Our problem dates back to the 1970s’ rise of Animal Rights. This bizarrely named movement was responsible for the criminal and environmentally destructive activities of an army urban sociopaths. However, the lasting legacy of their actions is not limited to the environment. It also spawned a mindset of collective ignorance among urban populations.
These guys in Ireland objected to mink being used for fur and freed hundreds of them, based on the absurdly anthropomorphic assertion animals have rights. One of these predators swam off shore to kill 200 nesting seabirds (the entire colony) in a single night. They are now outnumbered.
These narks dropped hundreds upon a road to injure the foxhounds, in protest of alleged animal cruelty.
The false belief that animals are entitled to rights has led the Cats Protection League to be created and a significant increase of cat homes. One manager of these cat homes boasted that he gave 10,000 of these predators each year to the public.
This has led to a dramatic decline in wild birds over the past 30 years. There is no safe place for ground nesting species to raise their chicks. Eighty percent of them have disappeared and are now facing extinction.
Dogs’ value has declined since the decline of hunting and dog fighting. They are difficult to control and pose a serious safety and health risk. Every year, at most, one child is killed by the family dog in Britain or Ireland.
The real issue behind this Stormont Private Member’s Bill is not the cruelty endured by the prey that is pursued by the dog, and certainly not driven by public health and safety concerns, environmental control or the safety of children, but rather it is nothing other than a patronising and moralising gripe that the dog owner enjoys the experience.
They don’t know that every herbivore who has lived since the Devonian period 400,000,000 years ago, when life emerged from the sea and colonized the land, has had a happy ending.
It’s time to stop inflicting more suffering on victims and their families
In recent days representatives of Sinn Féin have been playing mental gymnastics in how to respond to a Christmas video by Gerry Adams which was clearly in poor taste and offensive to victims and survivors.
It would be much more interesting to hear the response from Sinn Féin on an important statement, from their former comrades, from the ETA prisoners’ collective (EPPK), made on November 29. The statement called on their supporters not to hold public events to celebrate the release of their comrades. It added: “From now on, we only want to be received in a private space between relatives.”
Their statement recognised that “there are people who have honestly expressed that they feel pain with the public [celebrations]… They are people hurt by the actions of our past militancy and we understand that they may feel pain.”
Although this statement may not have been enough for many Basque Country victims, it is an important gesture.
If paramilitary and political groups in Northern Ireland made a similar statement, could we avoid the public veneration of killers that is so offensive to victims, survivors, and others?
Were we able to have a more private and discreet funeral for Bobby Storey than we did?
Could we end the show of strength in loyalist societies?
It is time to stop inflicting more suffering on victims and survivors, and adopt a more inclusive and ethical approach to commemorations, remembering, and remembrance, as strongly advocated by Maureen Hetherington (Junction in Derry) and Gladys Ganiel (QUB socioologist).
Republicans don’t have to stop using language of the past
Tiocfaidh ár lá is a political phrase and I don’t consider that it’s a basis for someone to have to apologise. Gerry Adams is a republican and an Irish speaker. He is fluent in writing and speaks fluently. He has been known to speak Irish on several occasions when he is interviewed. The English translation for Tiocfaidh ár lá is our day will come (in terms of an united Ireland). Many Irish people in both the north and south believe that a united Ireland is on its way and they are not making any excuses for it. In fact, in Gerry Adams’s boyhood days in Belfast he could have been imprisoned for thinking like that or for singing a rebel song. I remember when during the Anglo-Irish negotiations of 1985, papers were reporting on concessions being offered by the Irish government and thinking, ‘My god, they will be apologising for the 1916 uprising next’.
Gerry Adams has made a significant contribution to the security of peace in Ireland, even though he was subject to great personal risk. He and republicans such as him don’t have the obligation to abandon language from the past.
JAMES G. BARRRY
Templeogue, Dublin 6
The society must wake up to the reality of abortion
Some politicians are unable to see the irony in things and have lost their moral compass. They campaign for the protection of foxes and, without shame, stridently advocate for the so-called ‘right’ to ‘terminate’ children in the womb.
In the report ‘Assembly to debate controversial abortion bill’ (December 12) Michelle O’Neill refers to abortion “services” being “delivered without further delay”.
In the same report, Green Party leader Clare Bailey astonishingly tries to link violence against women with the ‘right’ to abortion. There is no irony. One of the worst acts of violence against women is abortion – even if it is ‘chosen’.
Women deserve better than abortion, and unborn children do not deserve to be denied their most fundamental rights.
Our society must wake up to the horrors of abortion and the culpability of certain political parties. They asked Westminster to impose the most severe abortion regimes in the country, on Northern Ireland, with no consultation with the electorate.
FR PATRICK MCAFFERTY