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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (31/08/16)

Your letters, your views...

Statesman and an everyman

The passing of Peter Barry is a huge loss not just for his family and friends but for the entire community. I know many people from different walks of life here in Cork who could tell of their always positive experiences of him. I can recall how in 1987, Everyman Theatre, a small amateur theatre company, managed to buy the derelict Palace Cinema in MacCurtain Street. There was no shortage of volunteers to carry out much of the work needed to restore the building to its former glory and make it what it is today, one of the finest Victorian Theatres in these islands, but we also needed money. In this regard wonderful work was done by a committee chaired by Peter Barry.

To describe his philosophy of life, as I understand it, I can do no better than to fall back on the old saying, unoriginal though it be: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Brendan Casserly

MacCurtain Street

Peter Barry had a personal touch

With Peter Barry’s passing a wonderful story comes to mind. During the 1977 general election, with his Ministerial car and driver outside the front door, the proprietor of the Hi-B on Oliver Plunket St, Brian O’Donnell, invited Peter, myself, and other Fine Gael supporters to ‘after hour’ drinks.

At around 1am, when Peter had just left, Brian dashed into the room and informed us that we had to leave IMMEDIATELY, since his insurance policy just left.

It is for others to extol his political success, I would like to stick to the personal side of Peter Barry as in when Cork character, Andy Gaw, died. Peter went to Barrett’s Buildings to visit with Andy’s two sisters and there were many other visits which tell of Peter’s personal touch.

When Evening Echo salesman, Fats Cavendish was interviewed and asked which VIPs he had met. The first name out if his mouth was Peter Barry.

In my long association with Liam Ruiseal’s bookstore, my fondest memory were of each Christmas Eve when Peter Barry called in with Christmas wishes.

Liam and Peadar (as Liam always called him) were two Cork Institutions with longstanding and historical ties to Fine Gael. They would stand in the middle of the shop and chat in Irish for a good half an hour or more as the festive hustle and bustle surrounded them.

Yet, one cannot remember Peter without mention of his gracious wife:

Margaret and Peter proudly, yet humbly, represented Cork around the country and world with class, decency, integrity, and sincerity.

John Twomey

Kilbourne place
Washington DC

Thorny issues

Did the Tralee roses have more thorns than usual this year?

John Williams

Co Tipperary

Taxing times for Irish taxpayers

In view of the EU findings in relation to payment of taxes by Apple to Irish Government — can we now assume that Irish government ministers, Irish politicians and the Revenue Commissioners have been less than honest with the Irish People down the years.

Michael A Moriarty


Time to properly tax corporates

Question: Why has there been such a dramatic increase in the wealth divide fomenting discontent across the world?

Answer: the race to the bottom (or lurch to the right?) with corporation tax. In the last decade the burden of taxation on individuals has been increasing while it has been easing for the corporate entity.

Since 2006 every continent has reduced their corporate tax rate with the global average going from 27.5% to 23.63%. Some countries have radically reduced rates, some have zero per cent rates, and very rarely has a country has increased the rate.

The United States has not followed this trend owning the highest rate of 40% — unchanged over the decade — arguably taking a more socially democratic position than Europe, which has the second lowest average rate (22.09%) just above Asia at 21.97%. In the last 10 years China has moved from 33% to 25% and Sweden from 28% to 22% — two countries with very different politics. Where is Ireland? feeding near the bottom of the barrel at 12.5% with Cyprus and Liechtenstein.

Corporation tax is a tax on the profit a company makes after it has paid its directors, CEO, staff, dividends, etc. Wondering how to pay for our health service and schools? Increase corporation tax and start taxing financial transactions.

“Capital is dead labour, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks” — said Karl Marx.

Alison Hackett

Crosthwaite Park East
Dun Laoghaire
Co Dublin

Priests must excel at ability to preach

Further to Joe McDonald’s proposals re priestly training (Letters, Irish Examiner, August 26) I would add preaching as one of the most important things, if not the most important, a priest can do.

Most Catholics settle for the priest’s power to ‘say Mass’, ‘forgive sins’ and pass on the faith. The sleeping giant on Sunday morning is the homily. In some respects, the homily can do more for people than other aspects of the Mass. Good preaching attracts. Poor homilies empty churches. If he preaches well the people should tell him so.

R Joseph Walsh

Convent Road
Co Wicklow

OCI did not provide governance

The jury is still out on Pat Hickey. I’m no supporter, less an admirer, but disposing of unsold tickets two days before the event to me sounds sensible. The issue becomes whether they are disposed of properly and legally.

It is not surprising that Mr Hickey was in contact with the authorised distributor or its subcontractor. The alleged offence is of selling tickets above the face value plus approved distributor markup. The Brazilian police have produced no proof to date that Pat Hickey did this or approved of it in any way.

Sure there is lack of transparency, but this is not a crime, however undesirable in this day and age.

As I said the jury is still out on Mr Hickey. What appears to not be out is the individual and collective responsibility of members of the OCI in ensuring proper governance and oversight.

A majority of these voted for Mr Hickey to be head of the OCI since around1986. I’ll await events before casting my vote on Mr Hickey’s innocence or guilt.

Kevin T Finn

Kingston Close
Co Cork

Spirit of Elvis lives on in his music

Would you believe Elvis is dead 39 years this month? Elvis Presley, one of our great pop culture icons: a man who changed a world culture, a man who changed the face of rock and roll. He was a young pimply truck driver from East Tupelo, Missisippi, who would leave behind a legacy that will burn brightly forever. He brought glitter and glam to a music scene that was dreary and dull.

‘Love Me Tender’, ‘Suspicious Minds’, ‘The Wonder Of You’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, and of course ‘Falling In Love With You’ were all classics. However, what made Elvis so special, was that he was a white man that could sing black music.

Blues, gospel, soul, country — he had it all. Everyone has a favorite Elvis song; mine is “Kentucky Rain”. But, his most emotional song has to be “If I Can Dream” with Elvis at his best hitting high notes that still send shivers down my spine. He was a one off with an amazing ability to connect with his audience.

You always got the feeling that this humble man was your friend. There was none of this superstar nonsense that feeds the egos of so many wannabes today.

Elvis was the world’s first superstar. At the tender age of 42 we lost a rare talent. Perhaps, music died somewhat that sad day also. But, every time we hear his music, his spirit lives on.

Anthony Woods

Marian Avenue
Co Clare

Inaccurate address

The report under the heading “Stalled Cork events centre won’t be open in 2018 as promised”(Irish Examiner, August 26) contains an inaccuracy.

The report refers to the former Beamish and Crawford brewery as being sited on the North Main Street. In the interests of accuracy, I wish to point out that the brewery was situated at Cork’s South Main Street.

A O’Mahony

Willow Court
Cross Douglas Road

Gaining ground in the ‘Bull Market’

Don’t know why Hillary and Donald are complaining about Wall Street. Both are doing quite well in the ‘Bull Market!’

Herb Stark

Carriage Club Dr.
NC 28117


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