Letters: GAA has other options apart from penalties when it comes to shootouts

Derry's Conor Glass scores in the penalty shootout against Armagh in the Ulster final this month© SPORTSFILE

Letters to the Editor

Why does the GAA feel that it should mimic soccer in how it decides a drawn game? Recently I watched the Ulster SFC football final. It’s sad that the GAA has reverted to just a shootout between a shooter and a goalkeeper when it has many more interesting options available.

Why not do a combination of varied frees – distances and locations in addition to penalties. I further suggest in this scenario that the penalty should be equal to two points (rather than three).

It might take a bit longer but it would lead to a fairer distribution of skills (as is really the case with Gaelic football versus soccer). It would also be more interesting for the spectator.

Gerard Walsh

Ontario, Canada

Day we spent our ‘Confo’ money before mass was over

The long wait that invitees to the coronation had to endure in Westminster Abbey reminds me of an altogether local solemnity in Drogheda, deep in the last century.

Confirmation Day in St Peter’s was not a yearly event and therefore drew hundreds of children from all the schools who filled the large church from the officiating prelate, Cardinal John Francis D’Alton, on the sanctuary right down to the very last pew where we were seated.

The ceremony seemed to go on forever, during which two lads in front of us disappeared for a few minutes and returned with a box of lavish cream buns from the legendary Moorland Cafe next door. These were duly devoured and enjoyed having been paid for by already-collected “Confo money”.

Oliver McGrane

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

Militarisation of EU must be stopped in its tracks

Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin told the Dáil on May 18 that he anticipates the forum on international security “will provide a space to examine critically and unambiguously….our responsibilities towards our European and other like-minded international partners”.

A look at military spending by our European partners reveals that from January 2022 to February this year, 23 EU countries gave over €15bn in military aid to Ukraine, while the EU institutions contributed a further €3.6bn.

Mr Martin also said that the forum will examine what the EU is doing through the European Peace Facility to support Ukraine. This “peace” facility will boost the EU’s ability to develop and acquire new weapons, provide training and equipment, and for the first time, lethal weapons, to armies around the world.

In addition, the €8bn-funded European Defence Fund, which Ireland pays into, is aimed at developing and acquiring new weapons and technologies. The forum will also examine Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). Under this facility, we have committed to making the European defence industry more competitive and to having our technical and operational standards interoperable with NATO.

According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, up to April 2021, there have been over 23,000 civilian casualties in Ukraine. The Dutch NGO PAX states that “the European Union is drifting farther and farther away from that initial idea of a peace project and these instruments, the peace facility and the defence fund, are very clear examples.”

In the light of our constitutional principle of the pacific settlement of international disputes by international arbitration, to which Mr Martin referred in his speech, surely he should now clearly and unequivocally call a halt to the accelerating militarisation of the EU. In the words of Bertrand Russell, war does not determine who is right, only those who are left.

Elizabeth Cullen

Kilcullen, Co Kildare

Never too ‘Late Late’ to rename RTÉ’s big show

With new host Patrick Kielty about to take the reins at The Late Late Show, there is talk of shortening it. In such a case, might I suggest it be re-named The Late Show?

Leo Gormley

Dundalk, Co Louth

Hurling is being ruined by modern-day ball-throwers

In my youth, different county hurling teams were known by various names. Wexford were known as the Yellow Bellies, Kilkenny as the Cats, Tipperary as the Stone Throwers – surely Limerick have more than earned the title of the Ball Throwers.

On a more serious note, modern-day hurling has been blighted by ball (sliotar) throwing. It is anathema to the exquisite skills of the game.

Joseph Mackey

Athlone, Co Westmeath