In a week of sporting success, a moment in Croke Park tops it all
We had many sporting heroes in the week that included St Patrick's Day, but one stands out way above the rest. There were stellar performances at Cheltenham by jockeys such as Ruby Walsh, Robbie Power, Jack Kennedy, Noel Fehily, Jamie Codd, Paul Townend and many others.
We had super training performances by Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins and Jessica Harrington, all of whom made us Irish proud even though we had no connections with either group.
Then we had that thundering display by the Irish rugby team in seeing off 'the old enemy' England in the thriller at the Aviva. Sheer will and determination carved out a very good result even though it was a case of too little, too late. All above are live contenders for sports star of the week.
However, my sports star of the week award goes to the Dr Crokes captain, Johnny Buckley, after the Kerry team won the All Club Senior Football Championship. In the euphoria created by the victory after a long absence by Dr Crokes, Buckley did something unselfish that will live long in the minds of all who witnessed it.
He invited the very ill Amy O'Connor, from Killarney, to join him in the Hogan Stand for the presentation of the trophy. It was a moment to savour for her as jointly they lifted the cup giving the young lassie one joyful moment to remember.
With all the hype surrounding sport for the week and many outstanding achievements at home and abroad, the Dr Crokes captain put it all in its true perspective.
So, Mr Buckley, thank you for that special human touch and for that you are my sports star of the week.
Rosbercon, Co Kilkenny
Let Putin take over Trump's reins
For goodness sake, let's stop pussyfooting around and agree to Donald Trump becoming a member of Vladimir Putin's politburo.
This would allow Mr Putin to openly rule the USA and for Mr Trump not to have to answer awkward questions about his lewd lifestyle and disgusting neo-capitalist exploitation of everything in his path.
The advantage of this would be that we would no longer be wound up by Mr Trump's narcissistic tweets and his infantile attempts to convince us that he is anything other than a total imbecile.
Four years is really not that long.
Mount Merrion, Co Dublin
Morals don't come from religion
I agree with David Quinn (Irish Independent, March 17) that Christianity has inspired many people to behave morally. He writes about hanging on in there, despite the scandals. But many have let go, and for good reason. The virtues that Christianity espouses - love, empathy, compassion and charity - are not unique to Christianity and while faith has inspired many to behave morally, it has inspired many to behave immorally.
Are we really to believe that for tens of thousands of years innumerable humans lived and died with zero knowledge of Christianity while an all-powerful and loving god sat by - until two thousand years ago? Surely, such a god would have intervened in the Shoah?
What about in the Crusades, the Inquisition and religious wars (all carried out in his name)? What about child sexual abuse and cover up by his supposed representatives on Earth? What about the Magdalene Laundries and the mother and child homes, not to mention natural disasters, horrendous diseases? So much for intelligent design and an interventionist god.
What about the teaching of hell for non-believers (look it up on the Vatican website)?
Can a religion that condemns non-believers to eternal punishment really be considered moral?
What about the concept of limbo, which resulted in further heartbreak for parents whose babies died before being baptised? What about former Pope Benedict's contention that homosexuality is a "more or less strong tendency ordered towards an inherent moral evil"? Are these moral teachings?
There is no evidence to support many of the claims Catholicism makes for itself. You don't need religion to behave morally. Many religious people have behaved despicably. No wonder so many people let go and found firm ground.
Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
Respect for gardaí being eroded
I have read the media reports about the recent revelations concerning An Garda Síochána. In my own community, I know and respect the hard work that gardaí carry out on a daily basis, thankless work at times. We need them - they are there and are a reminder to the criminals that they cannot do as they please.
Unfortunately, the litany of reports over the last number of years concerning An Garda Síochána is not acceptable. The apparent blatant disregard for the Policing Authority from certain members is outrageous. Our respect is slowly dissipating, and yet the Justice Minister is seemingly not concerned. I am very concerned as, I am sure, many are.
Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Violent verses in the Koran
The Imam of Galway Mosque, Ibrahim Noonan, criticised quotes from the 'Koran' that, he says, are taken out of context (Irish Independent, March 24). Maybe one such out-of-context quote would probably be this one from the chapter 'the Spoils': "I shall strike terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, maim them in every limb!"
There may not be many sayings that express intolerance to non-Muslims in the 'Koran', but any religion that claims to express love of all mankind should say that these words and that this kind of language should not be in any holy book at all. This should include both the 'Bible' and the 'Koran'.
Kilrush, Co Clare
TG4 presenters can do RTÉ
Your correspondent John Boland hit the nail on the head reviewing the 'celebrity' presenters' salaries on RTÉ. A simple solution would be to bring in some of the excellent young presenters on TG4 who could do the job, possibly better and for less remuneration.
Ennis, Co Clare
Dressing up the issue
Whatever about their current 'allowances', perhaps TDs and senators could get a clothing allowance?
Beaumont, Dublin 9