Letters to the Editor: Stemming the tide of Fentanyl

Irish Examiner readers write about opiods, passion for GAA, and same-sex unions
Letters to the Editor: Stemming the tide of Fentanyl

Packets of fentanyl mostly in powder form and methamphetamine, which US Customs and Border Protection say they seized from a truck crossing into Arizona from Mexico. How long more will Ireland escape from its clutches? And what are the most effective ways of combatting its spread?

A few years ago, I had never heard of a drug called Fentanyl. Now, the very mention of it strikes fear in my heart. I have watched some documentaries and seen the trail of death and destruction it leaves in its wake.

How long more will Ireland escape from its clutches? And what are the most effective ways of combatting its spread?

I was a secondary teacher for many years, and I firmly believe that arming young people with a belief in and a respect for themselves, and educating them in the dangers of this deadly opioid are some of the strongest lines of attack. An awareness of the issues and the courage to say no are powerful weapons in trying to stop this scourge from gaining a foothold in our country. We all know only too well the deadly effects cocaine has had on our communities.

I realise it’s only one strand of a very complex issue, but it’s an important one. No matter how much power is wielded by the drug cartels, no matter how efficient their operation, they are depending on people to use and become dependent on their product.

Here’s hoping we can stem the tide and stop this scourge from doing harm in our country. I hope I am not being naive

Marion Horgan

Ballynoe, Cobh, Co Cork

Keep it local, GAA

In his powerful poem, ‘The Irishman’, James Orr asserts that “The savage loves his native shore”. Orr was conveying an Irish person’s love of country and pride in parish during times of British occupation.

Pat Gilroy, former Dublin football and hurling manager, expressed similar views last week when he decried the annual GAA managerial merry-go-round that often pits managers against their home counties and clubs. Pat Gilroy maintains that if a manager is motivated by financial gain rather than love of the jersey, he can’t fully put his heart into the job. Passion for one’s home club can’t be replicated elsewhere no matter how big the dangling carrot is. All counties he suggests should build the required managerial expertise to enable appointments from within.

Every club and county team needs its home-grown managers to ply their trade locally. Year after year, clubs have difficulty in finding managers for their teams at all levels due to the lure of riches and limelight in greener pastures. It’s sad to see a person managing against his home club or county or kissing the badge on a jersey other than his “native shore”.

It’s an issue which GAA president elect Jarlath Burns has also referenced. The GAA has its roots in love of club and county. Volunteerism is its lifeblood. If payment to managers, in whatever guise, supersedes amateurism in the GAA, a wonderful association will be stripped of its heart and soul.

What James Orr said 200 years ago in a patriotic context and what Pat Gilroy expressed so well in a sporting context last week must be taken on board if the unique values of the GAA are to be safeguarded.

Billy Ryle

Tralee, Co Kerry

Naval training needs reform

Micheál Martin’s view doesn’t match those of bodies associated with former service in the permanent Defence Forces including our naval service ( Irish Examiner, Oct 7).

Nor will training naval recruits in windswept Gormanstown help establish esprit de corps in the naval blue uniform, or establish grounds for final approval of the recruit for service aboard ships.

Synergy may be required for specific multi-force tasks but is not a feature for operations outside of joint forces. A navy projects power at sea and defensively prevents others from doing likewise in its defended seas, in all dimensions.

Unfortunately, the view of some is to redefine what we should be doing, create some diversions like communal training but at all costs don’t accept responsibility for the current crisis. I would like to think that leadership hasn’t been totally suppressed and a workable solution is found.

John Jordan, Commander (Retired)

Cloyne, Co Cork

Ireland should sign up to Nasa accords

The Irish Government should follow other nations and sign up to NASA’s Artemis Accords. As our world embarks on a new era of space exploration, this decision carries tremendous potential for Ireland’s scientific advancement, technological growth, and international collaboration.

The Artemis Accords set forth a framework for peaceful, responsible, and cooperative exploration on the moon and beyond, emphasising transparency, sustainable practices, and the responsible use of outer space resources. These underlying principles align with Ireland’s values, making it a favourable chance for our nation to engage in this global effort.

Importantly, there is no financial commitment or requirement to demonstrate the ability to independently explore space when signing the Artemis Accords. As the accords encourage international collaboration, the burden of space exploration is shared. This means that Ireland can actively participate in lunar missions, share in scientific discoveries, and benefit from the technological advancements and discovery of economically favourable resources achieved by other signatory nations. Simply, the cost of not signing outweighs the burden of.

Ireland would not only secure its place in the space exploration community, but also position itself for future opportunities.

The Artemis programme aims to return humans to the moon by the mid-2020s and establish a sustainable lunar presence. This will open up new possibilities for scientific research, commercial ventures, and even potential resource utilisation. By being part of this international cooperation, Ireland can position itself to take advantage of these opportunities, ensuring our nation’s growth in the evolving space economy. By participating, Ireland could attract investments, stimulate its aerospace sector, and create jobs in research, development, and manufacturing related to space technology.

Ireland’s involvement could inspire and engage students in STEM, fostering interest in space-related careers and education. Not signing would send a message that Ireland is not committed to responsible and peaceful space activities, potentially hindering our nation’s ability to engage in future space-related endeavours.

Space exploration offers opportunities for studying Earth’s environment and climate. By participating in lunar missions, Ireland could contribute to environmental research and monitoring efforts furthering its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Luke Gibbons

Claremorris, Co Mayo

Pope’s comments on same-sex unions

In the eyes of many, Pope Francis’ latest comments concerning blessings for those choosing to live in intimate same-sex partnerships, seem to contradict the Vatican’s own emphatic statement of 2021, which declared that “God cannot bless sin”.

On closer examination, his remarks have astutely changed the issue from one of ‘to bless or not to bless’ into one of sensitively exploring on a case-by-case basis, each desire, request, and demand for a blessing, given that so few have had the opportunity to appreciate the Church’s understanding of marriage, morality, modesty, etc.

Subtly, he is challenging the cosmetic, individualised, consumeristic mentality that would have us treat God’s largesse and his Church as a kind of piggy bank, for all and sundry to dip into at will. It is unfortunate that the media is weaponising the issue; giving the impression that some are unnecessarily being deprived of a token of comfort and solace, because they don’t fit some archaic criteria.

The essence of a blessing is that we seek to enflesh in our own lives God’s will, because we have come to understand through bitter personal experience how naive it is to insist on being the author of one’s own happiness. The parable of the goats and the sheep says it all: We can be “goats” using religion to serve our own ends, or we can be “sheep” who have discovered that they are totally dependent upon God, and for whom following Him and His ways is not optional.

Gearóid Duffy

Lee Road, Cork

The Irish Examiner’s new agony uncle

I was dismayed to see that you had appointed Dáithí Ó Sé as your new agony uncle. I have nothing personal against the man but what is the point of having a celebrity with no professional expertise dealing with complex personal issues? To me it actually borders on being unethical. You wouldn’t have a car maintenance query section answered by ‘Joe down the pub’ who likes to watch Formula 1 and owns a Ford Fiesta. So why play loose with complex human situations?

Mike Burke

Clooncahir, Mohill, Co Leitrim

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