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

Your letters, your views...

Five things IFA must do to win back farmers’ trust

The IFA national executive should sit down and formulate a term of reference for the formalisation of a new way forward as it is clear lobbying has failed to protect their members’ income.

Past IFA leaders who got a year’s pay when they finished their term need to repay these monies in full to the organisation.

Stop taking levies from farming produce and cut all ties with big business immediately.

Structures should be put in place to protect a minimum price for their members’ products and to protect their margin at all times, comprehensively, without fear or favour to any outside influence.

Cease immediately its own internal review group controlled by itself and put in its place an independent group to give creditability to its recommendations.

Michael Flynn

Rathgormack
Carrick-on-Suir
Co Waterford

Professor needs to correct the record

Oxford University Press has published a book of essays to mark the retirement of Professor Roy Foster from the Carroll Professorship of Irish History at Oxford and also to mark his extraordinary career as a historian, literary critic and public intellectual.

However, there remains one unanswered question in a distinguished career which remains to be rectified. It occurred in his 1997 first volume on the life of WB Yeats, The Apprentice Mage. It concerns Major John MacBride, who organised an Irish Brigade to fight with the Boers against the British in the second Anglo-Boer War and who was later one of those leaders of the Easter 1916 Rising in Dublin, executed by the British.

In Foster’s biography he writes of the divorce case Maud Gonne took in Paris in 1905 against her husband Major John MacBride, and refers to ”the catalogue of MacBride’s crimes” listing some details.

This, despite the fact that MacBride faced these allegations, at his own insistence, in the French Court and was acquitted.

This remains a glaring injustice to John MacBride, all the more so given Roy Foster’s reputation. In the intervening years, in my own books on the Yeats/Gonne/MacBride Triangle and in person, I have requested Professor Foster to explain or correct his record on this matter. I do so now again at the end of his tenure at Oxford.

Anthony J Jordan

Gilford Road
Sandymount
Dublin 4

Bowled over by results claim

It was with surprise I found a letter from Donal Donovan in the Examiner dated 9 September, in which he bemoaned the lack of a results inclusion of Ireland’s recent Intercontinental Cup win over Hong Kong.

While Mr Donovan’s complaint highlighted the August 26 edition, I can only imagine he wished to reference Monday’s edition dated September 5, as the game itself only began on August 30.

Should Mr Donovan wish to revisit the September 5 edition and go to the results page he will indeed find said result under the cricket section as the first result highlighted ahead of the complete Munster cricket scores, which we carry every week.

As an avid cricketer myself and lover of all sports, I would be only happy to send Mr Donovan the issue with said result in order to clear up any confusion.

Kevin Galvin

Results co-ordinator & Munster Cricket administrator
Upper Beaumont Drive
Ballintemple
Cork City

Parishioners must be vocal in support

I read today about the gay couple who resigned from their choir because of pressure from a religious activist.

I am very confident that the parishioners of St Michael’s church in Co Kildare will stand by this couple, who are heavily involved in the adult and children’s choir at the church.

They will, won’t they?

Damien Carroll

Kingswood
Dublin 24

Don’t view TDs as Father Christmas

It is evident from John Halligan’s recent interviews that he has forgotten, if he ever knew, that the first duty of a TD is to the proper governance of the whole country, whether he be in opposition or government, and not just to his constituency.

The second cath lab he is demanding has been deemed unnecessary by an independent clinician’s report.

Now Mr Halligan is threatening the existence of the current Government and the political instability that would follow. He tells us that he will not be (expletive deleted) over.

He claims that the inquiry was flawed, that there was interference from other hospitals, that he was lied to. What he doesn’t seem to grasp is that his demands can only be met by depriving others elsewhere of resources that are more urgently needed and that these resources are scarce.

He talks about this country being one of the richest in the world. Is he living in the same country or indeed the same world as me? We are hopelessly in debt, a debt it will take generations to clear and he wants the Government to spend scarce money so that he can look good in Waterford.

No TD, not even one from Kerry, can expect any government to fulfill the wishlist that they used to get elected regardless because, whilst a TD may claim that he was elected on certain election promises for that particular constituency, they were not promises that were made on a national level.

Consequently, when expenditure is being allocated, a responsible politician makes decisions based on nationwide considerations and has the courage to explain to his voters instead of encouraging an endless feeling of entitlement.

And, of course, we citizens should cease using our elected representatives as a sort of political Father Christmas.

Fergus O’Leary

Ardmore Estate
Passage West
Co Cork

Read small print of ‘health snacks’

I would like to make a comment on the article ‘8 Top Health Snacks, authored by Roz Crowley.

As a dentist with a special interest in dental public health, I would like to suggest that these healthy snacks come with a recommendation to check the sugars content.

In 2015 the WHO published a guideline — Sugars intake for adults and children — some of which I have produced below.

The recommendations in the guideline focus on documented health effects associated with the intake of “free sugars”. These include monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. Free sugars are different from intrinsic sugars found in whole fresh fruits and vegetables.

As no reported evidence links the consumption of intrinsic sugars to adverse health effects, recommendations in the guideline do not apply to the consumption of intrinsic sugars present in whole fresh fruits and vegetables.

The recommendations to reduce the intake of free sugars and to do so throughout the life course are based on analysis of the latest scientific evidence. This evidence shows, first, that adults who consume less sugars have lower body weight and, second, that increasing the amount of sugars in the diet is associated with a comparable weight increase. In addition, research shows that children with the highest intakes of sugar-sweetened drinks are more likely to be overweight or obese than children with a low intake of sugar-sweetened drinks.

The recommendation is further supported by evidence showing higher rates of dental caries (tooth decay) when the intake of free sugars is above 10% of total energy intake compared with an intake of free sugars below 10% of total energy intake. Based on the quality of supporting evidence, these recommendations are ranked by WHO as “strong”: they can be adopted as policy in most situations. Countries can act on these recommendations by developing food-based dietary guidelines, taking into consideration locally available food and dietary customs (WHO,2015).

All of the products listed contain sugars, which are considered ‘free sugars’ and the recommendations to promote both general health and oral health are that their intake should be reduced.

If you examine the packaging, you will see ingredients that are dried fruits, fruit concentrates, agave syrup, glucose, brown sugar.

Máiréad Harding

Grange Rd
Ovens

Petty provides the soundtrack

Tom Petty has two perfect songs to explain what is happening in the US presidential election.

Donald Trump’s song by Petty would be, “I Won’t Back Down” and Hillary Clinton’s, especially after this past weekend, “Free Fallin’”.

Kevin Devitte

Mill Street
Westport
Co Mayo


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