Letters to the Editor

Genocide analogy should have been directed at British army

Trevor Ringland had the audacity to accuse Irish republicans of perpetrating violent crimes and promoting a murderous ideology while he clearly had no problems with the violent crimes committed by the British army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary or their murderous ideologies. The British army and RUC were well aware of the murderous ideologies of the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defence Association before the British army and RUC armed them for the UVF and UDA’s violent crimes.
Someone who is a member of the Conservatives and has been a member of the Ulster Unionist Party is no position of intellectual authority to allege flawed ideologies against others. He then repeats the old trope that republicans did not give their victims choice over life and death. Did the British army, RUC, UVF, UDA, Free State Army and the Garda Síochána give their victims choice over life and death? His invocation of Godwin’s law is inappropriate. NSDAP and the Reichswehr aggressively occupied countries whereas Irish republicans oppose occupation. Can Trevor Ringland point to any location in Ireland where atrocities on the scale of the horrors in upper Silesia occurred? The closest he would find would be massacres in the last two centuries perpetrated against Irish people. The fact that he cannot shows the insensitive hyperbole for what it is. He highlights an opportunity to create peace and stability in our society. Good Friday Agreement supporters
have had two decades to create peace and stability. They have blundered and squandered said opportunity. He asserts that people voted for the Good Friday Agreement out of concern for children in our society. This is blatantly false. Children are still shot at with plastic bullets by state forces; children faced detriment when 2009 had worse economic and social conditions than 1969 and children will die from the repeal of the eighth amendment to the 1937 Free State constitution. He concludes with a snide remark on people starving themselves for constitutional preferences, however, the genocide analogy he ought to have made is British forces starving Irish people by exporting food surpluses at gunpoint during An Gorta Mór.

Belfast BT11


SF has cowardly abandoned north’s nationalists

It’s a great pity that the latest Sinn Féin absentee MP for West Tyrone has already fallen foul of her party’s warped and revisionist view of history and reality.

For me, and for the SDLP, there is no better place to challenge, debate, exonerate and uncover the truth than in taking the fight directly to the British state and not hiding in the shadows or corners of Westminster.

Remember, there has been no party that has delivered more for this island than the SDLP. 

We used whatever peaceful political means necessary to deliver for our people. We put people before self-serving and meaningless political agendas.

The SDLP were the only nationalist party to register and campaign against Brexit during the referendum.
To commend Sinn Féin, they are very good at finding excuses not to represent our people and not to stand up for our people. So, what are people getting for offering Sinn Féin such a large vote?

No voice in Westminster, no local Executive. They aren’t wanted in the Dáil and they sit in the corner in Brussels. Like it or not, the reality is that Sinn Féin have cowardly abandoned the north’s nationalist population leaving them without a voice. All the while, allowing a pro-Brexit DUP to rule the roost with the Tories.

Sinn Féin can talk all they want about the Irish government and Brussels having the power to stop Brexit.
Surely, it would be better to oppose these on all fronts rather than hedge your bets on a few. Sinn Féin have no power in the Irish government. In Brussels, Sinn Féin have embarrassed themselves as they sit alone in the
back corner. The simple fact is that Sinn Féin have no power in any of these places.
So, rather than take lectures from a party that showed they do not have the nerve to intervene over Brexit, the SDLP will continue to lobby for and demand that the best interests of the people of Ireland are wholly and fully protected.

SDLP, West Tyrone


What utter rubbish

I would like to challenge Trevor Ringland’s letter,  – Hunger strikers bring to mind the Ulster expression ‘brave but stupid’ (August 3).

Firstly, he says the hunger strikers should have used their ‘constitutional aspirations’. What utter rubbish. Has he not heard of Bloody Sunday? All mechanisms of the state applauded the mass murder of unarmed fleeing British citizens seeking to assert their ‘constitutional aspirations’, and the perpetrators are still protected by people  justifying the unjustifiable, underpinned by their simple hatred of their neighbours.
The second point is that if you are unlucky enough to be labelled a ‘Catholic’ or, God forbid, a ‘republican’ by your neighbours in some parts of Northern Ireland you may as well starve yourself to death than live with neighbours – many occupying roles of state power – espousing the condescending hatred that led to violent civil unrest in the first place. 

It is interesting that he refers to Auschwitz. The German Nazis and their partisan state created a perceived criminal underclass of their neighbourhood Jews whom they thought threatened their ‘superior culture’ and then sought to murder them. Maybe Trevor thinks the unfortunates labelled ‘Jews’ should have pursued their ‘constitutional aspirations’ also. Unfortunately it was only through the use of bombs and bullets that the allies cured the mass superiority complex affecting the militaristic Germans,  revealing it as rubbish created as an excuse to allow them to grab with both hands  the opportunity to don a uniform and triumphantly oppress their German Jewish neighbours they disgustingly treated as  ‘second-class citizens’.



Bring me sunshine

It’s been raining here for three days now. I resent those who say they are delighted their lawns are getting watered.

I am now back to daytime TV ads and torn between searching for an accident which wasn’t my fault and/or taking out another type of insurance to pay for my funeral. Could I do the two – and if so how do I profit from the latter choice?

All this indecision just because the sun stopped shining. Happy now?

Bantry, Co Cork


Querulous response

The tone of Dr Niall Meehan’s letters has become somewhat querulous and testy of late as Fr Patrick MacCafferty continues his stout defence of his views against abortion. Dr Meehan also resorts to the tired tactic of throwing in everything including the kitchen sink in an attempt to muddy the waters by widening the debate. Could I ask him to please make something clear. How does he reconcile with his conscience the fact that abortion is the deliberate expunging of human life?  

Belfast BT11

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