Letters to the Editor: 'Remember Lyra's sacrifice and root out those who spread hate and support intimidation'
The graffiti on some walls in Creggan in Derry shows Saoradh and its henchmen in the New IRA are nothing more than intimidating thugs who like to throw their weight around and sow fear wherever they go.
Their threat to "execute" informers takes us back to the bad old days when we saw bodies dumped along the Border or buried in shallow graves by the Provisional IRA and other terrorist organisations.
Saoradh's attempt at distancing itself from the New IRA after the killing of Lyra McKee is like saying Sinn Féin was never the political mouthpiece for the Provisional IRA or that Gerry Adams was never a member of the Army Council.
Who are they trying to cod? Everyone, including the dogs on the street, knows who these terrorists and their supporters are.
We have seen them on display going to or coming from court in Derry or standing in front of Saoradh's former offices when red-painted hands were daubed on their offices after Lyra's murder.
What we need is the political will in Northern Ireland to deal with these terrorists and that everyone supports their police service in preventing further outrages.
Let us not forget Lyra's sacrifice and her will to have a more open and loving society. Not one filled with hate, but one where we all respected each other and had those difficult but vital conversations.
Letterkenny, Co Donegal
Abortion vote means children are still dying
I want to begin with a word of praise for John Lynch of Cork for his balanced, objective letter on April 24 and his positive acknowledgement of the work done by nuns in the mother and baby homes.
These homes were in poor condition and had very limited resources, but they did provide an open door for pregnant women who had no place to go at a very dark time in our history.
These women, of different ages and levels of maturity, would have surely been severely traumatised by the experience of being rejected by their own families before they ever set foot inside those institutions.
I cannot understand why the narrative around all of this continues to target and blame the Catholic Church for all the woes of that era. I acknowledge there was much scandalous abuse among some of its community, including priests, family members et al, and this has only surfaced gradually and in relatively recent times. It was covered up, put away and shrouded in secrecy.
At that time, poverty was widespread, housing was cramped and the family configuration was very different from today. A child born outside wedlock was clearly not wanted or welcomed, was described as illegitimate and ruled out of many life privileges.
The pregnant girl was excluded from the family and was not returning, not because of the fear of the Church's teaching nor the parish priest's Sunday sermon. No, this paled beside the fear of what the neighbours over the road would think of an otherwise respectable family. So the family disowned the girl and child.
But doesn't every child have a mother and father? The fathers got away. Where were they then and where are they now, when Catherine Corless is talking about exhuming the remains of infants buried in a chamber over a septic system in Tuam? Whose responsibility is this now, 50 or 100 years on? She talks about identifying these infants and giving them a dignified burial. How can she suggest this is even remotely possible?
What I find troubling is the inability of our politicians to connect with the past in a constructive manner and move on to a better way, with or without the Catholic Church.
In this context, let us briefly reflect on present reality - as a nation, we voted to legalise abortion, resulting in a two-thirds majority. It was sickening to see Government personnel, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Health Minister Simon Harris and Children's Minister Katherine Zappone, rejoicing that Ireland was entering a new dawn of modernity, enlightenment, speed of access to information and, above all, freedom to choose.
They just may have forgotten a third of us voted No and we are still around. They somehow expect us to accept the awful circumstances around the killing of human embryonic life in the womb. It has become for some children the most threatening and dangerous place to be, in spite of all the vetting and safeguarding courses for child protection. I hope and pray the medical profession will not contribute to this most violent assault on humankind, causing termination of life.
Of course, this is not to rule out medical intervention and ethical decisions in cases of illness and conditions which threaten the life of mother and/or child. There are two patients to be considered.
In the new Ireland, where everything can be open and accepted, what can we now expect when these little innocents have their lives violently snuffed out before they can see the light of day?
Both parents and possibly extended family can be present at an appropriate interment service, giving them the dignity and respect they deserve, just as much as the infants in the former mother and baby homes, and not discarded as clinical waste.
The children who died in Tuam, Cork, Sean Ross and elsewhere can rest in peace. This is not naïve or fanciful thinking. We must all take responsibility for our behaviour. It is where I believe we need to go as a society if we are to pursue goals of truth, goodness, compassion and real freedom, and steer ourselves and others away from the darkness of cosmic proportions and individual and collective destruction.
Whatever God we believe in, we need a seismic shift in attitude, thinking and action. I remain hopeful there is enough goodness in human beings and an objective moral conscience to discover a way of seeing reality differently.
Sister Cristin Guerin
Ashbourne Avenue, Limerick
Is misdirected mail a data protection breach?
I read with interest that An Post had removed all bins from the GPO in case personal data falls into the wrong hands, in breach of GDPR.
I'm sure many of your readers have incorrectly received post which was addressed to one of their neighbours. Such letters may contain personal data which would be a breach of GDPR.
Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that An Post stops delivering post.
Malahide, Co Dublin
Be careful what you wish for in the polling booth
There are a lot of things to think about when someone asks you to vote for them in the upcoming elections.
Have they acted in your favour since the last election or interacted with you on what they are doing about the housing crisis, the patients on trolleys, plus funding for penny dinners, Fr Peter McVerry, Focus Ireland, and the Kinsale rescue service?
Does the candidate portray a sense they can do good for us or are they someone with too much time on their hands or ego seekers?
Always choose wisely when casting your vote.
Kinsale, Co Cork
Only stand for Europe if you mean to stick at it
With canvassers calling to your doors looking for votes the most important question, especially for the European candidates, is: "Will you, if elected, serve the full term as an MEP or will you be returning to national politics next spring when a general election is called?"
One of the most annoying and, in my opinion, undemocratic things that has been happening in recent years is the practice of an MEP stepping down after a year and being replaced by a party supporter who we have never heard of.
The best example of this was when Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party won the last European seat in the Dublin constituency and after a year or two he stepped down.
He was replaced by Paul Murphy, who went on to become a TD and cause mayhem during the water charges protests. Now that seat was held by Eoin Ryan, who was an excellent MEP. Now I ask you - is that fair?
If Clare Daly or Billy Kelleher gets elected to the European Parliament will either of them be returning to national politics when a general election is called?
I think candidates should be up front with the electorate and let us know their intentions.
Tuam, Co Galway