Letters

Motorhomes bring year-round income to tourist areas

July 11th, 2022 8:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

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EDITOR – May I comment on your recent article ‘Fury and frustration over Baltimore parking issues as summer heats up’.

In the article many negative comments were directed at those who choose to tour and holiday on motorhomes, AKA campervans, campers, RVs.

As regards the commentary around the parking of motorhomes, it should be understood that such vehicles are within the same vehicle category as cars and therefore legally entitled to park where it is legal for a car to park and there is no differentiation between the two within the Road Traffic Act.

While campers should not present a problem where the provided parking is parallel to the road, the extra length of a motorhome can prove an inconvenience to others in parking areas such as car parks where the marked bays are car length and the part of the camper extending beyond the bay may hamper the free circulation of other car park users.

This issue can be addressed by the provision of extra long bays, as are provided in the motorhome parking areas in towns like Dungarvan, Cobh, Bantry and Castletownbere, to name just four.

Such special bays could be subject to a charge.

All the other issues highlighted in the article can and should be dealt with under The Road Traffic Act and The Litter Pollution Act 1997.

The actions described are certainly not to be tolerated and we would encourage anyone witnessing such antisocial behaviour to collect evidence such as photographs or video and the registration number of the vehicle in which the offender is travelling and report it immediately to the relevant authority.

It is only by successfully prosecuting such miscreant individuals will the disgusting behaviour be addressed.

In the article a resident suggested that campervans might stick to registered sites. Campervans have full onboard facilities, are designed to provide autonomous use, independent from such sites and only require access to a service bay to empty grey and black water and take on fresh water every few days.

Finally, motorhome-based tourists are a year-round source of tourist income and have proven to be so where appropriate parking facilities are provided.

Research has shown that each visit can be worth over €60 per day to local commerce.

Perhaps Baltimore should think about such additional tourist income over the twelve months – campervans are after all generally used throughout the year.

Colin McCarthy,

Hon secretary,

Phoenix Motorhome Club Ireland,

Midleton.

Time to reform the UN Security Council?

EDITOR – When we see the tragedy unfolding from the war that has engulfed Ukraine in recent months, surely it must high time the United Nations security council is reformed?

The League of nations having failed to prevent war in 1939 was replaced by the United Nations after World War II, with the purpose of providing international peace and security.

The assembly agreed to have five permanent members – the so called ‘victors’ of that global conflict, namely the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, France and China.

These states having a crucial veto power is controversial and surely undemocratic. They are also almost exclusively nuclear powers.

To date more than 260 resolutions of the Council have been vetoed, and most by the USSR/Russia and the US.

The present conflict in the Ukraine is a perfect example of a single country (Russia) preventing a majority of the Security Council from taking any action.

In this case Russia is using its unjust and disproportionate powers to veto resolutions condemning its very own aggression against the sovereignty of the Ukraine.

The UN as a body is shown to be wholly ineffective in preventing the genocide and human rights violations which we are so used to hearing from this senseless and awful war.

Supporters of the right to veto like the US regard it as safeguarding international relations, while the Russian president is noted to have praised it as ‘profound wisdom’ underpinning international stability. 

This seems risible, especially when both of those countries have had a hand in so many recent international disputes.

Even the recent highly partisan affairs in the US had it denigrated to flawed democracy status following the Capitol insurrection.

It must be imperative for the global community to look at ways of limiting the veto powers of this ‘famous five’ and an overall reforming of the Security Council. 

This could be done by the rest of the developed world shouting louder – especially those of us who are so lucky to live in a full democracy world.

Vincent O’Shea

Mariners Cove, Baltimore.

Plans dropped for wildlife crime unit

EDITOR – I am shocked but not surprised to learn that the government has dropped plans to establish a dedicated Wildlife Crime Unit that would have cracked down on the multiple threats to our wildlife and the natural environment.

Two years ago it promised that this essential new entity would be set up following a spate of wildfires that destroyed hedgerows and nesting bird habitats and the poisoning and shooting of rare birds.

Animal welfare and wildlife protection groups had welcomed the commitment, hoping that the unit would effectively tackle these challenges, plus an upsurge in badger baiting and illegal hare hunting across the country.

What a slap in the face to all of us who expected action at last to address criminal threats to our already imperiled biodiversity.

But then, should we expect anything more from a government that despite its light shade of Green (that’s fading by the day) is also likely to grant a licence to coursing clubs shortly to commence another season of what, in many other jurisdictions, including Northern Ireland, would be designated ‘wildlife crime’?

Someday, maybe, we’ll get a government that will stand up for nature.

John Fitzgerald,

Callan,

Co Kilkenny.

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