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Brother Kevin Crowley outside the Capuchin Day Centre. Photo: Tony Gavin

Brother Kevin Crowley outside the Capuchin Day Centre. Photo: Tony Gavin

Brother Kevin Crowley outside the Capuchin Day Centre. Photo: Tony Gavin

Christy Galligan’s letter ‘(Citizens will really bear the brunt of carbon reduction’, Letters, August 9) and the very good editorial of yesterday, illustrate the lack of intellect and statesmanship in the Irish body politic for the last 30 years or more.

The relevant havoc in housing and health is due to the fact the Irish public service in some areas is not fully under the control of the relevant Minister.

In the editorial, there is a sentence everyone should peruse: “Br Kevin refused to be despondent when a deaf ear was all he was offered. He spent a lifetime demonstrating how interdependent we all are, whether we acknowledge it or not.”

To effect change, the electorate must engage with the politicians.

In the words of former US president John F Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

Declan Foley

Melbourne, Australia

Giving a voice to women who opt to breastfeed for longer

Thank you for printing Holly McIndoe’s story last week (‘I will breastfeed my daughter until she is about five – she can make a decision then’, Irish Independent, August 6).

Breastfeeding rates in Ireland are lacking and stories such as Holly’s are a reassurance to those of us in the shadows who breastfeed our babies beyond six months.

A well-fed baby is, needless to say, the goal of every parent, be it through bottle or breast. However, a stigma remains around breastfeeding.

As modern women, we are encouraged to “have it all” – the thriving babies and the successful career – yet maternity leave stops at six months at a time when weaning commences and a recalibration of breastfeeding can occur, making for a stressful time for the career women.

Some workplaces support a protected hour for lactation but most don’t. How can we be expected to be super-women in a world where little support is in place to facilitate breastfeeding into older years?

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Melanie Reid

Croughtabeg, Co Kilkenny

Israel is only defending itself from jihadist terror threats

International law has long recognised the right of a country to take pre-emptive action against forces (including non-state terrorist groups) that present an imminent threat.

Islamic Jihad is an internationally designated terrorist group whose express goal is the violent destruction of Israel.

In the week before Israel’s operations against it, Islamic Jihad made credible threats of rocket and anti-tank missile strikes against Israeli civilians.

Contrary to the claims of Betty Purcell (‘Israel remains unsanctioned as killing in Gaza continues’, Letters, August 9), Israel’s Operation Breaking Dawn was not indiscriminate – it was targeted against that threat. Israel cancelled airstrikes when it became aware of children or other civilians in the target area.

Of the current estimate of 51 people killed in Gaza during the hostilities, 24 were Islamic Jihad members killed by Israel. Of the remaining 27, 16 were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets that failed to reach Israel, landing instead in Gaza and killing innocent civilians including 12 children – Islamic Jihad rockets killed more Gaza civilians than the IDF did.

Those who complain of Israel defending itself need to stop pretending that radical Islamist terrorist groups are some form of “legitimate resistance”.  

Teresa Trainor

Dublin 16

Crossed wires on democracy: I’m all for second Brexit vote

I agree with Anthony Leavy (‘Citizens of democracies allowed to change mind’, Letters, August 6). He misunderstood my letter. I actually wrote (on August 4) that not many Brexiteers (like me) would tolerate a win in a second referendum should it result in a victory for Remainers.

What I meant is I would, of course, tolerate a win as that is only fair and democratic. I also wrote: “I think it is important a second plebiscite is held as Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against Brexit but were forced to leave the EU. Also, the younger generation and those who have changed their minds should have the opportunity to vote.”

Dominic Shelmerdine

London

We’re all gagging for the sun, hence the wave of silly jokes

Don’t blame me, Ed Toal started it (‘It’s funny how the weather brings out the worst of jokes’, Letters, August 9) so here goes: “If you saw a heatwave, would you wave back?”

I know, I know! Anyway folks, just relax, be careful, and enjoy.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal


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