Over Christmas we look back at what has happened globally and nationally and I think we have fared far better than most other countries.
We came through Covid relatively unscathed, sadly we lost some of our loved ones along the way, but the health response has been immense and something we should be proud of.
China has seen numbers surge again due to a lack of testing despite its strict lockdown measures. We cannot be satisfied.
The fact that we have ongoing problems with housing and the cost of living does not only affect us, it is a problem for most countries.
It’s not that there is a lack of vacant housing, we just need the will, foresight and investment to put it to use.
The war in Ukraine has caused fuel and certain food costs to rise, thanks to the Kleinmann Syndrome warmonger in the Kremlin, but again, the measures our government has taken have offset the worst of those rises.
In addition, we saw an increase in the number of people seeking international protection, which in turn had an impact on our own population and, in particular, on those seeking housing.
Yet we have stretched out our hand of friendship, even though we have pushed our ministries to the breaking point.
Unlike our neighbor Britain, where Brexit was seen as a panacea for the EU’s ills, it has seen its export market contract and strikes across the public sector which have brought most services to a virtual standstill, but we have managed keeping the services running and seen how our exports have grown by staying in the EU.
Fortunately, our wage bargaining system has kept most strikes at bay as all parties are willing to negotiate.
Our system of voting and peaceful transition and handover is a model that most countries would like to see, in contrast to what happened in America on January 6th, 2020.
Unlike Italy, Israel and other countries, we have managed to stem the rise of extremism, particularly from the far right, but again we cannot be complacent.
Letterkenny, Co Donegal
In my opinion, less is more when it comes to Santa Claus
In my day (1940’s) Santa Claus was a much less accessible character than today.
And it wasn’t a bad thing either, compared to now that he’s popping up in radio interviews, talking about GAA and all in an ‘old’ Dublin ho-ho delivery.
Please, less is more and magic is distant and fragile by definition!
Rathfarnham, Dublin 1
The true meaning of Christmas is about love, not gifts
As we celebrate Christmas, we should ask ourselves: What is the true meaning of this festive season?
Is it about buying each other gifts, having fun, organizing family celebrations? All of that is fine and dandy, but that’s not what Christmas is about.
Christmas celebrates God’s love for us all. God’s love is integral to the true meaning of Christmas.
Because if he hadn’t loved the world so much, he wouldn’t have sent his son to die on the cross. Christmas is a reminder to the world that God loves everyone.
The true meaning of the festive season is all about God’s love for his people. Christ being born in a stable on a cold, starry night in the Palestinian village of Bethlehem. Become one of us to show us all the way of love.
And not the rampant greed for profit of large multinational retail groups that take place annually worldwide.
Cloonacool, Co. Sligo
Thank you for bringing me – there is no better place than home
I was fortunate to come home this year after a lengthy forced absence thanks to a virus whose name escapes me.
My journey was at the mercy of various transport networks around the world. From the frigid depths of the US to the gentle rains of Ireland, I’ve met people doing their best.
I want to say a big thank you to all those who have flown the planes, driven the trains, and kept the queues moving despite the demands of the seasonal mass exodus.
The real joy came when I saw the smiling faces at Dublin Airport. Reuniting with my family and friends made the loneliness worth it.
Absence doesn’t really make the heart beat faster, absence makes you feel the loss more.
However, what it really does do is affirm that there is no place like home.
Boston and Galway City
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/ireland-has-fared-better-than-most-but-lets-not-be-complacent-42243860.html Ireland has fared better than most – but let’s not be complacent