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Thank God for ‘heretics’ like Brendan from Ballylongford

Letters to the Editor


Brendan Kennelly pictured in 2012. Photo: David Conachy

Brendan Kennelly pictured in 2012. Photo: David Conachy

Brendan Kennelly pictured in 2012. Photo: David Conachy

I heard of the passing yesterday of Brendan Kennelly. I can remember the young Brendan Kennelly in our English departmental meetings in 1968 in House 40 with Fitzroy Pyle, RBD French, David Norris, Anne Emerson (Clune), Paula Simmonds and the rest of us clustered together in close proximity.

That year was a time of great change in the Department of English. Thank God we did not know then of the dark days we were all facing into.

In Trinity College in 1968 we were still heretics, with Catholics banned from our noxious influence. I thank God that Brendan was one of us, another heretic in our midst, a CelDub who continued to support the Kingdom against the Dubs. Who else would someone from Ballylongford support?

In all my years in New Square in Houses 35 and 37 (1985-2012) Brendan was a neighbour in House 38. Perhaps we should put a blue plaque up there for him.

Today the college flag will be flying at half-mast in his honour. For me in Dublin 4 he is still in my heart, laughing and crying. I send my best wishes to Peggy O’Brien in Amhurst. She knows better than most what life must have been like with Brendan.

We all knew that one day he would go home to Ballylongford. I am comforted by the thought that he passed away among those who loved him best.

Gerald Morgan OM FTCD

Dublin 4 

Remembering a man who danced to his own tune

‘It is the moment before the dance begins,

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Your lips enjoying themselves

Whistling an air.

Whatever happens or cannot happen

In the time I have to spare

I see you dancing, father.’

Remembering a lovely man full of laughter and joy: Brendan Kennelly RIP.

Brian Mc Devitt

Glenties, Co Donegal


Vilification of unvaccinated is step towards soft totalitarianism

The vilification of unvaccinated citizens is both a misplaced response to Covid case numbers and an unfortunate targeting of a minority, sizeable in this instance.

The likely extension of the ‘Covid pass’ beyond October 22 would be a great mistake.

The right to bodily integrity is a particularly important one and includes a right to decide whether or not to take a vaccine. Denying access to any domestic services on the basis of the individual’s decision in this regard is an affront to an essential freedom.

To use the mantra of the lockdown, let’s hope parliamentary opposition, as well as civil rights groups, will “hold firm” in their objections to any extension of the pass system.

Institutionalising discrimination is a sad reflection on any state and takes it one step forward in soft totalitarianism.

Maurice O’Brien

Blackrock Road, Cork 


MP lost his life while serving his constituents with dignity

I did not have the privilege of meeting MP David Amess. However, our memories will forever be scarred by the way he lost his life while serving his constituents with dignity and love. Politics is a noble profession and politicians should be free to practise without fear of coercion or intimidation or threats.

It is our solemn obligation to thwart hatred, intolerance and injustices. This is the most sobering way of remembering people like David Amess and Jo Cox.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob

London, United Kingdom

Are rules on data protection helping to spread Covid?

Is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) contributing to the spread of the Delta variant of Covid? There is a dearth of public information on nursing homes, schools and workplace surges of the current potential wave.

An RTÉ news report from last Thursday mentions just three schools (two primary and one special education) that have contracted the virus – can that be relied upon as accurate? Is a culture of secrecy allowing the virus to thrive instead of local, frequent, and accurate information prevailing on surges?

If the answer to my lead question is yes, then something needs to be done, and rapidly.

Vincent Holmes



Paddy showed leadership without politicising culture

Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains did a great service for beautiful traditional Irish music. They did take not sides, they did not politicise it.

Eugene Tannam

Firhouse, Dublin

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