27 November 2008 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please

Michael Clifford’s Harris horror

RE Julia Carney’s Mediawatch column on 30 October, I have the following observation to make.
It was to my abject horror that Ms Carney put me in the same bracket as Senator Eoghan Harris when she observed:
“When I was a wee girl trying to figure out what I wanted from life it was the columns of Eoghan Harris in The Sunday Times that persuaded me to enter journalism. “Statements of palpable madness were so routinely made that it demonstrated anyone can be a journalist, in much the same way that Sarah Palin demonstrates anyone can be US president.
“Bringing me to the Sunday Tribune’s Michael Clifford...”
This coupling of myself and the senator not only makes me come out in a rash all over. I am quite sure the senator himself would react in a similar manner. The man’s fragile mental faculties might well combust if he knew he was being described as a kindred spirit of mine. Please, never again.
As for the substance of Ms Carney’s opinion, it was very interesting to me as I would largely agree with her, something she omitted from her piece.
The problem she fails to acknowledge is that no political party on this island - including Sinn Féin - has the stomach to enact the tax policies to which she refers. As I recall, Sinn Féin pledged in the last general election that they would not raise income tax on anybody.
Perhaps Ms Carney is intent on starting up a new party to ambush the Shinners and other left-wingers on their left flank. Good luck to her.
Yours in recovering horror,
MICHAEL CLIFFORD,
Sunday Tribune,
Dublin

 

 Rank treatment of taxis

I READ the article by Stephanie Lord last week titled Taxi union warns of illegal cabs and I can confirm as a SPSV driver and hackney owner that the problem stated is widespread.
The problems faced by legitimate taxi and hackney owners are further compounded in towns that have not got taxi ranks. In these towns we have competition from minibuses that operate under an operator’s licence. These minibuses, because they are over eight seats in capacity, are outside the control of the taxi regulator.
This means that the drivers of these eight-plus-seat minibuses do not have to be vetted by the Garda, do not have to obtain tax clearance certificates or  display driver ID. Any number of buses can operate under one person’s operator’s licence. These buses often are doubled as schoolbuses during the week and have an exemption from tacographs.
In these towns you have the ridiculous situation where these buses are plying for trade alongside taxis that have a meter and have a regulated fare structure.
In my town in Donegal, the two taxis that we did have (one a wheelchair-accessible taxi) have gone out of business. Hackneys that try to adhere to the law and operate from an office or home are either struggling or running the gauntlet of being caught and fined by the regulator by plying for trade alongside these buses.
PETER MULLAN,
Inishowen,
Donegal

 

Reason in Rhyme

Thanks for publishing my letter on 13 November.
It was inspired by the report in The Irish Times on 10 November by Alison Healy of the talk by National Museum Assistant Education Officer Siobhán Pierce on Tom Kettle given in Dublin’s Collins Barracks.
I believe Kettle’s admirers ought to acquaint themselves with his neglected poem, Reason in Rhyme.
They might also consider how apt it is that Kettle is commemorated in St Stephen’s Green, if somewhat apart from Donovan Rossa. For Kettle shared a platform with the old ‘dynamitard’ in New York’s Carnegie Hall.
It might also be recalled that Kettle’s maiden speech in the House of Commons advocating the funding of the Dublin Metropolitan Police should come from the British Army Estimates rather than from Dublin ratepayers.
I fear I may have done Kettle’s reputation some damage amongst the purveyors of poppycock and tommyrot, and their laureate, Kevin Myers.
Incidentally, I was wrong to attribute Kettle’s biography to FSL Lyons. J L Lyons wrote it and I commend it.
DONAL KENNEDY,
London N13

 

 

Irish TV stars and poppies

IT’S DISGRACEFUL to see the amount of Irish people on the British TV networks wearing a poppy. Did they spare a thought for the amount of suffering and pain that the crown forces have caused in our country over the years?
Have these people forgotten where they’re from, or is money just their only motive?
I wonder will these people be wearing an Easter Lily on Easter Sunday?
K PROUT,
Tipperary


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