News Letters

Friday 30 September 2016

The English are quite happy with their monarchy, thank you

Published 01/06/2015 | 02:30

Prince Charles
Prince Charles

As an Englishman who has lived in Dublin since 1968, I am grateful to Tom Leonard, writing to you from Spiddal, Co Galway, for recommending to us, the English, the superior merits of a republic to a constitutional monarchy in a letter headed 'The Republic of England' (Irish Independent, May 29).

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My experience tells me that England and the English are very different from Ireland and the Irish, often to the point of mutual incomprehensibility. And as an Englishman I would not presume to tell the Irish people how to conduct their affairs, and certainly not in the wake of the wonderful example of the referendum on gay marriage.

And I would not hope to write a letter showing discourtesy to the President of Ireland.

England has been a nation since Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, defeated the Scots and Irish at Brunanburh in 937.

That period of continuity is represented by the Prince of Wales, who was so well received in Galway, Sligo and Mullaghmore on his recent visit.

We tried the experiment of a republic, known to us as the Commonwealth, from May 19 1649, under Oliver Cromwell, who became Lord Protector in 1653.

This experiment has not been judged a great success, and remains controversial in Ireland, not least in Drogheda, Co Louth and Wexford.

It was discontinued in 1660 and to this day the English are by and large content to remain under a constitutional monarchy subject to a parliament at Westminster.

Indeed, in the 20th century the English sacrificed themselves for king and country in two world wars.

The freedom of the English under a monarchy will no doubt be celebrated in fitting style at Runnymede on June 15, the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Dr Gerald Morgan

The Chaucer Hub,

Trinity College, Dublin 2

 

Equality for Irish speakers

In the wake of our inclusion of LGBT people in the Irish mainstream, can't we raise the siege on Irish speakers?

It's time to recognise the educational needs of native speakers, conduct official business in the Gaeltacht in Irish rather than in English, and in general support this linguistic minority community by tolerance and mainstreaming rather than ethnocide by neglect.

Dáithí Mac Cárthaigh BL

Ráth Chairn, Gaeltacht na Mí

 

Climate-change alarmism

It's worth noting that the political alarm bells about our impending doom have been sounding for many decades now.

Despite billions of dollars, mega computers and thousands of man hours of some of the smartest brains on the planet, we are no further advanced with quantifying the human impact on climate change.

What we do know is there has been no significant warming trend for 18 years and five months now.

This at a time when CO2 levels have been rising steadily in recent years.

CO2 is not the main driver of climate; it is, however, nature's fertiliser. Plants love the stuff. It's interesting that organisations like Dochas and people like Ban Ki-Moon want to reduce this gas, which is essential for life on earth. With an increase in global population, we will need to have a healthy food supply. Vegetation will need a healthy supply of CO2.

The extreme scaremongering serves no one. The effects of policies that compel us to have inefficient and expensive energy production, such as wind farms, causes energy poverty, which we already see.

We are a great nation for leading the way and not blindly following the crowd.

We could once again lead the way and shout stop to this climate-change alarmist nonsense.

The sky is not falling.

Eamon Butler

Whitehall, Dublin 9

 

Blatter's understatement

Sepp Blatter's remark that these are "difficult times for Fifa" recalls Emperor Hirohito's statement, following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that "the situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage".

Dr John Doherty

Vienna, Austria

 

The church and sexuality

Sexuality and sexual pleasure have proved a thorny issue for the church from the beginning.

Circumcision was the first problem. It was Paul, not Peter, who decided that the Jewish rite was not obligatory for Christians.

Despite the example of Jesus in His impartial treatment of women, in a very short time women were systematically excluded from all office in the Christian church. The literature is full of the attitude; women excluded because they were the source of temptation for holy men.

Next, over a thousand years ago, the all-male clergy were forbidden to marry.

Compulsory celibacy for all Catholic clergy is still the rule today, irrespective of the sexual orientation of the individual.

Is an all-male, celibate hierarchy best placed to understand the complexities of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships today?

Is not every kind of pleasure created by God? Why then is all sexual pleasure sinful except in heterosexual marriage?

And women still have no say.

Sean McElgunn

Address with editor

 

Influence of media on voters

Some young people express disappointment in the result of the referendum to reduce the age for presidential candidates.

We are told that young people registered in unprecedented numbers and turned out in droves in the recent referendums.

The result was that the marriage equality referendum, which received blanket and largely favourable media coverage, was passed by a large majority.

The proposal to include citizens aged between 21 and 35 among those eligible to be president, which received little and largely negative coverage, was defeated by an even bigger majority.

This raises important issues about the influence of media coverage of referendums and indeed of elections in convincing people to vote even against their own best interests.

A Leavy

Sutton, Dublin 13

 

Cloud nine

Are the shareholders in Aer Lingus now members of the 'smiles high club'?

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

Irish Independent

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