Women can confront 'misogyny of the State' next time they vote
The 'bonkers' situation in which women lose out on their pensions because they stayed at home rearing their families is down to "downright misogyny of the State", according to Ann Cahill in her contribution to the Budget debate (Irish Independent, October 12).
It is hard to disagree with her.
The way to confront this misogyny, however, is in women's own hands the next time they are in a polling booth with a blunt pencil and a ballot paper.
Despite the fact that, because they live longer they are the majority in the electorate, women have been grossly under-represented in the Dáil since independence. Their issues have been consequently neglected.
There is no excuse for the already small number of women candidates getting on average fewer votes than men candidates.
The fact that an incompetent, inexperienced, misogynist male candidate defeated a competent, experienced female candidate for the most powerful post in the world in the recent US presidential election with the aid of the majority of white women in the electorate should be a wake-up call to all women.
Complaining about misogyny only goes so far. Women have the political numbers to do something about it. All they need is to remember that at the next election.
Sutton, Dublin 13
Marking centenary of a 'miracle'
In my final years as a secondary school teacher, I was given my own classroom. One of the perks of the arrangement was the freedom to put my own stamp in decorating the room with posters and school football teams.
Over those years, the posters and teams were replaced with more recent memorabilia but the one constant in my room over my press was the statue to Our Lady Of Fátima.
It suffered the occasional fall by accident or design, but the wonders of superglue restored the white statue of Our Lady with the golden crown back to its rightful place to reign over us.
Today happens to be Friday 13th, but not in any sense in a superstitious manner. It is the 100th anniversary of the final apparitions in Fátima to the three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos (10), St Francisco Marto (9) and his sister St Jacinta (7).
During the last of the six apparitions on October 13, 1917, the 'Miracle of the Sun' took place. Eyewitness accounts from the estimated 70,000 present on the day and newspaper reports hostile to the children reported the sun emerging from behind the dark clouds and appearing to dance in the sky, like a ball of fire, and then falling towards the earth.
Another extraordinary fact surrounding the solar miracle was the promise given by Our Lady to Lucia the previous July that she would work a miracle on the occasion of the final apparition.
Francisco and Jacinta died in 1919 and 1920, victims of the flu pandemic that swept through Europe after World War I. Lucia died in the enclosed Carmelite Convent Coimbra, Portugal, on February 13, 2005, aged 97. Both Francisco and Jacinta were canonised by Pope Francis on Saturday, May 13 last. It is expected that Lucia will be canonised like her cousins in the near future.
Terenure, Dublin 6W
Our 'wing and prayer' approach
Congratulations to Martin O'Neill on getting to the World Cup qualifer play-offs but Ireland must be the team other teams would most want to meet.
The harsh reality, frequently ignored in Irish politics and Irish sport, is that we are a team of journeymen professionals. Whole-hearted, brave and a genuine team, but devoid of creativity without Wes Hoolahan and frequently devoid of common sense, with the late yellow cards to David Meyler and James McClean on Monday night.
Never in 75 years of watching and reporting have I ever seen anything to approach the shambolic last seven minutes of Irish defending against Wales. During that period, Ireland had not even one player on the halfway line to perhaps hold the ball and delay the next attack. The tactics worked because Wales, minus Gareth Bale, were like a sailing ship without sails, and the strong-tackling, sometimes heroic Irish defence held out.
Without a single shot on goal in the first half, Ireland depend on free-kicks or an opposition error to sneak a goal and this 'wing and a prayer' approach will be really tested in the play-offs.
Address with editor
Why no increase in betting tax?
Can someone please tell me why the option of increasing the betting tax as a revenue-raising exercise appeared to be completely 'off the table' for Budget 2018?
Leixlip, Co Kildare
Time to stand up to Egypt
Former justice minister Alan Shatter suggested expelling the Egyptian ambassador to Ireland if Ibrahim Halawa is not released in the coming days.
For far too long has Ibrahim languished in an Egyptian jail. Many spoke of how we could not intervene in the judicial process of another country…now today we are left in a position where the trial has concluded and Ibrahim remains behind bars.
Ambassador Soha Gendi, who in her own words, represents the "Egyptian regime", has done nothing but facilitate the injustices in this case. Her consistent denial of the truth and her comments on Ibrahim's character over the last four years will, I'm sure, be praised by those in power in Egypt.
We, however, must always stand up to people who act in this way. Expelling the Egyptian ambassador to Ireland would send a clear message to Egypt and the world we will not sit idly by as human rights are breached and justice is denied.
Egypt has stolen the last four years from Ibrahim. I join with Mr Shatter in saying it's time for Ambassador Gendi and the Egyptian government to answer for their actions.
Capital punishment and the 8th
I note that one of your readers considers that abortion is akin to capital punishment (Letters, Irish Independent, October 10).
That is interesting because capital punishment was abolished by the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. Maybe there is a case for repealing the latter amendment since it has a lot in common with the Eighth Amendment. Both deal with terminations and are not exactly what one might term distant cousins.
It would be of value to hear what the views of those supporting the repeal of the Eighth Amendment are in relation to the 21st Amendment.
I am curious to hear, in particular, from Amnesty, which has taken the termination route in relation to the Eighth Amendment and how it squares this position with the ban on capital punishment.
Templeogue, Dublin 6W