Monday 18 November 2019

Letters: Upset at eating disorder nonsense

Sir -- I feel slightly nauseous. I just finished Niamh Horan's article in Life magazine (Sunday Independent, Jan. 24, 2010) and I am extremely upset. .

Eating disorders are insidious, evasive diseases that thrive on secrecy yet in this article it seems to me that being thin, at any cost, is all that matters. While many individuals have the strength to come to their own conclusions others are more influenced by the media. If the young women (and men) of Ireland aspire to being thin, and use what they weigh as the only measure of their worth we will be losing the potential of an entire generation. It is articles like these that undo the work of countless health professionals who struggle to treat people with eating disorders. Fat or thin, everybody should be valued equally. Superficial nonsense about weight has no place in the media when it is such a sensitive issue. I hope no individual has been adversely influenced by this ill-judged article. Sadly the damage has already been done

Mary M. Molloy,

Tullamore, Co. Offaly

Comments disgraceful

Sir -- I would like to make a complaint against your columnist Niamh Horan in the Life magazine (Sunday Independent, Jan. 24, 2010). Her article on weight was disgusting and her comments that fat people were "lazy" was disgraceful. She should be ashamed of herself. She, and people like her, are the reason why girls and women of many ages suffer from eating disorders. She seems to think that because she was once "fat" she has the right to berate others and to act in a superior fashion. Before you assume I am jumping in with all guns blazing because this has hit a sore point, you are wrong. I am writing this as I think you are very wrong to allow her to be published and I hope she will be removed from Life magazine as I certainly won't be reading it again if she is in it and I know I am not the only one with this opinion.

Name and address with Editor

Tirade was just hateful

Sir, -- I write to express my disgust and disappointment at Niamh Horan's foray into journalistic abasement -- 'Don't hate me because I'm thin.'

These two pages of drivel champion the cause of skinny on every line. The personal revulsion Ms Horan expresses towards the overweight seems to reveal a more complex motive. This is no benevolent dose of brutal, sage tough-love for the fat masses. This is one woman's hateful tirade given a terrifying platform.

Surely the concept of journalistic social responsibility cannot be so lost that this sickening diatribe managed to slip unnoticed through the editorial net.

Siobhan Gavin,

Knocklyon, Dublin 16

Horan was not ‘fatist’

Sir -- I read Niamh Horan's article in the Life magazine with some interest (Sunday Independent, Jan. 24, 2010). I have to say that I completely agree with her and would be interested to hear the feedback. My nutritionist used to say 'nothing tastes as good as slim feels', so I could not believe the hostility Kate Moss received about her comments, so I was delighted to read that Niamh agreed with Kate's comments.

I am a fitness instructor and have come across many 'gaunt' looking girls with 'fat manager' friends in tow who think their mate is too thin and always have to mention that their friend looked better when she had a few more pounds on her.

The article was not 'fatist' and I hope Niamh does not receive any negative feedback.

Well done and keep up the good work!

Cathy Albanese,

Dublin 8

Bring back tall Gardai

Sir -- Reading your full page on the Garda problems (Sunday Independent, Jan. 24, 2010), I think the part the gardai are expected to play in the present state of the country is too much. Gardai of four foot plus are not much use. We should go back to the proper height of 5'11"; and again 'schoolboy' gardai should not be given serious problems to deal with. Present day gangsters know the law too well and the judges are too easy on these guys. Bring back good punishment not a hotel style jail sentence.

Katherine O'Kelly,

Thomastown, Kilkenny

Roll on 101 Micheal

Sir -- I enjoyed Tommy Conlon's warm comments about Micheal O Muircheartaigh. Journalists these days are way too critical but he wrote a lovely tribute from the heart. I do not think Micheal would mind sharing the article on this occasion with the late and missed Bill McLaren. Bill was a rugby fanatic and was not in competition with Micheal. Tommy is right when he says that Micheal loves what he does. He is frantic to keep going and do you know what, he does not want to give up at all, at all. To have that passion at four score years is amazing. He will be thrilled to hear that you want him to continue for another 20 years. He would get a great kick out of going around the country commentating in his 101st year and he'd be in his element going to meet the President for the cheque.

Name and address with Editor

Thanks for the memory

Sir -- Sad to see the passing of the late Bill McLaren one of the few people that made me watch rugby.

I was lucky enough to meet him when my late father and a BBC cricket commentator, whose name escapes me as I write, were at the launching of a sports anthology book.

I was only there as my mother was otherwise engaged and there was a free dinner going. But now they are all gone and as you so nicely put it "a part of my life goes with him".

Thanks for the memory.

Name and address with Editor

Heart bleeds for O’Connor

Sir-- My heart was broken when I heard that Jack O'Connor told Shane Ross "You have done me great damage". The cheek of Jack O'Connor. Only for Shane Ross we would not have heard about the careless bankers, politicians and speculators and now the well paid union officials whose only contribution in helping 'Ireland Inc' out of its difficulty is to create disruption in the Public Service.

I'll tell you Jack, people are saying worse about you than what Shane Ross said.

Gerard Murphy,

Shannon, Co. Clare

Aid only for foreigners

Sir -- During the past few weeks we have been overwhelmed by appeals for money to aid Haiti by GOAL, Concern, Trocaire, Gorta, Oxfam and the Irish Red Cross. Even the government, on our behalf has chipped in with three separate large donations of cash, each in excess of several million euros.

In total I am sure that the final sum sent out will be in excess of €80m. Not bad for such a very small country, which has a huge national debt, high unemployment, industrial unrest and very bleak short term prospects.

Contrast this with what happened when we had our very own emergency, after Christmas, with the huge floods.

Hundreds of people had to abandon their homes, cattle were marooned, roads were washed away, water damage to property was huge -- most not covered by insurance -- and it will cost millions of euro to repair everything. No help was given by the above mentioned charities. But for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, no help was offered, except for a paltry few sums of government cash.

Apparently, charity does not start at home in Ireland -- we only look after foreigners.

Frank Cormican,

Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin

Sunday Independent

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