Letters to the Editor

Catholic Church will not condone taking of life

In the aftermath of the ‘people’s decision’ in our neighbouring jurisdiction there are a number of dilemmas for them and for us in Northern Ireland. Among those dilemmas is the moral legitimacy of a practising Catholic who would have voted ‘Yes’ had they had a vote and who would support any Northern Ireland legislator voting yes in a future assembly.

For some, like myself, of a certain vintage and fading faculties, perhaps, the choice is pretty clear. The Church cannot and will not condone the taking of life, born or yet unborn and for those who would rather like to live and worship under the Catholic banner, they need to understand that the deal is “abide by the rules or find another place to practice your preferred version of faith and morals”. Tough maybe, but on The Nolan Show this week we had a young couple, apparently planning a marriage and who had consulted their priest on his view if or not the church would marry them given the groom’s support for the ‘yes’ vote in the Republic. Obviously his answer didn’t please and it seems they immediately consulted Nolan to give details of his response. Nolan, understandably, loved it. No-one likes a bit of priest bashing like Stephen. But what of the young couple and their motivations. How strong was their conviction regarding their own faith. How much, actually, did they know about their own faith. I’m afraid that I’m of the opinion that fully aligned Catholics know that the proposed laws now imminent following the ‘yes’ vote are incompatible with the laws of God and the Church and it’s a pity that Nolan and his guests could not acknowledge that fact.

Randalstown, Co Antrim


GAA’s position on Israeli conflict called into question

Palestinian flags carried by GAA supporters at matches and the GAA’s response calls into question the official GAA position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Inadvertently, GAA officials have opened up a can of worms.

Rule 1.12 of An Treoir Oifigiúil sets out policy which the GAA at all levels must follow: “Any conduct by deed, word, or gesture of sectarian or racist nature or which is contrary to the principles of inclusion and diversity against a player, official, spectator or anyone else, in the course of activities organised by the association, shall be deemed to have discredited the association.”

One of the GAA’s main sponsors is Allianz. Allianz has invested heavily in Elbit, Israel’s main ‘security and defence’ firm. Elbit is built on the expertise of the Israeli Ministry of Defence Research Institute and has profited greatly from supplying the Israeli military with a variety of equipment used to sustain Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. It produces the drones used in the wars and attacks against Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories and provides equipment for Israeli Merkava tanks. The apartheid wall, which is confining Palestinian communities into ghettos, has provided a massive source of revenue for Elbit.

Israel has implemented all three pillars that characterised apartheid in South Africa, namely: (a) the categorisation of the population along racial lines; (b) the segregation of the population on the basis of this categorisation into different geographical areas allocated to different racial groups and (c) a system of laws and policies that subject the Palestinian people to extra-judicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as sweeping restrictions on Palestinians’ rights to freedom of opinion, expression, assembly, association and movement. 

By investing in Elbit, Allianz also has made profits from these activities.

I look forward to GAA officialdom taking action against Allianz for its deeds as speedily as it does against supporters who fly the occasional Palestinian flag at matches.

Port an Dúnáin, Contae Ard Mhacha


Show of contempt for victims of Troubles

The release of Gary Haggarty once again shows the contempt and disregard the British government has for the victims of the Troubles and their relatives. The government’s sole purpose is to protect their agents [on other side] and members of the armed forces and police. Haggarty was involved in some 500 terrorist acts along with five murders. How can anyone justify his release? He is supposed to have saved many lives but if he had been locked up in the first place his murders might never have happened as he was the boss of the unit involved. The British hold themselves as the greatest democracy in the world but underneath they are just the same as the worst examples in the world.

Dunmurry, Co Antrim


SDLP will no longer get my vote

Martin O’Brien in his article (May 28) stated that Colum Eastwood could hardly wait to curry favour with the Dublin  political establishment by supporting the yes vote. 

If that is Mr Eastwood’s attitude let him up sticks and go down south and let us have a proper leader for the SDLP.

I have  always voted for the SDLP but will no longer do so while he is leader and I am sure many others will  think this way also.

Belfast BT10


Republic has lost its moral compass 

In the light of the Republic of Ireland’s referendum result, which appears to seek abortion on demand at 12 weeks gestation, when the baby is perfectly formed, I cannot but recall the wise observations of Wordsworth. I believe now that the moral fibre is to be found in Northern Ireland. 
I also firmly believe that the British parliament must not impose its power on Northern Ireland’s just laws which treats the unborn person with respect. It is time to rethink this whole situation on abortion and to understand that the baby is precious and deserves our protection under the law. I was born in Ireland and received a thorough grounding in the  Catholic faith. I now feel that we must look to the Protestant north to bring reason and proportion back to this subject. I thank God now that Northern Ireland is separated from the Republic of Ireland and for the first time in my life feel a sense of relief and even joy. I  fear that the Republic has lost its moral compass.

Middlesex, England


Ulster Gaels feeling abandoned

So the DUP believes that the Motley Crew at Leinster House are ‘Brit-bashing’. Perhaps they fear that there is nothing to fear about. The Blueshirts have practically turned the Irish state into a Neo-British Progressive utopia. The once bulletproof vote in republican strongholds has evaporated at a sudden rate. The Ulster Gaels feel abandoned by the politicians that claim to represent them.

Now we have got to the stage where Ulster Gaels are doing the once unthinkable and voting for unionists who oppose abortion. Perhaps the Ulster Britons need to realise that there are no monsters under the bed anymore. Our society has evolved naturally.

Ardboe, Co Tyrone

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