Thursday, March 24, 2005

Letters to the Editor

Mgb had a letter published in today's Irish Times (well done, Mike). However, in his comments on it on his blog he appears to imply that my contributions to the Irish Times might be characterised as those of a crank! So, I've included them below to allow you dear reader to be the real judge.

So, crank or not?

Date Published: Feb 16 2002
Sir, - Taking the opportunity that the recent report on Stadium Ireland has given us, and in advance of the election, I have a suggestion: Given the considerable time, effort and simple hard work that the many sports organisations, in particular the GAA, in Ireland have had to go to to offer sport to the citizens and in the absence of any real public policy on funding sports and recreational activities since the foundation of the State, I would suggest that the State buy Croke Park (less the money given already specifically for the current development), Lansdowne Road, Pairc Úi Chaoimh and the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick and develop them to meet the needs of the country.
I am sure that arrangements can be made to ensure that the organisations retain most of the gate money and that the grounds would be available for traditional dates i.e. Croke Park would be made available for the All Ireland ahead of any soccer matches. The money given to the organisations for their grounds would then be used by the organisations to fund full-time coaches and development where a central facility is not required.
Imagine: Dublin Gaelic matches and perhaps some Leinster finals might fit in a remodelled 55,000-seater Lansdowne Road, Munster rugby and hurling into a 20,000 to 35,000 seater Gaelic grounds and a 30,000 to 55,000-seater ground in Cork available for a Cork-Kerry All Ireland!
We do not need three stadiums in Dublin at the cost of developing facilities around the rest of the country. - Yours, etc.,
DANIEL K. SULLIVAN,Collinswood, Dublin 9.

Date Published: Date: June 12 2003
Madam, - While concurring with Vera Hughes' sentiments about Kathy Sheridan's column "A week of rituals and partings", I would like to point out that the column had another insightful aspect that may have been missed. In noting possible future careers for the class of 2003 "artists, businesswomen, musicians, beauticians, scientists, cooks, dentists, doctors, child-carers, pharmacists and teachers", it is interesting that none of these young women were thinking of pursuing a career in engineering.
When trying to understand why the numbers of women at the top level in Irish professions are less than they might be, we often forget that if a few members of any group enter an area that it is likely that equally few will reach the top. It is often noted that young girls tend to play games that involve more role-play and understanding relationships, and that this can help them assist them in certain careers in later life.
Should they not be encouraged to play games that involve more hard-fact-based problem-solving which might allow them to develop the skills required for engineering? And while I personally dislike this gender typing of personality aspects, if we are encouraging boys to explore their "feminine" side, are we not doing a disservice to girls in not encouraging them to explore the "male" approach? Yours, etc.,
DANIEL K. SULLIVAN, Collinswood, Dublin 9.

Date Published: August 6th 2003
Madam, - In your edition of July 28th the Tánaiste is quoted as follows: "Questioned about Fianna Fáil's standing, Ms Harney said Mr Ahern has been 'an outstanding and successful leader for the party. He was the first Taoiseach in over 30 years to be re-elected.' "
It would seem Mary Harney is choosing to forget her part in Charlie Haughey's re-election as Taoiseach in 1989. The Fianna Fáil government may not have been returned to power but Charlie Haughey certainly was. Does this example of selective memory explain how our Government seems to have forgotten so much of what it committed itself to last year? - Yours etc.,
DANIEL K. SULLIVAN, (Fine Gael local area representative), Collinswood, Dublin 9.

Date Published: Sept 16th 2003
Madam, - Finian McGrath TD (September 10th), writing on the rights of disabled people, says: "This important issue should never be used as a political football. The reality is that successive Governments have failed people with disabilities."
I would contend that it is the people of Ireland who failed the disabled down through the years. It has been the immense work of parents, other family, friends and a select minority that has prevented the disabled from being completely marginalised. What the majority of people contributed was a few bob here and there and a smile for "the poor cratur".
This is why the Special Olympics were so important. They served to break down the idea that people with disabilities were somehow apart from everyone else.
I agree we need strong, rights-based legislation to protect and advance the lives of the disabled. However, it is the people we need to take this argument to, not the Government. Change people's minds and have them say loudly enough that it this a priority, and the Government will follow.
We, the people, need to start to take responsibility for our actions and stop voting for governments and then claiming we bear no responsibility for what they do. In the last election one in three didn't see fit to vote at all. Almost another one in three of the people voted for this Government, yet if you stop anyone in the street, almost no one will admit to doing either. - Yours, etc.,
DANIEL K. SULLIVAN (Fine Gael Area Representative), Collinswood, Dublin 9.

Date Published: Dec 21 2004
Madam, - Last year, many of us were aghast at the attacks on the entitlements of widows as part of the "savage 16" cuts introduced by the then Minister for Social Welfare, Mary Coughlan. This year it has come to light that the State has been systematically robbing pensioners in State care - a matter that appears to have come to light during the tenure of the last Minister for Health, Micheál Martin.
This Christmas we will need to be watchful that Santa Claus is not followed down the chimney by an agent of the State seeking to take the presents intended for the smallest members of the household - perhaps to be resold to cover the costs of Mr Martin Cullen's PR successes, such as electronic voting, Farmleigh House, Carrickmines, the hill of Tara and the Waterford Bypass. - Yours, etc.,
DANIEL SULLIVAN, (Fine Gael), Beaumont, Dublin 9.

This last one was referred to in the Daily Mirror of Dec 23rd as putting Minister Cullen in the hospital!


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