Mon, May 10, 2021
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The People’s Letters Page

Here is this week’s People’s Letters Page…

Dear Editor,

My father is a 74 year old. He lives in Tallaght with his partner who is 67. He had a hip replacement three years ago and is on several medicines.

He is extremely cautious about Covid and sticks by all the rules and regulations however his doctor seems to think that he is not a priority for the vaccination. All his friends and colleagues have received it.

His partner who is younger than him has just received her date for her first vaccination.
Family members who are a lot younger than him have already received it yet he is still waiting on any word from his “GP”.

Trying to register online with the HSE is not possible.

It seems to me that the Irish Government and the local medical profession are not dealing with the situation as they have claimed they would as in Group format and that the GPs are prioritising people that are paying as opposed to who is actually eligible.

If you do not print this that is fine but I will go to every paper on the planet and every social media site also to make the public aware of what is going on in Ireland at the present.

I am currently living in Portugal so can only do so much for my father.
The HSE website will not even allow me log on as they recognise my IP address as being outside Ireland and UK.

My father is not computer literate so therefore is at a disadvantage.

This situation is going on all over Ireland and is unacceptable and the HSE and the

Government should be brought to task about it.

People over 70 should all be vaccinated before 65-69 year old people!

Yours sincerely,
Name and address with editor

Dear Sir,

Building housing on under-used lands close to our town and city centres makes sense. Providing new homes and reducing long-distance commuting is a win-win.

That is why proposals for housing on the grounds of the Catholic Archdiocese’s lands at Clonliffe College are welcome, though clearly concerns around amenity space, heritage protection and building heights must be addressed.

However, it is crucial that the new homes built there tackle Dublin’s housing crisis.

It is two years since the then Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said these lands would be used for the benefit of the local community and to provide a legacy for the city of Dublin.

Subsequently the Saint Laurence O’Toole Diocesan Trust sold on the lands to the GAA who have engaged international developer Hines to develop the lands with GAA pitches, rental housing and a hotel. At a recent online meeting, Hines stated that they would provide 10% social and 10% affordable housing on the site.

They stated that ‘affordable’ might be as little as 10% below market rents. This suggests that as many as 90% of the new home will be unaffordable to most Dubliners.

If so, it will be a lost opportunity for the city. Perhaps the Catholic Church might rethink their intention to spend the €95 million from the sale on funding vocations and the ongoing formation of lay people priests within the Dublin diocese, and instead provide support for more housing of those most in need. Looking ahead, greater transparency from religious institutions on their ownership and sales of lands might better inform future policy choices.

Yours etc.
Ciarán Cuffe, MEP for Dublin
Green Party Comhaontas Glas, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7

Dear Editor

Songwriter and broadcaster Shay Healy who wrote Johnny Logan’s hit ‘What’s Another Year?’ sung by Johnny Logan has died a septuagenarian (78) after a struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

From Sandymount he laboured as a trainee camera man and his lifelong love of music saw him present light entertainment and comedy shows.

Ireland has won the Eurovision contest seven times but has failed to make an impression on judges in the past few years.

And Dustin the Turkey was no stranger to musical success, having already released six albums and 14 singles, including duets with Bob Geldof and Chris de Burgh.

But his entry for Eurovision – Ireland Douze Points has ruffled feathers among the country’s musical elite.

The turkey shot to fame in the 1990s on children’s TV programme The Den with fellow puppets Zig and Zag before releasing a string of hits.

He was so popular that thousands of voters spoiled their ballot papers in the 1997 presidential election by writing “Dustin”. President Higgins praised Shay Healy’s television programme Nighthawks, which covered entertainment and current affairs as “quite brilliant”.

Between 1988 and 1992 Shay Healy hosted Nighthawks a late-night satirical chat show broadcast on RTE 2 which he later described as “the best four years of my working life”. In January 1992, the show became embroiled in political controversy as it it aired an infamous interview with former minister for justice Sean Doherty about phone tapping, which eventually led to the resignation of then Taoiseach Charles Haughey.

The late Sean Doherty revealed cabinet members with whom he served in 1982 were well aware of his order to illegally tap the phones of two journalists.

Ar dheis de go raibh a anam.

Is mise Gerry Coughlan Kilnamanagh

Dear Editor,

The song ‘Feed the Birds’ that featured in the Mary Poppins movie has been adopted as the anthem of the Irish shooting community under the title, ‘Shoot the birds’.

The target is the Wood Pigeon, a corpulent bird that is at home in the countryside, town parks and suburban gardens.

In Ireland the open (hunting) season on wood pigeon in theory runs from November to January.

Every year the relevant Minister declares a derogation, allowing the bird to be shot at any time to “prevent serious damage” to crops.

As Minister with oversight of the National Parks and Wildlife Service
(NPWS) it will be Malcolm Noonan, TD who will decide if the derogation will be renewed at the end of the month.

NPWS officials believe that scant evidence exists that show wood pigeons cause damage to crops and that the right to shoot these birds on ‘crop damage grounds’ is not parented by scientific research.

True to form the Irish shooting community is basing their killing program against Irish wildlife on non-existence evidence that economic harm is been caused.

Furthermore, the Irish shooting community are suffering from a case of rule adherence shyness such is their urgency to shoot wood pigeons.

Not content with a hunting season where these shotgun junkies can legally blast wood pigeon out of the sky but now they demand to have the legal authority to use these birds as a live target whenever its casts its beady eye over a hedge.

As the open season for shooting wood pigeons is based purely on entry to a hunting season list rather than bird conservation practice, to allow a killing extension into the breeding season ‘crop damage’ falsehood is gun smoke conservation.

Minister Noonan recently stated that he was a committed vegetarian and animal right activist. Based on this statement from the Minster, to renew the wood pigeon slaughter derogation would mean his views are not worth tuppence.

John Tierney
Campaigns Director
Association of Hunt Saboteurs
PO Box 4734 Dublin 1



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