Letters: We cannot allow conspiracies and lies to stand in the media

YouTube has made an announcement in regard to false claims about the 2020 US election that “…we will stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past US presidential elections.” An odd statement, surely.

This is certainly a negative approach, as not calling out false information and conspiracies gives these things some credibility when they are “published” on a major media site. Attaching a big red “liar” logo to false information pages would just make it a farce, so why allow the lies? Are YouTube viewer numbers declining? I doubt it. Are they afraid that if Donald Trump returns, they will have to be on his good side? If so, politics, media, and the truth will make strange bedfellows.

Fortunately, most newspapers still tell the truth and only the truth, so there is hope if more people can be encouraged to pick up a paper rather looking at a screen of lies.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Box Hill, Melbourne

Early views on neutrality might be a wise thing to do

Why do the invited experts, academics and political representatives of the Consultative Forum on neutrality not insist, as a priority, on getting the considered deliberations of the 99 citizens chosen at random to represent the consensus of the people of Ireland, before they begin their deliberations?

It leaves one in no doubt that the views of the citizens of Ireland are irrelevant.

Margaretta D’Arcy

Co Galway

Rejoining Commonwealth would not help Irish unity

As Derek Ross puts it, I am one of the “usual suspects, many of whom can be found doing their weekly supermarket shop decked out in full Manchester United regalia” (‘We should be able to discuss rejoining the Commonwealth’, Letters, May 15).

There is no reason to be found that joining the Commonwealth will bring a united Ireland any nearer. If one wants a united Ireland, from our political point of view, it would leave the united country with a permanent Sinn Féin government with, I have no doubt, Fianna Fáil as the junior partner. Joining the Commonwealth would not impress the DUP – they would see it as a gimmick and would be insulted that joining the Commonwealth was being seen by the Irish Government as a way of trying to seduce them.

Hugh Duffy

Cleggan, Co Galway

Let’s train our own graduates to be consultants in Ireland

Most people agree with Taoiseach and Tánaiste that Ireland needs a seven-day health service. How frontline staff are going to be recruited to achieve this is beyond imagination. They say they are going to negotiate with unions. With a maximum 48-hour working week and skills shortages, it is going to be a very difficult task across a wide range of professions – from technicians to nurses and doctors.

Availability of qualified hospital consultants will be the greatest challenge. We are already short hundreds of hospital consultants and are qualifying only about 90 per annum to replace retirees and those leaving to go to work in private hospitals. This leaves little hope of increasing capacity.

At present, Ireland has one of the lowest numbers of hospital consultants per capita and highest number of non-consultant hospital doctors in the EU, showing that hospitals are heavily reliant on junior doctors. Most of these juniors are not on any particular specialist training schemes. Most are on stand-alone posts.

There is currently a massive shortage of training places for medical graduates to train and qualify as consultants, thereby causing the mass exodus of young doctors. Increasing the number of medical graduates will only send more abroad unless full training is made available to qualify as consultants. It is soul-destroying for young doctors not to be able to complete their full training in their own country.

Irish hospitals are heavily reliant on importing foreign consultants and we need to look at the effect this is having on the health services in their countries. Would it not be better to train our own graduates to become consultants in our hospitals and not send our graduates away and import consultants from countries that need them?

Marion Dermody

Newbridge, Co Kildare

Make the most of that glowing orb in the sky

What, pray tell, is that big, yellow ball that has been hanging about in our sky this past while?

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

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