Letters to the Editor

GAA directive should be to respect sanctity of every human

Respect the ref, respect the flag, respect the other team – respect life.

The GAA is going to write to county secretaries informing them that the association should have nothing to do with the referendum.
In fact, by issuing a letter re the referendum, they are actually involving themselves in the referendum on t he Eighth Amendment.
The directive from Croke Park should be a directive to respect the sanctity of every human.
Those who want to keep the Eighth Amendment want to improve conditions for both mother and child. No one suffers by retention of the amendment.
In fact, so many lives are safe and healthier. On the other hand, the very soul of Ireland is ripped apart if it is repealed. How can Croke Park not
see this? 

This referendum needs people within the GAA to stand up and speak for the sacredness, the sanctity, the privilege of all human life. 
To stand silent, to vote other than for the retention of the Eighth Amendment is a serious act of neglect.

Is respect for life not one of the GAA’s rules? Are they going to sanction Mickey Harte and co for standing up and speaking up for life? 

This is not a political referendum about a border etc nor an issue covered by some association rule book.
This is a referendum where the choice is life or death.
What if all those thousands and thousands of GAA people in favour of keeping the Eighth Amendment were to hand in their membership, stop giving so freely of their time, go play rugby, soccer, hockey or any other non-GAA game? 

So, let my own county Antrim stand up and say we respect life, show pride in the fact that we value life as something much more important than GAA rules.

I would hope that GAA people would do the right thing.

MALACHY DUFFIN
Randalstown, Co Antrim

 

Arlene’s attitude offers cold comfort for DUP voters

In the aftermath of the 2016 referendum, when a slight majority of ill-informed and confused British voters chose to leave the EU the leadership of the DUP echoed, almost verbatim, the sentiments of the British prime minister ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Most vociferous of these was the DUP leader who informed the northern Irish electorate – even though a majority expressed a will to remain – that regardless of voting practices we’re joining the UK and leaving. Another example of democracy DUP-style.

Unforeseen by the leave camp and the DUP, who spent copious amounts of money in order to achieve their dream, was the reaction of the 27 member states, including the Irish government, who indicated unfavourable scenarios attached to such a catastrophic move – hard border, soft border, customs union, higher tariffs on goods, free movement of people etc. Also envisaged and totally unexpected from a unionist point of view was the small but not insignificant notion of the reunification of Ireland as the British/DUP led initiative placed the border question at the top not only of the Irish but also the European agenda. This realisation conjured up tantrums from the DUP. However, on being asked of her intentions at the prospect of such a situation the incredulity of Arlene Foster  overwhelmed many people with amazement. The leader of the largest party in the north who campaigned on a platform of ‘leave the EU’ emphasised to those of voted for the party that they have their best interests at heart. These best intentions it seems do not take into account the real possibility of opening the door to a united Ireland – an idea she would not countenance. Instead of preparing the masses for such a likelihood she would up sticks and abandon the flock in a heartbeat. This attitude offers cold comfort to the thousands of people who voted for her – especially the farmers and business owners facing a bleak and uncertain future.

KEVIN McCANN
Belfast BT1

 

Issue of conscience

The current abortion controversy has often referred to an extract of the 1916 proclamation that declares all of the children of the Irish nation will be cherished equally. The arguments for changing the Eighth Amendment to the constitution tend to focus on giving greater rights to women in determining this issue because they are uniquely affected by the issue biologically. Not true, of course, for two reasons: Firstly, there is a potential father but he does not have any legal rights during pregnancy. Secondly, there is the unborn baby, again unable to advocate for itself, its welfare completely dependent on the goodwill of society.

Proponents of pro-choice regarding abortion focus on victims of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality but the reality is that these would represent an insignificant fraction of those who would like to avail of abortions under current proposals.    

I fully respect Francie and Anne Brolly for resigning from Sinn Féin on this conscience issue. The reality is that Sinn Féin’s ambition to popularise has led to the abandonment of all its republican principles so that its declared allegiance to the 1916 proclamation is no longer credible.

SEAN O'FIACH
Belfast BT11

 

One-sided Nikki

Donald Trump’s spokesperson Nikki Haley is very good at describing the impact that nerve gas can do to human beings. She is absolutely correct – it is a horrible and abhorrent means of warfare. But what Nikki Haley failed to mention was, the two atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese people by the American military in 1945. These poor people were incinerated – 100,000 of them – and those that survived had horrible cancers and tumours, that many died from.
Today, 2018, Japanese people, many of them children, are still dying of this ionising radiation. Where  was the justification of crime against humanity then? 

JOHN MATTHEWS
Lurgan, Co Armagh 

 

Punishment shootings inhumane

What other society or culture in the world would tolerate the sadistic savagery of so-called punishment shootings and beatings? How does it reflect on any community that condones, even supports this brutal cruelty?

This is an abuse, a violation of young bodies, nothing less. 

And those that carry out these attacks, where do they get their arrogant self-righteousness from?

These attacks are often carried out in spite, on a whim, because some young boy in the stormy questioning period of adolescence has 
‘disrespected’ someone in the community.
Social restitution, making pretty criminals repay a debt in compensation – work or money – to the victims is the only humane way as some have realised.

PAUL TUMELTY
Belfast BT7 

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