If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Dear Sir... Readers' Views (19/9/16)

Your letters, your views...

Everything O’Leary says is publicity for Ryanair

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is reported to have called for the privatisation of Dublin Bus and Irish Rail, and he chastised Dublin Bus management for not organising a strike-breaking operation. These provocative utterances garner him and Ryanair maximum publicity and profits, and, unfortunately, our media are all too obliging.

He made a big play last year of promising a change of tone and approach, but he has truly reverted to type. He finds it an effrontery when working people organise themselves to secure decent pay and conditions and he would like his anti-union stance to be replicated across society to the detriment of working people.

The Dublin Bus workers are fighting for a decade of justice, when one factors in the eight-year pay freeze and the three years into the future that is covered by this claim.

There is nothing outlandish in their demands. Michael O’Leary cannot be taken seriously. From donning a union jack clown suit, in London, a few months back, advocating that Britain remain in the EU, he then goes out on a limb for Apple, advising the Irish government to tell the EU commission where to go.

He pronounces on all manner of political topics, but when is he ever held to account?

It would be good if he were reminded, now and again, of the leg-up that Ryanair received from the Irish government, when profitable routes were taken from Aer Lingus and gifted to Ryanair, not to mention the concessions they receive in other countries.

It’s my sincere hope that a victory for the Dublin Bus workers, and likewise for other workers struggling to claim their share of the ‘recovery’, will provide a fresh impetus to Ryanair workers to unionise and win the pay and conditions they deserve. We in the AAA would do all we can to help them achieve that.

Mick Barry TD

Oireachtas Committee for Transport, Tourism and Sport

6 Seminary Villas,


Co. Cork

Noonan too thin-skinned?

Regarding the alleged ‘muck-raking’ by Mick Wallace, TD, in regards to NAMA, it’s no wonder that Finance Minister Michael Noonan has been hospitalised for a skin infection.

Wallace is under his skin and, as we know from the Anglo tapes, as revealed by journalist Paul Williams, that he does not like ‘muck raking’.

Anyhow, get well soon minister, and all that! Hope you make a speedy recovery, so you can halt the ‘muck-raking’ before it becomes a landslide.

Ian Hester



co roscommon

Pet-euthanasia clarification

In an article in this paper, entitled “Funerals for Pets…” (Irish Examiner, September 7), which referred to my at-home pet-euthanasia service, Bowwout, I was inadvertently misquoted, and would like this opportunity to correct any misconceptions.

Most veterinary surgeons prefer to carry out pet-euthanasia in their own clinics, where they have nursing back-up, excellent light, and tables of the correct height to perform this most important procedure, at the end of a beloved pet’s life, with minimal discomfort to the patient. However, many owners prefer to have their pets put down at home, in familiar surroundings.

In the at-home situation, hospital benefits are not available. While the pet is free from the fear and stress of attending the surgery, the vet may have to contend with poor lighting and no nursing aid, often while kneeling on the floor.

For this reason, I always (unless not advisable for medical reasons) sedate the pet, so that, should there be any difficulty in the final procedure, he or she will be unaware of it.

It takes up to twenty minutes for the sedative to take effect, which is usually a gentle time of reflection and calm, with the owner stroking and talking to their pet, while gradually he or she relaxes into deep sedation.

The owner decides, at this stage, whether to remain for the final injection, or to step into a different room. No owner, in my experience, has ever changed their mind, having decided to stay.

They stay until the pet’s last breath, and are then left alone with them for as long as they need. Pet euthanasia is one of the most challenging, and rewarding, areas for any veterinary surgeon, at a time when an owners are highly sensitive, their love clashing with guilt as they try to do their final, unselfish act for their pet.

In common with most other vets, I try to approach pet-euthanasia with professionalism and sensitivity, so the owner’s lasting memory of his or her pet will be of a happy life with a tranquil ending.

Elizabeth McCollum MVB MRCVS

Aghowle House



Co Carlow

A desperate gamble

One of the sure signs of a failed government is when its propaganda machine starts to publicise gambling. This is merely to earn more money, while conning the people whose lives they have ruined into believing that there is hope. ‘Riches beyond your wildest dreams’. Yeah, right.

The regular ads, on one of our government’s main propaganda outlets, about lotto winners, and last year’s shot of Enda Kenny talking to the nation outside a Paddy Power shop, are an outrage.

No wonder crime is on the increase and the working middle-class is starting to feel the squeeze.

Richard Barton


Co. Wicklow

Rich had fun while the poor starved

As the country remembers those who died during the famine, let us not forget that, as this terrible tragedy unfolded, it was fun and games for some.

As documented in ‘A Provocative Study of The Great Irish Famine in the City and County of Cork’, fox-hunting and hare-coursing continued as if there was no famine at all.

While people lay starving across the land, merciless hunters — their bellies bloated with food and wine — galloped by with about as much sympathy as they held for their doomed quarry.

The Cork Southern Reporter, of March 13, 1847, best-captured the shocking contrast: “The sound of the huntsman’s horn and the yelping pack mingle in terrible discordance with the groans of the dying parent and the cries of children perishing for lack of food.”

In ‘A Complete History Of The Westmeath Hunt’, we are told that “while the rich and wealthy lived in luxurious country mansions and could indulge in feasting, sport and leisure, their tenants lived in wretched poverty and in danger of starvation.”

The hunters’ shameful focus on fun, as the poor perished, is further highlighted in ‘A History Of The Kildare Hunt’, from 1876: “There was misery everywhere. The Kildare Hunt huntsman once told me that his sufferings were great in Kilkenny during the famine years, when he saw starving people and yet had to feed the hounds.”

The coursers didn’t let the famine get in the way of their recreation, either. A January, 1846 Cork Examiner report noted that there were numerous “country people” at a coursing meeting in Waterford and that “they all behaved in the most orderly manner, remained on the hill, and showed the greatest delight in the day’s sport.” Among those cheering was a Father O’Connor, whose dog, Snowball, was one of the winners.

The bloodsport brigade’s lack of compassion, and their disregard for life, continues, with greyhounds still unleashed to terrorise hares, and packs of hounds l

et loose to chase and tear foxes apart. The day will soon come when this, too, will be viewed as a regrettable part of our history.

Philip Kiernan

Irish Council Against Blood Sports

PO Box 88,


Co Westmeath

1982 All Ireland final memento

I was given a large collection of Kerry GAA programmes around the year 2000, as a fantastic and interesting gift.

Since then, though, the most important one has been mislaid: it is the programme that Kerry manager, Mick O’Dwyer, held during the infamous 1982 All Ireland defeat to Offaly. It was my first All Ireland (sitting on my mother’s lap) and the programme is a very special one, with Micko’s tactical markings written onto the pages, which are curled up. I would appreciate anybody who has any information on the location of this programme to forward an email to me at fergalfavier@hotmail.com.

It would be greatly appreciated. I have contacted the O’Dwyer family about this and I would be grateful to get the chance to reunite Micko with the programme after all these years, though, in the circumstances, it might be treasured more in Offaly!

Fergal Favier,





Carol O’Callaghan continues her round-up of home interior shops in country towns and the outer reaches of our cities, finding more treasure troves which offer something new and a touch of exclusivityMade in Munster: The best interior shops in country towns

When the Irish Examiner broke the news that an ultra-inquisitive deer photobombed newlyweds at Killarney’s Ladies View the story went viral.Wedding of the Week: Time for Australian celebrations for bride and groom photobombed by deer

At the start of the 10th and final episode of Confronting: OJ Simpson, a series which has been downloaded over five million times since launching in June, host Kim Goldman is in tears, talking to her father about how strong he was through the murder of her brother, his son,Ron Goldman.Podcast Corner: Host relives brother’s death in famous case

Thomas McCarthy pays tribute to his late friend — poet and journalist Seán Dunne'Seán Dunne was one of the most loved people I ever knew'

More From The Irish Examiner