Friday 17 January 2020

Letters to the Editor: 'Will new determination extend to homelessness?'

Write to Letters to the Editor, Irish Independent, 27/32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, or email them to Name and address must be supplied for verification. Lengthy contributions may be edited. (stock photo)
Write to Letters to the Editor, Irish Independent, 27/32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, or email them to Name and address must be supplied for verification. Lengthy contributions may be edited. (stock photo)
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

A New year and something has sparked a display of steely resolve from Government ministers and senators to tackle an issue (Simon Harris ‘appalled’ to see protesters outside National Maternity Hospital amid renewed calls for exclusion zones, Irish Independent, January 2).

Such is the extent of their new-found firmness of purpose, we are told some freedoms enjoyed by citizens will be taken away if necessary to address the issue.

And will such determination now be focused on other issues that blight this place?

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Is there hope at last for the boy who broke our hearts as he ate his food off the street and the many who arrive at school hungry? And for all those existing in a homeless limbo and the many others awaiting the dreaded notice of eviction?

Has something changed at long last? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were so?

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Co Sligo

People accessing healthcare have their rights as well

As someone who has carried a tiny white coffin out of Holles Street, I can attest to the anguish caused by the wilful insensitivity of the protesters who assembled there on New Year’s Day.

The lack of Christian kindness and basic human empathy displayed by these people reveals the truth of their oft-cited claims to “love both”.

While there is a right to peaceful protest, there is also a right for people to access legal healthcare without intimidation, and a right to provide care without being subjected to harassment.

Our Government must now act and legislate for safe access zones to protect medical staff and their patients from such interference.

Can we truly consider ourselves a secular democracy while the Vatican has a say in the ownership of our National Maternity Hospital and religious fundamentalists dominate the footpaths outside?

Bernie Linnane

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

Freedom of expression doesn’t apply to us all

The contradictions inherent in secular liberalism, Paddy style, become more obvious by the day.

Firstly, they lectured us that the blasphemy provisions in the Constitution were an anachronism and that they restricted freedom of speech and expression.

(Although it seems to me to be indicative of immaturity to want to have the freedom to gratuitously offend someone’s religious sensibilities.)

Having achieved this objective, the very same people are now in the vanguard of those seeking to impose so-called “hate speech” legislation and laws prohibiting freedom of assembly.

This legislation is a mirror of the previous blasphemy restrictions – which were

rarely, if ever, cited – except that it will be used in protection of “liberal” sensitivities, which are very often precious in the extreme.

The freedom of assembly restrictions will be primarily directed at those holding peaceful assemblies outside abortion clinics.

George Orwell wasn’t writing specifically about modern, liberal Ireland when he imagined Big Brother’s thought control in his novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’, but his predictions on the subject are most

apposite to this so-called sovereign republic.

Eric Conway

Navan, Co Meath

Every slap – and worse – diminishes us as humans

An 83-year-old man has his arm grabbed, causing obvious pain, and as the person won’t let go he slaps her hand twice, for which he later apologises.

This shouldn’t be a worldwide story featured on most television news and in daily newspapers, although as he is the Pope – and he is a leader and role model for so many people around the world – the action takes on a new meaning.

The message as reinforced by the Pope later is that you shouldn’t hit women although, in reality, you shouldn’t hit

anyone, even in self-defence, if it can be avoided.

A couple of slaps on the hand won’t cause too much harm but we see so much violence in the world that every slap, and worse, diminishes us as humans.

There should be no violence anywhere and I am sure that this is the subject of many prayers, although I think divine intervention may be needed as no one on this planet seems to have a solution.

Let us pray for a better world but, more importantly, let’s put it into personal action, even in our own small daily lives.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

Irish Independent

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