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Treaty anniversary should be marked by a public holiday

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Recently there was a big hullabaloo about creating a bank holiday to thank the medical and nursing staff of Irish hospitals for their excellent care during the initial Covid impact on the nation.

et December 6 has been ignored by the Irish State for far too long: 99 years in fact, with little or no commemoration of what was in its time a significant and courageous move against an empire upon which the sun never set.

Not since the American war of independence – aided and abetted by the French navy – had the British Empire been faced with such international public humiliation.

It seems a strange oversight for a nation with ancient historical roots; whose natives brought Christianity back to Europe; and which has given, and continues to give, so much to the world via the arts, including four Nobel prizes for literature and one for science, from the Republic, with seven from Northern Ireland for peace.

Yet, because a small number of people choose to distort the actual facts of the Treaty, what should be a proud and joyous day is deliberately low key.

Declan Foley

Melbourne, Australia

Vulgar slang about women in music should be banned

The rap music scene is littered with a plague of curvaceous, booty-obsessed female ‘performers’ who incomprehensibly revel in demeaning and crushing their own gender. It’s offensive enough that male rappers have described women as ‘bitches’ and ‘hoes’ for years.

A discussion and indeed a ban on vulgar slang about women is essential. There’s something wrong with the high level of tolerance afforded this ‘musical’ abuse.

Dr Florence Craven

Bracknagh, Co Offaly

 

Russia is not threatening Ukraine and seeks dialogue

The article ‘Best answer to Russian threats is closer Ukraine ties’, by Michael McFaul and Oleksiy Honcharuk (Irish Independent, December 3) is totally wrong on both of its main assumptions – that Russia is threatening Ukraine and that Russia considers the US to be its greatest enemy.

As has been stated over and over again by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and many other Russian officials, there has never been any intention on the part of Russia to threaten anyone, including Ukraine. The current chorus in the West about Russian troops “dangerously concentrating” on the Ukrainian border rings false and is designed to shift international attention from the real preparations by the armed forces of Ukraine for an attack against the people in the south-eastern region of Donbass.

It is a fact that in the face of all hostility and provocations from Washington, the Russian government has been consistent in its rejection of any attempts of external interference in its foreign and domestic policy.

At the same time, in our approach to the relations with the US we always take a responsible attitude, based on the understanding that there is no room for miscalculations or mistakes in the relations between the two greatest nuclear powers.

For the sake of world stability, Russia has always championed predictable and constructive dialogue.

Yuriy Filatov

Russian Ambassador to Ireland, Dublin 6

 

Removing Nphet from media address is a retrograde step

Reports over the weekend indicate that the Cabinet has decided to ensure that henceforth Covid communications would be managed and facilitated through the Government Information Services. This follows after several ministers were very critical of our senior public health leaders and officials due to their interaction with the media, which the ministers deemed to be compromising the Government’s communication with the public on Covid.

Such a decision, in my view, would be a very retrograde step.

As a citizen of this State, I wish to be addressed, as necessary, by our chief medical officer.

I want to hear, unfettered, his expert view, that of his staff and that of our other eminent senior medical scientists and practitioners. They invariably tell it straight.

Having said that, I am certainly not deaf to information, advice and decisions of Government (who carry the ultimate responsibility) and which I regard as the other essential segment necessary for me.

I suggest many should be informed as to the detail necessary in taking prime personal responsibility – the greatest single resource each individual has directly at hand. In fairness to both Nphet and the Government, it should be carefully noted after all the country has been through at this point, how so many opposition politicians, of all parties and none, persist in having it every which way and continue to use the pandemic to play populist politics.

Michael Gannon

Co Kilkenny

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