Letters to the Editor

Contributor shows a distinct lack of knowledge of the Catholic Faith

Suneil Sharma shows distinct lack of knowledge of the Catholic Faith despite his protestation that he is only criticising “the institution” (July 6).

According to Mr Sharma, Joe Biden has just received “a Christian Brothers’ type beating” from the American bishops. No he has not.

Hopefully, however, in due course he will be reminded that not even the president of America can stridently promote abortion and receive the Holy Eucharist at Mass.

Mr Sharma seeks also to disguise the reality of abortion behind the popular euphemism of “a woman’s right to choose”. In this case, the ‘right to choose’ is not about a menu or a wardrobe, but concerns the termination of another human being.

No woman and no man has such a right and it undermines and endangers the entire concept of actual human rights to claim abortion as a so-called ‘right’.

The child in the womb has the right to life – the most fundamental human right. That basic right is not conferred on the child but is innate to each unique girl and boy.

When society and individuals deny the child in the womb the right to life, it is always morally wrong. The child in the womb is not part of the woman’s body. He and she is a separate and unique person. The child is entrusted to the mother’s nurturing care and not intended to be deliberately terminated.

It might fit Mr Sharma’s stereotypes to dismiss those who oppose  abortion as, among other things, “old white males”.

Nevertheless, the reality is that there are hundreds and thousands of us in Ireland and millions all over the world, of all ages and backgrounds – including, of course, women of all ages – who will never cease to expose abortion and oppose it.

We will seek to dissuade people from it and for society to rethink abortion. We will call those who promote it and those who procure and commit it to repent. We will do so because abortion is unworthy of our humanity.

Belfast BT12


DUP stuck in quagmire of the past

Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson, Arlene Foster, Edwin Poots and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson - you might as well add Barney Flintstone to this list of DUP leaders as no matter who is at the head, the party is sadly stuck in the distant past. This must be the only political party anywhere that has not moved with the times during its entire existence.

This is the party that, despite its leader, has constantly denied women their rights, has doggedly denied Irish speakers their rights and has vigorously denied our LGBT+ community their rights.

This is a party steeped in scandal from Red Sky to Nama to the most recent RHI scandal which rocked the party to its roots.

This is also the party whose individual members have behaved in the most atrocious manner. We have Ian Paisley jnr suspended from the House of Commons, we have photographic evidence of Sammy Wilson openly flouting Covid rules by not wearing a face mask on public transport and we have the aforementioned Paisley cavorting on stage ridiculing our health minister. This is the health minister whose work during the pandemic has been nothing short of exceptional.

This is also the same party that cosied up with Boris Johnson and his ultra conservative English nationalist government to achieve a hard Brexit. Then, when the deal was signed off, the DUP were immediately up in arms protesting that the agreement they had just helped to negotiate put the future of the six counties in jeopardy. Not a good sign of any future planning by a political party – but then no surprise either.

For several decades the DUP played second fiddle to the UUP, taking over as the largest unionist party when the UUP fell into disarray. This is a situation which could now be overturned at the assembly elections next year. The DUP is now washing its dirty linen in public and may well soon pay the price.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin look set to become the largest party in the north, and maybe even in the south, and would take the position of First Minister. How would the DUP defend this outcome to its blinkered electorate?

The DUP continues to do what it has always done in the past and to hold on to the coat tail of the Conservatives despite the Tories’ increasing contempt for them. The DUP continues to fail to prepare for the future and the inevitable changes which are coming our way. They prefer to believe that things will remain the same as they were over the last 100 years. The really sad thing is that there doesn’t appear to be anything that anyone can do to cure this ailment and the DUP seem destined to become increasingly out of touch with reality.

Craigavon, Co Armagh


Better to get rid of Better

The article – ‘Council apps criticised as unfit for purpose in city’s leisure centres’ (July 7) – has encouraged me to write this letter of complaint about the Better system that the Belfast City Council has put in place.
First, I can no longer use the phone to call my local leisure centre as Better has centralised all phone calls. It took me 30 minutes to get through to some call centre in England to ask about booking and the information was no use. Second, my relatives who are unemployed cannot book facilities because they do not have a bank card. Even worse, they are not allowed to pay cash at the reception. Is this to prevent people who are on benefits and do not have access to bank cards from using the centres?
As the article says, it affects many people, not just elderly, who do not use the internet for booking etc.

This has nothing to do with Covid.
I rang Lisburn Leisure Centre and actually got an answer from a receptionist who told me that whilst a person might not be able to turn up on the day and get in for a swim without booking, they can pay cash and book for a swim for another day. Lisburn and other centres do not use Better – Belfast is the only council area that does. It has more to do with reducing the workforce and saving money. Better get rid of Better and establish a system fit for purpose in its place.

Belfast BT15


Goodness trumps all

May I through your good paper offer a big thank you to the young lady who paid for my car parking at the public car on the Ormeau Road on Thursday June 17. I was without cash as we are so used to paying for everything since Covid by credit card.

Why one cannot pay their car parking by credit card amazes me in this day and age. Belfast City Council needs to move into the 21st century.

Clondalkin, Dublin 22

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