Dear Editor, The concept of ‘safe access zones’ around places that provide abortion is still being bandied about, most recently by Limerick City and County councillors. A group of councillors do not have the power to deprive people of the right to pray quietly outside abortion clinics for the unborn children losing their lives through abortion.
It is an attack on democracy that has been masterfully wrapped up by pro-choice activists as a compassionate thing to do. Even the language is false. The idea of a ‘safe access zone’ implies that these areas currently are unsafe when that is far from the case. Even the Garda Commissioner in 2019 said bringing in legislation for ‘safe access zones’ was unnecessary as they already have laws in place to protect people from harassment etc.
Pro-abortion campaigners have long been trying to quash any discussion about abortion before and after the referendum, often falling back to snide comments and emotional, not factual, language. This was epitomised when former TD Kate O’Connell said to pro-life advocates in the Dáil in the winter of 2019, “We won. You lost… it must be hurting”.
Unluckily for them, the third of people who voted against abortion have not disappeared and their voices will not be silenced.
Waterford City, Waterford
Dangers of othering the unvaccinated
Dear Editor, Some have taken exception to Mattie McGrath TD referring to the treatment of Jews in the run up to the Holocaust, during the recent Dáil debate on the introduction of vaccine passports for indoor-catering.
Are we not going down that same road of “othering” those who won’t or can’t vaccinate/comply; isolating them, making their presence unwanted and even their motives suspect? So often such exclusion can have regrettable unintended consequences.
For those facing marginalisation, “choosing” to vaccinate will become less and less based upon an assessment of its morality, necessity and efficacy. Rather it will be taken under duress; pressure to conform from an overbearing media, the very real threat of social exclusion and dire career implications.
Concerning indoor-dining, the Government could have followed the vaccine roll out age-based approach with each age-cohort being admitted when it was considered to have herd immunity.
For some, this pandemic has been a shot-in-the-arm to their popularity, while for big-pharma and high-tech companies it has become a money-spinning bonanza. It is just so difficult to know in whose interest it is to tell the truth or to step back from denigrating those whose appraisal of the situation sets them apart from the herd.
Lee Road, Cork
Voluntary contributions keep poorly funded Catholic schools afloat
Dear Editor, Ruadhán Jones’ [IC 15/07/2021] article on ‘voluntary contributions’ deserves serious consideration by every Catholic Parents Association. Almost all secondary parents are faced with massive costs of bespoke uniform and even more expensive books. Added to this is the annual demand for ‘voluntary contributions’ averaging €150 per student. So much for the notion of free education!
When some years ago I queried some of these costs I contacted the Catholic Secondary Schools Parents Association (CSSPA) and I was given ESRI statistics which showed the extent of underfunding of Catholic secondary schools. I learned that compared to Education Training Board schools Catholic schools get 20% less capitation. In addition, Catholic secondaries alone are docked €562 per teacher. Baring this in mind, like the parents of 200,000 students attending Catholic secondaries I willingly joined them in paying the much-needed voluntary contribution.
Meanwhile the Department of Education claims that ‘voluntary contributions’ are discouraged when in fact fair funding of Catholic schools would eliminate this ongoing scandal.
Killarney, Co Kerry
Hoping for an Irish Christian Democratic party
Dear Editor, David Quinn succinctly described the growth of Christian democracy as a third option between unbridled capitalism and socialism [IC 15/07/2021]. The political situation here in Ireland for a voter is rather depressing considering the parties currently either running the country or vying for the steering wheel. I would find it difficult to vote for any one of them. However, a Christian Democratic party, similar to that of Germany, could be something to get behind – particularly as a party like this would value Europe’s Christian roots and culture.
Having a religious faith in Ireland means being quickly labelled by many people as either foolish, backward or a far-right lunatic. This is a country that is moving at breakneck speed towards secularism and when even the cultural Catholics stop receiving the sacraments and these ‘traditions’ end with more ‘woke’ individuals, there will be a gaping vacuum in society. People will look for something else to follow and believe and turn their backs on God. Mr Quinn writes that “The present political tide in Ireland will have to change again before people are ready for Christian Democratic-style answers to our problems…”
He is correct, perhaps this will happen with the new generation, whose parents have ardently rejected God to pursue lives of hubris and hedonism. Perhaps when these parents teach their children their ‘values’, the children may come to realise the drab emptiness of their existence and come looking for the truth. Perhaps this will translate into a Christian Democratic party?
This is of course hypothetical. Anyone who understands Ireland’s political circumstances will see this as rather far fetched considering the depth of anti-Church feeling that exists in the Dáil, but we live in hope.