Tag Archives: Ask A Broadsheet Reader


Sarah writes:

Important news for everyone in Ireland who objects to paying for water. Irish Water are paying thousands of pounds per day to EY “management consultants ” from London and also paying for their hotel accommodation in the Shelbourne and Intercontinental hotels in Dublin.



Supreme Court Judge Peter Charlton arriving at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle in July

Further to the retirement of Nóirín O’Sullivan as Garda Commissioner.

Anon writes:

The whole dynamics of the Charleton Tribunal [investigating claims of an orchestrated smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe] is now changed.

What authority has Nóirín O’Sullivan now with regard to her special investigations team [hand-picked to liaise with Charleton] and can the legal team in place to represent AGS now act for her as a civilian?



A citizenship ceremony in the Convention Centre, Dublin

What kind of immigrants are OK in Ireland?

Siobhan Harvey writes:

I have a friend. She’s an immigrant, although she never thought of herself that way until recently when she began to receive negative comments on social media about not being Irish.

She’s married to an Irishman, although 9 months into the marriage she found herself in the court before a judge getting a barring order to protect herself. The judge granted it readily, and extended it to include my friend’s sons as well.

My friend first came to live in Ireland over 20 years ago, but as fate would have it, never lived here the continuous 5 years required for citizenship. Ireland is her home, as it is her son’s, and she will be seeking citizenship within the next 18 to 24 months once she is eligible.

In the meantime, she is indeed legally resident here.

My friend is very outspoken. She was an advocate for political and social reform in her country of origin, as she is here in Ireland. She seeks fair services and timely health care for all, but especially for disabled children – which is her passion. You see, her eldest son is severely disabled.

She fights daily, not only for her son’s care, but for the hundreds of other children like her son across Ireland. She speaks out against homelessness. And while she asks for help, she certainly also gives help to others.

Yet, there are those who think she has no right to speak out against what is so obviously wrong with our healthcare system; no right to seek assistance for her son despite the fact she is a legal resident; and no right to receive any assistance from the government at all.

What I want to know is why our citizens feel this way – and when did we begin to feel this way?

If my friend was Syrian, would it change these people’s minds or would it only enhance their position that as an immigrant she should not speak out and not receive any help?

What if she was Polish? Mexican? Does it matter what country my friend is originally from, and if so, why does it matter?



He ran out on the rent.

But is he worth a public shaming?

Only YOU can decide.

‘Reluctant Landlord’ writes:

So being landlord was never really part of the plan but current circumstances warranted I should consider the option, and after 7 years of living on my own I thought it would be a welcome change.

With the help of a friend I published an advertisement on Daft.ie and before long I had a number of people over to view a room I had to rent. I settled on a person ill refer to as Martin – he was young, friendly and seemed easy going.

Everything was good a for a time. He had his parents and son over and I arranged spare beds for them – all seemed to be good.

Come the New Year things changed and bills/ rent were becoming late and he mentioned to me he was having financial difficulties but promised he would sort me out so trusting as I am I allow him some grace .

Two weeks passed and he told me the money was sent – again I trusted him at his word – a week later I check my account see the funds had not arrived so I contact him and he sends me
the transaction ID and confirmation of it being sent but I confirmed it had not arrived – he responded that he would look in to it.

I then did not see him for a few weeks and I came home mid-March and noticed his room was somewhat cleared out – he had left a note on the bed which indicated his financial troubles had taken a real turn and he had to move back to England .

The note stated he lost his job, his girlfriend and his life had pretty much fallen apart – he promised he would pay what he owed. I contacted the email address he left and advised him of my concern and was happy to discuss an installment plan for reimbursement.

As most of you reading this will not be surprised I heard nothing from him. I tried again to no avail. I was however during this time periodically checking his Facebook for updates to see where he was then out of the blue could not access his page so I assumed it was deleted.

However I randomly decided to search him while on a friend’s computer and the page was still live in which he recently posted a celebration post about being with his girlfriend for year and I also noticed he had updated his job to a company in North Dublin and was working there since March 1.

I’m now left with a dilemma while I was going to write off the amount (€1100) as a bad debt and put it down to the lessons of being a landlord.

However learning that he lied in almost every aspect of the note he left has me re-thinking things – while I accept I may not be able to get the money back – I am somewhat peeved knowing what happened and why I’m writing the article to as for you advise on what I should do.

Do I show up outside his workplace and ask for it on front of his employers? Do I ask his girlfriend? Do I message his father?

He had one months deposit which covered one months rent but he still owes me for two months and I’m short of cash as it stands. There is no way I can take him to the small claims court even and not even the RTB. What else can I do?


Pic: Shutterstock


David writes:

A letter I received a couple of days ago.

Now tell me this: if I was, let’s say, a plumber and I did extensive work at the hospital.

I got paid what I asked for on the day.

Can I go back to them nearly nine months later and say I undercharged them? And please remit the shortfall?

In fact, what other business (apart from the revenue, who make up their own laws) can do such a thing? You’d laugh if a restaurant tried it, or a house or car insurer.

How many of these letters go out? How many people pay up meekly?

In my humble opinion, this is the printed version of spam (especially given the extra apostrophe in the plural of ‘cheque’).

Does the person signing these letters ever put themselves in the recipients’ shoes?What do readers think?


Something doesn’t scan.

Wotsit all about?

Stephen Hanley writes:

Why do these snacks (purchased at M & S, Dundrum Town Centre) regularly scan at €1.40 when shelf edge says €0.75? Staff over-ride but problem recurs.

I wonder what else in store customers are consistently overcharged for, and could you make a donation to SVP or similar once fixed?


Kevin writes:

My wife was booking some spa treatments in a plush hotel down the country, in an email they asked for her credit card details – I said no way, that’s crazy, anyone could read that email, or forward it.

Then when she telephoned them in reply they asked for her CVN and again I called bullpoo, pretty sure that’s only for online purchases.

It seems common that high end hotels ask for these details without regard to their customers privacy or security.

The last time we stayed in an over prices hotel ( for a wedding of someone who is an oniomaniac) just after booking my credit card was used to run up a huge debt on a poker site, I had been stupid enough to give my CVN at the time.

Is this an Irish thing or a rich people,thing or hotels just don’t give a fupp?


Access to my body sensors!?


‘J’ writes:

I’d like to get your readers’ views on this as maybe I’m being over the top…

So I replaced my lost iPhone4 last week thinking that Samsung would have better morals than Apple. But then I discovered an incredible level of intrusion with Google /Android.

Firstly, it took an age to turn off the microphone, with there being an intentional level of difficulty in finding out how to do it (I had to download the Google Now app to this).

Then I refused permissions for access to pics, emails etc. except for the basics (pictures for messages, microphone for calls etc.) which was also intentionally difficult to do.

Now I can’t even send an email without them wanting access to ‘Body Sensors’ (see pic). Regardless of the data privacy issues it’s the sheer obnoxiousness of the whole set-up that really gets me and I really wish I hadn’t bought it. Whatcha think?


Yesterday’s Sunday Independent


Derek writes:

A technical question. Is there  a measurement  available for who exactly the squeezed middle are? I earn 45k a year and my wife takes home about the same. We live in rented accommodation in Dublin city and cannot afford a house and won’t be able to afford one for  years. We take one holiday a year and have one car and no kids yet… Do we qualify?

Squeezed middle or squashed bottom?

YOU decide!