Letters to the Editor

Fantastic yarn still fools pilgrims worldwide 139 years later

JDP McAllion refers to Eucharistic miracles in Poland and Argentina, (November 21) and tells us that they were verified by science. The contradiction here must have escaped him. It seems to have escaped him also that the shroud of Turin has proven to be a fake and no message was ever reported from the heavenly visitors at Knock.

He is right though about the witness reference to the dryness of the wall after heavy rainfall. But after rainfall a gable wall could be completely or partially dry depending upon the direction of the wind and rain.

And I must inform Sean Taggart (November 30) that I have not read the account of the Knock incident by sociologist Eugene Hynes. On the contrary my suspicions about this incident were originally raised when I first visited Knock museum and read the church’s own official version of what happened that night.

The timing and location of this incident were particularly suspicious.

It happened only four days after a massive crowd protested outside the church about a controversial and inflammatory sermon by Fr Cavanagh, and after the Fenians had allegedly threatened to cut his ears off. It seemed odd that no heavenly intervention happened when over one million souls were dying of starvation, but only when the Church itself and the clergy at Knock were in crisis. And why did Cavanagh (or any other priest) not come out to investigate the commotion outside his church?
After all, Cavanagh had previously met one of these heavenly visitors – St Joseph once met him on the coastal road between Westport and Murrisk (region of Croagh Patrick) and gave him a donation towards his home for unmarried mothers. Why did these visitors from heaven leave no message? And why was Cavanagh appointed by the Church to conduct the enquiry into this incident?

Every twist and turn of this sordid little drama has skulduggery written all over it. And yet this fantastic yarn still fools pilgrims from throughout the world 139 years later. Perhaps this is the only case that can be made for a miracle.

But I must concede the possibility of a miraculous visitation from heaven. And it is equally possible that Jack really did climb up on that beanstalk. Little Red Riding Hood’s granny really did get swallowed by that wolf and fairy godmother’s appear in my back garden.

JACK DUFFIN
Belfast BT11

 

Comprehensive treaty needed to bring real democracy to EU

What appears to be finally on offer to the British public, following Theresa May’s negotiations with the EU, is a poor compromise on Brexit. It would be better to remain in the European Union until a sensible and rational solution to leaving is found which can work to the satisfaction of most of the UK.

Alternatively, we could use Nigel Farage as a yardstick and just leave, his mantra has always been Brexit, ever since he entered the European parliament, an institution that he is still part of, receiving his full salary and expenses – nice work if you can get it.

During the enlargement of the union, the treaties which followed whittled away our rights as countries and as citizens. I place the blame for this on leaders who signed these treaties with scant regard for their electorate, who have since finished up with an undemocratic European Union.

Is it any wonder that people want out.

Two countries rejected two treaties, one being Ireland and the other, I believe, the Netherlands.

This was quickly rectified by holding another vote in each instance, thus obtaining the correct outcome by intense ‘positive’ media coverage.

Perhaps, to bring real democracy to this institution what is needed is a comprehensive treaty, one which cancels all previous treaties.

A start could be made in formulating it by introducing universal healthcare, free at the point of use; a subsidised public transport road/rail network which is maintained to the highest standard; a decent living wage overall. These are just three suggestion which would begin to make this union one which other nations would be envious of, one worth emulating themselves.
We have an abundance of intelligent, progressive people to develop such ideas, even though they go against the grain of current policy. 

At present, we seem to be electing people who are more interested in being corporate managers, or self-servers, instead of honest delegates representing their constituents.
This needs to change before any radical solutions can be attained nationally.

EDWARD MURPHY
Ballycastle, Co Antrim

 

Maintaining the union

According to Alex Kane (November 23), “Irrespective of what happens re the final Brexit deal – or no deal – the union between NI and GB is still dependent on the will of the people here.”

Strictly speaking, the union is between unionists and GB, the rest of us are basically ‘political prisoners’ so to speak. In theory, a border poll could end the union and create a united Ireland. But unionists want to remain part of the union and don’t want to be part of a united Ireland. How would they react if they were outvoted in a border poll?

Unionists will soon be celebrating 100 years of separate statehood and self-determination. What’s the point of forcing them to accept a united Ireland? Or what’s the point of forcing Irish people in Northern Ireland to accept the union? Is there a third option, namely equal self-determination and equal sovereignty?

MALACHY SCOTT
Belfast BT15

 

Democracy

Fanatic Remainers who said that we need a second vote after 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU in 2016 curiously now insist that Theresa May’s Brexit deal is the only deal in town and that the negotiations are over.

Remain politicians have decided that the people who elect them are less important than their EU overlord unelected bureaucrats.

M CAIRNS
Belfast BT15

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