29 September 2005 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla. Is fearr litreacha gearra (200 focal ar a méid) clóscríofa nó lámhscríofa go soiléir ar thaobh amháin den leathanach. Cuir ainm agus seoladh leis ach ní fhoilseoimid iad seo más é do thoil.

An Phoblacht welcomes readers' letters. Letters in Irish or English should be kept short (no more than 200 words) and typed or handwritten clearly, double-spaced and on one side of the paper only. Name and address should be supplied for verification, but these will not be published if we are so requested.

Bertie's brass neck

A Chara,

Last Tuesday Taoiseach Bertie Ahern took centre-stage at the launch of ex-ICTU President Donal Nevin's biography of James Connolly. Ahern is not fit even to hold a book on the great revolutionary Connolly. One can almost hear Connolly turning in his Arbour Hill grave as Bertie runs our proud and wealthy country into the ground.

Connolly gave his life for Irish freedom and worked tirelessly to achieve socialism and ensure Irish workers got a fair deal. Ahern, alongside the PDs, his neo-liberal, racist, right-wing partners, now oversees an Ireland never wealthier, but also never more unequal. They are currently the incompetent government of a country whose health service is crumbling, whose transport is inadequate, whose education system is unfair, and which currently has a housing crisis, with anti-social behaviour increasing. All this while the capitalist class, cronies of the FF/PD regime, thrive. It is time for change, so that Connolly's dream of a united, peaceful, just and equal Ireland can be achieved.

John Flynn,

Logue/Marley Cumann,

Sinn Féin.

Street names in Cork

A Chara,

I was reading An Phoblacht and it gives a very good account of English street names still in existence 2005 in Dublin

I am from Cork and this year we are supposed to be celebrating the year of Culture. Up to now (nine months on in the so called Year of Culture) it still amazes me how Cork got this title with street names like Wellington Road, Victoria Cross, Victoria Avenue, Alexandra Road, Alexandra Place, Buckingham Place, Georges Quay, Washington Street. All these places are in and around the city area. We Cork people could go on and on about this. I am still trying to find out what visitors make of all this. It is about time the city councillors re-named our streets after the people who fought and died for Ireland, not those who murdered us. When those who appointed Cork as the Cultural capital for 2005 did they really know what they were doing?

Micheál Hennessy.

Need for comprehensive suicide strategy

A Chara,

The government's launch on Thursday 8 September of its National Suicide Prevention Strategy (26 Counties) is to be broadly welcomed. However, we must be sure that what is being proposed is not just a token gesture.

The partitionist nature of the strategy is worrying. There has been a Six-County strategy launched previously, and there must be crossborder co-operation on this.

Secondly, suicide cannot be viewed as a stand alone issue. If you persuade a person not to kill themselves, that does not mean the job is done.

Suicidal tendencies come about normally as part of a depressive illness. If you do not make the general health services more efficient, you cannot hope to alleviate the problem.

At present the mental health services receive 6% of the 26-County health budget. This is a shocking indictment of the disregard for these very real social problems.

Suicide and depression are nasty, unpleasant issues, so people wish to ignore them. The truth is, that is the worst thing we can do. We need a broad-based strategy. Advertising has to be in there, an improvement of general mental health-care facilities has to be in there and there also has to be collective responsibility by all public representatives and mental health professionals.

Donal O' Driscoll,

County Cork.

Donaldson's foreign affairs

A chara,

While Jeffrey Donaldson was in Colombia did he find time to visit any of the thousands of innocent Colombian peasants crammed into prisons not because they carried out heinous crimes but because they dared to oppose the right-wing paramilitaries who are controlled by a corrupt regime?

As Donaldson was not in Colombia on behalf off any humanitarian organisation maybe he intended to advise them on how to operate a proper shoot-to-kill policy or how to discriminate and exclude your neighbours from political participation? Maybe Donaldson needed to be somewhere else while Orangemen were burning and rioting?

But Jeffery did not realise how quickly things can change. Now he has returned he has to deal with a changing political landscape. Sinn Féin commemorating 100 years with a huge rally in Dublin where thousands upon thousands of republicans called for an end to partition. Then the DUP's world falls apart when republicans put weapons beyond use.

Not to worry Jeffery, there is another trip if you want to go. It is that small matter of the SBS men who murdered two police men in Iraq. Why not start campaigning to have those two extradited back to Iraq to serve their sentences in the country where they committed their crimes?

Mise le meas,

J Woods.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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