The right to an opinion

 

Sir, – I believe free speech is dead and buried in this country.

I am a Dublin-based taxi driver, and as such I hear a lot of comments and opinions expressed by my customers in relation to various topics.

I have learned through my own experience never to engage in such conversation, as it can be detrimental.

I would like to give you some examples of why I hold this view.

While listening to a conversation regarding the gay marriage proposal, I was utterly frowned upon for expressing the view that I would be voting against it.

I expressed a similar view point that I would vote against the abortion referendum, and was ridiculed for having done so.

Regarding the Brexit debate, at the absolute insistence of my customer, I dared to share my thoughts with her, and declared I was a strong Brexit supporter.

This lady, having literally thrown the fare at me, and abusing me by calling me every name she could think of , left my car in an extreme rage. She then stood outside the car, and proceeded to perform Nazi salutes towards me.

I had informed this customer twice, prior to her insistence, that I do not talk about politics or religion. – Yours, etc,

PAUL O’BEIRNE,

Beaumont,

Dublin 9.