Sir, - It appears from recent developments that the real issues in the Carlow Cathedral controversy are becoming increasingly clouded. Dr Laurence Ryan, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, states that he has compromised.

What compromise? The magnificent hand carved pulpit is to be removed from the cathedral. Where to? The chapel (that was) of the old Presentation Convent in Tullow Street. Eighty per cent of the beautiful marble altar rails are to be taken away. To where? It is not yet known.

In a letter dated December 1st, 1995, and addressed to the Very Rev John Byrne, The Presbytery, Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, the Heritage Council made the following specific recommendations:

"In the event of removal of the altar rails, these should be used within the building.

"In the event of the relocation of the very fine pulpit, it should be retained in the main body of the church. It is very much part of the cathedral's history and regarding it solely as a redundant liturgical feature should not be the only consideration."

It is most unfortunate that even this prestigious body is being ignored. Yours, etc.,