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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C
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Top comments of the week

Did you make the cut?

EVERY SATURDAY MORNING we take a look at all the best comments left on the site by our readers over the past seven days.

This week there was a lot of talk about how much charity CEOs are paid, the Luas strikes and mental health.

The 5 most popular comments this week

download (6) Julien Behal / PA Chernobyl Children International CEO Adi Roche Julien Behal / PA / PA

1. A survey revealed which charities’ CEOs are paid more than €100,000. Adi Roche from Chernobyl Children International and Maureen Forrest from the Hope Foundation both get no salary, pension or benefits. Pt pat commented:

Fair play to Adi Roche and Maureen Forrest, I don’t think anybody could question their commitment to helping people.

That one got 2,141 green thumbs.

2. The nation was shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of five people from the same family at Buncrana pier in Donegal on Sunday night. The following day Davitt Walsh spoke to RTÉ News about how he saved four-month-old Rionaghac-Ann, the only survivor.

Dave Sherman had this to say:

Tough interview to watch. Well done Sir.

Some 1,681 of you agreed.

3. Martin Dobbs got 1,661 likes for this comment after it was confirmed that Luas strikes would go ahead on Easter Sunday and Monday:

They should be ashamed of them selves to go on strike on the to biggest days of our historic celebrations.

4. Some 1,609 people agreed with Mags‘ comment as news of the horrific Buncrana tragedy broke:

Terrible news for all concerned. Spare a thought for the emergency services dealing with this. No amount of training can prepare you for what they have faced tonight.

5. Mark Shortall got 1,483 likes for this comment about Luas workers engaging in strike action:

Pure greed right there, They already get better pay than most of the country.

After talks proved unsuccessful, Siptu organiser Owen Reidy said it seemed clear “there is a complete breakdown in the relationship and trust between the driver grade and management at the company”.

The top 5 articles which received the most comments this week

fry-new-390x285 Screengrab / YouTube Stephen Fry Screengrab / YouTube / YouTube

1. As it happened: More than 30 people dead as Islamic State claims attack on Brussels (400 comments)
2. Interview where Stephen Fry tells Gay Byrne God is evil is up for an award (244 comments)
3. Luas strike to go ahead on Easter Sunday and Monday (238 comments)
4. “Of course I’m a victim – I’m not allowed to live according to the culture that I want” (237 comments)
5. REVEALED: The charities with CEOs still earning more than €100,000 (232 comments)

Standout comments

easter-rising-children-390x285 PA Archive / Press Association Images Children carry firewood from the rubble of Sackville Street, now O'Connell Street in the immediate aftermath of the Rising. PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

This week our Voices section is dedicated to the men, women and children whose first-hand experiences contributed to the rich patchwork of testimony that chronicles the events of 1916.

Under a first-hand testimony from an unnamed member of the Sisters of Mercy who was a nurse at the Mater hospital at that time (as recorded in the Bureau of Military History’s collection of eyewitnesses to the Rising), Joe Harbison commented:

The Mater took a large number of casualties Easter week, in a large part because it was relatively out of the conflict zone. Other hospitals like Sir Patrick Dun’s really seem to have been used for initial treatment before transferring patients as bullets were literally coming through the windows. The hospital that dealt with most casualties was Jervis street, being right in the thick of the fighting. The actions of Dublin Fire Brigade in Easter week haven’t really been given much recognition. Not only did they continue to run ambulance services with bullets hitting the ambulances themselves, in the thick of the gunfire the helped stop Jervis street catching fire as it was full of patients.

Blindboy Boatclub from the Rubberbandits gave a powerful interview to Channel 4 News about suicide in Ireland, particularly among young people.

It prompted Seán Ó Briain to write:

We say we want to change the situation about mental health. But in my experience – most people who aren’t affected by it rarely go beyond token gestures.
The sad reality for most people struggling is that they’ll receive apathy from their doctor, and a bottle of pills. If you’re lucky and have money, you’ll be able to afford a good counsellor who will help you with the likes of CBT. For others, they could be waiting a while to see a counsellor – and even at that, it’s still never enough to combat this illness. Most people struggling with depression feel lost, and they don’t really know what to do about it.
Yeah, you can tell people to go to support groups – but for a lot of people, the mere idea of sitting down with strangers is a horrifying experience. It just isn’t that easy when you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. And so many people who have depression, don’t even know it. I thought it was normal to feel down and empty. Just “one of those days”, which came around far too often for my comfort. It was an endocrinologist who told me I needed to get help. Not my GP, not the array of health specialists I’ve see in the past decade. An endocrinologist.
All the support and pills in the world still won’t end the pain for so many people. Until we take mental health as serious as physical health, we’ll never really overcome it. I’m only 33, and I know way too many people who have taken their own life at my age than I should. I’ve watched the system fail people, and fail them horrifically.
I get tired posting about this issue, because every year that passes – we’re still not making any progress.
Some advice. Don’t tell someone to cheer up. We can’t flick a switch. Don’t say stupid things like “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. Depression isn’t a temporary problem, it’s a life-long problem.
Text a friend if they’ve been awol for a few months. If they don’t leave their house much, it’s for a reason.
And most importantly – be kind.

Meanwhile, a survey published on Thursday found that over 80% of principals believe austerity has worsened mental health supports in schools.

Joe Arthur had this to say on the subject:

Mental Health funding is one of the first things that gets pulled when an economy gets into trouble. There’s little immediate impact, classic political short-termism (where is the incentive for long term vision?)
But of course, pulling funding on Mental Health has a significant long term cost to society, which only reveals itself years later.
And we’re just about to reap what we sowed.

liam-brady-eamon-dunphy-and-john-giles-6-390x285 INPHO / Cathal Noonan Giles (right) and his co-panelists. INPHO / Cathal Noonan / Cathal Noonan

When news emerged that John Giles would be leaving the RTÉ football panel after Euro 2016, many of you spoke out about his contribution to commentary over the years, with Tomás Ó’Murchú writing:

The legendary panels are slowly but surely being broken up. It’s a shame, but nothing stays the same I guess.

While Tommy D added:

A great career in commentary. It always hard to say goodbye but I think the time is right.

The Irish Air Corps took to the sky earlier in the week in preparation for 1916 centenary commemorations. And while they were in the air their photographers captured some great aerial shots of Dublin.

download (3)

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The photos prompted Ciarán to write:

The courtyard of the GPO is beautiful, Looks like a place of solace amongst the hustle and bustle.

While led noted:

Dublin can be heaven, with coffee at 11, and a stroll down stephens green…

shutterstock_334364060-390x285 Shutterstock Shutterstock

During the week we got word of a textile clothing that can clean itself of dirt when exposed to light. Researchers in Australia invented special nanostructures which degrade organic material when exposed to direct sunlight or placed under a lightbulb. The article led Tony O Dwyer to muse:

Exposed to sunlight
That’s us out

download PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

When Artist Tracey Emin spoke about marrying a rock, Shane Cormican got straight to the point, asking:

I wonder is it related to the holy stone of Clonrichert which was upgraded to a class 2 relic!!!?

Dave cullen, meanwhile, dusted down this classic:

A friend married a television,the reception was terrible though

download (1) Patrick Bolger Patrick Bolger

Eight new grey wolves arrived at Dublin Zoo during the week, and we got some great photos of the new pack.

O Swetenham gave us this insight into their life:

Great photos. When I was a kid I always wanted to own a pack of wolves and have them follow me around. But when I grew up I realised it was a pipe dream so I just settled on getting 20 shih tzu’s instead.

Good call.

That comment inspired Tweety McTweeter, who wrote:

I once went to a zoo with just a single dog in a cage. It was a Shitzu

An oldie but a goodie.

download (5) DSPCA DSPCA

Speaking of animals, Stephen Carrick summed up how many people felt after hearing about a five foot snake that fell out of a ceiling on to the head of Dublin house owner:

I’d die


Finally, Danny Callaghan shared this great image he got after spotting President Michael D Higgins out walking his dogs in the Phoenix Park.

download (2) Danny Callaghan / The Dublin Barber Shop Danny Callaghan / The Dublin Barber Shop / The Dublin Barber Shop

Father Spodo Komodo commented:

Nice story. The 2 dogs are fabulous. But if they get a whiff of something, they’ll have Michael D skiing up the road behind them.

While Darragh O’Connell appreciated the President’s sartorial effort:

I love the fact that Mickey D is wearing a full three piece suit out walking the dogs!

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