Aftermath of presidential election

Sir, – I read Fintan O'Toole's article (Opinion, October 30th) and the many letters from people expressing their views on Peter Casey.

It seems the pendulum of beliefs and attitudes swings ever wider across the world, where views become black versus white, extreme versus liberal. There must be a place in the middle where people can debate without being labelled one thing or another. If we don’t open this space then people become angry, disenfranchised and full of bottled up anger which erupts when we have one outspoken person to stand behind, as in the case of Trump’s popularity in the US. This is not fair.

What we need is a “release valve” to address the build–up of pressure, a forum where ordinary people can express their worries and fears without being labelled discriminatory or racist.

We all know that there are good and bad people in the Traveller community just as there are good and bad people in the settled community.


What hardworking tax payers fear most is being taken advantage of – paying high taxes to support others (Travellers or settled) who make no effort to contribute to society. There is no doubt that Ireland is known as a welfare society and that the system is abused by a minority of people. What I think every decent person wants is for help to be given to those who genuinely deserve it while those who don’t are given a proverbial kick up the backside. This is fair.

Both my children live and work abroad. One of them lives in Switzerland where everything seems to run efficiently. Her comment to me recently was that Switzerland is the place for people with a strong work ethic, are happy to pay reasonable taxes, abide by the rules and receive excellent services in return. She sees Ireland is the ideal place for people who want to live off the efforts of others who pay huge taxes. If this is how Ireland is perceived by our diaspora then what chance do we have of attracting them home?

Can we not talk openly about fairness? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 14.

Sir, – Matters of leadership are very important. Leaders should include, not incite, inspire, not inflame. Despite what some people say words do matter. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6W.