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Kenny, Mary


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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.


The Irish Independent - Ireland | 09/11/2015

Don't burden school kids with Vishnu or Shiva

The Irish Education Ministry plans to examine whether religious education at primary schools should include beliefs other than Christianity. Not a good idea, the conservative daily The Irish Independent finds: "'Irish values' should be taught in Irish schools - if we are to promote social cohesion for the future. And Irish values, historically, must mean an innate understanding of the traditions of Christianity, and most particularly of the Roman Catholic church. Not to teach about the primacy of Catholicism in Irish history is simply to wipe out the true facts of the past. … Be kind, be tolerant, be inclusive: but in the early years, keep it simple. Don't expect seven-year-olds to take on a discipline fit for a mature scholar; and don't confuse them by giving them St Brigid one day and the Goddess Kali the next."

The Irish Independent - Ireland | 27/10/2010

Irish put up with reforms without protest

While France is seeing regular demonstrations of up to three million people against social reforms and poorly communicated policies, the Irish put up with reforms and corruption without protest albeit with growing disapproval. This attitude has deep social roots, observes the conservative daily Irish Independent: "Such unedifying examples of living high on the hoof, on the taxpayer's nickel, are not unknown in Ireland, and while there is resentment, bitter criticism, recrimination and finger-pointing blame, it is seldom at the level of revolutionary class hatred. ... Moreover, when all is said and done, Ireland is still a deeply interconnected society. A person may rage against the over-paid civil servant mandarins - and then he might remember that he has a very nice cousin who falls into that category. He may hate the public sector, or the bankers, or the politicians, but he'll almost certainly remember that in his own network of family and friends, there are wheels within wheels which connect him to a range of these individuals."

The Irish Independent - Ireland | 31/08/2010

Internet makes the Irish unfriendly

A new book by Nicholas Carr discusses how the continual use of computers and the Internet can dumb down users and lead to a lack of social competence. Mary Kenny writes in the conservative daily Irish Independent that such developments may be particularly exacerbated in Ireland: "There is a detachment that didn't used to be part of Irish culture. This is especially true in Dublin, which is now, in my experience, a very unfriendly city. The old Dublin chat is gone. You check into a budget hotel in Dublin today and you're treated like a number which has come up on their screen. Efficiently, but seldom with humanity. It's obvious what is going on. People are so busy interacting with machines that they are not really focused on interacting with people, as people. There is a lot of studied silence now in communal places … where previously there'd be friendly exchange. Although the digital phenomenon is everywhere, maybe the changes are more noticeable in Ireland because it used to be renowned for its friendliness - its people skills."

The Irish Independent - Ireland | 16/03/2010

British debate about age of criminal responsibility

Few cases have roused the British public as much as the 1993 murder of two-year-old James Bulger by two ten-year-olds. After completing eight years of preventive detention one of the perpetrators has now committed an offence involving child pornography. This is having an impact on the current British debate about raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years, the Irish Independent writes: "And then how should children who kill, or who act in a dangerous or devious way, be treated? Should they be punished or rehabilitated? ... In ordinary life, deterrents work: at a very basic level, parking penalties reduce illegal parking, and tax penalties usually incentivise citizens to remit their taxes. It must follow that deterrent and penalty apply in the sphere of crime and criminal justice. But how to apply that to children - especially those who have had highly troubled backgrounds - is another matter."

The Irish Independent - Ireland | 02/03/2010

A new approach to sex education needed

In the past twelve years the UK has spent over 313 million euros on sex education and contraception for teenagers. Yet there has been no noticeable drop in the number of teenage pregnancies because youngsters are pressured into becoming sexually active at an early age, the daily The Irish Independent writes: "The official theories are, in any case, very much in conflict with the highly sexualised globalised culture where porn material is available at the click of a mouse. A recent British government survey (carried out by YouGov) found that 27 percent of young boys look at pornography online each week, and this diminishes their 'respect' for females. Meanwhile, little girls are encouraged to dress like tarts from the age of eight and to go on networking sites such as Miss Bimbo, which obsesses about cosmetic surgery, dieting and hyper-sexualisation. Wouldn't it also be more honest to admit that youngsters are under immense pressure to become sexually active before they can really understand the meaning of such relationships, let alone the consequences, and protect them by stopping them from being sexually involved too young?"

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