Remembering Mamo McDonald – 29/06/21

Sir, – Reflecting on the life of Mamo McDonald (“A pioneering ‘born again’ Irish feminist” (“Obituaries, June 26th) was a reminder of the importance of remembering the powerful women from the not too distant past, many of whom came from rural Ireland.

Mamo always acknowledged the inspiration she got from the great Dr Muriel Gahan (not Gann).

It has become all too easy to airbrush women out of existence who have contributed so much to Irish life in our rush to embrace progress, rather than asking what we could benefit from their example.

Mamo gave inspiration and encouragement to all who crossed her path, they will ensure that her spirit will live on.

– Yours, etc,


Director of Services

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.


Public conveniences

Sir, – It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good. How wise that proverb of a lifetime ago. The dreadful pandemic has ensured that we will have more bins and more public toilets in our capital city (“Dublin to get 150 temporary toilets and more bins”, News, June 3rd). It might be time that our politicians and planners reflected on the wisdom of the proverbs of old. – Yours, etc,


Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.


‘Older people’s lives are being wasted too’

Sir, – Breda O’Brien’s “Older people’s lives are being wasted too” (Opinion & Analysis, May 8th) was a thought-provoking column that should be digested by anyone interested in how we treat our fellow human beings.

Ageism is alive and well.

Covid has shone a bright light on the fallout from cutbacks over recent years.

All of us now, whatever the age, are just ticks in boxes designed by someone from the comfort of a cold bureaucratic setting. This is particularly the case for people over 65.

Many of us are blessed with good health and energy due to the circumstances of our birth and how our lives have panned out, but so many other people are not so lucky.

We should not be afraid to speak out and let our views be heard.

This would support and encourage younger people to see that we are all in this together and that they too, with luck, will reach the ripe old of 65 before not too long. One in six of our population will be aged over 65 by 2030.

Today older people can see themselves portrayed as victims opportunistically or as the new 30 year olds. We should be accepted for what we are, with the rights and opportunities we are entitled to. We should make our presence felt at local and national level to ensure we are not consigned to the scrap-heap before our time.

“Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.”

These words were written by novelist Anthony Powell in 1973.

How prophetic was that statement? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.