Sir, - The sooner this awful Government resigns, the better. Just look at what's going on: Strike and lockout in Aer Lingus; not a single extra Garda on the streets, despite all the promises; hospital queues as bad as ever; major problems with the courts; economy under serious pressure; worst rainfall in Kerry for May since records began; crops rotting in the ground; tourism industry in serious trouble around the country; and now we're told the Minister for Zero Tolerance is off to Seoul to watch football!

Despite all that - good luck, Ireland! - Yours, etc.,


Dublin 18.

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Sir, - There are, I am reliably informed, some thousands of words of Arabic origin in the Spanish language - not surprising, given that the Moors occupied Spain for 700 years.

One of them is the quintessential Spanish word "Ole!", which comes from the Arabic "Allah". Some Saudis might have derived some comfort from the football refrain "Ole!, Ole!,Ole!" - but, alas, he wasn't on their side that day. - Yours etc.,


Halliday Square,

Dublin 7.

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Sir, - Can the unseasonable weather also to be blamed on Roy Keane's behaviour?

Well done to Mick McCarthy and his squad for bringing some sunshine into our lives. - Yours, etc.,


Albert Park,


Co Dublin.

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Sir, - A booklet entitled The National Flag is available from the Government Publications Sales Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, for €3. It gives the history of the national flag and guidelines for its use.

On page 26, under "practices to avoid", the marketing division of Guinness would have read the following:

"The National Flag should never be defaced by placing slogans, logos, lettering or pictures of any kind on it, for example at sporting events."

Shame on you, Guinness, and especially your marketing division. - Yours, etc.,


Auburn Road,

Dun Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

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Sir, - Some of your correspondents have expressed upset at the manner in which Guinness has used the Irish flag in its World Cup promotions.

The concept behind the promotion was to enhance consumers' enjoyment of the games and give them a World Cup 2002 memento in the context of the strong tradition of Irish supporters proudly displaying the Irish flag.

In simple terms we wanted to add to the atmosphere of the occasion and assist people to show great support for our team. I can assure you it was never our intention to offend anyone by placing our logo and brand message on the flag.

However, following a small number of complaints from members of the public, we decided to issue unbranded Irish flags for the second phase of the promotion. Unfortunately it was impractical to retrieve those already in circulation.

Incidentally, the promotion has been extremely popular with soccer fans. - Yours, etc.,


Director, Corporate Affairs,

Guinness UDV,

St James's Gate,

Dublin 8.