German envoy's view of Ireland
Madam, - How thin-skinned we have become! The German Ambassador, Christian Pauls, has nothing whatever to apologise for or regret saying to his audience in Clontarf. Rather, it was refreshing to hear the unvarnished truth about ourselves, as seen through the eyes of a foreigner.
Everything Mr Pauls said was true. If anything he should have used the word "coarse" rather than "tougher or less caring", since the new prosperity has brought out the worst in us - greed, vulgarity, coarseness of language (the indispensable F-word now even in the mouths of toddlers) and a showy display of nouveau-riche wealth that ill becomes us as a people.
The truth often hurts, but better hurtful honesty than flattery.
- Yours, etc,
VERA HUGHES, Moate, Co Westmeath.