The cost of essential utilities will be prohibitive for most people unless drastic action is taken

When I read your front page report on Eir’s price increases (‘Eir aims to hit millions of customers with fresh price increases’, Irish Independent, 9 June) I doubted the news.

dismissed the idea that Eir could announce automatic annual increases that would include the inflation rate plus 3 percent. Lo and behold, I just received a letter from Eir confirming that this is indeed the plan.

Since no one can expect their income to grow at the same rate every year, it is clear that many simply will not be able to afford these services in a few years.

Has anyone asked Eir to explain the rationale for his plan and what the increase is based on? Has the company made projections to see where its costs might be five years from now?

One would think that a company involved in supplying a vital utility would need to show clearly how it justifies increases — and that it has studied the impact of such increases.

It is very worrying that so far not a single consumer protection authority has expressed concern. This supports the view that regulatory quangos focus on the interests of the provider rather than those of the customer.

Since the wholesale privatization of utilities here, the cost to Irish citizens has quickly moved to the top of the list. Ireland has the most expensive electricity, gas, telecoms and waste disposal costs in Europe.

It seems that the situation is beyond our control and faceless individuals are running these utilities with no regard for citizens’ ability to access them.

Is it time to consider renationalizing these utilities? Unless we do this, it is clear that very soon many citizens will not be able to access them.

Jim O’Sullivan, Rathedmond, Co. Sligo

Ireland must offer a gesture of solidarity with Lebanon

Two years after the devastating explosion at the port of Beirut, no one has been brought to justice. The investigation was deliberately stalled at every available opportunity by major political parties.

The grain silos at the port continue to smoke, showing the total dysfunction of the Lebanese state. Lebanon’s collapse is the result of corruption, mismanagement and gross negligence throughout the political system over 30 years.

A recent visit highlighted the country’s ongoing descent into the unknown – bread snakes are now the norm.

In April, up to 40 people drowned off the north coast trying to cross the short sea route to Cyprus. The majority of them were Lebanese citizens escaping hunger and poverty. Human traffickers sense an opportunity in the collapse of the state security system.

Despite promises, the EU has failed the political elite. As a result, significant reform remains unlikely.

Ireland’s proud history with Lebanon goes back many years. It is time for Secretary of State Simon Coveney to exert significant pressure in the UN Security Council to support Lebanon.

The consequences of inaction will negatively impact the lives of ordinary Lebanese and create the wasteland that certain armed groups yearn for.

Colin Lee, Ballinter, Dublin 16

It would be wrong not to remember Arthur Griffith

On August 18, 1922, the Irish Independent reported that Seán T O’Kelly had written from Kilmainham Gaol to the widow of Arthur Griffith (Griffith died 12 August 1922) to say that “his name deserves and must receive an honorable page in the history of Ireland” .

It will be recalled that O’Kelly was involved with Griffith in Sinn Féin but opposed the treaty and later was a Fianna Fáil founder and President of Ireland from 1945 to 1959.

Why did Culture Secretary Catherine Martin, who is in charge of the Decade of Centenaries programme, only mentioned Griffith in passing in a written response to a July 7 Dáil question about him?

It is very strange that in this year of the centenary of his death he was not found worthy of a state memorial service.

Griffith was President of the Dáil when he collapsed and died. Before that he directed the Dáil-appointed plenipotentiaries who negotiated the agreement for an Anglo-Irish treaty from October to December 1921.

After founding Sinn Féin in 1905, he advocated abstention from Westminster for those elected from Irish constituencies, which happened when the first Dáil met in 1919.

“The father of us all,” is how Michael Collins summarized Griffith’s key role in the nationalist movements that led to independence. Other opponents of the treaty also respected him.

It is not too late for Ceann Comhairle, Leas-Cheann Comhairle, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and TDs to redeem Griffith’s removal from the state’s Decade of Centenaries program.

The state planned to issue postage stamps commemorating the deaths of Collins and Erskine Childers in August and November 1922, respectively.

I suggest that Arthur Griffiths nationalists on all sides would expect us to recognize his work by convening the Dáil for at least a brief session on Friday 12 August – the centenary of his death.

Our elected officials could take this opportunity to reflect on the printer/journalist/editor/political prisoner/internee who has done more than most to promote Irish independence.

Donal O’Brolchain, Drumcondra, Dublin

Brexit is a success, but let’s vote on it again

I read with great interest the letter from David Ryan (“Negatives related with Brexit just keep piling up”, Letters, 29 July). In his view, Brexit has failed.

In any case, I voted for Brexit in 2016 and am happy about it. However, I would not object to a second referendum being held, provided it was binding regardless of the outcome.

I voted for Brexit because I hated the EU’s constant interference in British affairs. I remember when the UK joined what was then the EEC in 1973, which was a great idea but grew into something very different from Britain.

As an Englishman I think it is important that Scotland and Northern Ireland hold a referendum on independence and reunification as they both voted to remain in 2016.

I like miles, yards, feet, inches, pounds, ounces and stones. I miss the Fahrenheit weather forecast. However, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will say anything to become Prime Minister.

Dominic Shelmerdine, London

We’ve heard of a Grand Stretch, but a Grand Drop?

Heard in West Wicklow: ‘That’s a big raindrop and it’s timely. A day of it would do more good two weeks from now than a week of it a month later in the year.”

Mattie Lennon, Blessington, Co. Wicklow

How can drivers process a payment without internet?

In September, the National Transport Authority (NTA) will introduce a regulation requiring taxi drivers to accept card payments.

If drivers do not accept card payments, they face fines. This regulation is based on the false assumption that there is always functioning mobile Internet access nationwide to process these payments. There isn’t. Not even in Dublin.

Many factors hinder mobile Internet access. Bad weather and tall buildings are just two of them. The NTA was informed of this issue but chose to ignore it. Why?

Rory McCloskey, Lusk, County Dublin

This is not the time to put the climate on hold

Congratulations to the government for agreeing on sectoral emissions targets, which include setting the much-controversial target for agriculture at 25 percent.

Hopefully the plan and the transformative action it can produce will not fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, I suspect that the climate will wait a little longer.

Aidan Roddy, Cabinteely, Dublin 18

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/the-cost-of-key-utilities-will-be-beyond-the-reach-of-most-people-unless-drastic-action-is-taken-41878124.html The cost of essential utilities will be prohibitive for most people unless drastic action is taken

Fry Electronics Team

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