A 10-year an­niver­sary Ber­tie won’t talk about

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - LETTERS - Write to: Your Let­ters, Ir­ish Mail on Sun­day, Em­bassy House, Balls­bridge, Dublin 4 Email: let­ters@mailon­sun­day.ie

BER­TIE Ah­ern has been mak­ing great po­lit­i­cal cap­i­tal on the 20th an­niver­sary of the Good Fri­day Agree­ment, ap­pear­ing in public with Bill Clin­ton and Ge­orge Mitchell, and giv­ing more in­ter­views than he has in years. One would al­most think that Ber­tie is prim­ing him­self up for some kind of come­back. What­ever could that be? An­other an­niver­sary oc­curred re­cently with lit­tle me­dia or po­lit­i­cal fan­fare. This was the 10th an­niver­sary of the ‘St Pa­trick’s Day Mas­sacre’ in the Ir­ish Stock Ex­change in March 2008, which most ex­perts iden­tify as the tip­ping point for the sub­se­quent im­plo­sion of the Ir­ish econ­omy and years of aus­ter­ity.

In­stead of end­lessly tak­ing about the Good Fri­day Agree­ment, per­haps Ber­tie could speak pub­licly about his (far greater) con­tri­bu­tion to the eco­nomic col­lapse of Ire­land? Chance would be a fine thing!

Cather­ine Flynn, Tip­per­ary town, Co. Tip­per­ary.

De­fend­ing Catholics

I AM not sure why the first gay priest to marry is sur­prised that some Catholics have a prob­lem with his life­style (MoS, April 8).

As he states him­self only a small mi­nor­ity of Catholics made per­sonal at­tacks on him.This is not to be con­doned. It is in­cor­rect to in­fer that all de­vout Catholics hate gays.That is not true.

You can’t be a de­vout Catholic and hate. It’s a case of ‘love the sin­ner, hate the sin’.

I as­sume that if he be­came a priest he must have taken Holy Or­ders and been made well aware of the Church’s teach­ing on sex­u­al­ity. If he did not agree with the Church’s teach­ing, why did he be­come a priest? I doubt any­one put a gun to his head.

You may not agree with the Church’s teach­ing on sex­u­al­ity but Catholics are en­ti­tled to their be­liefs. We live in an in­creas­ingly sec­u­lar world where re­li­gion is scoffed at and de­rided. There is a lot of talk about ‘equal­ity and tol­er­ance’. It’s a pity these virtues are not ex­tended to any­one who is not sec­u­lar.

John Finn, Ballincol­lig, Co. Cork.

Our roam­ing mayor

DUBLIN Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Don­n­cha trav­elled to the West Bank for a con­fer­ence at the in­vi­ta­tion of the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity.

Mr Mac Don­n­cha is a sup­porter of the Pales­tini­ans and has in the past sup­ported boy­cotts of Is­raeli prod­ucts sup­pos­edly on foot of Is­raeli ‘op­pres­sion’ of the Pales­tini­ans. Israel in­tended to refuse him en­try, but he slipped in be­cause of a cler­i­cal er­ror.

All well and good. Mr Mac Don­n­cha was safe and sound, and no doubt had a com­fort­able stay as he lac­er­ated Israel for its treat­ment of Pales­tini­ans.

But his visit raises some ques­tions. Firstly, what on earth has all this got to do with a lord mayor of Dublin? Does he think an Ir­ish may­oralty en­ti­tles him to in­ter­fere in a far­away coun­try?

Se­condly, is Mr Mac Don­n­cha aware that just a few hun­dred miles from his com­fort­able West Bank ho­tel room, a real geno­cide was tak­ing place? Pres­i­dent As­sad of Syria, along with his Rus­sian al­lies, has wrought car­nage in the rebel area of East­ern Ghouta, us­ing chem­i­cal weapons to mur­der in­no­cent men, women and chil­dren.

Where is your ou­trage about that, lord mayor? In your delu­sional world view the only vil­lain is Israel. The vi­o­lence and chaos through­out the Arab world doesn’t seem to reg­is­ter on your moral com­pass.

Take off your blink­ers, Mr Mac Don­n­cha, and go to East­ern Ghouta to help the stricken vic­tims of this Arab holo­caust. Per­haps then you might have some au­thor­ity to lec­ture Israel about its in­ter­nal af­fairs. Slip into Syria un­no­ticed and see how that goes for you. John O’Sul­li­van, Car­ri­ga­line, Co. Cork.

Hur­ray for Facebook

I DO not have a Facebook ac­count, never had and never will, but what a clever idea. This so­cial net­work has man­aged to bring so many peo­ple to­gether and has played its part in help­ing to make our world a bet­ter place.

Best of luck to Mark Zucker­berg for his bril­liant in­no­va­tion and in my book he de­serves ev­ery bil­lion he has made from it.

No doubt when he dreamt up this con­cept he had no idea that it would be abused as it has and I don’t see how it is fair to be­rate him for his lack of fore­sight.

Isn’t it most for­tu­nate that the in­ven­tor of the wheel came about way be­fore the 21st cen­tury? If he had come about in this stupid era, the poor ge­nius would need to spend ev­ery hour in court de­fend­ing him­self in ev­ery ac­ci­dent case in­volv­ing a bike, car, bus or trac­tor.

But then again, there was no fi­nan­cial re­ward in this in­ven­tion, hence no jeal­ousy. And sure isn’t that what it’s all about?

John K Kenny, Dublin 5.

CLeVer IDeA: Mark Zucker­berg

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