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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (12/09/16)

Your letters, your views

Facts needed in abortion debate

Claire Byrne had a very interesting programme on abortion last Monday night. It was informative from the point of view that many members of the audience who had direct experience of abortion contributed to the programme.

However, the most enlightening point made was made by a pro-choice man, Donal Lynch, the only man who contributed to the debate. He said that advocates of abortion never acknowledge the humanity of the unborn life and that abortion stops a beating heart.

Later in the programme when Liz McDermott from One Day More stated that it’s scientifically settled that life begins at conception, Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital, sidestepped this fact saying that people get into a kind of ethical debate and began to talk again about cases of foetal foetal abnormalities where babies diagnosed with such conditions may not live long outside the womb.

This core fact that life begins at conception is at the heart of the debate and pro-choice advocates need to address this issue. No one would ever dream of ending the life of a small baby diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, so why should this argument be used to justify ending the life of an unborn baby?

Science is science and facts are facts. Pro-choice advocates need to face this reality because sweeping this irrefutable fact under the carpet shows their argument has a foundation based on sand.

Tommy Roddy

78 Lower Salthill
Galway

Double standard on human rights

I was amused to read (World News, Irish Examiner, Sept 7) that Jordan’s Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the current UN high commissioner for human rights, has condemned Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen for spreading “racial and religious prejudice”.

Both Trump and Le Pen are in the ha’penny place when compared to what the leaders of Iran and Saudi Arabia regularly say about each other yet we hear nothing by way of censure from the UN. The sectarian feud between Saudi Arabia and Iran fuels the current conflict in Syria and Iraq.

While the UN remains silent on the treatment of women and Christians etc in Islamic countries, it shows no such reticence when it comes to the supposed ‘crimes’ of liberal democracies such as America, Israel and even… Ireland. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised since Saudi Arabia played a key role on the UN Human Rights Council until recently. It has now handed over its role to Egypt despite the latter’s dismal human rights record.

Karl Martin

Bayside
Co Dublin

Apple trying to find a technicality

In today’s edition, (Irish Examiner, September 7) your contributor Joe Gill branded as a disgrace the EU ‘s competition directorate. He repeated it twice in his article, without adducing a single fact in support.

What blatant propaganda, never mind downright ignorance of corporate tax avoidance.

It is obvious to anybody with even half a brain that Apple are trying to get away on some technicality that the money was earned, not in Ireland, not in Europe, not in US but in hyperspace — that it originated in no country!

That it was legal makes it worse and suggests Apple has been able to buy the Irish State — we’ll give you a few thousand jobs and you give us €19bn.

Noel O’Leary

19 Woodlands
Middle Glanmire Road
Cork City

EU should be thankful for Russia

Since the Ukraine crisis, the Irish Examiner has published a steady stream of anti-Russian opinion pieces authored by foreign-based writers. The majority of the content can only be categorised as propaganda because so much of it is ridiculously biased. Owen Matthews (Sept 6) describes RT International as the “Kremlin’s conspiracy-theory-minded English language propaganda channel”.

Such analysis does not stand up to scrutiny. The vast majority of RT UK programmes are hosted by British or American journalists who have editorial independence over content. The few Russian presenters on RT such as Oksana Boyko from Worlds Apart normally interviews non-Russian politicians to challenge the Russian perspective on world politics. This contrasts majorly with US networks such as Fox News or MSNBC whose presenters (eg Bill O’Reilly) openly trade on their bias and deliver analysis in monologue. Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon claimed that CNN was taking payments from foreign governments and the Obama administration to run or not run certain stories. RTÉ too will rarely if ever invite spokespersons from the Syrian or Russian government to discuss the Syrian crisis. A hostile media is one thing but a situation degenerating into actual war with Russia was once unthinkable, is now possible.

In June 2016 Nato amassed 31,000 troops on the borders of Russia to conduct military war games named Exercise Anakonda. The last occasion a foreign army of such magnitude was on the borders of Russia was when Germany including Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, and parts of Western Ukraine invaded Russia in 1941.

Incredibly, Ukrainian PM, Yatsenyuk had the nerve to announce to the German media as he stood beside Angela Merkel, that Russia must never be allowed to invade Germany or Ukraine again. So who cares if we rewrite history? Nato has installed missile bases in Poland and Romania the obvious reason is to antagonise and target Russia. Pre-emptive military strikes by NATO on any hostile nation seems to be legal since 9/11, 2001, it is only a matter of time for Russia to take counter measures on those missile bases should all diplomacy fail because “Putin is obviously crazy etc”.

When it comes to fighting ISIS however, there is only one country that has seriously turned the tide against these head-choppers and that is Russia. The EU should be thankful for Russia protecting EU security interests but because Washington is hell bent on controlling the narrative and the geo-political outcome, Russian actions in Syria is construed in the media as more Russian aggression. Another favourite of the western media is Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea. Autonomous and ethnically Russian, Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine precisely because of an EU and Washington sponsored coup overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected president. Crimeans, in fact, celebrate their reunification with Russia. So it’s about time we discussed EU and Nato aggression but we are never going to do that now are we?

Ultan Murphy

Carewswood
Castlemartyr
Co Cork

Allowing hare coursing is a sin

Pope Francis, during the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, called for environmental destruction to be classified as a sin.

Without getting into any complex theological arguments about the nature of sin or papal infallibility I do believe he has a point. And given his admiration for the life of St Francis of Assisi, I’d like to think he’d agree with me when I use the word sin (with a capital S) to describe the action of 114 TDs last June in voting to allow live hare coursing to allow in Ireland.

By doing so, they said yes to hares being snatched from the Irish countryside to be used as bait for pairs of hyped-up greyhounds that strike, maul, and toss them about at so-called sporting venues. To my mind that is ecological and environmental terrorism. Even hares that escape physically unhurt can die afterwards of stress-related ailments brought on by the contrived chase and the weeks of unnatural captivity preceding it.

By rejecting a Bill proposing a ban on this obscenity those TDs were surely guilty of a sin, whatever religious or atheistic quibblers may say to the contrary.

If it’s not sinful to subject a gentle creature like the hare to a practice where it has to twist and turn and dodge to avoid injury or death, and all for human amusement, then it ought to be…. as should the political cowardice that enables hare coursing to survive in Ireland this far into the 21st century.

John Fitzgerald

Lower Coyne St
Callan
Co Kilkenny

GAA must act on thuggery at games

Thuggery on GAA playing fields seems to have become an “everyday” occurrence with no clear evidence of serious attempt by GAA senior management to either stamp this out or punish offenders.

An off-duty detective was beaten unconscious while attempting to protect a referee leaving a pitch following a GAA minor game.

On September 3 anyone watching the game on TV saw one player deliberately strike another with the Hurley yet no action was taken against the perpetrator.

Players, officials and spectators need to be protected from the growing violence occurring during GAA games.

Senior management of GAA must be seen to set the standards and protect all involved.

In my opinion they have not done so until now.

Michael A Moriarty

Rochestown
Cork


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