Letters to the Editor: We should consider abandoning land prone to flooding

One reader responds to Michael Moynihan's comments about the stalled event centre and Cork's response to flooding, while others consider aspects of the conflict in the Middle East
Letters to the Editor: We should consider abandoning land prone to flooding

In light of increasingly frequent weather events leading to flooding, a reader suggests Cork may be lucky that the planned event centre on South Main St isn’t built yet. Picture: Larry Cummins

I read with interest Michael Moynihan’s column about the need for a co-ordinated response to flooding ('Michael Moynihan: Delays and dysfunction — why we never get things done correctly in Cork', Irish Examiner, November 2) and the hole in the ground where the event centre should be.

Maybe Cork is lucky that it isn’t built. Our weather is changing — we now get many more cloudbursts with much greater intensity than in the past, and we have unseasonal weather. A “soft day, thank God” is becoming a thing of the past.

More cloudbursts and 'weather bombs' means more floods, and many homes and businesses unable to insure their property.

Maybe we need to start thinking about abandoning all lands within 100m of a river and less than 10m above a river or the sea (and maybe these arbitrary distances are too small).

A 2012 visualisation of what the Cork event centre would look like if it were built on the fomer Beamish and Crawford brewery site.
A 2012 visualisation of what the Cork event centre would look like if it were built on the fomer Beamish and Crawford brewery site.

That means abandoning the city of Cork between the river channels, and a lot of land on either bank of the Lee. Forget about the Marina Market. Turn Páirc Uí Chaoimh into a large swimming pool.

But this will be cheaper than the insanity of repeating the same flood defence mistakes, and expecting different outcomes.

Pascal Ó Deasmhumhnaigh, Inis Corthaidh, Co Loch Garman

Better look closer to home, Minister

Simon Coveney, accusing the international community of ignoring the plight of the children of Gaza, might then turn some of his attention to the suffering of vulnerable Irish children (scoliosis, homelessness, poverty, mental health issues, etc) who also deserve the attention of Mr Coveney and colleagues.

The old adage might apply: “Get your own house in order, before telling others what they should do.”

Tom Baldwin, Midleton, Co Cork

Coveney sends a message to EU

Simon Coveney’s acknowledgement of what is being perpetrated on children and civilians in Gaza ('Coveney: International Community turning its back on the children of Gaza', Irish Examiner, November 2), reflects a widespread revulsion of what is being enabled in Gaza.

The continuing destruction by the government of Israel, of what’s left of that oppressed enclave, corrodes all moral sensitivities to which the West lays claim.

What is intentionally being perpetrated in Gaza as a military strategy, however, goes well beyond the right of self-defence.

Mr Coveney’s statement also sends a message to the EU in its attempt to paper over the scale of political and civic opposition to its complicity, in what the UN and authoritative non-partisan human rights organizations have described as possible war crimes, unfolding before our eyes.

Denial of this reality is shredding western credibility.

US president Biden’s statement that “the time is not ripe for a ceasefire” is almost beyond belief.

In the face of international outrage at the scale and intensity of the bombing of civilians, most recently in the Jabalia refugee camp, he has conceded that: “I think we need a [humanitarian] pause”.

The world thinks we need a ceasefire, Mr President. International law is, it seems, closer to power than it is to justice.

In the meanwhile, Mr Coveney’s advocacy for the lives of the children of Gaza is a welcome and courageous step.

Ray Kinsella, Ashford, Co Wicklow

Single, equal state is the solution

People, including our own Government ministers, keep repeating “the two-state solution” as a mantra. The two-state solution was never a runner, and would, if implemented in the past or in the present mean, the death of Palestinians for the foreseeable future.

There are many reasons for saying this.

UN resolution 181, giving 56% of Palestine mandate to the new Israeli State [despite the fact that Jewish ownership was less than 6%], was seen by David Ben-Gurion as unsatisfactory, because he wanted at least 76% of the land, with as few Palestinians as possible, to make a politically and economically viable state.

The regions now available to form a so-called “Palestinian state” consists of a number of disconnected bantustans, or ghettoes, making less than 20% of Palestine mandate — how is such a state
supposed to be viable for Palestinians?

The formation of any such Palestinian state would put the Arab-Israeli population at very serious risk of a new ethnic cleansing — this has been discussed openly by Israeli politicians, including [prime minister] Netanyahu, who has stated that a 20% non-Jewish demographic in Israel, would constitute a problem and a potential “danger”.

Thirdly, Amnesty International has stated unequivocally in its 2022 Report on Israel, that it is an apartheid state and has always been so, since its inception in 1947 — no apartheid state can be granted legitimacy in 2023.

Someone with political wisdom and lots of courage needs to start a discussion on a totally new paradigm to solve the Israel-Palestine problem, so that the Palestinian people, can finally enjoy a dignified life, where their human rights are finally acknowledged.

This paradigm has already been articulated by such notable Israelis as Ilan Pappe, Avi Shlaim, Miko Peled, and in the past few days
by Craig Mokhiber, who resigned his UN position as a human
rights lawyer, in protest at the flagrant violation of human rights in Gaza.

It is based on a single democratic state in Israel-Palestine, where Jews, Arabs, Christians, and people of no denominational religion enjoy full equality and full human rights. In the long run people will realise that this is the only viable solution.

Con Hayes, Blarney, Co Cork

Tragic life seen before

In his poem, 'Reprisals', Yeats had words for Robert Gregory, dead airman for Britain in the First World War, while Britain’s Black and Tans murdered his father’s tenants at Coole Park, and a pregnant young mother, Eileen Quinn, outside her house nearby. Words for us today too:

Where may new-married women sit

And suckle children now? Armed men

May murder them in passing by

Nor law nor parliament take heed.

Then close your ears with dust and lie

Among the other cheated dead.

What a fruitless tragic life for Israel’s and Hamas’ young recruits, and all the children among the cheated dead.

Time for all citizens to call on laws, parliaments, and the “international community” to insist on a ceasefire.

Lelia Doolan, Kilcolgan, Co Galway


Ireland needs to find its own voice

Richard Hogan ('Learning Points', Irish Examiner, November 2) has correctly identified one of the key problems regarding global reaction to Israeli war crimes in Gaza: International humanitarian law is generally only taken seriously when it suits powerful actors, such as the US and EU.

This has certainly been the case for decades with regard to Palestine, where mass killings and widespread repression by Israeli forces have been tolerated by the West.

Moreover, not for a moment could Israel carry on with the apartheid system it has developed against Palestinians, if it did not have the active backing of the US.

Ireland needs to find its own voice on these issues, and should not be afraid to break with the EU’s shameful pro-Israel policy.

An Israeli ceasefire in Gaza must be demanded and the decades long blockade must end.

Fintan Lane, Lucan, Co Dublin 

RTÉ casts subtle aspersions

I can only imagine eyes rolling across the country, as RTÉ’s news bulletins routinely frame reports of catastrophically mounting Palestinian fatalities, as coming from the “Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza”.

No such forbidding framing applies to accounts of Israeli fatalities, despite the diabolical track record of Israeli military spokespeople in misattributing, equivocating, and stonewalling around their responsibility for killings of civilians — notably in the cases of US-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last year, and the four boys from the Bakr family, who were killed by successive Israeli missile strikes in 2014.

It is remarkable that our national broadcaster cannot acknowledge the appalling news coming from the Gaza Strip, without routinely casting subtle aspersions on the factuality of the wholesale carnage there.

Brian Ó Éigeartaigh, Donnybrook, Co Dublin 4

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