Ukraine can learn valuable lessons from Irish history

A woman marking Ukraine Day in Caherdaniel, Co Kerry. Photo: Tom Naiman

Letters to the Editor

Travelling on the Dart from Dún Laoghaire to Connolly Station on Sunday, I got into an enlightening conversation with two lovely young people from Ukraine.

Initially, I thought they were speaking Russian and I told them I had lived in the former Soviet Union. They told me they were not Russians, but Ukrainians. They were polite and friendly.

They seemed to know little about the Soviet Union, of which Ukraine had been a member state, dismissing that part of Ukrainian history as “the communist era”.

I told them I thought Ireland’s history was not dissimilar to what’s happening in Ukraine. For example, the Irish succumbed to Spanish and French blandishments to fight against England. The former two great European powers supplied the Irish with men and weapons. However, in the end they abandoned the Irish, who were slaughtered, downtrodden and dispossessed by England for siding with its enemies.

Ireland’s situation might have been better had the Irish had the sense to stay neutral during power struggles between England and France or, in earlier times, Spain.

As we departed, I told them I hoped Ukraine would learn from our history and make peace with Russia and no longer allow themselves to be used by others (as the Irish were) as an instrument against Russia and China.

Michael O’Cathail, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

DUP’s stance on Stormont has echoes south of Border

I doubt the DUP would have refused to take its roles in the Northern Ireland Executive if it had remained the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The fact it has banded together with the European Research Group wing of the Conservative Party to keep both in power only serves to confirm that.

They are not such strange bedfellows, when you consider the two main political parties in the Republic did the same thing for exactly the same reason.

Liam Power, Blackrock, Co Louth

What’s the protocol on ignoring an agreement?

I’m delighted to see the British government is going its own way and ignoring Ireland and the EU regarding the protocol nonsense. Let’s move on: Boris Johnson is a busy man and we’re not interested in hearing Simon Coveney and Micheál Martin bleating like lambs about fictitious international agreements and associated twaddle.

What’s an agreement if it wasn’t meant to be ignored?

Robert Sullivan, Bantry, Co Cork

Key questions for Irish wing of Catholic Church to answer

Pope Francis has called a universal synod to discuss the Roman Catholic Church in the 21st century. In preparation, there will be “national synods” to discuss and propose how the church should adapt to the people.

The Irish Catholic Church will convene in Athlone this Saturday, and it will be interesting to learn afterwards of the proposals.

A few questions require answering:

Will it remove misogyny to permit females to be ordained priests (thus recognising God loves every person equally)?

Will it recommend the acceptance of same-sex marriage?

Will it recommend openness on exactly what each diocese receives, apart from Sunday mass collections?

Will the Irish church erase those inane titles, Most Reverend, Very Reverend? Such titles imply not alone that God has favourites, but these men are above all other human beings in sanctity.

Will it recommend that couples who have children and have lived together for many years are not required to undertake a pre-marriage course to marry in a Catholic church? This inane rule compels people to opt for civil marriages.

Will it accept marriage for priests who do, as humans do, fall in love?

Or will the 2023 Universal Synod be as Vatican Council II: lots of changes blocked by old men in skirts?

Declan Foley, Melbourne, Australia

Departing from reality, it’s Boris and his colleagues

There has long been a tendency to view British diplomacy as top-notch. Apart from this being a myth broadcast by themselves, the present crowd have lost the plot and one can’t wait to see how the EU responds.

As there seem to be hundreds of seats available on the next Gatwick-Rwanda flight, maybe Boris and his nitwits will decide on a freebie. If only dreams came true.

David Ryan, Co Meath