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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (13/07/16)

Your letters, your views...

Real motive behind water charges row

On July 6, Juno McEnroe tells us that ‘the Government have been left scrambling’ because of the difficulties in relation to the commission on water charges. Why should we be surprised?

The whole point of the water charges issue getting such coverage is to get rid of the present government and replace it with the former celtic tiger government.

If the country had not been bankrupt by the decisions of a small number of its own most powerful citizens during the celtic tiger time, we would still have the celtic tiger government in power.

That is because they had the approval of the media in general and the same media want their return to power.

The anti-austerity campaign since 2010, the trivial coverage of the recent election and the fact that, as a result, the country is virtually ungovernable with a minority government, are all part of that agenda.

The water charges issue is a classic example of the pursuit of that agenda.

A media that said nothing since independence about a water infrastructure that was losing up to 50% of its water went mad about water charges when the government changed in 2011.

Whether all this is in the interest of ordinary people of this country is open to question.

A Leavy

1 Shielmartin Drive


Dublin 13

Scandalous waste of money on space

How typical of the wealthiest country in the world to actually boast of the totally absurd waste of many, many billions of dollars in sending a rocket to Jupiter while, according to their own statistics, just over 46m US citizens, including over 16m children under 18, do not have enough food to put on the table and about 33m citizens have no health insurance. Still most governments have a similar contemptuous attitude towards the people they extort taxes from for their comfortable lives.

Richard Barton


Co Wicklow

Non-performing TDs must go

The initials TD stand for Teachta Dala, roughly translated means messenger to the Dáil. This is known as indirect democracy and is the system we have in Ireland. In other words, we vote for TDs to bring the wishes into the Dáil.

But this principle is ignored by a large proportion of our elected representatives. Once elected, they will follow their own agenda or that of the party. We, the electorate, are therefore powerless until the next election. Should there not be some system in place to vote those TDs who do not perform out of the Dáil?

Mike Mahon

45 Kilvere Pk



Beliefs should not be condemned

Choice is what ultimately defines the human being. We exercise that right many, many times every day. We do so because we have the supreme gift of free will. We have free will to make choices because we know fact from fiction, good from bad, right from wrong.

Decartes said: “ I think therefore I am”. In so saying, he committed the Naturalistic Fallacy because there is no logic in his saying. The very most that one might conclude from saying I think is to say: ..Therefore I think. But that lack of logic has been sidelined and his saying has become the mantra of the age. It is particularly so for the many who advocate abortion in a totally arbitrary fashion. They assert that the ‘I’ is the absolute reality and that the ‘I’ is absolutely free to do as ‘I’ feels like doing.

Shakespeare, in the great play Hamlet, writes: “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so”. So it is with pro- abortion people. They make arbitrary decisions on what constitutes a human being and what determines whether or not that human is fully human or only partially so. For those people there is no absolute moral code. Everything is in the final analysis down to feeling or whim.

We all know that life is not simple, pain free and straightforward. But there are rules innate to our very being that guide us in the realm of right and wrong. There are also rules founded on reasoned thought that are not subject to feeling or whim.

Let the arguments rage but do not condemn or consign those who believe that abortion is absolutely wrong to the realm of being mere troglodytes from a by-gone dark age. They are individuals who firmly believe that human life begins at conception and that no one has the right to destroy that life because of physical defect in the foetus or because the ‘object’ in the womb is an inconvenience.

The conviction that life is a continuum from conception to natural death is one held very strongly by very many people and they are entitled to argue for the upholding in the Irish Constitution of that belief.

Cllr Michael Gleeson



Co Kerry

Soldiers like sheep led to the slaughter

Commemorating the soldiers who died in World War 1 would be appropriate if it were done appropriately. In Ireland we commemorate those Irish people who died so tragically in what has become known as the Great Famine, and this is appropriate because the then government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland bore significant responsibility for many of the famine deaths due its culpable negligence. The numbers of people killed in World War 1 on all sides was on a similar scale to the numbers who died in the Irish Great Famine, and included up to 50,000 Irishmen. Their deaths were neither heroic nor justified. Even the term “lions led by donkeys” is inaccurate on several counts.

The soldiers who fought in World War 1 were more like sheep being led to their slaughter, and while there were some acts of heroism by soldiers attempting to save the lives of their comrades, the reality is that most soldiers in this so-called Great War, fought or died in conditions of great misery and terror.

The jingoism and unjustified glorification and attribution of heroism that is now being applied to those who died in this dreadful and useless war is part of a campaign of militarism that may well lead to irresponsible future European or world wars that could make the carnage of World War 1 seem like a minor skirmish.

Edward Horgan

Veterans for Peace Ireland




A contrived alliterative weave

“The surfeit of words, seemingly the currency of democracy, in reality, is the exaggerated agency of the narcissistic.”


Gerard Howlin (Opinion, July 6) expounds energetically on the ever-burgeoning revolution of ‘rhetoricity’ over authenticity. Facts, according to his didactic dissertation, have been obliterated by vacuous oratory and verbal masquerade’: “ Facts are managed to fit conjectured realities.”

Dredging up Edmund Burke, Daniel O’Connell, the French Revolution and the Third Reich inter alia for a few vignette exemplars, Howlin purports to trace the spawning of such ignoble practices.

He appears to be of the Gradgrind school of socio-political rectitude:“‘Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life.” (First line of Dickens’ Hard Times).

Given Howlin’s own pervasive penchant for hyperbole (especially the ‘hype’ bit), and his erstwhile protracted posting as Bertie-advisor for FF, one might surmise that those in un-transparent houses shouldn’t fling too many verbal stones about. Bertie-speak has duly entered the ‘lofty’ annals of gobbledegook — satirised by many, derided by all. So much for diligent dedication to ‘factuality’ and clarity.

However, one does have to acknowledge that political profiling success is essentially down to aptitude at the microphone — Dáil or otherwise. Harney, Rabbitte, Gilmore and many others built their lucrative representative careers on ability on the rostrum — honed in university ‘debating’ societies and student union activism, the ultimate cauldrons of ‘hot-air’. Not an authentic ‘heart-held’ principle in sight.

Sadly, though, in his wide-ranging compendium delivery Gerard Howlin glibly tosses in the issue currently in feverish foment around the 8th Amendment: “the proper care of women with pregnancies almost certain to end in loss, are beyond the care of due consideration.”

Only if he has direct personal familial experience of such harrowing dilemmas can he venture to comment thus. Otherwise, he should hold himself ‘shtum’ by his very own ‘dicta’. For a public affairs ‘spin-doctor’ guru to expound in glorious self-affirming vacuity, is little short of empty advertising for the very consultancy narratives which fuel rather than douse, the prevalence of ‘honeyed-word’ over mature socio-philosophical discourse with apposite actions appending.

“Rhetoric reduced to ridicule as reality is rendered in a riddle.” Such contrived, alliterative weave offers headline entertainment over empathy, diminishing delivery impact to something resembling ‘reductio-ad-absurdum’ aka a ‘Howlin-howler’ perhaps!

Jim Cosgrove

Chapel Street


Co Waterford


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