Ring of truth
• Alcohol costs the Irish economy €3.7bn a year in health care, increased crime and lost productivity. On a given day, 2,000 hospital beds are occupied by people with alcohol-related conditions, and alcohol is a factor in about half of all suicides. Town centres are visited with caution on Friday and Saturday nights.
The government aims to reduce alcohol consumption significantly from the current level of 12 litres per person a year -- the equivalent of a bottle of spirits a week -- with minimum pricing and a ban on drinks companies sponsoring sporting events under consideration.
Yet when a humorous article in an Australian newspaper puts "Guinness, whiskey and the Irish" in the same sentence the Irish Ambassador feels it necessary to complain of "lazy stereotyping" ("'Punch drunk' Katie Taylor article sparks outrage", Irish Independent, August 8).
If the cap fits, even ambassadors should learn to wear it.
Dr John Doherty
Cnoc an Stollaire
Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal
• As women we are so proud of Katie Taylor. She has aggression, courage and determination.
She has shown that women are not victims, nor need they be. They can claim their entitlements and fight their corner when the pitch is level. Katie shows how it can be done.
Eithne Reid O'Doherty BL
Chair, EWLA Violence Against Women, Law Library
Four Courts, Dublin 7
• Katie Taylor winning gold in the first ever Olympic boxing final for women -- what a great day to be Irish and to be from Wicklow!
Katie's athleticism and beaming smile have given everyone a lift. And her thanks and glory to God, in victory or defeat, remind us all of our place in the greater scheme of things. "As great as God has made us," as the poet Patrick Kavanagh once put it.