Letters to the Editor

Word ‘tentative' should be at top of all document exchanges

Sinn Féin seem not to know the difference between an agreement and a tentative one. Working documents were being exchanged between the DUP and Sinn Féin, but no-one entered into a final accord.

It would be better from now on if when talks are taking place that the word ‘tentative’ be placed at the top of all document exchanges until there is an agreement or contract. It is good to see Sinn Féin and the DUP attempt to resolve outstanding matters, but there is a big difference between a tentative proposal and an actual agreement.

The DUP have made it very clear that there was no agreement of any kind, while Sinn Féin got the idea that there was one – despite the enormous difficulty over key issues such as the Gaelic language. Sinn Féin seem to have jumped the gun and it could make it much more difficult from now on, given that the DUP will have to watch their words very carefully as the impasse continues. Both sides must agree there is an agreement in existence, otherwise it is in dispute.

You cannot blame someone for not making a proposal an agreement. Letters of exploration are a good idea and leave open the possibility of creative thinking to try and break the crippled state Northern Ireland is in. However, no-one should take advantage of an idea or proposal put forward by the other side because it gets closer to suiting their case. When parties to any dispute put forward ideas to solve a problem, they are made with the understanding that a process has begun to explore possibilities.

The agreement stage comes later and from what we hear, the DUP and Sinn Féin were still negotiating a solution when talks collapsed. Leaked draft proposal documents are not helping either and exacerbate distrust, which makes it more difficult to find an agreement.

Now that a leaked draft document has come out into the public domain and claims arising from it, there will probably have to be new rules laid down in an further talks. Sinn Féin did say one true thing just after the collapse of talks when they said: “The DUP would not conclude” – which simply means there was no agreement. Obviously there would be no conclusion if there was no agreement. And then of course there is the implementation of any agreement where the devil may well be in the detail. If one side says there is no agreement – then there cannot be.

Northern Ireland is known for false dawns and with the current collapse of talks with only one side claiming there was an agreement is good evidence that old habits die hard.Sinn Féin need to hold their horses if there is a next time, until there is an real agreement, rather than what they might regard as letters of comfort.   

Shanbally, Co Cork


A lot of hatred in Republic against Irish language

Sinn Féin demands respect, but shows no respect to the Protestants in the north by wanting to force the Irish language on them. 

This was done in the south in the last century. Michael Collins said we need to make Irish compulsory in schools  ‘to make little nationalists out of our children’. 

The Irish language was used in the south to discriminate against Protestant and non-republicans in jobs. In the early years of RTÉ it was stuffed with Irish language speakers, even today it spews out its pro-Irish language propaganda and is pro-Sinn Féin and gives the party an easy time. 

Protestants in the north are not allowed express their political culture. They had to change the name of their state from Ulster to Northern Ireland. The police had to drop the words Ulster and Royal from their name, Londonderry had to drop London from its name. The Union Jack can no longer be flown over Belfast city hall, except a few days per year.

An Irish act will be used to de-anglicise the north and to discriminate against Protestants in civil service jobs and provide scores of privileged jobs for Sinn Féin supporters. 

Discrimination in favour of Irish speakers is much more widespread in the south than people think. This discrimination in their favour is in education, exams and state jobs.

Grants for Irish speakers. How many people know that if a taxi driver spells taxi in Irish the state pays half the cost of the sign. There is a lot of hatred towards the Irish language in the south which is not acknowledged by the media. 

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin


Abortion can’t be called a ‘human right’

How in the name of all that is sane and reasonable can it be called a ‘human right’ to abort the most helpless form of human life? Where is the Hippocratic Oath or a doctor’s duty of care in all this? Where are the human rights of the little human beings whose lives are terminated? 

In most of the modern economies of the western world, abortion is carried out on an industrial scale. The nation that aborts its babies does so at its own peril. It destroys its national identity, its own future and its national security. Abortion destroys future generations. 

Nations that have accepted abortion now claim that they do not have enough of their own people to run their industries, pay their taxes or fill their job markets. Some women die as a result of abortion. This fact is never admitted by the pro-abortion lobby. 

Omagh, Co Tyrone


Newton’s brain melt

Newton did no credit to himself (March 1)by suggesting, without a trace of humour, that “any Catholic can become an Orangeman by simply converting to Protestantism”. 

The Orange Order emerged from Dublin Castle’s need to cynically maintain colonial control in the late 1700s via stoking sectarianism to counter the threat of Ireland following the American colonies to independence. It would be banned in most modern democracies. 

To conflate the need for a national language to be recognised to reflect international law with the need for a sectarian organisation to march through communities where they are not welcome simply suggests that Newton needs to more closely examine the soil that fertilised his Portadown roots.

Independent, Downpatrick,
Co Down 


US electoral system is outdated

I refer to P McCann’s letter – ‘Hysterical propaganda’ (February 27).

In 2016 Hillary Clinton won the US popular vote by 2.9 million – 65.8 to Trump’s 62.9. This was the largest population vote margin of any losing presidential candidate in US history. But under a winner-takes-all basis in the electoral college that chooses a president this translated to Trump 304 votes and Clinton 227 votes. An archaic and outdated system for the 21st century.

Mr McCann asserts that  “they refuse to accept the will of the people”.  
The democrats did accept the result and within the legal time frame there was a smooth and cordial transfer of power from Obama to Trump.

Now as an opposition party the Democrats must oppose and scrutinise all of Trump’s dangerous and ridiculous policy pronouncements.

With a majority of 2.9 million it is a mandatory condition.

Craigavon, Co Armagh


Expression of thanks

Cavaliers In Need would like to thank the people of Belfast for their kind generosity during our street collection on Saturday 7th October 2017. We raised a fabulous £1,876.51.

Lurgan, Co Armagh

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