5 April 2007 Edition

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Mála Poist

‘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 Name and address should be supplied for verification, but these will not be published if we are so requested.
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.

Fine Gael/Labour and the Dublin/Monaghan bombings

A chara,
Writing in advance of the publication of the report commissioned by the Irish Government on the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, I anticipate that it will again highlight that the Garda hunt for the Dublin/Monaghan bombers was not pursued with vigour, if it was ever initiated at all.
I agree that senior Garda officers have questions to answer on this and they should be held to account. I also hope that their political masters of the time – the Fine Gael/Labour Party Government, which included ministers from both parties who are still alive today – are not let off the hook. They can speak for themselves and their collective cabinet actions and they should be asked the hard questions.
Why was the Garda investigation into the biggest mass murder in the history of the state dropped with indecent haste?
Maybe Conor Cruise O’Brien can tell us.
Is mise,
Seán Griffin,
Dublin 7.


Nurses’ dispute

A chara,
It is disgusting to see highly paid politicians, pundits and HSE PR spinners condemning hard working, underpaid nurses.
A typical example was on RTÉ’s Questions & Answers on 2/4/07, where all six pontificators [panel + presenter] were probably paid three to ten times more than the nurses they criticised.
The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and cabinet members have received 24 pay increases since they took office in 1997. The 24 increases comprise routine awards under the national wage agreements, benchmarking and special awards for higher-level public officials.
The Taoiseach’s salary has increased from €112,159 in 1997 to just under €266,492 today – a rise of almost 140 per cent. In the same period, the average industrial wage has risen from €19,300 to just over €32,000, an increase of less than 60 per cent. Ten years ago, the Taoiseach was paid six times the average industrial wage. But today, that gap has widened to 8.5 times the wage of an average Irish worker.
And nurses did not benefit from a €50,000 dig-out from enriched friends or a €8000 whip-round from Manchester businessmen or pick-me-ups from rich developers.
And the hours? We know Bertie does a lot of openings of pubs, off-licences and beauty salons and he canvasses a lot but other people do this in their own time. He spends half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday and... that’s it, in the Dáil. He takes Thursday off with the agreement of Pat Rabbitte and all the Ministers take Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off.
Is mise,
Dr Sean Marlow,
Dublin 11.


Five reasons why this Government has to go

A chara,
With the run up to the election, here’s five reminders why Bertie and Micky D have to go.
Rossport – Even the dogs on the street know that this is a dirty deed done dirt-cheap. Ray Burke gave away our resources to Shell, when they were not his to give. They’re our assets, for our good. We will have to pay for what is ours, and Bertie says that there is nothing he can do when the Garda beat protestors off the roads. He said he couldn’t do anything over Irish Ferries too, if  he can’t do anything, then why is he Taoiseach?
Justice, or the lack of it  – Homes are ransacked; yet no one is caught. Assaults are rampant, yet the culprits laugh. McDowell has closed prisons, whilst producing hype to cover his failings.
Health – We’ve all heard about Leas Cross, the trolleys and MRSA, enough said. We are one of the richest countries in the world, yet people are treated like this. Money we are told, is being poured into the service, so why do the frontline staff have to beg for a decent wage?
Housing – Why have this Government left their duty of housing their citizens to the developer? Progress is to be welcomed, but when it comes to building communities, it seems profit is becoming more important than people. This is the same crowd that abolished the first time buyer’s grant yet now in an election year they talk about stamp duty.
Transport – He is going to stand back and let a road be built close to Tara Hill, traffic everywhere is crazy, he messed up with Irish Ferries and Aer Lingus, Martin Cullen, you have to go – we won’t even mention E voting.
Is mise,
James Quirke,
Co. Wexford


Gulf hostages

A chara,
I see US President George W Bush has condemned Iran’s arrest of 15 British marines and sailors in the Persian Gulf as “unacceptable”. The Brits are being held as “hostages”, President Bush and British ministers have said.
The Iranians might reply that the same could be said of the people held without trial in Guantanamo Bay and the thousands held by US and British forces in Iraq.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander?
Is mise,
Stephen Doyle,

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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