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Queen Elizabeth always aimed high – even from the start of her reign

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Queen Elizabeth at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya in 1983. Photo: Ron Bell/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya in 1983. Photo: Ron Bell/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya in 1983. Photo: Ron Bell/PA Wire

As a 14-year-old boy in 1952, I was listening to the radio when it was announced that Britain’s King George had died and that Princess Elizabeth was now going to follow in his footsteps and become the queen. Where was she when she was given this news?

She was staying at a game-viewing lodge in Kenya called Treetops. She always aspired to high places!

Some things you never forget.

Joe Brophy
Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

Women with unplanned pregnancies need more help

Last Saturday (September 17) there was an impressive turnout for the March for Life in Dublin. Thousands of people took to the streets to demand that pro-life voices receive a fair hearing, particularly as the three-year review into Ireland’s abortion laws is set to conclude soon.

There was amazing testimony from Jessica Tear, who had a baby at 18, and who explained how she was “sick of seeing” situations like her own used as an “excuse to push abortion”.

A resounding theme of the march was that not enough is being done to provide women in unplanned pregnancies with options and supports.

Unfortunately, the sense of hopelessness felt by many women in unplanned pregnancies is compounded by the cost of living and housing crises.

The government needs to start providing serious supports to women in unplanned pregnancies to ensure a woman never feels like she has “no choice” but to proceed with an abortion.

Tony Curran
Firhouse, Dublin 24

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Unionists should not have to be wary of a united Ireland

After 100 years of independence, the dominant language in the Republic of Ireland is still English. That says a lot about cultural hegemony.

Instead of unionists fearing a united Ireland, they should be active in the debate about the specifics of how it might function in the event of a majority, or majorities, deciding this is what they preferred.

Unionists, who would presumably be malcontents by default in a new Ireland, could bargain for favoured status within an all-Ireland Dáil Éireann. The Irish Constitution already enshrines religious freedoms for all religions and that presumably includes Protestantism.

The Orange Order in Donegal seem to be able to follow their tradition year after year without any hindrance.

Yes, it’s hard to banish hundreds of years of cultural conditioning, but we have worse things to fear than a vanishing border.

I also imagine that unionists in a united Ireland would have more equal status with their southern brethren than they had with their mainland compatriots as Northern Ireland has always been treated differently to the rest of the UK.

As evidence, I contend why there was the need for the Campaign for Labour Representation in the 1980s. And, of course, there’s our “dear friend”, the Northern Ireland Protocol!

Louis Shawcross
Hillsborough, Co Down

When it comes to refugees, we are an embarrassment

If we are supposed to be a first-world and wealthy country, as is commonly believed, how is it that we can only offer tented accommodation, in autumn, to the thousands of legitimate refugees from Ukraine and other places?

If we cannot even look after our own homeless citizens, should we not place a temporary stop on immigrants – or even suggest they bring their own tents and food for 10 days or so?

We are an international embarrassment, and not for the first time.

David Ryan
Co Meath

Encourage exercise – and reward those who embrace it

The Government should consider and implement tax relief for people who join recognised/registered sports and fitness clubs, etc. The tax relief should be applied to annual membership fee at the appropriate tax rate.

Surely, this incentive would encourage more people to join sports and other physical activity clubs.

The payback would come by way of fitter and healthier people living better lives, with a subsequent reduction on our public health system.

In other words, a fitter person is likely to be a healthier person.

Richard Whitty
Swords, Co Dublin


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