Letters to the Editor: 'Sexton drop goal was single greatest score in international rugby history'
I recently watched a re-run of Ireland's opening Six Nations match against France back in February and came to the conclusion that Johnny Sexton's drop goal must be the single greatest score in any international rugby match in history.
The movement for the score began on the Irish 22-metre line in the 38th minute of the second half and finished in the 43rd minute after 36 phases, some 40 metres out from the French goal line, with Sexton's drop goal.
Not only did it win the match for Ireland, that drop goal led to us winning the Six Nations championship, the Grand Slam and, of course, ultimately set us up to beat the All Blacks at home for the first time.
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The icing on the cake came just before Christmas with Johnny Sexton being crowned World Rugby Player of the Year.
Beat that, if you can.
Santry, Dublin 9
How Ireland can again be the beacon it was before
Hugh Duffy's letter yesterday - coincidentally, the feast day of St John the Apostle, also known as St John the Evangelist - mentioned the growing influence of Catholicism in EU nations.
Citing percentages of population for the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches, Mr Duffy is either unaware of, or chooses to ignore, the fact that both these churches are catholic, ie. 'Universal'.
While Irish Catholics were in times past taught these were not "true faiths", unlike the 'one true Church', their rites of Mass, baptism, marriage and funeral are the same rites, word for word, as the Roman Catholic sect.
In the Dark Ages, Ireland did not send its brightest and best to "bring Catholicism" to the European mainland, they went to bring Christianity to people in dire need of enlightenment.
Irish Catholicism has, sadly, innumerable examples where Christianity was nowhere to be found. The 'Golden Rule' of Matthew 7:12 - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you - is as vital today as when he first preached it.
I respectfully suggest Mr Duffy accept the fact that the State cannot legislate for morals, nor has any person the right to enforce morals on another.
Jesus Christ invites each of us to be a witness to the greatness and goodness of God, whomever he/she is. The great spirit is not above in the sky, rather it is here alongside us.
The letter on the same page from the homeless Trish Casey, also a Galwegian, should be what embarrasses not alone "our incoming cousins in Europe", but all who allege they are Christian, or "Republican". As Ms Casey wrote, "I am one of the tens of thousands of displaced people in this country rendered homeless by the housing failure."
That Ireland has so many homeless people in this day and age, due to the greed of a minority and the cowardice of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour, is indeed a shame on the nation.
Give children a broad and unbiased education and there will be less need for abortion, homeless people will be fewer, and health services will be first class. Then Ireland will indeed be the beacon it was in the Dark Ages.
Wishing readers a Happy New Year in 2019 and I hope it will be a year in which you will be as vocal with your TDs on housing and health as you were on the Eight Amendment: you have a moral obligation to do so.
Our weather extremes are getting harder to predict
Professor John Sweeney ('We are leaving behind a terrible climate legacy - but we can still act', Irish Independent, December 26) tells us:
'June saw a total rainfall of 3.8mm in the Phoenix Park, its lowest monthly total since 1941. At the same time, temperatures reached 32C at Shannon Airport, the highest for more than 70 years.'
To me, things were more extreme in the 1940s when there was very little carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Incidentally, Maynooth's Irish Climate Analysis and Research Unit (Icarus) concluded in a blog post on August 9, 2018, that the seasonal forecasts for the next two months "show a real possibility of the meteorological set-up that led to the current drought returning and persisting". In Carlow in that period about 100mm of rain fell; in Valentia almost 500mm! I wonder if the price of fodder increased from August 9.
Borris, Co Carlow
'Culture' of killing animals belongs in history's dustbin
What sickening news that Japan is going to recommence the hunting of whales. Some Japanese, including unfortunately the ones with political clout, see it as part of their culture and place great emphasis on this pathetic pretext for whaling when challenged about the ethics of the practice.
So these magnificent creatures will be hunted and killed by human predators even as their numbers dwindle in the oceans of the world. It's about time culture was rejected internationally as an excuse to engage in the tormenting or senseless killing of animals.
Bull fighting continues in Spain and a few other countries under the same pretext. Hare coursing clubs in Ireland also claim their fun must be allowed because it is embedded in our culture.
Burning people alive as sacrifices and throwing virgins into volcanoes were once deemed cultural activities too. Yet we have dispensed with these traditions to the dustbin of history.
Callan, Co Kilkenny
We're deluding ourselves we're in control of Brexit
There's a lot of talk that Brexit will cause all manner of chaos in Ireland.
Even if there is some disruption and adjustments to be made here, it was/is not our Brexit, as we were led to believe by the rulers in Leinster House and in Brussels, and that up with this we will not put! The self-delusion is hilarious in the Irish psyche and, right up to when the great exodus of Britain occurs, there will still be the pathetic assurances that we are almost in charge, and Perfidious Albion will shortly come into line with our 'demands'.
Bantry, Co Cork