We need community policing, not crude reactions, and battle gear

In the mid-1980s, so-called joyriding was the buzzword – along with the “revolving door”. Keyword outrage and scoring in the Dáil and in the media full of righteous anger.

he solution? Spike Island was opened to the joyriders. None were sent there, but the prison system was thrown into chaos trying to integrate a creaky system. Six months later, Spike was burned to the ground. Chaotic reactions to chaos create more of it.

Taking cheap shots at Attorney General Helen McEntee is wrong. Putting more law and order into solving the problem won’t work.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, formerly PSNI, informs us that the “Public Order Unit is being set up”. Big. That’s all we need – helmets and shields on the road.

Has it ever occurred to the political class and the commissioner that it might actually work better to put most of that public order unit in the municipal police force?

Policing in Ireland is overreactionary. Could we go back to bringing Gardaí back into the community?

American, Northern Irish and British forms of police work are alien to us here. A hundred years ago, an unarmed Garda force won the support of the masses. It would be a pity to waste this by going back to a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) model.

John Cuffe, Dunboyne, Co. Meath

The Church will only survive if it is not bound by the rule of celibacy

Allowing Catholic priests to marry would bring the Church into the 21st century. Requiring celibacy from priests dramatically reduces the pool from which they can be recruited.

The Vatican says that Jesus remained celibate and so should his servants on earth. Passages in the Bible extol celibacy. However, nothing in the gospels requires all clergy to accept it – and before the 11th century the church did not insist on it.

The rule was introduced primarily for financial reasons, since clergymen without children would be more likely to leave their wealth to the church.

The church is desperately short of priests and losing many of its followers in its core areas. One solution would be for the Catholic Church to ask its 1.4 billion followers in a referendum, “Should Catholic priests be allowed to marry?”

Allowing priests to marry would prop up the Catholic Church in the 21st century.

Kieran O. Regan, Dublin 9

One Santa to worry as the stores are now full of festive goodies

I just saw my first chocolate Santa Claus at Lidl. Am I getting older and time is on steroids or are we all losing our marbles? Maybe it’s Brexit messing up the logistics.

David Ryan, Co Meath

The ‘equality’ model for pension entitlements has its shortcomings

Jim O’Sullivan believes the “pension transition would cause a real mess of fair play” (Irish Independent, Letters, September 22). He believes we have a two-tier healthcare system – and that our pension system will soon follow.

I would like to ask him the following question: isn’t there a difference between the person who starts working at 16 and the person who goes to university and starts working at 22?

Doesn’t he see that people who go to college and become professionals will have a different pension that they paid into during their working lives?

They will most likely pay taxes on their pensions and continue to contribute to Irish society.

Unfortunately, there are people who drop out of school early and earn free housing, free medical care, and an income from the government for the rest of their lives.

Mr. O’Sullivan speaks of fair play – and I only think of the hardworking, highly qualified teacher; the overworked nurse; and the Gardaí who risked their lives at Cherry Orchard last Monday night.

I can see that Mr O’Sullivan is a very kind, compassionate man, but I would like to warn him that this equality was attempted in Russia and we have seen the consequences.

Thomas Garvey, Claremorris, Co. Mayo

Lazarus-like lords leave Liz with a serious protocol problem

The unusual and unexpected intervention by the House of Lords in Liz Truss’ intention to change the Northern Ireland Protocol reminds me of an amusing incident many years ago when the late British MP Jeremy Thorpe used the Lords as “material evidence that… it exists” described life after death”.

Brendan Casserly, Bishopstown, Co Cork

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/we-need-community-policing-not-heavy-handed-reactions-and-riot-gear-42010926.html We need community policing, not crude reactions, and battle gear

Fry Electronics Team

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