The collapse of moral standards

Dear Editor, David Quinn writes about the ‘anything goes’ sexual morality of teenagers today. But it’s not just standards of sexual morality that have fallen. Irish moral standards in general have collapsed.


I lost my mobile phone today, and I am distraught.


It’s not just that the phone contained irreplaceable photographs of my children and grandchildren; it’s not just that I haven’t saved the contacts anywhere else; it’s not that, having just been made redundant, I can’t afford nearly €400 to replace this almost-new Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s the fact that someone found the phone – and kept it.


My contact details – my email address and my wife’s mobile number – were written inside the light green leather cover of the phone, so the finder doesn’t have the excuse that he (or she) doesn’t know who the rightful owner is. The phone fell out of my bag between my car and the post office in Nutgrove, Rathfarnham, a distance of perhaps 100 yards. Within minutes I retraced my steps, but it had gone.


Last weekend, I found a fat wallet while clearing up after a barbeque. Nobody saw me pick it up, but I didn’t even open it. I handed it straight to a bank manager who was standing nearby, and I presume it’s now back with its rightful owner. I wouldn’t have considered doing anything else.


But whoever found my mobile phone didn’t have any such scruples. By the law of probabilities, it was probably a baptised Catholic who picked it up, since such people represent the overwhelming majority of the Republic’s citizens. (I doubt that the thief was a reader of the Irish Catholic.)


However, he (or she) probably went to a Catholic school where he (or she) should have learned the Catholic moral code, that’s it’s wrong to steal, to take or keep something that isn’t yours.


Was the thief taught that? I doubt it. Has the thief (if he still attends Mass) ever heard a sermon about theft? About punishment for mortal sin? Or does he just laugh at such ‘fables’ and carry on living his life however he likes?


I wonder.


Yours etc.,

Kieron Wood,


Dublin 16.