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Pope right to express sorrow, now others should follow

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Pope Francis meets with First Nations, Metis and Inuit indigenous communities in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada earlier this week. Photo: Reuters/Amber Bracken

Pope Francis meets with First Nations, Metis and Inuit indigenous communities in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada earlier this week. Photo: Reuters/Amber Bracken

Pope Francis meets with First Nations, Metis and Inuit indigenous communities in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada earlier this week. Photo: Reuters/Amber Bracken

Pope Francis was right to express his sorrow, shame and indignation about the role of the Catholic Church in the cultural homogenisation, ethnic cleansing, deplorable human rights transgressions and genocide of indigenous children in Canada.

Such policies had embodied destructive colonialism that denied native peoples the freedom to exercise their basic cultural, religious and spiritual rights. Sadly, many indigenous populations within the international arena are passing through similar ordeals.

Time to acknowledge such injustices and recognise the cultural suppression, decimation and suffocation of peoples as crimes against humanity.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob, London

Final frustrating to watch for hard-of-hearing viewers

Anyone hard of hearing who happened to be on their own last Sunday while watching RTÉ’s live coverage of the All-Ireland football final between Kerry and Galway had to wait very patiently until half-time to find out the names of the scorers.

This is because only at half-time were the names displayed for a few seconds on TV screens.

This sad situation happened because the names of the players were not printed on their jerseys and RTÉ didn’t bother to show (while the match was live) the names of any players either.

It really does seem quite wrong that RTÉ and the GAA only expect people in the prime of their lives and in the full of their health to be able to understand what is going on during live televised matches as important as All-Ireland finals.

Does all of this subtly mean that when people grow old or find themselves dealing with some disability, they must unfortunately be left aside and forgotten about by important organisations like the GAA and RTÉ?

Sean O’Brien, Kilrush, Co Clare

City folk have key role to play in reducing agri-emissions

Milk processors are freely offering 60 cent per litre at the moment for summer milk to producers – a record price for an unpasteurised foodstuff in this country.

Meat processors are paying more than €5 per kilo for heifer or steer beef. These are prices never before seen in this country and are reflected on the ground with record prices in cattle marts (they peaked at around €5.60 per kilo at the end of May/early June, as per figures from the Department of Agriculture).

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Why is this? Are Irish people suddenly eating more meat and drinking litres and litres of cold milk? Of course not. The vast majority of this produce is being exported to meet demand from countries as close as the UK to markets in the Americas and Asia.

Therefore, arguments from people such as British writer George Monbiot – who wants to ban animal farming completely – and Rob Sadlier, who somehow manages to compare the production of food in this country with the marketing of cigarettes (‘There’s no beef with farmers, but cows are major polluters’, Letters, July 27), are not based on reality.

Indeed, a signature-style golf club in this country is known to import American-produced beef steaks because that is what its customers from the United States want after their 18 holes on the immaculate fairways and greens.

If we are really serious about reducing emissions from agriculture, it would help if people with affluent city addresses stop citing online surveys.

It would be even more helpful if they looked at their own privileged lifestyles and the lifestyles of those people around them.

Better still, spend some time in the countryside, where all of these foodstuffs are produced – mainly for export markets.

Tom McElligott, Listowel, Co Kerry

No free contraception for males sends wrong message

It’s encouraging to know that contraception will be free for women between the ages of 17 and 25. But why only for women? What about male contraception? The Government should also make condoms free for those in that age group.

In a healthy society, young men should share the responsibility of contraception with women to avoid unplanned preg- nancies and becoming parents before they are ready.

Alison Hackett, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

You can always rely on the Irish weather to be unreliable

It is hard to know if we should look forward to the terrible good weather or the wonderful bad weather.

Eugene Tannam, Firhouse, Dublin 24


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