OPINION: Spend some of Notre Dame’s millions on other causes – LESLEY KEATING

Like many others I was shocked and upset to see Notre Dame Cathedral so badly damaged by fire.  It is an iconic building full of priceless artefacts and one of the world’s most recognisable structures.

By Lesley Keating
Friday, 26th April 2019, 10:19 am
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 10:23 am
DESERVING: Would people give so generously to provide clean drinking water worldwide?
DESERVING: Would people give so generously to provide clean drinking water worldwide?

 It’s entire being is woven into literature, art and music as well as being at the heart of Catholicism in France. It has stood guard on the banks of the Seine for over 800 years so I totally understand how strongly the French and other nationals feel after this horrendous event.

I’m passionate about preserving historic buildings. I understand their relevance and significance on history and culture and I love Paris. However. I am beginning to feel more than a little uncomfortable about the fact that the fund has already reached nearly one billion Euros. 

Let’s think about this.One billion Euros have been raised in a matter of days as celebrities, billionaires and ordinary citizens have dug deep to support President Macron’s pledge to repair the damage.

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That’s an astounding amount of money yet I get the impression that even that may not be quite enough to restore Notre Dame properly to its former glory.  It will probably need a far greater and even more labour-intensive, ongoing investment. But, at the same time, other more widespread causes desperately need money and these ‘investors’ could have helped towards those too. 

We are slowly destroying our planet. What about giving cash to ensure everyone has clean drinking water not just the privileged few. What about poverty, homelessness and the hordes of people living rough? Perhaps a cash injection for medical research or eradicating global hunger. Wouldn’t some of that money be better spent on other causes too? 

Yes, help towards rebuilding Notre Dame if you feel it’s the right thing to do. I understand the fire has caused tragic damage to a uniquely beautiful, incredible and symbolic building that clearly means so much to millions all over the world.  But when you do, maybe consider halving your proposed donation and putting the rest towards something with farther reaching global impact?


Publishing Sri Lankan bomb images cannot be justified

I was really saddened by the senseless bomb attacks in Sri Lanka recently. But I was also furious that a well-known daily publication ran a story the following day showing the aftermath. 

 In the interest of ‘news’ this publication felt it necessary to show pictures of the carnage inside one of the churches.

But alongside images of terrified, bewildered people among the rubble, was it really necessary to also show a picture of a ‘blood-splattered statue of Christ’ captioning the shot with those very words?

Sorry, but is it just me who thinks that is distasteful and gratuitous? Surely that’s just showing gore for the sake of it. How is an image like that ever justifiable?


Gents, you heard it here first – it’s socks AND sandals now

My daughter’s boyfriend is a fashion stylist working on a YouTube fashion channel, as well as music videos and brand campaigns, so there’s not much about trends he doesn’t know. 

Where they both live, no matter what he wears, no-one turns a hair. He’s effortlessly stylish and could get away with wearing anything.

But on a trip back here his footwear was greeted with a few surprised looks and nudges. This is because, among uber trendy males in London, Crocs are making a comeback, as are the socks and sandals combo he was wearing.  But you’d have been forgiven for thinking he’d grown two heads. So, if you want to get ahead of fashion guys, it’s socks AND sandals.