The car is a necessity of life
Published 18/09/2016 | 02:30
Sir - I cannot see sense in the letter from your 91-year- old correspondent (Sunday Independent, September 11) who, it seems, does not drive because the gardai have said "don't drive, you might hurt yourself". What the gardai say in that respect is irrelevant. What matters is: do they have a licence?
To get such for three years he has to pass a medical test. Can he do that? I am 85 and have had some difficulty passing the eyesight test, but I did, and have a licence. I would drive anyhow, with it or without it.
There is a saying in our own language: Nil dli ag riachtanas - necessity has no law. Indeed my English-Irish dictionary compiled by Tomas de Bhaldraithe and published by Oifig an tSolathair, in AD 1959 includes the sentence: Ni feider teacht gan carr ar na saolta seo - a car is a necessity of life nowadays.
Rural transport aid
Sir - Please pass on our contact number to the correspondent who sent you the letter entitled 'The loneliness of old age with no car' (Sunday Independent, September 11).
We are a rural transport company based in Carrick on Shannon called Sligo Leitrim Roscommon (SLR) Local Link and while the writer may not live in the area we cover we can put them in contact with one of the other transport co-ordination units around the country who may be able to help.
Aras an Chontae,
Carrick on Shannon,
Sir - The article about RTE and its projected loss of €20m (Business, Sunday Independent, September 11) does not surprise me in the least when you consider the number of journalists and reporters that the station sent to the Olympics in Brazil this summer.
I have absolutely no doubt that the job could have been done just as professionally with about one third of the total number sent.
Sir - Jamesie O'Connor's article (Sport, Sunday Independent, September 11) summarising a typical underage camogie match evening was masterful.
And it will surely resonate with every father in the country who has, at sometime or other, ferried a daughter and her friends to a camogie match. That a former hurling great, sports journalist, tv pundit and full-time educator of renowned ability makes time to manage an underage camogie team for his local club would probably come as no surprise to those who know him.
I've never met Jamesie O'Connor but how fortunate we are to have his likes in our communities. Being able to share a good-humoured joke with the young girl who turned up for a match minus a hurley and helmet shows his sense of fun, perspective and ability to engage. I suppose being a dad of girls this age and a natural communicator makes this easy for him.
What Jamesie could not have been expected to know is that the young lady in question had earlier spent a few hours sorting Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2016 volunteer T-shirts, by size, in a community hall in Ennis prior to being collected. Of course, her mam, dad or grandad would ordinarily have brought her to the game with all the gear in tow. But then mam had overall responsibility for the recruitment, selection, training, deployment and support of the 1,500 registered volunteers who underpinned the success of the Ennis Fleadh that week and, I guess, the alternative arrangements omitted the usual quality check for hurling gear.
What really struck me about all of this though was people interaction and the noble selflessness of volunteering. Jamesie, young Niamh and her mam all volunteer and all make enormous contributions to their community.
Clare Volunteer Centre,
Responses to a crisis pregnancy
Sir - Well done to Donal Lynch (Sunday Independent, September 11) for his article on abortion. From the reaction he received from the Repeal the Eighth supporters he will understand now how pro-life people have been treated when they dare to point out the facts.
I do take issue with him when he claims that "the pro-life brigade never fully engage with the experience of the women". It is precisely because pro-life advocates understand exactly what is involved in an abortion that they make every effort to prevent it happening, being well aware of the effects it has on the woman.
So many women are left devastated after an abortion and have the greatest difficulty in forgiving themselves, despite the fact that there is never a doubt about God's forgiveness.
The article leaves this reader with the difficulty of understanding how Mr Lynch can acknowledge the humanity of the baby in the womb and still consider it acceptable to abort it.
He is correct in stating that "it is a fact that it is one life for another, an impossible decision". As one opposed to the death penalty, I cannot understand how it can ever be acceptable to kill anyone, least of all the most vulnerable and defenceless of all, the baby in the womb.
Women deserve better than being persuaded that abortion is a humane response to a crisis pregnancy. Very many people are willing to provide whatever support and assistance that is required to ensure that both mother and baby are protected equally. Let us all act to choose life not death.
A woman's path to redemption
Sir - Donal Lynch (Sunday Independent, September 11) may be right when he suggests that a woman who has an abortion should consider taking the road to redemption. A post-abortion healing organisation called Rachel's Vineyard was set up in the USA in the 1980s and is now in many countries including Ireland. Women speak of it helping them to move on from "regret, despair and grief, to hope and healing".
In a letter preceding the Year of Mercy 2016, Pope Francis noted that there are many women who, despite thinking abortion is wrong, feel that they have no other choice. "I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonising and painful decision," he said.
The Pope said that the forgiveness of God can't be denied to a person who has sincerely repented. Because of this, Francis said, he has allowed all priests for the Year of Mercy "to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it".
If feminists were genuinely willing to consider that the foetus, (Latin for unborn baby) is genuinely human, then they would be better off foregoing the trauma of abortion and instead embrace the joy of bringing new life into the world.
Fintan J Power
Little time for 'pointless' story
Sir - What was the point of the short story (Sunday Independent, September 11)? Were we supposed to have sympathy for that young woman who after a decade of living with her abusive boyfriend finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy? She flies to London, has a quick abortion, attends Mass, receives Communion, flies home, all over! Then makes plans for a cosy life. What surprises me, however, is that this story was written by a former master of the Coombe hospital.
Balance, please, in abortion debate
Sir - Your newspaper (Sunday Independent, September 11) contains two lengthy articles promoting abortion. It does not contain any views of those who oppose abortion recognising the fact that a baby is killed in the process. How about giving us some proper journalism, one that is fair, impartial and not one-sided?
Listowel, Co Kerry
Let democracy take its course
Sir - In the US where abortion is legally available, the Supreme Court there reaffirmed its stance in a ruling on June 27 striking down a Texas state law that would have required abortions in mini-hospitals, instead of regular clinics.
In a 5-3 ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that "medically unnecessary abortion restrictions will never be tolerated by the highest court" before adding "when a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners... at great risk to their health".
I thought of her words while reading Donal Lynch's instructive article (Sunday Independent, September 11).
Your writer wonders why Repeal the Eighth supporters aren't "heartened by someone coming out and speaking publicly for their cause".
Maybe it's just because as a man, even a gay one, he will never be able to fully appreciate what Ms Ginsberg describes as "women in desperate circumstances".
I also doubt very much if any one of the 165,438 Irish women and girls that accessed UK abortion services between 1980 and 2015 (including 3,451 last year), according to the UK's department of health, did not consider for one moment the actual termination process.
We have heard many personal stories in this debate detailing the pain and anguish that women have to go through such as bringing home the remains of the foetus in a 'cardboard' box.
It's time, therefore, to give a voice to all those that have come of voting age since 1983 and let democracy take its course.
They only have one childhood
Sir - It was very gratifying to read Sarah Caden's article (Sunday Independent, September 11) on the futility of homework at primary school stage. Children at this stage do sufficient work in school and therefore should have time at home to pursue their hobbies.
Reading at home is much more beneficial to them and will enhance their education. Children have one childhood -let them enjoy it.
In diligent pursuit of the uninsured
Sir - Regarding John Honnan's letter (Sunday Independent, September 11), I can confirm each of the several garda cars with computers are diligently detecting uninsured drivers - providing of course they are not off the road with mechanical problems.
As for a Third-World system? If only we were so lucky.
A serving member of an Garda Siochana.
Name and address with editor
Economic hell and damnation
Sir - Stephen Donnelly (Soapbox, Sunday Independent, September 11) tells us about the threats facing this country with "Portugal edging closer to a new bailout" "Greece closer to another default", and "global capital running for the hills".
Another politician, John Halligan, is threatening to "rain hell" if a vested interest in his area does not get what it wants.
Jody Corcoran draws attention to "a pork-barrel list of demands from Independents".
Meanwhile, Colm McCarthy tells us that post-Brexit "Ireland has no special place in Europe" and that "there are bigger challenges facing the Government than the mollification of hospital campaigners in Waterford".