottom line for many farmers and landowners is that they do not want the hunt with their horses and dogs trespassing on their property, full stop. And if hunts trespass on prohibited land, farmers may call for them to be prosecuted by the gardaí under either the Control of Dogs Act and/or the 1976 Wildlife Act.

The Control of Dogs Act, provision 9, states that the owner of a dog shall not permit that dog to be in any place other than the premises of the owner or a person in charge of the dog, unless the owner accompanies the dog and keeps it under effectual control, and that if a dog worries livestock, the owner shall be guilty of an offence.

The 1976 Wildlife Act, Section 44, states that any person not being the owner or occupier of land enters that land to hunt wild birds or animals, without the permission of the owner, he/she is guilty of an offence.

The law is quite clear in regard to trespass and dogs, and in the event of trespass by hunts, farmers and landowners should call the Gardaí, cite the Control of Dogs Act and Section 44 of the Wildlife Act in relation to hunt trespass and worrying of livestock, and call for them to be prosecuted. If there were more prosecutions of hunts under these Acts, maybe these arrogant hunters would get the message and stay clear of where they’re not wanted.

Aideen Yourell

Irish Council Against Blood Sports

PO Box 88


Co Westmeath

Irish Water fast becoming like HSE

Michael Clifford links non-payment of water charges with homelessness in his article ‘Our priorities skewed again by water’ (Irish Examiner, December 3). Out in the real world, the majority of reasonable, rational people know it costs money to process, supply and manage our water. They also know it doesn’t take the setting up of a commercial semi-state body to do this. The cost of setting up Irish Water was €172.8 million (including €80m for consultant’s fees) metering costs were €539m, the conservation grants cost €166m plus €6m to administer them and now the cost of the water commission, €280k — the 20 members are being paid €3000 each and the chair is getting €7,500.

Simon Coveney thinks this is good value. What planet is he living on?

Presumably all the staff in Irish Water are still being paid (more than 80 managers on €100k plus pa). I think Michael Clifford would agree that this is an awful lot of money, for a very poor return.

Again the reasonable, taxpaying fools don’t object to water charges, but they do object at the cynical attempt of our Government to make a commercial entity out of one of the essentials for all life — human, plant and animal. When are they going to realise that throwing money at a problem does not solve it? Irish Water is fast becoming another money gobbling monster like the HSE, with as little success.

Margaret Goode

Douglas Road


Body politic should hang its head

Michael Clifford nails it again in his withering observation of the cynical political capital being made by the various sides on the water issue while the crisis of homelessness escalates.

It suits this government to have ongoing bickering on water while it washes it’s hands of the tragedies unfolding around the country.

Minister Coveney and his colleagues cannot bring themselves to interfere in the rental market and bring in rent controls. This is an anathema to their laissez faire political ideology.

All the while desperate potential renters engage on bidding wars, forcing up rents, in a frantic attempt to secure a roof over their head.

Of course rent control will not solve the issue of supply but it would at least give security to those renting or trying to find affordable accommodation. The reported increase of 50% in people sleeping rough, and your paper reporting that the Cork SVP has run out of cash due to increased demand on its services, makes the ongoing declarations of a recovery ring hollow.

The body politic should hang it’s head in shame at the fact that well over 2,000 children will remain homeless this Christmas.

Barry Walsh



Economy rigged to suit the wealthy

Ireland’s economy is rigged to suit the wealthy and take advantage of the weak. For what other reason are financial services exempt from Vat?

For what other reason is the supply, repair and maintenance of aircraft, and aviation fuel zero-rated for Vat? And who do you think benefits the most from the lottery being exempt from Vat?

Alison Hackett

Dun Laoghaire

Co Dublin

Reality is stranger than fiction

Since Donald Trump was elected, my The West Wing box set is unwatchable, it’s just too hurtful.

Poor Jed, poor CJ. Where was Mr Fixit Leo when he was needed? Have the Sopranos really won? Am I alone? Was I stupidly naive? Can I sue anyone? What next?

Sean de Paor


Co Chorcaí

Going to Mars may improve disabled peoples’ lives

When the UN drafted the convention for human rights for disabled people over 10 years ago it was in recognition of our unique oppression as disabled people.

The aims of a human rights convention such as this is to target abuses and inequalities perpetrated by individuals, organisations and states against disabled people.

It was to recognise disabled people as fully human, fully citizens, fully part of society.

The Irish Government has run roughshod over this noble and truly human aim to treat every citizen as equal. For ten years we, disabled citizens, have been continually promised full ratification and implementation of the UN Convention of Rights for Disabled People.

Yesterday Minister Finian McGrath argues there are still, “blockages in the legislation”. This is unconscionable.

“Blockages” have not hindered any other EU state from fully ratifying this legislation. All others have done so and we are the last EU state yet to ratify and implement fully. Even struggling countries have done so.

The EU also formally acceded to the Convention on December 23, 2010, the first legally binding core international human rights instrument to which the EU is party.

So when Minister Finian McGrath says there are “blockages” after 10 years, we can only consider several scenarios.

A) There is no willingness to give disabled people human rights.

B) We are not considered full citizens of Ireland.

C) Total incompetency of politicians who don’t seem able to “unblock” the legislative “plumbing”.

D) We are NOT being represented by our TDs and finally, the hardest to bear E) We don’t matter.

The array of human rights abuses against disabled people in Ireland has grown over those 10 years of lack of human rights legislation.

From government cutbacks to our supports and care, to sexual and physical abuses in so-called “care” homes , to inequality in healthcare, rail travel and employment .

This government prefers to offer €90 million, over five years to the European space programme, than offer disabled people human rights.

Getting to Mars or another planet, may indeed improve disabled people’s lives.

Dr Margaret Kennedy

Disabled woman, disability rights campaigner


Co Wicklow

Banks are to blame for homelessness

More and more people are being rendered homeless each day. But who are mainly responsible for this? A recent TV documentary showed how ordinary citizens, through no fault of there own, lost their jobs and were unable to keep up their mortgage repayments.

The banks have put these distressed loans in receivership. Over 17,000 homeowners are being brought before the courts by the bankers and being evicted from their homes. I put it to you that the banks are mainly responsible for most of the homelessness in this country.

These are the same banks that we, the taxpayers, were forced to bail out to the tune of €64 thousand million. Those same bankers are still free to execute more of their nefarious deeds.

Mike Mahon


Dublin 6W


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