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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (15/07/16)

Your letters, your views...

Council must reopen Ballybranigan

Ever before playgrounds became hip in the towns and villages of East Cork, Ballybranigan Beach was our playground. We swam, caught crabs, caught waves, had picnics, built sandcastles, dams and bridges using sand, stones, feathers, seaweed and any other seashore/recycled item we could find.

For years, every summer evening, our grandparents sat in their car and from the viewing area watched the comings and goings of Ballybranigan Beach. Plenty of neighbours stopped and chatted. We listened carefully to their stories of long ago and sunken ships.

We were grateful that Grandad in his time, used good old-fashioned common sense and allowed Cork County Council a piece of his field so that a car park could be opened to provide easier access for visitors to the beach.

We met groups like COPE who bought those in their care to Ballybranigan Beach for long carefree walks. We met Cloyne Sea Anglers and the East Cork Camera Group. We met the local Swim Week children. We met the Chernobyl Fundraising Walkers. We met the holidaymakers in their campervans. We met the families who travelled for miles around to the safest beach at Ballybranigan, who were so envious that we live within walking distance to the beach. We met dog walkers, honeymoon couples, surfers, swimmers... the list goes on... Ballybranigan Beach is not just a beach “in the back of beyonds”, people travelled far and wide to use this amenity.

Today Ballybranigan Beach and car park is closed.

Cork County Council tell us that winter storms and coastal erosion has made access to Ballybranigan Beach impossible. As a result the council closed the car park and the beach access point. Have the county councils closed every beach around Ireland because of coastal erosion?

It is reasonable to think the council closed Ballybranigan because this is the easiest and by far the cheapest option. We are dealing with two council departments, one for slipway and the other for cliff repair. And while the council argue among themselves about what to do, what not to do and funding or apparent lack of, the beach remains closed. Can you believe it? The most scenic beach in East Cork closed in July.

The council should remember the planning charges they put in place for new builds in Ballybranigan. We asked for these monies to be spent in Ballybranigan. Perhaps this money, thousands of it, could now be used to repair the access point at Ballybranigan Beach in an effort to reopen the beach.

The closure of Ballybranigan is a huge loss not just to the people of Ballybranigan but also for the wide number of community groups and social clubs who frequent this natural amenity.

Ballybranigan Beach must be reopened, not tomorrow or next month or in the middle of next winter, Ballybranigan must be reopened today.

Cork County Council please listen to the people. Reopen Ballybranigan Beach.

Cathriona Simms and Family



Co Cork

Social media shapes public perceptions

Social media poses perhaps the biggest risk to our legal system in 2016, and judges’ instructions are futile in tackling the issue. Particularly in high-profile cases, where vast amounts of conventional media coverage and social media comment have tumbled around the Twittersphere for months before a trial, the defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial is surely compromised.

Social media by its very nature is an under-regulated cauldron of opinion, often inflammatory opinion, where users can espouse views that are unconscionable, unwarranted, or just downright false and defamatory about an individual. Whether a person has been charged or not, by Irish law they are innocent until their guilt is proven in court. That should be a most basic right for every citizen.

I feel that the kneejerk reaction from the majority on social media is to jump on the “guilty as sin” bandwagon that trundles into comment threads and newsfeeds of the millions of Irish people who use social media.

We are subjected to such content in an often unsolicited way as we scroll through harmlessly, or peruse the comments section of an article that carries the story of the individual’s arrest, arraignment or otherwise. Studies in the US and elsewhere show that public perception is now shaped by what we consume on social media, perhaps more so than television, radio or printed media.

Suppose we are selected for jury duty for the heavily publicised case, and we have come in contact with all of this coverage, debate and character assassination of the accused. No matter how the judge instructs us not to use social media during the trial, or implores us not to take anything other than the information traded in court into account during sentencing, the many tentacles of social media have already infiltrated our consciousness.

Guilty as sin? The jury’s out!

Justin Kelly


Co Offaly

Marking battles at industrial scales

The President’s assertion that the First World War was the “first mechanised, industrial conflict” is wrong, unfortunately.

All war, since time immemorial has been mechanised according to the technology of its age, and the Greeks and Romans, Celts, and the Innuit were no less comparatively technically sophisticated then the warriors of the First World War.

The first industrial, mechanised, post-Industrial Age war on a grand scale was the American Civil War, which ended 150 years ago, with (like the First World War) most of the issues it set out to resolve, left half done, undone or worse, than at the beginning of that war.

Like the First World War, many Irish participated — and on both sides — Union and Confederacy.

We hear much talk of the First World War but very little about The American Civil War. What about the Fenian Rising of 1867 or the obliteration of Carthage by the Romans? So many anniversaries, so little time.

Alexander P Lyons

27 Ascal Loreto


Dublin 14

Kingston oversees a new hurling low

Enda McEvoy wrote “Kieran Kingston will escape criticism for this latest debacle and so he should”. Mr McEvoy does not know what he is talking about. Kieran Kingston is not escaping criticism from the Cork hurling public and much of the criticism is valid. While he is obviously not to blame for the sorry state Cork hurling finds itself in he is still responsible for the performances produced by the Cork senior hurling team. These performances have deteriorated during his tenure and reached a new low last Saturday night. The players share much of the blame for the pitiful performance against Wexford but ultimately the buck stops with the bainisteoir. The Cork senior team has gone from bad to worse under Kieran Kingston and to say he should escape criticism for a “debacle” is laughable.

Ronan O’Brien


Co Cork

Good schools made great hurlers

I refer to article in the Examiner by Michael Moynihan on the demise of Cork Hurling. It surprises me that he omitted to mention the declining influence of the Christian Brothers who ran schools in the city such as Sullivan’s Quay CBS and the North Monastery. These helped to provide hurlers for the local city clubs, eg, The Barrs and the Glen. Surely there is a connection?

Midleton are still a strong club helped by the presence of a Christian Brothers’ run school. Clare have St Flannans in Ennis, Kilkenny have St Kierans and a Christian Brothers School. Dublin have O’Connell school, and Belvedere College, all breeding grounds for future stars.

In Cork City both Pres and Christians produce future Rugby stars, as they have done for so many years.

When will be ever learn?

Michael Leahy,

Ballynoe Hse


Co Cork

Shedding staff by ‘window or door’

I am thinking that every kind of company in Ireland, from State-sponsored to charities, have the practise of shedding staff by the “through the window or out the door” philosophy, as advocated by the CEO and executives of France Télécom. It is also very probably a worldwide phenomenon.

Liam Power




Co Mayo

An Post rounds on rounding cents

An Post is going to put our internal stamps up to 72c, The rest of the country is working on eliminating the 1c and 2c coins and An Post wants to increase their usage. Could the relevant minister please send some people from Newcastle Hospital into An Post to get them tested?

Richard Barton


Co Wicklow


Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

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