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Letters from Irish Voice readers
Letters: Aug 20-26, 2008
August 22, 2008
Where’s the Outrage?
IT’S strange to see no anti-war encampment at the Russian Embassy in Dublin after the recent invasion of Georgia, a freedom loving European country, by Russian military forces.
It seems America’s war on terror, and its right to defend itself, may be the only war Irish citizens are vehemently opposed to.
No condemnation either, from Ireland’s “neutral” democratic peace loving government.
Or, as the hypocrisy continues, are we just seeing the true nature of plain old Irish anti- Americanism revealing itself a little more?
Hilton Head Island,
I HAVE just read a distressing story, albeit one with a happy ending, in a provincial Irish newspaper. It concerned a terrified and defenseless puppy that was used as a live football by a group of children.
A little girl who witnessed the incident rescued the animal from them, and it thankfully recovered from its ordeal with her family’s help.
As a campaigner against hare coursing for almost 30 years, I feel I cannot let this event pass without comment.
Because in coursing the innocent hare, a sensitive, harmless creature, is also forced to serve as a virtual football, a plaything for competing dogs to chase, knock about, and possibly maul or kill depending on how it performs and on the speed and agility of its pursuers.
It’s not misguided or ill-behaved youngsters who organize hare coursing festivals. It’s grown adults, including prominent members of both houses of the Irish government, who stand about clapping, howling and cheering as the hares are terrorized within the confines of a wired enclosure.
And they have lots in common with those kids whose actions might, if the compassionate child had not intervened, resulted in the cruel death of the puppy or grievous injury to the animal.
They got a buzz from ill-treating the puppy, like their elders and supposed betters in the coursing fraternity derive from watching a trapped animal fight for its life.
What an example those people who horribly abuse part of Ireland’s wildlife heritage are giving to children and teenagers. They ought to hang their heads in shame.
How can one admonish a child for kicking a dog when grown men and women are allowed by our government to dress up sickening and quite deliberate cruelty as “sport?”
Callan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
Thanks for Cormac
I AM not a huge fan of the Irish Voice, especially from a political perspective, but Cormac MacConnell is worth the price of the paper each week.
I love his columns. I am an American, but he evokes Irish life so well and so beautifully that you could be any nationality and still appreciate his work.
I just hope he stops smoking for his own good, and ours! I would hate for anything to happen to him, and he seems as if he’s been a smoker for a long time.
Thank you for giving Cormac a voice in America. I’m sure I speak for many when I say how wonderful he is.
Don’t Come Back
I AM writing from Ireland. I would prefer if you did not print my location or my name for obvious reasons.
I lived in New York and Chicago for six years as an undocumented immigrant. I enjoyed my life in the States very much, but felt restricted by the usual frustrations – not being able to travel home, always being scared of being detected, not having a Social Security number, etc. So I made the decision last Christmas to come “home” to Ireland for good.
I left a job as a waitress and part-time babysitter which I loved. I left friends, both Irish, American and a few other nationalities. I left behind my love of pretty much all things American.
And now, you guessed it, I’m so, so sorry I made the move. America is my home, but unfortunately there is no turning back.
I didn’t have a job lined up when I returned, which was mistake number one. And I’ve been on and off employed since I got back.
Seeing the family was, of course, fantastic, but the euphoria wore off after a few weeks. It wasn’t as if I never saw my mother or two siblings, as they traveled to the States to see me at fairly regular intervals.
The financial situation here is ridiculous. Everything – and I mean everything – is so expensive. It’s impossible to save money.
Then, to cap it all off, has been the horrible Irish summer – summer actually isn’t the right word. With all the rain it feels like the end of the world.
My message to anyone thinking about returning to Ireland – forget about it. There’s nothing going on here, just plenty of unemployment, high prices, bad weather and bad everything else.
You don’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone. I would give anything in the world to return to my life in America. I look back at my decision to leave, and I can’t believe I was so impulsive and naïve.
With the cold winter just around the corner, I’m preparing to pack my bags and make a go of it elsewhere. Anywhere but here.
I will never live in Ireland again. I would hope to someday return to my life in the U.S. Maybe the new president and his administration will be able to do something about that.
Irish Positions Irrelevant
I AM quite sure that Barack Obama, should he win the White House, will have no problem continuing with the Irish policies put forward by his predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Why wouldn’t he?
But to act as if the Irish American vote is the be all and end all for the Obama campaign, or indeed the McCain campaign, is absurd. Neither candidate has attended the Irish American Presidential Forum as of yet, but my answer is, so what?
Let’s be real here. There are lots of problems in the world that we live in that require substantial American involvement and commitment. Just look at what’s happening in Georgia and the Middle East if evidence is needed.
Ireland is at peace. It boasts a young, highly educated population. Yes, there are problems with the economy over there at the present time, but that’s not just an Irish problem. We’ve got our own looming recession in the U.S. to worry about.
I am an Irish American and a proud one at that. I particularly enjoy Irish music and poetry, and I’ve been to the land of my grandparents’ birth on several occasions.
But I’m not going to cast my vote on whether or not Obama or McCain will appoint a special envoy to Ireland, or if they pledge to take a trip to Ireland. During President Clinton’s time there was a need to get a president to make firm commitments about how America could intervene in solving the problems in the North.
Now that that has been done, America should – and is – play the role of bystander. The Irish and British governments seem to be doing a fine job of sorting out their problems and issues on their own, as it should be.
Both candidates have said they are in favor of doing something about immigration reform, which would help the Irish. And I’m sure they’ll keep hosting the Irish leader on St. Patrick’s Day. Other than that, what else is there to say?
I’ll be voting for Obama for many different reasons. His position on Ireland will not be one of them, though.
Brooklyn, New York
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