Let’s never forget that Irish neutrality has served us well


The question of Irish neutrality is constantly in the headlines, and even some of our politicians are beginning to wonder whether the Ukrainian problem should change our attitude.

do not forget that Éamon de Valera’s policy of neutrality saved us The Second World War and our permanent neutrality allow our peacekeepers to be welcomed wherever they are called upon to help maintain the
peace.

i’m struck by the title in the Irish Independent of March 7: “Our duty to Ukrainian refugees is paramount”. This heading should read: “Our duty to all refugees must be equal, whether they are Muslims or refugees fleeing dictators in Africa or elsewhere.”

Not so long ago, Irish workers looking for work in the UK were given the sign: “No Black or Irish need apply.”

Hugh Duffy, Cleggan, County Galway

The Russians aren’t the only ones starting an illegal war

Much is said about the obvious duplicity in Russian diplomatic strategy towards Ukraine. The West is offended. In 2002, against the wishes of the UN, NATO unilaterally declared war on Iraq.

The motives for this war were also false and baseless, the infamous British Chilcot Report calling it “unnecessary”.

In Ireland, 100,000 people protested, but that didn’t stop the government of the day from facilitating NATO by allowing Shannon Airport to be used during this contrived conflict, in which over a million people died.

Eugene Tannam, Firhouse, Dublin 24

Billions of dollars looted from the Kremlin led to Putin’s rise to power

Rory O’Connor is correct (“War is not about Nato, it’s about ill-gotten Russian loot,” Letters, March 16) in stating the facts about Putin et al.

The other fact is – as we read daily in the British media – that Western banks accepted “with pleasure” without question the looted billions, knowing they had been stolen from state Kremlin coffers.

The fault also lies with Western politicians who turned a blind eye to bank malfeasance. They remained blind to the fact that the “looting” would lead to the coming to power of a “strong man”, under the guise of recovering the money. The rest is a tragic story.

The current greed of a few, with so much money that they cannot spend it because they have everything they want while giving the need of a soul, will knowend in either farce or tragedy.

Declan Foley, Melbourne, Australia

Begorrah and begob, let’s hear it for the elves

Ian O’Doherty is right to praise St. Patrick’s Day (“Maybe it’s time to give St. Patrick’s Day the credit it deserves – other countries do”, Irish Independent, March 16).

It’s only when you experience the day celebrated outside of Ireland, like I did in Tel Aviv in 2016, that you see how positive, inclusive and fun it is.

Wednesday, I heard an RTÉ celebrity say that nobody says “Top of the mornin'” in Ireland. Begorrah, I have news for Ryan Tubridy. I do it occasionally. And I think pixies are awesome and The quiet man is a classic movie.

I draw the line to the crubeens, though – best left to the people of Cork.

Karl Martin, Bayside, Dublin 13

Foreign scammers don’t appreciate cúpla focal

The phone rang. I picked it up. The caller was a very nice man named Stephen. He was supposedly from the technical branch of Eir and told me that my computer had a problem.

Since this is Seachtain na Gaeilge, I thought it appropriate to try out a few of my Irish phrases to welcome him, thank him for calling me, and wish him a happy St. Patrick’s Day , when without warning my good friend Stephen went offline.

Was he disappointed with my expression of the language, or did he not appreciate the beauty, color and richness of our mother tongue?

One thing struck me very forcefully: it is useless to use a few focail to a foreigner with a foreign accent, especially when they tryg to scam you.

Cristoir O Chathasaigh, Patrician Park, Castlebar

Saints alive – let’s call this celebration what it really is

Today is Saint Patrick’s Day. Not under any other name.

Oliver McGrane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

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