Letters to the Editor: Fathers and families need to take share of blame 

Letters to the Editor: Fathers and families need to take share of blame 

One issue that needs to be highlighted in the context of mother and baby homes is the question of fatherhood. Justice demands that those fathers who abandoned those young pregnant girls should be obliged to own up to their responsibility.

Families too have to take their share of the blame when they abandoned their vulnerable young daughters.

Nuala Nolan

Bowling Green, Galway

Fathers turned back on offspring

Cal Hyland (Letters, January 12) states that neither the Taoiseach nor the Government should apologise for what happened in the mother and baby homes but rather those parents who turned their backs on their daughters in their hour of need. Does Mr Hyland have a view as to the responsibility of the fathers of these babies who also turned their backs on their offspring?

Tom Cooper

Templeogue, Dublin 6W

Don't let scandal be swept away

The mother and baby homes must be one of the greatest scandals ever in this State.

The crimes committed against innocent women and babies by this state are unforgivable. Nine thousand of our citizens died in these homes.

The clergy of this country had a lot to do with all of this and had too much power over communities. Those in power throughout this period and had a duty of care which they utterly failed to honour.

We have heard far too many belated apologies given to people like Joanne Hayes (wrongly accused of murdering an infant in Kerry more than 35 years ago). 

The focus should be on achieving real justice in a timely and appropriate way for all scandals and not sweep under the carpet, hoping things will go away. They never will.

Noel Harrington

Kinsale, Co Cork

Many acted with good intentions

It is important that we take time to read the mother and baby homes report.

There were many negative aspects to our past, particularly in relation to sexual morality. Sex outside of marriage was a scandal, yet child abuse was hidden away.

Catholic and Christian thinking in the last century, with its emphasis on human depravity rather than on love and forgiveness, has left a painful legacy for many. 

But it is important not to demonise all those who actually worked within the homes, as many acted with good intentions, when there was no one else to care for women with a crisis pregnancy.

Frank Browne

Templeogue, Dublin 16

Stop the suffering happening now

The report on mother and baby homes is harrowing, indeed the desire to turn away is almost overbearing. But we must face it, indeed we must do more than just face it, we must turn over every stone to ensure that there are no fellow citizens having to endure such injustices today.

Very quickly we will see the truth. Mothers and their children are still being hidden away, parked in “family hubs”, hostels and worse, due to a housing crisis that was created directly by government policy that put access to a secure home beyond them.

And due to the same ideologically driven policies, it is predominantly female lone parents who must struggle each day with precarious access to utilities and other basics as they rear our future generation.

Mr Martin and his government can do little about past sins, words are useless. But they have it in their hands to change the present and stop the suffering.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Sligo

Church charitable exemption wrong

The religious orders cannot be compelled to contribute to a redress scheme for the former residents of mother and baby homes. 

Why, then, are we taxpayers compelled to fund their activities by means of charitable tax exemption?

Bernie Linnane

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

Pleading ignorance on crisis pregnancy

People are appalled at the revelations from the mother and baby homes.

Is the contemporary solution more humane? We like to plead ignorance of what happened to crisis pregnancies decades ago. Will we do likewise in the future?

Aileen Hooper

Stoneybatter, Dublin 7

Covid test for flying visitors a no-brainer

All flight passengers now require a negative Covid test to enter Ireland. To quote Billie Eilish, ‘Duh’!

Eileen Deely

Newcastlewest, Co Limerick

Stop the lights

I can only describe as collective madness the decision of many towns, including my own city of Galway, to keep Christmas lights switched on until the end of January.

Why on earth would any of us want to be reminded of Christmas at this stage, never mind right through this month? 

Some people curtailed their normal social engagements at this time because of Covid. Many of those who didn’t paid a high price for their activities by contracting Covid.

Most people want to forget 2020, including Christmas 2020. Take down these lights. Let’s look forward not back. Christmas 2020 is over and done with. Let’s confine it to the dustbin of history.

Tommy Roddy

Ballybane, Galway

Black card can protect skills

I was wondering how long it would take to hear the poor hurling whingers canvassing against the proposed black cards.

Former Tipperary and Dublin hurler Ryan O’Dywer is against the move (Don't ruin the game, Irish Examiner, Jan 12).

To me such remarks are pure rubbish. The 2020 hurling championship was littered with examples of why it is necessary to bring in such a rule.

On his own admission he is not very happy with any rules being rigid, as he claims they are merely guidelines.

For too long the hurling mafia have decided what rules the football should play under. Gaelic football and hurling is becoming more like rugby as players bulk themselves up and spend more time in the gym rather than perfecting their skills.

The black card and sin bins cannot come in soon enough and we can have games played on a level to suit the best not the toughest.

Tony Fagan

Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Banning Trump not censorship

J Anthony Gaughan is mistaken. Donal Trump has not been denied freedom of expression. Rather private companies have decided to ban him from their platforms which they have every right to do so (Letters. January 12).

As far back as July 2015 an article in the Huffington Post summed up Trump’s dominance of the media, neatly saying: “The pattern is familiar by now. Trump makes a controversial claim, which garners headlines online and provides easy fodder for pundits to slam him on cable news. 

"He then goes on Twitter to blast his critics, leading to even more coverage. Media outlets give Trump publicity, which he enjoys, while they get clicks and ratings.”

The decision by Facebook and Twitter to ban him from their platforms was far from being an attack on freedom of speech. It just means that he will have to work much harder now to get his divisive messages across.

Tom McElligott

Listowel, Co Kerry

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