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 Name and address should be supplied for verification, but these will not be published if we are so requested.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

The right to vote

A chara,
As the General Election draws near, we should consider that many Irish citizens will be denied their right to vote as owing to business, holidays or family commitments, they will be overseas.
As both an Irish and Australian citizen I find it deplorable that the voice of a large section of the Irish population who contribute to Ireland’s success will not be heard on polling day. In contrast, Australia like most other countries around the world, and indeed most noteabley Europe, not only provide but encourage their citizens to vote.
The following is a open letter to the Irish Government, published on the internet, from Editors of the main Irish publications around the world.
‘As editors of the main Irish newspapers abroad, we, the undersigned, call upon the Irish Government to recognise the right of the Irish abroad to vote in Irish elections.
‘The Irish abroad, like those at home, have varying opinions on all issues.
However, the one belief all Irish expatriates have in common, particularly those who have recently emigrated, is that the emigrant voice must continue to be heard. We believe that the Irish abroad contribute too much economically and culturally to their homeland to be denied that voice.
‘Every other country in Europe acknowledges some form of voting rights for their expatriates. Yet Ireland, which has embraced the European ideal more than most, still denies its citizens abroad a basic human, democratic and civil right  –  the right to vote in their own country.
‘We ask the Irish Government to look to the future in a progressive, intelligent manner and to realise the benefits of closer ties between the Irish abroad and those at home. We believe it is now time for the Irish Government to give emigrants a vote.’
Donal Mooney, Irish Post, London. Damien Gaffney, Irish World, London. Niall O’Dowd, Irish Voice, New York. Tom Connolly, Irish Echo, New York. Billy Cantwell, Irish Echo, Sydney
At present this facility is offered only to the serving members of the Irish defence forces. I am not only encouraging the right of the ex-pat community to have their voices heard but indeed all the citizens who may find themselves overseas on 24 May.
Is mise,
Dermot Mc Guckin MPRII.
Emerald Communications


Bertie’s shame

A chara,
So Bertie is ashamed of Ireland for using the peann luaidhe. He wants us to switch to the electronic voting machines that his government wasted so much of the taxpayers’ money on. Then he will be able to hold his head high in his meetings with other world leaders.
Well Bertie, I’m ashamed too; Ashamed of a government that, despite being in power for the last decade, has still to keep the promises that it made when it sought election; Ashamed of a Health Minister who has allowed our two-tier health system to deteriorate to such an extent that bureaucracy is more important than the lives of the sick; Ashamed of an Environment Minister who is more concerned with introducing an unwanted, unnecessary change in our voting methods than with cleaning up our drinking water; Ashamed of a justice system that allows convicted rapists to walk free with a slap on the wrist. Ashamed of our so called leaders who would rather hide their heads in the sand and cast blame at everyone else than accept responsibility for the problems in Ireland today.
I’m looking forward to the coming election when I can wipe that shame away. All it will take is that peann luaidhe that Bertie dislikes so much and the co-operation of the Irish people. They say that the pen is mightier than the sword. Let’s hope that it holds true for the peann luaidhe as well. Your unwanted, unaccountable, overpriced electronic voting machines won’t save you now Bertie.
Is mise,
Seán Mac Gabhann,
Contae Chill Dara


Partitionist GAA supporters

A chara,
I’m writing this letter in response to the behaviour of some supporters at the recent All-Ireland club championship final replay between Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) and Dr. Crokes (Kerry). I’m disappointed at the reports in the newspapers and comments from people who witnessed this behaviour and attitude of some sections of the Crossmaglen supporters.
A 13-year-old female Dr. Crokes supporter was called a “free state c**t”. Sections of the Dr. Crokes supporters were called “free state bas*****” and ironically “fenian bas*****”.
A section of the Dr. Crokes supporters moved seats to avoid this slandering. Also, when Ambrose O’Donovan was walking to his seat after being sent off, he was hit by a female Crossmaglen supporter!
What annoys me is that this is creating an anti-Northern attitude. I am not a member of the clubs mentioned above but I recently had a chat with a Dr. Crokes supporter who witnessed some of this behaviour and her comment was “Well the English can keep them.” I personally don’t like hearing comments like this either.
I’m a regular visitor to the North and have many friends in Tyrone, Armagh and Belfast. Congratulations to Crossmaglen Rangers for their success over the past 10 years. The main reason I’m writing this is to give people and our politicians some food for thought throughout this island. If we are to move forward, it has to be on a united front, without this anti-Northern and anti-Southern attitude which has been created over the past years through sport or whatever means.
Is mise,
GAA fanatic and united Ireland believer,
North Kerry.

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1