Letters to the Editor

When will Sinn Féin accept abortion stands for inequality?

The decision by Sinn Féin representatives Martina Anderson MEP and Conor Murphy to attend the state reception for Pope Francis in Dublin Castle was an act of political cowardice and a display of double standards.
As an MEP Martina Anderson has made much of Brexit, calling it the civil rights issue of this generation while also demanding equality for her Northern Ireland constituents. All this while her party campaigned for the Repeal of the Eighth Amendment with an eye to the extension of the Westminster1967 Abortion Act to the north. 

When one wonders, will Ms Anderson accept that abortion stands for inequality? By definition abortion means an unequal outcome for unborn children. Some babies live, the death of others is planned. Republicanism represents fulfilment of the legacy of the men and women of 1916. Yet there is clear evidence within the party that some have failed to uphold the pledge enshrined within the proclamation of the Irish Republic to ‘Cherish all the children of the nation equally’.

Those within the party who oppose full debate on matters of deep personal conscience represent the politics of denial rather than empowerment and realisation of a true and honourable republic founded on the noble values of respect and protection of human rights, especially the first of all human rights, the right to life.
Instead of meaningful discussion home-grown apparatchiks enforce their will upon others in the party. If Sinn Féin’s vision for the future is only for the rich, the fortunate, the perfect and planned then perhaps Irish society, north and south, hasn’t moved that far forward from 1979. The recently clear message of the urgent need to protect life in all its forms as expressed by Pope Francis will have been lost on deaf ears.
It will instead have been replaced by the pursuit of much lesser values of carving out political territory by sacrificing the unborn and with it, the conscience of an entire nation. 

PAUL BRADY
Ballynahinch, Co Down

 

Mainstream media ignoring legitimate grievances

In recent weeks the outspoken Donald Trump once again enraged the mainstream corporate media. However, the president was correct to raise the issue and once again the mainstream corporate media ignored legitimate grievances in order to throw an infantile temper tantrum. The South African Agricultural Union registered 3,065 farm attacks and 677 farm murders between 1991 and 1997. In 2001 the South African Police Service’s Crime Information Analysis Centre revealed that of the 1,398 people who were attacked on South African farms, 61.6 per cent were white, 33.3 per cent were black, 4.4 per cent were Asian and 0.7 per cent were from other ethnic backgrounds. In 2001 the South African Census stated the ethnic demography of South Africa was 79 per cent black, 9.5 per cent white, 8.9 per cent mixed race and 2.5 per cent Asian. The difference between the census statistics and farm attack demography speaks volumes. In November 2011, Rian Van der Walt’s War of the Flea documentary stated that 3,000 farmers had been murdered in 18,000 attacks since 1991. South African Police Service statistics for 2015/2016 stated that there were 49 farm murders in South Africa and the police statistics for 2016/2017 stated that there were 638 attacks on farms and smallholdings with 74 murders. Farm workers were victims in 61 of said attacks and 13 attacks involved gratuitous physical torture of victims. The average age of farm attack victims is 55 years old and in 62 per cent of farm attacks, people aged 51 years and older are attacked. In October 2017 Afriforum stated that the murder rate for South African farmers was 156 per 100,000.  In May this year, the Independent Online publication in South Africa stated that there had been 3,070 farm attacks and 339 farm murders in South Africa since 2012.
On August 14 South Africa News reported that the Transvaal Agricultural Union South Africa recorded 244 farm attacks and 38 farm murders in 2018. 

ÉAMONN MacGRIANNA
Belfast BT11 

 

Sad reflection of today’s society

It was inevitable that in the days before the Pope’s visit there would be those in The Irish News only to eager to express their usual animosity against the Church. It didn’t take long to find the leading contender was Fionnuala O Connor – no surprise there. 

We then had to endure a rehash of all the old news we have heard over and over again.
On and on went the finger pointing. No-one was spared, even the vast majority who had nothing to do with child abuse were accused of believing a lie.
She even managed to mention Mary McAleese, as if that would impress us.
Isn’t it just incredible, here we have a person who has just cast her rage on those who would harm our children, and yet only a few months ago in the referendum this same person was vigorously campaigning for the right to end the life of the unborn child.
It’s a sad reflection on today’s society that we have those who are incapable of seeing their own blatant double standard.

J DIAMOND
Coleraine, Co Derry 

 

DUP double standards

FRANK  Glynn’s letter – ‘If DUP had any principles it would sack Ian Paisley’ (August 29) – highlights the scandal surrounding Ian Paisley over his Sri Lankan and his canvassing on behalf of the Sri Lankan authorities. The letter, importantly, flags up the double standards that exist within the DUP – how it reacted to the Barry McElduff episode to  Sammy Wilson’s comment that: ‘well Paisley made a mistake’. 

It is not. Double standards in the DUP ought not be tolerated. They are propping up a Tory administration that has not the slightest interest in the six counties. They are supporting an administration that is more than likely to cause hardship, especially on the farming community. They ignored the Remainers’ vote in the six counties.  

It is a party ‘swanning’ along ignoring the frailty of its leadership, blindness when it comes to visioning the future.  The Paisley episode brings in to sharp focus the double standards that appear to be the norm for the DUP.

MANUS McDAID
Derry City

 

Looking at things the wrong way

To paraphrase Trevor Ringland (August 31) Perhaps we’re simply looking at things the wrong way. Is Northern Ireland itself the problem, not the people who live here?

Unionist people naturally think of themselves as British and Irish people naturally think of themselves as Irish. Each has the right to govern themselves in accordance with the principle of self-determination.

Unionists would not tolerate Irish sovereignty. Irish people should not be forced to tolerate British sovereignty in order ‘to make Northern Ireland work as well as possible’. What’s wrong with Irish sovereignty for Irish people and British sovereignty for British people?
Try telling unionists they are not British.

MALACHY SCOTT
Belfast BT15

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