Friday 15 December 2017

Suicide serves to feed Mammon

Sir - Patsy Lee's compassionate letter (Sunday Independent, April 24)) along with Brian O'Donnell's remarks in Maeve Sheehan's excellent piece 'The folks that lived on Gorse Hill': "Another friend of mine rang me and said there are 28 farmers in Meath who have actually committed suicide over the last number of years. And this is under pressure from the banks. But nobody talks about it," were, for me, at least, very sad reading.

Colm Lee took his life in the midst of depression: a place where many who enter imagine they are totally alone.

The 28 farmers in Meath, along with God alone knows how many others, since the fall of the 'papier mache' Celtic Tiger, were forced into that dark abyss of being alone by people of absolute immorality - whose only God is Mammon - solely for the purpose of cashing in the Life Insurance Policies they had given as surety for a loan.

In 1987, a young and foolish assistant bank manager held a policy in front of me saying, "this could clear it off". A paltry £6K loan, which was to be repaid from a Trust Account three months from that day.

I hope the lesson I gave him that day with his back pinned to the office wall prevented him from saying this to another client. As I said to that young man: "Do you realise that God would consider this an act of murder by you, if I was foolish enough to take any heed of your suggestion?" The blood drained from his face.

It is time the government of Ireland took very seriously its obligation to humanity. The cost of suicide cannot be ignored, nor can a price be put on it, nor can the executives of banks and insurance companies, imagine their immoral actions do not have personal repercussions for them.

Unlike Fr Peter Mc Verry, I prefer the teachings of the ninth century Irish scholar Eriguena, who wrote: "Punishment must be spiritual. Every impious man will be tortured as it were by the 'libido' of his vices as by a certain inextinguishable flame." (Eriguena, p. 58. O'Meara).

Suicide inflicts horrific life-long pain for the family and friends of those who commit this act in the depths of depression: but when it is forced upon a fellow human being - especially in a nation which alleges it is Christian - solely to serve the feeding of Mammon: then in the eyes of any loving God, or human being; it is bound to be consider a heinous act of unadulterated murder.

Declan Foley



Cage fighters should be offended

Sir - DJ Histon, CEO of the Irish Coursing Club (Letters, Sunday Independent, April 24) took John Fitzgerald of the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports to task over his comparing of hare coursing to the Total Extreme Fighting event that claimed the life of Portuguese athlete Joao Carvalho.

I disagree with Mr Fitzgerald that the two sports are comparable, but I think Mr Histon has got things the wrong way round.

It is the cage fighters who ought to be offended at being lumped in the same category as a vile, cowardly practise where dogs are set upon defenceless hares.

While I'm not a big fan of cage fighting, I can acknowledge the courage of the men who fight. They know what they're letting themselves in for ... and they fight by choice.

You won't find courage in the ranks of the crowd of mostly pot-bellied onlookers at a hare coursing match.

They stand about in their snug winter gear while the hares twist and turn and dodge on a field or racecourse, desperately seeking to elude their pursuers. And muzzling doesn't prevent injury. Hares are severely injured when struck by the dogs. Even if they survive the coursing event they may die afterwards of stress cardiomyopathy, a condition arising from their unnatural capture and the whole coursing ordeal.

If human beings want to fight each other in a ring or cage, let them off. But what right do we have to terrorise and torture harmless wild animals that have no choice in the matter and have done nothing to deserve the suffering we inflict on them for "sport"?

Joe Burke


Sunday Independent

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