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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (20/09/16)

Your letters, your views

Cork Spy Files — a few clarifications

In relation to the article “Getting to the heart of a county’s killing fields, Cork Spy Files, Woman who held loyalist views killed for informing on planned ambush”, (Irish Examiner, News, August 29) I would like to clarify a number of points.

I am concerned with two points made by the author of the article -“Meanwhile Fr Shinnick informed the local IRA command to tell the ambushers that the British had been informed of their plans”, and - “Had the priest’s warning been heeded, the disaster of the Dripsey Ambush and all of its tragic consequences might have been avoided”.

This is not quite accurate. Fr Shinnick did not even personally warn the volunteers himself, but sent a messenger (Mahoney) instead. It is true he was opposed to the IRA but if he was to be taken seriously and have credibility it might have carried more weight had he himself delivered the message.

In regard to the second point - Donnacha Mac Neilus, who had been involved in the planning of the ambush wrote an account of it, in 1928.

In it he mentions that by the time the priest’s message arrived (about 2pm that day) the IRA, who had been waiting since early morning, in bad weather conditions, in fact no longer believed the military would pass that way, but it was considered advisable to wait in positions until about 4.30pm before moving off across country in the growing dusk. However, the approaching military were then spotted around 4pm.

So apparently the risk of moving large numbers of armed men around in daylight (and eliciting a military response) was being weighed up against the risk of the warning being true (and eliciting a military response).

Among the tragic consequences of the betrayal and aftermath of the ambush was a brutal interrogation and physical attack on Mrs Norah Busteed, mother of Frank Busteed-by four Auxiliary officers at her home in Blarney, leading to her death the next morning on March 13, 1921, within days of the execution of Mrs Mary Lindsay and James Clarke.

Frank Busteed was Capt of Blarney Company, Vice Commandant of the 6th Battalion (and Commandant of the attached Flying Column). In June 1922 he was appointed Commandant of the 6th Battalion, Cork No 1 Brigade. Later, during the Emergency he was appointed Lieutenant serving in the Irish Army.

Brian O’Donoghue (grandson of Frank Busteed)

Cherry Gardens
Montenotte
Cork

EU not perfect, but it’s better than war

Your editorial, Irish Examiner, September 17, takes for granted the advantages that this generation has which previous generations did not have.

What you call the present ‘uncontrollable — and certainly less socially conscientious — capitalism’ replaced the totalitarianism of the mid-twentieth century in which all power, political, economic and control of media was concentrated in a small number of people. We should never forget that that situation resulted in the extermination of millions of people and the reduction of Europe to ruins in a row between two dictators — Hitler and Stalin — as to who was going to be boss over all of Europe.

The forces which are epitomised in Brexit and the changing perception of the EU which you call ‘festering disenchantment’ are in danger of giving rise to a repeat of the dominance of the forces which reduced Europe to ruins in the mid-20th century.

The refugee crisis, the issue of how to tax the multinationals more efficiently, religious extremes resorting to violence, etc, are all part of the human predicament and have to be dealt with by democratic countries.

As problems, they pale into insignificance, when compared to the exterminations and the all-out wars of totalitarian regimes less than a century ago. The EU, in which nearly 30 democracies signed a treaty to cooperate in matters of mutual interest, is not without problems but it is certainly an improvement on exterminations and all-out war.

A Leavy

1 Shielmartin Drive
Sutton
Dublin 13

Mayo mojo - beat that one Enda

Whatever about Enda, the lads from the County Mayo certainly found their mojo in Croke Park.

Ted O’Keeffe

Ranelagh
Dublin 6

Eighth Amendment and no say debate

I watched the video entitled ‘We face this land’ on the Irish Examiner website, a film made in support of the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the constitution. While the point is made that 11 women travel abroad each day for an abortion, there is an inability to acknowledge the fact that the unborn lives in question have no say regarding their journey abroad, nor do they enjoy the opportunity to return, alive.

Rory O’Donovan

Killeens
Co Cork

Dáil for homeless, soup duties for TDs

One can only wonder what planet our beloved government inhabits. Gas, electricity, food, housing, health all hiked up to the hilt. This makes me so happy that our masters are kept in the lifestyles they have become accustomed. When winter comes and our nuts are freezing due to not being able to meet these bills, we can keep ourselves in good humour, by singing our national anthem safe in the knowledge that our beloved ministers are warm and cozy in their beds. Safe from the elements. God love em! Since we have a government building that is rarely used, Dáil Éireann, why not turn that into a homeless shelter for the winter? Now that would be gas wouldn’t it? And the boys in suits could run the soup kitchen. Perhaps a piece of humble pie with the auld tae?

Anthony Woods

5, Marian Ave
Ennis
Co Clare

Stoking embers on Opera House fire

On the banks, Cork city in Poems and Songs edited by Alannah Hopkin (Collins Press) was launched on Culture night at the City Library.

One contribution contains the following lines:

“Culture night how are ya,

Do you know what killed culture in Cork?

The republicans,

When they burned down the Opera House.

My God, the old Opera House

What a beautiful building”

The Opera House was burned down because of an electrical fault. That can be verified from many sources including the files of your newspaper.

Why did the book’s editor allow such an allegation to stand?

Jack Lane

Aubane
Millstreet
Co Cork

It’s elementary: VW cheat was for profit

In reviewing the latest Volkswagen Golf, (Irish Examiner, Motors, September 17) Declan Colley’s obvious expertise in and experience of VW is, like the Irish Examiner itself, not up to date on the emissions scandal that left him “the feeling of having been cheated by the company”.

James Robert Liang, a VW engineer stuck in the US and liable to be held personally responsible by the feds for that scandal, has tried to minimise the legal penalties to himself by doing a tremendous impression of a canary.

So why did VW install that cheating software?

Elementary, Watson: Because those diesel cars would NOT have passed the American tests.

Frank Desmond

Evergreen Road
Cork City

‘Dunkirk spirit’ with a Dublin twist

In a similar sort of transport strike, the resolve of the people so affected in Britain, to continue through adversity, is commonly referred to as the “Dunkirk spirit.” I wonder what “spirit”

those affected by our bus strike could be said to be exhibiting?

Johnnie McCoy BL

Church Street
Dublin 7

On the one road?

The national budget and the County Councils’ budgets are in course of preparation. Having made our own County Leitrim officials aware of my concerns about their omissions and lack of proper upkeep of our rural lanes and by-roads, I’m putting forward the point of view that our national government must be put under a severe warning that the needs of rural dwellers just cannot be forgotten any more. They talk non-stop about the national roads network and how vital this infrastructure is for the growth of our national economy. They conveniently forget that roads in rural areas are generally neglected. Their upkeep is important for our micro economy.

You just cannot live in a rural area without a motor vehicle. We must travel out to get a loaf of bread, to get to church and schools, to visit a doctor etc. Like those fortunate enough to live along well-kept national roads, we pay significant road taxes on our motors and yet suffer damages due to large potholes on our minor roads.

Excuse the pun, but, we need to have a more level playing field.

The government must be forced to take our needs into consideration. I look forward to all public representatives joining me in my call for substantial extra budget provision for the upkeep of what is termed lesser non-national roads.

Cllr Des Guckian

Dromod
Co Leitrim


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