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"Looking different, feeling Irish"

Article: Readers responded to Patrick Freyne’s article about the experiences of the children of migrants who have grown up in a changed Ireland.

I am Venezuelan, living in Ireland for the past eight years. My wife is Polish, and we have an Irish-born child (two years old) and another on the way. I lived in the Netherlands for five years.

I met my wife in Amsterdam, in 1999. Our relationship has been always in English. We decided to move to Ireland in search of a more family-oriented society, and I don’t regret it for a second.

This country gave me the opportunity to be somebody. Most of my friends are Irish. I am a respected member of my society in Portlaoise and I haven’t really been subject to racist remarks, just a few heated moments while driving; I just see it as road rage.

In other countries my wife and I were seen as cleaners or dishwashers. In Ireland I was judged by my capabilities and not by my ethnic background. I could never have been so grateful. I love my country (Ireland). I love my neighbours and my friends. I see myself dying in this land.

I have travelled to so many countries in three continents, and, yes, Ireland is less developed than the rest of western Europe, cost of living and salaries might be the highest – but a great country is not made of the best motorway, transport and welfare service, it’s made of its people, and that’s what makes Ireland, in my opinion, the best country to live in the world. JUAN VENEGAS

Thanks, Juan Venegas, for reminding me of how proud I am of my country. As I sit here staring out of the window on a rainy day in Shanghai, I feel that bit more homesick now. JOSEPH PUTNAM

The more the merrier. A rich tapestry of life and cultures in Ireland has always improved the country.

We have been too homogeneous for too long and it causes cultural stagnation. I love to hear an Irish accent from a black or Asian kid. It gives me hope for a different and better Ireland. MICHAEL SKELLING

"Rampant Ireland finish on a high"

Article: Gavin Cummiskey reported on Ireland’s victory over Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin

Can somebody explain to me the rationale behind Kidneys decision to have O’Gara on the bench? Never mind bringing him on with 10 to go? Where is Paddy Jackson or Ian Madigan? Why does Kidney refuse to play Reddan with Sexton? They are probably the best half back partnership in Europe JASON SMITH

Off that bungled dropout by ROG Argentina scored one of their two tries. I actually rate him as a better player than that, but when you come on with ten minutes to spare and Johnny Sexton was not injured and played brilliantly, then its not going to be easy for you to up the ante. Plus, what does this say to someone like Sexton whom I consider to be far better natural leader than Heaslip. With regards to ROG the last good match I’ve seen him in was when Munster played against Northhampton and he won the match with the last kick of the match. He definitely will be remembered for a brilliant service to Irish rugby, but he must face the fact that its time to move on. KEVINM MACGOWAN

The sad thing is that Kidney is happy with mediocrity (and deep-set inconsistency). He is happy with Ireland beating average rugby nations such as a particularly under-performing and exhausted Argentina. Would Declan Kidney’s Ireland have beaten Australia or New Zealand today? No. JOHN B REID

A performance to be proud of with awesome flashes of brilliance, Murray’s reverse pass, Tommy Bowe’s field catch, Sexton’s kicking from hand, Gilroy’s side stepping and a general freedom shown by the backs that we’ve not seen from an Irish team at this level in many a year. The new and old gelled really well and now it’ll be interesting to see who starts in the 6 Nations. O’Mahoney had a game that matched the hype, but Ferris still has a more expansive game, O’Brien to take the 7 from Henry. Maybe Bowe and BOD in the centre with Kearney at the back and Gilroy and Zebo on the wings, who knows. AIDAN PRIOR

‘Ireland still great place for shysters and scam merchants’

Article: Fintan O’Toole in his weekly political column argued that little has been done to tackle white-collar crime in Ireland: “There has been no serious effort to create a fraud squad with the expertise to investigate complex cases.”

The problem really lies in the way the Irish elites see the world. They believe fraud, corruption and chiefly, incompetence, is the way the world works and the only way it can work. DIRBY O GILL

A much-needed article – the problem in Ireland was not the crash of 2008 but that there has been no change in the conditions that gave rise to it – the same kind of values and people still make it at the top of Irish society – there should have been massive reforms given the scale of what happened.

The current government seem to have little interest in cleaning up Irish regulation which makes them fundamentally no more mature a government than the previous one.

However, Irish governments don’t change their behaviour because there is so little pressure from the public and the business community on them to do so. Is the problem deep in Irish culture itself? IAN KEHOE

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