The Stack brothers have had the wool pulled over their eyes
The whole point of an agreement on confidentiality is that some confidential information will be exchanged.
One has to assume that the Stack brothers were promised some substantial information by Gerry Adams relating to the murder of their father in advance of the now infamous meeting - otherwise, why go ahead with it?
So what confidential information - or any information at all - did the Stacks get in return for agreeing to keep the details of the meeting confidential?
First - the unknown driver in the blacked-out van. No information there.
Second - the secret destination. No information there.
Third - the unidentified IRA man at the meeting. No information there.
Fourth - the identity of Brian Stack's murderers. No information there.
Fifth - the IRA admitted the murders. So the IRA stopped telling a 30-year lie. Nothing new in IRA behaviour there.
Sixth - the murderer was "disciplined". So the IRA held a kangaroo court at a time unknown, at a place unknown, with a person unknown, and a disciplinary action unknown. This is information?
By his failure to produce any information of any value in relation to Mr Stack's murder, one has to assume Mr Adams broke his agreement with the Stack brothers.
Mr Adams makes much of the breach of confidence by Austin Stack.
The only issue of confidence was the elaborate confidence trick pulled by Mr Adams in leading the Stack brothers to believe he would provide them with any new information on Mr Stack's murder by the IRA.
Portmarnock, Co Dublin
Francis gives me hope for Church
Pope Francis's visit to Ireland comes at a time of opportunity for us. We are at a major spiritual crossroads. Many people have washed their hands of religion. Others are clinging to the wreckage, petrified of the erosion of all they hold sacred.
Many are ambivalent. Slowly rising from the ashes, however, is a growing number of Irish people who are recognising their birthright - the inalienable truth that the spiritual life is integral to their humanity.
What they need now is guidance - a Church that will meet their experience, respecting their psychological/spiritual journey.
A Church that will promote the language of intrinsic value rather than intrinsic disorder, a Church that will recognise that the laws of psychological health support and underpin the laws of spiritual well-being - a Church that will not crush the bruised reed.
Many will say how naïve I am in hoping that the Church can embrace the humility and skilfulness needed to accompany us on the perilous journey of spiritual integrity - but when I see the compassionate face of Pope Francis a faint smile arises in my heart.
Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Return of those who ruined us
Mandy Johnston's article (Irish Independent, December 10) on the implications for the main opposition party of a recent opinion poll shows the present state of the power play in this country.
That opinion poll is just a reflection of the messages that are being relayed by the opinion formers in media and academia and is a continuation of the state of power play in this country going back to the period between 2000 and 2009.
Then the country was bankrupted by the reckless decisions of a small number of its own most powerful citizens.
These decisions were virtually unchallenged by this country's media and academia at that time. That ended up with the country needing a bailout and the standard of living of all citizens being damaged.
All we can do now is say what happened, who were responsible, and what the consequences were.
Now, judging by media coverage, of which Ms Johnston's article is an example, the agenda seems to be to reinstall to power the same people who were in virtually unchallenged power in the 2000-2009 period when the decisions that bankrupted the country were made.
We should remember that the reason that the country was bankrupted was that human beings are liable to get carried away and lose the run of themselves when they have unchallenged power.
Ms Johnston and the rest of the important opinion formers in Irish media and academia should, therefore, ask themselves if restoring the Celtic Tiger government to power so soon after it bankrupted the country would be in the best interests of the citizens of this country.
Sutton, Dublin 13
Get your pet from a shelter
Christmas day will soon be with us and numerous images come to mind such as the animals at the manger, which may prompt some people to buy a dog or a cat as a gift.
However, they should instead contact one of the animal rescue organisations which will find them a pet.
A very large number of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanised each year across Ireland. So, if people were to contact one of the animal charities instead of buying animals from moneymaking breeders, it would truly be a kind gift.
Address with editor
Commercialism a step too far...
That Cadbury has used TV ads to promote its Advent calendar, and Easter eggs and chocolate bunny promotions is well known.
Such is the fervour to merchandise products with quasi-religious connections that I can't help wondering will one of the big chain stores be soon bringing out a Last Supper range? Surely it can only be a matter of time.
M M O'Brien
Dalkey, Co Dublin
Danger of parking on cycle lane
Can anybody tell me what is the law regarding cars parking on cycle lanes?
As a cyclist and car driver, I constantly see cycle lanes blocked by parked cars, forcing cyclists to move out into the path of other traffic.
I have also seen Garda cars passing these cars parked on the cycle lane, and completely ignoring them.
Ranelagh, in Dublin, is one of the worst areas, while on Kimmage Road Lower there are cars constantly parked in the cycle lanes on both sides. Does the same thing happen in Cork or Galway?
So, is there a law prohibiting parking on cycle lanes and, if there is, why is An Garda Síochána turning a blind eye to this dangerous habit, which is putting the lives of cyclists in danger?
Inchicore, Dublin 8