Letters: Michelle O’Neill’s decision to attend King Charles’s coronation is correct

King Charles III will be crowned on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, London© POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Letters to the Editor

I welcome the positive news that Stormont’s first minister designate Michelle O’Neill is to attend the coronation of King Charles III, as will President Michael D Higgins. It seems we as people on both sides of the Border are growing up – or at least most are.

The decision by Ms O’Neill shows genuine respect to unionist and loyalist traditions throughout Northern Ireland and the wider UK. I suspect King Charles will give a pleasing smile and nod to Ms O’Neill when they meet on his big day.

I hope some of that mutual affection will signal a positive message to the Democratic Unionist Party and its leader, Jeffrey Donaldson, to return to Stormont in the service of his king and country.

Aidan Roddy, Cabinteely, Dublin

Sex education reforms must consider moral dimension

The controversy about changes to the Junior Cert relationships and sexuality programme erupted again this week and progressed along predictable lines.

Those activists in favour present it as merely children dipping their toe into the “real world” of pornography, consent and gender identity ideology.

I suspect most parents would like a holistic approach, having healthy relationships with integrity as a core value.

Instead of “examples” of pornography, we need modesty appreciation such as awareness, respect and reverence of our inherent value. Instead of “consent” training – where we ultimately collude with peer expectations – the vision of marriage in its fullness ought to be presented.

Finally, instead of defining ourselves so as to fit in with the latest gender ideology fad, we need to recognise our identity as moral beings, capable of weighing up the consequences of the alternatives.

We owe it to the next generation to help them make better choices.

Gearóid Duffy, Lee Road, Cork

Prison overcrowding can be sorted with proper reform

The season of staff conferences is on us. Gardaí and the prison staff get to vent their feelings in the so-called war on crime.

Simon Harris, now justice minister, told prison staff there was no silver bullet to fix overcrowding overnight. The problem isn’t overnight – it was there when I started working in prisons 40 years ago and has been kicked down the road ever since.

It’s not more prison beds and spaces we need, it’s a root-and-branch look at who we send to prison, why one section of society will end up in prison for theft but the sector that defrauds society never sees a cell door.

Mr Harris is in the unique position of being a former health minister and is now justice minister with responsibility for prisons.

Both sectors scream for real leadership, not deckchair moving. Will we get it?

John Cuffe, Co Meath

Irish neutrality is valuable and should be treasured

The letter ‘Nato has protected us, so it’s time we joined’ (Letters, April 26) actually makes a convincing case for Ireland holding on to its neutral status and eschewing membership of the Washington-led nuclear-armed military alliance.

Ireland’s neutrality, which has served us well, is especially apposite in these fraught and dangerous times.

Your correspondent states a number of neutral European countries were invaded by totalitarian regimes in World War II. Yes, neutrality was violated by protagonists on both sides. For example, neutral Iceland was invaded by the UK in 1940.

On the other hand, many countries were able to maintain their neutrality during the war – Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, the Vatican City, Turkey (until February 1945) and Ireland.

Finally, the example of Ukraine starkly demonstrates the tragic consequences that arise when a country abandons neutrality and allows itself to become a pawn of extraneous forces.

Is this the scenario your correspondent would wish for Ireland? No, thank you.

Micheál O’Cathail, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

€1.5bn for dog and horse racing is money wasted

The FAI is justified in questioning the rationale of continued state funding of horse and greyhound racing. Between 2001 and 2021, €1.5bn has been diverted from betting tax to these two activities at a time when a host of other sports have struggled.

But a good football match is far more exciting and better value for money – and no animals get hurt or killed on the pitch before, during or after the game.

John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny

Top Stories