The aftermath of Ophelia
Sir, – I note that the Taoiseach has stated that he will consider making it a criminal offence to ignore severe weather warnings, as some people did during Hurricane Ophelia.
I was shocked by the reckless behaviour of individuals, such as those who went swimming during the hurricane, despite the red weather warning. This irresponsible behaviour endangers not only their own lives, but also the lives of emergency personnel who would have to be called to the scene if these foolish people found themselves in difficulty.
Those who knowingly engage in this type of reckless behaviour should face legal consequences, such as a penalty or fine, for their actions.
However, given that the winter storm season is almost upon us, specific legislation penalising these actions needs to be introduced now, not later. – Yours, etc,
Sir, –Regarding the argument going around after Storm Ophelia about whether or not professional surfers and kite-surfers should be fined for going out during a storm, is that not like fining a professional journalist or photographer for going out and reporting?
Do they not also put their lives at risk for their profession?
Are people worrying unnecessarily? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I understand that some people who went swimming in Galway had actually received a direct verbal warning from a garda, while others ignored the warnings and advice conveyed in broadcasting, print and social media.
The Taoiseach has indicated that he will consider making it a criminal offence to engage in such irresponsible behaviour.
Would on-the-spot fines for disobeying a Garda hazard warning, plus a bill for the costs of their rescue, not be a more effective deterrent for such idiots?
I expect this would also be less costly for the taxpayer than criminal proceedings. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Following the destruction and deaths caused by Ophelia, perhaps now the relevant authorities will refrain from planting trees in urban areas and along public roads? – Yours, etc,