Letters to the Editor: Cork City bus services simply inadequate

Letters to the Editor: Cork City bus services simply inadequate

One Cork 12-year-old was not impressed by the Bus Éireann service recently. Picture: Larry Cummins

On Friday, I was at a Bus Éireann stop by the Mardyke in Cork City, and I was waiting for a bus for over an hour with my brother (aged 10) and my childminder.

Two buses passed us and they were out of service, another two were full, and a fifth, even though my childminder stuck her hand out to signal that we wanted to get on, just completely ignored us and drove past us. 

We were so upset and tired by the time the fifth bus passed, because we had been waiting for more than an hour.

In the end, because we could not wait any longer, we decided to take a taxi. Everyone is saying to use the bus instead of using cars to the environment, but I won’t be using Bus Éireann next time, if this is what happens.

Honey Hyde Twohig (aged 12)


Free Palestine is a peaceful Palestine

Peace is a word that’s easy to say but harder to achieve. On Saturday, Ursula von der Leyen published a statement asserting that the entire EU supports Israel. This assertion is a gross oversimplification, and it certainly does not represent the views of all EU citizens, including myself.

Achieving peace requires acknowledging the role of the oppressor and the suffering of the oppressed. A history of bad decisions made by the UN has contributed to the suffering of the Palestinian people, and it’s essential for Western governments to show humility in this regard. Resistance is ugly, and people often don’t achieve freedom by politely asking their oppressors to stop oppressing them. This approach didn’t work for the Irish, the French, or African Americans.

So, why should the killing of Palestinian people be tolerated?

“Hey, do you mind not killing us and here’s our country” — Nonsense.

The road to peace is scarred by the suffering of innocent civilians. In my view, the power dynamic between Israel and Palestine resembles that of a domestic abuser gaslighting their victim when they try to defend themselves. Right-leaning politicians often use the rhetoric of “why’d you have to go and make them so angry” while waving the flag of Israel. Apparently “women and children” only count when they’re Israeli “women and children”, while all other innocents are “Hamas” and simply deserve it.

This upends the disingenuous calls for peace as what they really are, calls for Palestinians to be subjugated and overrun by their Israeli captors. Convenient yes, reality-based, no. Nothing is being taken away from Israel by acknowledging the statehood and human rights of Palestinians.

The death toll of Palestinian civilians significantly exceeds that of Israelis, with more than 20 Palestinian fatalities for every single Israeli fatality (6,407 Palestinian fatalities to 308 Israeli). Claiming that all these fatalities are due to Hamas is a blatant lie. The assertion that Israel has a right to defend itself is a bigger lie when it is, in fact, occupying Palestine, restricting access to medicine, education, and freedom of movement.

No rational Irish person would support such actions. Support for these actions is often a result of a state deeply rooted in religion. While places like Ireland have moved away from the shadow of the Catholic Church, we share parallel histories: dehumanisation, colonisation, vilification, and being labelled as terrorists for seeking peace and freedom from oppression in our homeland.

The loss of civilian lives is regrettable, and violence is abhorrent. Throughout history, peace has rarely been achieved without standing up to oppressors. It is disheartening to see that the people of Israel, who once endured suffering themselves in the 1940s, seem to have forgotten their own history while imposing suffering on the people of Palestine.

Surprisingly, ending the occupation and apartheid in Palestine could likely lead to the dissolution of Hamas and bring peace to the region. People tend to embrace peace when they are not facing murder, invasion, property theft, and human rights violations. One would hope for empathy from Israelis, given their own history of suffering, but it seems that lessons have not been learned.

Given Israel’s role as oppressors, it is doubtful that they will offer empathy or understanding in this situation. As the saying goes, history often favours the oppressor.

In the words sang by our dearest activist, Sinéad O’Connor: “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war.”

A free Palestine is a peaceful Palestine.

Ed Fitzgerald


Co Cork

Israeli oppressors

It is very sad to see a renewal of war in Palestine/Israel resulting in thousands of civilians dead and injured again on both sides of this.

This is a 76-year-old conflict. Gaza, with a population of 2m, is the world‘s largest open area prison, blockaded by Israel, and the Palestinian West Bank is under Israeli military control. Israel’s colonial intent is enabled with the support of a compliant US administration.

Israel’s far-right government has been ruthless in its besieging, killings, incarceration, and daily humiliation of millions of indigenous Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It believed its unmasked brutality would force Palestinians to simply surrender and accept oppression as a fate worse than death.

Don Teegan

Union Hall

Co Cork

Sinn Féin’s failings on housing in North

During the debate on our next budget, Sinn Féin cynically and opportunistically exploited the suffering of those who are experiencing housing problems. 

They attack the Government for being entirely responsible for the crisis. They fail to acknowledge the Government has had to accommodate more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees which has had an obvious impact on its ability to solve the problem. 

I wholeheartedly support the Government’s humanitarian policy to house these refugees who are facing death and annihilation in their own country, yet Sinn Féin gives them no credit or recognition for this. I challenge SF to state whether or not they support the Government policy on housing Ukrainian refugees even though it inevitably impacts on housing needs.

Furthermore, I challenge SF to tell voters in the Republic of their own record while in government in Northern Ireland on the housing crisis there. Sinn Féin have been in and out of office in the North for over 20 years. During this period they have the influential posts of ministers for finance and housing respectively — key posts for addressing housing issues.

During this period, those on the social housing list has increased from 26,000 to over 45,000. According to Homeless Connect, which represents Northern Ireland’s homelessness sector, the vast majority of households in housing stress have homelessness status, equating to 26,745 households in June 2023.

Many of the above statistics have been stated in articles on housing in the Belfast Telegraph during the last week, which I would like to acknowledge.

I believe these statistics illustrate that the housing situation in Northern Ireland under governments and political institutions in which Sinn Féin played a major role has been worse than that which exists in the Republic. Therefore, Sinn Féin claims that they have the solution to solving the housing crisis in this part of Ireland is not credible.

John Cushnahan

Former Leader Alliance Party and former Fine Gael MEP

Fosse for a flutter

When I read that Jon Fosse  had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I googled him as I was not familiar with his work. There were a number of articles about him and his creative material but also the odds of him winning. This went as far back as 2013 when betting on him was suspended as the odds had dropped from 100-1 to 14-1.

Is nothing sacrosanct? Aren’t there enough horses in the world for people to bet on, or machines to sit in front of as you watch your money disappear? I don’t mind the odd flutter on some inevitably slow horse, but this is too much.

You’re on a sure winner if you back the fact that gambling, despite the loses and social damage it creates, will last longer than you will.

Dennis Fitzgerald



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