23 June 2005 Edition
On a recent walk through a local nature reserve, I spotted a number of what can only be described as juvenile delinquents maliciously burning an old wooden bridge on one of the well-trodden walkways.
After witnessing this display of idiocy, my mind turned to ASBOs and I have to admit, I actually thought: "Wouldn't it be lovely to see ASBOs slapped on those little shits".
Now I know the party's position on ASBOs. I accept the argument that they can be abused, that they don't answer the problems that cause anti-socialism, that the legislation for dealing with such criminal activity is already there, but there's no personnel to enforce it.
But I want to point out how hard it's going to be to get all those sound arguments into the mind of the public when it is confronted regularly with little thugs like the ones I met last week.
Let's face it, the government has done a great job of selling ASBOs as the only answer for a society that is becoming increasingly nasty and unruly.
Sinn Féin is facing an uphill battle, in fact in my mind, a losing battle, when it comes to these orders. Be prepared to have the people at the doors in working-class areas look at you in shock when you tell them the party's position on ASBOs.
Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
Haughey's corrupt legacy
Careerism, back-stabbing, corruption - all of these negative words are often applied to the world of politics.
Usually, they are mentioned in relation to the cut-throat competition between opposition parties. But the ongoing RTÉ documentary series on Charles Haughey has put them all in the context of the activities of one party — Fianna Fáil.
The contempt with which various members of that party have treated the electorate over the years, as they sought to further their own ambitions and bank balances, is laid out for all to see in this weekly programme.
These people, with Charles Haughey leading them, turned Irish politics into an arena of lies, mistrust and betrayal.
I firmly believe that this documentary should be made mandatory viewing for all voters — but particularly for those who vote Fianna Fáil. They should be locked in a room with a television screen and a video player and made watch again and again the goings-on of the people they saw fit to elect to run this country through the years.
Why the anti-Dub prejudice?
Could someone explain to me why every season in the All-Ireland Championships, football supporters from virtually every other county are united in their opposition to Dublin?
At Croke Park last Sunday, Wexford seemed to have the undivided support of every Laois and Kildare fan. The reason could not be anything to do with dominance of Gaelic football in recent years by the boys in blue. So I would appreciate some explanation for this baffling social phenomenon, which seems to amount to nothing more than blind prejudice.
What have the Dubs ever done on you people?
Fiacha Ó Broin,
(There is a limit on the length of letters, so please try to keep your list of anti-Jackeen grievances short. -- Ed)