Letters to the Editor

Big two political parties sucking fading light of hope out of all us

The two ‘big’ political parties in the north are like twin black holes orbiting each other, sucking the fading light of hope out of all of us. The DUP has ignored the remain majority in pursuit of a Union Jack Shanghai that only ever existed for landed elite. A little corner of Ireland that is forever England where they could build an Israeli-style border wall and spend their days kissing John Bull’s backside while taking money from his pocket. By supporting Brexit they unscrewed one of the legs supporting partition – nationalist lethargy and now by opposing the potential backstop they are using the leg for firewood. The backstop, as you were border, would encourage nationalism to snooze again. The hybrid opportunities created would be much too lucrative for the all-island economy for either jurisdiction to want them to end. Unionism would have to suffer an even closer relationship throughout Ireland, but surely that is a price worth paying if it means keeping formal Irish unity at bay indefinitely. A majority wanting a united Ireland, but not until the money stops rolling in. There might even be enough for that bridge to Scotland. Sinn Féin, on the other hand, (google them if you need your memory refreshed) have become the children who are seen but not heard. The new leadership of Mary ‘who’ McDonald and Michelle O’Neill have cornered the market on platitudes to the point that their interviews are recommended listening for sufferers of insomnia. They should go to Westminster, not to take their seats, but to mine that rich media circus that is ever hungry for the latest Brexit fare. Their presence would infuriate nationalist England but serve to remind it that ending the Irish union would be much more beneficial to them than ending the EU one. Even the schism sisters should be able to handle that. Sinn Féin MPs could turn up en mass at the time of a crucial vote and be guaranteed screen-to-screen coverage in the living rooms of the English voter. Still, why do that when you can call for a border poll in the Dáil at a time of national crisis. Whenever Sinn Féin are gifted an obvious opportunity to advance Irish unity they are guaranteed to put a loaf on their heads. They have become a brand not a movement, themselves alone not us, a party wedded to populism and incapable of pragmatic thought. Two black holes indeed. Will we ever escape their negative gravity? Nollaig Shona Daoibh.

Belfast BT11


Brave aspirations of 1918 shouldn’t be forgotten

One hundred years ago last week the newly-formed separatist party, Sinn Féin, went to the country pledged to the establishment of a republic, broadly based on the principles of the 1916 Proclamation, and independent of Empire. It was accorded a landslide victory by the electorate.

From that point on, it was clear that Britain had no legitimate, democratic right in Ireland. Nevertheless, over the last few decades, the dominant voice in Irish historical debate appeared to play down the significance of this seminal event of December 14 1918, until it became known as ‘the forgotten election’. It seemed as if most historians were determined to resist any narrative other than that which portrayed the separatist movement as violent, ‘elitist’, unrepresentative and with an ‘ambivalent’ attitude towards democracy.

Arguably it was rather the Imperial government that displayed all these characteristics, and in spades. It went to extraordinary lengths to disrupt Sinn Féin’s election preparations, rounding-up, and deporting practically all of the leadership, including their director of elections. In all, a total of 150 Sinn Féin activists were under lock and key in Britain when the December election day dawned over Ireland.  

Typically, the British government response to the Sinn Féin’s sweeping victory at the polls was to hunt down the successful candidates that were still free, and to ‘ban’ the new democratically-constituted Dáil Éireann. It was, thus, the Empire’s penchant for violence and the threat of it, as well as its contempt for democracy in Ireland that led to the War of Independence and, arguably, the Civil War and partition.

Much has happened since the undermining of the last All-Ireland election on this island in 1918. But it is to be hoped that the brave aspirations and voices of the people, as expressed 100 years ago will never be forgotten.

Terenure, Dublin 6W


Inconsistent criticism

Jack Duffin’s dismissal of my placing of empirical evidence before him, was near censorious in his rush to add another written invictive  towards Archdeacon Cavanagh (December 7).
In doing so, he showed himself to be the contradictor, not me.

His view states that science can’t point to a theistic view of the world, but there is evidence. The 1971 investigation into the 8th Century miracle at Lanciano and the findings of professors Linoli and Bertelli, pointed to that the host was the Mycardiam of a human male and was free of preserving agents with the AB blood type. In 1973, the WHO confirmed these findings after an exhaustive 15-month examination. Equally, more than 20 years after the 1988 carbon testing, new tests under high resolution photography  have shown the shroud weave is identical to cloths found at the 73AD siege site of Masada, according to Dr Flury Lambert of the Abegg Foundation.

Likewise, the imprint on the left eye of the shroud shows a lepton of 30AD with Pontius Pilate inscription on it. These are just some of the findings that have made science re-approach this ancient relic with renewed interest and respect, given that the carbon 14 test is less gospel than once believed.

So in choosing to ignore this and other evidence and rush to his comfort blanket of the investigation of bad boy Archdeacon Cavanagh, one wonders what he will come up with next.

Clonoe, Co Tyrone


Correcting a misperception

It is strange that The Irish News receives so much anti-Israel misinformation in your letters section.

Allow me to correct the misperception inflicted on readers by Antán Ó Dála An Rí – ‘Some salient facts about those who founded Zionist state’ (December 13).

The Jewish State was given legitimacy with the unanimous vote of the League of Nations in 1922. Unanimous includes the Arab vote. It was put under the mandate “to secure the establishment of the Jewish national home and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants, irrespective of race and religion”.

This is precisely what Israel is doing today, unlike its neighbouring countries which have rid themselves of their Jewish population and persecute Christians.

So much for Israel’s legal, moral and ethical rights to exist.

Netanya, Israel


Sinn Féin and DUP acting like goats

‘The goat that reeks on yonder hill eats his fill of chlorophyll.’

This was a humorous response to claims that some brands of toothpaste prevent bad breath. 

Here, we have the DUP and Sinn Féin acting like Billy goats on adjacent hills, posing and challenging each other – all sound and fury, but no real engagement. We, the electorate, voted for them, hoping that they would somehow cooperate with each other in pursuit of the common good. However, like bulls in china shops, or cows in bog holes, it is an unnaturally awkward situation. Their natural instinct, and only reason for existence, is to make mischief and father more goats. Coupled together they can do neither. In kindness, we should stop voting for them, thus free them to return to posing and head-butting each other, on their separate hilltops. 

Downpatrick, Co Down

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