At a time when it would be so easy to be distracted by political red herrings like the housing crisis, inflation and an increased risk of a nuclear apocalypse, it’s reassuring to see the public focused on the really important issues – how the need for farm animals to be used in a manger outside the Mansion House in Dublin.
Ine Gael Councilor James Geoghegan is introducing an emergency motion to reverse a ban on live animals in the festive exhibition, while his party colleague, Deputy Treasury Secretary Patrick O’Donovan, blasted the ridiculous prioritization of animal welfare over long-standing traditions as ” Grinch-like decision”.
Of course, our politicians don’t mind that according to the Gospels and the writings of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. no animals were present when Jesus was born. What would he know? It’s not like he’s infallible.
Michael Collins wasn’t present at the birth of Fine Gael, but that won’t stop the likes of Geoghegan and O’Donovan from putting the Big Fellow in every reference to the party’s birth.
Given that our public representatives are not bound by the shackles of catechism and historical facts, I believe that they should insist not only on the return of farm animals to the manor’s manger, but also on the addition of several other figures, who were undeniably not in the stable when Christ was born.
These include Nelson Mandela, Elvis Presley, atheist Richard Dawkins, Lycra-clad TV fitness coach Mr Motivator, Wolverine from X-Men, Stephen Brennan from Glenroeand Harry Potter.
And while Irish farm animals are obviously the mainstay of any Middle Eastern crib, perhaps it’s time to freshen things up with more exotic species like a three-toed sloth and a Komodo dragon. When it starts to get crowded, some of the original characters can always be removed.
Be warned, however: if the composition of the crib matches the cohort of politicians concerned with the issue, there will be asses and virgins, but also a dearth of wise men.
Balla, Co. Mayo
How many last chances do we give the environment?
David Ryan wonders why the UK government intends to skip this year’s COP27 climate change conference in Sharm El Sheikh, ‘a great opportunity to really have a say’ on climate change (letters, Irish Independent October 31, 2022). I remember when Lima 2013 COP19 was our “last chance” to save the planet.
The funny thing about missing out on those “last chances” is that you can always just go the following year instead.
City held for ransom by Dublin marathon runners
It’s good that the Dublin Marathon is back. However, holding the city for ransom for almost two days is inconvenient. I believe 200 laps of the Walkinstown roundabout could cover the same distance.
Firehouse, Dublin 24
Weekend Lycra warriors should stay away from greenways
The benefits of cycling for lycra-clad middle-aged men are described in “I am a proud MAMIL [middle-aged man in Lycra] – and therefore you should be too” (Irish IndependentOctober 31, 2021).
And while there’s no doubt lately that road bikes, with their ubiquitous swept-down handlebars, have hit our streets, it’s a particular bogeyman of mine to see them on our greenways.
These off-road trails were never designed for road bikes and their “lycra-clad weekend warriors” whose only measure of success is time and distance, let alone the (expensive) color-coordination of their form-fitting clothing.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I believe the greenway bylaws should be updated to ban clubs and their road racers who are increasingly and often found in packs using these leisurely trails. People with pets and people with limited mobility are particularly affected.
Listowel, County Kerry
A decade of letter-writing, here’s to another decade
MY first letter to your newspaper entitled “Children’s Rights” was published exactly 10 years ago to the day (November 1, 2012).
Can I commend everyone who contributes to this. I have no doubt that this site is and has been a great addition to your excellent newspaper. Long may it go on like this.
Glenties, Co Donegal
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/with-history-out-the-window-lets-put-elvis-in-the-manger-42108718.html When the story is out the window, we put Elvis in the crib