Donald Trump and building a wall


Sir, – While President Trump is going ahead with his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep Mexican immigrants out, he may yet have to build another wall along the Canadian border, to keep the Americans in. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – Eoin Keane makes a valid point regarding the tradition of presenting a bowl of shamrock to the sitting president of the US each St Patrick’s Day (January 25th). If, as Mr Keane plausibly suggests, it won’t make a blind bit of difference to Mr Trump’s agenda, would it then be an opportunity for our Taoiseach to sit this one out? – Yours, etc,




Sir, – Do I detect a touch of the culchie in President Trump? It is the responsibility of a farmer to keep his livestock fenced in. It would appear that the “Most Powerful Man in the World” has the same attitude to Mexico, by insisting that it pay for the wall. – Yours, etc,




Co Tipperary.

Sir, – Michael Collins is correct that Trump’s Mexican wall has to be built “sufficiently north of the border to allow access on the south side” (January 27th). The access would be required for both initial construction and ongoing maintenance.

However, the German Democratic Republic has already proved that such blockades need not be constructed very far from the literal border at all. Both sides of their 1,400km barbed wire fence were regularly maintained by East German soldiers. In the case of Hötensleben, the fence was only a few metres away from the actual border with the Federal Republic. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – Despite the bombast and rhetoric of the campaign I doubt anybody could have predicted the whirlwind of activity which has followed Mr Trump’s inauguration. The rolling back of the Affordable Care Act, his support of torture, “alternative facts”, the wall with Mexico, and his support of deportations.

However, in the week that scientists indicated that the degree of anthropogenic climate change may have been underestimated, the most worrying actions of the incoming administration have to be the removal of all climate change information from the US Environmental Protection Agency website, the effective gagging of climate scientists and the rescinding of Barack Obama’s halting of work on the Dakota pipeline.

With climate deniers and fossil fuel billionaires whispering in his ear, one would have to worry about the future of the Paris accord.

The issue of climate change is the biggest threat to humanity aside from nuclear war, yet we are watching while an elected US president is blatantly trying to remove it from public and political discourse.

All leaders need to call him to account on this, but unfortunately, judging by their recent comments, neither Theresa May or Enda Kenny look like they are going to provoke any debate with The Donald on this. More important for them to focus on their little fiefdoms and local legacies than the future of humanity, I guess. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – After only one week in office, Mr Trump has already lived down to all my expectations of him. – Yours, etc,


Artane, Dublin 5.

Sir, – Given the abject historical failure of the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall and the Berlin Wall, it is reassuring to see the practise of building tourist attractions is alive and well in the New World. Tour dates and ticket prices to be announced? – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Recent pronouncements from Washington have induced me to augment my investment portfolio by the inclusion of shares in US cement works, and in the Mexican manufacturers of hot-air balloons. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

A chara, – Next March, I believe that our Taoiseach Enda Kenny should give President Trump the traditional gift of a bowl of shamrock, but on one condition – that Mr Trump pays for the shamrock.

He’s a businessman. He’ll understand. – Is mise,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – The tsunami of politically correct, righteous people, from Meryl Streep to your own Fintan O’Toole, who have criticised President Trump is predictable but serves no purpose.

Donald Trump won because the American people had grown tired of foreign military interventions that squandered their national wealth, free-trade policies that outsourced American jobs, uncontrolled immigration and a growing national debt.

The American people had also come to despise a corrupt and out-of-touch political establishment that enriches itself at their expense, and multiculturalism and media elites who espouse what’s best for them.

By contrast, President Trump offered them hope and a national-populist vision that put their interests first.

True, we may not like Donald Trump, but we must respect the fact that he is now the elected president of the Unites States and has a mandate to serve his country. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.