Letters to the Editor

The dismissing voices of DUP guilty of the ultimate betrayal

After the beginning of the Troubles, which is widely accepted to have started in August 1969, a deathly calm descended onto the streets of the north when at the behest of the unionist leader of the time, James Chichester Clarke, the British Army was deployed to restore order ‘and assert the authority of the British government’.
Initially welcomed by nationalists this greeting quickly deteriorated as the army committed outrages and atrocities including the murder of Catholic/nationalist civilians – 1970 Falls curfew, 1971 Ballymurphy massacre, 1972 Bloody Sunday. During this occupation the British military killed 306 people, 51 per cent civilians, 41 per cent so-called paramilitaries. The events on the Falls and in Ballymurphy and Derry were the catalyst for an intense period of absolute violence on the streets which would ultimately lead to the abolition of Stormont under the Northern Ireland Constitutional Act 1973.

In an effort to re-establish a semblance of normality, failing to challenge the detestable myopia ingrained here, the British evoked a formula for power sharing and out of the malaise the Sunningdale agreement emerged. Unionists, however, abjectly rejected this with the founder and former leader of the DUP bellowing ‘sell out, betrayal, popish plot, a threat to the union’. The north then spiralled into years of endless violence with a cacophony of brutality and viciousness perpetrated. The 1980s saw another cunning plan proposed and in 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement came to fruition. This too, however, was rejected by unionists with the same DUP screaming ‘betrayal, sell out, concessions to republicans, a threat to the union, no surrender’ –  this too was aborted.
The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 with its ‘principle of consent’ opposed by the DUP was seen as a compromise to placate unionism it also brought violence to an end and cemented the constitutional question until a majority express otherwise.

With Brexit looming the DUP, who have been involved in financial scandal, are again hollering ‘betrayal, broken promises, threat to the union’ etc.
Put in perspective that’s more than three decades of dogmatic paranoia and uncompromising diktats.
It is unnerving that this party is being taken seriously, bereft of integrity and creditability they in mocking and dismissing the voices of business leaders are guilty of the ultimate betrayal.

KEVIN McCANN
Belfast BT1

 

Stop the lecturing on matters we don’t think about

Is David Attenborough the new Al Gore, whose every word we are expected to take as gospel truth?

Look, the human race has already passed its sell-by date for survival on planet Earth. 

We are estimated to have made double figures in the living stakes, as most other species (apart from some reptiles)only stay safe for about 200,000 years before they shuffle off to extinction.
We are doing better than most, so take heart and every breath allocated.
Our world is going to continue for another four billion years at least, they tell us –  with or without us.

Natural evolution will see many changes to our globe before then, and it will have nothing to do with what humans were doing in the preceding few billion  because humans will be long gone by then, through nature’s habit of natural selection.

Give over with the glib arrogance that climate change is down to men and women who today are just going with the flow and coping as best they can. It is always those with more time and wealth we are told to listen to... egged on by dubious science claims that all is lost, because they say so.

People are responsible good citizens of this world who concentrate on getting ourselves from the cradle to the grave with a decent life span in between.
We are not concerned by high-faluting nonsense about there being matters more important than our individual lives which are very full with our real concerns in our short time here.
 

ROBERT SULLIVAN
Bantry, Co Cork

 

Time for action on climate change

The Irish News was right to highlight the words of David Attenborough about the perilous state of our planet because of global warming (December 3). The horrendous fires in the US and many places in recent years are a stark reminder of the consequences of climate change. This year has been the hottest year on record. The deadly fires as well as the rain and wind storms have cost many lives this year. Scientists tell us that carbon emissions result in climate change and strange weather patterns.

There are decisions that each of us can make to reduce the carbon footprints and make this planet safe for future generations. Mary Robinson suggests we cut down on the use of meat. The increase in the use of fossil fuels is a big threat to the environment. The amount of plastic in everyday use is unacceptable. The poisonous fluids used for embalming are bound to be harming our water. There are so many actions that we could take and must take to show our concern for the future of our Earth. There is no Planet B.

Fr JOE McVEIGH
Co Fermanagh

 

DUP can’t be allowed to  turn down Brexit deal

To misquote Seamus Heaney, when the House of Commons holds the vote on the Brexit withdrawal deal today, hope and history may not rhyme.
If this happens, the DUP, who claim to represent Northern Ireland in Westminster, will be mainly responsible.
Having disgracefully gone back on their shoddy deal with Theresa May made me think of something Seamus Mallon said once: “The problem with buying political favour is that it does not stay bought.”

When the economic genius of Sammy Wilson and fiscal responsibility of Arlene Foster are brought to bear, what could go wrong?
Mrs Foster has stated herself that she does not read the papers she is given before making decisions involving hundreds of millions of pounds. Add this to the arrogance of Nigel Dodds, who thinks he’s some latter day Edward Carson, when he dismisses the British Attorney General with a wave of his hand.
The attorney general stated categorically that businesses in Northern Ireland will be in a unique position to trade north, south, east and west without restriction, in a legal binding agreement with the EU. What could be better? No-one else either in the EU or the UK for that matter will be in such a privileged position. This is the deal of the century, something that is understood by the commercial and business interests of Northern Ireland who went to Downing Street last week. This group, and not the DUP, truly represent a powerful cross-section of the civic and business communities, crossing all denominations and none.
We cannot allow the DUP, with their arrogance and their mismanagement, to turn this deal down.  

PETER McEVOY
Newry, Co Down

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