The stigma of prison never goes away

It was so good to read Vivian Geiran’s article – “When Is Enough Punishment Enough?” (Irish Examiner, online, June 2). Finally, the problem is highlighted.

I went there, I was at the lowest point of my life 20 years ago and ended up in prison. When I graduated, I worked hard and focused on being a better person.

There were walls erected everywhere and even my success was mostly ignored because people focused on historical events rather than the present.

In February of this year, my new life passed in the past when I was responsible for bringing Gardaí to the Jerusalema challenge. A huge achievement for everyone, especially for an ex-prisoner, but my name was removed from history by some media and the article was even deleted by others.

Unfortunately, last year I quit my radio job because the hate I received was too strong for me. I gave up on my dream job and realized that unless people talk about success stories after prison, the stigma will never go away.

Frankie Shanley



Treat people with the respect they deserve

Older readers will refer to Fergus Finlay’s wise words: “The generation born in the 1940s and 1950s won our respect” (Irish Examiner, June 1).

However, some people in this age group are not always treated with the respect they deserve, simply being taken for granted.

Clearly we’re all ticked off in boxes to support callous labels designed to give strength to a particular point of view. Imagine for a moment the labels coming down the post-Covid track!

The system has become so bureaucratic and callous, with little attention given to the pain and harm it causes.

Fergus details the contribution people have made in the past. The contribution of older people to supporting and encouraging the younger generation in these difficult times is more important than ever.

The other “virus” wreaking havoc on our health services reminded us of the simple pen and pencil we thought were a thing of the past. Fergus failed to recognize his own very important contribution to the national radio conversation – always an opportunity to whet the appetite for more. In 1972, novelist Anthony Powell wrote that “getting older is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you didn’t commit.”

It’s up to all of us, at all ages, not to end up feeling like him

Alice leahy

Director of Services, Alice Leahy Trust

There is life after exams

Can I give some advice to the many parents of students who will be taking their Leaving Cert next week? Especially after such a difficult year for all these young people.

I just turned 70 and I still have nightmares about sitting down.

Tell your young sons and daughters, and often, that you love them. Tell them that you hope they will do their best, but whatever the outcome, they can come home and they will always be loved.

Tell them that there is lifelong learning and that the Leaving Cert is just a relatively small stepping stone on the path to life. And always remember that the most successful are not always the most successful in life.

I took my Leaving Cert in 1969, and the pressure was horrible, way above it. Of course, it didn’t help that school life in general at that time was a very miserable experience. I survived and learned very quickly that there was a lot more to living than Leaving Cert.

Brian Mc Devitt


Co Donegal

Labor’s anti-Israel stance is a grab

How sad that the Labor Party is considering joining Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and their fellow travelers in the anti-Israel burrow – “Labor must hold urgent meeting on Israeli position” (Irish Examiner, June 3).

In a desperate ploy to win votes in the upcoming Dublin Bay South by-elections, Labor could now back calls for the Israeli ambassador’s expulsion.

Former party leaders, people like the indomitable Frank Cluskey, were staunch supporters of the Jews’ right to a homeland within secure borders. In 1980, it was Frank Cluskey who led the outrage after Brian Lenihan, then Fianna Fáil’s foreign minister, told Bahrain that Yasser Arafat, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) , was “one of the most sensitive elements”. Frank Cluskey was later avenged when armed Palestinians linked to Arafat’s PLO kidnapped and murdered Irish Army soldier Caomhán Seoighe (Kevin Joyce) in southern Lebanon.

Caomhán Seoighe was originally from the Aran Islands. His body has never been found and therefore cannot be returned to his family for a Christian burial. Despite this, Fianna Fáil and the rest of the Irish political establishment are only too happy to dance to the tune of Yasser Arafat and his successors.

Karl Martin

Dublin 13

Preserving Catholic ethics in schools

Some politicians have wondered why Catholic ethics should be present in our schools. Perhaps the reason is that the overwhelming majority of children are of Catholic descent, and their parents have a furtive feeling that Catholic ethics are the most compassionate, consistent, and comprehensive available.

These parents are thrilled to see the kindness and belief that our lives have meaning beyond our ability to fit into a consumer-driven economy, taught alongside math, geography, and more.

Those who dislike this are largely unwilling to devote the time, effort, and money to founding and maintaining schools with alternative ethics. It would be strange if the presence of children of these parents would lead parish schools to empty what is typically Catholic. If the tables were reversed, would these parents, having gone to the trouble of creating their own schools, find it fair to be forced to abandon their favorite philosophy, due to the presence of few children from another? middle ?

The dominant political, media and corporate ideology of the world today is casual about sex, relationships and even life itself; marriage, family life and having children are optional extras. The birth rate of every European country has fallen below itself.
replacement value. In other words, we are in a process of self-extermination.

The Christian approach to life, including relationships and our sex education, helps our young people embrace a life of meaning and personal responsibility that is both fulfilling and enduring. It indeed deserves our support.

Gearoid Duffy

Lee Road


Garbage cans are the best way to fight street waste

I learned with interest the enormous amount of garbage left on our streets as the country emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown.

To put this in context: Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a decline across the country in the number of public trash cans available, with local authorities calling on the public to take the trash home.

Research has confirmed that the most common items left on our streets are cigarette butts. Smoking was banned in public buildings in 2004, but the response of successive governments to date has been to ignore the obvious by failing to erect cigarette receptacles outside every public building.

Similarly, my appeals to local authorities to provide taxpayers with containers of cigarettes on demand fell on deaf ears; many traders have placed containers outside their premises on their own initiative.

Although I am the first to recognize that the above suggestions will not replace a national waste management strategy, which proactively taxes waste at the point of creation to allow funding for its proper disposal. I am nonetheless convinced that with more public bins and cigarette containers in place, the amount of garbage thrown into our streets would be significantly reduced.

Tadhg O’Donovan



Help women look after their children

Lucy Boland writes about ‘pregnant people’, ‘barriers to reproductive health care‘ and the right to ‘make their own decisions’ – ‘Abortion law is not fit for purpose’ (Irish Examiner, Letters, June 2).

As far as I know, those “people” who take hormones for contraception; those who are confronted with unwanted pregnancies and who decide whether or not to have their child aborted are women.

Many of these women have indeed been abandoned by their partners and families.

Indeed, they were also neglected by the State, which spent 20 M € for abortions but almost nothing to help women in crisis of pregnancy to have their children.

Conchita L Serra


Co Dublin

Using contraception instead of abortion

Lucy Boland writes that “we can and must do better” when it comes to abortion.

I’m sure 90% of GPs would agree that fewer abortions are better than more abortions.

So why not promote contraception rather than abortion and accept that pro-choice care starts there.

Seamus O’Callaghan


Why no planning service?

Why does the Republic of Ireland not have a town planning service?

If the country had had an urban planning department, this financial disaster of a children’s hospital would not have happened. I also see that some families have houses that have collapsed and are facing huge financial problems. None of this would have happened if the country had a town planning department.

We can also mention the disorder in the streets of Dublin.

Isn’t it time for Ireland to have a town planning department?

Mike hulme

Hartlands Avenue


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