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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (10/08/16)

Your letters, your views

Our old folk deserve to have scheme restored

On a regular basis, I have old folk call to me seeking information and guidance on “healthcare”, when they are unable to fend for themselves. Where an elderly person lives is not the major consideration. Making him/her know they are valued is all that counts.

There is no reason to feel guilty if you are apprehensive about sharing your home with your parents or in-laws. There are other ways of honouring your father and mother besides giving them a place at your fireside. Nor need you feel you must do for your older relatives what they did for theirs. Two or three generations had a much better chance, 50 years ago, of living amicably together. When households overflowed with children and space, there was always ample work and ample room for elderly relatives. Machine housekeeping has taken away much of that solace of the old.

Sadly, many of our senior citizens receive a very raw deal be it nursing home or in their own home. If your older relative wants to cling to their living quarters where they’ve been content for so long, stand up for them. Older people value their own homes first, and privacy at all costs anywhere.

I would like to see a major injection of capital go to the family home care services, which would prove less costly for them. Old folk love the contentment and comfort of their own home, where possible. In all such cases, I always advise senior citizens when making a will, to include the security proviso – ‘that they be left a room in their own home’ – during their lifetime. This has helped many of them, under the Home Care Scheme. The Government must allocate additional funding for Home Care Services. The costs in some nursing homes is exorbitant to say the least.

I have calls on a daily basis from elderly people living in remote and isolated part of East Cork, pleading with me to have the Home Help Scheme restored but the HSE has refused my many requests – but I’ll keep trying. The majority of elderly people have no relatives to visit or care for them. In such cases the Home Help Scheme was a Godsend for them, where they had a daily call from the Home Help. To take away the Home Help Scheme was criminal to say the least, and has inflicted more fear and loneliness on our senior citizens. I appeal to our Minister for Health, Dr Leo Varadkar TD to restore the Home Help Scheme and to do so immediately. Our old folk deserve that right.

Cllr Noel Collins

“St Jude’s”


Co Cork

Paid parking a real issue for Mallow

The issue of paid parking in Mallow is an issue that doesn’t go away. It is affecting the town and it’s economy. The local people are not consulted properly on this issue. The businesses in the main street are badly affected by this issue. With Kanturk, Blackpool in Cork city and Charleville offering free parking, Mallow can’t compete properly for business. Mallow Chambers of Commerce has campaigned on this issue to no avail. Why is the council not listening? Why must a private company run the paid parking regime? A private company running a local public service is a public monopoly. It removes democratic control.

The sign welcome to Mallow paid parking in operation isn’t the best advertising for the town. What this issue shows is that local democracy is weak. I am sure the local councillors are concerned. Are the officials listening? The people of Mallow and the local business community needs to continue raising this issue. They need to look at all reasonable peaceful and legal means in getting a better deal for Mallow. The people’s voice must be heard at County Hall.

John O’Brien



Another glass ceiling to crack

Hillary Clinton cracked a glass ceiling when she was nominated by the Democrats.

But there is another glass ceiling left to be cracked. That is the one in sport. Now is the time for men and women to compete directly against each other in every sport.

Thomas Herlihy.



Co Cork

Lack of leadership means we are a kept state

Recent comments about Irish unity by our political leaders (Mr Kenny and Mr Martin) reveal a shocking want of clear thinking and peddling of claptraps on their behalf.

The idea that our political establishment would be capable of efficiently running a larger state than their present brief bears some scrutiny. At a time when almost €40m has been virtually squandered on a fantasy postcode scheme (for which no one is accountable) and when any economic recovery has been largely due not to their economic measures but to external circumstances which have proved fortuitously favourable to use, one has severe doubts about the credentials of these people in running their own patch – let alone taking on board a broader brief.

But that aside how in God’s name could any serious statesman even think of an all-Ireland state while the decisions among nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland remain unresolved?

As long as the children of both communities continue to be educated in separate segregated schools, what hope can we have for any degree of cohesion. Does Mr Kenny seriously suggest that the Unionist community can be stampeded into a united Ireland? Where would be the value in that?

Many people in Northern Ireland will reflect on the pound in their pockets and think it better to stick with sterling than dabble in euros. And who would blame them? Who would want to leave the NHS? Economics determines people’s choices and voting. “It’s not rocket science!” as the man said.

How naive are our leaders! Imagine these same people will be charged with negotiating on our behalf in the forthcoming “Brexit” talks in Brussels! If you want to consider that prospect reflect on our devastated fishing industry a while… As regards Mr Kenny’s likening of Irish unity to German reunification the idea is so preposterous as to be remarkable in its stupidity. For one it ignores the unionist constituency and two it fails to grasp that the oppressive East German state actually killed its own citizens. People risked life and limb to escape the West!

If Mr Kenny had observed that, in the whole, people in the Republic envied the economics of the North, it might have made some sense. Does anyone remember the busloads of people going north of the border on shopping sprees?

From all this you might imagine I oppose Irish unity. Far from it! I would welcome an all-Ireland state run by hard-headed northerners with business acumen to replace the cronyism we have here at present – unaccountable squandering of public money, stroke politics, slip shod approach etc.

Perhaps we should apply to join Northern Ireland (if they would allow us) to escape from the clutches of the ‘God help us’ chancers down here! “Chancers” in chancing to build up fine careers in politics.

You will think me utterly cynical, I know and not a little prejudiced but I speak from bitter experience of years of ineptitude and apathy which bedevils this country’s politics. When you consider how we have just celebrated the centenary of the 1916 rising and reflect on the fact that those men and women wished to take our country out of a political union, while our current leaders blithely look to the EU to run our so-called independent state would not any man despair? Funded by EU money all is well with the world. We are a kept state when we might be so much more – a truly proud nation working for our own keep. When Iceland can manage to do this why can’t we? Want of leadership.

Mr. Andrew Coleman

Adelaide Street


Insensitive development

In his wonderful “Dublin 1660-1860” Maurice Craig suggests that Broadstone Station is “the last building in Dublin to partake of the sublime. He stands on rising ground and the traveller who sees it for the first time, so unexpected in its massive amplitude, feels a little as he might if he were to stumble unawares upon the monstrous silences of Karnak and Luxor.” Sadly, for the half century or so that I have lived in the Broadstone area, that majestic panorama had been obscured by several non-descript buildings, surface car-parking and a petrol station, so when the extensive excavation works for the Broadstone Luas station commenced I had hoped that once again John Skipton Mulvany’s architectural masterpiece would be full exposed to public view. Sadly, however, the engineers, in their wisdom, have erected a brutal mass-concrete wall across the façade of the “great pylon-like block of the main building”, thus obscuring much of the ground floor. A slap in the face of the sublime! It’s not as if we are inundated with buildings that as Maurice Craig states, “In purely architectural terms it is hard to praise it (Broadstone Station) too highly,” that we can afford to surround this particular architectural gem with such insensitive development.

Robert Ballagh


Dublin 7


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