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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (08/09/16)

Your letters, your views...

Cork spy files and ‘Knockraha Whitewash’

While undertaking the research published in the Cork Spy Files (See http://theirishrevolution.ie/), we investigated evidence on a number of civilians deemed to have been killed by the IRA around the Knockraha area. We took into account any primary sources.

Our list of suspected spies does not include those killed who were serving in the British army or the RIC who collectively constituted the majority of known victims there; ours is a list of civilians executed, and it covers only the War of Independence, thereby excluding civilians such as William Edward Parsons and Michael Williams who were killed after the Truce of July 11, 1921. Martin Corry’s own evidence on the issue of the numbers held in the IRA prison called ‘Sing Sing’, in the graveyard of Kilquane, and subsequently executed, is worth noting.

He was inclined to exaggerate the Knockraha fatalities, and he was not always an entirely reliable witness. Yet in a book on the history and folklore of Knockraha published in 1977, for which he was extensively interviewed, it was noted, “It has been estimated by the captain of the local company [Knockraha], Martin Corry, that during the period of the War of Independence, up to 35 people were executed from Sing Sing. He estimated 17 were members of the Cammerons [sic] regiment, 7 Black and Tans, and 11 other people loosely defined as spies, informers, etc”.

The estimate for Cameron’s killed appears high, as such deaths (if they ever occurred) have left little trace in the historical records (in contrast to soldiers ‘disappeared’ from other British regiments). The estimates that Corry advanced for civilians the RIC are not implausibly high, but we have only included those named in historical sources; we do not include unidentified persons.

Eddie Naughton’s assertion (Irish Examiner, 4/9/16) that we have totally omitted reference to Corry, or to any of those killed in that area, demonstrates that he has not carefully examined our database, as we list James Gordan, Dinny Lehane, Eugene Swanton, and Thomas Downing who we believe were killed and buried in that area.

If Mr Naughton is confident we have omitted civilians killed as spies there in the War of Independence, we ask him to kindly forward the names of these civilians and the historical sources by which he has arrived at this conclusion. We would be delighted following verification to revise our list upwards.

Andy Bielenberg,
History, UCC
Jim Donnelly
History University of Wisconsin-Madison

Minister protecting his own income

Listening to Phil Hogan explaining his support for the EU decision to levy a €13bn fine on Apple, It struck me here is a politician who seems to be more concerned with protecting his “comfortable” income as an EU commissioner than giving his opinion on the matter in question.

Michael A Moriarty

Rename Rathmore Station after hero

We would like to ask the management of lrish rail to rename Rathmore Railway station in Co Kerry after Patrick O’Connor, a local volunteer, who died fighting for Irish freedom in Moore Street in Easter Week 1916.

Michael O’Mahony PC
East End
Co Kerry

Future generations stuck with debt

‘It’s an attack on our sovereignty!’ screams Michael Noonan in response to the Apple €13bn back-tax European Commission ruling, as he rallies the country to battle for our guest multinational corporations against the big bad giants in Brussels.

Meanwhile, just a few years ago, when another EU institution insisted that Ireland should take on a debt that is more than twice the proposed Apple-tax, the same Michael turned and ran like hell, had no problem burdening his own people with what even the IMF now admits is a debt that was never ours.

And so, as the country rages over this new controversy, as Joe and Marian and the other top media brass fall in yet again behind Michael and this new government, there isn’t a peep over the ongoing destruction of €31bn, the Anglo/ INBS promissory note debt legacy, the fallout from Michael Noonan’s infamous ‘deal’ of 2012/2013.

Prior to that deal there was uproar almost on an equal level to what we have now on Apple, outrage over the annual destruction of €3.1bn to satisfy the threatening ECB, which demanded that the €31bn that our Central Bank (with the collusion of the ECB itself, who had the final say) had created to bail out the failed creditors of Anglo/ INBS, should now be taken back out of circulation — destroyed, in other words. Since the deal, that outrage has faded away, as though that debt had also faded away, as though that destruction of €31bn had ended.

It hadn’t.

All Michael Noonan did was kick the can down the road. Rather than challenge the ECB on the legitimacy of that debt, he took the easy route, opted to put the debt on future generations.

With his new ‘deal’, he took the pressure of finding €3.1bn for destruction every year from the remaining years of that government, restructured the debt so that this obscene destruction of money slowed down. But – and this is the critical point – those billions are still being destroyed.

In 2014 we borrowed and destroyed €1bn; last year it was double that amount, €2bn; so far this year we’ve destroyed more than another €1bn.

The most critical point to be made here is that this is not notional money, this is not apple-pie-in-the-sky; these are real billions, billions that are borrowed in the international markets by the National Treasury Management Agency and then gifted to the Central Bank in return for a promissory note bond, that money then destroyed by the Central Bank.

That’s the end of that money, the end of those billions (half a billion thus destroyed just last month, without a murmur), billions that could right now be put to so much constructive use by this government. But it is new debt accumulated, the beginning of the interest payments and down the line, full repayment of the entire bond looming — Michael Noonan’s legacy to future generations.

The Ballyhea Says No group apart, why is there no protest over this? Simple. Because we’re not being told of it. Well, you are now.

Luke Ming Flanagan MEP
Priory House
Barrack Street
Co Roscommon

Guarding against cryptosporidium

Cork-based Water purification company Honest H2o is calling on the regulator responsible for Irish Water, the Commission on Energy Regulation to grasp the nettle and advise people to install professional water filtration systems to safeguard against risks such as cryptosporidium in the water supply which is presently causing havoc to drinking water supplies in Co Mayo and other locations around the country.

While we are not exonerating Irish Water, which is a relatively new body, it cannot solely be held to blame for the decades of under-investment in water infrastructure throughout the country. We have failed as a nation to keep pace with protecting our once pure free natural water resource from the dangers presented by the ever increasing industrial, agricultural and domestic activity in the country.

Honest H2o is asking the Commission on Energy Regulation to publicly advise householders to become the first line of defence in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the family by installing certified filters like those from Hyundai Wacortec that comply with the ANSI /NSF standard 58 for cryptosporidium.

The public needs to know the facts, even though it may be financially unpalatable for many. We do not need a repeat of Milwaukee in 1993 where hundreds of thousands of people suffered and over 60 people died from the after-effects of cryptosporidium in the municipal water supply.

It is high time that the powers that be stopped forcing people towards expensive and poorly regulated bottled water alternatives in a country that has an abundance of good water that just needs proper management.

Thomas G Hurley CEO
DeanrockBusiness & Technology Park

Everyone annoyed with everyone else

The Americans are annoyed with Ireland and the EU. We are annoyed with the EU. And the EU is annoyed with Ireland and the multinationals. We all need a positive solution.

A simple way forward for all concerned is to introduce a voluntary ethical corporate tax of say 10% which companies such as Apple who profess to be of good moral character can show it by their actions and pay up.

I have no doubt such a tax will be a huge success as the multinational sector and PLCs will not want to be perceived as being unethical.

Nick Crawford
Railway Road
Co Dublin


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