Letters to the Editor

The ideals proclaimed in 1916 are as relevant today as ever

Cherish all the Children Equally is a progressive, secular, republican pro-life group. We defend the ideals proclaimed by the men of 1916 and affirm that they are as relevant today as ever. 

The notion that the removal of the constitutional protection for the right to life of unborn children is purely a ‘woman’s issue’ makes no sense.  

Abortion, by definition end the life of the unborn child, and robust studies show that it causes real and lasting harm to women. But it also harms fathers, extended families and wider society.

If the child in the womb is just a part of the woman’s body, then what is a father? The very concept of fatherhood, with all that it entails, is reduced to mere sperm donation. We are each created by a 50:50 mix of DNA from both of our parents, and inherit physical and mental characteristics going back generations from both families. My brothers look like my mother, but I am a ringer for my father. 

When their child’s life is ended by induced abortion, men are often left bereaved and traumatised by a decision they have no control over, and in my experience often suffer the same grieving process as they would following a  natural miscarriage. I don’t know of any research in this field, but it seems likely that at least some of the excess mental health problems we see among males are related to this loss of role as fathers, and equal partners in parenthood. The narrative that the unborn child is not a new life created by both parents, but merely part of the woman’s body and subject to her autonomy alone is one which many men do not accept, and with good reason. For others, abortion absolves them from responsibility for the outcomes of sexual activity. I haven’t come across a pregnancy yet that didn’t have male input. Men surely have a responsibility not to put the women they claim to care for at risk of unplanned pregnancy. What about her bodily autonomy?

Abortion offers men the opportunity to use women as mere objects of gratification, without regards for the consequences.
For the vast majority of our people, fathers are their friends, mentors and role models, a central and irreplaceable part of their lives. Men need to consider carefully before accepting the ‘my body, my choice’ narrative espoused by militant feminists.
In the upcoming referendum, they should vote to defend the lives of their children and of unborn generations of Irish men and women. 

Dr ANNE McCLOSKEY MB
Cherish all the Children Equally,
Derry City

 

Mr Ringland’s views display uncompromising attitude

Trevor Ringland (April 6) berates Michelle O’Neill for attending a conference in London where people whose aspirations and opinions on uniting the land of their birth was legitimately voiced. He is also critical of the notion that while Ms O’Neill travels to various locations promoting a united Ireland agenda it is the ‘people of Northern Ireland she has to convince’ for this vision to become a reality. He further dismisses her attempts to reach out and ‘listen to unionism and their views on ending partition’ as nothing but an absurd act of contrariness neither he or his community will countenance. In his wonderment he asks why his points are often misconstrued by others of differing opinions. In his wisdom he declares the proper method of achieving this is to employ the political structures, those that have lain dormant for almost a year-and-a-half, and that a review must take place to resolve matters. However, he is ignoring one obvious fact, the DUP never associated themselves with the Good Friday Agreement in fact they demanded a renegotiation and came up with the St Andrews agreement, a complete and utter disaster for all concerned.

It must be recognised and acknowledged by Trevor and the community he represents – Ireland was forcefully and illegally split in two in a putsch organised by the British and self-serving elitist unionism. Incidentally, while carving up the north of Ireland, which excluded Catholics from all walks of life, unionists abandoned their brethren in the remaining 26 counties as they created their own six-county utopia then blamed everyone else for their shortcomings.  
Mr Ringland’s views only display the uncompromising, not-an-inch attitude of unionists who for almost 100 years have ignored the obvious. While it could conceivably take a century for parity of esteem to be realised in the six counties the hand of friendship and cooperation, so long extended by nationalists, might well be reserved as an agenda of equality for all is imposed in the not too distant future.

 KEVIN McCANN
Belfast BT1

 

Members need to organise to keep control of Labour

The purge of socialists in the Labour Party is greater than the Kinnock expulsions of the 1980s. As far back as 2016, 6,000 Labour members were reported to the NEC and its ‘compliance committee’ for alleged abuse and other spurious allegations of anti-semitism and belonging to another party. The total number reported is unknown.

Members expelled are mostly party members, but also largely include members of trade unions and left-wing groups. Many have fought their case and been allowed to rejoin. 

Whole constituencies, like the NI Labour party remain suspended after several months, on spurious allegations against a few members, most of which have now been dropped. The expulsions are political, aimed at socialists in the party and stopping a future Labour government adopting a radical socialist programme. 

The fight back from ‘Labour against witch hunts’ and ‘Stop the Labour purge’ is growing within the party.

The membership know they must organise to keep control of Labour under Corbyn and stand up against the demagogic right-wing ‘Blairites’.

HARRY HUTCHINSON
Labour NI

 

Love affair with Ernie coming to an unhappy end

Does Ernie have your number? Are you waiting, in eager anticipation, to be contacted with news that you haven’t been forgotten after all, that you have been specially selected to receive his favours. It might just be a small gift of £25 but it could be as much as  £1m – wouldn’t that be lovely.

Has Ernie ever revealed his secret to you? Not only does he have your number, he has access to your credit rating too through the services of a private company, Equifax – in no way, to my knowledge,  related to National Savings and Investments who run the Premium Bonds draw. 

Why does he need this?

That seems to be a secret too. Having waited for more than two months for a response to a letter requesting this information, I’m now asking if there are any other devotees of Ernie who can supply an answer.

Meantime, I think my long term affair with the unreliable Ernie will be coming to an unhappy end.     

MAIREAD McKEOWN
Dunmurry, Co Antrim

 

Mrs McAleese’s peculiar type of commitment

Martin O’Brien’s description of Mary McAleese as a “committed” Catholic (March 30) seems somewhat questionable in the light of comments she has made in recent years questioning Church teaching, describing Vatican documents as ‘codology’ and mocking clergy as “men in skirts”.
In a recent RTÉ interview Mrs McAleese indicated that she may vote for repeal of the Eighth Amendment next month. She suggested that she needed time to ‘think’ about the subject and praised two pro-choice doctors. 

Perhaps the Catholic Church could do without Mrs McAleese’s peculiar type of commitment. 

C ARMSTRONG
Belfast BT12

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