This is why we need Pride flags

July 24th, 2021 3:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

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EDITOR – What a joy it was to see the towns of West Cork adorned with rainbow flags this Pride month! My daughter remarked on one particular small village that was hung from end to end with bunting which made her proud of where she lived and who she is.

And so what a shock and disappointment it was for her to read the thinly-veiled homophobia in your letters page recently (Gearoid Duffy, July 10th) claiming Pride flags to be ‘insensitive and inappropriate’.

It is precisely because of attitudes like this that we still need Pride month.

Pride started as, and is still, a protest. We need Pride because the LGBTQ+ community are still discriminated against all over the world.

Gay couples are attacked for holding hands and queer people can still be arrested, and even imprisoned or executed in some countries. For our State and public buildings to show them support is of paramount importance to the LGBTQ+ community here.

The writer objects to what he sees as appropriation of the rainbow from the bible.

Christianity has long been known to appropriate symbols itself, turning pagan beliefs into their own.

The Icthys or ‘Jesus fish’ and even the cross have roots in pagan and Egyptian beliefs.

The rainbow as a symbol is not one that Christianity can lay claim to as one of their own, it existed in our skies long before they used it and belongs to all of us.

Those who claim it is being appropriated would do well to remember the main tenants of Christianity of love, kindness and compassion.

The LGBTQ+ community are simply asking for acceptance and celebrating how far they have come in recent years, being perfectly exemplified by the proliferation of rainbow flags in rural West Cork this Pride month.

West Cork is a place of openness, compassion and love, and will always welcome those of difference, whoever they may be.

Lucy Boland,

Dunmanway, Cork.


The unvaccinated risk dire career implications

EDITOR – Some have taken exception to Mattie McGrath TD referring to the treatment of Jews in the run up to the Holocaust, during the recent Dáil debate on the introduction of vaccine passports for indoor-catering.

Are we not going down that same road of ‘othering’ those who won’t or can’t vaccinate/comply; isolating them, making their presence unwanted and even their motives suspect?  So often such exclusion can have regrettable unintended consequences.

For those facing marginalisation, ‘choosing’ to vaccinate will become less and less based upon an assessment of its morality, necessity and efficacy.

Rather it will be taken under duress; pressure to conform from an overbearing media, the very real threat of social exclusion and dire career implications.

Concerning indoor-dining, the government could have followed the vaccine roll out age-based approach with each age-cohort being admitted when it was considered to have herd immunity.

For some, this pandemic has been a shot-in-the-arm to their popularity, while for big-pharma and high-tech companies it has become a money-spinning bonanza.

It is just so difficult to know in whose interest it is to tell the truth or to step back from denigrating those whose appraisal of the situation sets them apart from the herd.

Gearóid Duffy,

Lee Road,  Cork.


Please add rabbits to fur farming ban list

EDITOR – While the upcoming ban on fur farming in Ireland is welcome, the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports (CACS) is calling upon the agriculture minister to add the rabbit to the list of animals that cannot be farmed for their fur.

The Animal Health and Welfare (Fur farming) Bill 2020 as drafted applies to cats, chinchillas, dogs, foxes, mink and weasels. But the rabbit is missing from the list of protected animals.

It is vital that this animal be included in the legislation because, although there is presently no rabbit fur farming in Ireland there would be nothing to prevent somebody from starting it, as with mink farming, in the absence of a specific prohibition on the practice.

Rabbit fur farming would subject these animals to immense suffering. They would be crammed into cages and killed by throat-cutting after enduring months of unnatural confinement and light deprivation. All so that their fur could be used in boots, hats, gloves, or as trim for jackets.

There’s another reason to outlaw rabbit fur farming: The animal is susceptible to the highly contagious Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD2) which inflicts agonising death.

In the past two years the disease has been confirmed in the Irish countryside. Infected rabbits have been found partially paralyzed, with swollen eyelids, bleeding from the eyes and mouth. The disease can spread easily in conditions where the animals are bunched together, as would occur in a farm or factory setting.

We hope Minister Conalogue will see fit to protect the humble rabbit from the horrors of fur farming.

John Fitzgerald,

(Campaign for the Abolition

Of Cruel Sports),

Callan, Co Kilkenny.

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