Friday 18 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'A miracle of Catholic faith in 1916 - and why truth cannot be changed'

Destroyed: Crowds gather at the GPO after the Easter Rising. Photo: Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Destroyed: Crowds gather at the GPO after the Easter Rising. Photo: Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Further to Michael Kelly's comments (Irish Independent, November 2) regarding Catholicism, President Higgins and 1916, the reason Daniel O'Connell refused to take the anti-Catholic oath was he believed part of it not to be the truth, and the rest to be false.

To be educated is to be led out of ignorance into truth.

In 1916, Eva Burke (a nurse from Kildare), on hearing medical assistance was needed for casualties in the GPO, offered her services to the Red Cross. The first civilian arrived badly wounded in the stomach; he survived one hour after admission and received the Last Rites.

In the GPO, Rosary after Rosary was recited until the shelling of Hibernian Bank. Eva accompanied Commandant Thomas Weafer as they expected heavy casualties. On hearing the words "first aid quickly" from the upper landing, Eva found Cdt Weafer wounded.

While Eva closed his eyes, one young girl, not underestimating the power of their prayers, went through machine-gun fire from the GPO to the Cathedral to bring back a priest to hear a young chap's confession.

The girl even waited for the priest while he attended a dying man as the bullets whistled through the streets. That priest remained in headquarters giving consolation to the wounded until they were ordered to evacuate.

Fire spread through the building - flames leaping higher and higher, all exits were being cut off as the priest's voice rang out: "We'll rush the flames, it's our only chance. Let all follow me." Dashing through the flames, the priest held the white flag with its distinctive Red Cross.

All rushed in single file after him as they took the wounded to Jervis Street Hospital amidst firing in all directions.

I believe his escape from the GPO was a miraculous answer to prayer, ie, a miracle - not even one singe! That was 1916.

Four years later, Eva Burke's brother Frank, a scholar and a patriot, was a guardian of Patrick Pearse's vision and legacy.

On November 21, 1920, Frank, while marking Mick Hogan in Croke Park, heard Hogan say: "I'm shot."

Tom Ryan, a Wexford spectator, ran on to the pitch and whispered an 'Act of Contrition' in Hogan's ear - while praying with Hogan, Ryan was also shot dead.

To conclude, 'Chambers Dictionary' defines yoga as a means of emancipation of the soul from union with God, attained by means of physical and mental discipline.

In the Catechism of Catholic Church teachers, the exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of divine origin - no one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law (CC 2235).

Knowing Eva (RIP) and Frank (RIP), I agree with Michael Kelly's comments as both were protected and motivated by their faith, ie. Catholicism.

Truth cannot be changed.

M Malone

Rosslare, Co Wexford


Labour Party did all it could to help the needy

Deficit denial is at the heart of Jim O'Sullivan's analysis of the Irish Labour Party in government from 2011-2016 (Irish Independent, Letters, November 6).

With available social expenditure funding at a 20-year low and absolutely no access to the levels of increased State borrowing required, Labour ensured that what limited funding was available was directed to shield those in greatest need by immediately protecting core social welfare levels, and quickly restoring then increasing the national minimum wage.

This was deliberate targeting of the limited funds to where Labour believed it would do most good in a crisis.

Were Labour right or wrong to ensure core social welfare levels and the minimum wage? Did that not immediately help the most vulnerable?

Jim O'Sullivan seemingly would not have rushed to help the most needy and would have spent his limited funding elsewhere. He doesn't say where, when or how. Instead he charges Labour with cutting funding that wasn't there to cut and with failure to borrow additional funding that simply wasn't there to borrow.

As a 75-year-old pensioner, I can from sheer experience assert such populist pandering is phoney politics and is not in Labour's political arsenal. Getting Ireland back to work was Labour's central anti-austerity strategy. With the help of the Irish people, that priority has worked and has been seen to work.

Labour won time for that strategy to work and, as it bore the fruit of increased State revenue, it was a Labour minister, Alan Kelly, who ring-fenced an immediate €4bn for the shift back to increased social housing provision.

Not even "deficiteers" like Jim O'Sullivan can deny it will take Labour politics in power to ensure that all housing expenditure currently available is directed to secure affordable housing for all in a highly-targeted programme of State housing.

Brian Brennan

Liberties, Dublin


Road tax protest would force Government to act

In an excellent report (Irish Independent, November 6), Charlie Weston informs us yet again through figures from the Personal Injuries Commission that amounts paid out are five times higher than in the UK, prompting demands the Government speed up (surely an oxymoron) reform of the compensation system.

This year, €90m has been paid out. Nobody believes the Government or the legal profession has any interest in addressing this anomaly, which they could do with the stroke of a pen by rewriting the Book of Quantum.

Unfortunately, as we can only vote for Peter Casey to voice our displeasure every seven years, we should "vote with our feet" and withhold payment of car tax starting in January, until the Government acts. This could be co-ordinated by the AA. To those who are concerned about prosecution, I say: "Don't worry, there are always loopholes in Irish legislation, didn't the legal profession put them put them there in the first place."

Michael Foley

Rathmines, Dublin 6

Irish Independent

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