The Fianna Fáil branch in the UCD was the first to propose Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin

Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland in 2011, and particularly the way she showed such respect in the Garden of Remembrance, was a significant moment in rebalancing Irish-British relations.

Indeed, the positive reaction to the British monarch’s visit to Dublin influenced another campaign, which was ultimately successful when former Defense Secretary Alan Shatter introduced legislation granting blacklisted staff who had been off duty during the emergency years and had joined British or Allied forces, granted immunity from prosecution In Ireland.

This unique and historic law would not have been possible without the efforts of everyone involved over the past few years and it has taken political courage on the part of Mr Shatter to introduce this law in a new climate of evolving Irish-British relations.

There are many claims and counter-claims in some circles as to how the idea of ​​the Queen’s visit to the Garden of Remembrance came about.

For the record, it was the Kevin Barry branch of the Fianna Fáil party at University College Dublin that was the first to accept a motion (which can be viewed online, by the way) inviting the Queen to visit the Garden of Remembrance and it was adopted in UCD on November 9, 1994.

Young students were told it was not possible to take him in, but the passage of that motion would be placed on the files at Fianna Fáil’s headquarters at Mount Street, Dublin 2.

It is encouraging to know that 16 years later the Queen visited the Garden of Remembrance with a little support and suggestion from students from previous years (the President Michael D was another success).

We knew then that the Fianna Fáil-led government felt that a visit to the Garden of Remembrance was not possible, or even should be suggested.

As it turned out, the visit became a symbolic moment of the Queen’s visit to our country.

While others have claimed credit for the different timetables – and they have every right to do so – they also need to be reminded that it was UCD’s young students who, in 1994, foresaw the benefit of a visit from the Queen
to the Garden of Remembrance to build and maintain the peace process that is beginning.

The younger generation of Republicans was right. I thank them for their courage and clear vision at a time when others thought such a visit impossible.

Peter Mulvany, Clontarf, Dublin 3

Let’s get the housing crisis properly under control

If government sources are to be believed, the real estate crisis is virtually unsolvable. They are now telling us that the terrible situation will continue regardless of which political party is in power.

What bleak prospects for our children and theirs.

Such rhetoric, however, has all the hallmarks of cutesy politicians and their advisers preparing to unleash the ever-popular “can’t” attack on those who may emerge with a real plan to deal with the crisis. We can therefore take their fateful arguments with a pinch of salt.

And of course the solution to the real estate crisis is quite achievable. It didn’t come out of nowhere. It is the result of an ideologically driven housing policy that left the provision of social housing to the market and other private individuals.

A blind man on a galloping horse could see what the consequences would be. Instead of planning for current and future needs, we would get artificial shortages of land, labor, and materials to slow down production, thereby driving up prices, land values, and rents.

Warnings to the government when it proposed this change in housing policy fell on deaf ears and, exceptionally, continue to do so.

While no one is claiming that the housing crisis can be solved overnight, there is no doubt that the general supply situation would improve quickly if the state first put all its resources into providing social housing.

Not only would it immediately increase public housing, but it would make buying a home much easier for those who want it as private home prices stabilize due to lower demand.

At this point we should have a clear understanding of what went wrong and resolve to try something that might work. The focus must be on providing citizens with a home, rather than viewing all homes as commodities to profit from. If we can’t bring ourselves to do that at least, what’s the point of all this?

The politics of cynicism has served us ill – it’s time we tried the politics of hope.

Jim O’Sullivan, Rathedmond, Sligo

Pogues’ ‘Whiskey’ turned sour compared to Lizzy

Her picture of Phil Lynott framing the mission statement, which explores the tricky balancing act between Irish culture and heritage (Letters, Irish IndependentSeptember 9th) reminded me of the lovely story about the Pogues games at the Glasgow Barrowlands, which as always were packed with Irish expats and those in Celtic football tops pretending to be Irish.

As part of their encore, they decided to play Whiskey in the jugwhich they recorded as a B-side for them earlier in the year at the suggestion of the band’s traditional Irish music expert Terry Woods (the rest of the band were all ex-punks). Jack’s heroes Single featuring The Dubliners released to celebrate the Irish football team finally reaching the final of the World Cup.

Unfortunately, parts of the crowd immediately started booing and shaking their heads. Shane MacGowan asked the crowd what was going on and was met with a chorus of howls to “play the song right, ya eejits – like Thin Lizzy”.

As MacGowan and Woods stared at each other in amazement, their guitarist, the late Phil Chevron, almost fell on Andy Ranken’s drum kit with laughter. He had warned them months earlier that this was exactly what would happen with a non-traditional folk music audience, ironically after hearing from Woods about the problems his old band Steeleye Span faced as they transitioned to mainstream prominence .

The Irish rockers’ better-known slow, beautiful take is, of course, the opposite of the gritty original.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Let’s roll out the barrels and conserve water supplies

When water rates were first discussed, I invested in one of these rainwater barrels. A wonderful way to save water when it comes to thirsty flowers.

A drop in the bucket, perhaps, but as the ad says: “Every little thing helps”.

It would be wonderful if the government could create a simple monetary incentive for people to invest in them. Roll out barrels?

Tom Gilsenan, Beaumont, Dublin 9

Electric Picnic should be broadcast all over the world

Ireland is known around the world for its music, arts and culture. Internally, music beats at the heart of our culture, our people and the businesses that operate here.

Each September, Electric Picnic is Ireland’s largest gathering of music and arts. With a wide variety of music, art, theatre, comedy, food and holistic health, it’s the biggest fun circus this country has every year.

Why then, as a ticket holder who was ill and was unable to attend this year, do I feel cheated that Irish TV coverage was not available for this event? A few minutes of news coverage focused mainly on the poor weather conditions.

What an opportunity to promote the splendor of Irish and international music, and all in such a wonderful setting.

Compared to the BBC’s coverage of Glastonbury and similar events, we are being taken advantage of by our channels leaving any limited coverage to platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Here’s a call to action for 2023 – who will be covering Electric Picnic and other festivals next year to show what Ireland has to offer to the world?

Dave Spall, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 The Fianna Fáil branch in the UCD was the first to propose Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin

Fry Electronics Team

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