Say hello to Irish culture but don’t forget your heritage

Joy-Tendai Kangere (Irish Independent, 6 September) writes of the “heartbreaking… poison” aimed at those (of diverse ethnic backgrounds, I assume) who proudly proclaim their Irishness.

Undoubtedly this is the case in certain circumstances, especially when people have lived all or most of their lives here.

However, I’m not sure it’s that important – at least not for those who were born abroad or who came here later.

My own mother, bless her, was English and never pretended to be any different.

I have family members who emigrated and lived in the US for decades but would never claim to be American for a moment, even though they will most likely die there.

I have a black uncle who was born here. He has mixed white Irish and black African parents and was adopted by my (white) grandparents when he was a toddler.

Growing up, he suffered from many racial stereotypes.

Country folk used to come to the town where he lived just to catch a glimpse of him, so seldom was he seen in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s. Aside from that, he’s of course as Irish as can be, with an artistic bent, a wicked sense of humor and a thick Donegal brogue.

Of course, times have changed since then. We have welcomed people of all races, classes and creeds to our shores, and our society is in many ways all the richer as a result.

I hope we can continue to accommodate all newcomers as best we can and that they embrace and enjoy the parts of Irish culture that appeal to them.

However, like my American relatives or my English mother, I would urge them to hold on to their heritage and never forget where they came from.

Paddy Sharkey, Kilcar, Co Donegal

Attacks on pensions should be washed down the drain

Lorraine Courtney’s article in Wednesday Irish Independent seems to regret the cost of pensions.

To quote a line from her comment: “Retirement pension is the largest single burden on social security funds, and it is also the fastest growing burden.”

Perhaps we (retirees) should apologize for living so long.

Leo Gormley, Dundalk, Co Louth

We’ve worked all our lives, so we’re entitled to our money

I have to protest the horribly one-sided argument Lorraine Courtney has written about pensions.

It seems like all of today’s problems lie with the retirees.

Well Lorraine, let me tell you that I started working when I was 15 (full time). I’m 60 now, so I’ve paid taxes, PRSI and so on for 45 years. I intend to work (God willing) until I’m 65.

I assume, Lorraine, you have a college education. So when did you start working full-time – maybe when you were 22?

I was already seven years ahead of most young people today.

So, Lorraine, when I retire after working 50 years, I feel like I’ve paid my dues well.

D. Byrne, Dublin 8

Parents aren’t that smart about giving cellphones to under 11-year-olds

Two articles in Tuesday Irish Independent made interesting reading.

On the one hand, one article states that “87 percent of under-12s have access to social media,” while the other says, “Safety fears are the main reason 74 percent of under-11s are not getting the Covid vaccine.”

Given the high percentages, is it safe to assume that many parents who are concerned about vaccine safety are not so concerned about children’s Internet access?

Lorcan O’Shea, Piercestown, Co. Wexford

Micheál may be digging for the win, but mud sticks

The image of an overzealous Micheál Martin spinning a spade and accidentally hitting a photographer with dirt is a clear case of “stop digging Taoiseach”.

Tom Gilsenan, Beaumont, Dublin 9

If they don’t want the job, they can give it to us instead

We have another new Secretary of State for the North, and quite frankly I’ve lost count of their number for the past two decades.

The last was found to have got the job after many prominent Tories refused to take it – a sad reflection on the position.

Surely it’s time for a referendum on Irish unity in the Six Counties?

Paul Doran, Dublin Say hello to Irish culture but don’t forget your heritage

Fry Electronics Team

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