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readers' comments

Top 10 readers’ comments of the week

Here’s our round-up of the wittiest, most thought-provoking and original comments you made this week.

EVERY WEEK, WE take a look at the best comments left by you, our lovely readers,

As always, the comments have attracted a lot of debate and discussion. This week, you’ve been talking a lot about Michael Noonan’s comments on emigration, the trawler tragedy in Cork, the troika, the US presidential race, a possible broadcasting charge, Georgia Salpa, SOPA, fracking, bin charges, and the Costa Concordia, amongst other things.

So without further ado and in particular order, here’s our picks for our favourite comments of the week.

Michael Noonan’s comments about emigration kicked off a huge discussion among commenters. On our Facebook page, Amy Dalton explained exactly why Noonan was wrong:

I am a soon to be emigrant, will be leaving when my degree finishes in May, and I am going simply because there is nothing here. I dont want to leave my family, my boyfriend and my life, and it is going to devastate me, but I have no other choice.

But David Dancey argued that there was some truth in what the Minister had said:

Can I just put in a brief comment to say that the Minister’s comments are not completely without basis. Mainly without basis but not completely. I am unemployed. Many of my friends are unemployed and many of them have emigrated. But many of them have also returned, not being overly fond of Australia or South Korea or the other places they had gone. Others, like myself, simply do not want to give up on Ireland just yet and are still hunting for the elusive careers promised so earnestly during the Celtic Tiger days. Even in the good times, a highly educated workforce was mobile. We don’t live in the Famine times when emigration was forever. If someone is an expert in their field the situation in Ireland allows them to leave, work for a few years on temporary visas, and then return having broadened their horizons. If what the Minister is implying is that the emigration figures do not necessarily reflect a total loss to the country, he is probably onto something. Many of these people will return if the situation improves and Ireland will be better for it. If he is implying that emigration has nothing to do with economic circumstances he is patently wrong.

I’m going to get thumbed down badly on this one and I’m only speaking on personal experience but from what I can tell, there are a number of factors behind emigration. The lack of potential jobs may be a big one but it is seldom the only one.

Monday’s announcement that the HSE is to close 555 nursing home beds and slash hospital budgets was criticised by many commenters. John G McGrath was cynical about it:

It looks like a hospital trolly will become a status symbol !

Nearly 70 per cent of people say socialising causes an increase in their smoking – and commenter Barry Williams had an interesting point about the shift to packs of 20 rather than 10 cigarettes:

I used to be a social smoker and this was fine when you could get a box of ten. but then Mary Harney got rid of the ten box and I used to buy 20 and have them left over the next day.Which then started the “coffee and a fag” and increased until it became full time.
Bring back the 10 box .The idea that it helped kids buy fags is stupid. All they need to do now is pool their money together and get them.
I gave up last year. I then went social smoking during the summer and started slowly smoking more. I have cut that out now and haven’t touched a fag since New Years Eve

Was last Monday really the most depressing day of the year? Some said yes, we said no. Eugene O’Neill offered a few alternatives:

For the poor budget day is the most depressing day of the year.
For the rich October the 31st(tax return deadline) is the most depressing day of the year.

The plan to have a supervised drug injecting centre in Dublin sparked a huge debate yesterday with many commenters coming down strongly on either side for it. Gillian Ni Briain explained her own unusual reason for supporting it:

I truly wish people with closed minds also had closed mouths. A society is judge not by the way we treat the most affluent but how we treat the most vulnerable. As mother, who’s daughter at 2yrs age picked up used needle, on main str Dublin, waited 6months to get all clear. You think I want all addicts to disappear, but quite the opposite. If this service was opened it would mean children in city are less at risk of exposure to drug equipment. I strongly support this proposal.
A number of major websites ‘went black’ for one day this week to protest at a proposed bill in America aimed at combating piracy of films and music. Fintan Hayes described the problem with trying to get people to pay for things:
I completely agree that SOPA and any Irish equivalent are abominations that will never fully be implemented in law (I hope) as they are too crude.
However, there is a lack of acknowledgement that there is a real problem here.  I have plenty of friends that haven’t paid for a movie or TV series in years.
I’ve signed up for the Netflix service here and people think I’m crazy to be paying to stream/download content.

I don’t know what the solution is.?  Possibly targeting people that download/share high levels of content directly ?  In that way you don’t hurt the agnostic nature of the internet for everyone else?

RTE’s announcement of it’s new schedule left reader Emma Conway slightly disappointed:
When I saw the headline ‘Undercover Bishop’ I genuinely thought it was going to be RTE’s answer to ‘The Father Dowling Mysteries’.
Plans by some Tory ministers in Britain to buy a new yacht for Queen Elizabeth II didn’t go down too well across the water – and commenter Ruaidhri Mannion wasn’t too happy about it either:
I lodged the following petition last night with regards to Mr Gove’s comments. Unfortunately this morning it was rejected, but I’ll reapply and see what can come of it!

“Give Queen a new royal yacht for diamond jubilee, says Michael Gove”
The Guardian 15.01.12

We, the signatories, believe that the public’s despondency with current government’s austere fiscal measures expressed by Michael Gove will be better remedied by a televised slugfest between myself and Mr Gove rather than a big yacht for the Queen. We petition the government to sanction a public pugilistic performance in front of Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee and lift the country’s spirits during these stark economic times. Mr Gove has incurred the wrath of the public with his elitist claptrap and we call upon the government to encourage him to face the music.

Fisticuffs at sundown on 5th of June 2012.

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