Opinion Letters


Letters to the Editor: ‘If society was culpable it was due to Church brainwashing’

Flowers left at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Flowers left at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

I wish the media, particularly presenters and commentators on radio and TV current affairs programmes, when discussing the mother and baby homes scandal, would not declare with a smug, superior attitude that it was not only the clergy who were responsible but also society at large; and the democratically elected governments of the day who also bore responsibility by turning a blind eye to what was going on in those homes.

The Church was also the actual government in every respect but name. Such was the power the parish priest had over his parishioners that anyone offering themselves up to the people for election would first need the blessing  from the pulpit. If he/she did not subscribe to the iron-fist Catholic ethos or had what the clergy deemed subversive views on sex, births outside marriage or cohabitation, then, through the pulpit, parishioners were told in no uncertain terms that voting for that candidate or their party would be a stain on their souls.

Such was the political grip through religion on the throats of brainwashed parishioners that any disobedience of the parish priest’s instructions would be tantamount to committing a mortal sin.

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The Church, and the Church alone, was responsible for those atrocities and no blame can be put on a people who were terrorised by the Vatican through the relentless threat of eternal damnation. To go against or question any aspect of the Church’s teachings or interfere in any of the institutions it controlled would have been almost impossible for a largely uneducated people who were brainwashed into thinking progression into the afterlife depended on their unquestioning obedience.

Anthony McGeough

Kingswood Heights ,Dublin


A warm welcome back to our fine feathered friends

It was with great joy in our hearts that we welcomed back into our midst once again our most elegant and graceful friends – the returning swallows.

As they encircled our fuel shed on Wednesday morning, chattering excitedly among themselves, one could almost hear them saying “it’s great to be back again”, after arriving from the southern hemisphere. They then chased each other about shrieking loudly and circling furiously, as though in celebration after their lengthy and challenging flight. 

Once again we marvel at the great ability of this tiny bird to navigate this huge distance against all the odds. The dangerous African skies, the baking and huge Sahara desert, the wide expanse of water that is the Mediterranean sea, the very intimidating Alps mountain range covering parts of Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland, through France and on to Britain, over the Irish Sea to finally arrive at their destination, the Emerald Isle.

As if to herald their arrival, the cuckoo began to sing his unique song in the distance. A further sign that summer is just around the corner.

That evening four very tired little swallows settled down for the night on the beams of that same fuel shed, safe in the knowledge that we humans made them feel welcome, and that they were in a safe place, where danger would not threaten their much-needed rest and sleep after their long and exhausting journey.

Tom Towey

Cloonacool, Co Sligo


Not everyone is lucky enough to have a happy marriage

EAMON Fitzpatrick (‘Vote No in divorce poll to avoid more shattered homes’, Letters, April 17) uses one phrase which blows a hole in his argument. “Every marriage worthy of the name”. I’m so glad that he concedes this, although possibly unknowingly.

There are many ‘marriages’ which are not worthy of the name, and which deserve to be ended without delay, especially for the women involved. Also “we have too many victims of shattered households”. Exactly the reason why we should free those who are suffering and trapped in shattered households.

He writes from the viewpoint of someone in a happy marriage. Not all are so lucky.

Sean Brannigan

Dundalk, Co Louth


A proper dignified burial for remains of all infants

It is strangely disingenuous that Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone would state that there was not a dignified burial of human remains by the Mother and Baby Homes when she did not vote in favour of an amendment in the recent abortion votes to ensure babies aborted would get a proper burial.

Owen McDonough

Lower Abbeygate Street, Galway


Drinking on Good Friday is not as good as it used to be

How strange, I can go for a pint to my local pub today. It won’t taste the same. How thrilling it was in my wild youth to find this forbidden fruit on this particular day. How times have changed.

Brian McKevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Irish Independent


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