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Irish Times: Turban ruling in Garda Reserve

Published: Aug 24, 2007

Madam, – The recent exchanges on the issue of a Garda Reserve applicant being refused permission to wear a Sikh turban while on duty is sadly typical of the debate, or more appropriately non-debate, in this country on the subject of immigration.

The issue on the letters page today (August 23rd) has become totally muddied, with several contributors making snide references to Ash Wednesday and, more bizarrely still, the criminal actions of the anti-Shell gang in Mayo.

In fact on August 22nd Dr Steve Loyal was given opinion space to attack the concept of integration and float the absurd notion that failure to allow this person to wear a turban somehow compromises Irish democracy.

These contributions are characteristic of the generally muzzled debate on immigration in this country.

In that debate, particularly in your newspaper, it seems that nothing should be allowed get in the way of the desired goal of a multicultural Ireland.

We all know how wonderfully that worked in France, Holland, Britain and elsewhere.

One can only be thankful that Minister of State Conor Lenihan and others, including the leader of the Opposition, share some of the concerns of the majority out there and refuse to rush headlong into establishing the kind of rootless society that has failed all across Europe . – Yours, etc,

ANTHONY OWENS, Crumlin, Dublin 12.

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