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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (10/11/16)

Your letters, your views...

AIB boss sees Brexit for what it is –opportunity

Three cheers for AIB chairman Richard Pym who has said that Ireland is in a unique position to benefit from the “folly” of the Brexit vote.

He said that the Brexit campaign had been led by “a group of chancers and opportunists”; that Ireland is open for business, as it is anchored in the European Union, and is a very attractive location for inward investment.

Mr Pym’s welcome positivity about Brexit is a refreshing contrast to the paralysed negativity of the official Irish “response” to Brexit.

The recent ESRI report, which added to the general official gloom-fest about Brexit, understands well that Irish politics will always favour steady-as-she-goes managerial pragmatism over highfalutin, long-term strategy. Tellingly, its negative predictions are based on a “zero policy response” from the Irish government.

It’s now painfully obvious that, on major policy issues, our culturally-cringing Irish “leaders” (North and South) simply do not possess the vision, the leadership qualities or the intellectual confidence publicly and decisively to disagree with, and diverge from, British policy norms in a timely manner, even when this particular British policy sees utopia up at the end of s**t creek and is in the process of throwing away the paddles.

Opportunities rarely fall into the laps of people who sit around and do nothing.

They tend to present themselves disguised as challenges.

As the old adage puts it, if you think Brexit will be an opportunity or a disaster, you’re right.

Seán mac Cann


Co Tyrone

Rook ideal as national bird

The rook, a member of the crow family, is one of our cleverest birds. Northern populations of some species are migratory or nomadic, others are entirely resident.

Rooks are very sociable, with a highly developed language and tool-making abilities.

Celtic peoples strongly associated rooks and crows with war and death, their great intelligence meant that they were often considered messengers, or manifestations of the gods.

Various peoples highly revered the raven and in Norse legend the raven holds a special place

The crow family features in Irish mythology, it is said a raven perched on Cú Chulainn’s shoulder and, when he did not move, his enemies knew it was safe to approach. So, yes, I think the Rook is a very good choice for our national bird.

Eve Parnell

Moxie Studios

Schoolhouse Lane

Dublin 8

Garda retirement age is ‘mad’

In 1922, an Garda Síochána took over from the RIC. The constable held only one job and his pay (1920) ranged from £4-2s to £5-7s a week.

In today’s money that’s €26,481 to €34,554 per annum; not significantly different from a garda’s pay, if one disregards the many extras gardaí enjoy. The constable retired on half pay after 25 years’ service, or on two-thirds pay after 30 years.

However, in 1925 a man’s life expectancy at birth was just 57.4 years, whereas in 2007 it was 76.8 years and rising, corresponding to another 20 years of pension for our garda; a women’s life expectancy has increased by 24 years.

A garda can still retire at 50 on half pay, plus the usual tax-free lump sum — essentially unchanged from 200 years earlier! It’s mad!

When I see gardaí throwing their hats in the air on graduation, I am convinced they are celebrating their pensionIt shows the appalling indecisiveness by successive governments in not increasing the retirement age (on full pension) to 66 or after 40 years’ service.

Allowing our police to work to age 66 would increase our national competitiveness, either through taxation saved or diverted to productive use (including more gardaí at work). It would also allow unemployed persons to do the work now taken up by gardaí pensioners aged 50 and upwards in security posts and elsewhere.

There is also the irksome matter of the lack of email and text messaging to Garda stations — a clear form of rationing the prosecution of law — nearly 25 years after they have become available in Ireland. Their absence speaks volumes.

John Colgan, PC,

The Toll House,

Dublin Road Street,


Kenny not so connected

I don’t know which is sadder: That Anna Kavanagh (Nov 8) thinks Enda Kenny understands anything about the CETA deal between the EU and Canada, or that she thinks he was personally responding to her texts to him.

Just for the record when you use letter, text, phone, e-mail, twitter, Facebook, or any other means to contact a member of the Irish political establishment, you are not contacting that person personally and they are not responding personally.

Before a jot of data appears in front of Enda it has been funnelled through a range of gatekeepers.

If you pay more attention to Mr Kenny and others like him you will see that when he thinks the camera is on him, he uses his old reliable mobile and, when he forgets for a moment there is a camera, he has his bang-up-to-date, taxpayer-funded actual communication device.

Sadly for Ms Kavanagh, whatever she sent to Kenny was not read by him first and she can be 100% certain he didn’t write whatever reply she received.

I don’t suppose he told her that the recent ‘signing’ publicity stunt with the EU Commission and the Canadian Prime Minister was just that: A photo stunt.Now, CETA has to make its way through the EU parliaments and, while it was nice to see the Flemish regional government was brave enough to pull its own stunt to delay the EU’s publicity stunt, the real proof will be to see which agent of governance across the EU is brave enough to stop the actual deal itself rather than the risk-free option to delay a photo stunt.

One thing we can be sure of is that there won’t be a squeak out of any Irish councils or any of the establishment Irish political parties.

You can also be sure the Irish media won’t do anything to educate the public or challenge the establishment.

That would mean risking advertising revenue from the corporate vested interests who’d spent so much money to make sure they get their way.

You can be doubly sure Irish MEPs from the main parties will take the three monkeys approach in the EU Parliament and do as they are told.

I bet it would be passed without a vote and after a guillotine procedural move just before the Dáil breaks for holiday.

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf


Burned at the stake, but what of ashes?

Given your publication of Fr Joe Mc Donald’s letter (Nov 7), one need not look back over many centuries to know he would have been burned at the stake for heresy by the Roman Catholic Church.Fast forward and that could still be his fate if an ultra-conservative pope, who wanted to return to old doctrines, was elected. Which begs the question where would the good Fr Mc Donald’s ashes be scattered? Fr Jack, who was Fr Ted’s nemesis in the TV show, might say: “That would be an ecumenical matter. I couldn’t possible comment.”

Tony Moriarty

Shanid Road, Harold’s Cross


Pipeline? Water waste of money

I am at a loss to understand the extraordinary plans to spend up to €900m to construct a water pipeline from Parteen to the Dublin region: There will, of course, be massive annual running costs, legal fees, consultants’ fees... etc.

Recently, it was revealed that in the different areas of Dublin between 40% and 60% of the water is wasted through leaks.

That is to say, approximately 50% of the water flows into drains and ultimately into the sea.

So now, Irish Water, already having made so many controversial decisions — some would describe them as a fiasco — is planning to pump huge quantities of water across Ireland so that half of it will end up in the Irish Sea.

It seems to me that Irish Water would be better employed in repairing these leaks as a matter of urgency, rather than spending vast sums on what will ultimately be a White Elephant.

John McGeorge


Co Clare

Kerry takes centre stage in Cork

A number of weeks on, I still haven’t found it possible to fathom why RTÉ broadcaster Ryan Tubridy would come to Cork’s English Market and there, from the outset, give pride of place to a Kerryman, Dáithí Ó Sé, in a discussion about the Rose of Tralee contest.

This sort of snub is not surprising, however, I am sorry to have to say, given that our beloved newspaper Irish Examiner has, for long, prioritised the Kingdom and its affairs to the exclusion of not just Leesiders, but that of the country as a whole and its people.

Pat Daly



Co Cork


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