A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to the Editor of The Irish Times after reading previously a letter from another reader (Brenda Morgan on 20th March). This letter pointed out that nearly a year after the General Election that there are still plastic ties scattered on our lamp posts despite the fact that the posters that they were used to tie up had been removed. There are heavy fines for political parties if they do not remove election posters.
This prompted me to respond and suggest colour coded plastic ties for each party. To my surprise the letter was published in the 24th March, 2008 edition! This is my second published letter (out of four written). On the previous occasion, I got a phone call from the Irish Times editor's office to confirm that I had written the letter and that it would soon be published. Not this time - they didn't tell me it would be published.
I discovered that the letter was published completely by accident. I didn't see it on the 24th March edition, and (it seems) nobody else did either! No one has mentioned this to me - how disappointing! I found it by accident as I Googled myself and saw the link way down my vanity search results. The Irish Times is a subscription newspaper on-line, so unless you have a subscription - you won't be able to see it.
Interestingly, the Editor made some minor changes - here's the text of my original letter, under the title of "Shades of Green", sent to the Editor by email:
Brenda Morgan rightly points out in her letter (20th March, 2008) that it is a disgrace that almost a year after the general election that our constituencies are still littered with plastic ties left behind when election posters are removed. Thanks to the threat of substantial fines, political parties are now fairly good at removing the posters. Perhaps it is time to introduce a colour scheme for the poster ties so that those responsible could be fined? Parties could register their own colours - red for Labour, blue for Fine Gael, white for the PDs, but who would get green ties? The Greens, Fianna Fail, and Sinn Féin would all want green ties. Different shades to determine who is the greenest of them all?
Eugene F.M. O'Loughlin,