Sitting in a hotel in the Wicklow Hills reading my free Irish Independent on the Monday after just ended Mothering Sunday, I read feel-good stories about life in the republic, solidarity with Ukrainethe strong Irish economy and the ambition and of course the stupidity of our British neighbors voting for Brexit.
As a Northern Irishman, I love coming to Dublin with my brother to visit my brother.
We have so much in common on this island, even though we live in divisions. I am Irish but also have a British identity. So, sitting in the hotel – with the Irish, EU and US flags right outside the window – it was a little chilling to read the lead-lettered railing once again about the unspeakable horror of an Irish actor being labeled British. This bordered on strong opposition to British imperialist titles being bestowed on successful Irish athletes and the like.
For a country that prides itself on how diverse and hospitable and post-nationalist it is, it is depressing to see how the hypernationalist austerities of the past apply to our closest neighbour. Being Irish and European is very trendy. But being Irish and British is incomprehensible.
Mainstream Irish celebrities such as Rory Best and Rory McIlroy have both articulated that they have a British identity, but the concept remains alien.
These neo-colonial onslaughts by the British press on the unsuspecting Irish people seem to happen every few weeks. I can admit that most Irish people are not fundamentally British, but a few are; Furthermore, we have so much in common on these two islands in terms of history, culture and language; So we certainly need a term or title that reflects this shared identity. I’d love to see the British press refrain from making Irish actors their own, but I also wish these regular bouts of public anger could translate into something more productive.
Here I am, British and Irish, reading almost daily about the need for a new regime on our island where all traditions and perspectives are nurtured.
As an Irish artist I would love a British newspaper to call me British, but I read every month in the southern press that this is a scandalous act of modern colonial appropriation that goes nowhere.
Hopefully we can rectify this and channel frustrations to create something new and positive that caters to all identities on our island.
Hillsborough, Co. Down
Fuel is gold, but not for us idiots who have to pay for it
Just the car filled up.
Fuel Days in April?
Beaumont, Dublin 9
The bully boys Putin and Trump still have a lot to learn
the The frightened expressions on the faces of young children in basements in Ukraine tell a story of their own.
Gone are the ideals taught in school of: right and wrong, good or bad, truth and lies. It’s now about winning or losing and nothing else matters.
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin embody the above.
“Smart” counters are just an excuse to outperform us
Next At first glance, it looked suspiciously like an April Fool’s joke. “Peak-time energy price could be 50 percent higher under new plan to deal with deepening crisis,” Irish Independent, April 1). But given the way this government is operating, it’s hardly surprising to read that the new “smart” meters we’ve been encouraged to install could be used to charge people more at a “time of day price”. . Regime.
While it was always hard to believe that meters were introduced to help people manage usage and thereby save money, the question now must be whether households can have these meters removed if they are using the wrong one have accepted pretense?
The gauge’s sole purpose is now apparent – to provide more tools to outsmart the unlucky, trapped customer.
Households that have not changed the meter should consider the planned usage and act accordingly.
Rathmond, Co. Sligo
Worrying ‘survival of the fittest’ approach to Covid
Two Ireland adopted the mantra ‘Protect the Vulnerable, Protect the HSE’ years ago. Today the mandate appears to be ‘forget the vulnerable, forget HSE’, with government policy insisting on a vaccine-only strategy to adapt to living with Covid-19.
If this strategy worked, our healthcare professionals would not be tearing their hair out and screaming about the ongoing disruption that Covid-19 is causing in our hospitals and GPs.
Business owners would not have sleepless nights over staff levels and people with underlying illnesses, and those with long Covid would not be shielding themselves from society for fear of Covid-19. As someone living with an underlying medical condition, I know all too well what shielding means, and like many others, I was wary that vaccination would adversely affect my health. However, with a change in government policy in January towards a vaccine-only strategy, I was forced to take that risk.
Ironically, ten weeks later I find myself in and out of healthcare facilities where Covid-19 is rampant and where patient doctors are giving up their precious time to help me with the lingering effects of the vaccine.
Since the virus has a mutational advantage over us, and vaccinations and natural immunity are also short-lived, society must ask itself whether the silent mantra has become “survival of the fittest” and whether we are happy to accept and forget precisely the people and Institutions that we should actually protect?
Marie Hanna Curran
Ballinasloe, County Galway
Taoiseach, your advice on masks makes no sense
As if the Taoiseach claimed on RTÉ radio yesterday (Thursday) Masks have little effect on the spread of Covid, why have we ever been told to wear them and why are we advised to wear them now? And if they reduce the reach of the virus, especially when our health workers are beyond exhaustion and many medical treatments are being postponed, why on earth aren’t they mandatory?
I’m sorry, Mr. Martin, that doesn’t make any sense.
Emlagh, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo
The crèche culture needs to be constitutionally reformed
The article on grooming by Lorraine Courtney (“We don’t value care or children, and changing the constitution won’t change that,” Irish IndependentMarch 28) was one of the most important and realistic in a long time.
She is to be congratulated for this insightful and necessary analysis of the problem of uncaring in our society. She’s certainly spot on when she states that “there’s nothing wrong” with “that women actually mattered in the homeland clause of the Constitution,” but it’s proven meaningless when “we live in a society that never did.” really valued care or children”.
How did we come to accept the institutionalization of children, some of whom go to nurseries from as young as six months and often for a very long day? How have we accepted the enormous increase in the need for nursing homes, because there is no one to care for the sick and dependent at home, and on top of that the continuous reduction in domestic help?
Ms Courtney is right that this clause should cover both women and men, who should be supported in making the decision to stay at home to look after children and other dependents.
Otherwise, we will simply continue to support an economy at the expense of the health and welfare of our population.
Ardeskin, City of Donegal
A close shave with the law leaves some bristles
Garda Top Brass has provided their members with instructions on how to grow beards. I remember An Post issued a similar instruction to postmen in the 1980s. One man had a mustache on his upper left lip and a full beard on his right chin. The other opposite quadrants were shaved. He was everything for everyone. He withdrew unharmed.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/im-irish-and-british-but-it-seems-that-concept-is-just-too-hard-to-grasp-for-hyper-nationalists-41512890.html I’m Irish and British – but it seems this concept is just too hard for hypernationalists to grasp