Sir, – Much has been written and spoken in attempts to explain the ignominious collapse of the Labour Party vote in the Meath East byelection, but as yet I have not heard even one commentator refer to the fact that under his leadership Eamon Gilmore is making it ever more difficult for a practising Catholic to vote for Labour.
Tens of thousands may be emigrating, dole queues may be at record levels, the poor may be shivering in the Arctic-like conditions that overhang the country, yet Labour persists in its crusade to consign the Catholic Church to the dustbin of Irish history. Such fundamentalism is positively frightening.
There can be little doubt that the byelection result was hugely influenced by Labour’s abandonment of the pre-general election promises, yet even the most diehard Labour voters who share the Catholic faith must be asking themselves, in good conscience, can they continue to vote for a party whose leadership holds their faith in such naked contempt. Not alone Catholics, members of the other Christian churches must be asking themselves the same question.
Surely within the Labour Party itself there are Christians who are beginning to wonder whether or not they can remain in a party which is so openly hostile to their faith?
There was a time when its critics used to claim that the Labour Party was the political wing, not of the trade unions, but of the Society of the St Vincent de Paul. How laughable would such a criticism be today. – Yours, etc,
Ballymun, Dublin 11.
(Lest it be thought that my family is a hotbed of Papism, such is not the case. My father, myself and one of my sisters represent the religiously orthodox side of the family; I have another sister who tends towards the 'spiritual but not religious' outlook; one of my brothers believes in revolutionary Marxism; another believes in UFOs and Area 51; and I have a final brother who seems to think all religious belief is nutty and whose firmest belief might be that he is surrounded by idiots. And when we move on to my extended family, it's anybody guess. I have one nephew who was experimenting with Buddhism but I don't know how that went.)