Dear Editor, It was warming to know that you wrote about the perils of excessive drinking, especially at Christmas in your paper (IC 20/12/18). Our society doesn’t take drinking seriously enough which has caused more deaths and destroyed more families than one could imagine.
The figures you cited which say that 74% of people drinking to excess is “just part of Irish culture” is appalling and really goes to show how deep this damaging practice is ingrained in us.
Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with having a few glasses here and there, and maybe a bit extra at Christmas as it is an occasion of celebration, but this is not what is practiced in Ireland. Thousands upon thousands are binge drinking daily, and this only gets worse at the weekend, where young people especially are consuming alcohol well-beyond what they can handle.
This has a disastrous effect on your health both mentally and physically, and really reorients how you live your life.
Matt Boylan, President of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, said that when it comes to drinking you need to “stop before you act” as it can take over your whole body before you realise it.
He added that we need to change our “attitude” towards drinking and I think that remark is spot on. Alcohol doesn’t need to be consumed at every single celebratory occasion, on every holiday you have and on every weekend. With 2019 starting, this can be the year where you start afresh by drinking alcohol in a healthier and more monitored way!
The story of Christmas is so empowering
Dear Editor, Christmas is a time for all of us to reflect on who we are, why we’re here and where we are going. I think at this time of year people are more pensive as they think back on not only what they’ve achieved in the past year, but what they’ve lost. Friends are gained and friends are lost, and this is the same case for family members. For some, this Christmas was tinged with the death of a deceased loved one, be it a husband or wife, father or mother, or son or daughter.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t really prepare us for these eventualities, so you have to deal it with head on when it finally happens. As someone who has gone through this time and time again, there has only been one thing that kept me strong: my faith in God. When the world seems to be beating you down, and life feels irrational, the citadel which keeps me grounded is the story of Christmas, that God became flesh so that death would no longer be the end.
Offence is taken so easily these days!
Dear Editor, Mary Kenny writes the Swedes are now calling Christmas ‘Winter Festival’ so as not to offend Muslims or people of other faiths who do not celebrate Christmas (IC 27/12/18). What is the world coming to when we can’t even celebrate our own faith tradition with our own language?
We get so easily offended nowadays, so-much-so that people are afraid to say anything in case someone takes discomfort with it. Words, no matter what they mean bar incitement to violence, should not be restricted. If you don’t like what someone is saying, ignore it or stop associating with the person. But you shouldn’t compel or force anyone not to say a string of words.
Very little respect for religious iconography any more
Dear Editor, I was dismayed with the news that at least three nativity scenes across Ireland in December were trespassed, and some vandalised (IC 27/12/18). In the same breath, however, I’m not really that surprised given how anti-Catholic Ireland has become in the past few decades or so.
While many people have suggested that these attacks were mere one-offs and probably had no anti-religious sentiment attached to them, I am swayed by a more cynical, although I think truer, outlook. Those nativity scenes were deliberately intruded upon, firstly, because there is no respect for religious iconography, imagery and traditions anymore, and secondly, to evoke a reaction from the local community. I really do hope attacks like these become less frequent and the law enforcement deals with them properly – our Faith is not a joke, and should be treated with respect like any other religious tradition.
Newry, Co. Down.
We must never give up in the face of adversity
Dear Editor, Peadar Toíbín’s new pro-life party will give a voice to those who feel they have been rejected and ignored by Ireland’s politicians on this contentious issue. Almost a third of the population voted against the removal of the Eighth Amendment, and to have a party united for one cause will hopefully make a dent in future legislation. While we did face a big blow in May, if history tells us anything, it is not to give up in the face of adversity. I think people will look back in a century on the Ireland we created in May and wonder why it was ever allowed to happen. But as the saying goes, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Fingal, Co. Dublin.