Sir, – It would be an appropriate and generous gesture to offer Irish citizenship to the mother of the baby girl Destiny, who was born in the LÉ Niamh on July 22nd.
The nation is justly proud of what our Naval Service is doing in the Mediterranean, and the birth of a baby on board the Niamh is a powerful and much-needed symbol of a new world of peace and hope. It also symbolises how a small nation can play a healing role in a world that so often distresses and discourages us by its violence and the sheer scale of its cruelties and injustices.
The circumstances of Destiny’s birth are too compelling a symbol to be buried in the sort of red tape that normally characterises applications for asylum. The offer should dispense with all the formalities that normally precede citizenship.
Destiny’s mother, together with her baby, could be singled out and given a place of honour in any ceremony that celebrates the creation of new citizens.
She will have to be found and graciously offered Irish citizenship. She may of course decline the offer, but at least a generous gesture will have been made in an age when hostility to foreigners is not as uncommon as one might wish.– Yours, etc,
GABRIEL DALY OSA,