Sir, – Kathy Sheridan searched unsuccessfully for the word or concept of “shame” in the current spate of Irish apologies for various notorious happenings (“Plenty of regret, sorrow and surprise but no shame”, Opinion & Analysis, November 22nd).

She is right that the modern Irish “apology” means little, and if anything sticks the knife in a little further, even twists it a little. But she missed some of the telltales that identify this species, which are all or any of the words “regret the offence caused if any”, in any combination, but always “if” and the absolutely clincher, “if any”. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.