Letters to the Editor
Please note that letters will not be published unless they are accompanied by full name and address (not necessarily for publication).
Ellen Birnie and Nessa Gaffney (both age 9), would like to say a big thank you to family, friend s and neighbours, who supported their bake sale last Saturday.
A special thank you to Ellen’s Grandad Billy, for hosting it.
They raised €419.80 in aid of the DSPCA
On the 8th Amendment
I read with interest Mr Kelly’s letter of May 20th regarding the upcoming referendum. Mr Kelly is right when he says that both sides in this debate have reasonable concerns. It is a sign of the strength of our Republic that we are able to have a robust debate about this most important of issues.
Mr Kelly’s letter, however, is consistent with much of the recent commentary coming from the Yes campaign. Over the last week, we have seen the Taoiseach attacking RTE over their televised debate, the Minister for Health attacking the Catholic Church for commenting on the referendum and now we have Mr Kelly criticising a Catholic priest for preaching Catholic teaching regarding the sanctity of human life. Little in life surprises me but I must say this did surprise me.
It appears that the Yes side, who have spent the last twenty years calling for this referendum, no longer want to debate the issues but merely want this referendum passed with as little discussion as possible. Indeed, the Yes campaign is beginning to remind me of George Orwell’s Animal farm. Repeal is the windmill in Animal Farm. There must be total dedication to its erection (the campaign) and the project (repeal) must never be questioned.
Mr Kelly also argues that it is a pity that Fr Curran couldn’t extend his caring and compassion to women and children but it is he, not Fr Curran, who is advocating the removal of the constitutional protection of the unborn child. It is worth noting that nobody else – not any mother, neither Mr Kelly nor I – will have our rights removed if the 8th amendment is repealed. The defenceless unborn child is the only person who will lose this constitutional protection.
With the leaders of every major political party, the media and establishment Ireland campaigning to repeal the 8th amendment, I am proud that the Catholic Church stands on the side of the thousands of ordinary people who are campaigning to protect the right to life of all unborn babies.
Mr Kelly ends his letter with a thinly veiled attack on the Catholic Church and its record. The Catholic Church is far from perfect but it worth remembering a quote by former President McAleese, a frequent critic of the church, who when asked why she was still a member said “I stay now because I choose. I choose to be one of 1.2 billion people spread across five continents, part of an institution that has no equal on the planet in terms of its outreach to the poor, the dispossessed, to the marginalised, part of an institution (that can be) the hands of God’s work in the world.”
I will end, as I begun, by agreeing with Mr Kelly. No institution or individual should sway your vote, but if Bono and Brian O’Driscoll can publically advocate for Yes then the Catholic Church is well within its rights to take a public position.