Leo Varadkar does not speak for the nationalists of this island


In a week when Nicola Sturgeon announced another referendum for Scottish independence, we read that Tánaiste Leo Varadkar had spoken out against any rush in a border poll on the island of Ireland. On whose behalf exactly is Mr. Varadkar speaking? Fine Gael, of course – the party that accepted the partition. But does he speak on behalf of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin or the nationalist people of the whole island, in particular the almost 50% Republicans in Ulster? I do not think so.

We must separate the old Cumann na nGaedheal ideals from modern Irish aspirations. Additionally, Varadkar cites his “respect” for Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP, a party determined to return the entire island to post-partition wrath with its goal of ensuring the crown trumps the harp every time. that every mailbox remains red and all shades of green are whitewashed.

If Mr. Varadkar truly believes he can deal with Mr. Donaldson, he is either naïve or complicit in Donaldson’s endgame. When the House of Lords approves the protocol-breaking amendments, does Mr Varadkar think the nationalist people of this island will accept the London Writ?

John Cuffe

Dunboyne, County Meath

We must overcome the All Blacks underhanded tactics next time around

While the top team won in New Zealand, all is not yet lost.

Ireland had three easy converted tries and no team can afford such extravagance.

We also had two close tries, correctly judged, when the ball was dislodged over the try line and several other decent attacks.

Add to that the All Black’s usual tactic of always trying to block would-be tacklers, offsides and slow the ball of their opponents, and the next test should be closer. No other team gets away with such behavior.

Also, in the 21st century, how are they still allowed to wear the haka? This “war dance” must be seen for what it is…a throwback to colonial times when it was considered a quaint ritual.

David Ryan

Co Meath

Ominous blackcurrant business amid crummy shrinkage

Has anyone noticed the reduction in ingredients and size of consumer goods since the magic word “inflation” came out of the bottle? Take the fruit scone, where you can now count the raisins on one hand. Or the fruit bread that must be cut lengthwise to reveal a modest currant. Then there are the “hand-carved” slices of ham (as opposed to foot-carved?) that would float out the window if left unattended.

Then we have the cheese, which, although produced in Ireland, is sold in expensive, reductive shavings that would barely cover a modest biscuit. Perhaps the producers are aiming for the Lilliputian market.

Eugene Tannam

Dublin 24

There is a much better option to help Afghans

With all due respect to Christy Galligan (“How can we stand back while the Taliban is suppressing women?”, Irish Independent, LettersJuly 2), since 1979, the Afghan people have repelled a Russian incursion, followed by a US-led coalition including soldiers from Britain, Australia and other nations.

It’s estimated to cost $300 million a day since 2001. In total, $2.3 trillion – and that’s only what we’re allowed to know.

The number of victims is shocking. The level of post-traumatic stress disorder among returning soldiers is profound, as are the suicides of these men and women.

Afghanistan’s mountainous landscape makes it a deadly trap for any invader.

The only feasible way to give the Afghan people relief and hope is to allow those who wish to enter Western countries. Think how much cheaper that would be than filling the coffers of a handful of ammo makers.

Declan Foley

Melbourne, Australia

Go west, life is peaceful and fun

Last Monday my wife and I went for a few days to the beautiful town of Westport. So perhaps you will allow me to share our joy with your readers?

Here it is: a tasty scone or a toastie at Gavin’s. Magical walks on the greenway to the quay with a funky little bookshop called “Tertulia – A bookstore like no other” (truly lives up to its name). Delicious evening meals at O’Malleys, Coveys and the West Bar. A few drinks with brilliant talent performing at the Porter House bar. A journey around Westport House and grounds. A short walk to Croagh Patrick. A pleasant drive to Newport and Achill Island. And just sitting in the middle of this bustling city observing life around us and people watching.

But most important of all, we even had plenty of sunshine. I am not joking. That’s what I call a vacation.

Thank God for that.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, County Donegal

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