The People’s Letters Page

Padraig Conlon 02 Dec 2021

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

Dear Editor,

Is there merit in believing that Christmas food advertising constitutes a hate crime?

Directed at the 2% of the population who identify themselves as vegan and the 8% who identify themselves as vegetarian, (2018 figures).

During the Christmas holiday season the industry of death ramps up its production and promotion of its products.

Aimed at those creating an animal graveyard in their stomach as they enjoy eating the flesh of the fallen.

Our humane eyes and ears are assaulted by glossy television, radio and print advertisements eulogising an animal products based Christmas.

Slick television commercials promote having an animal carcase and animal by-products as the centre of the Christmas dinner table.

This retail version of the Final Solution is upsetting to those who want to celebrate the holiday season with any input from animal products.

The existence of a myriad of vegan diets, sound in nutrition and health affirming benefits, shows that humane food consumption is possible.

A diet based on meat and animal by-products is being flayed as unhealthy, environmental destructive, and leaking into the violent culture so prevalent in society today.

As we begin the season where the carcase of a dead bird is a centre point of a festival that celebrates new life the message is simple: by removing meat and animal by-products consumption from your diet you are helping to close the bloody slaughterhouse door.

May we all have a happy and humane vegan Christmas.


John Tierney

Chairperson-Waterford Animal Concern


Church Road


Dear Editor

As fellow writers, we wish to express our support for the novelist Sally Rooney.

Palestinian artists have asked their international colleagues to end complicity in Israel’s violations of their human rights, and this for many of us is a clear ethical obligation.

Sally Rooney’s refusal to sign a contract with a mainstream Israeli publisher — which markets the work of the Israeli Ministry of Defence — is therefore an exemplary response to the mounting injustices inflicted on Palestinians.

It is less than a year since Human Rights Watch concluded that Israel had ‘dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians’, amounting to the ‘crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution’.

It is only a few months since the last bombing of Gaza, since the most recent incursion into the Al-Aqsa mosque and the new round of expulsion orders in occupied East Jerusalem. This is the context of Sally Rooney’s decision.

In making it, she is not alone. In May, she was one of more than 16,000 artists who condemned Israel’s crimes in ‘A Letter Against Apartheid’.

Israeli apartheid, they said, is ‘sustained by international complicity; it is our collective responsibility to redress this harm’.

In supporting Sally Rooney, we reassert that responsibility.

Like her, we will continue to respond to the Palestinian call for effective solidarity, just as millions supported the campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

We will continue to support the nonviolent Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

Full list of 70 signatories:

Maan Abu Taleb    writer

Hanan Al-Shaykh    writer

Tariq Ali    writer, broadcaster

Monica Ali    writer

Suad Amiry    writer

Kevin Barry    writer

Ronan Bennet    writer, screenwriter

Nicholas Blincoe    writer

Season Butler    writer, artist

Carmen Callil    writer, publisher, critic

Niamh Campbell    writer

Caryl Churchill    playwright

Sarah Clancy    poet

Isabel Coixet    screenwriter

Robert Coover    writer

Molly Crabapple    writer, artist

Selma  Dabbagh    writer

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz   writer

Geoff Dyer    writer

Ben Ehrenreich      writer, journalist

Inua Ellams  writer, artist

Lynn Gaspard    publisher

Francisco Goldman    writer

David Harsent    poet

Seán Hewitt poet, critic

Rita Ann Higgins    poet

Rachel Holmes    writer

Brigid Keenan    writer

Hannah Khalil    playwright 

Nancy  Kricorian    writer

Rachel Kushner    writer

Paul Laverty    screenwriter

Ed Luker    poet

Sabrina Mahfouz    poet, playwright

Emer Martin    writer

Ahmed Masoud    writer

Tessa McWatt    writer

Pauline Melville    writer

Lina Meruane    writer

China Miéville    writer

Dana Naomy   Mills    writer

Pankaj Mishra    writer

Michel S Moushabeck    publisher

Eileen Myles    poet

Karthika  Nair    poet

Courttia Newland    writer, screenwriter

Andrew O’Hagan    writer

John Oakes    publisher

Nii Ayikwei Parkes    writer, editor, curator

Vijay Prashad    historian, editor

Alexandra Pringle    publisher

Keith Ridgway    writer

David Riker    screenwriter

Bruce Robbins    writer, scholar

Colin Robinson    publisher

Andrew  Ross    writer

Joe Sacco    cartoonist, journalist 

Sapphire    writer

James Schamus    screenwriter

Kamila Shamsie    writer

Jack Shenker    writer

Rick Simonson    bookseller

Gillian Slovo    writer

Ahdaf Soueif    writer

Jacques Testard    publisher

V    playwright, performer

William Wall    writer

Naomi Wallace    playwright, screenwriter

Eliot Weinberger    writer

Penny Woolcock    screenwriter, director

Dear Editor,

As a culchie living in Dublin for the last 10 years I can understand how you might not ‘get’ Garth Brooks.

You’ve probably never had the pleasure of roaring your head off to ‘Friends in Low Places’ in a packed nightclub in Tullamore.

You’ve also probably never sampled the delights and emotional intensity of being wrapped around some strangers in a pub in Mayo drunkenly singing ‘If tomorrow Never Comes.’

Garth Brooks and his music mean a lot to us his fans.

To all the ‘haters’ complaining about the fact that he is going to play five concerts in Dublin next year: No one is forcing you to listen to him!

Please just let us enjoy this moment, goodness knows we’ve waiting long enough to see him back on these shores

I’m always baffled as to why people find it necessary to comment on other peoples choice of music, it’s a purely personal thing.

Could all musical snobs please leave us Garth Brooks alone please?

There’s no need to look down on us, we’re just like you!

Yours etc,

Orla Kenny,


Dear Editor,

Who was the genius who decided that the best way to protest against high fuel prices is to drive a load of fuel guzzling lorries to Dublin and block the traffic?

Would they not have been better served saving fuel and using public transport instead to make their protest in Dublin city centre?

While I sympathise with their problem I don’t support the way their protest was conducted.

Why take out their frustrations on Dublin commuters, we have no power over the price of fuel unfortunately?

Also I observed some of them beeping their horns outside a city centre maternity hospital, very poor form that.

Yours sincerely,

James Carney,



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