Wednesday 26 October 2016

A part of every one of us has a deep yearning for faith

Published 20/05/2016 | 02:30

‘I have reconnected with my Catholic faith as an adult after a long journey of endless possibilities.’ (Picture posed)
‘I have reconnected with my Catholic faith as an adult after a long journey of endless possibilities.’ (Picture posed)

I was pleasantly surprised to read the heart-warming article by Jillian Godsil, 'My emotional ride through humanity's endless possibilities' (Irish Independent, May 18).

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She described her experience last year of attending a seminar with Jordan Belfort, of Wolf of Wall Street fame (or infamy, depending on your perspective), then having a personal development experience with the Landmark forum, to recently singing hymns in a church at the funeral of her best friend's father.

To hear a person in our national media share openly, honestly and positively regarding a faith experience is both refreshing and hopeful, as she so correctly describes our growing culture of "self-enlightenment".

While acknowledging the benefits and merits of a business seminar and of a personal development experience (having worked and trained in both of these fields myself), I believe there is a part of every human being which indeed does long for something deeper and more fulfilling.

Having reconnected with my Catholic faith as an adult after a long journey of endless possibilities, I realised I needed to look no further than the first three letters of Jillian's surname . . . faith, hope and love - but the greatest of these is love.

Lee Curran

Cloyne, Cork

Funding for children's hospices

There are 4,000 children and young people living with life-limiting conditions in Ireland, and Children's Hospice Week (May 23-30) is an opportunity for a sustained focus on the special needs of these people and their families.

With extremely complex and unpredictable health needs, these children require constant care and attention.

Furthermore, the physical, emotional and financial pressure on their families is immense. Families in this situation, wherever they are living, deserve to be able to access hospice services, with the specialist skills and knowledge to support them.

Unfortunately, this is not the case and many families end up relying on emergency and acute support because children's hospice care is not available in their area.

LauraLynn, Ireland's Children's Hospice, is the only dedicated children's hospice in the State, providing planned short breaks (respite), unplanned crisis and end-of-life care, symptom management, family support and bereavement care.

Last year, it launched a hospice-at-home programme, which has enabled us to expand our services to many more families.

It would be a fitting way for the new Government to mark Children's Hospice Week by ensuring sufficient funding to provide fair and equal access to hospice services for all children with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

David Andrews

Chairman, LauraLynn

Ireland's Children's Hospice

A sad story - in three words

I came across a website recently which asked visitors to submit their three-word sad story. There were many responses. For me, it was very simple: "The 32nd Dáil".

What's yours?

Damien Carroll

Kingswood, Dublin 24

Number of TDs in the Dáil

Desmond Clarke (Irish Independent, May 19) believes that we have too many TDs and this contributes to the national parliament not acting in the national interest.

He says, firstly, that we should use international comparisons to determine how many TDs we should have. He proceeds, however, to compare us with the United States, the UK and France, to support his argument that we have too many TDs.

Had he chosen to compare us with similarly sized countries, his argument would collapse. The Dáil, with 158 members, is not out of step with the national parliaments of Slovakia (150), Croatia (151), Norway (169), Denmark (179) or Finland (200).

Mr Clarke also ignores the fact that local government is much stronger in most other countries and that we have one of the worst ratios of councillor to population (in Ireland, we have one councillor for every 4,800 people, compared to 1:2,900 in the UK and 1:120 in France, for example).

However, Mr Clarke is correct in his assertion that our voting system encourages a greater focus on local rather than on national issues and leads to more internal party competition than debate on policy platforms.

That said, it is also the decision of the public as to whom they choose to represent them, and if that vote is on the basis of local issues rather than national or global interests, then the number of TDs will make little impact.

Malcolm Byrne

Gorey, Co Wexford

No cogent argument in EU poll

Dr Munjed Al Qutob's assertions that the current debates in the UK are informative and inspiring are either sarcasm in drag or risible (Irish Independent, Letters, May 18).

Both the UK government and the Brexit campaigners are empty vessels without a grey cell between them.

Boris Johnson's entry in the debate is nothing more than a self-serving vehicle for his own political ambitions. His utterances are more ludicrous than usual and would not stand up to the scrutiny of a primary school pupil.

David Cameron has lost the plot, assuming that he was ever within a mile of it. Both sides are treating the rest of us in the UK with contempt.

Democracy is a sacred right, and as the people of Ireland will attest, a right not given but fought for and died for. The least we should insist upon is a cogent argument from those who aspire to serve us.

Harry Charalambou

Muswell Hill, London, UK

More critical thinking please

The coverage of the Maurice McCabe/Nóirín O'Sullivan 'malice' controversy brings to mind 'Animal Farm': Maurice (all) good, Nóirín (all) bad.

An impartial and common-sense view would suggest it's a lot more complex and nuanced than that. Are we witnessing another case of group think? Could we have more critical thinking and impartial reporting, or is that beyond human nature?

Joseph Mackey

Athlone, Westmeath

Irish Independent

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