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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (22/12/16)

Your letters, your views... 

Onslaught on hard-pressed landlords

Property owners are now contemplating their strategy for the future. Hard pressed landlords who are the victims of the newest onslaught on the sector, will be reacting to Government policy. Following a recent meeting with members, the Irish Property Owners’ Association (IPOA) outline some of the items that individual property owners are seriously considering: withdrawal from State sponsored rental schemes; implementing a payment for keys at handover (non-refundable); service charges; a registration fee; car parking fees; letting costs; documentation costs; call out and key replacement costs; sinking fund contribution; Local Property Tax contributions; compensation in full for damages, and barring orders for anti-social behaviour.

Owners are facing with the reintroduction of Rent Control (declared unconstitutional in 1981/82), and reintroduction of indefinite leases, both of which were responsible for the dereliction of properties country wide, as property owners could not get sufficient income to maintain their property. The measures being introduced are so severe that rents will not cover costs and devaluation of property will be significant — all adding to the exit of the Investor. It is notable that Government and those demanding change are oblivious to the huge burden that all these measures will have on the tenants and the loss of supply.

Stephen Faughnan

Chairman
Irish Property Owners’ Association
Ashtown Business Centre
Navan Road
Dublin 15

Christian support for President Assad

Charlie Murphy (Irish Examiner, Letters December 19) raises a very important point regarding the TV interview with President Assad of Syria. As Mr Murphy points out the lady interviewer was indeed wearing a Christian cross and was dressed in ‘modern’ clothing. In fact the plight of Christians in Syria has been scandalously under-reported by virtually all of the media. Given its significant Christian population one would have expected RTÉ to give some coverage to their horrific treatment under ISIS.

Prior to the war, Syria was one of the very few countries in the middle east, along with Israel and Lebanon, where Christians had any kind of stability.

For all its faults, the vast majority of Christians would favour the Assad regime. While one totally condemns any kind of indiscriminate targeting of civilians, it will be a relief to the Christian population and all people of good will, if the Assad regime prevails.

Eric Conway

Navan
Co Meath

Houses available for homeless

The amount of money paid out every week to tackle the homeless crisis is astonishing.

The millions spent to provide a temporary roof over the heads of homeless people clearly highlights the appalling extent of our housing crisis.

We need a long term sustainable solution to the housing crisis. There are hundreds of boarded-up council houses all over Ireland and unoccupied buildings which, with modest investment, could be turned into decent homes. We need a strategy to make money available for such projects which would also create employment.

Noel Harrington

Scilly
Kinsale
Co Cork

Football excellence — but not in Ulster

In a report on the proposed FAI Football Centre of Excellence planned for Cork ‘Centre holds keys to future’ (Irish Examiner, Sport, December 20) John Delaney, FAI Chief Executive is quoted as saying: “I hope to see similar facilities in place in Leinster and in Connaught, putting world-class football facilities on the doorsteps of everyone who plays the game.”

I just wonder how having such centres in three of the four provinces puts world-class football facilities on the doorstep of those who play the game in the Ulster counties, especially Donegal which is one of the leading soccer counties in the country.

Michael Stephens

Rathmore
Raheen
Limerick

Senator in a Fianna Fáil tradition

I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh or cry when it became public knowledge that another in the ever-lengthening list of Fianna Fáil members, was found guilty of involvement in fraudulent behaviour.

In this particular case it is An Seanador Brian Ó Domhnail who according to The Standards in Public Office Commission, it found, following an inquiry into his claims for travelling and subsistence expenses from two separate bodies for the same dates in 2006, that each contravention was committed intentionally and was, a serious matter.

To be fair to Brian, he is not the first politician, nor will he be the last, to avail of perversive measures to line ones pocket, because Fianna Fáil had created a hybrid niche where honesty and dishonesty co-existed in council offices dominated by their members, and what went on ‘behind closed doors’ stayed behind closed doors. Unfortunately for them this is no longer the case, and thanks be to God, honesty and transparency seem to be the prevailing themes in the new shared space.

In all honesty, this judgement, having come in the days leading up to Christmas, will not resort to this Fianna Fáil member — oops, former member —needing to call on a charity such as SVP to tide him over because he is still employed by the state, (senate) earning a lucrative wage which entitles him to a healthy pension well above average on retirement, thanks to his party leader with the halo over his head, Micheál Martin, who overlooks what he would consider minute discrepancies.

The straw that broke the camel’s back came when he denied wrongdoing? If he had taken it on the chin there would have been little or no bad publicity about it.

I feel sorry for the man, not because he got caught, but because of the collateral damage to friends, family, etc.

James Woods

Gort an Choirce
Dun na nGall

Our games should not be sold to Sky

Having read Paul Rouse’s excellent article on the latest agreement between Sky and the GAA (Irish Examiner, Sport, December 16) I can only conclude, as he did, that the latter’s sole motivation now appears to be money and more money.

And this infamous Sky deal prevails even though it is generally accepted that the vast majority of GAA members are not at all in favour of our lovely games being sold to a pay per view TV network.

Maybe as Mr Duffy has said, that I might be just another “whinger” or a “moaner”, but has the same Mr Duffy forgotten that he is on record as saying that no sale of games to Sky could be tolerated because “the GAA belonged to everyone in Ireland and in every parish and village.”

He has certainly now moved the goalposts. As Mr Rouse in his well-informed article said: “it is timely to remember at this point that the initial logic provided in 2014 was that, above all else, the Sky deal was to serve emigrants.”

This was and is a complete untruth pontificated by GAA headquarters because as Mr Rouse again stated “that emigrants will now pay more to watch our games” and worst of all “the online GAAGO which broadcasts GAA games around the world will not be allowed to show the matches that Sky sports have in Britain” this is indeed a sad situation.

I ask Mr Duffy why was there no press conference to announce this Sky deal? What was he afraid of?

In my opinion the powers that be in Croke Park would be far better employed if they tackled the real elephant in the room which is the fact that so called managers) are fleecing not alone GAA County boards, but clubs as well, up and down the country. This has got to be stopped now.

Liam Burke

Dunmore
Co Kilkenny

Fake news and real media in Ireland

For 10 years I have endeavoured to raise the issue of how free and responsible is the Irish mass media. To no avail. Recently there has been much discussion in the mass media about “fake news”.

It has been suggested by some that “fake news” is an assault on the principle of truth itself.

I agree and I would go further still: “Fake news” and irresponsible mass media reporting is an assault on democracy.

“Fake news” and irresponsible reporting pushes out real news with the result that a large majority of people loose confidence in the main stream media.

Three out of five people polled in the United States of America have “little confidence” in every segment of the American mass media.

I have been unable to find any similar poll taken in the Republic of Ireland. I have however asked a number of people — undoubtedly unscientific — the following question: “If you had to rate the Irish mass media — that is print and electronic — in terms of ‘trust’, from one to 10, what number would you assign?”

Having collated the answers the average given was ‘four’.

What results from “fake news” and lazy, irresponsible journalism? If you believe anything because it is on a screen or a sheet of paper or a voice electronically transmitted — you wind up believing in nothing. And a people who believe in nothing turn to anarchy.

Vincent J Lavery

Irish Free Speech Movement
Dalkey
County Dublin


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