22 January 2009 Edition
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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
Should Flanagan face charges?
ON 19 January 2009, Ronnie Flanagan testified under oath at the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry that, at that time of her murder in March 1999, he was not aware that the RUC Special Branch had kept any files – paper or otherwise – on Mrs Nelson. If his statement is not true, it would likely constitute the crime of perjury.
I’ve met Mr Flanagan. He is a very impressive person. He is alert, dexterous and reliably well-informed. I would be quite incredulous if it developed that the former physics student and former head of Special Branch whose career had advanced so remarkably would not have known in intimate detail that files on Mrs Nelson were being kept.
Dutiful police officers everywhere recognise a legitimate basis for commencing an investigation into whether a crime has occurred and do not drag their feet reluctantly to the task. The PSNI should demonstrate its faithful commitment to a new way. It should immediately undertake to make a transparent determination as to whether probable cause exists to arrest Mr Flanagan and call him to answer for such criminal charges as might be warranted.
THE head of the United Nations refugee organisation UNWRA in Gaza, Mr John Ging, from County Laois, is described (Irish Independent, 15 January) as “a voice of reason that prevailed over propaganda”.
One would hope that the holocaust being unleashed from the sky above Gaza will force many commentators and politicians to reassess their often selective use of the term “terrorism” which, to date, has been reserved for those carrying “the smaller bomb”, to quote the Jewish intellectual, Professor Noam Chomsky.
We have witnessed the slaughter of the innocents through incineration, using white phosphorous bombs, and we depressingly wonder if no lessons were learned from the experiences of the Warsaw Ghetto.
We have heard reports of children dying from heart attacks and not knowing where to run on hearing the approach of the Israeli warplanes. If this terrorising of an entire population does not constitute “terrorism” one wonders what does?
A US army manual defines it as “the calculated use or threat of violence to attain goals of a political or ideological nature. This is done through intimidation, coercion or instilling fear.”
That sounds like an adequate enough description. Israel, whose war crimes continually flout international laws and conventions, stands accused.
An Phort Thoir,
Baile Átha Cliath 3
IN LIGHT of the Government’s recent moves to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank your readers might be interested in these words written by Karl Marx in Capital in 1867:
“Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable.
“The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalised, and the state will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.”
LAST week it was announced that 1,700 people were signing on the dole in Nenagh unemployment exchange. On the same day, Brian Lenihan announced the €1.7bn taxpayer takeover of Anglo Irish Bank. Also last week we had Maire Hoctor and Michael Lowry warmly greeting the closure of 24-hour A&E at Nenagh Hospital. Isn’t it amazing that this government can find the money to bail out a bank and they could not find the money to upgrade Nenagh Hospital.
It goes to show that when it comes to the shipwreck that is this state at the moment, Fianna Fáil use their lifeboats to pick up the speculators and the bankers while the rest of us will be left clinging to the driftwood.
Maybe this is what they meant when they told us that there would be a soft landing!
Nenagh Town Council,