Eric Conway makes some valid points in his letter on the Catholic Church (‘To all intents and purposes we grew up in a matriarchy’, Letters, February 15).
Growing up in the 1980s, the person my mother looked up to most was Margaret Thatcher. “She’ll put you in your place,” was a common refrain. By contrast, somebody like Jacinda Ardern who not only has a child out of wedlock but also committed the unthinkable by having them in high office would be viewed as anathema.
The mothers/mammies were the controllers as they did not have to think: they knew their place in the world. They had to give up their jobs if they worked in the civil service and De Valera’s Constitution left them in no doubt their place was in the home. The “Good Room” was their idea of nirvana. They were not naive or foolish women; rather, they were deluded by an unshakeable faith in the male-dominated Catholic Church.
Sadly, we know this blind faith led to terrible crimes being committed against some of their sons and daughters. Today, some women overcompensate for their new-found freedoms.
They are easy to spot online and can be referred to as partisan feminists. They are anti-men in their pursuit of validation and attention, and they will often be supported by “neo-progressives” or the woke brigade on the left or Trump apologists on the right.
The answer really is education and more education in our primary and secondary schools. If a third of our secondary schools, though, are still single-sex establishments – only outdone by Malta and Islamic countries – it will be difficult to enshrine true equality and more egalitarian values in an Irish society of the future.
Tom McElligott, Tournageehy, Listowel, Co Kerry
What a pleasure it was to attend the Ireland v France rugby match last Saturday.
The edge-of-the-seat concentration made it difficult for us Irish supporters to cheer and sing with uninterrupted ease in the wonderful atmosphere of the Aviva. Even The Fields of Athenry seemed slightly unwelcomed.
But the lads on the pitch were doing the lifting for us, try after try. The usual interruptions from people going for drinks were thankfully scarce and the dreaded Mexican wave was nowhere to be seen.
I even had the pleasure of witnessing an enthusiastic French supporter sing, with great gusto, Ireland’s Call with the same aplomb as La Marseillaise, although Amhrán na bhFiann was a tad too much for his smiling face.
A great day out: vive les verts et les bleus!
Aidan Roddy, Cabinteely, Dublin 18
We are in the midst of a confluence of momentous events, including the war in eastern Europe, the pandemic, climate change and the widening application of artificial intelligence in society.
The Irish Government is ostensibly committed to living-wage policies while at the same time it is reviewing the available cost-of-living supports.
Surely now is the time to make a visionary and historic initiative, amid the tumult of changes arising in the world, by committing to what one day would become a universal basic income.
This could be achieved in stages, with an initial commitment to a basic income for those on welfare and those who earn lower wages. In this way, we can provide an affordable social contract for all into our future, and enhance societal cohesion in the midst of coming upheavals and change.
Dr Finian Fallon, Wards Hill, Dublin 8
AS reported by Ben Riley-Smith and Joe Barnes (‘New deal on Brexit soon as UK softens resistance to European justice court’, Irish Independent, February 14), a new deal is expected to be announced in the next fortnight.
The question then is: Will the DUP agree to enter the Northern Ireland Assembly led by Sinn Féin as the largest party? At present, it looks like the DUP will find an excuse to remain outside the Assembly until it gets its way.
Leo Gormley, Dundalk, Co Louth
A timely reminder: the big kick-off is tomorrow. By that I mean our own League of Ireland Premier Division. Sure, what else might one be referring to?
Tom Gilsenan, Beaumont, Dublin 9