Cribs – the final straw


Sir, – As Christmas approaches, people rightly expect bishops to apply the precepts of the Gospel to matters from climate change to homelessness to Brexit. I therefore find it curious that some modest thoughts of mine concerning the imaginative seasonal use of cribs have generated more interest in your columns, and indeed in wider society, than almost anything I have uttered in the past concerning major national issues (“Not meaning to crib but . . . timing of most nativity scenes is off”, News, December 17th).

However, if all of this encourages people to contemplate afresh and enjoy their cribs right up to Candlemas on February 2nd, it may have been worth it.

I am also relieved that this whole matter has revealed your readers to be people of perspective and good humour, who quite properly subject the opinions of bishops to due critical analysis.

Those who take the trouble to readthe full text of my original article on our diocesan website will be intrigued by how the content has been “spun” and will, I dare to suggest, withdraw any accusations that I wished to play the Grinch.

In that spirit, I wish the readers of this esteemed newspaper (without which I would find daily life impoverished beyond measure) a very happy Christmas. – Yours, etc,


Bishop of Cashel,

Ferns and Ossory,

Bishop’s House,


Sir, – The discourse in your letters page (December 19th and 20th) regarding the “arrivals at the crib” is seasonal and pertinent. Can this be due to the fact that the subject matter is . . . stable? –Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.