The backdrop option of Brexit withdrawal bill already exists
You’ll agree with me that Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance really aren’t the brightest people out there. Why?
Well, for example, Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion reportedly invited Michel Barnier to visit Derry this week and I’m guessing that he’ll probably get star treatment to effortlessly flit in and out for a photo opportunity, yes?
If it were me, I’d let him flit in as he pleases, but I’d book him an economy seat out on a flight from either Belfast International or Belfast City airport to London Heathrow.
In fact, I’d also invite Antonio Tajani (president of the European Parliament), Mairead McGuinness (first vice-president of the European Parliament) and Guy Verhofstadt over as well and book them economy seats from these airports as well. Why?
Well, having already established for themselves that there is no tangible border between the Republic and Northern Ireland these folk would quickly discover for themselves that there already exists a hard border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
I wonder what the media would make of Michel Barnier traipsing up to the security queue at Belfast International along with his buddies in tow, and their passports demanding to travel from Belfast to London?
Can you imagine Michel Barnier lining up to kick off his shoes as he approaches the security barrier, Antonio Tajani pulling off his belt to put it in the security tray, Mairead McGuinness ripping off her jewellery and other valuables to set them in her security tray and then Guy Verhofstadt getting the full body search when he refuses to do any of these things?
The much-lauded Common Travel Area is a fallacy as those travelling to and from Northern Ireland from Great Britain by air and sea have always been stopped and searched for the last 50 years.
In fact, until recently, those flying out of Heathrow have had to go through a double security cordon – first through the British cordon, and then through a second cordon to reach the gate for Northern Ireland flights.
And this hard border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain has the full acquiescence of the DUP and they’ve never questioned it even though the paramilitary ceasefires and Good Friday Agreement took place more than twenty years ago.
If the same stop and search facilities were put in place between Northern Ireland and the Republic, Sinn Féin and the SDLP would demand the removal of this hard border, but the DUP appear happy to have a hard border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. This is why the backstop option of the Brexit withdrawal bill will probably be implemented – it already exists.
BERNARD J MULHOLLAND
Unborn needs republicans to carry on the fight
The IRA fought on the side of the weak and oppressed – nationalist/republican community – against armed opponents. The unborn child is weak, oppressed and unarmed and has no defence and needs republicans carrying on the fight against the oppressed – the unborn child.
The 1967 Abortion Act is a licence to terminate the unborn child. No matter how horrible the circumstances the baby is innocent of any crime. The baby did not ask to come into this world, it was the actions of the parents, which gave existence to the unborn child.
A child comes into this world and as any mother knows, all it knows to do is love, and according to the bible, “love is greater than faith”.
What does it say about civilisation and motherhood when parents can plan to end the life of the moving baby inside the mother’s womb – and the heart beating 14 days after conception? We are all judged to be alive or dead according to our heart beat. Why should the unborn child be any different?
Pro-Choice talk about the woman’s right to choose. A woman haS the right to choose contraceptives, the morning after pill and so on. The unborn child has no choice. The supporters of abortion all want to hold on to life as long as possible while imposing restrictions on the weak, defenceless, and innocent unborn child.
Draperstown, Co Derry
Ireland’s right to unity unresolved
Those who signed the Good Friday Agreement have been congratulating themselves on their ‘achievement’. Opinions will vary on the significance and value of that. There seems to have been a reduction in the level of violence in exchange for a reduction in the level of anti-Catholic discrimination. That can, I suppose, be regarded as ‘progress’ and a step in the right direction. The British would seem to have been the main beneficiaries – the agreement got them out of an unenviable situation. I suspect they will not be anxious to return for a second round.
The basic and fundamental problem – Ireland’s right to unity is unresolved. While that problem remains peace in the six counties will be shaky.
As for the likelihood of friendly relations between the indigenous population and the colonists – forget it.
Adare, Village, Co Limerick
Inclusivity is life blood of republicanism
I am at a loss to understand P Nugent’s approach – ‘Sinn Fein has embraced the false notion of two nations in Ireland’ (April 6) – to Jim Gibney’s article (March 28). The diversity in our country is remarkable and welcome. Planter, Gael, Catholic, Protestant, Dissenter, inclusivity is the life blood of republicanism. Mr Gibney can speak for himself but cherry picking his article is to say the least naive.
P Nugent’s letter is strong on looking back, yet evidently poor at where we are now and where we are going as republicans.
Mr Nugent states that “when the union ends, unionism ends”. Really? Examine that statement in the context of embracing difference.
Make no mistake a republic is to do with being equal in every respect while different.
P Nugent take note.
Imperative Church is not intimidated
As May 25 draws nigh those with an agenda to have the Eighth Amendment repealed become more extreme in their efforts to have it succeed.
Senator Catherine Noone, who chaired the Oireachtas committee that reviewed the amendment, was mortified that a priest at a Mass which she had attended had the temerity to mention the sacredness of the baby in the womb. How dare he. Well for her information the Church, despite other shortcomings, has been rock-like in its teaching against abortion.
Not to be outdone Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan a leading campaigner, feels that her reading at Mass and at the same time campaigning for abortion is compatible with Catholic doctrine and she fully intends to continue reading. It is imperative that the Church is not intimidated in its stance of condemnation against the atrocity that is abortion. It is their mission, and anyone who thinks that abortion is compatible with their Catholic faith had better think again.