‘Fairytale of New York’


Sir, – Last night, as my wife and myself were agonising over whether we should ban our grandchildren from listening to Fairytale of New York, I mentioned that, in the Longford of my youth, faggot was used as a term of contempt, derision and abuse by women towards other women, as in “that stuck up oul faggot”. She recalled that when she was young in Clones, her mother often called her a “bould little faggot”. Perhaps it’s time to reclaim the word from the homophobes. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – The controversy about the word faggot brings to mind Molly Bloom’s reference to Poldy making himself interesting for “that old faggot” Mrs Riordan in Ulysses.

The word has been around a long time, with different meanings.

I hope this little letter does not upset anyone. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – It seems as if every 10 minutes Christmas FM plays the very unfunny, and perhaps offensive to some, recording Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. I am a practising grandparent.

Taking offence is a national pastime these days.

When this silly record is played, I turn the volume down, or perhaps switch over to Frank Sinatra’s Christmas Hits album, despite the fact there is probably something offensive on that as well. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.