Dear Editor, Last week, thousands of school children across Ireland received Leaving Cert results and for those up North, A-Level results. The years leading up to this moment were filled with stress, tears and feelings of uselessness. There is so much pressure on kids to achieve top grades, so-much-so that many use them as metric to define their worth. I’m sure there were plenty of smiles and sighs of relief as students received what they wanted, but alongside this elation were pupils who didn’t meet their expectations, or those of their parents.
It’s in this vein that I was happy to read in your paper (IC 15/08/19) Bro. Martin Bennett reminding everyone that this sheet of paper doesn’t “define your worth”. He didn’t mingle his words either by saying that grades are irrelevant. They are important and provide one with great opportunities, but this doesn’t mean they are the end all and be all.
He also gave excellent practical advice in directing those who are feeling distressed about their results to speak to their family in friends. Intentionally isolating oneself from the rest of the world during a period of intense sadness is a recipe made for disaster. Whatever result you or your child received this year, keep in mind that we’re all made in the image of God and are loved dearly.
Future of RTÉ depends on two big changes
Dear Editor, I enjoyed reading John McGuirk’s insightful article (IC 08/08/19) on RTÉ’s financial difficulties. Two things need to happen to RTÉ going forward. Firstly, its status as ‘national broadcaster’ needs to be revoked. RTÉ has not taken this responsibility seriously for a very long time.
Instead of providing fair and balanced coverage as it is required to do under law, it has relentlessly promoted the agenda of a particular ideological sector of Irish society.
Secondly because of this the licence fee needs to be abolished. This will force RTÉ to live in the real world with its competitors and either sink or swim. The days of the licence fee are coming to an end and RTÉ and the government are walking on thin ice in inflicting it on everyone.
Virtual money no worse in churches than hard cash
Dear Editor, After reading Chai Brady’s piece (IC 15/08/19) about cashless card machines for churches, I still believe that they should adapted up and down the country. The article detailed how the machines are currently “too difficult” to use, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea; only that it has been implemented to its optimal level. Perhaps after the trial run, the technology will be sufficiently advanced and reliable to be smoothly functional.
Understandably, there are plenty of parishioners who believe that churches shouldn’t house card machines – it emits the feeling that places of worship have been reduced to commercial buildings. I am sympathetic to that viewpoint, but what’s the difference between donating physical money as opposed to virtual cash? This hesitation is groundless. With less and less people carrying coins and notes, card machines are the way forward.
What kind of research is this?
Dear Editor, A report in your newspaper (IC 08/08/19) referred to research on the positive aspects of pornography. The views expressed in this report would, I believe, be shared by many people but I would refer to one implication of this which I consider to be of some relevance.
PhD degrees are, in my understanding, awarded on the basis of painstaking and thorough research which contributes to the expansion of scientific knowledge and are highly regarded. If the research described in the report is the substance of a submission for a PhD degree, as is implied, then one wonders about the practices of the institution involved.
A defeat on the battlefield doesn’t mean it’s all over
Dear Editor, Peter Costello’s book review (IC 15/08/19) sums up that a decisive victory in war is a myth makes for an interesting premise. However, the noted strategic thinker, Dr Colin Gray would beg to differ. He holds to the example of the USN victory at Midway in June 1942.
As an operational decisive victory, it aided to the decisive strategic victory of 1945, by denying the means for the Japanese to continue their expansion in the SE Pacific and placing the offensive into the hands of the allies.
With regards to the Boyne, the Jacobite forces regrouped and within a year were strong enough, with French backing to come close to victory at Aughrim in 1691. Similarly, Culloden in 1746 ended Jacobitism as both a military and political reality for good. The failure of a French invasion, both in 1744 and in 1745 was the final denial for a realistic attempt at a Stuart restoration. The later serious invasion attempt in 1759 by the French met with Jacobite indifference, thus convincing Louis XV of it being a waste of time.
Peter concludes with a vision that current war is conducted with the mentality of the Call of Duty game franchise; this is not feasible, since war will always need boots on the ground.
Fr John McCallion,