Sir, - Will The Irish Times have the courage of its much-flaunted tolerant convictions, and show us all how it truly promotes "free speech and honest dissent" by giving Ms Breda O'Brien a weekly column to "take issue with its journalists, reportage and commentary upon matters of public interest" (The Irish Times, January 10th).
It is one thing to permit dissent intermittently, and from diverse unconnected sources, quite another to embody it firmly and consistently as innovative editorial policy.
Breda O'Brien is a journalist of conviction and courage. As any reader of the Sunday Business Post can testify, her articles are unfailingly honest, intelligent, and respectful of those who disagree with her. A regular column from her in your pages could lead to some riveting debate, and might even shake up the rather jaded and predictable offerings that your long-term columnists unremittingly churn out for our edification.
There is, of course, a danger for The Irish Times in all this respect for diversity. Maybe a great number of your readers might just find Breda O'Brien's arguments and analysis on certain sensitive social issues a little too persuasive - and that wouldn't do at all now, would it? - Yours, etc.,
Pat O'Brien, Sarto Road, Kilbarrack, Dublin 13.