Ireland is not a “sympathetic state” for the poor elderly

At the meeting of the first Dáil in 1918, Arthur Griffith and his Treasury Secretary, Michael Collins, issued the following statement:

The Irish Republic is fully aware of the need to abolish the present despicable, degrading and foreign poor law system and therefore to replace a benevolent homegrown system of caring for the nation’s elderly and sick, who are no longer viewed as a burden but rather as an entitlement to those of the nation have gratitude and consideration.”

These two heroes are writhing in their graves at the way politicians are using their demise to appropriate themselves from current supporters. Let’s look at how successive governments have fulfilled Griffith and Collins’ mandate.

The first Dáil cut old-age pensions by 25 percent. Next, the government passed the Gregory Amendment to the Poor Law Extension Act 1847, which made it mandatory for our seniors to surrender their homes to the nursing home owners, regardless of whether their spouse and/or children were still in the workforce.

The last drop came only recently, as conditions for admission into nursing homes have attracted investors from abroad.

French, Belgian, Dutch, British and German companies have acquired care homes here.

That said, it’s still an odd reflection on how Griffith and Collins viewed the “sympathetic state” — an odd response to their directives.

Hugh Duffy

Cleggan, County Galway

There was no sign of peace and patience in the past battles

THE outstanding editorial (“Collins gave his life to forge our freedom”, Irish Independent, 22 August) contains a flawed contradiction: whether to seek an independent Irish state by peaceful means or by force. The editorial sides with the latter, ie ‘he (Collins) was unwilling to entrust it (an independent Ireland) to the benevolence of the British Empire’.

This editorial endorsement of violence appears to contradict a desire to see the two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland united by peaceful means ie ‘Today it is unimaginative to believe that the final clamps to the union of all our peoples will be soldered with assent and understanding can. ”

If this peaceful and patient approach is seen as correct in modern times, shouldn’t it also have been the case when Michael Collins and his cronies waged a “ruthless” campaign against British rule?

Michael O’Cathail

Sandycove, County Dublin

A merger of two main parties would not do us any good

Fionnán Sheahan writes about the possibility of a merger between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael (“Now the Civil War divisions are Declaration over, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Fusion is not so phantasie,” 22 August). Many people believe this will happen as they have ruled together for the past two years and they don’t seem very different when it comes to the economy.

I believe they worked well together in our best interest. Labor merged with the Democratic Left and the Independents merged with other parties.

But I don’t think it would be in the best interest of the Irish people for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to merge.

That would be bad for democracy and could open the door to a government from the crazy left.

Fionnán points out that Fine Gael does not have a seat in Cork South West, but I can assure him that this is likely due to internal factional infighting and other matters. I still believe that people want a choice between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and not the hard left and leftover alternative.

Thomas Garvey

Rushbrook, Claremorris, Co. Mayo

Not all Synodal Synthesis views represent Irish Catholics

At the risk of being identified as what your editorial (August 17) described as “a mysterious, doctrine-bound Vatican elite,” I would like to make a few points.

In the same issue, Sarah MacDonald quotes Professor Mary McAleese’s reference to the sense fidelium (the mind of believers).

It is important to remember that “believers” in this context means those who accept and are faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

The synodality program rightly facilitated the expression of all views, and these are evidently included in the synthesis.

However, it would be wrong to conclude, as some commentators have done, that all opinions expressed in the report represent the “views of Irish Catholics”.

I have no doubt that the Church will carefully consider all opinions expressed.

However, it is unlikely that it will be able to live up to the hopes of everyone who made it
a submission.

Frank Murphy

Strandhill Road, Sligo Ireland is not a “sympathetic state” for the poor elderly

Fry Electronics Team

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