To the unvaccinated: this jab could be a lifeline to others

A quick call to the unvaccinated: I hear what you’re saying. You’re afraid of getting a vaccine for various reasons, but mostly you do not like being told what to do, never mind being forced into it!

But let’s face it: most of us hate being told what to do. We are all sick and tired of it.
I am a nurse involved in vaccinating, and I am not going to tell you you must get a vaccine, but I would like you to think of a different scenario. Picture a river with a path running alongside it where you are walking. Up ahead there is an old man walking who suddenly stumbles and falls in. You cannot swim but right beside you there is a buoy attached to a pole and, without a second thought, you grab it and throw the man a lifeline.

When the dust settles and we have moved on from Covid and have time to reflect, remember: a vaccine is but a lifeline – or did you just paddle your own canoe?

Mary McElligott

Listowel, Co Kerry

Sinn Féin and ‘Friends of’ are two separate entities

Every time you publish a story about Fianna Fáil’s calling themselves a charity in order to get around a law that they created (‘Fianna Fáil declares itself a ‘charity’ in legal loophole to run €600,000 raffle,’ Irish Independent, December 2), you bring up the golf outing in New York run by the Friends of Sinn Féin (‘€200,000 raised for Sinn Féin at golf event in the US,’ Irish Independent, November 30). However, ever since the initial story about this outing, you have left off the ‘Friends of’ part.

I moved to Ireland over four years ago. When I lived in New Jersey, I was a member of the Friends of Sinn Féin and Sinn Féin: they are two separate organisations.

The golf outing you keep referring to as ‘a Sinn Féin event’ was a fundraiser for the Friends of Sinn Féin. If you do some fact checking you will find that Friends of Sinn Féin has to follow strict reporting rules as established by the US government: they must report the source of all funds and how those funds are spent. It is doubtful that Sinn Féin in Ireland will see those funds.

I have followed Irish politics and researched Irish history since the early 1980s. Fianna Fáil, and Fine Gael, are as far from a charity as you can get – unless doing things for those poor less fortunate corporations, vulture funds, etc, qualifies as such.

James O’Brien

Bray, Co Wicklow

Silencing of Nphet is an attack on our democracy

I would like to congratulate Fionnán Sheahan for a brilliant piece (‘Dr Tony is cocooned as leaks are only for Leo, the Cabbage Strainer and the panto,’ Irish Independent, December 6).

The silencing of Nphet is disgraceful. It’s a fundamental attack on our democracy and I feel the Government should resign and call an election.

I hope journalists like Fionnán will continue to put pressure on government. This is akin to Trump’s silencing the press and freedom of speech.

We do not live in Putin’s Russia.

‘Follow the science’ means ‘hear the science’.

Aoife McNamara

Address with editor

Charity begins… at the fund raising for political parties

Regarding the running of lotteries in the guise of charities by political parties, one has visions of receiving good news thus: “Congratulations you’re a winner!

“You owe us twenty euro.”

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

Farmers have the power to meet climate commitments

Last week it was announced that up to seven gas-fired generating plants are to be built over the next decade as well as the continued burning of coal. This puts electricity generation and whether or not it can meet its climate targets on the back burner, not to mention security of supply given that 90pc of gas is imported via the UK.

During the same week it was little reported that half a teaspoon of an EU-approved supplement has been proven to reduce methane emissions of ruminating animals by up to 30pc. In other words, this innovative solution could allow farmers meet their climate targets on methane gas emissions.

Yet at the weekend the ICMSA president said at his organisation’s AGM that “Environmental commentators on farming wouldn’t know a heifer from a Hoover.”

Perhaps instead of always playing the victim, farmers could take a leaf out of ex-Dairygold CEO Jim Woulfe’s book. Having spent 42 years with the co-op, he said in a newspaper interview earlier this year, “The dairy industry needs better leadership on the sustainability agenda” and engage with the climate change agenda “in a proactive way”.

Tom McElligott

Listowel, Co Kerry

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