Sir - It was good to read Ms Noreen Byrne's elucidation ("Strong words over single mothers") of what she says she said in her interview with Newsweek. When I originally read that interview, in which Ms Byrne is quoted as saying, on behalf of the 50,000 Irishwomen she purports to represent: "Why bother to live with (men) and wash their socks?" I wondered if we were all descending into idiocy.

Her further contribution to the subject, in her radio interview, was even more confusing. Of what possible relevance was "Barney" to the very serious social subject of children born out of wedlock?

If Ms Byrne, as chairperson of the National Women's Council, is to continue to speak on behalf of Irishwomen, maybe she should adopt the American maxim: Please put brain in gear before letting out clutch to mouth. - Yours, etc.,

Powerstown Road, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.