Irish Daily Mail

Why assisted dying must become legal in this country


I WAS struck by Gareth O’Callaghan’s life story (Mail, Saturday). In this moving article, I was not surprised to read that the evaluation of what could lie ahead leads him to support assisted dying.

The harrowing account of his disease and the changes it has brought in his life force him to make a courageous and no-holdsbarre­d evaluation of how to make sense of the remainder of his life. I write from personal experience as my wife committed suicide after a long struggle with cancer and uncontroll­ed pain.

In the absence of proper regulation, it led to me being treated like an accessory in my grief and the house became a scene of crime. She could no longer see any sense in prolonging a life devoid of the qualities she valued. That is why I am currently the convenor of the Northern Irish group of Dignity In Dying – and we hope the Assisted Dying Bill currently being debated in the Dáil passes.

The passing of this Bill would be the next progressiv­e, liberal cause for Ireland.

BERT RIMA, Belfast.

Farewell to a legend

I WANT to state how sad I was to hear about the recent passing of Shay Healy.

It’s my view that his legacy to this country was amazing and extraordin­ary vis-a-vis his contributi­on as a broadcaste­r, journalist and songwriter.

He presented Nighthawks, an

RTÉ television series which ran from 1988 to 1992. This series was unequivoca­lly avant-garde and was groundbrea­king in every sense of the word.

He always seemed to be very stoical about having Parkinson’s disease and to me he was the epitome and exemplar of hope for all those people who have to live with this disease.

A great heart has now stopped beating, a good soul has no doubt ascended into Heaven. May he now rest in peace.

JOHN O’BRIEN, Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny.

Gabriel’s masterpiec­e

I HAVE just finished reading Gabriel Byrne’s memoir Walking With Ghosts. We tend not to praise our own enough in this country.

This is an absolutely beautiful, poetic read. His descriptio­ns of his Dublin childhood are just mesmerisin­g.

A few of the childhood ghosts he describes I can well relate to from my own time growing up in Dublin. Both good and bad.

To escape the bad, just like Gabriel, I enjoyed taking a trip to the pictures (as movies were called in the 1960s). It was at the pictures that I dreamed of becoming a movie star. Unlike Gabriel, I’m still dreaming.

The author Colum McCann writes on the flap of the book: ‘Make no mistake about it: this is a masterpiec­e.’ He does not exaggerate.

BRIAN McDEVITT, Glenties, Co. Donegal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland