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Letters to the Editor: Not surprised by attacks on politicians but whose fault is it?

January 30th, 2023 8:00 AM

By Michael Stephens

Letters to the Editor: Not surprised by attacks on politicians but whose fault is it? Image

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EDITOR – Recently, several elected representatives have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, bullying and even assault.

This is completely and utterly unacceptable.

However, it is not unexpected.

During general election campaigning I normally take the opportunity to approach candidates, particularly government representatives and take the opportunity to discuss matters of  interest/concern.

I would say I am now ‘well known’ by most candidates – particularly government ministers!

But I am always polite and respectful while presenting my points, which may not necessarily be in line with government policies.

I must say government ministers, in particular, always allow me whatever time I need to discuss my points and, for that, I thank them.

I do try to keep my points brief.

During the last general election campaign, I approached a minister in a local shopping centre.  

I could see he was preparing himself for my ‘litany’ of comments and his reaction to my opening comment was interesting.

I said: ‘Minister, I am seriously concerned for your personal safety and that of your family.’

That got his attention. I went on to state in my opinion the people are becoming more and more dissatisfied/unhappy with, not only the government, but with politicians in general.

I also felt it would only be a matter of time before that dissatisfaction would turn to violence.

I reminded him of my service with UN and military peacekeeping operations during which I had seen not only politicians, and members of the legal/judicial systems, but also their families murdered.  

I added I would not like to see violence of any sort directed against elected representatives here.

The minister said he did not agree with my predictions.

But shortly after he requested garda protection. Now that protection is extended to all government ministers. It’s unfortunate that matters have come to this but necessary, I believe.

I feel the situation that has developed raises the question of politicians keeping in touch with the public.

It would seem, that despite politicians continuously stating they are aware of the suffering of people, these may just be utterances without real meaning or genuine concern.

Politicians feel they should be allowed to carry out their duties without fear of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or assault.

They are correct in this.

But others also should have that right, too, including members of the emergency services, medics, transport workers, shop owners and employees and all law-abiding citizens going about their business.

We were recently informed of an assault perpetrated on a member of the legal profession.  

How long before a member of the judiciary will be targeted by some unhappy or vengeful  individual?

In my opinion, politicians have failed in their duty of care to all the people, in this regard.

Michael A Moriarty,



We must stamp out use of modified plates

EDITOR – The use of non-regulation number plates on our roads has become pervasive and needs to be stamped out and reversed. These plates are designed to avoid detection by using reduced size numbering and lettering. Kerning and font is also altered to avoid speed cameras, recognition, toll collection, and identification generally. 

Should these vehicles be involved in an accident where the driver decides to leave the scene or commit some other unlawful act or infraction, then it will make it all the more difficult to know who was involved. 

Number plates are strictly regulated by law regarding font, size, background colour, etc, as laid out in the NCT manual. The identification of the vehicle by number plate is actually the first item listed on the manual for the NCT test.  

The practice of putting evasive number plates on vehicles will ensure that more and more drivers who want to break the rules of the road stand a much better chance of getting away with it because of a profound or total lack of enforcement from the amount of bespoke number plates on our dangerous roads. It’s time for action.

Maurice Fitzgerald,



Tories need to accept democracy

EDITOR – Sinn Fein has done the people of Ireland a considerable service by successively developing and building a popular island-wide political party that is poised to lead administrations in Dublin and Belfast in the years to come. 

Unionists and Tories have to accept democracy as it stands. There is every indication that the recent exclusion by the British government of Mary Lou McDonald from talks was to appease the Unionists and they have to accept the changing world of politics on this island of Ireland. Foreign secretary James Cleverly’s lack of knowledge of Ireland and its people will only galvanise support for Sinn Fein and its supporters.

Noel Harrington, 


‘Whingers’ apologise for error

EDITOR – Further to your recent article headlined “New whingers’ club highlights local issues needing attention”, I would like to say that if we have caused any offence to the Skibbereen football club, we are very sorry. 

We would like to acknowledge that the Skibbereen club does indeed have showers. That was an error on our part.

It wasn’t our intent to offend anybody.

John Guttridge,

The Whingers’ Club,


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