Letters to the Editor

Confusion still surrounds treatment of Bethany Home babies

IN RESPONSE to M Hayes – ‘Derogatory comments deliberately used to stir-up anti-Catholic hatred’ (September 11) – Protestant Churches have avoided legal responsibility for abuse, but this cannot be said for their moral responsibility.

In 2002 the Irish State did not include Protestant Churches in the 1.4 redress act. In fact, the 2015 Mother and Baby Homes Commission was the first to include Protestant homes.

M Hayes is right to ask the questions about what role did Protestant Church leaders  play in letting their children suffer the abuse that hundreds died from, but he/she should also  ask the question what part did the Pope and archbishops play in this horror story.  There is no doubt that the Catholic Church had a role in the abuse of Irish children, but Catholic children were not the only ones harmed.

If I may say so M Hayes needs to look into this, without having any sides, and no axe to grind, only to get to the truth and to try to understand how it really was.
You would have to look back to people like Archbishop Charles McQuaid, who left no stones unturned to rinse Protestantism out of Ireland. It was his type  of Church leaders that caused people like me to be put into any Protestant family. It did not matter if they could look after dumped children like me, it only mattered that they were
Protestant families. I thank God for the new Pope, as he is the first Church leader to be brave enough to stand up to the public and say he wants justice for his people. Now he has said it he needs to act. The Protestant Church has abandoned its people,

In my case, I was abandoned as a child and left to rot. 

The Irish state has spent hundreds of thousands of euro on Tuam, it did not give a penny to the Protestant research. We should now know exactly what happened. 

There is still much confusion surrounding how the babies were buried. This is not fair to survivors, nor is it fair to the taxpayers of Ireland. 

No-one can make a case that the Irish media gave the same coverage to the Bethany Home. This is despite the fact that it is in Dublin and the oldest baby and mother homes group in Ireland by many, many years. 
No group has the depth of research and they say that there is no equal  to our memorial by any group in  Ireland. Still you will not read about this in the Irish media like you will read about Tuam. 

How can that be right? The children’s minister  should know that there are 14 homes on the list of homes not just Tuam in the 2015 Baby and Mother Homes Commission.

Warwickshire, England


Bad management responsible for unsuccessful venture

A retired Japanese CEO once shocked the assembled staff of a very large western corporation by asking them what percentage of problems in their workplace they believed were management problems. Having received answers ranging from five to 50 per cent he went on to tell them that 100 per cent of their problems were management. In other words ‘the buck stops in only one place’. This philosophy was the main reason his former company were world No1 in their field, he claimed. All business managers take note.

Last weekend an average enough European golf team thrashed their American counterparts in the Ryder Cup. The course was tricky but the Europeans, in respect of this, had circa 240 practice and other rounds played, by their golfers, in the preceding months. The Americans, despite being warned of the difficult nature of the course, played just eight practice rounds. The Americans have proof that they have superior golfers, by their ranking positions, but, in this case, bad management was ultimately responsible for their unsuccessful venture – they failed to anticipate, prepare, plan and oversee.

For some weeks now we’ve been hearing about the RHI debacle. We’ve heard from all ranks of involvement with much contradictory evidence. Spads clearly got ahead of themselves in many cases and one senior minister, destined for party leadership, displayed some memory problems but, significantly, agreed that she was accountable but not responsible. Put simply, Arlene, the buck stops with you. 

Randalstown, Co Antrim


Brexit ‘strategy’ a cause for concern

The British government’s current Brexit ‘strategy’ should be of grave concern to everyone here. ‘Backstop’ arrangements are being proposed that would be protective of our unique circumstances and address some of the worst practical consequences of Brexit. The commission’s draft protocol is not perfect and it could go much further (for example, on rights and equality). However, the decision to contest key elements by a government in London that long ago retreated to a silly form of pre-1998 constitutional politics is remarkable. It is time for those who care for the well-being of this society to raise their voices against this ill-judged and irresponsible approach. Let us be clear. People here, across all communities, are being denied special arrangements that would be of enormous economic, social and political benefit. This must not go unchallenged and future generations will rightly question those who remain silent now. 

Belfast BT6


Cherish all children equally

As local chair of the all-Ireland pro-life group, Cherish all the Children Equally, I invite like-minded people from all religious and political backgrounds and none to join with us in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights campaign. 

We will assemble in the Guildhall Square at 3pm on Saturday to celebrate the movement whose members were drawn from all sectors of our society and which demanded a better future for our people. 

The struggle for civil rights in the north in 1968, along with other progressive political movements in Europe and the US, are today recognised as pivotal events which shaped our modern world. Cherish is a human rights organisation and recognises that without the right to life, all other rights are meaningless.  

Join with us to commemorate and celebrate the legacy of the Civil Rights campaign, and to promote a culture worthy of the Proclamation, which protects the most vulnerable, and cherishes all the children equally.

Chairman, Cherish Uladh


Credible SF response needed

After reading Paddy Murphy’s column – ‘Change of Sinn Fein’s time very confusing’ (September 15) – I think that Sinn Féin must reply to the comments made by Mr Murphy. Their supporters deserve nothing less. Surely Paddy Murphy, as a highly respected professor and political analyst, does not live in a fantasy land.
A credible response from Sinn Féin to allay fears among grass roots supporters must be forthcoming.

Over to you Mary Lou.

Newry, Co Down 

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