6 December 2007 Edition

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Mála Poist

Go raibh maith agaibh

A chara,
My wife Patricia and I recently experienced a break away from the hustle and bustle of life in the city courtesy of my family, comrades and friends. We wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank them all. The gesture will live with me forever. Sometimes it is not until you get away from the grind of daily life that you realise just how much you needed to get away. This was the case with our recent break.
I won’t name individuals as to do so would embarrass, such is their generosity.
I know my family know how grateful we are, but for the record we state our thanks for all to see.
I can never repay the actions I have seen in recent months, nor would my friends wish me to do so. But Patricia and I needed to express how we felt so that all our friends know we appreciate their actions.
I have worked for various groups within my community for years, and as I take a back seat for a while I thank them for the opportunity of trusting me to assist them with various projects they are involved in, and I wish them continued success in the future.
From County Cork to County Derry, I thank all my friends and as the festive season approaches I wish you and your families a peaceful Christmas and a healthy new year.
Go raibh maith agaibh.


Harris wrong on Ahern

A chara,
In his desperate attempts to defend Bertie Ahern, Eoghan Harris berates the Mahon Tribunal for taking so long and costing so much. Fair point Senator. But why has it lasted 10 years and cost €300m?
 Much of the blame must lie with those politicians and their business ‘friends’ who have failed to give full information, put forward incredible explanations and took legal proceedings to delay and obstruct the Tribunal.
 It reminds me of those supporters of the Paras who constantly complain about the duration and cost of the Bloody Sunday Tribunal, when it was the British Army and Government who were responsible for the Widgery whitewash and the subsequent delays and obstructions of the truth.


In defence of Shell to Sea

A chara,
Strong language is not  the prerogative of Shell To Sea as Fr Kevin Hegarty’s Opinion Piece  (Irish Times 27 November) would have us believe .
Hegarty dismisses Mary Corduff’s knowledge of the oil and gas process. Mary has already been part of that “dark vision of a future with Shell” which seems to amuse Fr Hegarty in spite of the fact that Mary has been a Shell prison widow.
Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, Native American Choctaw Gary Whitedeer, Rossport wife and mother Mary Corduff and Rossport Solidarity Camper Bob Kavanagh affirm shell to Sea’s stance.
It has attracted recognition in the Norwegian Parliament, been honoured by the Goldman Foundation and visited by the Sierra Club of the United States. It has been advised by the Ethical Committee for Corporate Responsibility in Oxford. It has stood in solidarity with other Shell Fence Line Communities from Houston, Ogoni, Durban, at Shell AGMs in London and at the Hague.
On the one hand Fr Hegarty foretells the “dwindling” of Shell to Sea while at the same time suggesting that someone should attempt to “seize control” of it. Militant language indeed! The Gardaí have been trying hard at Shell’s insistence and not getting very far.
Fr Hegarty admits that Shell to Sea has been good for the country. It has taken seven years. If he can be patient enough to wait for another seven I expect a eulogy of praise.
Co Fermanagh.


Sinn Féin and rezoning

A chara,
Councillor Matt Carthy’s comments on RTÉ’s Prime Time TV programme (26 November) on planning should be a wake-up call to republicans interested in the sustainable development of Ireland. His attitude reminds me of the gombeenism characteristic of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors when it comes to planning and development. It is also, let it be said, in stark contrast to the courage and vision of Kerry Sinn Féin County Councillors Toiréasa Ferris and Robert Beasley who, in the case of Dingle, County Kerry, stood alone against over zoning and the destruction of our town and hinterland.
Bad planning in Ireland starts in Dublin and has spread throughout the country. Our councillors for the most part see their role as facilitators to landowners who want their land rezoned regardless of the impact on the environment, local infrastructure, agricultural land prices, or in the creation of a less car-dependent society.
For our part in Dingle, have had little or no planning. A few landowners have become mega rich while almost 40 per cent of the housing stock remains empty.
We now, more than ever, need to manage development in Ireland. However the attitude of local councillors like Councillor Carthy is to rezone land in an ad-hoc manner, which inevitably leads to sprawl and failures to tackle the shocking deficit in public resource infrastructure and our archaic public transport system.
Ireland needs a vision beyond a concrete box in every field. I would remind all republicans of the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil which declared: “all right to private property must be subordinated to the public right and welfare”. This would be a good principle from which to start planning in this country.
Daingean Uí Chúis,
Co. Chiarraí.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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