Wally lucky he’s not a hare

August 28th, 2021 3:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

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EDITOR – ‘The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.’ The line from Lewis Carroll’s poem came to mind when I heard about the presence of Wally the Walrus, as the creature’s been dubbed, off the Irish coast.

Wally has come a long way, and hopefully will find his way safely back to the Arctic.

What doesn’t help is when groups head off in boats to have a gawk at the exotic visitor. I see on Facebook that some people think of him as a second Fungie, whose main purpose in life is to entertain us all.

Better to view him from a distance through binoculars and not disturb him. He has enough on his plate without sightseers frightening him out of his wits.

The fact that walruses aren’t protected under Irish law doesn’t help. There’s no excuse for not shielding such endangered creatures from undue exploitation and the unintended consequences of misguided human behaviour.

Then again, other species that are supposedly protected in law are subjected to large scale ill-treatment – the iconic Irish hare being a case in point.

Just a few days ago, a government department issued a licence permitting the capture of thousands of hares for another coursing season. These animals will have to run from pairs of hyped-up dogs, resulting in injury to some and the deaths of others from stress-related ailments.

Wally is lucky he’s not a hare, or a coursing club might already have trapped him for a baiting contest.

Fungie the Dolphin was fortunate, too, that he was born an aquatic creature and not a furry fleet-footed runner. Kerry, which is still bemoaning his absence, is an even worse hare coursing blackspot than Tipperary, and that’s saying something.

While waxing lyrical about the antics of their favourite sea creature, Kingdom folk tend to be quite relaxed about the spectacle of animals getting mauled or tossed about like ragdolls on a coursing field.

So yes, it’s time to talk of many things, as the fictional Walrus said, among them why we fail to protect some wildlife, and allow, via special exemptions, abhorrent acts of cruelty to mammals ‘protected’ by our pitiable Wildlife Act.

John Fitzgerald,

Callan , Co Kilkenny.

Thank you, nurse Claire

EDITOR – I wonder how many people’s lives have been touched by a wonderful lady called nurse Claire O’Sullivan who is based at HSE, Skibbereen. Claire walked into our lives about 20 years ago when Auntie Rita came to live with us (and was suffering from dementia). Claire was so kind to Rita and supportive to us, her carers.

When I was diagnosed with Parkinsons’ Disease some years ago, nurse Claire was once again there for me.

Unfortunately, for me and my equals who so cherish her care, Claire is now moving to another position within the HSE.

We wish Claire the very best of luck in the future and a sincere thank you for your care.

We are lucky with the arrival of Caroline, who is replacing Claire and look forward to having her as our nurse.

Vivienne Collins,

Roosnagoose, Skibbereen. 

Sometimes bullies do win

EDITOR – The saying that the pen or the written word or use of reason or logic is mightier than the sword or brute force is mostly true in the Western world, but not in countries like Afghanistan.

There a tragedy is unfolding yet again, hour by hour now, with the return of the Taliban across the country, having regained power since the US and UK and other allied armies decided to leave.

This means the Taliban are back with great force. Fear and terror are causing the population to flee, causing a new refugee crisis for neighbouring countries.

By now, the Taliban have completely taken over the country again, with a return of its authoritarian regime.

The UN and its much-feted Security Council is not able to do much at all to prevent or stop it happening, but the UN humanitarian agencies will provide food and supplies for the refugee camps and centres.

It looks like the big bullies of the world do win sometimes.

Mary Sullivan,


Soldiers deserve our thanks

EDITOR – There is widespread criticism of the manner in which United States of America started military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I believe it appropriate, at this time, to express appreciation to the thousands of men and women of the United States armed services, for their dedicated services in Afghanistan, over a 20-year period.

NATO military forces, including members of Irish Defence Forces, also contributed in assisting Afghanistan and its people.

Somebody once said: ‘Politicians made decisions – members of armed services go out and die.’

Michael A Moriarty,

Rochestown, Cork.

Declare a national crisis

EDITOR – The homeless centres are closed at 9am and reopen at 9pm, which leaves the patrons roaming the streets in all kinds of weather. No wonder there are so many suicides in Ireland.

Landlords and agencies use the excuse of upgrading rooms or apartments and no guarantee tenants will ever get back in when the upgrades are complete.  It’s just not good enough in this day and age to treat people like this They deserve so much better. All they want is a safe place for themselves and their families and it’s high time our government declared a national housing crisis.

Noel Harrington,


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