The new Papal Nuncio for Ireland picking up his zucchetto after it blew off at Áras an Uachtaráin on Thursday Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
readers' comments

Top 10 readers' comments of the week

Here’s our round-up of the wittiest, most thought-provoking and original comments you lot made this week. Did you make it in?

EVERY WEEK, WE like to take a look at the best comments that have been made by you, our lovely readers, on

As always, there’s been a lot of funny, intelligent, and lively debates and discussions. This week, you’ve been talking a lot about bin collections (or lack of them) in Dublin, antics in the Dáil, protests in Greece, the closure of the Vatican embassy, tough sanctions for jobseekers, Whitney Houston, new jobs announcements, and much, much more.

So without further ado and in no particular order, here’s our picks for our favourite comments of the week.

Early in the week came the news that a sewage plant was offering tours on St Valentine’s Day. Romantic. But John O’Neill had this suggestion:

Great idea. We should copy them and have tours of the Dail on Valentine’s Day.

On Wednesday, 23-year-old Lutfullah Shafaq wrote a column about how he has been living in Ireland for the past ten years since leaving Afghanistan – but has been waiting three years to become a citizen. On Thursday afternoon, he posted this update:

So just an update. Things have improved significantly since yesterday thanks to and everybody else for their support.
I have been contacted by a lawyer, prospects are high for a publication of my story in another paper and now the UNHCR are involved too. So I couldn’t be more happy.
Cheers everyone.

Whitney Houston’s sudden death last weekend sparked a lot of discussion about drug use and addiction. Here, Rachel Ahearne explains her view:

Conor, have you any understanding of addiction? Have you ever had a friend or family member struggle with it? Or studied it in-depth? “Junkies” are still people, people who often are victims of abuse and/or struggle with depression and other issues. I am not a naive liberal who thinks people aren’t responsible for their actions but they don’t deserve to be hated. That is no solution and I have had first hand experience of being mugged by two “junkies” in my life so far. Just because someone has an illness does not mean they have to be solely defined by it. She was a huge talent – that is what is being glorified. Do we have to define people by their failings or issues all the time? The war on drugs isn’t about hating addicts, I am nearly sure it is the high level dealers that exploit addicts, import weapons, increase crime, abuse the legal system and live a tax-free glamorous existence that are the problem!

The Priory Hall development was in the news a lot this week as Taoiseach Enda Kenny intervened on the issue for the first time. This comment from Luke McGregor seemed to sum up a lot of people’s sentiments:

I’ve been following this story from overseas. I am at a loss for words: Why hasn’t this been resolved yet? The slow action on justice reflects shamefully on the higher-ups. These people need their lives back.

Early in the week, the opposition criticised Enda Kenny’s department for spending €30,000 on photographs. The Taoiseach pointed out that FF had spent far more than this when they were in government – but a FF TD said that was “no defence”. Here, John Finn had this insight into the FF approach:

A few years ago I was at a presentation given by then Taoiseach, Brian Cowen. He stood at a podium and gave his usual cliché ridden, consultant-speak (“going forward”, etc) speech. All the while the official photographer stood nearby taking endless photographs. The only conclusion I could come to was that it was less about capturing Cowen in action – a few photos would have sufficed – than in impressing on us lesser mortals how important he was, that every gesture and glance had to be preserved for posterity, and, of course, in playing to Cowen’s ego.

I saw the same thing at a visit to a workplace by an EU Commissioner. Again, non-stop photography and a nice little earner for the professional concerned. The funny thing is that I could only find one photo of Cowen in a national newspaper following the event at which he spoke and none at all of the Commissioner.

So, what happens to the thousands of photos taken of these dignitaries every year? Only a miniscule number ever get published. Which leads me to the conclusion that the capturing of images is of secondary importance and the main purpose of professional photographers being present at politicians’ events is simply to flatter the egos of the individuals concerned.

In a piece about how many migrants may be brought in to fill a skills shortage in Ireland, Derek Larney pointed out the problems he has faced in recruiting for Irish jobs:

I’m sorry but people have got the wrong end of the stick on this one. I recruit in the IT space and we cannot get Irish software programmers for love or money at the moment. This skills shortage is holding back Irish companies from progressing and competing on a global stage and it must be addressed asap.

This isn’t a case of giving foreigners jobs that Irish people could do – there just isn’t enough skilled Irish people around to do these jobs- if there was I’d be happily recruiting them.

An opinion piece about ‘rape culture’ sparked a huge discussion about feminism and misogyny among readers. This comment by Siobhan Schnittger explained why she sees feminism as being important:

One would have to wonder why, in each and every example of an article on rape, feminism or gender equality, the (mostly male) commenters feel so utterly threatened. As I have mentioned in various posts and blogs on this very issue, I am not threatened by men. I respect and love the men in my life be they brothers, friends or husband. Rape is a matter that concerns men too, and unfortunately has a higher statistic of going unreported than women.
I think we can all agree that rape is wrong. Casually joking or trivialising rape is wrong. Most of us are on the same side here and yet because of some kind of insecurity or perceived division we are arguing like brats among ourselves.
We will not see any significant progress while women and men are divided on matters of gender equality. While men are granted less parenting rights, while a woman’s domestic role is enshrined in the constitution, while women’s bodies are used as sexual props in the media. There is so much work to be done. Perhaps we might all do better to stop arguing and get to it.
Siobhán — A feminist

This week saw the launch of a campaign to give the vote to 16-year-olds. Ruairí McKiernan, a recent appointment to the Council of State, explained why he thought it was important:

I just finished speaking at this conference. 40% of our population is under 30, with 30% of under 25s unemployed. Ireland needs this mass of young energy & ideas if we are to transcend the current despair.

We need to engage young people if we want them to be active & broadening the voting age is a no brainer as one contribution towards achieving this.

Instead young people are being told to sit back and trust older Ireland. Look where that has got us!

Ultimately we need an overhaul of our basic political infrastructure to bring politics back to the people & people back to politics.

A report on Wednesday estimated that one quarter of children in the world don’t have enough to eat. Here, Réada Quinn offered this suggestion for what Ireland could do to help…:

Take the next “loan/bailout” we get and send it straight over to these children! Show the world we’re not playing their corporate games anymore. Could you imagine the kick that would give World Inc. A kick that’s badly needed. This is a crazy corrupt world we’re living in.

We paid €1.25 billion to bondholders last month. If you’re not going to give it to our poor, hospitals, schools, blah blah why don’t you give it to the hungry children. Why not let Irish rich look after Irish poor? There’s plenty money here. They just won’t spend it.

Set an example to the world how to behave. Things are changing. Be a leader or go home!!!

Friday saw (another) new jobs announcement for the country, this time for Carlow and Waterford. Enda Kenny announced details of it during his visit to America – but John O’Donoghue wondered about the timing:

That’s the second time he has left the country and job creation was announced shortly after, how good would it be if he left permanently I wonder….

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