Banishing Kilkenny to Thurles for replay is a disgrace
The Dubs would never be banished to the provinces for an All-Ireland semi-final. Why should the greatest team in the history of Irish sport (Kilkenny, if anyone is doubtful on this score) have to put their title on the line in Thurles? If they go out of the All-Ireland championship - and the brilliant young Waterford players certainly deserved to beat them on Sunday - they surely deserve to go out in the only stadium in Ireland worthy of their greatness.
Admittedly, I am an English blow-in, but I begin to think that I shall never understand the Irish. I turned to RTÉ on Saturday evening to watch Mayo against Tyrone and Donegal against Dublin, only to find that these matches were not on live Irish television. RTÉ has greater aspirations than to promote Irish sport, indeed sport unique to Ireland. RTÉ commentators had all decamped to Rio to watch beach volley ball and synchronised diving.
On Sunday afternoon, we watched one of the greatest matches ever played in Croke Park between the amateurs of Kilkenny and Waterford. I'm up there with Marty Morrissey, whose superlatives fell short of what we were watching. At the end of the match I was in tears at what Waterford had achieved and the disappointment they must have felt, and I urge the Waterford selectors to continue to show faith in their young players such as Colin Dunford (Colligan) and Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart). These are the players, like the great Richie Power of Carrickshock, to score the goals that will finally ensure victory.
Sadly, the match was watched by only 36,000 spectators, a pitiful crowd for such an occasion. Why not fill Croke Park next Sunday for a double header as the GAA obligingly do for Sky Sports?
And is it quite impossible for the GAA to fill Croke Park for an All-Ireland Semi-Final? It's not a mere inter-county match as we all know. Why hide Irish lights under a bushel - just like Broadstone Station)? As the man said in 1985: where's your f****** pride?
The Chaucery Hub
Trinity College Dublin
Muslim leaders must show the way
Reading Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob's letter (Irish Independent, August 8), I was struck by how one interpretation of the Holy Koran can differ so much from another, and it's these vast differences that are used by terrorists to achieve their bloody aims.
It is true that the Koran teaches "that whoever kills an innocent is as if he has killed all mankind" but the same Koran also says: "Kill the disbeliever wherever you may find them" (Koran 9:5). A further quote, from 3:56, is: "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."
Unfortunately, there are many similar passages in the Koran, most of which I would agree have been taken out of context but when you have so-called Muslim religious leaders standing up inciting huge crowds with such emotive language, you can expect a bloody backlash.
If indeed the same thing were to happen with a Bishop in Ireland who insisted that we actually take "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", he would instantly be called in and most likely never heard from again.
It is the responsibility of religious leaders to inform their flock and control their spokesmen. Just like the Prophet Mohammed, Muslims need leaders to stand up and point the finger at these so-called men of God and condemn them for the mad men they are; unfortunately, to date, this kind of condemnation has been sporadic at best.
The international community is ready and willing to help but it's up to all good Muslim leaders to show the way.
Bishop Birch Place
Sad void left by Bishop Daly
The passing of Bishop Edward Daly leaves a sad void in Irish history. His heroic involvement in the 'Bloody Sunday' shooting of January 30, 1972 - coincidentally on the 24th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination - will forever live on, immortalised in the iconic photographs and film footage of the tragic incident.
Like Gandhi, Bishop Daly pressed for peace, cohabitation, and reconciliation. The events of that fateful 1972 Sunday afternoon left an undistinguished question mark over British policy in Northern Ireland, but a halo over the head of Edward Daly, undoubtedly a man of principle and courage. The people of Ireland owe him a debt of gratitude, best paid by emulating his creed.
London, SW3, UK
Something to say on abortion
Abortion is a subject that nearly everybody has an opinion on. Whether you're for, against or somewhere in between, you have got something to say about it.
Now, I consider myself an open-minded and opinionated individual in regards to many things, abortion included. It is my belief that the laws in this country surrounding abortion are far too strict. I do not believe the rights of a foetus should trump those of a woman or a girl.
Now, please understand that I do not condone an abortion after a certain period of time or as a method of contraception.
However, in cases of rape or of some medical conditions then an abortion should be allowed. I know that the baby should not have to be punished for being a product of such a vile act as rape but neither should the mother. Especially if the mother is only a child herself.
I can understand why so many consider it murder, no matter the circumstances, but it is not a black and white issue.
If abortion becomes legal then that means that women and girls will not have to travel to another country to get the help they may desperately need.
They can have it done in their home country and recover in their own beds.
Abortion becoming legal does not mean that every pregnant woman will have to get one. It simply means that those who need it can. What a woman does with her body is her concern. You don't have to agree with it.
Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Marian let priest off hook
Fr Brendan Purcell on the Marian Finucane show of August 6, talking about his book in answer to Stephen Fry's comments, says the earth has to be like it is - with earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes etc - for it to work.
So we have to believe an all-powerful god designed and built a world he knew would kill and maim many thousands every year, as if an omnipotent being couldn't arrange release of the earth's pressure build ups, etc, without bringing about death and destruction.
If a human engineer built something like that, he would be rightly accused of being incompetent, or worse. Of course, Marian didn't bring up anything like that.
Address with editor