Wednesday 28 September 2016

Time to stand up against prejudice and vote 'Yes'

Published 03/04/2015 | 02:30

Fine Gael Deputy Jerry Buttimer and Labour Deputy John Lyons at the launch of Yes Equality, a nationwide group which seeks to secure a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum on May 22
Fine Gael Deputy Jerry Buttimer and Labour Deputy John Lyons at the launch of Yes Equality, a nationwide group which seeks to secure a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum on May 22

I am writing this letter to connect with the hearts of Irish people. There is still prejudice towards gay people in Ireland - and we need to change this. We can do this by going out and voting for marriage equality on May 22. I have a son and a daughter, both of whom I am very proud of. My son Daragh is gay and is in a civil partnership. I will be voting 'Yes' in the forthcoming marriage equality referendum.

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By voting 'Yes', we are giving the message to young gay people that it's OK to be yourself. I am voting 'Yes' because I wish my son - and other gay and lesbian couples - to have the same rights under the law as everyone else. That is, the right to marry the person they love.

I am writing a letter to a paper for the first time in my life. I am a rather passive person, but sometimes we must make a stand. And one thing that will make us stand up is when we see our children being put down or being discriminated against. To quote Rosa Parks "we must stand up for something or we will fall for everything".

I am asking everyone to come out and vote - mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters cousins and friends. There may be someone in your family that is gay and is afraid to share this. This is very sad and often leaves that person feeling isolated and rejected.

By voting 'Yes', we are affirming the right of every person to live true to themselves in an open and caring community, that celebrates the preciousness and uniqueness of each individual.

Not that long ago people in Ireland had to hide the fact that they were gay. It is now 2015 and it is sad to think that some people are afraid to express themselves and have to live a lie. Young men are bullied in schools and there are a lot of young people suffering from depression, which sometimes leads to suicide. A 'Yes' vote will change people's attitudes. Young people will see that it is OK to be gay and that society accepts them.

I often say to mothers of gay men who are finding it difficult to support their child that as mothers we have one major role in life - and that is to love our children unconditionally.

Anne Rigney

Knockcroghery, Co Roscommon

 

Variable rate mortgages

Banks are not known for their scruples. They have proved this by continually singling out variable rate mortgage customers for interest rate hikes. They are effectively making these customers pay for their banks' own myopic decisions to introduce tracker rate mortgages during the property boom. Empathy towards customers finding it difficult to make ends meet does not come into the equation.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny asked the banks to show "a degree of understanding", while Finance Minister Michael Noonan will "discuss the matter with the governor of the Central Bank".

If we look beyond this posturing, it is obvious that the Government has no real desire to see banks reduce their interest rates. The more money these banks extract from their customers, the more valuable the State's shares become, eventually leading to a greater windfall with any eventual sell-off. The banks and the Government are like two peas in a pod.

John Bellew

Dunleer, Co Louth

 

The Government keeps coming out and saying it does not have the power to reduce variable rate mortgages. Well, pass a law to get the power.

They were very quick to penalise the people of Ireland with every cut they could muster just to prop up these banks, now it's time they stepped up to the mark.

Your paper can do its bit by keeping this on the front page until something is done by Michael Noonan and Co.

Noel Begg

Bray, Co Wicklow

 

The Curragh mutiny

Tim Pat Coogan writes that "the British Officer Corps in Ireland let it be known that they would not take part in any armed attempt to enforce Home Rule on Ulster" ('A little of the idealism of 1916 would go a long way', April 2).

Mr Coogan should be aware that in the so-called Curragh Incident of March 1914 it was only the officers of the Cavalry Brigade who indicated that they would rather resign their commissions that take part in any coercive operations; the officers of the much larger Infantry Division stationed at the Curragh were persuaded by Major-General Sir Charles Fergusson not to take similar action.

CDC Armstrong

Donegall Rd, Belfast

 

In defence of junk mail

Almost every second house seems to have a 'No Junk Mail' sign on their letterbox. Do people not realise that this so-called 'junk mail' creates many jobs?

I have family members in the printing business who have lost their jobs - delivery people, post men and women the same. It is also a means of advertising for small businesspeople.

If you don't want to read said items when they come through your letterbox, then put them in your green bin for recycling. More jobs are created as a result. Seriously, people, just think about it.

Jim Kinsella

Artane, Dublin 5

 

Past the post

I cannot believe there are people like Henry Hughes (April 2) who genuinely think the most pressing matter facing the management of An Post, or indeed the country, is replacing post boxes that have the initials of previous monarchs. Monarchs who, whether they like or not, were also the king or queen of Ireland.

Mr Hughes also seems to be under the delusion that Antrim is part of the Republic of Ireland when he suggests its post boxes should be changed too. Whether he likes it or not Antrim is part of the United Kingdom. Until that changes, its post boxes should reflect that fact.

I don't understand the basis upon which he thinks the post boxes of the North should be the same as those in the Republic of Ireland, given they are two different countries.

It is also surprising when people from the North assume that those of us from the Republic want to be joined with them in the same country when there is no evidence that this is the case.

We were part of the United Kingdom for hundreds of years and, Mr Hughes might not like to hear it, judging by how badly we have managed our own affairs over the past 100 years, it is reasonable to question if the lives of the Irish people would have been any different or better if things had remained as they were.

If Mr Hughes's claim is that everything bad that ever happened in Ireland, like having red post boxes, is the fault of colonialism, then he is mistaken.

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf, London

Irish Independent

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