Same-sex marriage, even by definition, cannot be right
Published 19/10/2015 | 02:30
The great Catholic convert Oscar Wilde once stated that the only thing worse than being talked about, was not being talked about. In this context one must welcome Gary J Byrne's (Irish Independent, Letters October 17, 2015) contribution to the debate on same-sex marriage in the Longford diocese.
Of course, Mr Byrne is correct that a majority voted yes, but that doesn't answer the question as to the legitimacy of the concept itself, particularly in a Catholic context, the context of Fr Joseph Okere's concerns and of my letter.
Without rehashing the arguments all over again, one need only cite the fact that the word matrimony derives from the latin word 'mater', meaning mother.
So with the best will in the world there is no way that two men can supply this essential ingredient to the institution. The eminent Irish statesman Edmund Burke stated that we have one intellectual choice in this life, and the choice is between two paradoxical ideas.
Either we conform our minds to reality or we shape reality to conform to our thinking.
I would suggest that the Irish people have collectively chosen the latter.
However, it is nice to see that Bishop Francis Duffy and Gary Byrne would appear to be ad idem on this matter.
Navan, Co Meath
Shame of sexist abuse in public
Thank God you printed that article about the experience of that young girl at a bus stop in Dublin.
This is just regular abuse for Irish women in our country and we are left feeling ashamed of ourselves.
I am a married women with four kids. I was at my Christmas party two years ago and three men that I know - I don't know them very well, but we are from the same town, and they know my husband - were standing behind me.
It was like they started taking turns putting their hands all over me, the second I felt the first hand I turned around and caught the second one trying to get a feel, and the third guy was just laughing. I can't tell you how upset I was. I started to cry and I couldn't stop.
They were taking turns. My friend then brought me home to my husband. When my husband rang these men the next day, they all denied it. So I looked like a liar. I still feel so ashamed.
Name and address with editor
Noonan not living in real world
Finance Minister Michael Noonan is not living in the real world, judging by a Budget that reflects the arrogance of this Government.
So much for the claim that the impact of the growing economy is now felt inside every door in this country.
Tell this to all the people living on the streets. Tell the people who have had their homes repossessed. Or tell the children who still have to go to school hungry.
Kinsale, Co Cork
Blight of rural crime
"The neighbourhood of Rathmines has become infested with midnight plunderers. Scarcely a night passes without stables being broken open and robbed, and depredations committed in gardens. If some measures are not immediately adopted to counteract these offences, it is feared they will be succeeded by burglaries and other enormities. It is lamented that a few of the police who were stationed near this quarter have been removed further up the country; it would be better they had remained to oppose the depredators that skulk out from the metropolis at night."
This is an extract from the 'Freeman's Journal', on October 13, 1827, almost 200 hundred years ago.
Thereafter, the number of police was increased as was the number of police stations, and relative police presence became the norm.
The normal garda now does a great job, and of course must obey his seniors and is owed respect and support in the normal performance of his duty.
Of course this was all relatively fine, until the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition decided to close stations down all over the country.
Of course, the eventual cost will be mighty, and quite soon too I suspect.
We were leaders in introducing the anti-smoking legislation, in its enactment and it's acceptance.
Let us be leaders here now in refusing to tolerate crime, violent crime in particular. Build more prisons, build them now. Fill them now. There's a tax I won't mind paying.
Address with editor
A tribute to the Garda force
I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the family of the late Tony Golden. He was indeed a brave, selfless member of An Garda Síochána.
At this sad time I feel compelled to express my admiration for the ordinary rank-and-file members who rarely get credit for the risks they take on behalf of the citizens.
On a personal level, I refer to four gardaí - members of my extended family.
They fulfil their everyday duties without fuss or fanfare. In keeping with your brevity guidelines, I will omit the details of injuries and assaults suffered in the course of their work.
Contrary to some perceptions, they neither sought nor received excessive overtime, which would enable them to buy several houses or amass great wealth.
I salute the great majority of members who have acquitted themselves with quiet dignity, and I'm immensely proud of their endeavours.
Sara J Conway
Shrule, Co Mayo
Long goodbye to Coalition
When the Government presented their 2016 Budget last Tuesday, in their generosity they awarded a pension hike of €3 per week.
This equates to a two-litre container of milk and a sliced pan (from the euro shop).
Along with this we are to receive a fuel allowance of €2.50. Let's hope this coming winter is not a cold one.
However, they conveniently ignored the fact that services are becoming increasingly costly and no allowance has been factored in to cover these expenses.
Our old age pension has been the same for far too long and the daily expenses are not being adequately covered by pensioners who are falling into arrears on some debts.
Yet we are expected to re-elect this Government at the next General Election.
This is the beginning of the long goodbye.