Letters to the Editor: 'We cannot give in to French demands to extradite Bailey'
The French have a warped sense of justice. The mantra since a court in Paris found Ian Bailey guilty on a trumped-up murder charge is he will one day find himself in a French prison.
Given the history of cowardly French “justice”, this is a strong possibility. Can we expect co-operation from our Government to this outrage? Surely not. Regardless of extradition attempts failing in the past (and future?), the freedom-loving French are not beyond kidnapping this man from Ireland and telling us here to get stuffed.
He has been chosen, without a shred of evidence, and convicted on hearsay and gossip. End of story, as far as Paris is concerned. When the Germans invaded France in the last big European war, French police began rounding up Jews on the first week of the occupation for deportation to death camps, at the behest of Berlin. They extradited the Catalan president Companys in exile and living under French asylum there, to the Spanish dictator Franco who put this sovereign leader to immediate death.
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France had more concern for saving its buildings from Hitler’s bombs than it did for humanity. This, the “culture” which France today ignores while portraying itself as the home of liberté, égalité, and fraternité. This is a living lie going back to the despot Napoleon, whose laws still prevail. The French are shouting about putting severe pressure on Ireland to submit to its demands; upon our civilised system of justice and government.
The French system of justice and government is apparent when we look around the world and see the corrupt nature of its recent colonial rule. Our Government, and particularly the courts, which is the cornerstone of our every freedom, hard won, must never give in to foreign bullying under such threats of measures yet to come should we repeat a simple ‘non’. We in Ireland do not quite obviously extradite those against whom there is not a shred of evidence to the latest baying mob. Do we? Stay strong.
Bantry, Co Cork
Catholics share a truly global religion with wide viewpoint
Declan Foley (Letters, Irish Independent, May 31) accuses the Catholic Church of “brainwashing” Irish people into a narrow Hiberno-Catholic-centred view of the world “with little knowledge of the great big world”.
Mr Foley seems blissfully unaware that being a Catholic – a truly global religion – already connects one to ‘the great big world’.
Leaving aside the many secular links with their Mass-going emigrant diaspora, Irish Catholics have always had multiple religious connections with the wider world.
At a time when few people could afford to travel, even the poorest would have managed a pilgrimage to one of the many Marian shrines or holy places around the world; many families had a son or daughter in the Missions in places as far apart as Brazil or the Philippines. The ‘Far East’ magazine graced many an Irish Catholic home along with publications from Fatima and elsewhere, and I remember with fondness the visits home of ever-serene Fr Tadgh, a family friend and well-loved missionary priest in Japan.
Secondly, Mr Foley asserts incorrectly that Christian universities omitted any mention of Islamic scholars. Most western Christian universities examined the works of Islamic scholars – along with classical and Christian – insofar as they had access to them. Perhaps Mr Foley can tell us if the Islamic world in turn taught the work of the many Christian scholars? Islamic scholars obtained much of their information on Classical Greek philosophical thought from the Syriac-Persian Christians who had copied these works before those regions fell to Islam.
Finally, into the mix for some inexplicable reason, Mr Foley throws Hollywood portrayals of the Islamic world. Of course, we all know Hollywood is really just another great arm of that ‘Vatican conspiracy at world domination’.
Carrigaline, Co Cork
Billy’s right – we must record the memories of our elders
It was 1978. The man-made Blessington Lake was at its lowest ever. Ruins of old farmhouses and outlines of small fields were visible, having been submerged for 38 years. A British film company decided to make a documentary about the flooding of the valley.
Jimmy was standing at the end of Norton’s Lane in Ballinastockan.
An English-registered Land Rover stopped. The driver, with an Oxford accent, addressed Jimmy. “We would like to interview the oldest person in the area.” Jimmy’s reply? “Yer late. He died last week.”
This brings me to Billy Keane’s plea to young people to record the old folk and not make the mistake we made by neglecting to collect the tales of our elders until it was too late. Billy points out the dead are still with us while their stories are kept alive.
Once again, Keane’s Kingdom is on the ball.
Blessington, Co Wicklow