Solemn reminder that we are not invincible in the face of nature

On this day, April 15, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is commemorated every year with due solemnity.

Why is it still remembered? It happened at the height of the transatlantic cruise era, when companies like White Star Line and Cunard were as familiar to travelers as Aer Lingus, Ryanair and British Airways are today.

After being described as “unsinkable” by some who built them, it was a sobering lesson for this generation that we are not invincible in the face of nature or a great iceberg.

Many social classes were on board, and some of the wealthiest people died with the working class. It was a time of severe social divisions.

It is not known for certain if the gates to the third class section were locked on purpose to prevent them going on deck. They were sometimes closed. There may have been concerns that there were not enough lifeboats and that second and first class passengers should have priority.

Despite this, some in the third class climbed stairwells to get on deck, and a few survived.

The crew did their best in the panic and chaos. Some lifeboats were launched half full, while others were full. The ship’s captain is said to have called out to the crew not to let them into the water half full. Panic had already set in.

A documentary filmmaker’s analysis of the tragedy suggests that if the ship’s bow had hit the iceberg full-on, it would have been shredded, but the ship would not have sunk or stayed afloat for hours longer.

It’s true that accidents and tragedies can happen in a matter of seconds when decisions have to be made quickly under pressure.

In those seconds, they decided to try to turn a huge ship in time for the iceberg to pass without colliding.

The Titanic stayed afloat for two hours and possibly took 10 to 20 minutes to sink.

The discovery of the wreck on the seabed in 1985 by Robert Ballard signaled ambitious missions, locating famous ships like HMS Hood in 2001 and Shackleton’s Endurance in March 2022.

Mary Sullivan, Cork

Will Smith was absolutely right to take a stand against the bully “comedian.”

I admire Will Smith for his public rebuke of the despicable “comedian” Chris Rock, who considered it permissible to publicly mock a woman’s alopecia. A slap in the face is merely a gesture of rebuke/contempt and should not be exaggerated into anything else. A husband who makes no attempt to defend his wife under such circumstances is a poor excuse for a man.

Oscars organizers and much in the media have hastened to scorn Smith. I could hear no rebuke from Rock trying to humiliate and embarrass a member of his audience. In fact, he got a lot of free publicity. His name kept coming up.

Schoolyard bullies are encouraged by the whole sad saga – find someone who has an embarrassing condition and mock them. It’s okay to do that because “look what happened at the Oscars.”

Eilis McCormack, Rowanville, Kildare

Kudos to the Minister for the Elderly for her wise foresight

Congratulations to Minister for the Elderly Mary Butler. As usual, some members of the government (Darragh O’Brien and Stephen Donnelly) reacted knee-jerk to the housing situation by proposing no contributions from rental income under the Fair Deal scheme.

Ms Butler took a moment to reflect on what this could mean and the problems it could pose for older people, such as the impact that income could have on their health insurance cards and pensions.

D. Byrne, Dublin 8

The church needs to confront the truths of our sexuality

This doesn’t happen often, but I totally agree with Declan Foley (letters, April 13). He points this out, especially at this time of year when we contemplate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the salvation of our souls; that every human being is a child of God, regardless of their sexual orientation.

I’m neither a committed Christian nor gay, but I totally agree.

Although I am agnostic, I can feel the anxiety of Catholic priests and lay Catholics at the Catholic Church’s inability to confront the truths of our sexuality that we have come to terms with over the past few decades. Not only that, but I must condemn the leadership’s continued denial of the total inclusion of women in every aspect of the church.

Liam Harrington, Castletownbere, County Cork Solemn reminder that we are not invincible in the face of nature

Fry Electronics Team

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