Coming back from the mother of all mistakes
Currently, I am the worst son in the world. I committed a crime so horrific that I shall never be forgiven. Upon awaking on Sunday last, my mother would have condemned me to the deepest depths of Tartarus for a sin so heinous that the courts don't outlaw it for fear it might give people ideas. I forgot about Mother's Day.
She awoke without a card or a wish and it was not until after midday that I realised my mistake, a point at which it was too late. This made me wonder: what is the point of this day? Surely we should express our love to our mothers and fathers because we want to and not because of some tradition on one day a year? To me it seems that any actions taken on those days are meaningless, but it doesn't matter. All that matters now is whether my mother appreciates receiving her card and chocolates a little bit late – because no matter what our personal beliefs are, they must go out the window to please Irish Mothers.
PADRAIC O MAOILEOIN
CARRIGALINE, CO CORK
CONSPIRACY – NO THEORY
I wish to comment on Ian O'Doherty's article entitled 'Sorry, conspiracy nuts – sometimes a crash is just a crash'. First of all, we all know there are, how do we say it, extravagant people out there with very vivid imaginations. So when it comes to something as big as a plane going missing from radar, changing course and flying for seven or eight hours in the wrong direction, of course there will be endless conspiracy theories. But lots of people throw the term 'conspiracy theory' around to mock or belittle people.
The US and China have been playing a game of chess with intelligence and satellite data, slowly releasing small pieces of confusing and contradictory 'evidence'. There has been no proof of anything so far, because not one piece of debris has been recovered. O'Doherty suggesting the photos are hard evidence that the plane crashed is just ignorance. We as a public are not being told the truth for security and intelligence reasons – but make no mistake, there was most likely foul play involved . . . which would point to a conspiracy, no?
Anyway, if there was no conspiracy to begin with, there certainly is now, among the intelligence services from around the world. So let's not be so quick to judge – and let's also really think about what message we are trying to put across here. "Planes crash, bad things happen and people die all the time. . ." Are you serious? It's been weeks, not years. Have some respect, please.
ADDRESS WITH EDITOR
IN A TANGLE FOR 'SAFETY'
Of course the use of mobile phones while driving continues unabated, but I am impressed by those 'careful' drivers who manage to hold the phone in the left hand up to the right ear, while steering with the right hand. One can but fold one's arms and look on in admiration.
CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the effects of climate change makes depressing but hardly surprising reading. The 300 authors make clear that the planet is already suffering major damage, as Arctic sea ice continues to melt, glaciers retreat, deserts expand, and extreme weather events become ever more common. All this has a particular impact on those least able to cope.
Christians have a particular duty to care for the environment, as we believe this is God's creation, and humans have a special role in caring for it. Further, we are also called to work with the poorest and most marginalised people on the planet, who have been most affected by climate change, as agriculture becomes more difficult and global food stocks are threatened.
Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) was founded in 2005 by the largest churches on this island, to encourage individual Christians and congregations to do what they can to take practical steps to reduce our carbon footprint. Together we can make a real difference, especially if governments and corporations can be persuaded to take large-scale action.
Therefore, just as we have called on the churches to take action on environmental matters, so we are now calling on both our governments, north and south, to set out a comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to take steps to ameliorate the impact of this crisis. The time of talking and vague aspirations is past. What is needed is definitive action to deal with the most serious crisis of our time.
REV ANDREW ORR
CHAIR, ECO-CONGREGATION IRELAND (ECI) AND CHURCH OF IRELAND REPRESENTATIVE
SR CATHERINE BRENNAN SSL
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS
REV JOHN PURDY
METHODIST CHURCH IN IRELAND
MR JOE FURPHY
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN IRELAND
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, ECI
NEW POLITICAL MESSIAHS
Another politician wants to start a new political party. A former member of Labour has had an epiphany and been shown the promised land – a fabled political Atlantis, a land where democracy and equality rule; Plato's dream of utopia, where all people take part in governance. Alas, as in the myth, in one day and night they will be washed away, as the might of Europa sweeps away all dreams of the lost horizon.
Still, in the meantime we can have a bit of a laugh as we observe certain politicians. Terrified of losing money, power and influence, they go on a mission to save us from the fires of the established political puppets, whose strings are yanked by the European ventriloquists, who use them as dummy props to preach the 'gospel'. I'm just waiting for the knock on the door so I can hear the new doctrine of these political messiahs, come to save my soul. Hallelujah!
ENNIS, CO CLARE
A VIP WHO TRAVELS LIGHT
It's Tuesday, February 11. I'm walking to the gate at Stansted airport to board the 17.05 Ryanair flight to Dublin. Looking out through the windows in the departure lounge, you can't help but feel proud as an Irish person when you see the number of Ryanair aircraft, Irish registered with a harp on the tail, being prepared to depart for all over Europe with military precision.
As I board FR225 I make my way to seat 7E and as I proceed down the aisle, I see a familiar face in 4C. It's Michael O'Leary, CEO of the biggest and most successful airline in Europe. He is reading from his tablet.
All passengers on, doors closed, the cabin crew go through the drill – we are on our way six minutes early. As the Boeing 737 climbs effortlessly into the cold evening sky with the winter sun setting, I keep an eye on Michael O. He turns to reading the paper. As the drinks trolley comes down the aisle, Michael gets a coffee in a cardboard cup with a bun, rummages in his pocket for change to pay the stewardess, and thanks her. I did similar with a lot more rummaging.
We landed in Dublin 10 minutes early. Michael got up, put his coat and woolly hat on, grabbed his satchel and left just ahead of me. He was discreet, no special treatment requested, just another passenger.
Ryanair flights are very much on time. However, one possible way they would be late is if the aircraft was put into a holding pattern to allow some Very Important Person to land first, who would possibly be then taken away in a limo, costing the earth (and probably paid for by others). Or it could be the weather.