Letters to the Editor

Importance of Mass for Catholics was not lost on cardinal

The Marian Shrine at Knock in Co Mayo is a representation of the apparition that appeared at the site in 1879 

YOUR article, page 3, March 20, about Knock as an International Marian and Eucharistic shrine is very good. However, there is only one key point about the apparition on the gable wall of the parish church, which is almost entirely ignored. It shows a lamb at the foot of a cross on an altar as the central feature.

The church, 1879, is dedicated to St John the Baptist.
It was the Baptist who first recognised Jesus at the Jordan as the Lamb of God, while St John the Evangelist witnessed the Sacrifice of the Lamb, from his agony in Gethsemane to his death on the cross.

The Mass in Catholic churches again and again makes present the sacrifice in an unbloody fashion, so that we can literally eat and drink Jesus as the consecrated bread and wine. It is also worth noting that St John the Evangelist is one of the first 12 Apostles ordained priests in persona Christi and commanded by Jesus at the last supper to also consecrate bread and wine.

In penal times in Ireland the priests were hunted down in an attempt to abolish the Mass, which is absolutely central to Catholicism. This was after the Reformation. The Mass was still celebrated in scheduled places in the countryside on rocks as altars. The laity walked long distances into the hills to be present at these Mass rocks with their priests, so they kept their faith against persecution. It is now sad that many are now losing this understanding of the Mass and the Eucharist in this age of affluence. There is a famous Mass rock on the Bishop’s mountain in Loughinisland in the townland of Tievenadarragh where I was born and reared. The bishop in question was Rev Dr MacMullan, born 1752, died 1824.

I remember being at Mass on the mountain one Sunday afternoon when the celebrant, the late Canon Bernard Magee and Fr Sexton Doran, arrived on a tractor driven up from the bishop’s town, a small village at the foot of the mountains.

The late Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich, who died in 1990 at Lourdes, encouraged his priests to say an annual Mass at their parish Mass rocks. He understood the apparition at Knock and its significance for the Irish with their historical devotion to Mary and the Rosary, as well as to the Mass.

Professor John Rooney


Commentator Brolly deserved better but air time cut too short

CLAIRE Byrne Live on the 22nd March was an excellent programme.
The broadcaster is one of the best and did a great job with the exception of one mistake.
I am of course referring to the piece with Joe Brolly being cut off the air while being interviewed.

Many viewers would have been angry at the previous interview with Gregory Campbell who behaved in a very annoying manner.
What Mr Brolly said in the very short time he was given was close to the truth. 

Many of the DUP politicians think they can get away with sarcastic comments on RTÉ and not be challenged and many can see through this behaviour.
Joe Brolly is a very decent person and that has been shown down through the years in all his dealings.

Many will think this man deserves better. 

TJ Carragher  
Co Armagh


Let Ireland turn to our ‘dear neighbour’ in our hour of need

SO far, quite a number of the taoiseach’s ‘game-changers’ take on the appearance of non-starters.Vaccine ‘roll out’ is more in the line of ‘un-roll-out’.

Do we have to live like this, forever lagging behind the good management of our dearest neighbour, Britain?

Waiting on the good nature of the EU to come to our aid is seen by Brussels as Éire again with the begging bowl.
We are disrespected at every turn by that failing entity.

Let us turn to Britain, where to be Irish is seen as deserving of equal consideration as their own citizens, when needs must.

Westminster is our friend.

Robert Sullivan
Co Cork


Need to present unionism with benefits of Irish unity

THE significance of the comments made by Gregory Campbell MP to Claire Byrne on RTÉ should not be overlooked. Although delivered in his trademark smirking style his acceptance that unionism is now one of three minorities in an ‘Ulster’ that is as Irish as it is British represents an unprecedented recognition on the part of the DUP that the political landscape has changed fundamentally. One of the most positive aspects of this accelerating change is the growing willingness within civic unionism to listen to the case for reunification.
This further reinforces the need for detailed planning to set out the social and economic benefits of a reunified Ireland in advance of a border poll, which even the DUP now accepts will take place. 

Paul Laughlin


Must-read paper is a life-saver in these difficult times

I WANT to send thanks and good wishes to all at The Irish News for keeping going during this past year. The paper is a must read for me every day. I want to say a particular word of thanks to Anita Robinson and Nuala McCann. To me they are the best features writers of any publication in these islands. They have been a life saver to so many.
Sometime maybe an exhibition of Mal McCann’s photos? Wonderful!

P Walsh


Electorate waits to have its say

THE SDLP’s two MPs have signed the parliamentary letter urging Robin Swann to increase the abortion regime momentum forced on us by British MPs and encouraged by Sinn Féin.

We’ve already had 1,091 abortions here since March 2020.

Will pro-life SDLP members stand idly by?

Elections loom... the electorate awaits...

Fintan Burns
Co Down

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